Disastrous First Day Launches
Here it is, 2016, and we are here at the everything internet stage of our lives. Our phones, computers, shit even pill bottles can connect to the internet. The one piece of internet tech we love as gamers though are online games. We all love to play games online not only with our friends who could be anywhere in the world, but we also love to DOMINATE them as well in competitive games. Whether it’s a nice game of Madden, a shootout in Call of Duty, or just playing your friends levels in Mario Maker, we all want to connect.
The problem however is when you decide to launch your online game does anything rarely ever go right. This comes fresh off the heels of the disastrous first day launch of The Division. I spent most of that Monday night into Tuesday pressing the A button on my Xbox One controller just trying to play this fresh new game I spent $60 on. I also didn’t even want to play with others, I just wanted to play the single player missions. The Division, like a lot of games coming out recently, is online only. Meaning to even play the single-player aspects of the game, I needed to get onto their servers. Oh boy could their severs not keep up with the huge “day one” demand it had. I wasn’t able to fully play until about 3am.
Now to give Ubisoft credit with The Division, I tried playing the next night and almost everything ran fine, not to mention it’s a great game to boot! I’m just sick of having these launches where it crashes and burns, and while The Division may be the latest case of this, it’s by far not the worst. Another example recently is Street Fighter V. Considering they took out pretty much any reason to play that game by yourself, they couldn’t even deliver an online experience that worked well. It took almost a week for things over at Capcom to smooth out but I was so turned off by the experience I haven’t even put in the time to go back. These first launches can really do damage on how long a player is willing to commit. I could spent hours typing up thousands of different examples of this but you all see my point.
Game developers and publishers, lets Q/A better. Let’s spend the money it takes to actually launch your game correctly. Online games have been around long enough that you should have figured this out by now. Also don’t give me a cost excuse because these games make millions of dollars. Care less about your stockholders and care a little bit more about the user experience with the product you are trying to sell to them. I will however not allow this piece to be a total bashfest. Network engineers at game studios, you guys do the toughest jobs out there. I’m sure many of you are on call 24/7 and are extremely loyal to your cause. To that, I salute you, but come on guys, let’s make game launches good enough and not the train wrecks they are. That would be great!
Bruce Mitton, Contributing Writer, Gamer Duel