How this fiasco could have been avoided

I have two theories that come to mind when analyzing the unsuccessful launch of The Master Chief Collection. Standardized project procedures such as alpha and beta testing were not even completed or considered and or Microsoft forced 343 to release a game on a strict time schedule when in the end 343 knew that they did not launch a completed game (as EA did with Battlefield 4). I think it is to the best interest of consumers in general that corporate interests and profits do not become a priority over releasing an unfinished product. It happens all too often these days, and very few development studios have control over the time deadlines given by their publishing partners. This is why I have the utmost respect for game devs and their partners for delaying games versus releasing a broken game. 2k followed this decision to a T with bioshock infinite and look at how successful it ended up being. I don’t think that much of this is related to networking or broken dev code, I honestly think that Microsoft Studios (no longer in tact) forced a deadline on 343 (before the holidays) a project that needed more work, and now all of us on the consumer end are suffering from poor project planning and lack of communication. the game was shipped broken because it was not actually completed and now they are busy tying up loose ends and finishing the project that was released before it was ever completed. This is sad. If I was a part of a project that failed like this amongst completion at work, I would be fired, but since this seems to be happening so often now with games in general, it is just used as an excuse to delay the proper functionality of a game that was never completed from the start.

I agree, I think it’s like what EA and DICE did with BF4. They knew the game buggy and broken beyond repair and barely passed an Alpha phase and yet they released the product to meet deadlines and to coincide with the 350 dollar price of the XB1 holiday price cut. The rest is just damage control and dev speak and shilling. Again, you cited BF4 and EA and I totally agree (although BF4 is awesome since the fall patch… 11 months AFTER release, lol) the similarities between MCC launch and BF4’s first 6 months are incredibly similar. As is the response by 343 reminiscent of DICE’s response.

Just another “AAA” shilling.

Patience. Plus no one likes held back deadlines. They then expect too much. Diablo 3 for example.

For the campaign issues, I suspect the OP’s premise could be true (menu issues, save issues, achievements, stats, etc.). For the matchmaking issues, I would not. Multiplayer is one of the key focus points for H5, and since the MCC exists primarily to keep people excited about the series for a good H5 launch, I doubt they shortchanged things on the multiplayer side. MCC was supposed to give the fans MORE confidence in the MP side of H5, not less. More likely is that both the MCC netcode and Xbone’s SmartMatch system are uber-complex, worked passably well in whatever small-scale testing they had done, and completely blew up unexpectedly when usage suddenly became worldwide on release.

Having been involved in production software releases (medical devices, not games) in real life, you can often test the crap out of something and still have it be disastrous on release. And that’s on code that is FAR less complex than what we’re dealing with.

Somehow, Microsoft and Sony are going to have to figure out a way to make this stuff better. The problem is endemic.