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Thread: Is XBOX Live bad for games?

  1. #1
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    Is XBOX Live bad for games?

    There’s a very important question that’s been weighing heavy on my mind lately and I thought I’d share it with you all.

    With XBOX Live being the fantastic content delivery system that it is, has it now become too convenient for game producers to patch flawed games at a later date?

    The sheer number of XBOX360 games that require a patch or update of some form to resolve what can only be described as critical problems is nothing short of alarming. From the top of my head, let’s think of a few;

    • Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting. Surely a simple arcade title? After all the delays building up to it, one would have thought it’d work perfectly out of the box. One would have thought wrong. Critical patch required to make online play playable.
    • Dead or Alive 4. Were you looking forward to the first real fighter on the 360? Well, be careful, you’d have probably lost all of your save games had you played it before the patch was issued.
    • Saints Row. Getting a bit more up to date, here’s a new game on which we’re still waiting for a patch. The problems with the game are seemingly endless, although still highly enjoyable, the flaws are certainly frustrating. When we might see a patch is anybody’s guess.


    Now those are just a few titles, put a bit of thought into it and the list becomes almost endless. I’d even go as far as to say you’d have a much harder time trying to think of a list of games which haven’t needed fixing in some way or other after its release.

    So what does all this mean? Well, the facts are troubling, no doubt. But should we be complaining about games being fixed? Arguably not. But there’s more to it than that. Should the games we buy need to be fixed? Are we paying for faulty products? It’s feasible to say that had we no XBOX Live and no patch delivery system, we’d possibly not get flawed games.

    Does this mean that testing games is becoming a thing of the past? With thousands of XBOX Live users, are we now becoming the guinea pigs used to test games which developers are no longer willing to do themselves?

    This may seem all too familiar to PC users. PC games have long been known to require multiple patches after release. This wasn’t the case for console games, but as the two become closer in terms of technology so too does the method of handling games.

    XBOX Live is surely the greatest online gaming platform currently available, but it’s easy to see that developers could be using it for all the wrong reasons.

    Whatever happened to quality control?

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    This is something that was discussed when Live first came into being, what...4 years ago. I think that the ability to patch is good, it means that problems can be fixed, which at one point could not on consoles. However it can make devs lazy in knowing they can iron out the flaws after release if need be.

    In my opinion, good games are made by good devs who do make sure that their product is as good as they can make it within time constraints of release dates. Obviously they're going to get feedback from the community after release, and patching to add mass-requested functionality is not a weakness. But you will get some devs who obviously haven't done enough testing and these will be the games that require patches to correct flaws.

    I think overall it's a good thing. Generally I don't think we're seeing any less quality in games at release than we did before Xbox Live, it just seems that now devs have the ability to fix these problems we have something to moan about.

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    Has all the piri-piri! GeorgeTuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by altitude2k View Post
    This is something that was discussed when Live first came into being, what...4 years ago. I think that the ability to patch is good, it means that problems can be fixed, which at one point could not on consoles. However it can make devs lazy in knowing they can iron out the flaws after release if need be.

    In my opinion, good games are made by good devs who do make sure that their product is as good as they can make it within time constraints of release dates. Obviously they're going to get feedback from the community after release, and patching to add mass-requested functionality is not a weakness. But you will get some devs who obviously haven't done enough testing and these will be the games that require patches to correct flaws.

    I think overall it's a good thing. Generally I don't think we're seeing any less quality in games at release than we did before Xbox Live, it just seems that now devs have the ability to fix these problems we have something to moan about.
    I'm with you on that one, overall its a good thing but there does seem to be an element of laziness in testing now they have opportunity to patch but it would be far worse previously where it couldn't be fixed.

    I should think we'll see a lot of the Xbox forums becoming like PC ones, ie "Guns 1 upgrade must b nerfed LOL iz da worsted of all gunz!)!!1"

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    The ability to deploy patches over Xbox live should be removed. That way, if something needs patching, the lazy developer has to pay for the recall and replacement of the physical copies all over the place. That will ensure that anyone that does it, only does it once

    Either that or as part of the licensing, if MS considers the quality control to be inadequate, they can both force the developer to issue a patch AND charge them a huge amount for deploying that over Xbox live and give the money to charity.

    It'll never happen though
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    Flying prans are the flalalum Veles's Avatar
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    Well you mustn't forget that before anything like xbox live, you had games with bugs in that couldn't ever get patched.

    You mention saints row being buggy, while I agree it is, so is GTAIII, in fact I've probably experienced more bugs playing GTAIII than I have saints row.

    What I'm more annoyed about is this, buy the game and pay for extra content crap. Oblivion horse armour mod is a prime example, they could've very easily added that into the final game but they left it out to rake in some extra cash.

    I think MS charging lots for them to be able to deploy a patch would be a bit double edged. On one hand, you might find developers making games less buggy to begin with, but on the other you might find them ignoring any bugs.


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    I can't say the odd bug annoys me. If a game crashes its a bit annoying but chances are the progress I had made was saved before the crash either automatically or by myself. A restart isnt to long to endure. In my opinion the quality of the games make up for the little niggles present in there code.

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    not posting kempez's Avatar
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    I'm all for game devs fixing games as long as they dont "do an EA" and release a beta as a full game.

    playing on Live annoys me sometimes when I get disconnected tho
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    Quote Originally Posted by badass View Post
    The ability to deploy patches over Xbox live should be removed. That way, if something needs patching, the lazy developer has to pay for the recall and replacement of the physical copies all over the place. That will ensure that anyone that does it, only does it once
    But what about unforseen problems? What you're suggesting is a waste of a lot resources for problems that could easily be fixed with a quick patch. It would just end up in devs lacking funds to create their next title.

    And you can't tell me that you'd rather be on the recieving end of a total recall - having to send your game back (even if it is for free) and having to be without the game for probably an extraordinary length of time if all games are returned, than just having your xbox pop up with a message telling you there's a patch available right now at the press of a button...

    And what about PC games, surely if this is how console games should be treated then PC titles (think of a one that hasn't had a patch released over the last 5 years) should require a recall as well.

    Last edited by altitude2k; 16-10-2006 at 03:55 PM.

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    i have live working at last.

    and i think its an excellent thing. ok, there is a lot of patches atm, but the games are generally alot more polished than pc games.
    Gamertag - Russonf (xbox and ps3)

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    also, sometimes when a patch is released they do add things (Kameo - online 2 player instead of local).
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