In the past 10 days I've tried to start a few newly released titles (Eligium online, Blacklight Retribution, Aion Free to Play) and each of these had major problems when finally releasing and opening their doors to the masses.
This made me think of all the times this had already happened in the past and I came to a conclusion that even big name titles like Call of Duty, Battlefield and now Aion had some major problems on release day, be it on PC or other platforms.
This is fascinating for me as companies had more then enough time to test and fix all the things needed for official release. Eligium had problems with download links, login server & e-mails being too long to register, while Aion F2P had a total crash of everything including their website. Blacklight Retribution was also hit with patching problems, and a while back I remember how Battlefield 3 had connection problems and Black Ops with so many bugs on PC and PS3 that it was patched quite a few times before it worked as it was supposed to, more or less.
Why does this happen? How can companies behind games be so careless that such things occur? Or is it really SO hard to make the jump from lets say Closed Beta to Open Beta? Looking at a few other games that were never affected by launch day problems, it seems that it's possible to make the transition smooth and without delays.
I would much rather see the game being released a day later than announced than rushed just cause they said it's going to happen on that exact day, which ironically does not happen in the end.
What such delays and problems cause is probably known to every gamer that experienced this before. A lot of unhappy players and people, pardon my French, whining on the game forum or Facebook page. This can give a bad impression to players who are thinking about starting the game. With such competition on the market, I'd expect companies to be more "professional" about such things, and really prepare for official launch.
If I jump back to why this actually happens, I would like to also mention that some games who have been "morphed" into English versions from their Korean or Chinese cousins are also known to give problems cause of the files the developers receive from their Asian friends. But one would expect that these kind of things would be sorted out way before the game release.
Perhaps a bit weird comparison, but still, just look at the Guild Wars 2 beta sign-up opening. It peaked out on more than 4000 registrations per minute. Did anything crash or go wrong? No. Because they thought things out and expected the onslaught of a huge mass of players. Of course you can argue that one cannot compare a release of a online game with a beta sign-up on a website, but still, many other companies would most probably run into problems due to bad preparation.
I urge all gaming companies who are preparing to release new games for us, to triple check everything so we the players and customers enjoy the release and not wait in front of the computer for hours waiting for a fix.
And a quick question to wrap things up. Which games did make you wait until you actually played it due to problems they got on release day?