Why Pre-Order Multiplayer Games When Launch Servers Are Pants?

Pre-ordering a game is a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you support a dev team you like by giving them revenue before they’ve even shipped a game – you also often receive some nice cosmetic bonuses or a special mission. On the other, there’s no real telling what state that game will be in when it finally comes out.

I’ve personally been burned by pre-orders a couple of times. It’s never been anything huge, just games that didn’t live up to the hype. While pre-orders are great for publishers and developers as they ensure some cash before reviews go out or games hit the shelves, what do they really offer customers these days? For multiplayer games, that answer seems to be server issues.

The new game that’s hot on everybody’s mind right now is Outriders, and while it’s a great looter-shooter, the launch has been plagued with connectivity issues. Now, the purpose of this article isn’t to bash on Outriders or its developers, People Can Fly, the team has actually done a great job of communicating issues with players openly and quickly. With more than 100,000 concurrent players on Steam alone, server issues were bound to happen. The problem is, this seems to keep happening with multiplayer games.

In a cynical way, it makes sense. Why spend money on enough server space for every single player to play a game concurrently when in reality only a fraction will be online at any one time? That being said, the optimist in me believes that no matter how much testing and preparing is done, launch issues are just part of games like this. Not through the fault of devs or QA or anything like that – shit just happens. the Outriders team has been quick to offer solutions and appears to have been hard at work this Easter weekend trying to get everything working for players again. However, it can still feel like day one players are getting the worst experience of new games.

Trying to play Outriders with friends has been frustrating. We’ve been disconnected countless times, had to wait for ages to get into the lobby, and we can’t crossplay with PC users at all, so one of our friends is just having to solo it while we wait for a fix. The game is really good and we’re all loving it when we can actually play it, which is what makes it all so much more frustrating. If the game was crap we could just get a refund and move on, but we want to wait for it to improve. I know it will be worth the wait, but it just feels like we should have used this weekend to play something else entirely.

As I said before, this is a common problem – players waited for what felt like an eternity for heists in GTA Online, Red Dead Online’s entire economy had to be redone, and Star Wars Battlefront 2’s star card system had to be scrapped after player backlash. As well as game system or content issues, playing a game on day one often leads to encounters with some truly disturbing bugs – I’m looking at you Assassin’s Creed Unity.

To reiterate, I’m not saying developers are lazy, or bad, or anything silly like that. It just feels harder and harder to justify spending £60 or more on a brand new game when I can barely play it for the first week or so of having it, and I think going forward it would be better to wait for the kinks to get ironed out rather than gritting my teeth and pushing through the issues. Because I do love playing Outriders – when the servers will actually let me.

Next: Outriders Complete Guide And Walkthrough

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Issy is an avid film lover, writer, and game-player based in the UK. He combines his love of film and games in his writing, trying to find as many connections between the two mediums as possible. When he’s not writing, playing, or watching, Issy loves to DJ and look after his growing collection of houseplants, as they make him feel more adult.

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