Instant Gratification: The Enhanced Edition

Instant Gratification: The Enhanced Edition

Buying a PC game the day it comes out can swiftly lead to a case of buyer's remorse, but Adam LaMosca believes sometimes you just have to take one for the team.

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I bought Soulstorm when it was released, believing I was going to experience a game as good as - if not better than - the other Dawn of War games. I paid for a game. What I got was a mod so haphazard and sloppy that I probably could have thrown it together given time and the modding tools given to the community.

Never again.

i have got witcher as a Christmas present. I can see it now, lying in my shelf next to gears of war. i installed both games, played them for 30 minutes and uninstalled both.

my pc is 5 years old, my gpu 2 years. both games are playable, look like crap and still have performance problems. 2 days ago i ordered crysis for 22 euro (amazon + buyitlater ;).

at the end of this year, after i have bought my new pc i am going to enjoy a fully patched witcher, maybe gears with the addon content and crysis and i still have supported the devs. i am all for supporting the devs as long as they show some love for their games. i am sure crytek will realize that they have to support crysis in the future in order to not discredit their fans (should they fail to do so,, crysis will be still useful as a benchmark and crytek can stick their future products into a very dark, very tight place).

Some games are like wine, they become better with time. Most games are like booze, tasty but you end with a hangover or worse.

P.S.: i canceled my alone in the dark preorder after the first tests and especially because of the bad controls. No love, no money.

I have to take issue with your assumption that gamers must be "kicking themselves" for buying The Witcher in its original release. You delayed your gratification and will experience a presumably-improved Witcher as a result; I have already had the pleasure of the Witcher experience - and a great pleasure it was - but I'll still have the opportunity to taste its new sweetness when the enhanced edition is released. I think that's one of the great things about PC gaming: Enhanced releases like this (which are admittedly quite rare) are typically free for owners of the original game, something consoles have difficulty doing. Egosoft did the same thing with X3: Reunion, releasing a 2.0 version of the game that included the Bala Gi's Research Missions update, and also making that update available as a download for registered owners.

I want to say there's also some benefit, although perhaps a perverse benefit, to sampling a game as it was originally released, warts and all. Of course, that's easier to say when said warts can be disposed of through free updates; I might not be so magnanimous if I had to pay an extra 20 or 30 bucks to get the new Witcher release. But it comes back to the same point: As long as developers and publishers aren't ripping off their original user base by charging money for what are essentially "super-patches," there's no problem.

I guess it ultimately comes down to how strongly you feel about the game in question. I wanted X3: Reunion, but I also wanted to be sure it wasn't as deeply flawed as early reports portrayed it; I waited, and when I heard about the planned 2.0 release, I waited some more, and then when I saw it for a decent price I grabbed it. For The Witcher, on the other hand, I killed the two people who were standing in line in front of me so I could be first. If you start out with that particular mindset about a game, you're going to be far more apt to forgive a game's flaws when you bump into them.

Malygris:
For The Witcher, on the other hand, I killed the two people who were standing in line in front of me so I could be first.

wow, that is dedication. i guess you were able to get away with it :)

Long as it doesnt become an accepted practise to rush a game & ship an incomplete one on the promise of potential future improvement, ill still buy (a very select few) PC games on release. Least until it becomes possible to rent PC games, then ill probably never buy a new release game ever again.

There is a reason it is like this. A PC's configuration is like a can of worms, extremely variable at a software and hardware level - this is why games for PC are often not stable on release, but become so over time as more feedback from users is established. It's not the game - it's the environment.

It is just not possible for any dev team to exhaustively test their game on 1000's of different configurations, but with consoles - they just need 1 box in front of them and the stability testing can be completed 100%.

As a PC gamer, I realise this is the price of being able to mix/match/upgrade my rig at will. And even though I got the Witcher and played it on release, in true PC-gamer spirit, I will gladly and happily play it again in September.

It should be worth noting that all of The Witcher's Enhanced Edition content will be made available for free to current owners via a free download. So with The Witcher, at least, I'm not exactly kicking myself.

Furthermore, PC ports on occasion end up better than the console versions that came before, Mass Effect's PC edition just to name one. For 360 owners unsatisfied with Mass Effect's various interface-related and technical foibles, that's definitely a "kick yourself" moment.

Then there are, of course, the trend of console game expansions, like Dynasty Warriors various "Xtreme Legends" and "Empires" lines, or the FES edition of Persona 3.

I imagine that the FES rerelease had some Persona 3 owners harming themselves especially if they decided to buy Persona 3 off eBay for considerable price given ATLUS' notoriously short production runs, but most of the ATLUS fans I know were just glad that ATLUS decided to release the FES content at all.

Now all they have to do is just quit with the nasty DRM.

unangbangkay:

Furthermore, PC ports on occasion end up better than the console versions that came before, Mass Effect's PC edition just to name one. For 360 owners unsatisfied with Mass Effect's various interface-related and technical foibles, that's definitely a "kick yourself" moment.

Would have loved to have the Interface improvements on the 360 version. Bioware, how about throwing that "update" to your console fanbase.

I should note that we were quite happy with The Witcher at release, and the main reason behind announcing (and developing) the Enhanced Edition was because we were determined to deliver a game that was closer to what fans expected. The team did its very best job and was confident about the game at release. We've never actually planned to be making a profit off of the original game -- we want to make sure that people equate our games with quality, so I think that we would have re-released the game again regardless. And just to hopefully not make people who bought the game feel ripped off, we're giving it out for free (as mentioned above) and rewarding anyone who's enough of a fan to buy it again with some extra stuff in the box.

Further to the point of releasing PC games before they're ready... I think we're getting to a point where that trend will begin to slow a bit. There have been so many brutal releases that pissed off a lot of people, and publishers really have to realize that they're doing nothing to preserve the PC as a viable platform. We're smart enough as consumers to be able to band together and actually make an impact on the sales of poorly developed games.

I think most people are missing the point of the article. Adam is basically suggesting that without huge coverage at launch and for people to actually play the original release of these games, then they would never be patched later on and turned into genuinely good games. Hence, that there should always be someone to buy these games, to show the developer support and to basically test the game on a large scale - as well as actively complain and report any bugs which may occur. I do agree with such sentiments (I think that's a first between me and you, Adam) but it is the developers (and pushy publishers) who are still at fault for not correcting these bugs with a capable testing team, instead of letting people spend their hard-earned cash on testing the game for them.

 

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