Were Developers Simply Unprepared for This Generation?

Delays and expectations not met have affected so many games this generation.

Delays and expectations not met have affected so many games this generation.

A seemingly endless stream of delays. Anticipated titles failing to meet high expectations. Bugs, glitches, online issues. For some reason, these have been all too common thus far in the new generation and one has to wonder: Why?

The previous generation dragged on longer than any one era in the industry’s history. There was a 7-year gap between PlayStations and an 8-year gap between Xboxes and for the remainder of that generation, you heard a lot about “generational fatigue.” Developers and gamers alike were feeling it big time. Then we started to hear all sorts of good news (especially from the PS4 side), about how Sony was working very closely with developers concerning the new system. And we knew Microsoft would likely deliver another dev-friendly console; the Xbox 360 definitely qualified as such.

Yeah, it was incredible. But the online component didn't work at all.

Yeah, it was incredible. But the online component didn’t work at all.

So, what happened? Given the extra time, attention and general TLC it appeared game makers were getting heading into this generation, we all expected a great deal. And while we’ve had some amazing games – no doubt about it – the prevailing trends are unsettling. During the first six months of 2015, we couldn’t seem to go a week without hearing about another delay of a high-profile title. Huge games we all expected would blow us away, from launch titles to recent blockbusters, haven’t really delivered. Killzone: Shadow Fall and Watch Dogs have become the poster children for games that, while definitely good, just didn’t seem to match the promises.

Driveclub was delayed several times and when it arrived, it had all sorts of problems. Battlefield 4 was a travesty for just far too long. Grand Theft Auto V, as amazing as it was, had an unplayable online mode when it launched. Many people love Destiny, but is it really the revolutionary be-all, end-all shooter it was purported to be? The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt‘s list of bugs and glitches is approaching legendary status and even after several huge patches, there are lingering issues (and this game was also delayed quite a bit). Just this past weekend, the Street Fighter V beta had to be taken down twice.

It seems like the age of the solid, stable, impressive new video game is over. Is it due to the prevalence of online activity, which almost always seems to throw a wrench into the works? Is it the fact that consoles are basically PCs now, and patches and updates have become the norm even in the living room (a trend I couldn’t freakin’ stand on PC and really can’t stand on consoles)? Or is it simply that developers, for whatever reason, are having difficulty with these new, supposedly easier-to-work-with, systems? I’m just hoping we’ll see a game that runs as it should, doesn’t need immediate patching, and actually lives up to expectations.

Is that really too much to ask? For the record, I love a lot of the games we’ve seen this generation so far, including most of the titles I’ve listed here. But there is a significant difference between how games are releasing these days as opposed to a decade ago, at least in the console realm. And with all the hype surrounding this particular era, the entire mess makes it feel very underwhelming. Know what I mean?

4 thoughts on “Were Developers Simply Unprepared for This Generation?”

I really do miss the days when a game just WORKED.

I think this article could’ve been summed up perfectly with that one sentence. LOL

There are simplyt oo many problems with new games, there’s no doubt about it. I can’t play The Witcher without running into some weird problem, even after all the patches. Like last night, the game suddenly wouldn’t let me dive underwater. It was like the mechanic just didn’t exist. I thought the square button was broken or some shit.

Had to leave the entire region and come back to make it work. ‘rolling eyes’

And this is the kind of thing that’s happening WAAAAY too much this generation.

I think it’s painfully obvious that they were. There are SO many games that just dont work right when they first come out and no, it wasn’t like this last generation. There’s a reason I still have my old systems and its just because I can’t stand games that don’t work properly the FIRST TIME OUT.

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