Game development is not an easy task, we all know that. The developers sweat it out just trying to get everything right, and in most cases, they don’t. That’s because they set deadlines which are almost impossible to realize. It’s true that the longer a game takes to release, the quicker the game starts to dwindle in terms of popularity; but that’s not the case with Gran Turismo 5, right? As long as you’re producing high-quality games, gamers are willing to wait.
I guess that’s something Treyarch ( or Activision for that matter ) just doesn’t get. You’d probably have heard by now that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was in development before Black Ops released. Yes, this is possible since the two games are being handled by different studios, but still… releasing games one after the other at rocket pace is not the way. It only results in an insipid single player experience, a tacked-on multiplayer experience, cart loads of bugs and glitches and then some.
Case in point: Call of Duty: Black Ops. Why couldn’t Treyarch have released the game 6 months later? They could have constructively spent that time polishing the game, holding a closed BETA ( I’m sure that if there was a closed BETA, half the glitches in the game today wouldn’t have appeared ). One developer I admire in this aspect is DICE – they had a closed BETA for Battlefield: Bad Company 2. This resulted in an almost glitch-free and immensely enjoyable multiplayer experience! Although I don’t own Black Ops, after watching a fair amount of YouTube videos I can safely say that Treyarch is, lazy to say in the least, when it comes to taking action against boosters/cheaters/hackers. No action whatsoever is taken against them. In that sense, DICE is a role-model for other developers because they listen to the community and actively moderate it. The next big thing in Bad Company 2, apart from the Vietnam expansion pack is VIP Map Pack 7, which includes fan-favourite maps such as “Harvest Day”.
Read that again. Fan-favourite, Yeah, DICE actually listened to the fans raving for the Harvest Day map to be introduced in Bad Company 2 ( it originally featured in Bad Company ) and they’re rolling out the Map Pack soon, and then they’ll roll out more Map Packs. That’s how you keep a gaming community alive and kicking; not by letting boosters/cheaters and such just trample everyone else on the battlefield.
Even the recently released Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has its share of glitches. Game-breaking glitches to be precise. Yes, I realize Brotherhood did have a closed BETA, but it was only for gamers to try out the multiplayer component – a first in the Assassin’s Creed franchise; but then that means we only have th option to point fingers at Ubisoft. Why couldn’t have Ubisoft taken a little extra time and test the game rigorously? That’s because most developers today have this mindset that anything can be fixed via game patches. Which, in my opinion is, wrong. Wrong because games cost a ridiculous $60. Wrong because at the time of buying, you’re not getting content worth the money you’ve paid – as the game is flawed.
The only thing I’m cribbing about is that game developers should not set unreal dead lines, since it not only results in a half-done product, but it also puts undue pressure on other smaller developers to get in the race of bringing out games faster.