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LOOK AT THAT NEW PATCH..Most issues ignored


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@erik3375 yep, things are harsh. There's a good chance his humour or style won't jibe with you, but recently Dunkey put out this video on game prices and... their state.

It helps to hold the distinction between developers and publishers. I say it helps because it makes it easier to make sense of it all.

The creators of the game do not want to release it on a sorry state. The ones that stand to profit the most with game sales want the product released at the most suitable time – which usually means "as soon as possible". The current (mal)practice among the big dog publishers is to release a title right at the point where whatever issues it has will not curb the sales significantly. That's most likely the tale behind every major release by EA, Activision, Ubisoft and so on. And most definitely the case with annual franchises, unfortunately.

Not too different from the horror stories we see in the film industry and the tug war between director and studio.

In this power chain it usually goes Publisher >>> Devs >>>>>> Consumers in the sense that we are the most exploitable link in it and the devs, though still holding some say in the matter, cannot arm wrestle the publisher and/or other stakeholders as that's where their funding comes. To break this cycle the best we, consumers, can do is to make educated purchases and, when in doubt, avoid the 14-days release window of a title as that is the most important for the top executives at the publisher and investing partners.

The comparison with the film industry is just a hook, though. In the games industry these days we have our own idiosyncrasies to do away with parallels. More often than not devs are workhorses and publishers the farmers. The former salaries are low, pretty low; the bulk of their income comes from bonuses, usually attached to sales performance. Executives all the way up the chain do have their own bonuses too, but guess who gets theirs cut when sales don't hit the mark? And when sales profit hits, who stands to deal with the backlash and the interminable work load of hot fixing and patching and updating the game?

This is not to say that we should take pity at devs and be silent. Haha exactly the opposite, as once we push for better practices for us the devs will inevitable gain a lot with better work conditions and less crunch (i.e. "we need you on the weekend to hit the release deadline, sorry if you had plans"). Knowing the context helps in making sense of the situation, making educated choices, setting expectations correctly and knowing who to shout at.

On the big picture, this malpractice has hit the bottom already and if you want we can link the most grievous cases. We're talking about mammoth companies, some with multi-billion annual revenues, so the change comes slowly.

It is changing, though. Keywords like "crunch" and "game breaking" are tinder to wildfires in the industry these days. So wild that it is becoming increasingly more common for investors and shareholders to take judicial action against publishers when a title release is met with a great deal of backlash. Their declared motive for such actions? "You should know the game was in no state to be released".

Oh, how the tables turn...  

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Just thought I bought ace combat 7 when that was released.. despite terrible storyline.  I never had a single issue with it.  Moreover patches were very few and far between and don’t recall them ever being over 500mb.  Yes it was a arcade shooter but graphics were high end

evidence it can be done

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1 minute ago, ScaredDuck said:

Just thought I bought ace combat 7 when that was released.. despite terrible storyline.  I never had a single issue with it.  Moreover patches were very few and far between and don’t recall them ever being over 500mb.  Yes it was a arcade shooter but graphics were high end

They did have over a decade to make it

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6 minutes ago, ScaredDuck said:

That I didn’t know😂

It's a solid example still, polished game, runs very well with no issues I noticed either. 

time is almost not a factor. cyberpunk was what, 6/7 years in development to come out like it did? 

things can still be rushed. 

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2 hours ago, ScaredDuck said:

Just thought I bought ace combat 7 when that was released.. despite terrible storyline.  I never had a single issue with it.  Moreover patches were very few and far between and don’t recall them ever being over 500mb.  Yes it was a arcade shooter but graphics were high end

evidence it can be done

Exactly; I really enjoyed AC7.  Yeah, the story is just OK, but it had some really fun missions.  I really enjoyed it.  It wasn't built for these new gen consoles though; I wish it was it would have looked amazing.  I keep hoping they'll optimize it, but no luck so far.

I think a better example currently is microsoft flight simulator.  I can play that all day with no crashes or console shut downs; and every other game for that matter except for... yup.  You guessed it..  F1 2021.

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2 minutes ago, petro1319 said:

Exactly; I really enjoyed AC7.  Yeah, the story is just OK, but it had some really fun missions.  I really enjoyed it.  It wasn't built for these new gen consoles though; I wish it was it would have looked amazing.  I keep hoping they'll optimize it, but no luck so far.

I think a better example currently is microsoft flight simulator.  I can play that all day with no crashes or console shut downs; and every other game for that matter except for... yup.  You guessed it..  F1 2021.

Apparently, don’t take it as fact, but I did read somewhere ace combat 8 is due next year 

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AC7 was in development hell for years and had major internal reboot midway through development.

It was able to do it because Bamco had a plethora of other titles to earn them money and AC isn't a yearly, major franchise for them.

