Submitted by Thomas on Fri, 2007-09-14 03:22.
I guess people got tired of saying that game developers work too hard, and now it's cooler to say they don't work hard enough.
Lately I've been seeing more user comments (and the occasional news site or blog story) blaming various flaws in video games on the laziness of the individuals making them. Among the evidence I've seen cited are inferior PS3 versions of multiplatform games (compared to the XBox 360 or PC), showstopping bugs that get fixed with a patch released later, the increased size of games on disk, the assertion that some games are "rushed", and the fact that game developers occasionally take breaks from working to have fun. Excepting the last point (which should never change), I'm not here to make excuses for these things - they suck. Nobody likes them, especially not the devs. But they are not caused by the developers being lazy.
Game developers work hard. I don't think there is a studio large or small where this isn't true - and I've worked at both large and small ones. The crux of the issue is that there isn't always a correlation between the quality of the game and how hard the developers worked. In fact it's been my (anecdotal) experience that the games with the largest quality issues were the ones in which the developers struggled for long hours trying to get the game to a shippable point, the deadline looming, and external forces - finances, a contract or license agreement, or maybe just team exhaustion - preventing an extension. There's a lot of things you could point the finger at, really, but please, not developer laziness.
I wish I could find some way to change this outlook. I wish that when people had some issue with their game they pictured the devs pushing hard into the night trying to hold back a seemingly unstoppable wave of unforeseen issues (which happens on all games, even the ones with a perfect 10 magazine score), and realize that the problems making it onto store shelves are the tiny fraction that seeped through the cracks despite an amazing amount of effort. Instead, however, I imagine we're seen as playing video games all day and congratulating ourselves on such a wonderful job, while the consumer pays our rent. I assure you this isn't the case; but unfortunately I suspect this mentality's got enough of that mob-like momentum that it won't be stopped until some other industry scandal catches the public's eye, or it dies down on its own.