Industry’s Goal in 2015 Should be Performance, Not Graphics

It's time to get our priorities straight and address the performance of games.

It’s time to get our priorities straight and address the performance of games.

Everyone wants to see the new video game consoles push better and better graphics. But before we can embrace new graphics, we really need to focus on performance and stability.

2014 wasn’t a good year in gaming in regards to performance. Games are supposed to work when they’re released; we’re not supposed to wait for numerous patches and updates in order to get a game that is finally stable. Perhaps it began with the massive server issues encountered by EA’s Battlefield 4 in late 2013 and culminated with the often comical problems with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Unity. The latter issues resulted in four updates, by the way, the last of which came in at 6.7GB because they had to rebuild entire sections of the game.

This is not what we want from a new generation. Perhaps developers were so anxious to produce games that would blow us all away – especially after “generational fatigue” in years prior – that they rushed things. Watch Dogs had its share of problems, although nowhere near to the level of Unity, and let’s not forget about Driveclub. Developer Evolution Studios is still apologizing for that and gamers are still reporting minor problems. The bottom line is that none of these games ever seem to get completely fixed.

Another game that just wasn't running right when it first launched.

Another game that just wasn’t running right when it first launched.

And so, as we press forward in 2015, we should all come together and request one thing: A return to product stability. The graphics will come with time; that’s inevitable. Let’s encourage designers to get things right the first time around, and ask publishers to give those developers the requisite time. Stop believing that just because you can fix and update a game after its released that you should. When it launches, when a consumer ponies up $60 for it, it should work. Extra content is fine and dandy but above all else, we want the game to function properly.

The good news is that it seems some developers are taking the proper strides. In fact, one could argue that CD Projekt Red pushed The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt almost as a direct result of all those unstable games in 2014. The team has made it plain that they want to produce a polished product, and they previously promised they wouldn’t delay again. Well, they opted to delay rather than give the customer something that simply doesn’t perform as it should. And maybe DICE and EA took a similar step with Battlefield: Hardline.

The bottom line is that we’ve got plenty of games to play. Don’t rush. Don’t try to drop everyone’s jaws with crazy graphics. We all know the great graphics are on the horizon and we can be patient. What makes us very impatient is games that could’ve been fantastic right out of the gate but unfortunately, all anyone can talk about are the obvious problems. That’s just plain disappointing on every possible level and it really has to stop.

6 thoughts on “Industry’s Goal in 2015 Should be Performance, Not Graphics”

I definitely agree. I’m sick of people whining about how the new consoles haven’t produced these crazy great graphics yet, and how it’s not a huge jump over the last generation.

Let’s try and get some games that WORK first.

I haven’t been that impressed with the graphics this generation but that’s not my #1 priority. Like you said, I want games that work right out of the box, great graphics or no.

Yeah, Unity and Driveclub were disasters. I still can’t believe they launched the way they did. Developers need to step up their game in 2015. Definitely.

Nothing bugs me more than a game with unbelievable potential that falls flat because it just doesn’t run right. It’s SUCH a missed opportunity. 🙁

What about the big disasters Halo master chief collection network? it should be on the the list with these other troubled games. I still cant believe the reviewers never talk about the network issue. Last time I buy a major game early. I love Halo, but the network issue killed it. I will come back after it is fixed fully.

You should put that on the article also.

That was another big mess. It seems that any game that involves heavy network/server activity has immediate problems…one of the reasons I basically avoid online play.

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