What's up with gaming developers and launching unfinished games?

Clearly, there's something very wrong with developers today knowing full well that the community has had it up to here with similar issues.

In an ideal world, Cyberpunk 2077 should've been the last AAA project to take such a massive risk and launch in its sorry state.

Cyberpunk 2077 was supposed to mark the start of a new era. As CD Projekt RED worked hard to rebuild the lost trust of the entire gaming community after its latest project fell flat on its face due to several issues stemming from rushing the game to market, it put the rest of the industry on notice. But, it appears that developers still haven't learned their lesson.

It's no secret that gamers love their pastime. Most relish the thrill of a well-plotted adventure, the highs of an action-packed chase, or the challenge of fighting their way to victory. However, all of this is moot if a game doesn't run well if at all.

The unsettling sound of discontent from the frustrated voices of gamers who've had it with the recent trend of unfinished games permeates online discussion boards right now.

At the very least, EA and Respawn Entertainment quickly managed to turn things around with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor.

As pointed out by @DolanDark on Twitter, a growing list of developers have felt complacent enough to disrespect gamers by launching unfinished and unpolished projects at full price, content with just "fixing" them post-launch as opposed to making sure that the games run smoothly when they come out.

After Cyberpunk 2077 became an embarrassing fiasco for CD Projekt RED, a slew of games have followed, especially in the past few months.

From Halo Infinite to Forspoken followed by Redfall, Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, and finally, The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, it's clear that this is no longer an isolated case resulting from improper management within a single company.

All of the aforementioned games suffer from a similar complaint - the overall lack of polish unbecoming of a AAA title.

At this point, Redfall is beyond redemption and we doubt gamers will be willing to give it a shot even if a miracle happens and it becomes good.

Although each game's respective developers vowed to resolve the issues, the damage is already done. The reputation of a promising title is nigh unsalvageable save in rare cases. Even then, if a game can "eventually" be good, why won't developers just delay them as opposed to spending months fixing them while risking their brand?

These growing incidents are but a few examples of a broader problem plaguing the gaming industry. Studios seem to have fallen into the habit of pushing incomplete games out, leaving gamers to deal with the fallout. Such practices dampen the enjoyment of players and damage the reputations of the studios involved in a game's creation.

So, what know? Can this still change? Maybe. But, developers need to hold themselves accountable. Otherwise, the growing unrest might force gamers to vote with what counts the most - their wallet.

The gaming community has made their pent-up frustration and disappointment loud and clear - they've had enough.

Gamers deserve gamers that live up to their promise and potential, gamers that can ignite their passion and not douse it.

Can you imagine just how good Forspoken could've been with just a year more of polishing with more fleshed out content?

Don't forget, gamers aren't just products. To most, they're experiences, moments, and stories that stick to players for years. Developers need to realize that whatever they are creating is something special. Although the finances are important, it's important to know that rushing unfinished games to the market is never just a good thing. By doing so, the game becomes worse than a defective product; it becomes a defective experience.

It's high time studios take a step back, reevaluate their process, and work to deliver a quality experience that meets, if not exceeds, gamers' expectations.

Because, after all, isn't the never-ending quest for a better and more memorable experience exactly what gaming is about?

Daedalic Entertainment's penchant for point-and-click narrative-driven games clearly didn't carry over to The Lord of the Rings: Gollum.

Square Enix, Nintendo, and Blizzard Entertainment appear to have learned from their earlier mistakes and we're hoping the rest will do so too soon enough.

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Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5869

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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