There have been many titles this year that were released and the publishers/ developers that’s just got it wrong. This has led many to call 2013 “the year of the release fail”. Games are huge businesses these days; so much so that we can see film studios move the releases of its films so their opening weekend will not coincide with a release of a Triple A game release.
Even with these huge releases hasn’t stopped them from having massive release issues and unavailability of online services; from SimCity to GTA Online or even the primary online Battlefield 4. I know that developers have to purchase and configure the server environment needed for the high load but surely they can have a better idea of what level they need from pre-orders or hype around a release or even in the case of GTA Online that was released weeks after the single player only GTA 5 of what numbers of possible players they will need to cater for.
I myself didn’t play SimCity but being a gamer I heard all about the problems they had. And requiring even the single players to communicate with their server left a very bitter taste in everyone’s mouth about it that surely other developers should have taken notice of.
I attempted to play GTA Online the day of release and it just wouldn’t work for me, I even waited a week while they were fixing the service but even I didn’t play it for long before I got over the problems and I haven’t been back since. Not even to collect the money from the stimulus release they did as a sorry for the problems.
Now for Battlefield 4, this is a game that is made for online multi-player and I am a huge fan of the series so I was there playing it day one, the amount of server and client crashed experienced in the first week where so high that the lost in progression was extensive. This wasn’t from a lack of online resources but from a poorly tested game; so much so that EA Games (the game publisher) have halted the planned additional map releases and other games in development to allow DICE (the game developer) to put all the resources required to get the game up to scratch with what should have been at release.
And this doesn’t stop at game releases but both the releases of the new generation of gaming consoles (Xbox One and PS4) saw downtime or turning off of features to their online services. Microsoft’s Xbox live website experienced downtime during the first 12 hours of its world wide release and Sony’s PSN (PlayStation Network) saw features being turned off during its European release as it wasn’t able to keep up with the demands of the users.
I know there are many more but I see these as the big ones of the year but a special mention to South Park: The Stick of Truth, which has had the release date pushed back twice now to 2014.
I understand that things sometimes just don’t go to plan or the expected server load when using previous releases as a base is so under what is actual requirement is one the day but it just seems we have gone from one fail to the next this year and I hope that 2014 doesn’t continue the trend.