The Problems With Rushing a Game

Last week, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet released, and it is apparently plagued with issues to the brim. The game is full of weird bugs and glitches. While they’re simply way too many to list, common problems include the player’s falling animation looping when stepping off a rock or boulder. Eventually, the game would warp the player away from the rock as if they had just lost a life in a platforming game as a precautionary measure just in case the player accidentally softlocked the game. The game will also randomly crash at certain points, such as after completing a mission or opening the map screen.

There were also a few exploits discovered such as allowing shiny Pokémon to be cloned, simply allowing the player to trade shiny Pokémon over the internet. Framerate issues are also common due to it being an open-world game, almost all models have reduced animation speeds but increase when you get closer to them. Also, the main art director at Whitethorn Digital also discovered another one where Pokémon and characters sink in through the floor.

Because of all this, it’s possible this game could’ve been rushed. Every developer creating a game has a deadline on when to release it. Most AAA games are released during the busy holiday season, and Pokémon can be considered one. If there isn’t enough time to release it, then it would have to be delayed or in worst-case scenario be released untested, leading to numerous bugs and glitches being inherent in the game.

From Nintendo’s perspective, Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of Mario, is against rushing games to release them on time. This has happened multiple times in the Mario franchise’s history. If a game is rushed, common problems include glitches and bugs as mentioned above, hardware becoming overpriced or laggy and therefore can cause the game to fail, or become outright unfinished with missing content.

In some cases, some developers can force their employees to crunch, especially working long overtime hours in order to ensure the game is completed on time. This can be stressful to employees and in rare cases can lead to karoshi (death from overwork). If the game can’t be finished and ends up being delayed, the game can be stuck in development hell, whose time can vary depending on the size and scope of the project.

Despite this, there have been a few games that were rushed but are still great. Super Mario World and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 are two examples.

Indie games, particularly low-budget mobile games, can also be susceptible to this, especially if it’s a game that took a few days to a week to make. They can suffer the same problems, and some of them are asset flips that use premade game assets to speed up development. Because these low-budget games are developed by a single person or a small team, they may never be fixed and therefore spend most or all of their budget marketing the game, leading to players playing the day one version of the game.

Sources

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