Friday, May 13, 2005


Once in a while a pc-game hits the market that needs patching badly from the get go. In the best of cases the patches come fast, eventually they come before the game is released. The producers of such games tend to fall short in favor of critical customers, while the press joins the chorus. I'm not sure if this is the right kind of bad publicity that's as good as good one.

On any account, I'm baffled by the producers of said pc-games, because they could easely avoid the trouble. Instead of having customers find, download and install a patch ( by which time even the very simple minded start to get clues ), they could just incorporate automatic-patching.

Without going in to technobabble, just give the user a cute little box, offering him to update/restart the game when an update is avaiable ( if you feel brave you could also try live-patching, warning though, not for the faint of heart ).

Chances are your user will just klick yes without reading, that's about 70% people less that are even noticing you're patching the game short after you released it. And the remaining 30% will be much less enraged because the actual efford they had to spend to get the patch migitates their feel to have been screwed by you. I even think that automatic-patching is percieved as quite normal, whereas hand downloadable patches are precieved as literally patchwork philosophy ( altough technically it's both the same ).

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