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Valve: "XBL patching is a train wreck"

Valve: "XBL patching is a train wreck"

Valve has blamed Microsoft for the lack of updates to the Xbox 360 version of Team Fortress 2.

Valve's founder, Gabe Newell, has admitted that the Kirkland-based developer has "totally failed" to update Team Fortress 2 on the Xbox 360 with any of the content from the PC version, but has insisted that Microsoft is to blame.

Put simply, Newell says Microsoft's restrictions on how games can be updated and patched over Xbox Live is a "train wreck".

"We thought that there would be something that would emerge," Gabe told PC Gamer.

"We figured it was a sort of untenable... 'Oh yeah, we understand that these are the rules now, but it's such a train wreck that something will have to change.'"

Valve has complained about XBL patching before too, taking issue with the fact that Microsoft apparently only allows one free update per game.

"That's why we're really happy with the current situation with the PS3," Newell said, referring to Valve's plan to start developing it's own PS3 ports. "We're solving it now in a way that is going to work for our customers, rather than assuming something is going to emerge later that will allow us to fix this."

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

29 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
the-beast 13th September 2010, 11:32 Quote
And Valve have the 'train wreck' restriction of having to have a permanent/available/broadband requirements for all games that have the miss fortune of being published by steam.

Looks like both companies have problems
Memnoch-fr 13th September 2010, 11:33 Quote
Last year, it was the PS3 that was taking stick from Valve. Never had an Xbox, but if XBL is the same as GFWL, I can see how bad it must be!
PureSilver 13th September 2010, 11:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
And value have the 'train wreck' restriction of having to have a permanent/available/broadband requirements for all games that have the miss fortune of being published by steam.

I have two words for you and they are "Offline Mode."
Memnoch-fr 13th September 2010, 11:41 Quote
Offline is ok once the game has been registered.

On topic, Valve were highly against PS3's last year. But GFWL is not one of my favourite programs to say the least. I guess XBL is pretty much the same.
BentAnat 13th September 2010, 11:51 Quote
I have words for Gabe: "QQ more..."

I get his point, I also see why MS does the patching restrictions (I assume that "1 free update per game" refers to free for the developer, not for the gamer... I am sure some of my games have been updated more than once).
Cries like this make Gabe seem like a giant Knob.
Skiddywinks 13th September 2010, 12:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
And value have the 'train wreck' restriction of having to have a permanent/available/broadband requirements for all games that have the miss fortune of being published by steam.

Looks like both companies have problems

When the hell are people going to stop using this age old, and false, criticism?
rollo 13th September 2010, 12:13 Quote
Steam beats Xbox live nuff said

he is correct though, What happens when the updates are released free on ps3 and pc and charged for on 360 then the QQ will begin. Portal 2 will be updated alot on pc and id expect ps3 also. So is the 360 version gonna be so outta date its unplayable, makes you wonder
mpr 13th September 2010, 12:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSilver
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
And value have the 'train wreck' restriction of having to have a permanent/available/broadband requirements for all games that have the miss fortune of being published by steam.

I have two words for you and they are "Offline Mode."

Some people just don't want to hear the truth... Offline mode is fantastic. Though it is a pain if your PC IS connected to the internet 24/7 as it likes to pester you constantly to turn it off. In the end though Steam IS the most acceptable form of DRM to me any way.
lacuna 13th September 2010, 12:26 Quote
*points and laughs at 360 owners while admiring pc and ps3*
NuTech 13th September 2010, 12:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BentAnat
I have words for Gabe: "QQ more..."

I get his point, I also see why MS does the patching restrictions (I assume that "1 free update per game" refers to free for the developer, not for the gamer... I am sure some of my games have been updated more than once).
Cries like this make Gabe seem like a giant Knob.
You have that backwards dude.

The "1 free update" means that publishers are only allowed to give a single free update per game, after that they must charge the customer (there are some exceptions such as bug/exploit fixing patches etc). This is particularly unsuitable for a game like TF2 which receives frequent, small updates - with each one on their own not being of great value.

