A Lesson In How Not To Release A Game

Is this creepy, annoying, or hilarious?

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© 2017 Steam Community - Hikaru

The video game development market is highly cutthroat, and companies often spend hundreds of millions of dollars in order to build and then market a game. Due to the large number of competitors and peak buying seasons, many companies feel the need to rush games to a market, in order to make very tight deadlines and gain the largest number of sales.

However, this can often backfire horribly, as has been the case with Assassins Creed: Unity. The game, set in 18th century Paris, with the backdrop of the French Revolution, nominally is an open-world filled with NPCs which the player interacts with in interesting ways, as they carry out missions. The problem is however, the Paris generated by the game-engine is bizarre is a way never intended by the developers.

Image: © 2014 Steam Community - King_Anesty

Due the rushed release of the game, it had not gone through sufficient beta testing, and as such is riddled with bugs. These glitches range from the creepy (often characters faces don’t load properly, leaving them horribly disfigured) to the hilarious (NPCs sometimes float in mid-air or warp in and out of existence on a whim)  and users have posted many videos and gifs online documenting them. More often than not though, the game is a frustrating experience, as the player often becomes stuck, or falls through the floor of a level, making them have to stop and restart.

After the furor and controversy of this poorly developed had game spread online, the developer Ubisoft has taken the unprecedented step of reaching out to its fans and explaining the situation:

We understand players are experiencing difficulties and we want you to know that we’re listening to your feedback. Our team is furiously working to resolve bugs and performance issues for Assassin’s Creed Unity on all platforms.

Alongside this statement, the company has launched a live blog which will give updates on the known bugs in-game and their progress towards patching them. While this may save some face for the company, it nonetheless shows how easy it is for a rushed release to tarnish a game or developer in the internet age.