Games that are never finished, until they actually are

Two items that occurred recently that have me questioning the current state of gaming a bit. The first is the upcoming update for Battle Brothers (BB), which sounds freaking awesome (and I think will mark the end of Early Access for the game). The second is the news that the devs behind Mordheim are working on a Necromunda game (yay!), which means no more updates for Mordheim (boo!).

On the one hand, I have a game I really like in BB, that I know is going to get significantly better next update. I also know that won’t be the last update, and considering the full evolution of the game to this point, I could see BB getting additional updates for a long time. That’s awesome, and makes me invested in the game beyond just liking it right now.

The flip side of that is Mordheim, which I also greatly enjoy but now feel a bit down on because I know nothing else is coming. I was hoping for more warbands, more maps, and/or additions to the number of weapons/armor in the game. If you buy it right now the game has a lot of content, and is ‘done’, but man it also still has so much room for additional content. Content I’d easily pay DLC-money for but now won’t even get the chance.

The reason I’m a bit conflicted right now is I think both my expectations around BB and the disappointment in Mordheim are fairly new developments in terms of gamer thinking. ‘Back in the day’, when I finished a game I enjoyed, I was happy and that was it. If I bought a game and it wasn’t great, I moved on, and again that was it. Today it feels like almost all games are in this constant state of change. Civ VI came out as a ‘full’ game, but right now I know its going to get expansions and patches that will make it better, so the fact I don’t really like it right now isn’t all that upsetting, even though I paid full price. That should be weird, but right now for me it’s normal.

I know this has been pretty common in the MMO space since day one, and I also know that non-MMO gaming has in parts been shifting towards MMO stuff like updates and having online bits, but it all seems to be creeping more and more towards games never being done, and then a sense of disappointment when they actually are done. It all feels very strange.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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5 Responses to Games that are never finished, until they actually are

  1. Marathal says:

    While I think they could extend WoW for more years than I have left in life, I suspect they may make a decision some day that it needs to come to an end. And a great many people will be quite upset.

  2. Jeromai says:

    It makes me think more games should be developed with an eye towards mod support. Once the official developers are “done,” and/or working on a sequel or successor game, player fans can take over and continue adding improvements and new content.

  3. Dobablo says:

    I don’t like the fuzzy finished status that games have these days. I generally avoid early access and all these post release updates and improvements make me feel conflicted. If I’m only going to play a game once or twice, why waste it on an early-adopter 100% play-thru when I there might be a 150% version in six months?

    • SynCaine says:

      I struggle with this as well, especially with games that aren’t intended to be replayed multiple times. For instance I’m interested in Divinity 2, but not to the point of playing it more than once, so I’m sitting out the current EA process.

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