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One of the reoccurring horror stories about game development for the Xbox 360 and PS3 is that the certification process for getting content approved and out to consumers is a pain. While there has been mentions of dissent between publishers and design studios, both publishers and developers share the same sentiments about the issue of certification.
With that said, both the game designers and the guys and gals who put the money up for them agree that the nex-gen consoles need to be more developer and certification friendly.
The story comes courtesy of GamaSutra, who lays out a brief tidbit of the interviews they conducted that includes comments and quotes from bigwigs such as Capcom, Electronic Arts and DICE.
Far Cry 3's David Polfeldt of Ubisoft Massive mentioned that...
"It's sometimes expensive, there's an awful lot of bureaucracy, even when you want to do quite small things,"... "If I agree with [a suggested fix], I start to think 'Oh yeah, to change that I would have to -- oh shit, it's just too much work.' And I won't change it even if I think [the feedback] is right."
A lot of misinformed gamers believe that buggy games are the fault of developers, in reality inXile Interactive's Brian Fargo mentions that it's actually the fault of publishers who are rushing to meet timely fiscal deadlines, bypassing important QA sessions in order to get the game out to store shelves. In result, a game ships buggy and then having to repair those bugs means churning out patches, which costs a publisher around $40,000 per patch. What's more is that the certification process can be long and daunting, which is the reason why PC ports receive frequent updates but console ports are oftentimes receive delayed patches that come out in one giant lump.
Crytek's global business development director Carl Jones mentioned that...
"You can be very successful with a game by giving a game away for free, and then giving players the content they want. And if they really want it, and are really enjoying it, that's when they'll pay for it. That's appropriate. Why shouldn't we do it like that?"
Also, everyone's favorite senior vice president of Capcom, Christian Svensson, had a few words to share about the issue as well, because as we all know Capcom is one of the most consumer friendly corporations in the industry and they really, really, really, care about consumer quality and satisfaction.
"I'm hoping for a much more fluid means of providing updates to consumers, being able to have a much more rapid turnaround in between when content is submitted and when content goes live to consumers, to provide a higher level of service to them,"
Yep, this way Capcom can store stripped content from the game and store it on their servers like what EA did with the From Ashes DLC, instead of trying to hide it on the disc to avoid having to pay service royalties to Microsoft and Sony.
As of right now, rumors are swirling about a lot of closed-system facilities for the next PlayStation and Xbox consoles, but we won't know for sure until either console manufacturer makes an official announcement.
You can check out the entire write-up, which is very fascinating, over at GamaSutra.