Daily Updates

Published on March 7th, 2014 | by gareth


5 Mistakes That Game Publisher Make Over and Over

Being a multi-billion dollar a year industry would to many be a sign that things are being done well. However for every game that does well and breaks the bank, there are scores that fail to find an audience, largely go unnoticed, or worse, cause a developer to fail.

I worked at both Monolith and Sierra as I was starting out as a film and game
journalist so I have seen how this system works up close and personally for several years in addition to over 20 years as a game journalist.

With that in mind, let us look at the five biggest mistakes that game companies make that often lead to disaster.

5. Telling the public what they want rather than listening to their requests.

Like the auto industry before it, game companies often think they know best and unleash hordes of games that do not take into account the wishes of the public.

When the public says they want dedicated servers, in game saves, and customization.

Do not be shocked when they are upset when you do not give that to them and they go
elsewhere or ignore a release.

I have seen beta sessions where the public was invited in to play a game and give feedback to developers. Far to often the great ideas were ignored as implementing them would cost additional money, delay a game, or cause some tension amongst developers who think they know best, which results in a sub-par product.

I remember one dungeon crawl game where I was brought in to be a lead tech on. I mentioned that the game had a wide range of enemies from reptiles, to insects, to other mythical creatures. Yet they all had red blood. To me the insects needed dark ichor, reptiles, green, and so on. I was told it was a great idea but it would cost money to change the code.

The game ships, and low and behold, critics slammed the lack of variety in the enemies and their colors and variation most notably the same red blood effect.

4. Putting out unfinished products.

I have seen this many times. A prime example was the game Outpost being releases without features that were touted in the box. It took almost a year after release for the Monorail and other items listed on the box to be patched in and by then most gamers had given up on the game which harmed the eventual Outpost 2 and the series. Another one that I remember well was Tribes 2 being so unstable that the Q&A department refused to sign off on the build. The game was over budget and time so upper management said it had to ship. It did not matter than the new engine was unstable and we knew this from a game released earlier with the same engine.

Tech support calls increased 8X and returns were abundant. I remember going into a Costco a week after release and seeing stacks of the game in the return area. Soon after, the developer was closed and the company was sold off. The series never recovered and to date the engine was never able to be salvaged.

Many companies are so worried about shipping X number of titles in a given quarter to appease the share holders, they forget the rule of quality over quantity as if you put out enough bad or buggy games I a row, your reputation will suffer and in time so will your sales.

Just as E.A. found out about Battlefield 4 and Sim City, consumers will not put up with buggy games that a publisher continues to release.

3. Playing fast and loose with a series.

Dead Space and Dead Space 2 for me were two of the best games of their type ever created. So when Dead Space 3 came along I was looking forward to it with great anticipation. Like many gamers I was not thrilled with the emphasis on action over story and suspense and the abundance of micro-transactions in the game.

The developers stripped away what was good about the two previous games and added content that caused gamers to turn their backs on the game which has resulted in the series currently being in limbo in regards to future installments.

2. Releasing a bug filled game at launch.

Stability is the key not only in life and business and this goes double for gaming. Look how many games have been released as unstable and unplayable messes by publishers who are only concerned with meeting a deadline or recouping on their investments.

The mentality of fixing it after it shipped causes more harm than good as most Battlefield 4 fans will tell you. In their haste to beat the latest Call of Duty to the market, EA and Dice released a promising game so laden with issues that it caused severe harm to the series and their reputation and also delayed other projects when developers were called away to help fix the game. Combine that with lawsuits filed by frustrated gamers and you can see how damaging this can be.

The balance of rising development costs combined with the need to recoup on an investment is understandable but business 101 is clear to make money you have to spend money. Does an extra month or two delay and some additional development funds hurt the bottom line more than a bad game that gets bad press and undermines a franchise and publisher?

1. Graphics are not the be all and end all of gaming.

So many times developers like to give you the Sizzle but not the Steak. By this I mean they give you an impressive looking game that has outdated gameplay, boring storylines, and control and online issues.

The tout how well a game looks but do not pay attention to what gamers really care about, fun and exciting gameplay that makes them want to return for more.

Gamers do not want a souless tech demo that is made to simply show off a gaming engine they want a complete and immersive experience.

There is hope as with the abundance of social networking, fans are becoming more and more vocal and it is harder and harder to hide issues with the games. Let us hope that better times are ahead for gamers.

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑
  • The Vore

  • PR Newswire

  • ——————-

    Ewritingservice.com is the professional writing service that is always ready to help you with writing
    Term Paper Easy is the most professional and reliable custom research paper company
    Myessaygeek.com is a number one essay writing company. Come visit and see for yourself.
  • Entertainment Earth
  • If you want to play something fresh and innovative, we recommend that you check out the best slingo casino sites recommended by CasinoPilot.
    Start your casino journey by signing up at a new no deposit casino listed on NewCasinoUK and enjoy the latest casino games.
    Looking for a fully licensed UK online casino? Make sure you take a look at https://mrcasinova.com/uk-casinos/ for honest and unbiased reviews.

    Take a look at the Best Casino Sites in the UK here

    White Hat Gaming is one of the leading casino software companies on the internet and whitehatgamingcasinos.com listed all the current live brands.
  • Purearts

    See this and many other Movie, game, and pop culture collectibles here.
  • WritingsPro.com

    When time is up order urgent movie review essay writing because you will find it fast.
  • ———————

    Looking for the best blackjack games for Arab players? Check out www.blackjackelarab.com for the top casinos to play Blackjack

    Find a variety of the most popular casino games, sports betting, and online slot games in Kuwait.

    Play and earn real money online at https://casino-en-linea.mx/

    Looking for online casinos in Qatar? Visit bestqatarcasinos.com for a wide variety of gambling sites available in Qatar.

    The best tips and resources on online casinos in the Philippines are found in bestonlinecasino.com.ph

    Looking for an online casino? Click here for a list of all UK casino sites.

    If you're looking for a low deposit casino, click here to see a list.

    Latest US betting info available at bettingbonusus.com find bonuses and betting picks.

    Find all the best UK Casino info on CasinoAdvisers.com – Casino Bonuses & Free Spins available.
  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives