Monday, 13 October 2014

The Evolution of Servers

Image from
1970s: Online Gaming is invented.
2014: Online Gaming still doesn't work.

Slow news day-worthy news today, as DriveClub's servers still aren't able to cope with the amount of players who've bought the game. It's currently 5th in the UK charts (And that's boxed game sales only) and, while there are no official stats, there's no doubt that, thanks to its delay and endless hype, that it sold well on launch day. Thanks to that lack of servers, the game's Playstation Plus Edition, a watered-down version of the game available for free, has not been available, 5 days after it was supposed to have been released. At least we poor PS4 subscribers have Spelunky. 

And soon we will all have stress-based heart attacks.

The question is: How will Evolution and Sony recover from this? Paul Rustchynksy of Evolution Studios claimed on Twitter that they "ran a beta test" and that the "issues were unexpected". Sure, they ran a beta test, but it was a closed beta test. A closed beta makes sense: get hardcore fans of the game to play it and see how it compares to other games. Those hardcore fans know what they expect and what they want, and they'll definitely be vocal about their needs.

But look at a game like Destiny. The game broke sales records, sold through millions of copies and has gathered a huge following without any technical hiccups. How? Because they opened up their beta to give their servers a stress test. Making the beta closed at first meant that people missed out, and would be hungrier for the game. Opening it later then attracted more people and was a win-win for both Bungie and the fans. Online games that had bad launches, like SimCity and GTA Online never ran beta tests, and therefore never had the chance to see just how many people wanted to play, and how many servers they would need.

Did any of you buy DriveClub, and have you had problems? If so, what would you like in terms of compensation? Tell us in the comments below!

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