I'm not 100% privy to Microsoft's reasoning but I believe their restriction is so no single publisher can 'spoil' their customers with free updates. Their theory is if a customer receives too much for free, they start expecting all DLC to be free. Essentially, there are only a handful of viable business models in the gaming industry, and Microsoft believes that Valve's way of doing things ruins one of them.

However, if you ask Microsoft, they'll tell you it's to discourage the "PC" style of releasing unfinished/buggy games then patching them over and over post-release.
BRAWL 13th September 2010, 12:29 Quote
My real only and self-awesome(ing) remark to this is...

stop being console tarts and play on a PC ;)

LET THE FLAME WAR COMMENCE! +dances on ashes of the world+

-------

Seriously: Surely people would pay something silly (40p) for specific downloads anyway? Isn't that how Xbox live and all that jazz work anyway?
leveller 13th September 2010, 12:41 Quote
The benefit of not allowing games to be patched on consoles is that the devs 'should' get it right first time. i.e. no bugs, exploits, crashes due to bad design/coding. And if they do release a game on console that has a problem it is hugely embarrassing and damaging to them so they make extra-sure that it doesn't happen.

If you allow patching on consoles, will this result in sloppier developing?
BentAnat 13th September 2010, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
You have that backwards dude.

The "1 free update" means that publishers are only allowed to give a single free update per game, after that they must charge the customer (there are some exceptions such as bug/exploit fixing patches etc). This is particularly unsuitable for a game like TF2 which receives frequent, small updates - with each one on their own not being of great value.

I'm not 100% privy to Microsoft's reasoning but I believe their restriction is so no single publisher can 'spoil' their customers with free updates. Their theory is if a customer receives too much for free, they start expecting all DLC to be free. Essentially, there are only a handful of viable business models in the gaming industry, and Microsoft believes that Valve's way of doing things ruins one of them.

However, if you ask Microsoft, they'll tell you it's to discourage the "PC" style of releasing unfinished/buggy games then patching them over and over post-release.

I stand corrected.

Either way, Forza (2 and 3) have released a few updates, add-ons, patches that were free. As have the Guitar hero games. Not all, but some of them were free.
My question is how they got that right (besides adding to the game)

The dicouraging publishers from releasing POS code argument is legit though... It's happened (on the PC) that games were literally unplayable out of the box (Ultima IX, more recently Titan Quest), and needed patches.
While it is largely a money-grabbing move, there are legitimate quality control concerns behind all of that.
PureSilver 13th September 2010, 13:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
The benefit of not allowing games to be patched on consoles is that the devs 'should' get it right first time. i.e. no bugs, exploits, crashes due to bad design/coding. And if they do release a game on console that has a problem it is hugely embarrassing and damaging to them so they make extra-sure that it doesn't happen.

^ This. Console users have had years of almost totally bugless games, and that's the way it needs to stay. Allowing people to force things out the door half finished and then half-heartedly patch it post-sale - GSC Game World - is a downside of the PC that comes part and parcel of our DLC system. It's not something consoles should allow themselves to fall victim to. I reckon MS isn't really thinking about that (but instead about the tax it can levy on the DLC) but it's a valid point nonetheless.
Dragon 13th September 2010, 13:25 Quote
So Gabe and Valve have got a new bad guy after they decided to embrace the PS3 after crapping on it for ages.

As to the one free update, thats clearly rubbish. Burnout Paradise on xbox had several free updates giving significant new content for free. Their updates were also around 1gb so there goes Valves excuse of we cant do it in the limits.

Dont get me wrong I love Valve games and Steam, I just dislike the way they try to present themselves as ever altruistic when they do stuff like Left 4 Dead 2, little more than a patch for 1, released as a full price game a year after the first.
frontline 13th September 2010, 13:28 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSilver
Quote:
Originally Posted by leveller
The benefit of not allowing games to be patched on consoles is that the devs 'should' get it right first time. i.e. no bugs, exploits, crashes due to bad design/coding. And if they do release a game on console that has a problem it is hugely embarrassing and damaging to them so they make extra-sure that it doesn't happen.

