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Bethesda Criticized Over Buggy Releases 397

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-don't-kill-off-patrick-stewart-at-the-beginning dept.
SSDNINJA writes "This editorial discusses the habit of Bethesda Softworks to release broken and buggy games with plans to just fix the problems later. Following a trend of similar issues coming up in their games, the author begs gamers to stop supporting buggy games and to spread the idea that games should be finished and quality controlled before release – not weeks after."
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Bethesda Criticized Over Buggy Releases

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  • by mcvos (645701) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:50AM (#34171966)

    I thought most major game developers nowadays released beta versions, only to patch it after release (if you're lucky).

  • Re:Obsidian (Score:5, Insightful)

    by devbox (1919724) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @06:57AM (#34172010)
    And what does that have to do with anything? It's usually the publisher that releases the game, and often also tries to hurry up the developer.
  • Tip: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ledow (319597) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:05AM (#34172048) Homepage

    Never, ever buy a game without the chance to test it first. I've lost count of the number of game demos that I've installed only for them to not work, be incredibly slow, to have fatal bugs, to be so dull as to be unplayable, or just be annoying/crap in their execution. I don't go on to buy the games and save myself a lot of money.

    Download demos first. Play your friend's copy. Don't be the guinea pig, because in a few weeks everyone will KNOW if there are problems with the game anyway. It's really not that important or practical to have the game for the first week - the servers will be overloaded, the software will need to be patched, and other gamers won't get an "advantage" over you in the space of a week or two. Plus, the price will come down and you'll be able to get second-hand copies (if the activation system even allow you to do that).

    Stop pre-ordering. Stop buying games that you can't try out first. Stop buying games from companies that screw you over. Stop listening to the hype and paid reviewers. Start being an intelligent consumer who actually makes informed purchases. It's very simple. When something is in the "under £10" category, then it can be worth a punt even if you can't find any reviews, but a full-price game? I want a demo, or at least play on a friend's machine.

    Such techniques mean that I've avoided many of the big-name flops and saved myself an awful lot of wasted money. The last big disappointment for me was Black & White and then I learned not to waste money on things without waiting for others to find the problems. Now I buy my games a year or two after they come out - the initial period of zero games is hard (but with the current indie scene, that's made much easier, and a recession helped) but after that you get the best games, on hardware capable of getting their full value, avoiding all the known flops, fully patched, with still-active servers (if the servers empty within the first year, it's hard to call a game a big success) and you don't have to pay full-price.

    Stop pissing your money away on crap.

  • Re:Obsidian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:13AM (#34172092) Homepage

    It's funny because Obsidian is the developer of New Vegas

    ,,,using Bethesda's engine. Nice try, though.

  • Pre-ordered. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:26AM (#34172170)

    I pre-ordered New Vegas because I knew it would be an amazing game in spite of the bugs. It uses the same engine as Fallout 3 and Oblivion, and they were riddled with bugs, too. And a lot of the bugs in New Vegas existed in those 2, also. I don't blame Obsidian for those bugs.

    However, the new bugs... I totally blame Obsidian for those. I experienced a lot of bugs relating to quests and story line, and that's all on Obsidian.

    I definitely think I got my money's worth. Most $60 games aren't nearly this good, even if they have fewer bugs.

    So how can Bethesda/Obsidian prevent these bugs in the future? It seems obvious that their internal testing didn't catch them, as the bugs are just too serious. Maybe they should sell pre-release 'beta' copies and let players test it. Anyone that doesn't want a beta-quality game can wait until the proper release, and everyone that buys the beta can just deal with the bugs. And help fix them.

    One of my favorite MMOs did this like 15 years ago. Sierra's The Realm had an alpha that was free, then sold the beta client and charged monthly. When it was ready, they released the full version, and the beta testers didn't have to buy another copy, since they had already paid for one.

    A lot of people won't like that, but the don't -have- to buy the beta. They can just wait for the release.

  • by ledow (319597) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:29AM (#34172180) Homepage

    Personally, I think you're exactly the kind of person that lets them get away with that crap. Hell, you've put me off the game for life in a few short paragraphs. I've played PC games for decades - I've seen my share of weird bugs and had to manually debug / patch quite a few myself. I also program myself so I know the avenues that things can take and know it's not really possible to have a "bug-free" game. But what you describe is *disgusting* for a retail product. I can't remember the last time I had any of the 200+ games on my Steam account crash - possibly a weird issue with Zombie Driver not likely a "fake" joystick driver I installed that I had to debug with the programmers because they hadn't seen it before.

