The cycle of game development is not a patient one. Seldom are today’s developers given the proper amount of time to sculpt their game into the best it could possibly be, and rarer still are these devs given adequate amounts of time to polish their games to have a smooth and bug free launch. ReCore is a prime example of a game that would’ve benefited from another month in the oven.
Despite what people may think of Comcept, with the development controversy over them beginning development on ReCore while Mighty Number 9 had yet to be completed, ReCore has some genuinely enjoyable gameplay. The combat and platforming elements will have any ratchet and clank fan feeling right at home, the controls are tight, and the story is entertaining throughout…
But eventually, you have to travel to another part of the map.
What should be a simple 10-15 second loading screen turns into 2 minutes of drudgery, 2 minutes that we just wish could’ve been spent playing the actual game. The plague of unexpected bugs on launch is a problem that modern developers have to invariably suffer through. After all, modern games have more moveable components than the average gamer can fathom, so no matter how much poking and prodding a developer subjects their game to, there really isn’t much they can do to guarantee their game to be 100% bug free on judgment day.
But that’s where we come in.
The Internet has become a must for gaming over the past 10 years, and developers have used it not only to sell expansions, but also as a way to further play test their games. After all, there’s no better way to find out the kinks in your game than to expose it to hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people. The problem comes when a game is short on time, and instead of delaying the game, publishers and developers decide to release an unpolished product with the intent of fixing it later. We’ve seen this many times; Arkham Knight, Rainbow Six Siege, and almost every modern Bethesda release have been let out into the wild unfinished and far from ready to see the light of day. ReCore is the newest member to join this club of good games that could have exploded onto the market, yet chose instead to limp.
The blame for these deplorable loading screens falls mutually, on Comcept and Microsoft Studios. The job of the developer needs to be to craft and perfect a piece of playable content. The job of the publisher is to entice the public with the content, and to make sure that the content is good enough to go up for sale. In the case of ReCore, Comcept didn’t have a finished game on their hands and, Microsoft Studios pushed it out of the door anyways. This is, unfortunately, business as usual in Triple A games nowadays, but it’s a part of the industry that desperately needs to change.
The only foreseeable solution to this is to let the market speak for itself. If gamers hesitate to buy products at launch, we can show the industry that stumbling out of the gate isn’t a promising way to earn money. Not only that, but we can save ourselves the trouble of struggling through another laggy, broken Battlefield on launch. The Videogames industry is the only place where a product can enter the market broken and still achieve commercial success. We need to change that.