Driveclub 2, in the midst of a nightmare for any game developer, has reinforced the concept that gamers should consider waiting to purchase their video games. This is the most recent in a long line of titles that have been released in an unplayable state and has upset consumers to no end. In today’s video game market, it seems that those that wait on the title are incentivized and rewarded for their wait, often finding the best bang for their buck after a year wait or less.
The Driveclub 2 example is exhibit A for a change that every publisher should look into making very soon. That title’s situation revolves around a promised Playstation Plus Edition of the game being held back because of “server overload.” The game director Paul Rustchynsky said in a blog post that the delay was to “give players a better chance at connecting to game servers.” There is currently no timeline for the release of this edition, but it is behind at least a couple of updates that would improve stability, probably pointing to at least a couple of weeks worth of delay. Any player that have the Plus Edition are, for the moment, left without their Driveclub 2 game and out of luck.
Driveclub 2 has joined another recent release, Destiny, in anchoring the argument against buying video games on their first days. Since release about a month ago, Destiny has had to undergo numerous updates and hot fixes to address a small percentage of the issues users have with the title. This site’s review pointed out the lack of features from a social, story, or gameplay perspective, citing the possibility that these were all withheld to support the 10-year promise from Activision. Those that bought the game first, however, have to wait for those changes to come, possibly spending more money than those that wait to purchase.
Collections and “Game of the Year” Editions often come for popular titles down the road, offering a collection of downloadable content alongside the game for less than day-one purchasers paid for just the game. The Last of Us, one of the best games of all time to some people, received a Remastered edition for Playstation 4 under a year after initial release for $50.00 dollars. Those that bought the original game new for Playstation 3 would have paid $60, then there was a $20 season pass on top of an Online Pass for those without one that cost another $10. Those without the season pass paid even more for each piece individually or random pieces such as the story-driven Left Behind.
There are many reasons to wait on video game purchases, and Driveclub 2 represents what can happen with pre-orders. Those that are excited for a game often times feel let down and betrayed with a game pulls the rug from under them before the experience even begins, and those that pick up a title months and years down the line usually do not have to deal with the cascade of bugs and mishaps. As the industry stands, those with patience are rewarded with all the content at once for less. Extra weapons or skins as pre-order bonuses does little to counter that feeling of disappointment when an opening audience is treated as an alpha, beta or, in the case of Driveclub 2, a network test group.
Opinion by Myles Gann