Comparing AC to F1 is a bad example. Comparing F1 to annual franchises like Madden, FIFA, NBA and WWE 2k is more accurate - and we all know about the issues with those games every year.

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9 hours ago, marioho said:

@erik3375 yep, things are harsh. There's a good chance his humour or style won't jibe with you, but recently Dunkey put out this video on game prices and... their state.

It helps to hold the distinction between developers and publishers. I say it helps because it makes it easier to make sense of it all.

The creators of the game do not want to release it on a sorry state. The ones that stand to profit the most with game sales want the product released at the most suitable time – which usually means "as soon as possible". The current (mal)practice among the big dog publishers is to release a title right at the point where whatever issues it has will not curb the sales significantly. That's most likely the tale behind every major release by EA, Activision, Ubisoft and so on. And most definitely the case with annual franchises, unfortunately.

Not too different from the horror stories we see in the film industry and the tug war between director and studio.

In this power chain it usually goes Publisher >>> Devs >>>>>> Consumers in the sense that we are the most exploitable link in it and the devs, though still holding some say in the matter, cannot arm wrestle the publisher and/or other stakeholders as that's where their funding comes. To break this cycle the best we, consumers, can do is to make educated purchases and, when in doubt, avoid the 14-days release window of a title as that is the most important for the top executives at the publisher and investing partners.

The comparison with the film industry is just a hook, though. In the games industry these days we have our own idiosyncrasies to do away with parallels. More often than not devs are workhorses and publishers the farmers. The former salaries are low, pretty low; the bulk of their income comes from bonuses, usually attached to sales performance. Executives all the way up the chain do have their own bonuses too, but guess who gets theirs cut when sales don't hit the mark? And when sales profit hits, who stands to deal with the backlash and the interminable work load of hot fixing and patching and updating the game?

This is not to say that we should take pity at devs and be silent. Haha exactly the opposite, as once we push for better practices for us the devs will inevitable gain a lot with better work conditions and less crunch (i.e. "we need you on the weekend to hit the release deadline, sorry if you had plans"). Knowing the context helps in making sense of the situation, making educated choices, setting expectations correctly and knowing who to shout at.

On the big picture, this malpractice has hit the bottom already and if you want we can link the most grievous cases. We're talking about mammoth companies, some with multi-billion annual revenues, so the change comes slowly.

It is changing, though. Keywords like "crunch" and "game breaking" are tinder to wildfires in the industry these days. So wild that it is becoming increasingly more common for investors and shareholders to take judicial action against publishers when a title release is met with a great deal of backlash. Their declared motive for such actions? "You should know the game was in no state to be released".

Oh, how the tables turn...  

Thanks for sharing. This has been my take too on the case with F1 2021, that it lies with EA, although as you say, it is an industry thing.

I guess the gaming industry has changed during my 20 year hiatus from gaming. 😉 Although games were far less complex at the time, I come to think of the beta test pressure before initiating production of hundred of thousands cartridges to be shipped worldwide. No emergency escape route further down the road as today’s broadband connections have become to publishers.

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1 hour ago, erik3375 said:

Thanks for sharing. This has been my take too on the case with F1 2021, that it lies with EA, although as you say, it is an industry thing.

I guess the gaming industry has changed during my 20 year hiatus from gaming. 😉 Although games were far less complex at the time, I come to think of the beta test pressure before initiating production of hundred of thousands cartridges to be shipped worldwide. No emergency escape route further down the road as today’s broadband connections have become to publishers.

EA bought codemasters far too late into the development cycle to have any real influence in this years game. If next years game is bad, then we could blame EA. But this year, any issues will be down to Codemasters.

Its kinda like when Microsoft purchased Obsidian just before outer worlds released. What we got was a pure Obsidian game with zero influence from microsoft games/xbox.

 

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2 hours ago, Ialyrn said:

EA bought codemasters far too late into the development cycle to have any real influence in this years game. If next years game is bad, then we could blame EA. But this year, any issues will be down to Codemasters.

Its kinda like when Microsoft purchased Obsidian just before outer worlds released. What we got was a pure Obsidian game with zero influence from microsoft games/xbox.

 

I hear that also prior year’s releases have been flawed, by still, I meant that EA pushed a release on target date, regardless of which state the game was in. Regardless, it is as said above probably at its worst for games with annual instalments.

 

Generally speaking, again considering I have been offline from games for two decades, are delayed games a thing of the past and instead replaced by prematurely released games in “workable” condition?

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5 minutes ago, erik3375 said:

I hear that also prior year’s releases have been flawed, by still, I meant that EA pushed a release on target date, regardless of which state the game was in. Regardless, it is as said above probably at its worst for games with annual instalments.

