Chris “Stormwaltz” L’Etoile (proof positive that we’re running into a shortage of available FRP names incorporating the word “Storm”) has posted comments on the state of affairs in AC, including work on eliminating the “Hal Bare Effect”, which makes Azile happy. I found this of interest, though.

The version of AC that you got in the box dates from early-mid September. This version was sent to the manufacturer well before the beta ended. This allowed us to have the game on shelves less than a week after the end of beta, which seemed to make everyone happy. Obviously, bugs discovered in late beta, after we sent that version to mastering, were not fixed when the game went live. As well, for several weeks before RTM (“Release To Manufacturer”), there was a hold on fixing any but the most trivial code bugs.

The rationale for this is that every bugfix has a chance, no matter how slight, of causing errors to crop up elsewhere in the code. It’s common practice in the industry to avoid making big changes to the code right before ship, in case it breaks something else you won’t have time to fix. If there had been a truly heinous game-breaking bug (like, say… the uninstaller wipes your hard drive), we would have delayed ship. Fortunately nothing that serious came up. Code changes generally require several weeks of testing before they’re considered good to go.

Which begs the question, why did Turbine even bother to have a beta test? Or was it really just a “free trial” period?