    How you can then sum it up into a "mostly positive" review, I have no idea. To me, it reads:

    - The game has issues with the majority manufacturer of PC gaming graphics cards. This causes even way over-specced machines to run the game noticeably slow to the user.
    - The game crashes - a lot. Over 12 crashes in 35 hours is a crash every 2-3 hours. I don't accept that from buggy shell script glue, let alone a professional game. That stops any potential purchase for me dead in the water. Hell, I get annoyed if a game crashes 12 times in its LIFE on my machine that I can't attribute to something I did wrong (I can't name a single time that Half-life (any version) or the Doom series or the Quake series or the Unreal series has ever crashed on me and they all pushed the boundaries at the time - I can name some isolated incidents of crashes in L4D2 (when I run out of swap space and kept-Alt-Tabbing to try to fix it before something went wrong) and GTA3 (when it crashed twice on me and nearly got uninstalled for doing so).
    - The game has obvious, easily worked around bugs in poorly scripted cut sequences that render the game unplayable unless you happen to have an earlier save. It takes a second to write check-scripts for uncompletable quests and "somehow" fix them (by respawing the items in question, or just letting the user continue). You experienced three quests which glitched to the point the game was unplayable in the single run through of the game. God knows how many a testing team should have caught on random hardware.
    - You had display issues with sinking monsters that could easily make it possible for you to be attacked by invisible beings that the game is drawing in the wrong place.
    - There are other reports besides yours that almost every aspect of the game has bugs - from display to AI to sound to loading games to just plain crashing at random.

    And that's AFTER it's received a post-release patch! That's so bad that if I worked at the company, I'd be cringing and disassociating myself from it. When Frontier:Elite II was released, it had a reputation for being a very buggy game and that was nothing in comparison to what you describe.

    "In short, the bugs are an irritation, but the game is very, very good."

    The *gameplay* may be good, when it's not crashing, making you reload or just displaying everything in the wrong place. The game, however, sounds like shit. And those sorts of bugs are NOT an irritation - if I have to restart a program more than twice, I stop trusting it and start doing things like checking my hardware. I don't tolerate it from the operating system, I don't tolerate it for my firewall, or my office suite, why should I tolerate it from the one thing that I pick up and expect to work without me having to debug the damn machine? A crash a day is too much, for any single program. Hell, I get concerned about my machine if I get a crash each month and I run an XP image that's been following me around for the last 5 years without reinstallation on three different sets of hardware.

    Stop buying and tolerating this buggy crap. If a game crashes, that means that it nearly wrote over memory it shouldn't have and could corrupt your data, your operating system, even your hardware. You were "saved" by things like DEP and similar but that doesn't mean it's acceptable.

  • Re:Obsidian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:30AM (#34172194)

    So by that logic, the bugs in any of the dozens of games that use the Unreal engine are Epic's fault? Obsidian is the developer, they took the contract for the game and agreed to timeline, it's their responsibility to get the game out.

  • by Burnhard (1031106) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:30AM (#34172198)
    You don't know its buggy until you've bought and played it.
  • Re:Obsidian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by am 2k (217885) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:39AM (#34172248) Homepage

    It's the publisher's task to check the game for bugs before releasing it, though.

  • Re:Black Ops (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:45AM (#34172296)

    Don't buy games before 1 or 2 patches have been released. Buying shortly after release means, you're asking for it.

  • Re:Obsidian (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:48AM (#34172306) Homepage

    So how do you explain New Vegas being FAR more buggy than Fallout 3? In theory, New Vegas should be LESS buggy, since the Gamebryo engine [wikipedia.org] has been given time to be perfected.

  • Re:Pre-ordered. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:49AM (#34172316) Homepage Journal

    So how can Bethesda/Obsidian prevent these bugs in the future?

    You can help prevent it, by not buying buggy games. You are voting for bugs.

  • Re:Obsidian (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @07:58AM (#34172384)

    It's funny because Obsidian is the developer of New Vegas, and not Bethesda (who are the publishers).

