Top 5 Disappointing Games That Got Better After Launch
The video games industry can be very demanding, one wrong move can lead to the sort of negative PR that can be almost impossible to recover from. Despite this challenge though, there are some video games that have managed to weather the storm and come out of controversies better. Here is a look at 5 games that started out poorly before dramatically improving themselves.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 (2017)
EA’s first attempt to reboot the Star Wars Battlefront was a rushed mess, with limited game modes and no single player options. The sequel appeared to be making right the wrongs of the previous game before launch, with promises of a story mode, a range of eras, and more game modes. However when the game’s beta launched it sparked controversy for the severity of microtransactions, with players having to either pay or grind for roughly 40 hours just to unlock Darth Vader. This inaccessibility led to the most downvoted comment in Reddit history, with EA’s community team stating it intended to give players a sense of “pride and accomplishment” upon unlocking characters, despite paying $80 for the deluxe edition of the game.
Things have since changed for Battlefront 2 though, and what is left is an excellent shooter with a strong player base that has received regular updates throughout its lifetime. Following the microtransaction controversy, EA decided to disable them the day before the game launched, while characters no longer need to be unlocked. We’ve seen regular content drops too, with new maps, heroes, and skins added to tie into film releases, all of which have been free.
No Man’s Sky
When it was revealed in 2013 No Man’s Sky promised an expansive, procedurally generated universe filled with unique planets. It was a hugely ambitious project that gained an awful lot of attention and hype. Issues began to arise a few weeks before the launch of the game when a Reddit user claimed to have bought a leaked copy of the game 2 weeks early, this led to other users making similar claims, and with them, several complaints about the game began to surface. This centered around issues with the game crashing as well as it being much shorter overall than fans would have hoped. These issues continued at launch with bugs harming the launch on both PC and PS4.
Despite the controversies, Hello Games stuck with No Man’s Sky, promising extensions to the game through DLC, adding new features such as base building to the game. 2019 saw the game’s biggest expansion, the beyond update. This enhanced the multiplayer component of the game, overhauled NPCs, base building, and other features and added VR capability. While the game isn’t perfect it certainly offers a lot more to do than it did at launch and maintains a strong community of players.
The Elder Scrolls Online
What seems like a bit of a no brainer, releasing an MMO set in the world of The Elder Scrolls didn’t start out all that well for Bethesda. The game launched to mixed reviews, with general support for the content that was in the game, though problems surrounded the general lack of content found in the game. There were also issues surrounding the fact that it used a subscription model.
The subscription model was removed from the game in March of 2015, with a further announcement that it would be launching on consoles in June of the same year. This console launch brought with it a rebranding of the title, from The Elder Scrolls Online to The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. This enabled access to all the game’s areas, as well as future updates, for free. The console releases saw the game’s critical response improve significantly and with regular content updates, the game remains alive and well to this day.
Final Fantasy XIV
Unlike other games on this list, Final Fantasy XIV was not redeemed through software updates or DLC, rather it was rebuilt completely from the ground up. When it initially launched in 2010 it was not well received, with complaints surrounding the gameplay and UI. While the team tried to make marginal improvements to the game in order to fix these issues, they realized the damage had been done and this would not be doable.
In 2011 Square Enix announced a new version of the game, titled A Realm Reborn, this update version released in 2013 and enjoyed a much better critical response. Gameplay and the UI were greatly improved, as was the story. It’s not often that something like this happens but certainly proved to be a good move from Square Enix.
Fortnite is probably the biggest game in the world right now, and its model for a constantly changing battle royale title has been mimicked by countless developers eager to replicate its success. Though Fortnite was initially a co-operative tower defense game when it launched in 2017, with players teaming up to fight off zombies.
Following the success of PUBG Epic decided to implement a similar battle royale mode in Fortnite, doing so in just 2 months. This proved to be wildly successful, with the game gaining 10 million players within the first 2 weeks. The game has since gone on to become a cultural phenomenon, making billions of dollars and winning countless awards.
Those are just some examples of games that massively improved themselves after a substandard launch, but they definitely aren’t the only ones. Be sure to let us know your favorites in the comments below.
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