^ This. Console users have had years of almost totally bugless games, and that's the way it needs to stay. Allowing people to force things out the door half finished and then half-heartedly patch it post-sale - GSC Game World - is a downside of the PC that comes part and parcel of our DLC system. It's not something consoles should allow themselves to fall victim to. I reckon MS isn't really thinking about that (but instead about the tax it can levy on the DLC) but it's a valid point nonetheless.

Really? Try searching for 'Red Dead Redemption bugs' on youtube :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sTonjFnE94

I purchased a 360 recently and each game i ran from disc installed an update before i played it.

Not sure of the reasoning behind Microsoft's decision, but one of the main benefits of steam is the ability to auto-update games.
DragunovHUN 13th September 2010, 13:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon

Dont get me wrong I love Valve games and Steam, I just dislike the way they try to present themselves as ever altruistic when they do stuff like Left 4 Dead 2, little more than a patch for 1, released as a full price game a year after the first.
Err there is STILL new content coming out for L4D1. I didn't think anyone was still crying about that.

How how dare they release a sequel! :O
AltruiSisu 13th September 2010, 15:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAWL
My real only and self-awesome(ing) remark to this is...

stop being console tarts and play on a PC ;)
+1
fragg3r 13th September 2010, 15:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon
Dont get me wrong I love Valve games and Steam, I just dislike the way they try to present themselves as ever altruistic when they do stuff like Left 4 Dead 2, little more than a patch for 1, released as a full price game a year after the first.

I do understand what you mean but this argument is kinda FUBAR in general. If you look at things this way almost any sequel is just "little more than a patch for x".

From Shacknews:
Quote:

Gabe refers to the fact that issuing updates to Xbox 360 games after release cost the developer money and significant changes, requiring large amounts of new content to be downloaded cannot be offered for free, in most cases.
If developers really have to pay to release updates I do understand their point.
mastorofpuppetz 13th September 2010, 19:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by PureSilver
^ This. Console users have had years of almost totally bugless games, and that's the way it needs to stay. Allowing people to force things out the door half finished and then half-heartedly patch it post-sale - GSC Game World - is a downside of the PC that comes part and parcel of our DLC system. It's not something consoles should allow themselves to fall victim to. I reckon MS isn't really thinking about that (but instead about the tax it can levy on the DLC) but it's a valid point nonetheless.

One of the dumbest posts I have ever read. Some of the buggiest games in recent memoery have been console games. MLB 2K9 was a disaster. Fallout 3, RDR has quite a few bugs, I can go on and on.......etc.... MS having tight control like nazis over live does NOTHING to help or stop broken patches. Hell, the DLC on Live was fubared for Fallout 3, and it has happened numerous times.
Sloth 13th September 2010, 19:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastorofpuppetz
One of the dumbest posts I have ever read. Some of the buggiest games in recent memoery have been console games. MLB 2K9 was a disaster. Fallout 3, RDR has quite a few bugs, I can go on and on.......etc.... MS having tight control like nazis over live does NOTHING to help or stop broken patches. Hell, the DLC on Live was fubared for Fallout 3, and it has happened numerous times.
You might notice Pure's heavy emphasis on the past. Compare that to your recent memory of buggy console games.

As his post clearly explains, he hopes for a future of console games where the option of DLC does not lead them to the same fate as many a PC game, keeping them similar to the often bug free console games of the pre-DLC past. A predominant feature of the console market is the plug and play ease of their games, this would be largely lost if developers used DLC/patching system as a way to release games which do not always plug and play with ease and fix them later.
Ph4ZeD 13th September 2010, 19:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
And Valve have the 'train wreck' restriction of having to have a permanent/available/broadband requirements for all games that have the miss fortune of being published by steam.

Looks like both companies have problems

Let everyone know when you join the 21st century and upgrade from dial up.
CowBlazed 13th September 2010, 22:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ph4ZeD
Quote:
Originally Posted by the-beast
And Valve have the 'train wreck' restriction of having to have a permanent/available/broadband requirements for all games that have the miss fortune of being published by steam.

Looks like both companies have problems

Let everyone know when you join the 21st century and upgrade from dial up.

rofl my thoughts exactly, good to know there are still clueless tards out there spewing garbage.