 

Generally speaking, again considering I have been offline from games for two decades, are delayed games a thing of the past and instead replaced by prematurely released games in “workable” condition?

Yearly releases tend to not be delayed in my experience. Though i do wish this years was, since there are 3 missing tracks. But i have a hunch its all down to the licensing agreement for F1 that is in part to blame for the release dates.

I only bought the game this year because i got an insane deal on green man gaming for a preorder. I paid about 45 quid for the deluxe edition.

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This years game was released at essentially the same time as last years game, so I don't think EA obviously had any impact on this. 

I have no issue with the game being released without the new track since it was clearly stated that they wouldn't be in the game at launch. The lack of a suggested time when they would be added also made me conclude they wouldn't be arriving quickly either. Essentially players were given the choice of if they were willing to pay for the game with this knowledge, which personally I preferred rather than us still be waiting for the game now and likely for a good while longer.

This is unrelated to questions relating to the bugs affecting other areas of game performance.

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3 hours ago, Ultra3142 said:

This years game was released at essentially the same time as last years game, so I don't think EA obviously had any impact on this. 

Not to mention last year's was the earliest Codemasters F1 release on record (except for 2019, thanks for the correction @Ialyrn); normally it's been in August around the end of the Summer break.

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33 minutes ago, PJTierney said:

Not to mention last year's was the earliest Codemasters F1 release on record (F1 2015 was July 10); normally it's been in August around the end of the Summer break.

Wasnt 2019 out in April?

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4 hours ago, Ialyrn said:

EA bought codemasters far too late into the development cycle to have any real influence in this years game. If next years game is bad, then we could blame EA. But this year, any issues will be down to Codemasters.

Yep, EA probably didn't touch anything in F1 2021 production cycle.

Just to give more context though, Codemasters is a group of companies holding several IPs. Not a huge corporation in the scene – which goes without saying – but the tug and pull doesn't stray that much from the usual shtick of the industry.

There’s the internal dynamic, like how for instance F1 2020 (and 2019 et cetera) was developed by Codemasters Brimingham and published by Codemasters Software Company while DiRT games are developed and published by Codemasters Software Company, and regardless of the studio composition usually these companies are structured in such a way that creative and production decisions may be taken a handful of offices or even floors apart, so to speak.

Generally though the push for a strict deadline and a releasing as “good enough” instead of simply “good” comes from stakeholders and partners. Companies and people not in the development chain, but in the money-money chain.

However given Codemasters size and how often you’ll see the same names holding the same higher-up roles across different projects, I’d wager that a great deal of decision-making and thus the responsibility are still in their hands, no matter how many different cubicles, offices and floors there are. Probably a case of having too much on their plate, with the cross-platform + cross-gen development and the intent to adhere to the early release window (July instead of August).

1 hour ago, erik3375 said:

I hear that also prior year’s releases have been flawed, by still, I meant that EA pushed a release on target date, regardless of which state the game was in. Regardless, it is as said above probably at its worst for games with annual instalments.

Generally speaking, again considering I have been offline from games for two decades, are delayed games a thing of the past and instead replaced by prematurely released games in “workable” condition?

Yeah, annual franchises tend to be the most problematic. One major reason for that is how the development happens, in cycles. The structure will vary a lot depending on company size and project scope, but generally you've got three roles or stages that will be assigned internally: current development, post-launch support, and next-title development.

Current and next-title development are basically the same, it's the making of the game proper, but being an annualized franchised you'll usually have development cycles different teams holding the helm in rotation: 2019 installment chiefly developed by Team A, 2020 installment chiefly developed by Team B, 2021 installment chiefly developed by Team A and so on. These games evolves, with each entry bringing in new features or design choices led by the different development teams, but all made through the same tools and softwares. So it is integral to the development cycle to coordinate between the teams to keep a continuity to the franchise as a whole.

The post-launch support is basically bug squashing, but usually there's a detachment or at least a side project led by the development team for the post-production content – new features, DLC, etc. 

Hope it makes sense:

image.thumb.png.fdab2c63bed368cfd5ae952c31a95eaf.png

It's unending work with multiple focuses. Annual franchises are managerial beasts!

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4 minutes ago, marioho said:

Yep, EA probably didn't touch anything in F1 2021 production cycle.

Just to give more context though, Codemasters is a group of companies holding several IPs. Not a huge corporation in the scene – which goes without saying – but the tug and pull doesn't stray that much from the usual shtick of the industry.

There’s the internal dynamic, like how for instance F1 2020 (and 2019 et cetera) was developed by Codemasters Brimingham and published by Codemasters Software Company while DiRT games are developed and published by Codemasters Software Company, and regardless of the studio composition usually these companies are structured in such a way that creative and production decisions may be taken a handful of offices or even floors apart, so to speak.

