Are gamers holding hardware and software developers to a high enough standard?
As midnight approached Monday night, many gamers waited in anticipation for the release of the new SimCity. When midnight struck, excited gamers started downloading and installing SimCity with the hope of many hours of city-building over the next several days. As many started playing, heavy traffic to EA’s servers caused many connectivity issues. Since SimCity has online-all-the-time DRM, this locked a lot of players out, even in single-player mode.
When Diablo 3 released last spring, it was the same story. Players were locked out at any given time because the servers could not handle the traffic load. On both accounts the Internet blew-up about the issues, but that appears to be the only backlash that occurred. Is there any real accountability to developers when they don’t deliver on what they promise? Both EA and Blizzard were aware of the potential traffic they would receive, yet appeared to not be ready at launch.
How is it acceptable for them to release a product that they are charging the consumer full price for, but then not be ready on their end to deliver on that product? These companies should have been more than prepared for the rigors of launch day. They have no problem taking our money. I noticed there were no connectivity issues when it came to accepting my payment. This is the only industry in America where a company can promise something, not deliver, and then not really have any repercussions. If we went to McDonald’s and bought a hamburger and fries, but were then told that we couldn’t eat the hamburger for a week, McDonald’s would quickly become McOut-of-Business.
It’s not only the software developers that don’t deliver the full product that is promised. Hardware developers are notorious for offering services on their consoles that only appear for a short time or don’t appear at all. Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 were both announced to have backwards compatibility. This turned out to be lackluster for both systems, and in the PlayStation 3’s case, was cut out entirely in the later models. It appears these developers are fully aware of what they planned to do with the system, but announce things they are not totally sure of just as a sales platform.
If gamers are really upset about this issue, the only way to respond is on sales. I for one am tired of buying games that need to be patched immediately upon release. I think it is unforgivable that Nintendo released the Wii U and it needed an hour’s worth of patching before it could even be played. The only way I can let these developers know that it is unacceptable to release unfinished products or products that don’t function as advertised is to not support them with money. The developers should respect their audience enough to do this on their own, but it is clear they do not feel that way. It is time to take a stand and let them know it’s not acceptable to falsely advertise, that they will be held to the standard of every other industry in this country.