When I go to the store and buy a radio I expect to take it home, turn it on and have it play music. When I purchase a car I expect it to be able to drive down the street. Even if the merchants selling me the radio and the car tell me “as is” the car and radio must still work. This, in terms of Tort law, is call an “implied warranty of merchantability” – in other words the product must be fit for the purpose for which they were meant to be used. What is more, like the signs in stores that start “not responsible for…” no one can waive their own liability, whether or not an EULA claims to do so.
So what has this got to do with gaming?
As much as many may consider the phrase “polished game” tantamount to little more than a buzz word, it has become something that has been ignored for far too long. I may enjoy the single player games that Bethesda put out with the Fallout Series and the Elder Scrolls series but this is due much less to the effort that Bethesda put into the product and due much more to the effort that modding community put into the game. With the aforementioned game series it seems that Bethesda was content to let the modding community fix the many things that were wrong with both games upon release….and that they did. Go to any modding web site and you will see among the offerings “unofficial bug fix” mods. The problem with a multiplayer game release like The Elder Scrolls Online (TESO) is that it is not a sandbox. The modding community is not able to fix the many bugs with which this game was released. This is the point at which I could cite a list of the many bugs with which TESO was released, and some I have already done on these pages.
But the point is this.
Bethesda and Zenimax charged full retail price for The Elder Scrolls Online. What is more they are asking us to pay a subscription to continue playing the game. To add fuel to the flames they asked us to enter a credit card before we could get our 30 days free game time. It is far too common any more for game developers to use access to beta and even “alpha” as incentive to pre-order their game instead of using it to fix the problems with the game. This time Bethesda can’t count on the modding community to pick up it’s mess.
CLEAN YOUR ROOM BETHESDA
Bethesda and Zenimax should not have released TESO in it’s current state. No one should have to utter the phrase I so often hear “even with all the bugs I am having fun.” We paid full retail for a product that is supposed to work. Produce a product that looks professional or don’t put out the product at all.