Players Less Concerned With Bugs Than Bad Game Design, Study Finds

From the dragons farting fire in Skyrim to NPCs swimming over to you in the Witcher 3, we’ve all had our fair share of bugs and glitches. Though, thanks to a study conducted by Queen’s University in Canada, we’ve discovered that players are far less concerned with bugs than they are about bad game design.

If we truly think about it, we can understand why. Would we truly be gamers if we didn’t end up discovering several glitches in our absolute favorite games and actually find ourselves enjoying them? Why, of course not. Glitches can be an annoyance, yes, but often players find them hilarious rather than tiresome.

Nonetheless, in An Empirical Study of Game Reviews on the Steam Platform, it was revealed that only eight percent of reviews featured any mentions of bugs in the games that were played. What’s more, out of the reviews that provided negative feedback only 17 percent mentioned bugs, while 57 percent noted game design issues. That is quite the difference.

Interestingly enough, the 42 percent of reviews that mention bugs in games was actually from positive reviews. This further backs up what we said previously and further conveys that just because there are bugs in a game, it doesn’t necessarily mean that these bugs will impact the game negatively. Like we mentioned, sometimes it makes the games that much more enjoyable to play.

The report further mentioned the significance of reviews, particularly when it comes to developers. Developers are able to read reviews and take away valuable feedback that they can use in the future, providing quality changes to the game that suits the player.

The report also states that “positive reviews contain a higher portion of pros of the games, and a slightly higher portion of suggestions, than negative reviews.” This suggests that positive reviews are much more beneficial to the developers, as often it gives qualified feedback developers need rather than completely negative reviews who do not provide feedback with backing behind it.

But what do you think? Is bad game design a real downer for you, or are you the supposed few that feels as though bugs do truly ruin the game experience for you? Let us know in the comments below.