reader discussion

Reader Discussion: Should Devs Be Excused For Releasing Games Filled With Bugs/Glitches?

by Annette Gonzalez on Oct 23, 2010 at 12:00 PM

If you've been keeping up with Bethesda and Obsidian's recent release of Fallout: New Vegas, then you're well aware of the problems that came with it. Though New Vegas has gotten overall positive reviews (check out our review here) there is one common thread across the board: This game is full of bugs. I've read everything from guns unable to cease fire, players getting stuck in rocks and other game geometry, bugs that eject players from the game, the list goes on. However, these same people also admit the game is incredibly fun. So where is the line drawn?

Retail releases of other highly anticipated games like Red Dead Redemption had a few bugs of its own, some were pretty hilarious. Developers will argue that you can't always find everything in QA. Plus, when you consider development milestones that need to be met, deadlines, funding, publisher pressure, etc., teams may very well run out of time. In the case of Obsidian, however, this isn't the first time they've released a half-baked product, though they are promising updates to fix some of these issues. A team member of Obsidian said part of the reason New Vegas shipped with so many bugs is because of how large the world is. He said their staff of 300 QA testers couldn't even find everything because of the scale of the world they created. What do you think?

This raises a few items worth discussing: Now that post-release patching is becoming more commonplace among consoles, do you think developers are relying too much on this option instead of polishing the game prior to hitting retail? Should we as consumers excuse developers for releasing what is essentially an unfinished product filled with bugs even if the game is still fun? How has your experience with New Vegas been so far?