Why are some games so buggy?

Tom Clancy's The Division designer says "it depends on how big your game is and what your aspirations are."

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Technical issues--better known to gamers as "bugs"--are nothing new. Sometimes they are funny but other times they cause extreme frustration and can even lead to lawsuits. But why aren't they weeded out in the development process? The Division developer Massive Entertainment lead gameplay programmer Anders Holmquist has offered up an answer to that question, saying it all comes down to what your specific expectations are for the project.

"It depends on how big your game is and what your aspirations are. Different companies and different projects set very different goals for how many bugs they think is OK to have when they release," Holmquist said during a recent Google Hangout.

A lot of the time, the number of bugs in a finished game depends on "boring things" like time constraints (every project has a deadline, after all) and money, Holmquist said. He explained that for most projects, developers might spend the final two or three months specifically working on eliminating bugs and not adding new features, but the real answer to why some games ship with so many bugs is more complex.

This is because developers like Massive Entertainment are constantly fixing bugs throughout the development process, Holmquist said. "We're basically fixing bugs and issues all the time," he said. Bugs like total system crashes must be fixed right away, Holmquist said, while others can be left to linger--at least for a short while.

"The more you let a bug or an issue linger, the more problems you're going to have to fix it," Holmquist said. "The faster you are from the point where you find a problem to when you fix it, the easier your life is going to be."

The Division launches sometime later this year for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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