Published by steam? Steam is an application how could it ever publish anything. Besides Valve doesn't publish every game that comes onto Steam, 3rd parties choose to use it because they realize like most people that its the best thing to happen to PC gaming.
PureSilver 13th September 2010, 23:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
*Useful clarification snip*
Quote:
Originally Posted by mastorofpuppetz
One of the dumbest posts I have ever read. Some of the buggiest games in recent memoery have been console games. MLB 2K9 was a disaster. Fallout 3, RDR has quite a few bugs, I can go on and on.......etc.... MS having tight control like nazis over live does NOTHING to help or stop broken patches. Hell, the DLC on Live was fubared for Fallout 3, and it has happened numerous times.

:)

Major League Baseball 2K9 I'll accept, because apparently that was a horribly broken game. However, the reviews of the game castigated it for it - the game's Wikipedia article quotes no less than six articles' complaints about bugs - so any buyer with the ability to read and browse online could discover rapidly that the game was a massive s***heap. Red Dead Redemption's bugs are amusing and highly publicized, but rarely fatal to gameplay - a similar syndrome to Fallout: 3. It could even be noted that these games' foibles are especially noticeable because the many thousands of buyers continue to play them without being especially frustrated by the odd donkey woman.

In the same sort of timeframe, PC users have had to cope with GTA: IV, described as "plagued with bugs" and extremely poorly optimized for PC hardware. We got GSC's S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games where the 'cons' are "bugs, bugs, bugs" and third-party mods were the order of the day if you actually wanted to ever play the game. Even the programming that gets the games playing is far from flawless - ask anyone that ever uses GFWL. For the most part, these PC games still enjoy a dedicated following, but it's of note that Wikipedia doesn't note a single bug in it's article on either game I've just quoted, even though their glitches could not only crash the game and your computer entirely, but also corrupt their own files and damage save games. It's apparently acceptable for PC gamers to have frustrating troubleshooting experiences, but if that becomes the order of the day on consoles, why on Earth would your average consolite buy one?
dyzophoria 14th September 2010, 03:31 Quote
id expect comments like this from valve actually, now that they are on the PS3. I remember a few years back, they where saying almost the same comments against the PS3. lol
Saivert 14th September 2010, 06:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon
So Gabe and Valve have got a new bad guy after they decided to embrace the PS3 after crapping on it for ages.
...
and
Quote:
Originally Posted by dyzophoria
id expect comments like this from valve actually, now that they are on the PS3. I remember a few years back, they where saying almost the same comments against the PS3. lol
Nice try! You know just as well as anyone that if it wasn't for the fact that consoles have a huge customer base Valve wouldn't care about console gamers at all. PC is their main platform and where they got their own publishing platform. Now since Sony agreed to bring a bit of Steam onto PS3 Valve is obviously happy about making games for the PS3 again. This is all Sony's doing. If they were still stuck in their own world Valve would still boycott them. This does not mean Valve wasn't to blame for the disaster that was Orange Box for PS3 (they should have known better than to outsource the porting to EA).
Quote:
Originally Posted by NuTech
... Essentially, there are only a handful of viable business models in the gaming industry, and Microsoft believes that Valve's way of doing things ruins one of them.
...
Great post. Glad to see someone has a clue here.
tozsam 14th September 2010, 10:47 Quote
There is a big reason why console games are (in general) less buggy than PC games. It comes down to hardware. A console has one permitation of its hardware, whereas there must be tens of thousands of different PC hardware setups. This is as far as I know the main reason behind so many PC games getting constant patching. Console game devs have no excuse.
stupido 14th September 2010, 11:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRAWL
My real only and self-awesome(ing) remark to this is...

stop being console tarts and play on a PC ;)
+1 (if I can use 'thumbs up", well consider that I have used all 4 of them... ;)
rollo 14th September 2010, 14:28 Quote
360 ps3 and pc games all suffer bugs just depends how bad they are

most of the major releases in recent memory have been ok though or patched for free on release date

DLC is still a money grab especially if its on release. If valve want to release theres for free then they should be allowed to do this ( they do on pc either way so the console people lose out on this )
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