More Than A Third Of 2014's Big-Budget Games Got Day-One Patches

You may have had the feeling lately that the games you've been buying and playing didn't quite get finished when they were shoved out onto store shelves. Well, a lot of them weren't done baking.

We're a few years into a new console hardware cycle, one that promised to make games on the PS4, Wii U and Xbox One bigger and more immersive than ever. But, all too often, what happens after getting a much-anticipated release home is seeing a prompt to download a crucial bundle of code necessary to make the game run the way it's supposed to. It happened a whole bunch of times last year.

The list below runs down 24 AAA games — out of a field of about 70 — released on Xbox One, Wii U and PS4 that got significant software updates 24 hours after release. Some of these patches quashed lingering bugs or tweaked multiplayer functionality, while others added extra content. We've tried to catalogue the size and purpose of these day-one patches when that information was available. Some times, we weren't able to track down how many megabytes — or, in some cases, gigabytes — each patch weighed in at. All of them are part of a growing trend of eleventh-hour maintenance that seems to suggest that big game titles aren't coming to players in their optimal state.

More Than a Third of 2014's Big-Budget Games Got Day-One Patches

Titanfall - March 11

  • Size: 840MB
  • Contents: No official patch notes

Infamous: Second Son - March 21

Trials Fusion - April 16

The Last of Us Remastered - July 29

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition - August 19

More Than a Third of 2014's Big-Budget Games Got Day-One Patches

The Sims 4 - September 2

Destiny - September 9

FIFA 15 - September 23

  • Size: N/A
  • Contents: Bugfixes

Hyrule Warriors - September 26

  • Size: N/A
  • Contents: "a new mode, a new weapon, and the option to select your own music while playing the game."

Forza Horizon 2 - September 30

  • Size: 400MB
  • Contents: No official patch notes
More Than a Third of 2014's Big-Budget Games Got Day-One Patches

Alien: Isolation - October 7

  • Size: 400MB
  • Contents: Bugfixes

Driveclub - October 7

  • Size: 135MB
  • Contents: Bugfixes and one extra car

The Evil Within - October 14

NBA Live 15 - October 28

Sunset Overdrive - October 28

  • Size: 300MB
  • Contents: No official patch notes

WWE 2K15 - October 28

More Than a Third of 2014's Big-Budget Games Got Day-One Patches

Assassin's Creed Unity - November 11

  • Size: 900MB
  • Contents: Bugfixes

Halo: The Master Chief Collection - November 11

Dragon Age: Inquisition - November 18

Far Cry 4 - November 18

Grand Theft Auto V - November 18

LittleBigPlanet 3 - November 18

  • Size: N/A
  • Contents: Bugfixes
More Than a Third of 2014's Big-Budget Games Got Day-One Patches

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U - November 21

The Crew - December 2


    The Order 1886 also has one, that weighs in at a modest 30MB, big fixes, etc...

      12 hours downloading the patch
      2.5 hours of cutscenes
      3 hours of gameplay

      17.5 hours of entertainment! That's pretty much on par with the average full-priced release these days.

        12 hours to download a 30MB patch? Time to get off the old dialup connection, my friend.

          HAHA, I read it as 30gb.

          My bad!
          You know the worlds gone to shit when you assume the patch is 30gb before 30mb.

          Last edited 19/02/15 10:59 am

            It's particularly galling when the patch is bigger than the actual game download. I've seen it happen.

            But, yah, 30MB is trivial by the standards of modern patches.

              Yeah, if they did 30mb in the background you could disguise it in a loading screen. Certainly for something like GTA V which takes a minute or two anyway.

        Made me lol a little, I'll give you that.

        On a serious note I do want to say something that I thought about last night:

        We don't know how long the Order will end up being, and if it does end up being 5-6h.. that's about how long Gears of War 1 took me to complete. This game has so much negativity towards it lol.

        Personally I don't have high hopes for it either though, so maybe it's just like those people who have a face that screams 'hit me'.

          Yeah…. BUT

          From what I hear a sizable portion (over 1/3rd) of The Order’s game time is actually cut scenes/ quicktime events.

          All of Gears was what Cliffy B called the “30 seconds of fun” (I think that’s the amount time anyway) and what a 30 seconds it was!
          Gears was 95% gameplay, plus co-op online and off through the entirety of the single player game which adds tons of replayability.
          Then it’s got what a was brilliant and (at the time) unique, well supported multiplayer mode that supported 8 player online, online split screen AND bot matches for people with the internet.

          That’s a pretty comprehensive package. If you’d just played through single player on your own and then it was done I’m sure people would have complained, but I know a lot of people for dozens and dozens of hours of fun out of it.

          Last edited 19/02/15 2:21 pm

            From what I hear

            Opinion immediately irrelevant.

              Opinion immediately irrelevant.

              That's your opinion...

              It must suck not knowing anything that you haven't proven certain for yourself. You'd be f*cking shit at quizzes.

              You were right, it's half cutscenes and QTEs.

              “ As it happens, The Order is divided more or less equally into four disparate pieces: cutscenes, QTEs, walking around, and shooting“ - 5/10 Gamespot

            Sure, I do agree. But the Order is receiving a lot of hate, before it's even out. It may not even be short lol.

            I'm even finding it hard not to become engrossingly negative towards the Order. And it looks like a reasonably solid game by most accounts. What is with this game?!

              Well plenty of people have finished the game, people whose job it is to report to the public the pros and cons of videogames.

              If the developers/ publishers think the game is the target of unfair, negative speculation they could always lift the review embargo and let the reviewers tell us how great it is. I mean they’re happy to take your money before the game is out, if it’s finished AND it’s good why not let the public know how good it is?

              Why give the developer the benefit of the doubt when they’re intentionally preventing the release of information about their product?
              Fuck ‘em. They’re just trying to protect their crappy product from judgement while they scrape up as many pre-order dollars as they can.

                Sure, most definitely. But that's what most developers/ publishers do these days. And I'm not saying it's right, but (IMHO) you seldom see this amount of negativity towards other games that legitimately are stinkers/ have been deceptive.

                What I am saying is that a lot of the negativity seems to be coming from pure speculation. Dont get me wrong, I don't have high hopes for the game, but it sure would be amazing if it ended up being great.

                Last edited 19/02/15 3:23 pm

                LOL. NVM, reviews are trickling in. It's as bad as I suspected it would be after seeing the gameplay 'leak'. Apparently the graphics are all the game really has going for it. So much for wanting to give it a fair chance, not judge it by the cover and all.

      there's another patch coming I heard that lowers your run speed by 500%, rumoured to extend the game out to 7 hours now that levels take longer to move through, Ready At Dawn have also stated this aids in allowing users to become more immersed and to take in the environment more.

    I'm surprised that only 30% did. I thought it was generally accepted practice now.

    Personally, I find massive patches further down the track with no discernible benefits to be more of a concern. An 8GB patch for Shadow of Mordor on PS4 last night, apparently because it was "preparing" for the next DLC. Isn't that what the DLC download is meant to do??


      This is the worst. The “patch because we know you’ll buy the DLC” is the sh*ttest thing on the planet.
      Everytime a new DLC comes out for Trials Fusion we all get stuck with a 1.5gb patch and then the people that have a season pass can unlock it with a 10mb download.

      To be fair it’s understandable for some multiplayer games where the content crosses over (you can see cars you don’t own in Forza but can’t drive them), but for lots of games it’s unnecessary and obnoxious.

      You can bet your ass that that 8gb download contained the entire DLC for a single player only game. The developers force you to download it because they think it will be one less barrier to handing over the cash to unlock it if it’s already ruined your internet cap and you don’t have to wait.

      Last edited 19/02/15 10:57 am

      Holy shit. And here I was, literally just about to buy Shadow of Mordor since it's on sale on PSN now.

      You just saved me about $50 - cheers!

      One problem is download quotas are rarely accounted for - a lot of the world doesn't have them. And it's more convenient to push a large patch when no-one's playing so people can buy a piece of DLC and start playing it near-immediately with a small patch, than to have them wait anywhere between a few minutes and a few hours depending on their bandwidth to play the new content. But that's only convenient if it doesn't push you over quota...

