Devs Need To Launch Polished Games That Don’t Need Patches, Says Nintendo

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"Patches Don't Matter If Players Give Up On The Game"

Story Highlight
  • The legendary Nintendo developer behind Super Smash Bros. has advised developers to launch the most polished games possible.
  • He states that patches are meaningless if players completely move on from a game due to a poor launch.
  • Sakurai still acknowledges the difficulties of modern game development.

Many AAA releases nowadays have bugs that force players to leave negative reviews. Cyberpunk 2077 is a popular example, but CDPR didn’t give up and eventually turned things around.

Even the critically acclaimed Shadow of the Erdtree suffered from various performance issues, leading to a wave of negative reviews on Steam. Nintendo has something to say on this trend, with Masahiro Sakurai urging teams to launch their titles in a polished state.

Why it matters: AAA game development is a hectic job, and even after much debugging, bugs and glitches can often slip through the developers.  

YouTube video

In the latest video on his YouTube channel, Masahiro Sakurai discusses the current issues of AAA gaming, such as the number of releases with poor optimization and bugs. For reference, Sakurai is the developer behind the legendary Super Smash Bros. IPs.

Whenever possible, it’s ideal that your game is in perfect shape by the time it releases. That’s all but impossible with modern titles.

-Masahiro Sakura

Sakurai doesn’t have a problem with post-launch patches. In fact, he believes that patches and DLC are both good for games.

However, according to him, developers should focus more on the polish of their final product. While modern AAA titles have become too big for this to be possible all the time, various releases stand out as exceptions.

Sakurai also highlights how patches are pointless if audiences lose trust in a game shortly after release.

AAA Korean Games
Recent AAA Korean Releases Have Been Extremely Polished And Bug-Free

The developer discussed how big and complex AAA development has become. He says AAA projects have extremely complicated structures and setups, and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that they are now ten thousand times more complex than they used to be.

Making matters worse, developers barely get hands-on time with their projects since development requires frequent revisions of their work.

Despite his strict advice, Sakurai acknowledges how patches help improve games as a free bonus. He also emphasizes that bug testing is incredibly challenging since testers can’t put the game through its paces like millions of consumers can after launch.

His thoughts on the current state of the industry are valid since very few developers release their titles without bugs today. Shift Up, the team behind Stellar Blade, is one such developer.

Despite being new to AAA gaming, the studio was praised for launching Stellar Blade in an ultra-polished state.

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