When a small game company has an issue in one of its titles, it is understandable that it could take a few days to resolve, but in 2019 that leeway is no longer extended to just the little fish. Now, companies as massive as Ubisoft and Nintendo can get away with failing their customers on a global scale without ever really having to admit to their errors.
The issues Nintendo have created are many and varied, but the latest sstory has seen a series of game breaking bugs damage the integrity of all parts of Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege, a title they have pushed not just to casual players, but also the competitive audience. These glitches are easily exploitable, and have been widely seen on both console and PC, damaging the experience of millions of casuals and pro players alike.
IQ and Clash glitches
Put more precisely, there are two glitches in particular that have annoyed players, one of which essentially allows a player to be completely invisible and leave his character model to roam around the map as a deadly ghost. The other is even more broken, and gives Clash, a character that already has an electrified shield, the ability to be completely immune to damage and also fire without unholstering her gun, which is just as frustrating as it sounds to play against.
R6S not alone
This comes on the back of days of server issues, which have prevented players from even finding a match, and highlights the ongoing challenge of maintaining an esports title. The problems have equally been seen in the casual market, where Nintendo are unable to provide a workable online experience months after the release of Super Smash Bros Ultimate, despite being one of the biggest gaming firms worldwide.
The video above shows Melee god and one of the world’s most popular Smash personalities Joseph ‘Mango’ Marquez outline his own issues with the game, and from Nintendo’s point of view their ability to get good exposure on twitch has also been hurt by big streamers being put off by the terrible online service. For a company of Nintendo, or Ubisoft’s size, these are unacceptable oversights, and in such a competitive market the latter is taking a huge risk, even if the Japanese firm are protected by the rampant, rabid fanboyism that pervades their customer base.
This might seem like a consumer gripe, but in 2019 it’s no longer acceptable for games that have been out months, or even years in the case of Siege, to be so broken that the majority of players just give up until the issues are fixed. It’s a bad look for the competitive scene too, as pro players and streamers, or ‘influencers’ as they are known, are happy to vocally complain about the problems, meaning there is a potential for new customers to be put off.
So far, Nintendo have done absolutely nothing to fix online, while Ubisoft made a token acknowledgement post on social media today with no news as to how or when it would be fixed, and no real apology for the days of lost play. As online play becomes more and more valuable, and the influence of streamers and professionals continues to grow, it will be interesting to see how long they can survive without providing the basic services gamers have come to expect, and who replaces them if and when they eventually collapse under the weight of their own failures.