The Alien Critic Reviews...
The Alien CriticReviews...

TAC Reviews...Game Developers: Are They Con-Artists?? 

Date Posted: 09/02/20


Let me ask a question: Is it unreasonable to want a play a game that you (by which I mean a human) have paid money for?


I would imagine that you will be saying to yourself, “No, of course it isn’t” and if you have answered: “yes of course it is”, then you must be Game Developer, because it seems that paying money for a game is not enough any longer. You’d think that as money has been exchanged then we would own a game and be free to play it whenever we so desire, but this is apparently a naive viewpoint. If a product, like a shirt, or car, or whatever is not fit for purpose or is faulty then it can be returned for a full refund, however, with games this is not the case.


Today I have been trying to play some Red Dead Online, and whilst I have been enjoying it I have been running into bugs and errors that are constantly causing the game to crash. An error keeps popping up saying there is a problem with the Rockstar Servers, now I have looked up the error and apparently it has been in the game since it was in its beta stage. As you know I have started playing RD Online because I am growing a little bored of GTA Online and as of yet I haven’t worked up the necessary patience to try Dark Souls. Red Dead Online has been out since November 2018 and as far as I am aware it is not in a beta stage anymore, it, like GTA Online is a full on game release. So why the fucking hell am I constantly butting heads with an error message that should have been fixed by now???


This isn’t the first time that I have encountered problems with Rockstar games as GTA Online will quite often boot me out, or fail to load correctly due to some error or another. Rockstar is worth billions of pounds so why are these bugs still in their games, and why are players still being affected by them??


It isn’t just Rockstar either, back in the day I used to play Star Trek Armada, a game that was basically Command and Conquer Star Trek Edition and was one of my favourite PC games ever. When I was playing it alone it worked, most of the time, however, on occasion I would try to play it online with a friend of my skin sack. When we did, we rarely managed to get through a game without a de-synchronisation error appearing.


You only have to check out Gaming Forums to see how widespread the problem of unstable servers, bugs and crashes are with modern games. Even solo-player games are not immune as I am willing to bet everyone reading this who has played a video game in their life has had it inexplicably crash for no reason. Even 16-Bit cartridge games were not immune to issues. However, it is more prevalent when trying to play on the internet, which leads me to ask: what is wrong with human online games??


On Brian we can enter a seamless virtual realist world, anytime we want that can be so real that folks sometimes get lost in there believing it to be reality. So why on Earth can Game Developers not handle making a game that can run without crashing without warning??


When did things flip in the games industry and it became normal practice to supply products that straight up don’t work properly. How can I upgrade my character, or complete quests, or do anything when the game is forever kicking me out? I am generally enjoying working my way through the ranks as a Bounty Hunter in Red Dead Online but I must have been booted off the servers no less than a dozen times today and whilst sometimes these crashes have happened an hour or so apart others have taken place only seconds after loading back in after the previous crash. It is not my connection, it is a problem with the servers themselves, so what am I supposed to do about it?? The game has crashed when I have been in the middle of nowhere doing nothing important, but has also gone when I have been about to complete a mission, which is a massive pain in the arse because I cannot progress.


It is infuriating and I know for a fact that I am not the only one, anyone who likes to game online knows that sever connections are almost universally shit. These days most games insist on always being logged on to the game servers otherwise content will be locked off. In Black Flag I couldn’t send my ships off on individual missions if I did not have a connection to Uplay. Why? I know people that play Destiny 2 and they are saying that connections are notoriously bad.


In 2020, why is acceptable for Game Developers to release online games that are full of bugs, and cannot hold a stable connection. Why have an Online component to a game if you cannot use the fiucking thing?? Remember when I was playing Shadow of War and the Online Garrison almost never worked which made doing online missions to avenge other players completely pointless?? Why was that not tested before release? People employed by these companies’ should be fixing these bugs as part of their job not just doing the bare minimum before pushing the supposed finish product out of the door.


Nowhere else is this accepted.


If you bought a DVD which kept crashing and refused to play, you’d take it back and get one that did work, but the film would have been released only partly finished. Books aren’t realised with empty chapters that the audience are expected to fill in themselves, so why are games???


If you don’t already then I urge you to go and watch Angry Joe because he embodies how pissed off the wider community gets with bullshit from games’ companies and brings it to the forefront. I may not have experienced it but Fallout 76 straight up doesn’t work, Anthem was a buggy mess, and the worst part about this whole debacle is that often fans develop mods to fix errors in the game’s code. When did humans get to the stage when they are fixing the bugs in games that the makers themselves couldn’t be bothered to fix before they released it??


When you think about it, this is a really dangerous precedent because it is the drip or snowball effect. The longer companies are allowed to get away with such shoddy practices the more it becomes the norm. Admittedly I could do something about all this as I could take my ship to various Game Developers and demand they fix their games or I’ll vaporise their offices, sadly your military would probably get pissy if I did that, and attack me.


Honestly I don’t know what can be done, because if it pisses me off, and I’m only a casual Online Gamer, then I have no idea what it does to Hardcore gamers. My advise though it check out some of the stronger and better known figures in the Gaming community such as Angry Joe and give him your support because if anything is going to exercise change then it is going to be the ones who command a large internet following.


If a game’s servers are preventing me from getting what I want out of a game that has been purchased with real money, stolen money, but money none-the-less. Is it not a crime to take money and not give back what was promised. Isn’t that what a conman does?? Promises something, waits until money has been handed over and then does not deliver on what was promised.


Here’s a thought for you: Are Game Companies just con-artists??


Think about it. If a trailer is released for a game and people pre-order that game which turns out to be nothing like what was advertised then haven’t those consumers been conned?? I know of instances when people have been given their money back when a trailer for a film has not been representative of the film itself. Liars, and con artists should be brought to justice or at least held to account when they have not done what they said they would.


The definition of the term is someone who tricks others into believing something that is not true


I may be blowing this out of proportion but it is a niggling thought that I have not been able to shake since it occurred to me.


What do you think??


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© Chris Sharman