First Adopter No Longer

Online gaming has come very far in a short amount of time, but even with all the advancements that have been made, developers don’t seem to be able to handle all the traffic that these new games demand. Twisted Metal, a new game from the team at Eat Sleep Play is having a rough time right now just getting people into games. This is especially disappointing because its best feature is its multiplayer, it seems like at this point most games with multiplayer modes have issues at launch. This trend seems to be on the uptick with no end in sight.

Games that have been out for a while are still having problems. Mega franchise Modern Warfare 3 still has awful spawning logic and laggy servers. Here is an example below:

After hearing friends complain about online servers being bad on multiple games I find myself asking the question, “If you know that most games in this generation have shotty online components especially at launch, why would you purchase a game on day one?”

I am not saying that no blame falls at the feet of these companies but to a certain extent we are enabling them to do this to us. On one hand we are expecting a pristine online experience when there is no evidence for such, but on the other hand we continuously give companies money without them proving that they can provide the experience we are hoping to pay for. This has led me to change my way of thinking and how I purchase games whose main component is competitive multiplayer.  I  have decided to no longer be a first adopter. As a first adopter you are telling companies that you are a willing participant in an experiment. A experiment that will test their systems and more importantly your patience. We’ve seen games even provide multiplayer betas and still release with sub-par gaming environments.

I am deciding to remove myself from the process and I ask you to do the same, not just for yourself but for the rest of us.

We as consumers have power, we have the ability to send game developers a message by not purchasing games in the first week. That week is usually what game companies look toward as a metric for how successful a game will be. By holding out a week or two you can make your dollar mean something again. I believe some companies like Activision don’t care about their customers, we’ve seen the same rote gameplay over and over again with many of the same connection issues in the Modern Warfare series, but because of how folks have been trained they still purchase every year. I also think that sometimes things just break, mistakes are made and we should give those games (if you really like them) a chance to make things right. WB and Netherealm did right by their customers when Mortal Kombat came out with awful server problems.

My suggestion to you is to make smart purchases, wait for full reviews. Be a informed consumer and let companies know that malfunctioning  games are not worth your money. What do you think? Leave us a comment below.


One response

  1. Marcness

    I’ve had the “no early adopter” stance since the Dreamcast, but it primarily applied to consoles and computer hardware. It’s never worth getting first-wave technology because, not only is the price too high for just-dropped tech, but the manufacturing and functionality of the product hasn’t been perfected yet.

    As I said earlier, the Dreamcast was the last system I purchased on launch day (I also got a PSP on launch, but I won it in a contest, so that doesn’t count…I don’t buy hardware on launch, but I’ll gladly accept it if it’s given to me for free). The biggest reason why I got a Dreamcast on launch day was because I knew that the system had more than enough quality software support. There were games I REALLY wanted on launch, and a string of games I REALLY wanted in the coming months after launch. I couldn’t lose. Thinking about it that way makes it feel like that was eons ago.

    To resonate with your argument, the way games are marketed these days changed the way games are built, released, and supported since the Dreamcast days. Because games are hyped around a year or more before they’re released, this forces games to be developed and released on an accelerated timeline, whether it can be developed ADEQUATELY in time or not. If a game cannot be developed entirely before the deadline, publishers force the game out onto the market anyway, with a promise to the consumer that incremental game patches or DLC will be released after launch.

    Granted, games today are much larger in scale than games back in 1999. The larger the game, the more moving parts are involved in running them, ultimately increasing the likelihood of glitches, bugs, and errors to happen. This justifies the “release now, patch later” business model, but there are many games that have exploited or relied too much on that model, and the consumers suffer from it.

    But, have the consumers really suffered? If they have suffered, it certainly doesn’t reflect in games sales. We’ve been hearing from consumers and reviewers alike, especially last year, about how games have been disappointing, either because the game is a bad build or because it’s not worth the price of admission. So, WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL BUYING THESE GAMES??? Saying a game is crap then turning around and paying full price for it is NOT the way to tell game publishers that you don’t like what they’re making.

    February 21, 2012 at 1:07 PM

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