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Online gaming has come very far in a short amount of time. But even with all the advancements that have been made, developers seem to be having trouble dealing with all the traffic that multiplayer modes demand. Twisted Metal, a new release from the team at Eat Sleep Play, is having a rough time right now just getting people into matchups. This is especially disappointing because the title’s best feature is its multiplayer. It seems like at this point most games with online modes have issues at launch.
This trend appears to be on the uptick with no end in sight.
Games that have been out for a while are still having problems. Modern Warfare 3, the latest entry in the Call of Duty mega franchise, still has awful spawning logic and lag-ridden servers.
After hearing friends complain about online servers being bad for multiple titles, I find myself asking the question, "If you know that most games in this generation have shoddy online components, especially at launch, why would you purchase a game on day one?"
I am not saying that companies are free from blame, but to a certain extent, we are enabling them to do this to us. On one hand, we expect pristine online experiences when there is no evidence for such, yet we continuously give companies money without them proving that they can provide what we are hoping for. We've even seen offerings that provide multiplayer betas and still release with sub-par online environments.
This has led me to change my way of thinking and how I purchase games that feature competitive multiplayer as a main component. As a first adopter, you are telling publishers that you are a willing participant in an experiment — an experiment that will test their systems and, more importantly, your patience.
I am removing myself from the process, and I ask you to do the same — not just for yourself, but for the rest of us.
I have decided to no longer be a first adopter.
We have power as consumers, and we have the ability to send developers and publishers a message by not purchasing games in the first week. That week is usually what companies look toward as a metric for how successful a game will be. By holding out for 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 titles, but folks still come back every year because of how they’ve been trained.
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. Warner Bros. Interactive and NetherRealm Studios did right by their customers when Mortal Kombat came out with awful server problems.
My suggestion to you is to make smart purchases and wait for full reviews. Be an informed consumer, and let companies know that malfunctioning releases are not worth your money.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.