One of things I see a lot when a new game is released are bugs and promised features missing. Usually there is a small crowd of players that defend everything about the game in this fashion:
Your purchase is just an investment for the future. Once the devs get a few patches out, the game will be good. Even if they don’t, the mod community will fix everything. Just be patient.
This always bugs me. When you pay full price for a game on launch day, it should be relatively bug free with all the promised features. I am willing to give the developer a few weeks or even a month to release patches, but they cannot expect anyone to wait around for months to get the game they paid for. If a game needs work, it should not be released. I realize that not all bugs can be fixed and deadlines may creep up, but that does not excuse a very buggy or even broken game.
They are charging us everything upfront; the game should be ready to go. Now if they are making the game into an actual service, then the pricing should be changed appropriately. Split that $60 over a whole year with players paying $5 per month. If players stop halfway, they lose access to the game. If they stick around for the full year, they finally own the full game and do not have to worry about losing it.
This would at least hold developers accountable. You do not get your full pay unless your game is complete. Unfortunately, this will never happen unless there was a consumer protection law or industry organization demanding it. Disposable income for entertainment is just that: disposable. It does not matter in the grand scheme of things if people make a bad purchase on a game.
Still, we should be able to expect a certain amount of quality from new games. That means realizing that most games are not investments but single products. Sure, there are MMOs and free to play games with patching for many years, but those developers are upfront that it is a service. Most games are single products, though. You pay one time and play as much as you want.
- Fact: You paid full price for the game.
- Fact: The game should be complete.
- Fact: No one should be defending these developers.
Of course there are exceptions if you buy the game after launch. You cannot demand much if you only paid half price. Likewise, you cannot demand much if you are buying the game many years after release. A quick Google search will tell you all about a game’s possible lasting bugs or missing features. It is only a problem at release when developers (PR and marketing mostly) do not give the complete picture to the public.