    So then Bethesda, the publisher, is the one who released the game. The headline of this /. article is Bethesda Criticized Over Buggy Releases. Do you think the publisher has no responsibility for what it releases?

  • Re:Black Ops (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:28AM (#34172582)

    The problem therein is that all the publishers really give a crap about is first-month sales. Chances are, if everyone is waiting for the game to be patched, then the patch will never see the light of day because they will assume the game failed and that's the end of it.

    There was a time that the main rallying cry of the console gamers who didn't want to play on PC was "it just works" when they put the disc into the console. But now, with the advent of online-enabled consoles, so much for that. Xbox and PS3 gamers are forced to sit through the old "ship now, patch later" setup, and woe to someone who has an offline console and simply has to suffer through the bugs - since none of the companies are interested in putting their fucking game patches in a USB-storage compatible file for offline updating.

    I'd say that the Wii doesn't have so much of this, but then there was the game-breaking Metroid: Other M bug, as well as the 5-6 other bugged doors that wouldn't "break" the game but would prevent 100% completion. And of course, most of the 3rd-parties writing for the Wii these days aren't doing quality control since they're simply shovelware houses putting out crappy knockoffs.

  • by allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:33AM (#34172644)

    I have to agree with both parents. ledow is right in thinking that a finished product should not contain this many bugs, but being a fan of Bethesda games myself, I understand the point that RogeyWon is trying to make. Morrowind, Oblivion and Fallout are very good, and especially, huge games. After all the patches, Oblivion and Fallout 3 still crash randomly on me about every 3 hours on average, but I find the games so enjoyable, that I have learned to live with and forgive this nuisance, using the quicksave feature judiciously. While this may seem outrageous to some, I think it is unfair to compare an Oblivion/Fallout type game to Doom, Quake or Half-Life.

    A Bethesda game is much more complex and much bigger than a first-person shooter such as Doom or Half-Life. A shooter has the core game mechanic of running around and shooting, with a few scripted sequences scattered about. In an Oblivion/Fallout type game you have shooting, close combat, inventory management, movable objects in the world, an RPG system, NPCs with scripts and dialog, a persistent world, followers, quest lines, complex world interactions and scripts controlling everything from the behavior of items and locations to quests and NPCs. And not only are Bethesda-RPGs much more complicated than an average shooter (or any other game), they are huge as well. I am sure that I have invested at least 150 hours playing Oblivion, and I still have not seen or completed some of the mayor side quests that are available (such as Arena and Fighters Guild).

    So yes, buggy games are a nuisance. But I am willing to be more lenient towards Bethesdas RPGs because I know that they are much more complex than your average game and that I am getting a game package that will keep me occupied for years.

  • by Bogtha (906264) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:47AM (#34172778)

    Totally agreed. Try applying those low standards to any other product.

    • Would you accept a television that switched itself off 12 times in 35 hours?
    • Would you accept a CD player that switched itself off 12 times in 35 hours?
    • Would you accept a car that has an engine that cuts out 12 times in 35 hours?
    • Would you accept a light fitting that switched the light off 12 times in 35 hours?

    Any other product category, you'd consider the product to be broken and return it.

  • Re:Pre-ordered. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by anUnhandledException (1900222) <(davis.gerald) (at) (gmail.com)> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @08:51AM (#34172826)

    Why would they?

    You (and million others) just proved yet again they don't have to. Hell they don't need to EVER fix the bugs.
    You likely will buy the new fallout title prerelease and it will be bug ridden as well.

    Companies don't write good software to get karma points. They write software to get paid. If you are willing to pay for bug ridden software why should they take extra time/resources/money to produce better code.

    I mean if I told you that I would pay you $10,000 in advance to build an addition on my home and you could do a good job for $5,000 in material and 2 weeks of labor or a half ass job for $2,000 in material and 4 days in labor which would you do?

    What if I sweetened the pot by:
    a) giving up right to sue for faulty product
    b) promise to keep using your services no matter how bad it is.
    c) tell you and other people it is routine to accepts bugs in large construction. I mean there are thousands of nails, hundreds of feet of wiring, and all that lumber which needs to be cut exactly right. It is simply impossible to have a bug free wall on the first try.

    You would be a fool to take twice as long for less profit under those conditions. Those are the EXACT conditions you are giving game developers. They would be idiots to spend more time, offer beta copies, offer discounted tester copies, etc. You will pay 100% full price on launch day for bug ridden code.

