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Cowboys and idiots

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I recently revisited old British sitcom called Cowboys, about inept builders taking jobs they are not qualified for, doing them as quickly and as cheaply as possible and then running away with the money. Few days later GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition premiered and I got the strange feeling of deja vu.


Cowboys and idiots

GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition is not in any way definitive, since it is not only worse than originals, but also versions made by modders. What was sold on premiere was just a mobile versions of the games that AI scaled up, and broke at that same time. But since there was no human QA involvement Rockstar just started selling the title for whopping 60 USD. I guess it was a nice day of work...

Battlefield 2042 premiered recently and to say it was received with criticism would be an understatement - buggy, unfinished, with missing features and stability problems, it was huge step back for the series and it is hard to find anyone, who would think otherwise.

New title from Konami, eFootball, on premiere raised a lot of eyebrows with lowest quality imaginable from big company, especially on premiere of their title. The models of real-life players were unrecognizable, content was cut to minimum, the engine was glitchy...

Cyberpunk 2077 became a legend of complete failure in the gaming industry - hyped for over 8 years it became laughing stock just hours after premiere. With funny glitches, performance issues and general lack of soul it is now only mentioned when someone really f*ck up the premiere... which became a new tradition in gaming industry. Every 2-3 months we have another big game that "cyberpunked" on premiere.

During summer two legends, Microprose and Carrier Command, returned in spectacular way with Carrier Command 2, which was well received and... quickly forgotten. With lackluster content (comparing to price tag) and requiring more than one player to fully enjoy now the title is collecting dust somewhere in the dark corner of Steam shelves.

New World from Amazon was instant hit, but within one month lost half of the playerbase due to broken in-game economy system, lacking content and problems with accessing servers.

I could mention games like Anthem, LawBreakers, Fallout 76, but I guess you already get the point. It looks like we reached the reality, in which game studios and publishers became the cowboys in that story. The "cowboy" in UK became derogative term for unprofessional workers, usually builders, who choose risky and fast solutions to problems not wanting to do their job properly, hoping client will not notice their shoddy work.

And I think it is about time we find a term to call game makers that are cowboys of the industry. They just try to make quick money on rushed, unfinished products, hoping people will be too lazy to demand a refund. The difference is shady builders were running away with your money, while the gaming executives get millions-worth bonuses for reaching the corporate targets or publishing title within period best for taxation reasons. I mean - what you gonna do? Sue them?

Clearly less and less competent people are put in charge of game production, who have no idea about reality of gaming market, not to mention the expectations of their clients. But with their "I think I can" attitude they take on jobs they are not capable of doing. They do not take responsibility for the product, they do not care about companies they work for - if this job will not work out, they will just move into chemical industry, car manufacturing company or any other industry that is willing to hire them. I mean - what they gonna do? Check if they are competent? They worked for big gaming company, so they must be competent...

So where are the idiots in that story? Well, someone is still paying for those broken, unfinished, over-promised and rushed titles. To make things worse they pay amounts of money that used to be reserved for well established titles. As long as there are idiots willing to give away money for not-tested products, there will be cowboys in gaming industry.



17-11-2021

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