XIII remake developers apologise for game’s quality, blaming COVID

Posted on November 15, 2020

The remake of XIII, the 2003 cult classic FPS has finally come out and… it’s not been very well received. The game currently boasts an “Overwhelmingly Negative” review average on its Steam store page, at time of writing. Main points of criticism include missing animations, bugs and a less distinctive art style, among many others. In response to the rocky launch, developer PlayMagic and publisher Microids have apologised for the state that XIII released in, blaming the various pressures of the pandemic as a chief reason that the game did not meet expectations.

“Unfortunately, players’ expectations have not been met by the launch version and we hear loud and clear the legitimate criticism and disappointment,” the team acknowledged in a joint statement. “First and foremost, we would like to offer our most sincere apologies for the game’s technical issues. In its present state, XIII does not meet our quality standards and we fully understand players’ frustrations. The pandemic has impacted the game’s production on many levels. Pivoting to home working for the teams has added unexpected delays in the development schedule and the QA process. We hoped we would be able to provide a Day One patch fixing all the issues but the development of this update is taking more time than expected.”

Unfortunately, PlayMagic and Microids were unable to patch the majority of the game’s issues before it launched. The developers assure that they are “working hard to solve all the game’s issues.” A patch intended to fix some of the most glaring of the collision and performance issues in XIII will be released “shortly”. A roadmap of planned additional free levels, weapons, skins and local multiplayer modes has also been confirmed.

Unfortunately, it can be very difficult for developers and publishers to move beyond a bad first impression. The high expectations of 17 years since the original came out likely did not help when XIII released in the state that it did. It is good that the developers have acknowledged the poor release, and committed to attempting to fix the game. Hopefully, the planned patches and additional content will smooth over the rocky launch eventually and help the game reach its full potential.