Monday, June 20, 2005

Majesco and GlyphX are ripping us off...

... or so some posters on the internet would have you believe. (apologies for the headline BTW!)

Have they ripped of consumers by releasing a glitchey game ? Who's fault is it ? I think it is too simplisitic to try and say 'its Majesco's fault' or 'its GlyphX's fault'.

Yes Majesco will have said to GlyphX - this is your final deadline, you have no more time for bug fixes.

BUT GlyphX has had a fair bit of time to know this and schedule their work accordingly – the game has been in development for a long time. At some point the developer needs to lock down the content and move on to polish. It would seem that GlyphX chose to spend more time on the content than the polish (or probably underestimated the time required for polishing…). GlyphX is not alone in this problem though, it is common (I would even argue the norm) for many software development projects. Take MS Longhorn for example. I’m sure that scope creep is blowing out development time there, and the level of polish required there cannot be compromised on. Hence we see delays measured in years.

So should have Majesco just given GlyphX more time after they discovered that they had run out of time for bug-fixing ? For Majesco it then becomes a trade-off… if they keep spending money on the game will it mean more sales ? Maybe they decided it would be better to spend money on promotion than to get a polished product. If this was the case I think this was a poor decision. I think 8-9s with IGN, Gamespot etc would have been better for sales (and a hardcore fanbase) than a million dollar comp. Maybe their assessments were different. (They obviously have a lot more data on the situation than I do)

The other factor that Majesco needs to consider is timing. If they delayed the game another 2 or 3 months, would the game not sell because Xbox owners had started to look to the 360 ?

Neither GlyphX or Majesco deliberately wanted to piss anyone off with a buggy product… but sometimes business decisions do not match with delivering the best possible player experience. Both will have learnt from the experience and I’m sure we’ll see a better end product next time around.

Enjoy the game we have, and if you can't get over the shortcomings, sell it on Ebay, cut your losses and move on to the next game...

PS. The issue of a 'con' with the million dollar contest. Again I don't think that Majesco deliberately tried to con anyone with this contest. However, it is fairly clear that it was not planned that well. I think any future contest of a similar nature would have to address the problem of the data propagating through all Xbox servers and being available to all users at the same time. Perhaps an alogorithm could be developed that hides the time taken to find the icon into the code unlocked by players so it is a genuine race in the game, rather than a race to download and then submit the code.


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