9 Horrific Game Launches

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Dethstar

Anything by Ubisoft works. Always on DRM that is rarely on at launch.

Alternatively, for me any bad console port. People constantly seem to expect a PC game and then go beserk when they realise its just a bad console port.

I sometimes think you could teach monkey's faster but I also get suckered occasionally.

What really baffles me is why online games published and outlets get competitive advantage over retail stores. The EU seems to be as paralyzed by inaction and out of date legislation on this point as anywhere else in the world. Retail stores without exception comply with local statutory obligations whereas online companies such as Steam completely ignore them unless forced.

One surprising exception is EA as Origin has the 14 day money back thing which is compliant with sale of goods obligations in most countries.

As an example, I still cant work out how EA became the good guys and steam the enemy of consumers but somehow it happened. Similar to Google being the young, in touch fun and trendy company before becoming the ultra creepy evil corporation from the dystopian nightmare we are living the beginnings of.

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likalaruku

There are many reasons wait half a year before buying a new release, & this is one of them. Plus you can get a GOTYE with all the bugfixes, expansions, & DLC for the price (or less) of the original game when it was new.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

+1

A lot of gamers are getting moist over the upcoming release of GTA 5. Why? It's going to be a buggy mess on release and Rockstar will never, ever patch it or tune it sufficiently. Why drop $65 on that? Wait six months to a year (or even longer), then buy it.

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ScytheNoire

Can't we just sum it up as any Blizzard, Activision, EA, or Ubisoft game is pretty much going to have a bad launch plagued with problems.

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LatiosXT

Blizzard's only hiccup that everyone really hated was Diablo 3. MMO launches are kind of expected to be really shaky. You don't know how many people are actually going to log in and what capacity you need to have and you can't simply buy a ton of servers under the presumption "better safe than sorry." Servers cost a LOT of money to buy, setup, and maintain.

Activision hasn't had any issues with launches on PC games in recent memory. In fact, Activision is probably the best out of those four companies because they don't have DRM on their games. At least the ones I end up getting which are the Call of Duty games.

EA and Ubisoft though, those two can shove it.

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hzatiger

I vote for DayZ Standalone

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Upyourbucket

The first Painkiller had a pretty bad launch..It turned out to be a successful game though.

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juusu

I'd dare say Bad Company 2 was worse than 3 or 4. They weren't communicating with the community through the DICE or EA forums and their Facebook and Twitter communities weren't like they are today. We were mostly in the dark; not even knowing what the error messages meant, and following what potential solutions were trickling onto the web from players that didn't work for 99% of the people who attempted them. It came down to waiting and waiting and praying you'd eventually connect to some server if you kept trying and trying... For weeks and weeks. The net code still isn't 100% today if you try connecting to a BC2 or Vietnam server.

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Jaymondo

Agree with the windows live stuff, how many times did it fail to login and stop you from saving your games, I found it most painful when I was playing the Red Faction games.

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castrator86

Battlefield 3 wasn't much of a picnic either. And that was after the mess that was Bad Company 2. Star Wars Galaxies was another pretty bad one.

Oh, and anything that was Games for Windows Live.

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John Pombrio

These are all recent games, many so wildly popular that trying to log onto online servers at first was close to impossible.

Let's turn on the wayback machine, Dr. Peabody. When PC games first came out, there was no internet so no way to immediately patch a broken game. I would have to mail a request for a floppy or a CD to fix some of the more glaring issues. Game magazines made good money by shipping a CD with game patches in it. It could take weeks or months for a good stable release to be in my hands. Then add the hours spent fussing with IRQs and other settings just to get the game to run. How quickly us old timers forget.

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Scatter

I remember those days.

However it seems as if the attitude nowadays is that it's ok to release a buggy game today because it's easy to release a patch tomorrow. If patching a game today was as difficult and expensive (they had to mail them out on disks) as it was in the past I have a feeling that beta testing would be treated a lot more serious.

Developers used to pay beta testers in the past, not charge to be an early access player who really does no real beta testing.

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cc3d

never had a problem with BF4 and I am 500 hours in, don't know why there are so many whining about it.

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MrHasselblad

About 21 days in; or about five hundred hours?

Darn, the average person could have received two computer related certifications in that time; or even a private pilots license in one fifth that time.

How log did it take to rack up 500 hours?

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John Pombrio

You certainly do not want to know how many hours I had in WoW then, heh.

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ApathyCurve

Oh look, clickbait!

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Shalbatana

Pool of Radiance (the new version...the original was great)

No better way to kill a sure-fire multi million dollar franchise than to release the game in the condition it was in.

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Nyarlathotep

I played alot of Pool of Radiance back in the day. I didn't know they released a newer version. Thanks for bringing back the memories...

poolrad.exe

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Jaymondo

Watchdogs didnt stand a chance with the gameworks issues, but moving on before the green army lays into me, anyone old enough to remember Frontier: First Encounters, was bug ridden in the box, and not much internet in those days. I think I returned mine !

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trgz

Gotta say that I don't recall a problem with HL2, but I did already have Steam installed, and up and running for a few months, at that point

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ram1220

I just remember HL2 crashing all the time.

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trgz

It did stutter a bit (texture-thrashing if I recall) now I think of it but it wasn't really a game-breaker and doesn't justify lumping it in with this collection of clusterfecks (that's the Irish version)

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Analogkid

You must include Diakatana.

That is all.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

I remember it being very bad, but not that it didn't run.

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steven jones

ultimatexbmc dot com

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

Tribes 2. At release, no one could play more than 15 minutes before the game crashed with an Unhandled Exception Error. Many crashes required a painstaking reinstall of the entire game. It was an ugly, ugly mess the press wouldn't report on (bribes were more common back then).

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vrmlbasic

I can't say that I encountered that in the bazillion hours I spent with that game. I bought the retail version but I might have been a bit late to the party so perhaps it was patched by then.

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RUSENSITIVESWEETNESS

It was in the beginning, before Sierra/Vivendi shuttered Dynamix.

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kiaghi7

While I play Diablo 3 quite a bit lately, I do find it curious that they left out that it, much like SimCity at launch, is "always online" even when playing single player.

I think I heard that SimCity has since been patched to be offline for single player... Still waiting on Diablo 3...

I'm yet to hear a compelling reason for why a single player experience requires being run through Blizzard's server(s)... Especially in the light that it was the identical argument by EA, and claimed it couldn't possibly be done, right up until it was done...

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Random

I didn't experience problems with any of these games because I didn't buy them at initial launch. I like to wait a year or so for them to work out the bugs. ;)

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LatiosXT

The only issue I had with a game launch was Final Fantasy XIV: ARR. For the first month just logging in was hell. You were lucky if you even got in a queue, most of the time it was just "can't join, server too full". At least after that it was relatively okay.

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yackman01

I'm sorry, Finally Fantasy 14 should have been on this list. There were many problems with server loads from the amount of players. It was so bad people like myself that pre-purchased and payed for the first month got 14 days of free play time because we would randomly get kicked from the server because it got to full.

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MrHasselblad

For myself, the worst current example would be...

EA's most current version of SimCity.

Quite a number of issues with that one...

Issues with

1. Interesting items added into the software
2. Need for the continual internet while playing the game
3. Extremely small maps that make SC2k look epic

Titles like this will turn a lot away from any EA titles in the foreseeable future