NOT A GREAT SIGN FOR THE FUTURE
Need another reason not to pre-order games? Bethesda just gave you one and, in doing so, proved an important points about sending out review copies.
People who were eagerly waiting for Dishonored 2’s release date now have to deal with some disappointment, especially those who pre-ordered the game to play a day early, as it is a glitchy mess.
Framerate drops, audio running out of sync, subtitles vanishing and even abruptly changing languages are just some of the complaints. Reading messages boards has turned into a bizarre game glitch bingo. A day 1 patch is supposedly in the works, but information on when this will be done has been scarce at best at time of writing.
This terribly optimized PC port seems like another warning not to pre-order games and it’s a bit hard to feel sorry for the people who still haven’t learned their lesson about that. However, that’s not entirely fair, because it’s not like they had fair warning.
Why? Well, Bethesda did not send out review copies of Dishonored 2 and has since announced that it won’t be doing so with future titles either. That means that reviewers didn’t have enough time to play the games and write up a review before the game hit store shelves. If Bethesda had sent these copies out, reviewers might have been able to warn people of the game’s state.
Granted, this would not have helped those who had pre-ordered the game, but people intending to buy it on day 1 would have known to wait a bit longer.
Bethesda is hardly alone in their decision not to bother with review copies as other publishers have announced they will do the same and, honestly, it’s a pretty shitty move.
They argue that few people still bother to read reviews, that it creates more stress for their employees and that a negative review can really hurt day 1 sales.
We’ll give them that if people want to buy a game very much, they probably will without ever glancing at a review. However, there are also people who aren’t sure about getting a certain game and rely on reviews to see if that title is worth the $60.
They also have a point that a negative review can hurt day 1 sales, especially when a review is mostly concerned with issues that are patched out later. Not everyone bothers to update their reviews if the situation changes.
However, how is that our problem as consumers? How a developer handles stress, deadlines and making games that are actually ready when they launch is their responsibility, not ours. Not to mention that this attitude completely ignores the fact that positive reviews can boost sales of both AAA games and the ones that are more obscure or which have just seen less hype.
Not sending out review copies means that many people will not be warned in time if a game is broken or just simply terrible. The whole idea is primarily concerned with raking in as much money as possible, regardless of the quality of a game.
Granted, you can’t blame a company for wanting to make a profit, but it’s a pretty anti-consumer attitude at best and one that’s wilfully deceptive at worst.
What do you guys think? Are you enjoying Dishonored 2, despite the poor optimization? How do you feel about the lack of review copies? Let us know in the comment below!