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On Console Patch Costs

Street Fighter HD designer reveals patch frustrations on VideoGamer.com offers an interesting insight into the dynamics of patching console games after talking with David Sirlin, lead designer on Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix. It turns out there are issues with the updated edition of the fighting game that David "hopes" Capcom will fix, including balance problems and gameplay bugs. The reason he has to hope is apparently due to the costs associating with issuing a console patch: "It was very hard to get Puzzle Fighter patched at all. There's a lot of difficulty in patching console games. First of all you have to pay the console makers for each of these patches and second you have to do QA and bug testing on these patches. If you change one area of the game to fix a problem with it, as far as the publisher knows, they don't know you didn't make some mistake in some different part of the game, so they are pretty much obliged to do testing across the board." He goes on to make it clear that this is not just a problem for Capcom, but all publishers.

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13. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 13, 2008, 08:39 DG
 
Other than the payment to the console maker (and what kind of nonsense is that?) to deploy the patch,
Quality Control fee. Console maker tests it enough to make sure it doesn't break another game or whatever. Since they pretty much have to do that, it's better to charge the people causing the cost than to just integrate it into the general royalty fee and effectively have other people pay for your mistakes.
 
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12. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 13, 2008, 05:00 Tanto Edge
 
PC Gaming will die like Kusanagi died.
By mating with this rogue AI known as console.
 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=705LEH3j2g0&t=0m24s
http://www.youtube.com/user/tantoedge
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11. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 12, 2008, 10:26 ldonyo
 
Other than the payment to the console maker (and what kind of nonsense is that?) to deploy the patch, this is no different than patching any other kind of software, at least in theory.  
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10. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 12, 2008, 06:29 DG
 
I've been on private-testing for multi-player PC games patches. It was maybe 50:50 populated between the developer + their picked gamers, and the publisher's QA team. About 50 people in total (though most of the QA team appeared to be there only to make up numbers for stress testing, usually there was only about half a dozen); maybe 15-20 volunteer gamers. Patching is always going to be expensive unless it's trivial fix.

Of course there's another way of thinking about that: "a stitch in time saves nine". Try getting it right first time, spend on prevention, a little on detection and you can cut back on internal and especially external failure costs. But that means confident investing, th4se guys seem to be running on so little information that they can't make decisions like that.

This comment was edited on Dec 12, 2008, 06:30.
 
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9. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 12, 2008, 03:42 zirik
 
console devs should take a page from pc games... let gamers QA the patch for free.  
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8. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 12, 2008, 03:12 sponge
 
I thought PC gaming was dying?

If Grooves here doesn't have to make sense in his argumemnts, then neither do I!
 
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7. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 11, 2008, 22:21 Cyanotetyphas
 
"...and second you have to do QA and bug testing on these patches. "

WTF!? You're supposed to do this anyway!
 
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Synthetic Error - Entertainment bloggin http://syntheticerror.wordpress.com/
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6. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 11, 2008, 21:15 The Half Elf
 
ohhhhhhhh ahhhhhhhhhh *gets popcorn*  
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"I've never seen a feature like this before. It warms your ass. It's wonderful" -Walter Bishop
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5. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 11, 2008, 20:32 Caveman
 
I thought PC gaming was dying?

It is, it's the slowest, longest, most awesome action packed death of all time.
 
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4. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 11, 2008, 20:00 Wowbagger_TIP
 
While the moronic PC crowd continues to buy DRM encumbered games in record numbers.

I thought PC gaming was dying?
 
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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell (I think...)
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3. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 11, 2008, 19:40 Caveman
 
While the moronic PC crowd continues to buy DRM encumbered games in record numbers.

BURNED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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2. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 11, 2008, 19:30 sponge
 
While the moronic PC crowd continues to buy DRM encumbered games in record numbers.  
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1. Re: On Console Patch Costs Dec 11, 2008, 19:27 Grooves
 
You know what's coming now. They are going to start charging for patches/updates.

And you know what? The moronic console crowd will pay it.
 
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