Pardon me if I stumble over my words here. It's been a very long time since I posted in this forum.
While I am no expert on the subject nor do I claim any specific insight I have to wonder about the responsibility that game developers should take upon themselves to deliver quality games to us gamers.
Just about every game we install requires us to agree to the license agreement, a listing of rules that we as gamers must agree to or abide by before we can play the game. I, as well as many of you, probably no longer read them as they all basically say the same thing stating several issues, but the two most important is that we don't illegally distribute the game and that if it fries our computers they can't be held responsible even if they knew it would fry our computer.
Yeah, so, the developer is covered with all these protections. As game buyers though there seems to be little, if anything at all, to offer us protection from poor quality games. I am not sure if there is any way legal protection could be offered let alone enforced but an industry "code of conduct" could certainly boost the level of quality in a game. By quality I don't specifically mean if the game is good or bad, but more so quality on a technical level: no bugs, decent compatability, etc.
I starting thinking on this issue for a few days now that was mainly brought up by a few key points noted below. These points we as (PC) gamers pretty much have to accept no matter what:
*Once you open the game it instantly becomes non-refundable.
*The game is not guaranteed to work on your machine even if you meet the recommended system requirements.
*Developers are under no obligation to fix bugs.
*Developers are under no obligation to release demos for evaluation. (I even remember one instance where a developer released a demo and removed all the buggy stuff from the demo but left the bug in the shipped game.)
Less serious issues include:
*Bad ports. (No mouse support for RE4? WTF were they thinking?)
*Weak or no configuration options (lots of games have no gama/brightness adjustments for instance)
*And of course just a really really bad game.
Now I do know that a perfect game can't be made. And I do know that there are good companies that go out of their way to fix bugs or enhance gameplay after the game is shipped.
I see much of this though wasn't something these companies initially did out of the goodness of their hearts but rather through the hardship of learning that poor support equal poor sale and good support = much better sales.
I see several of the issues I mentioned above appear in just about every issue of computer magazine reviews I read or game forum I visit. I read about gamers across the globe crying the game refuses to work on their machine or 50 magazine reviewers saying the game the was buggy out of the box and even buggier after the patch or that that the straight port showed lack of the developers care for the platform.
And these issues have been ranted and raved about for years. Yet they are still happen and I want to know why we as gamers and reviewers continue to let it happen? Isn't there something we can do to assure us that we will at least get our fair share of what we paid for? Or that if the game doesn't work for me despite the fact that my \\$5,000 machine says I blow the system requirements away that I am entitled to some sort of compensation if not a full refund?
I realize these are iffy and difficult issues to quantify in a way to where a solution can easily be defined, but there also doesn't seem to be anyone even trying. (And yes I tried Googling it with little success because I am not exactly sure what to search for.)
And yes, I know most of you here are developers or potential developers so maybe you feel insulted by this long winded and boring complaint. If so then good, maybe you'll avoid some of the issues I mentioned.
Okay, well I bored you enough now by overstating my point, lol.