2018 has kicked off with a bang. Or rather, it started with an explosion of major day one patches. Starting with Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which closed out 2017 with rather sizable patches, our new year began with multiple games with ridiculous updates out of the gate. It brings to mind the eternal question: are day one patches getting ridiculous? Have companies gone too far, for the sake of getting things out and making money ASAP?
One of the biggest day one updates that makes people go WTF is Kingdom Come: Deliverance’s. This patch is 23GB. Here’s what’s funny about that. If you were to download the game from the PlayStation Store, it is 24.74GB before that patch. So the patch is almost the same size as the game. There is so much going on and wrong there that someone needs this patch that improves persuasions, adds events, fixes animations, fixes combat, rebalances equipment and rewards you earn from playing, and generally makes the thing playable. Think about that. The game needs an update the same size as it to work. How ridiculous is that?
Dynasty Warriors 9 is another game where the day one patches are in full force. The game was released in a terribly broken state. It crashes if you fight bosses, change equipment, or attempt to play it as normal. The frame rate dips below 15fps. It does not update quickly when missions are completed. The enemies are joke. But, the day one patch does not fix any of these issues! People will still see all these technical and gameplay issues that ruin everything, even though a large patch was there to supposedly make things better.
Even the current gaming darling, Monster Hunter: World, had a day one patch that was rather ridiculous. People needed to download that 815MB update to unlock online elements. Which is something you would not expect from a game where one of the major points is going online to play with other people. Knowing there was this lock on multiplayer was discouraging. I mean, things clearly worked out okay for everyone. But doesn’t it seem a bit disappointing that it would not immediately be ready to go online the second you pop the disc into the system.
Not to mention Nintendo is falling victim to this too! Nintendo, a company we can usually rely upon, released Xenoblade Chronicles 2 in such a state that multiple patches were needed. The day one patch was required to rewatch cutscenes in the Event Theater, adjust the balance, and fix bugs. We did not get an update that added a new game plus option and fixed the dreaded map until February, two months after its release.
This is not a new opinion. It is a common theme among modern games. Day one patches are getting ridiculous and excessive. But somehow, it seems like things are getting even worse as the years go on. All sorts of companies, even ones people used to be able to rely upon, are turning to immediate updates to fix things that should have been working properly at launch. Sometimes, those fixes aren’t even taking care of things that need to be done! Companies need to start either making sure things are really good to go when a game debuts or start delaying them for quality control reasons.