In this opinion piece, we bring up that annoying day one patch. For a lot of us, it’s probably not a big deal. For others, we are forced to wait out that download before we can jump online with the rest of our friends.
In the world of modern technology, updates abound as our software constantly gets better, offering new features to test and new UI’s that make us feel we have a brand new device. Or maybe it’s just a basic performance update, something upgraded under the hood that makes the app run better.
Pretty much every game we purchase these days comes with a day one patch. Sometimes these patches download very quickly, only being under a gig, and sometimes they are very large. When I started one of many Elder Scrolls Online updates that was over 17 gigs I nearly fell off my couch. 17 gigs really shouldn’t take that long to download these days, but my internet speed isn’t the best, and tack on everything else in my house using up bandwidth, this only slows the process. My night of epic fantasy battles has turned into hours of waiting or playing something else entirely.
Like myself, not everyone has the best and fastest internet speed. When we see these updates pop up it’s like rushing to a concert hours early to see your favorite band play only to be greeted by an endless line of like-minded individuals rounding the corner; excitement has been stalled and the experience delayed. These patches — and most importantly day one patches — are like bouncers checking to see if we are on the list, letting one megabyte in at a time. Slowly that number decreases as we look to the clock. Our time allotted to play the game ticks down faster than the update can download and install.
The age of purchasing a game and playing right away is behind us. In most cases, I purchase a game, pop it in, start the download and switch to Netflix. Time wastes away and eventually I go to bed without playing my new game. It’s not until the next day do I get to play. Now, I know a lot of you would say ‘upgrade your internet’ or ‘download the digital copy the night before’ or ‘stfu, little bitch’ and you wouldn’t be wrong. But those options aren’t available to everyone. My internet speed is already decent if laggy at times and I prefer to own physical copies of my games. That only leaves the stfu option. So I promptly stfu and wait until tomorrow. Is it annoying? Yes. Is it a bad thing? No.
Let me tell you why.
We live in a fast-paced technological world. This world is always updating, and in most cases faster than we can keep up with. On top of that, there are vulnerabilities that are exploited and new threats tossed at our precious devices and apps. To combat this, updates for our hardware are released to patch things up. Similarly, our apps suffer from bugs that can break our gaming experience.
So thinking about our fast-paced world, vulnerabilities and app performance, the fix is patch updates. But let’s consider the business aspect as well as supply and demand. The video game industry has boomed since the late 90’s. We need games as fast as we need movies. We need games as constantly as we need food or sleep. Who provides us with these games? Real actual people. In the early stages of video game development, the deadlines weren’t as stringent. The teams were smaller and the demand just as small. Technology wasn’t as evolved and our games less complicated. This simplicity meant that our games weren’t released broken and unplayable.
Today the story is different. We have corporations dedicated to developing video games. We have separate teams developing different portions of the game. They have deadlines to meet and fans demanding products (and in some cases threatening death if a game gets delayed). Budgets need to be made and profits gained (we want sequels, right?)
In our fast paced technological world with high supply and demand along with tight budgets, is it such a surprise that our games need a day one patch? Keep in mind that once a product is in working condition (think literally working, like it turns on and you can start the application regardless of if it’s got issues enough to make it unplayable), then there is the physical production side of things. Physical discs need to be pressed, artwork created, mass production and shipping units world wide. During all this time and even right before, teams are still testing the product and finding new vulnerabilities or game breaking bugs. To fix this, they release a day one patch prior to release so that we get as much of a completed product as possible.
Video games are like apps on our smart devices. They go through constant updates. They are never truly completed products. Our games are always in need of something to improve. If we wanted to avoid a day one patch, then we’d have to wait even longer for these games to come out. We already wait years after announcement for some of these games. Do we really want to wait so long? No. The correct answer is no. As annoying as it is, a day one patch is almost always necessary. We all know we have a hundred other games to play while the patch downloads. Or, you know, go outside.
What are your thoughts on day one patches? Do they piss you off? Do you not care? Let us know in the comments!
This is an opinion piece by Peter Vargo whose opinions are his, and not necessarily those of Coin-Drop.com