      That probably just means that the patch includes all the DLC content, and the DLC will just be a 100 kB unlock key.

      I can't exactly fault developers for doing this given the update process on consoles. If you want to fix something in the DLC through a title update, you need to deal with two cases: (a) user installs main game, DLC, then title update or (b) user installs main game, title update, then DLC.

      In the second case, the files the title update might not be present, or may get overwritten when installing the DLC. However, if all the actual content from the DLC is in the title updates, then they can be updated just as easily as the main game. And all it costs is slight inconvenience for the cheapskate customers who refuse to purchase every piece of DLC for every game they own.

        I'm a developer myself, I get why they've done it. The upgrade would be much easier from their perspective if they just upgraded all the components and didn't have to try and work out the dependencies between them for core vs various DLCs. And I have a fast, unlimited connection, so the hour it spent to download this patch for a single player game was only mildly annoying because the online features were disabled temporarily.

        But if I had slow Internet with quota, and was about to sit down to play a multiplayer game I'd been waiting for all day, only to find that it was basically off the agenda until tomorrow (or my quota reset!) I'd be pretty pissed. Which means that it's ultimately anti-consumer and, well, rude.

          Kudos to any PS4/X1 gamer who has to put up with a internet quota I was lucky enough to get Fibre 6 months ago so get 200/200 unlimited now but the new consoles demolish bandwidth like nothing else I've seen if you have quite a few games installed and "instant on " on some days I haven't even played the console and its burned through 20gig overnight just with updates.

    Assassin's Creed Unity and Halo MCC have had some hefty updates since release would be interested to know how many gigs worth of updates all up those games have had.

    Last edited 19/02/15 10:44 am

      And Halo still doesn't frigging work properly.

        They're working on the beta patch working.

        Wait, what?

      As of the Dead Kings release, the PC version of AC Unity requires a 14 GB download from a fresh retail install

    I'm not fussed about day 1 updates, I've just accepted them as the "new" standard. 200gb monthly quota is just enough per month lately.

    I think the people that still buy discs are the ones impacted most. Those of us that buy digital (after release) the patch just happens as part of the download, so we don't notice it. Even those that pre-order digitally usually get the "day 1" patch when the download becomes available.

      Are they applying the patch pre-download yet on the new consoles? That is, if the game is 10 GB and they release an 8GB patch that replaces most of the content, are you downloading 10GB or 18GB?

        Well Ive heard of some stuff ups like AC Unity getting patched and basically downloading the whole game again (wasn't a day 1 patch) and obviously it's game-by-game, but generally it's replaced the original the patched version. As in the 10gb version. Although ive had no game be that small except lords of the fallen somehow only clocking in at <6gb.

        Last edited 19/02/15 1:39 pm

    One thing that really shits me on PS3 / PS4 (I assume XBox is the same) is that when you buy a game off the store, you also have to download all the patches separately. Why not just have the latest, up to date, fully patched version there so you can just download it and play? At least PS4 downloads the updates simultaneously with the game itself (unlike PS3 which would do the game but not the updates until you tried starting the game). But it's still a waste of quota when there's no reason you couldn't just keep the game updated on the store.

      Doesn't happen that way on xbox as far as I know. The version that you download is the current version (time of download) not the release version then patch that.

    I don't have a problem with day-1 patches as a 'thing'. It makes sense that devs will find things to fix between Gold version and release; the Internet has just made it easier to get those patches earlier.

    What I do have a problem with, is massive day-1 patches that only exist to fix bugs that shouldn't have made it into the Gold. That impression they leave for players that it's ok that the released game is full of bugs, that they don't care about sealed-in quality - just fix it later.

    I'd be interested to know how many out of those twenty four were unplayable without first downloading and applying the patch?

    Some of them just list new maps or weapons in the patch notes, so I assume they could be played out of the box. But some with bug fixes and such could of been required to play.

      Some still aren't playable after the patch ;)

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