Does A Broken Game Effect Your Purchase Of The Next Release?


Having recently finished the Master Chief Collection, I started thinking about Halo 5.

And I immediately felt no desire whatsoever to purchase the game.

I can say without hesitation that the Master Chief Collection was the most broken game I’ve ever played. Perhaps it was simply the co-op aspect. I will never know. It’s getting traded in this weekend toward something else.

I suppose I can’t get over my disbelief that months and months after release, there are still game-breaking issues that haven’t been addressed (and likely never will be). As a consumer, that makes me wary. How can I be sure 343’s next game won’t be a slightly more polished mess?

I can’t.

It’s odd to even say that, as I quite like to believe the best in people. In general. So it pains me to think such things, however founded.

I also have to say, I just didn’t “feel” the Halo universe. I know the games have a huge fanbase, and I mean them no disrespect; Halo just isn’t my particular cup of tea.

It doesn’t help that the latest 343 game I played was borderline unplayable. Even if I had endless piles of merry cash, I wouldn’t pre-order Halo 5. I probably wouldn’t buy it on sale. Anymore, you just never know what you’re getting into with a AAA game upon release.

assassins creed unity

It’s not news to anyone that Assassins Creed: Unity had a rocky launch. It was so bad, they gave away free DLC. In some cases, they gave away an entire game, also for free.

When a company throws more of their salable products at you, perhaps they know they failed somewhere along the line.

Now don’t get me wrong, I actually (begrudgingly) love Ubisoft. I am a monstrously huge fan of the Far Cry series (Far Cry 3 was my game of the year in 2012, and Blood Dragon was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had. Ever.), and I think they have done some remarkable things with the Assassins Creed franchise.

I just think, somewhere along the way, they got a wee bit greedy.

When they went to yearly releases, I both understood the decision, as well as was concerned about it. I mean, this isn’t like a Call of Duty game where the single-player campaign is a compact (and linear) six to eight hours. The Assassins Creed games are huge open worlds. Pushing a yearly, open world game to release in time for the holidays is borderline insanity. I actually wonder what their tempered expectations of each release are. Do they send it for production knowing it is a broken product? Or is it possible they haven’t been exposed the bugs that the rest of us most certainly will be?

If it is the former, how can a company do that in good faith to their customers?

It would be awfully shady if it were the case.

That being said, I am cautiously interested in Assassins Creed: Syndicate. I like that you can play as either the brother or the sister, and the setting of Victorian London is enticing.

But I can not bring myself to pre-order the game, or even buy it until it has been out for a couple of months and the inevitable patches are in place.

So I wonder, how do you feel about this? If you are interested in a forthcoming game from a company who has made some curious choices, are you willing to overlook their recent foibles? Do you “vote with your dollars” and hold off until it goes on sale? Or do you pass on their new releases all together?

I already know Halo 5 is a pass for me. But, as I said, I’m hoping for the best from Assassins Creed: Syndicate. I just won’t be buying it at full price.

15 replies »

  1. I hate to say I told you so.. I mean they apologized and everything, but it’s not easy to keep 4 games in one. Maybe it’ll get better who knows? Co-op for me definitely means something like borderlands. Although, the o.g halo games were pretty good when it came to co-op. Idk wait til they review Halo 5, I’ve seen the gameplay it looks solid, but still I’m not getting it on release.

    To be fair your also describing next gen titles in general. Like even the latest Batman and Mortal Kombat games were messed up. I never played it, but I’ve heard Destiny was phenomenal throughout!


    • it’s not really a matter of “i told you so” or anything else really. i received the master chief collection as a christmas present, and i had assassins creed unity pre-ordered. the previous assassins creed game (black flag) was pretty great. so there was no reason for concern about buying unity right off the bat.

      i’m still unsure why halo 3 and halo 4 were so broken (co-op wise) in the master chief collection. i don’t care about framerate (other than i don’t want to be acutely aware of how bad it can be), but when your screen is freezing more often than it’s moving but you can still hear sound and people can still attack you…that’s a problem.

      and you’re right: halo combat evolved and halo 2 worked mostly without issue.

      at this point, i’m just not interested in halo 5. unless i receive a copy as a holiday present, i’m not going to go out of my way to purchase it.

      i’m actually not describing current-gen titles; i’m describing two very specific titles which suffered (and in one case, still very much suffer) from more issues than usual upon release.

      absolutely, destiny was as smooth as i could have hoped for. i quite enjoyed my time with it. and i’ve played several other current gen games that had no discernible issues (e.g.: far cry 4, borderlands handsome collection, dying light, thief), so i don’t fall back on current gen being the culprit. i take these issues on a game by game basis, and it makes the consumer landscape a bit scary.


