'Assassin's Creed: Unity' Makes A Strong Case For Video Game Recalls
Video games aren't recalled very often, in spite of the leagues of problems plaguing many of the year's biggest releases.
Rockstar recalled Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas in 2005 after a pair of highly sexual minigames were discovered in the game. The content had been locked away but was easily unlocked by the gaming community, and retailers began pulling the game from shelves in what is now dubbed the Hot Coffee controversy.
Nintendo recalled Mario Party 8 in the UK due to the use of the word 'spastic' which, apparently, is an offensive word there. (This isn't the only game recalled in the UK for the use of this word.) Nintendo also recalled Metroid: Other M in Japan due to a bug that would freeze protagonist Samus Arun in various regions of the game, requiring a new game to be started in a new save file.
The original Final Fantasy XIV MMO was shut down and scrapped, with a new team rebuilding it from scratch and making a much, much better game in the process.
There are a handful of others, but the list remains depressingly short. If that was simply because video games were so polished at release that consumers never had anything to worry about, a short list would be fantastic. Sadly, this isn't the case. Quite the contrary.
There Will be Bugs
We've seen numerous launch-related disasters in the video game industry over the past few years. But there was no recall of SimCity when that game debuted to an always-online DRM nightmare. There was no recall of Battlefield 4 in spite of its myriad issues. And now Assassin's Creed: Unity is-for many gamers, at least-so unplayable that publisher Ubisoft is recommending things such as disconnecting from the internet in order to play, and turning off social features. Hey your brakes aren't working? Just don't drive the car and you won't ever need to stop!
Ubisoft's Unity blog is littered with posts about patches, fixes, and work-arounds. You won't see a similar blog for Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart 8.