Jedi: Survivor’s Director Should Have Gone With The Extra Dev Time

The director looked at other games launching around them and chose to proceed.

Story Highlights

  • Star Wars Jedi: Survivor launched on April 28 and joined the worst performance club for games in 2023.
  • According to the director for Jedi: Survivor, Stig Asmussen, they had the option to extend development time but chose not to do so in light of the project’s release window.
  • EA attributed Jedi: Survivor’s issues on PC to hardware bottlenecks and OS discrepancies while stating that the developers are working on improving its performance.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor had the choice of spending more time in development but the director refused this option due to the project’s release window. In light of the continuing streak of broken releases, a statement from Stig Asmussen, starting at 6:25, in an interview with IGN from two months ago stands out. He was asked about the game’s release window and described how six weeks was enough to finalize development.

YouTube video

In response, Asmussen stated,

When we first started having conversations about extending the date I was asked how much time & I said six weeks. That was exactly April 28. We stress-tested that date, & looked at what else was coming out around the same time period & we felt like it was a really good landing spot for us. There was an option to extend it a little bit longer but it’s like no, we can get it done in six weeks.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor launched on the planned release date to a spectrum of reviews due to its questionable performance across all platforms. At its core, it proves itself to be a genuinely great game but at the end of the day, it’s held back by the sheer amount of performance issues, especially on the PC platform. Early impressions of it were already hinting at abysmal performance which ended up being the case.

The ratings for Jedi: Survivor on Steam sat at “mostly negative” for a very long time before reaching the “mixed” category with 55% positive reviews. Once the backlash for its performance was in full swing, EA issued a statement that was half apology, half explanation. The statement cited players using chipsets designed for Windows 11 while running the Windows 10 operating system combined with hardware bottlenecks.

When you consider the hardware and software options that are popular among users, logic dictates that a product would be optimized for them. Porting a console version of a game to PC requires a very intensive optimization process due to the myriad hardware configurations out there. Failing to meet the standards results in a buggy mess. Examples of this include Star Wars Jedi: Survivor and The Last of Us Part 1 among several others.

Ahead of its release, the developers announced weeks of patches for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor. This continues to exacerbate the problem of the “release now, patch later” mentality which has grown significantly since the seventh generation. 

Jedi: Survivor & The Problem With Modern Game Development

On the topic of modern gaming and development, there’s a lot one can say. People have a ton of opinions but if you try to look, there’s one belief that is shaping up to be unanimous—making bank. The gaming industry has, is, and always will be about making money. Companies exist and their goal is to make profits while pleasing investors. Profit, more or less, has always been the endgame.

The problem arises when you take passion into account. Back in the day, you had to make a functional and enjoyable product or else it wouldn’t sell. A product that fails to sell doesn’t bring in the money. Furthermore, you can’t scale such a product because that would mean taking a gamble on it. Look at Square Enix‘s Forspoken and ask yourself, would it be a wise move to invest in a sequel for that game? 

After the advent of microtransactions and gacha mechanics in games, companies found a new way to line their pockets and investors care about that first and foremost. Player satisfaction in most cases nowadays is much of an afterthought. You can make an argument that this is a gross exaggeration but with all that we have seen lately, one can’t help but think. 

In modern game development, projects take 3-4 years or longer to release. During that time, a game goes through several processes, including QA. Companies that are able to afford in-house quality assurance choose to go that route. Those who can’t, outsource it to a third party. Having a project in the pipeline for long periods leads to a problem far greater than what we call development hell.

The longer a project stays in development, the more resources a company has to inject into said project. This can be a double-edged sword. If the product fails or doesn’t meet the projected revenue values, the company essentially flushed its money down the drain. But if it works and is a success, it’s gonna be a hit and can be scaled further. At the end of the day, it’s nothing but a gamble. A prime example of both cases is Final Fantasy XIV.

Developers in modern times either don’t think about releasing a fairly polished product or aren’t given enough time to do so. You can’t achieve perfection no matter how hard or how long you work on something. Perfecting imperfection is a never-ending journey. Sad to say though, most modern game releases fail to meet the minimum standard of performance at launch. I’m actually glad Capcom didn’t botch its remake of Resident Evil 4.

What happens now is that games are just rushed out. Projects are most likely mismanaged and not enough time is given for these titles to be as polished as possible. What’s the point of releasing a game that can’t be played properly or feels bland and uninspired? A video game is something that’s supposed to be fun, playable, and even an escape for some people. Pretty sure modern standards are kinda defeating that purpose here.

It’s Not All Doom & Gloom But It’s Definitely Bad

If I were to sit down with a nice cup of coffee and tell my kids a story about all the games that ended up broken on launch, it’s gonna go on for an insanely long time. Hogwarts Legacy, Wild Hearts, The Last of Us Part 1, Jedi: Survivor, Redfall, Forspoken, and Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty are just from this year alone. We had a lot of names in 2022 and the farther you go back in time, the more names you’ll find.

Do we still remember Assassin's Creed Unity?
Do we still remember Assassin’s Creed Unity?

Development was never perfect, not even back in the day. But at the very least, products were functional and not broken to this extent. Nowadays, excessive pre-order marketing, deceptive business practices, absurd price tags, and the act of putting that price tag on any service possible make it worse. Ask yourself how it feels to buy something that you can’t enjoy until a month or two has passed.

Performance for video games these days is abysmal on PC but it’s not all clean on consoles either. With the amount of resources and knowledge at our disposal today, meeting certain standards should not be a problem. Other factors, such as money, are impacting the development process. It’s a bit reassuring to see some developers maintaining these standards to a degree but it’s a minority.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is a great game but we must question how such blatant issues get through quality assurance and other development teams as they only serve to tarnish a game’s reputation. If you can’t release a functional product simultaneously on all platforms, either delay the PC release or the game itself. Take that time and inject some resources to polish the game instead of rushing it out due to a release window.

Thinking about the players even a little bit can go a long way. Doesn’t look like most developers nowadays care about that though. Sure, it’s easy to say stuff like “it’s all about the players” in big speeches but one must also follow up on such statements. Some do, but many don’t. You know it’s weird when miHoYo’s free-to-play games like Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail have had better performances on launch.

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Saad is a News writer at eXputer. With vast journalistic experience working for a multitude of websites, Saad currently reports to eXputer with the latest news and dishes out his opinions on a frequent basis. He's currently studying Game and Interactive Media Design, which has further increased his knowledge about the ins and outs of the industry.

Experience: 1+ Year || Covers News Stories on eXputer || Education: Bachelors in Media Science.

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