Hello, game-likers. It’s time again to take a look at the carnival/horror show that is the AAA games industry. Today, we will be looking at BioWare and their Mass Effect series.
The summarized version of events is that there is going to be a day one patch for the Mass Effect Legendary Edition that is bigger than each of the individual games in the edition!
Before we elaborate on this, let’s take some time to establish context.
Mass Effect was a beloved series of western RPGs. Well.. at least 2/4 games are generally liked. It’s about exploring space, encountering aliens, and sometimes getting intimate with them.
The original Mass Effect came out on November 16, 2007. The last game in the trilogy came out on March 6, 2012. So, it’s safe to say that it’s been a while. (Mass Effect: Andromeda came out after that but it’s not relevant to this article.)
The Legendary Edition is a remaster of the original trilogy of Mass Effect games. It boasts enhanced visuals, technical improvements, many DLC/extra content, and gameplay adjustments.
It also has an “enhanced” price, but since it’s three games in one AND one of the games (ME1) is receiving significant upgrading, I won’t rag on about this point too much.
The Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is scheduled to come out in a few weeks. That’s the official story so far.
However, thanks to Twisted Voxel, we now know that it’s not all good news.
According to an article on the site, the day one patch for this Legendary Edition is 11.8GB!
Just to put it in context, the original Mass Effect 1 is 6.83GB, Mass Effect 2 is 9.25GB, and Mass Effect 3 is 10.60GB. Simply put, this day one patch is larger than each of the Mass Effect games.
Twisted Voxel reported that the information was found due to the patch appearing on the PlayStation servers ahead of the collection’s launch. They elaborate that it is currently unknown if this is purely the size of the patch or if it contains additional game files.
The minimum hard disk space needed on the PC for this Legendary Edition is a “legendary” 120GB! We have no idea how big the console version will be, but can estimate that it might be around 50GB total.
At this point, the question becomes, why is the patch so big? So, let’s take a look at some of the things in it.
According to the Mass Effect Legendary Edition 1.01 patch notes, this patch contains:
- Improved performance
- Improved stability and fixes some crashes
- Improvement to Ambient Occlusion (This is related to shading and rendering)
- Lighting improvements – both visual and performance related
- Miscellaneous content fixes
Whether this list justifies an 11GB day one patch is for you, dear game-liker, to decide.
Personally, I’m too busy being sad over the fact that day one patches for games have become the norm across the industry and not enough people are questioning this.
According to Statista, the current video games industry is worth approximately 115 BILLION US DOLLARS. Billion, with a B!
Looking at this, one might expect that the products made by such a lucrative industry would be of high quality. And yet, it is tragically commonplace to see games released without being fully finished and with glaring technical flaws/bugs/glitches. They sometimes leave out entire features or parts of the game on the cutting room floor too.
Instead of taking some more time to release finished products worth the money we pay or giving its overworked developers the time and resources they need to do good work, the AAA industry has opted to put bandaids on bullet holes.
These companies have chosen to release games in terribly broken states and fix them later through patches. And we, as game-likers, have let this become the norm through our own inaction or lack of solidarity against blatant anti-consumer behavior.
And that’s how we get a day one patch for games that are almost a decade (or more) old. That’s why the day one patch we get is larger than the games it is supposed to patch!
Ridiculous as this may seem, this is just another day in the nightmare realm that is the AAA games industry.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition comes out on May 14, 2021.
And because EA and BioWare are such nice companies, they will allow you to throw 11.8GB of your precious bandwidth allocation out the window, just so you can play a near-decade-old game with slightly more curvy shadows.