Generally though the push for a strict deadline and a releasing as “good enough” instead of simply “good” comes from stakeholders and partners. Companies and people not in the development chain, but in the money-money chain.

However given Codemasters size and how often you’ll see the same names holding the same higher-up roles across different projects, I’d wager that a great deal of decision-making and thus the responsibility are still in their hands, no matter how many different cubicles, offices and floors there are. Probably a case of having too much on their plate, with the cross-platform + cross-gen development and the intent to adhere to the early release window (July instead of August).

Yeah, annual franchises tend to be the most problematic. One major reason for that is how the development happens, in cycles. The structure will vary a lot depending on company size and project scope, but generally you've got three roles or stages that will be assigned internally: current development, post-launch support, and next-title development.

Current and next-title development are basically the same, it's the making of the game proper, but being an annualized franchised you'll usually have development cycles different teams holding the helm in rotation: 2019 installment chiefly developed by Team A, 2020 installment chiefly developed by Team B, 2021 installment chiefly developed by Team A and so on. These games evolves, with each entry bringing in new features or design choices led by the different development teams, but all made through the same tools and softwares. So it is integral to the development cycle to coordinate between the teams to keep a continuity to the franchise as a whole.

The post-launch support is basically bug squashing, but usually there's a detachment or at least a side project led by the development team for the post-production content – new features, DLC, etc. 

Hope it makes sense:

image.thumb.png.fdab2c63bed368cfd5ae952c31a95eaf.png

It's unending work with multiple focuses. Annual franchises are managerial beasts!

This is well put together man, though I really think at this point the whole idea behind this is dead, it's just waiting to be taken outside and put down. 

One of the big players has to take a risk here and it's down to the first one to move, ratings for these games are going down and down every year to the point Madden 22 is now already sitting on a 0.7 user score. 

It must be difficult internally because they still make big money from the ultimate team modes and do relatively well sales wise (the amount of free copies and deals for Madden 22 at release should tell us this isn't going the way it used to, mind), but there is much to gain from creating a new cycle. 

The first to attempt a full live service or multi year dev cycle with roster / kit etc. updates in the middle will be a big winner IMO, people are desperate for a new experience and better products from these franchises. 

I thought PES's innovative game update last year, for a budget price instead of releasing a full game, was a step in the right direction but it doesn't a) lead in its field and it seems b) to be giving up on the game completely, so not a good look for it but the idea was excellent. 

Give me a live service F1 game with patch updates / DLC with new content, tracks and liveries and perhaps a full release every 5/6 years to begin the cycle again but with all that dev time behind it, and I'm in mate, 100%

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@KNT2011 yep, this model has ran its course for games of this scope. I won't even try to comprehend what goes on with Call of Duty as that seems to be a can of worms of it own, but annual franchises as complex as F1, FIFA and (I assume) Madden are in a point where their development is too stiffened and troublesome under this annualized scheduled. You either see them flattening on the feature innovation or having trouble porting between teams the new set of features one develops for a given entry.

PES will be an interesting franchise to watch. If I'm not mistaken, Konami rebranded it to eFootball and is ditching the annualized model in favor of a game as a service – GaaS model starting this year. My main concern here, Konami haha

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22 hours ago, Currriss said:

today pretty much sums up my entire time spent on this game.

 

I have a spare hour, think i'll do some online racing. All things good and well I could do 4/5 races. Instead what i've done is do 2 races (in a field of 4 and 2 including myself), been put in my own lobby about 7 times, or been put in a lobby where the race has already begun, and breaks when the race ends. People should be held accountable for this "game" and the state in which you release it every single year

Today's hour of plays included

A qualifying session around Canada before my game turned itself off, being put into a lobby on my own, being put into a race 60% complete that will probably break at the end, being put in the same race at 80% which will probably break at the end, and being put in to two more lobbies on my own. All in all my on hour was actually 15mins long.

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34 minutes ago, marioho said:

PES will be an interesting franchise to watch. If I'm not mistaken, Konami rebranded it to eFootball and is ditching the annualized model in favor of a game as a service – GaaS model starting this year. My main concern here, Konami haha

Oh really? I had heard they were basically going mobile with it, but to be honest I haven't looked into it. If that's the way they're going on console then I'm very interested in reading more about it. Played PES since International Superstar Soccer way way back, always a fan. 

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11 minutes ago, marioho said:

@KNT2011 so if I drop names like Ivarov, Stremer, Espimas, Ximelez, Minanda, and Castolo you'll know better and show proper respect? Haha good to know you're man of speed and of culture as well!

I'm enough of a veteran to remember when his name was Castello 😉 

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