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Op-Ed: Endless video game crashes — A study in who needs to get out of the gaming industry

The point is that these problems make the products unusable. That is both a legal issue and a serious failure of basic game marketing.

Video games could help popularise non-fungible tokens (NFT). — © AFP
Video games could help popularise non-fungible tokens (NFT). — © AFP

You’ll see often enough gamers complaining about big-name games not working, crashing, or other in-game issues. Usually, these problems have existed for years. The weird thing is that nobody takes these issues seriously either at the development level or, apparently, at the sales level.

These are the current news results for “video+game+crash” on Google News. Aside from the usual basic Read+List issues with lousy contextual searches, it’s a very long list of games not working.

The point is that these problems make the products unusable.

That is both a legal issue and a serious failure of basic game marketing.

I’ve seen a couple of cases of this myself. In both cases, my system was up to speed and was running the games perfectly well until they simply didn’t run at all. In both cases, the problems dated back years.  

Everyone knows that patches are usually required for any game. This, however, is a total failure to fix anything at all.

It’s not the game inventor’s fault. It’s not the developer’s fault in some cases. It’s not the distributor’s fault. A truly lousy reputation is hardly in their interests.  

It’s the fault of the idiots who simply sell “whatever” and don’t see anything wrong with not doing patches for the problems. This is basic digital problem-fixing. It’s usually pretty simple to fix and not all that expensive. A routine update or patch could do all of it, and that seems to happen only at geological speeds.

You call this testing?

Some years ago, I was on an employment site forum chatting with a 12-year-old who’d beta-tested Warhammer and a lot of other stuff. The kid wanted to know what sort of career he should have. I suggested going into business for himself. The response was, “Oh, yeah! Didn’t think of that, thanks.”

That kid would probably have done a better job of testing than whatever sub-average chimps who never pay attention to the people playing the game. I have a feeling he might have suggested some fixes, which nobody  seems to have bothered to do, literally years after so many complaints.

Try this for a sky blue/grass green level of theory:

  • Runs on whatever OS.
  • Doesn’t crash on basic game mechanics.
  • Saves properly.
  • Software actually works.  
  • Doesn’t refuse to load.
  • 2000 hours continuous basic game testing before inflicting on the market. (Sees if there are hardware issues, too, obviously.)

How basic can you possibly get? Bear in mind that many games are also MMO. You can annoy a lot more people. You can crash mid-game, too, apparently, if you’re so inclined. What fun. What a great product recommendation. Ain’t you just brilliant? No, you’re not.

I know, as do all gamers, that many games are glitch-happy in some weird ways. …But not running at all? Some games are expensive. Some people love them and spend a lot of money on them.

Real gamers invest a lot of time in these games too. They do that for apparently no reason that the game developers and distributors can comprehend. …You were saying? No, you weren’t. You can’t talk yourself out of this total disconnect with a core market.  

Spelling it out

Let’s put this in terms the talking self-obsessed office furniture can understand:

  1. In many jurisdictions this sort of shoddy product performance is both illegal and actionable. You’d have to refund every unit sale.
  2. In marketing terms, no-play scenarios are the equivalent of putting your foot in your mouth and shooting yourself in the foot. Your credibility is gone. Another great marketing Amateur Hour moment.
  3. The gamer credentials reputations of many big names are now basically on the same level of anything that falls out of the rear end of a chicken.
  4. Nobody gives a damn about your fecal “corporate culture” or your pathetic little nobody frat-brat business friends. Gamers want you hung high. Who the hell are you, to waste one nanosecond of our time?
  5. Your quality standards suck more than 1000 supercharged Dysons. You call this QC? Why? What are you paying for, applause?
  6. Meanwhile, slight digression but still applies to games – We still don’t seem to have a trustworthy “legacy” system for older games and software on new systems. Easy to do, doesn’t take up much space, and people would love it. Therefore, presumably, we don’t have it? (Forget “compatibility”. Usually barely works if at all.)

It’s pretty obvious how this will play out. Absolutely nothing will happen. Eventually, a proper A.I. runtime tester will be invented and manage this totally unnecessary crap before games go on the market.

Gaming is a huge sector. Microsoft is currently buying Blizzard Games, Diablo, Starcraft, and Warcraft for $70 billion.  (Anyone remember when gaming was “infantile”? Looks like the kid’s grown up a bit, doesn’t it?)

It’s gigantic in terms of value, too, despite these vapid vermin, for the sheer range of opportunities for creativity. People love gaming and it gives them a lot of useful mental exercise, literally “game theory at work”. Keeps the mind active, despite so many disincentives.

This unplayable game situation has to change, ASAP. It’s a useless and expensive problem. Pampered corporate pets and incompetent cretins don’t belong in the gaming sector. They’re costing gamers, IP rights owners and developers far more than just the big money. These clowns have to go.

So here’s a clue, cretins – Get back to political lobbying or whatever skank sector you belong. Take your do-nothing morons with you. Message ends.

______________________________________________

Disclaimer

The opinions expressed in this Op-Ed are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the Digital Journal or its members.

Written By

Editor-at-Large based in Sydney, Australia.

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