Okay. So, this is going to be a slight rant. It's directed solely at game developers, and content creators ...
We all know as gamers that everything from video games to patches/updates have been being botched, and released regardless of their unsatisfactory condition. This has got to stop. What it all boils down to is pure laziness, a lack of commitment to the product, and a lack of willingness to supply the funds needed to make things right. If you are going to make a game set in an online environment, or even an offline game it is imperative that you get things right from the start, and that you work out all the kinks before it hits shelves. There's no if's, and's, or butt's (I typed it that way on purpose) about it. If you are not willing to fund a team who can get such a job done then you do not need to be releasing the game, or patch in the first place. While I could point fingers, and call names all day I'm going to go a different route, and offer up a viable suggestion that will help get the development process back on the right track, and no it does not require more money to do ...
It's a given that developers, and publishers are basically penny pinchers at heart looking to invest the least amount of cash into a project so that they can reap the biggest profit possible. This sort of mentality, and approach (as much as you want to deny it) leads to the cutting of corners, and a lackluster delivery that puts your gaming company's name to shame. Doing things in this manner will end up losing you your fanbase, and in turn will lose you a significant amount of sales. Eventually gamers do wisen up to a publisher/developer who continues to do them wrong whether you want to believe it, or not. How do I get around this Brad, you ask? It's simple. Hire the helping hands that are willing to better the industry that they love.
By "Hiring" I don't necessarily mean pay them like you would a team member working under your lead. I mean at least give them the game in question along with all the future DLC, so that they can properly test the game for bugs, and issues. I personally would be willing to take on such a job if there was at least some sort of worthwhile compensation for my time spent doing a job your team should have nailed in the first place. I, like so many others would like to see great games released without these redundant, and inexcusable flaws. To avoid this all you have to do is give the designated "Play Tester" a retail copy at least a week before release, have them dedicate a certain amount of hours to their playthrough each day, and give them a direct contact, so that they can report any problems that they should find.
I do understand that finding the perfect "Play Tester" could be problematic as everyone, and their grandmother would probably apply just for the freebies, but there is a way around it. My suggestion in that regard is to seek out journalists such as myself who are passionate about the industry, who know it inside and out, and who have the time to commit to such a tedious task. Check up on us. Read what we have written, and if you find that our critiques are on spot with reality don't hesitate to ask us for help. I know some other fellow journalists who give honest reviews, and who are also growing tired of the half-assery that is taking place. More than likely they too would be willing to lend a helping hand for some proper compensation.
While I'm at it let's also talk about patch solutions. By designating a handful of gamers as "Play Testers", and issuing the patch for them ahead of the scheduled release date you can have them help you work out, and identify any issues that are occurring. This will limit the issues that players experience once the final version of the patch is released to the public. It's honestly a rather simple solution seeing as you developers, and publishers get retail game copies for sending out to journalists. Just find you a proper "Play Tester" crew, and have them do the job you, and your team should be doing.
All I've gotta say is that I'm tired of wasting my money on promising game releases that end up being anything but that. Sadly gamers like me don't make games though, we simply play them. Please, just get your act together, and do what needs to be done. Either invest your all, or don't bother ripping us off with your unfinished products. It's gotta stop, or the industry will eventually collapse in on itself.
Your Last Samurai,
Brad Carver (OtakuDante)