More and more games don't feel finished at launch and need updates after updates. Do we need more game delays?
I got into yet another hobby and have been exploring the world of Magic: The Gathering. I ordered a few cards to create a deck for the standard rotation and have been looking into more for Commander and Pioneer.
My question to you is: Do you play MTG? Please send me your resources to learn more about the game, stay on top of news, and more. Appreciated! <3
Let's get to this week's overkill digest!
What even is a "finished" game?
On Friday, CD Projekt Red announced that Cyberpunk 2077 will receive a new update in two days, adding new features like a functioning metro system, repeatable car races and more. I appreciated this announcement as it has shown how perseverance turned a game that was very much critiqued at launch into something enjoyed by the community.
In a similar vein, Baldur’s Gate 3 is also receiving an update, adding an epilogue which changes the ending a lot, changing how you recruit Minthara, and more.
And this made me wonder: are games ever finished?
I don‘t know how I feel about these types of updates. Major game features added months after the initial release leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
It‘s one thing for studios to release additional content, either in the form of a paid DLC or, like Cult of the Lamb, as a free update. But something seemingly as crucial as an epilogue feels weird to me.
There‘s been a trend for a while now that games get released half-broken and require a day-one patch or, worse, multiple patches over a few weeks. This is now part of the gaming industry, and I must admit, I'm used to it now.
But adding story elements to the main quest seems itchy to me. I feel punished for playing and finishing the game early, as I now need to get back to experience what some developers may call the "ultimate experience"?
So I wonder, why should I get a game on release day? I am against preordering after having been burned a few times (I am still angry about BF2042), but day-one purchases used to be ok in my books. But now it seems that the best time to buy a game is after a few months, a few updates and maybe even a deal — or even spruced up on a new platform of your choice.
Some might argue that this has always been the correct way to buy games – we should always wait for sales and updates.
But this presents a dilemma: we want a polished experience, but early sales are crucial for a game's success and a studio's viability. We simply need to look at the number of games shelved or the number of studios dissolved because they didn‘t sell enough copies at release, according to arbitrary metrics set by a bunch of people in suits.
So, while these concerns are valid, it raises the question: should we be content with purchasing incomplete experiences that get fixed/changed over time, or should the industry strive for more polished releases from the get-go?
I wonder if the solution to all this is for more games to get delayed so they get finalized and we can get the full experience from day one. Though, I guess that would anger a community notoriously known to be impatient.
Alas, it looks like I'm about to start a new playthrough for Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. And I will probably enjoy it.
But what about you? Am I overreacting, or do you share these sentiments? Let me know in the comments below, or reply to this email.
In other news
- We're in December (yeah, seriously), so here's Chris looking at the best games coming to Steam this month.
- The AYANEO Retro Mini PC is now live on Indiegogo, and this thing looks super cute!
- The previously teased, handheld-friendly portable mode is now available for the Xbox PC app.
- Valve published a new stable and a new preview update for the Steam Deck.
- In an interview with Windows Central, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said clearly that Xbox has "no plans to bring Xbox Game Pass to PlayStation or Nintendo."
- The first GTA VI trailer is coming very soon, on December 5th (that's in two days!).
- Eminem's Fortnite concert took place, teasing the next chapter.
- ByteDance (the company responsible for TikTok) is closing its game publisher Nuverse. One of the games theoretically impacted is Marvel Snap, but developer Second Dinner assures us that the future for the card game still looks bright.
- Reedpop (PAX, E3 in 2023) is looking to sell Gamer Network, the publishing company that runs, among others, RockPaperShotgun, Nintendo Life, Eurogamer, VG247, Dicebreaker, and GamesIndustry.biz. It's not easy to be part of the gaming industry right now.
- We got a first look at the new Fallout TV show, which will air on Amazon Prime Video on April 12th. And yep, the show is cannon!
- One of my favourite video game series, Professor Layton, is getting a new game, and it's scheduled to come in... 2025. Man! To bridge me over, I started a new playthrough of the series on the Steam Deck OLED.
- Here is a new animated short for Overwatch 2, and it makes me wish for an animated series.
Phew, there's been a lot this week!
As always, thanks for reading, and if you have any feedback or interesting links or simply want to say hello, hit reply!