Just food for thought really quick, and I want to make it perfectly clear that everything here is just speculation and not factual regarding any mentioned publishers. However, this concerns a game that I’m really digging right now and a trend that has been occurring with more frequency recently.
PC ports have taken off over the last decade or so, and many games in question are able to meet the consistent performance or even exceed that of their console counterparts.
On the other hand, the last two or three years have seen some real stinkers which haven’t exactly been up to speed, and a dedicated modding scene can routinely be thanked for salvaging these ports and saving the companies’ reputations. These modders are able to dramatically improve the performance of these broken ports within a week of their launch, oftentimes to the point where even the publishers couldn’t get them to run as smoothly.
As these examples become more common, would it surprise anyone if these choppy ports are being released in this state on purpose to save budget?
NieR: Automata, which is a remarkable video game that deserves nothing but the best performance in the world, was released on Steam last week to a mixed reception from the PC gaming crowd because of framerate issues and a locked screen resolution of 900p.
Within a week, a single modder released a patch which fixed the game up perfectly. The mod in question boosts the screen resolution to 1080p, irons out the framerate to run at a smooth 60fps, and fixes all known lighting and graphical issues.
Just a week after launch! That’s all it took for a single modder to fix a broken PC launch.
You know who didn’t fix these issues? A Square Enix programmer who would require a paycheck and game testers that Square Enix would have to contract. Seriously, if I were Square Enix, who seems to have found out the secret of manipulating the mod scene to do its gritty programming work, I would never release a fully functioning product ever again.
NieR: Automata isn’t the company’s first example of these either! Square Enix also got the exact same help when fans fixed up the ports of Final Fantasy XIII and its sequels when they hit Steam.
I’m not calling out Square Enix for doing anything dishonest, nor is the company the only one that has offhandedly benefitted from this *wink wink* arrangement with the mod scene. Square Enix is just the company I see this happening with the most because it’s the company whose games I play the most. You only need to look through Steam’s mod database to find plenty of publishers that have sat back and watched the mod scene save them thousands of dollars, spare them countless hours of patch testing, and ultimately, get their games up and running probably better than their own people could have done.
Is there something wrong with this? I wouldn’t think so, unless it leads to situations that are beyond the reach of your average modders, like the server problems with SimCity or Battlefield 4. However, Server issues are one thing, but performance issues? Publishers only have to hope that their game is popular enough for a modder to notice and get inspired to develop a fix.
And Square Enix obviously doesn’t have that problem as one of the world’s premiere developers.
If the game ultimately runs better, publishers can save money and move onto the next project sooner, and modders don’t mind working for free, who’s to say that this unofficial arrangement hurts anyone?
The Galaxy S20 Ultra's Space Zoom camera is amazing and a bit creepy
The Galaxy S20 Ultra supports up to 100X zoom, which Samsung calls Space Zoom, but is it any good? Can a phone really product usable photos at 100x zoom? We've got our Galaxy S20 Ultra already so join us to find out!
Win an iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch with the Reader's Choice giveaway!
What's the best phone of 2019? Is it the iPhone 11 Pro, Pixel 4 or OnePlus 7T? What about the best laptop, games console, tablet and more? Vote NOW in the Reader's Choice awards and win BIG in time for the holidays!
Here are the best products from IFA 2019!
Here are the products announced at IFA 2019 that were worthy of our Best of IFA 2019 awards. Also featuring MrMobile's single best product at the show!
Play at home or on the go with these awesome Nintendo Switch games
Nintendo Switch has an excellent catalog of games to play. From platformers to go-karts to open worlds, these are our favorites.