    Why should they provide you anything more than what you want at the price you want it?

  • by Moraelin (679338) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:10AM (#34173074) Journal

    Actually, you don't need to be technical to test a game. (Or a web site, or anything else.) You just need to try every combination and write a bug report for everything that doesn't work.

    Of course, you also need to enforce a culture where those bugs are taken seriously. From my experience with testers, well, they're humans too, basically. If you treat them badly for doing their job (and there is no shortage of people taking them for the enemy), they start doing a more half-arsed job, and if you tell them to not worry about some bug, they tend to do just that. Basically you'll have to see to it that if someone reports that clicking on the third seashell on the northern beach causes screwed up textures, they should never see an answer boiling down to "who the FUCK cares about such things? How many people go around clicking on non-highlightable objects?" Because then you stop getting that kind of bugs, which may actually be just symptoms for some issue (e.g., memory corruption) that'll be a lot more spectacular on someone's computer out there.

    Also, basically, you need to stop making excuses for why it's ok to not even try to fix some bugs. The point is, a bug is just a manifestation of something. Of something you don't know. Even something like a minor graphics glitch, it could be just a spurious bad coordinate in a mesh, which will never get worse than that on any hardware, or it could be a loose pointer that can (and on someone's machine WILL) cause a crash or a corrupt saved game. The moment you start just "knowing" that some things aren't bad enough to be worth fixing, you'll let some far worse ones slip through too.

    Anyway, TBH, I actually prefer non-technical people for testing. They shouldn't be coders, and shouldn't think like a coder. They should represent Joe Average and Jane Housewife, who just want to play the game, not to know the difference between a memory leak and a graphics slowdown.

  • Re:Obsidian (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:11AM (#34173092) Homepage Journal

    It's a fine balancing act. Err too far one way, and you get the bugfest that is Fallout New Vegas. Too far the other way, and you get Duke Nukem Forever.

  • by jchapman16 (300859) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @09:38AM (#34173482) Homepage

    I've spent dozens of hours trying to actually complete this game on the XBox 360, and it's impossible. Given Bethesda's track record, do NOT buy this for consoles - they will not patch these problems. Fortunately there's an active modding community on the PC, and there's a mechanism in-game (again on the PC only) for adjusting broken objects, characters, stories and plotlines on the fly. On the console, you're just screwed:

    * Game will eventually corrupt your save game with no chance of recovery.
    * Game will eventually start freezing when buying from merchants (especially if you purchase a Caravan playing card)
    * Game will crash if certain story choices are made, or will not be completable if certain story choices are made
    * Game will crash if certain gameplay choices are made (e.g. don't shoot Caleb McCafferty in the head)
    * Game will randomly crash when fast traveling (anywhere, any time. I'd suggest saving often but you'll run a greater risk of save game corruption)
    * Game will randomly cause areas of the map to be "dead zones" - entering them triggers a crash (e.g. Nipton)

    Bethesda has only acknowledged one of these problems, and it's taken them more than 2 weeks to promise a fix (which they haven't yet). This article is spot-on - don't buy buggy software. Bethesda makes buggy software. Don't buy Bethesda software Q.E.D.

  • Re:Obsidian (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@NOSpam.gmail.com> on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:01AM (#34173808) Homepage
    So by that logic, the bugs in any of the dozens of games that use the Unreal engine are Epic's fault? Obsidian is the developer, they took the contract for the game and agreed to timeline, it's their responsibility to get the game out.

    If the bugs are in the engine itself as designed by Epic, discovered years ago, and still never corrected, as was the case for the Fallout engine? Yes, it would be their fault. How can you argue otherwise?
  • by 0123456 (636235) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:03AM (#34173836)

    FNV has an 85% average review on PC according to Game Rankings. Isn't that the problem - the reviews should penalize bug ridden games more strongly?

    Surely the problem is that anyone still actually believes PC game reviews?

  • by ledow (319597) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:11AM (#34173926) Homepage

    Never seen a program fill up disk because it just doesn't stop writing? Never seen a program delete local files that it has permission to? Never seen a program probe hardware that it was perfectly allowed to but somehow manages to bugger things up?

