Marcus Young

Software. Microcontrollers. Beer.

Ship Now, Patch Later

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As an amateur software developer, theres a new trend that bugs the crap out of me….the new ship now patch later concept in the video game development part of the world. I enjoy the occasional game to escape reality, and until I went to college I never truly respected game developers. The code they write is tough, and the schedules they keep are ridiculous.

Back in the day ( yes, I mean the Sega Genesis/SNES time period), games were solid. They may have had the occasional bug or glitch but nothing too bad. The concept was thrown against the wall, accepted, produced, scrutinized, published and shipped. If it wasnt finished it wasnt shipped since they were written on permanent medium (cartridge, disc, whatever). However, with the invention of internet-based downloads thats all changing.

The concept is nice: preorder a game, get an optional internet based download. Even better: if theres a bug, the developers can send a patch out and get this taken care of (bigger games introduce more room for bugs, understandably). However, to me it seems that developers are using this as an excuse to release shotty games, which is crap. They think “We have a deadline, that glitch can be patched later”. This peeves me. It introduces area for a “it doesnt have to be finished for us to release it” mentality. I paid for this game, Id like it to be done when its shipped. I dont order a pepperoni pizza and say its ok if they hand me a cheese pizza with a bag of pepperonis. Id rather wait a little bit longer and have it ready to go.

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