Sub par, no. But I 100% support them taking long enough to release polished games with no crunch. They need to stop setting release dates so far in advance, stop worrying about hitting holiday and fiscal year release dates etc. Great games with mass market appeal will sell great regardless of which month they release in and the niche stuff will sell to its niche whenever it comes out.
I’m drowning in games, movies, shows, books etc. I couldn’t care less when things get delayed.
For every “I’m fine with longer development time” I’m a bit skeptical. Of course that’s the answer you should give, but take a second and be real with yourself. Have you ever posted a “it better be out this year” or “I don’t understand why it took them 5+ years to make this” type of post here or elsewhere? I’m willing to bet many of you, including myself, have.
Red Dead 2 could have been half as long and I would have enjoyed it twice as much. Bigger and longer isn't always better and if developers get to go home and have dinner with their families, that makes cutting the fat even better.
And to be fair, rushes and crunch many times happen to fit a game into a holiday line up or a corporation's quarter for maximum profits and shareholder optics and not to appease an "entitled" fanbase. But some people, not necessarily you OP, like to punch down on the consumer... because we cannot be critical of business acting like "business". God forbid anyone questions the corporate masters. Must be the people who buy the games fault. And they complain afterwards if it lacking features or incredibly buggy for a full priced game, those filthy ungrateful shits.
I would accept longer development times, I don't think the quality would really decrease. If anything it might even increase since happier employees do better work and all that. If you don't show your game years before release I don't think the longer dev times would really be noticeable.
Crunching in software dev in general is really bad for long-term prospects because it produces fast code that probably wasn't thoroughly tested, and almost certainly wasn't well-reasoned or documented. If you have to maintain that code at all, then things will go downhill fast. There's a term used in the field for this called "technical debt". This matters even in game development if you want to build on what you made through expansions or sequels. There are a lot of games whose sequels vastly outclass their original incarnations, and one reason is that they don't have to reinvent the wheel, or rip half the car apart to replace the tires. Trying to build cheap software, even for entertainment rather than that enterprise-y stuff, usually ends poorly.
I have no problem waiting longer for a game if it avoids crunch time. Maybe we'll have less day 1 patches and more stable games as a result.
Judging by the other people here, I don't think they would mind either. I'm seeing a ton of posts asking "How much longer do I have?" for different games. They are in a rush to finish a game so they can start the other new game. Just a idea. I'm probably wrong on this.
I still play Fortnite almost daily and love the frequency of the updates. It's half the reason I keep playing. The game would quickly stale without them. If someone said hey this games not going to be updated regularly anymore I'd be annoyed and possibly stop playing.
If someone told me hey this game isnt going to be updated regularly anymore because we are working people to death to bring you this content then I'd be like yeah that's fine. Nobody needs to go through hell just to appease me. It's despicable.
Ideally they'd get a bigger team to keep the regular updates and to lessen the bullshit these devs have to go through to deliver.
So yeah if it takes longer then so be it. I'd rather wait an extra year or two for a AAA game than have people overworked to push something out. I would never accept something subpar though. That's a no from me no matter the circumstances.
IF a lack of crunch DID mean sub par games, I would still accept it. I have diagnosed PTSD from a shitty job I worked for years too long and every day I wish I had made better choices (primarily I wish I had prioritized my health instead of profit) when I was younger. Our jobs shouldn’t break us, full tilt.
I would. I was originally going to wait & potentially see about getting the complete version down the line, & Ronda Rousey had me thinking I'd go the "used" copy route, but now I straight-up refuse to get MK11 over crunch.
Gaming is entertainment. Inherently it is not a necessity. Thus developer/publishers need to produce a product that compels customers to spend their hard earned money. The onus should not be on the customer to assure that corporations follow the law or that legislators do their jobs and address these labor issues. Why are we used as a shield for irresponsible corporate behavior?
It's a much more nuanced situation than it seems. There are ways to make games of the same size and scope we've come to expect that don't involve working people to death.
Take the RDR2 stuff, for instance. One of the big sticking points with the development of that game is that you had people who didn't have much of consequence to work on, but they still couldn't go home because it would "look bad" to bosses and be "unfair" to the people who actually were working on stuff at the time. That's one reason how you end up with stuff like dynamic horse balls, because people with nothing else really important to do at the time just say "fuck it, why not" so they are doing something. But can anyone realistically say that the horse balls made that game any better? I don't think so.
It's going to take a complete rethinking of the paradigm of game development, but I believe it's possible. Some people might still have to work long weeks at times. But don't crunch people endlessly throughout the whole dev cycle if you don't have to.
Also executives need to be paid less, workers need to be paid more, and teams need to be bigger.
There's all sorts of factors here. Tons of knobs that can be adjusted. Looking at it in two dimensions is not going to work, because you end up with solutions like "make games cost $70" which is not actually a solution at all.
Most games feel bloated as hell to me, especially in the AAA space, while even the well-paced ones still take so much time from me that I wouldn't mind at all if they were trimmed.
There's just too much focus on quantity, which is a direct result of the GAAS / micro transaction model fostered by the industry, and now fully normalized, embraced and outright demanded by the consumer.
I pay for DotA plus. It doesn't really have a outstanding value aside from few qol improvements, and the community is always complaining about a lack of updates, but I'm mostly satisfied with it, so yeah, I support sustainable business models.
BTW, I actually thrive games taking longer, crunch aside. Games are released early than should because of investors, not because of fans demand.