    I agree that, in theory, the OS is at fault for allowing it. But there are some things that no modern OS monitors by default that can easily stop things working properly, and things that no home user would be expected to have restricted on their non-admin Windows account (which is presumably what games SHOULD be run under in the majority of circumstances). (Virtually) Nobody lives in a chroot-bottle world for all their games in real-life. Have you ever filled up your Windows so much that it can't find space for swap and hence crashes, and on reboot can't start up, requiring command-line removal of the overgrown files in order to make the system work again? I have, several times, with a buggy application that just kept allocating for log files and, when under error conditions, just kept spewing errors at the disk-write rate. How about programs responding to hotkeys in preference to the applications that handle them meaning a bad crash can cause all sorts of hell with the keyboard? Even on the best modern operating systems with the best patches, the permissions we give to games allow them to do an awful lot of damage.

    Have you ever had a piece of software probe hardware gently and manage to make it lock up either completely or to the point where it's impractical to wait for things to terminate? It's not that tricky when you're pushing things into GPU's. And you only need to slag the hard disk on certain machines and it will kill the responsiveness to the point where people will just hard-off the system rather than wait. That's "damaging" to the machine - anything that causes a filesystem check is potentially incredibly dangerous.

    What about a program that deletes your savegames, or deletes files in your home directories, or modifies the registry in perfectly innocent (but unmonitored) ways that cause buggy programs to run at startup, or destroys your file associations, or just causes Windows to go nuts when you read those entries?

    It's piss-easy to make a program that can bring almost any OS to its knees if executed as any user unless you're on an extremely well-managed system with a good admin. It's also trivial for such things to happen in the normal course of a badly-written program running (where it doesn't MEAN to do those things, e.g. it just wants to log errors, but then it gets errors while logging, which it then dutifully logs, etc.). Hell, it's usually possible to make the desktop almost unusable just playing with screen resolutions, mouse control and things like hiding the mouse cursors, ignoring termination requests, playing a looping sound that won't quit, etc.

    In an "ideal" operating system, it would be trivial to recover from a damaging program. In real-life ones, it's not so easy (How's the OOM killer on Linux doing? They were on about their 18th rewrite last time I looked... minor program with permissions can causes DoS and kill processes that were never intended to be killed unless the machine is managed perfectly). In home setups, just about anything can take down the system, and it's always PARTLY the fault of the application too, because other games / programs DON'T do that.

    Windows has a bad idea of what programs should be allowed to do and doesn't cover 1% of the avenues it should - but equally games should NOT be crashing so hard with filesystem handles open without at least attempting to clean up first, but I've seen programs do exactly that (and thus render those files undeletable - even if they are causing problems - without a reboot).

    A program crash is so named because the results can still be catastrophic. Otherwise we'd just call it a program "bump".

  • "You just need to try every combination and write a bug report for everything that doesn't work"

    And that mistaken belief is exactly why software is in such a poor state overall.

  • Re:Black Ops (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Stick32 (975497) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:25AM (#34174138)

    ...There was a time that the main rallying cry of the console gamers who didn't want to play on PC was "it just works" when they put the disc into the console. But now, with the advent of online-enabled consoles, so much for that. Xbox and PS3 gamers are forced to sit through the old "ship now, patch later" setup...

    I think you need to take off the rose colored filter off your nostalgia. There has always been buggy console games. There has always been good games that were ruined by game breaking bugs. Are there games that get released today that would have spent another month in QA 10 years ago? Maybe...

  • by BobMcD (601576) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:29AM (#34174198)

    Not being able to do the "remove vampirism" quest doesn't make the PS3 version un-winnable since the vampire quest is an optional one.

    Spoken like a true apologist. Do you think it is likely that players would be aware of the need to avoid this quest until they had encountered the bug? Just because it is possible to enjoy the product without running into this pitfall does not mean that the pitfall is not dangerous. It's like letting your kid play with a tiger. The tiger doesn't ALWAYS attack humans, only once every year or so. Quality matters.

  • Re:Black Ops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @10:44AM (#34174394)
    That's because Nintendo's policy on updating Wii games via patches is to simply not allow it. Good, in that in should help ensure quality if companies don't get to patch their buggy-ass game later to save themselves, but bad when something like this happens.
  • Re:Black Ops (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bigstrat2003 (1058574) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @11:42AM (#34175066)

    "A special effect without a story is boring" - George Lucas, 1977. Hey George, regarding Episodes 1-2-3...?

