I think your arguments are quite absurd.Maze1125 said:All these "review the game as shipped" comments are absurd.
That's not what happened. You have to build arguments in the face of what really happened:Maze1125 said:What if Half-Life 3 was released on Steam and it was so popular that it literally crashed the Steam servers so no-one could download it? Would it be appropriate to review it as "Couldn't even play the game; Rubbish. 0%"? Of course it wouldn't.
1. All reviewers played the game beforehand, using a safe version of Maxis servers. Most of them knew the basic gameplay and waited to see how it performed online in real circumstances (a laudable thing to do). After that, the only reason to delay the review is to be super fair with Maxis. But in doing that, you are being less fair with the consumer.
The servers are an intrinsic part of the game. Without them, the game is unplayable. Problems with the servers are problems with the game. What you are saying is like saying that there is a problem with the Artificial Intelligence, but not the game itself.[/quote]Maze1125 said:EA certainly should have handled the release of the game better, but the problems were down to the servers, not the game itself.
Yeah, but altering review policies only for Sim City is not. If you are going to wait a week, you have to wait a week for every game, even if it is not completely broken, because even a very good game can become better after a first patch.Maze1125 said:Further, the simple fact is that we now live in a time where games can change significantly from their launch form, and that's not an inherently bad thing. It used to be that the launched version of the game was all the game would ever be, and so reviewing the launch version was appropriate, now that's no longer true and so altering review policies to match the changing state of game development is reasonable.
Reviewing a bad game later is highly beneficial for the publisher because the first weeks are their biggest sale window. A review will always be a snapshot in time - but it is most beneficial at the launch, when impulse buying is taking place and every bit of information can form an opinion. Late buyers are a much more informed bunch and are probably very aware of the state the game they are buying is.Maze1125 said:Edit: And no, reviewing a game later is not something done for the sake of the publisher, it's something done for the sake of the player.
All that said, I don't think The Escapist are cowards or are being payed by EA. That's absurd. I firmly believe in the ethics of the site, they are covering the whole Sim City story very well and the final decision is theirs. But, in my opinion, it is not a decision that is doing the most good for consumers - specially because a harsh review at launch is an element of pressure for companies trying to get everything straight from the get go.
I understand that games can receive a patch to fix one or other thing, but a game this broken cannot see the light of the day and must be received with harsh criticism, not a chance to get it right two weeks after launch.