Lately, gamers have been getting hit hard in the media for… well, whatever hot button’s being pressed today. Seems like there’s a new way to shine a negative light at video games every day in the news. Now, AAA game studios are in the hot seat for releasing AAA games that are broken, incomplete, and, in some cases, nearly unplayable.

For example, Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One has had many issues regarding its online matchmaking since the game’s launch on November 11th. The issues keep getting patched, but the problems are seemingly so complicated, the game’s developers, 343 Industries, announced they would be pushing back Halo: Spartan Strike into 2015 to focus on fixing the former game’s issues.

Sadly, the reason behind the increase of development issues is obvious, but overlooked. And we can look at the Assassin’s Creed series for the answer.

[caption id="attachment_1462" align="alignleft" width="226"] My 1st issue of Nintendo Power.[/caption] When I was younger, I was too afraid to go down our pool’s brand new slide. The thought of having no control as I was flung into the pool terrified me. My mother, however, had a bargaining chip: If I went down the slide, just once, she would buy me a subscription to Nintendo Power Magazine. It worked. One plunge and a nose-full of pool water later, and my mother made that phone call to subscribe. To have up-to-date information on all my favorite games, and to learn about upcoming games and new systems from Nintendo, was a dream come true. My subscription only lasted a year, when I had the choice to jump to Game Players Magazine to cover more console ground. But, it was still a fond memory of my first magazine. Fast-forward to August 2012 when Future US and Nintendo announced that Nintendo Power Magazine would be ceasing in December. While it was sad to read that Nintendo Power was getting the axe, I wasn’t shocked. The company’s core function is to deliver video games, not magazines. Then, there’s this morning’s announcement of Newsweek ending their 80-year publication run, switching to online only. Now, it’s clear what direction print publications are going.

The Big E, an annual fair in New England, has come again in 2012 and this past weekend I went with family to enjoy fun exhibits, entertainment, and—most importantly—the food. However, as I went around checking out what vendors had to offer from their companies, there seemed to be a growing trend. Actually, it was more like a spreading epidemic: QR codes in promotional materials and products.

Customer service can be a tricky task. Sometimes support requests are easy to take care of, while others can involve some back-and-forth between the customer and the company. Some customer support representatives will do anything they can (within their limits) to make the customer happy. Others will do the bare minimum to get on with their growing list of unhappy customers. Usually, this is how it goes. But what happens when the product you’re having problems with is between two different companies?