No Man’s Sky has received some noteworthy, long awaited and valuable features as part of the Foundation Update, things that many think ought to have been there in the first place. Base building in particular seems like a basic inclusion for a game with the scope and underlying ideas they pitched to the gaming public. So what gives, why the post release content drops like this?
Does post release content make the game incomplete?
This has unwittingly helped re-spark the debate of whether games that have been released more recently, are actually finished when they’re launched, and what constitutes being “finished”.
It seems that at times we’re inundated with news about games being delayed so they may be further optimized, or completed. Yet we also seem to have plenty of issues where games are released but somehow miss the mark. In some examples entire feature sets that were promised were left completely out. Not to mention those that run poorly on all but the highest of specced PC’s. It lends to a bad taste in our mouth and perceptions that are skewed to thinking that any game released is inevitably limited in some way or even incomplete.
But that attitude is sorely misguided. Thinking that a game is being completed at a later date with DLC is not entirely how it works at all. Unless a game is deliberately planned in such an episodic fashion, and it’s possible that some are, then DLC constitutes the vision of the developer that’s almost entirely conceived after the main game is released.
DLC might be on the roadmap, an idea with a rough outline of what’s to be included, but due to workloads tied to deadlines so we can actually play the thing, certainly, and could very well be the seed of an idea within one of the developers, but it won’t grow until they can actually water and tend to that seed.
And there are times when something simply hasn’t actually been thought of, or noticed as missing, until well after it’s been in the relentless and unscrupulous hands of gamers. Even game-changing features don’t necessarily make their way into the first iteration. Sometimes it must be properly thought and planned out before it can be implemented. The foundation of the idea may have come during the initial development, but it doesn’t mean it’ll be ready for primetime. Or even concentrated on at all in the initial push to release.
And really that stands true for any genre. Not every developer is going to necessarily listen to feedback, nor can every feature you’ve just dreamt of in your wish-list be added just because you want it to.