Dragon Age Inquisition

Glitches, Glitches Everywhere: How the Industry Deals With Buggy Games

To err is human. I’m not one of those unreasonable forum ranters who nitpicks every tiny issue in every game. When players in Madden walk through the goal post or when the background of the Skyrim landscape seems to be developing in front of my eyes, I let it rock. I’d like to believe I’m fairly aware of the time, technical skill and dedication necessary to create the wondrous worlds that I love.

dragon age meme

Source: http://forum.bioware.com

However, be it because of unrealistic yearly deadlines or a general lack of attention to detail, there are certain things that are unacceptable at this stage in gaming. Actually, let’s say there’s a frequency of things that are unacceptable at this day and age. Now, it is no secret I am a Bioware fan. From Knights of the Old Republic 1 and 2 to the Mass Effect Trilogy to the recently completed Dragon Age Trilogy, I’m with it all. My issue here is the same bugs and defects that were issues on the original Xbox still plague gamers today. At least back then, you could blame skips and freezes on scratches. I was completely fine with accepting that I couldn’t get to disk 2 on Final Fantasy VIII because I didn’t take care of my game and it froze on the last cut scene (SN: I just borrowed my friend’s disc one. To this day, I think I still have it smh).

Now, even a digital copy of a game isn’t safe from random error crashes, music mysteriously cutting out, characters disappearing and reappearing for no rhyme or reason, I mean the list is almost endless. The killer is, Bioware doesn’t make bad games. Actually, it’s created genre defining work. For the level of its work and for the formula it uses, at the very least, it has to cut down on the frequency of ALL of these issues and at best, eliminate them completely. I mean, I couldn’t even respec my character without the game freezing, but they’re pumping out multiplayer DLC. Priorities people, priorities.

So, what they mean to ever so kindly tell me is, it’s more important to put new content into a damaged (because it’s not quite broken) game instead of fixing what they had to know was wrong before they even released it? With the advent of patching console games, I don’t see how issues like this persist more than a couple months, if that. You know there’s an issue, your forums are overflowing with your fanbase, your CUSTOMERS, asking for you to fix it and instead of pushing back superficial content and correcting your mistake, you plow forward with the gameplan as if nothing is wrong. It’s pretty disheartening to see honestly. Yes, I’m fully aware DLC is planned in advanced and there’s all kinds of self imposed deadlines to get the most out of the market and blah blah blah, but I don’t know anyone who would buy a product for any price and seek additions before making sure the core functions work.

Unfortunately, it will probably never change. If they can put out a subpar product, with little to no real competition, and we buy it anyway, why would they bother putting in the extra time to fix decade-old glitches? There’s an entire economics lesson on how to get it to change, but we all know we’d rather just yell voicelessly in forums.