    They had stories. They just weren't very good.

    Also, it's silly to pick on just those. The story in the original movies was even worse. At least the prequels weren't a 3-movie-long coming of age cliche.

    And besides, I like the story in the prequels. It isn't always handled the best, but I think that the theme of a well-intentioned descent into evil is a very interesting one (albeit too rushed sometimes). The only thing that is really awful is various dialogue, not the story itself.

  • by omglolbah (731566) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @11:49AM (#34175162)

    Which is why testing the pirated version first is unfortunately the only way to go these days.

    I wish there was a better way, but there isnt.

  • Re:Black Ops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by delinear (991444) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @11:52AM (#34175216)
    There have always been buggy games, but we're talking major bugs (and not bugs that are buried away and hard to find, serious bugs that are apparent while playing the basic game as intended) in what should be the year's A-list games. Fable III and Fallout New Vegas are huge games with budgets that reflect that and yet both were released with blatant issues and promises of patches almost immediately. That's not a few bugs slipping through the net, that to me is evidence of companies knowingly releasing broken games because they know they can patch them post release and still meet their pre-order deadlines/the Christmas rush. It's greed trumping quality assurance, plain and simple. Now 10 years ago you certainly saw buggy games, but they felt like bugs that were missed during the development/QA process, today many of the bugs are so obvious they simply couldn't have been missed and must point to the release-then-patch culture in action.
  • Re:Black Ops (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Moof (859402) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @12:21PM (#34175570)

    There was a time that the main rallying cry of the console gamers who didn't want to play on PC was "it just works" when they put the disc into the console.

    It's funny how the roles have reversed. I chat with my friends who purchased Fallout: New Vegas for their consoles, and we trade stories about bugs. The "release now, patch later" mentality has resulted in bugs getting fixed quicker for the PC since there's no certification process. Combine that with the bugs can be fixed via entering console commands on the PC, and the PC version of the game ends up being more playable than the console counterparts.

  • by delinear (991444) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @12:40PM (#34175830)
    Good luck with that. I don't know any store that will let you return a game for being buggy, if the packaging is open the best they'll do is let you swap it for a new copy of the same game (in case the disk is scratched or the data corrupted on that pressing, etc). I wonder at what point a game becomes unfit for purpose - if I've invested 60 hours in a game and a game breaking bug not only means I can't complete the game, but that I basically have to start right back from the beginning, I wonder if that would be sufficient grounds. Probably not, we seem to have been conditioned to give software a free pass when it comes to poor QA.
  • Re:Black Ops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rgviza (1303161) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @02:42PM (#34177794)
    Every game has a budget in a publicly traded company. When the budget money is gone the game gets released whether or not it's finished. That's just how big software works. Bethesda Softworks was one of the companies that actually cared and used to release quality games. Then they got bought by Zenimax media. Now they have to answer to investors and stock holders. A nearly instant reduction in game release quality was the result. Game design quality is next. IMHO Zenimax will destroy this company, just like EA destroyed every company they've bought. id software and Bethesda Game Studios will be pooched too. Watch...
  • by Raenex (947668) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:21PM (#34180130)

    If you understood anything about programming and Operating Systems

    Do you, except to defend the existing crap around you?

    I mean, if it were that easy then why are there still Buffer Overflow Attacks, an attack originally discovered in 1988?

    Why indeed, when they are completely preventable in languages that don't allow buffer overflows. But, OK, even if think you absolutely need the performance of C or C++, there's no reason why a buffer overflow in a game should trash a user's machine.

    Or maybe, just maybe, its much more technical with HOW THE HARDWARE WORKS

    You mean hardware that disallows processes from stomping on each other's memory?

    unless you want a crippled machine running much much slower as it checks and double checks and triple checks even the simplest things like adding variables together, it is IMPOSSIBLE for the Operating System itself to protect the user like you are saying

    Asinine. For instance, there's no reason why a game should have any ability to corrupt a file system, read or write files that don't belong to it, or probe hardware beyond specified limits. This isn't even a performance issue as much as it is a permission issue. Programs are just given way too much authority by default, and it's not because of performance.

  • Re:Black Ops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Golddess (1361003) on Tuesday November 09, 2010 @05:26PM (#34180204)

    No, then the company thinks "!@#$ pirates ruined our sales!"

    ftfy

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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