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An Open Letter to Video Game Developers and Producers in 2017

Dear Game Makers and Studio Executives,

I love how eager you are to release your new games to us. Heck, we’re excited to play them! I can’t wait to see games like the Final Fantasy XII remake, Horizon Zero Dawn, or Mass Effect Andromeda.

However, when I say, “I can’t wait,” I’m not being literal.

The truth is this: we gamers will wait for a finished game.

I was quite eager to play Final Fantasy XV, but some new info slammed my excitement into the wall. Not bad reviews (quite the opposite), not all the extras that seem to say “do all this before playing,” but the fact that after ten years of development, the game is not done.

Not. Done.

Final Fantasy XV recently released its first story DLC. The most disturbing word in that sentence? “First.” They’re planning on releasing more story DLC.

In other words, they’re not adding bonus content, they’re changing the game. Why? Because they didn’t get it right the first time. The game didn’t have everything it needed, but they released it anyway.

Story DLC, day-one patches, there’s a reason I never pre-order games. Screw your bonuses, I want a good game. A complete game. But I can’t trust that I’ll get one anymore. I have to wait for the reviews to tell me if the game is even finished or not!

How many games have come out radically unfinished on a purely technical level? Fable 3, Aliens Colonial Marines, Homefront the Revolution, and countless more. Even this is unacceptable because it says you guys couldn’t be bothered to fix the issues and make a good gaming experience. It makes you look like greedy money-lovers who just want to throw out a game and make a quick buck. That’s not you, right?

But are we actually releasing video games with incomplete story missions? Not as in episodic content, but games that just staple things together until they can fix it later? I know, the FFXV DLC that just came out was free, but seriously? Is this what we can expect after ten years of development? Patches?!

Look, game producers, you guys want to make money? Here’s a piece of advice: finish the game. Fill it, polish it, tweak it, perfect it. We, the gamers, may be chomping at the bit for new games, but the truth is we’d rather wait for a great game than jump on one that isn’t ready for the light of day.

True, some games wait too long and fall out of favor because of it (Duke Nukem Forever my foot), but when you release a game that isn’t ready, that makes you look just as incompetent.

Quite frankly, if I hadn’t gotten a Gamefly membership for Christmas, I wouldn’t be bothering with Final Fantasy XV at all, not until it’s on sale somewhere. I’ve been craving a new Final Fantasy title, but I don’t want an unfinished game.

Nobody does.

Look, I love you, game makers. Without you, I wouldn’t have some defining moments of my life. I literally would not be writing this article right now if PS1’s The Legend of Dragoon hadn’t hooked me on storytelling and made me into a writer.

And gamers across the world will have their own such stories about gaming moments that changed their lives or defined them. We love you to death.

We know you can do amazing things, but just know that we’re happy to wait for them.

Sincerely,

A patient gamer

About Michael Blaylock (34 Articles)
I'm a writer and a Christian who believes in art, freedom, and love. And I swear I'm not a hippie just because I wrote that.

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