      • Sorry didn’t mean to sound pretentious! I was just speaking generally how I mention the game is notorious for being broken. To be fair I try to give developers the benefit of the doubt. Yeah I’m not happy with AC and Halo not working properly, but I also understand the complexity the game development industry has to deal with sometimes.

        343 had to balance a lot. Not many triple A titles come in one disc. Considering they made Halo2 anniversary, were working on the Halo 5 beta and trying to maintain their current servers, there’s no surprise they made a bunch of errors. Same with AC. Their problem is that they’re copying other franchises like Call of Duty and are making a new game each year. Combine that with Ac Chronicles and a major change in graphics.

        The biggest issues for franchises is getting too comfortable making the same game. Basically they just reuse game assets over and over again. Like for instance most character models throughout Ac 1 til revelations and 3, 4 and Rogue used the same or similar engine, code and graphical assets.

        When they changed to AC unity there were re visualizing many parts of the game. That’s probably why the character designers messed up- things were new this time.

        I totally understand what you mean. Games aren’t’ cheap, I myself don’t risk getting a broken type of game. Honestly it’s a valid reason. Like how some people don’t like seeing a the finale to a trilogy if the second movie is bad.

        Well there are many redeeming titles according to e3 so we’ll see what game steps up to the plate. If I have doubts about a game because of its predecessor, I tend to wait til reviews and Lets plays come out

        I think we can all agree that Final Fantasy 7 remake is gonna be AWESOME!


  2. I didn’t really have that much issues with Unity but I’m gonna hold out on playing Syndicate for a while,I’m not really dying to play it.


  3. A broken game won’t necessarily stop me from buying the next entry in a series I’m interested in, but it will stop me from buying it at launch. If a developer has earned a reputation with me of releasing broken titles to fix with patches later (sadly more common these days) I will likely wait and buy it later after it seems to be functioning correctly. Of course this means I might very well buy it on sale or even used, which reduces or eliminates the revenue to the developer and publisher.

    Of course if it’s really broken at launch but I’m still interested, doing the extra research to find out when it is performing as intended requires a lot more time on my part than just reading the launch review. And that can put off a consumer who already has other things going in life.

    In the short term it may help the developer to make their release schedule but I’ve got to believe that a pattern of this will hurt them in the long run. Just look at the Arkham games. in the months leading up to Arkham Asylum’s release the whole industry was waiting to see if we’d finally get a good Batman game. Now we just kind of accept that they will be good because of a pattern established over a handful of titles (ignoring that Arkham Knight is currently broken on PC, because I don’t really play there and it seems to be pretty good on console).


    • that all makes perfect sense to me. if you can save money AND have a smoother experience, why not wait?

      good point on the batman games. I sincerely hope ubisoft doesn’t release another assassins creed before it is ready. that would be…unfortunate.


  4. Did not buy TMCC because I have the first four Halos on pre-XB1 Xboxes. I observed the launch debacle and it forced me to second-guess pre-ordering H5. However, I decided to still pre-order, but only the basic release and with credits I have from a major retailer. That is a far cry from me planning to throw $250 at 343 for the privilege of pre-ordering the huge collector’s box.


    • weirdly, i had a couple of the halo games for my 360, yet i’d only ever played the first (on the original xbox). i still can’t believe how broken the co-op for the master chief collection is.

      oh my gosh, that’s insane for a collector’s edition! i’m sure it’s worth it for some people out there, but i can’t imagine what would have to be included in that edition to get me on board.


      • The only difference between the $100 Limited Edition and $250 Limited Collector’s Edition is the Chief/Locke statue and the ABSENCE of a physical disc. So that statue is being priced at over $150. And frankly there isn’t that much in the LE to justify even $100. Disappointing.


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