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Minecraft Fails PS4 Certification

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 11 comments
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You may have read from a reputable outfit, such as this one, that Minecraft will make its way to PlayStation 4 sometime this month, but time makes fools of us all. In this instance, the unlucky party is 4J Studios, whose PS4 version of Minecraft failed Sony's certification, likely resulting in a delay for anticipated port.

4J Studios, a Scottish development team that's headed up all of the console versions of Minecraft, revealed this information in a disappointed tweet. While the developer did not specify what exactly caused Sony to withhold the stamp of approval, it did point out that it's already in the process of fixing said issues and will need to resubmit the project all over again.

MORE: 20 Best Free Android Games

PS4 certification assures that a game is playable and safe for Sony hardware, but since games with bugs often slip past, the issues with Minecraft were likely more damning than mere graphical or gameplay glitches. Part of the certification process requires each game to have Trophies and Remote Play options, however. Remote Play in particular could throw a development team for a loop, particularly one that's as used to developing for Microsoft consoles as 4J Studios.

With only nine days left in the month, 4J Studios would be hard-pressed to meet its August release date for the PS4 version. This, in turn, could delay the Xbox One and PlayStation Vita versions of the game, which were also set to release this month. The company has yet to share any new information on updated release dates.

In the meantime, you can still play Minecraft on PC, Xbox 360, PS3, iOS and Android if you, or your kids, just can't get enough blocky goodness.

Marshall Honorof is a Staff Writer for Tom's Guide. Contact him at mhonorof@tomsguide.com. Follow him @marshallhonorof and on Google+. Follow us @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Zepid , August 22, 2014 10:08 AM
    This is not really news. I use to work on the build team at EA and later at MS Certification for builds and technical requirement certifications, not many games pass certification the first go through - which is a shame because it is so expensive to submit. And each fail requires a new submission, which costs the same as the initial submission, and adds at minimum 4 weeks delay.

    It can end up costing the company millions of dollars between advertising having to be pushed back, keeping staff on for a month longer, working overtime, and resubmission. Very very very few publishers/developers ever reach platinum status company wide and even fewer have an average submission rating of 1 (as in 1 time to submit, first pass).

    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    Just think, I said EA has one of the highest submission ratings in the industry, and they were responsible for blunders like Battlefield 4 and Army of Two: 40th Day!

    Gamers need to demand more, and it would be great if first party (Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo) would penalize companies that regularly fail submission compliance tests. I'd go so far as to say that both the company submission rating and the game submission rating should be printed on each game box so gamers can know, "Hey this company on average fails submission 3 times before success, but this game failed submission 6 times, I should probably not trust my money with this company."

    In every other industry we do this, you certainly wouldn't buy a car that had the "lowest safety ratings in the industry" or "highest fatalities in its class" or "from the company that brought you EXPLODING TIRES." The auto industry has to publish their reporting for transparency, so should the gaming industry.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    Zepid , August 22, 2014 10:08 AM
    This is not really news. I use to work on the build team at EA and later at MS Certification for builds and technical requirement certifications, not many games pass certification the first go through - which is a shame because it is so expensive to submit. And each fail requires a new submission, which costs the same as the initial submission, and adds at minimum 4 weeks delay.

    It can end up costing the company millions of dollars between advertising having to be pushed back, keeping staff on for a month longer, working overtime, and resubmission. Very very very few publishers/developers ever reach platinum status company wide and even fewer have an average submission rating of 1 (as in 1 time to submit, first pass).

    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    Just think, I said EA has one of the highest submission ratings in the industry, and they were responsible for blunders like Battlefield 4 and Army of Two: 40th Day!

    Gamers need to demand more, and it would be great if first party (Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo) would penalize companies that regularly fail submission compliance tests. I'd go so far as to say that both the company submission rating and the game submission rating should be printed on each game box so gamers can know, "Hey this company on average fails submission 3 times before success, but this game failed submission 6 times, I should probably not trust my money with this company."

    In every other industry we do this, you certainly wouldn't buy a car that had the "lowest safety ratings in the industry" or "highest fatalities in its class" or "from the company that brought you EXPLODING TIRES." The auto industry has to publish their reporting for transparency, so should the gaming industry.
  • 4 Hide
    jlake3 , August 22, 2014 10:47 AM
    Saw this elsewhere and it was brought up in those comments that failing certification isn't necessarily a sign of gamebreaking bugs; A game can also fail certification for a number of branding/licensing issues such as using unapproved button icons in tutorials or referring to the Playstation as a game console rather than a "home entertainment system" or whatever they're doing this generation.
  • Add your comment Display all 11 comments.
  • 3 Hide
    10tacle , August 22, 2014 11:48 AM
    Well whatever the reason for failed games after release, Zepid's comment makes perfect sense. And yes, I'm one of those who remembers gaming from 15-20 years ago (both PC and consoles) where you just purchase, install, and play with no problems. Over the past several years the increase of failures and bugs with games is just unreal.

    My latest example: Grid Autosport on the PC/Steam version. The game has been patched three times since release a few months ago and it still breaks when doing certain things like buying/selling cars in the garage. The PS3 version has been broken for nearly two months and Codemasters has yet to at least attempt a fix for the PS3 version with a first patch.

    And like Zepid said, we as gamers MUST rise up and demand more for quality and game releases. Otherwise, developers will continue doing things halfassed and/or outsourced. Delayed releases are frustrating to us all, but not NEARLY as frustrating as buying a game that is broken and waiting on patches which may or may not (see my example above) even fix everything.
  • 0 Hide
    photonboy , August 22, 2014 12:48 PM
    Zepid,
    I thinking failing a certification and the loss of revenue plus resubmit costs is punishment enough. No need to penalize a company further.

    If anything, the cost of submission and delays are BAD FOR GAMERS. Many games have major bugs but the company wants to wait and bundle everything up to avoid multiple submissions.
  • 3 Hide
    dstarr3 , August 22, 2014 3:14 PM
    Minecraft, a perfectly stable game, fails certification. However, unfinished, untested games like Battlefield 4...
  • 0 Hide
    Sakkura , August 22, 2014 4:17 PM
    Quote:
    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    I don't think there was ever a time when games "just worked". 1996 had games like Daggerfall, for example. Also known as Daggercrash.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , August 22, 2014 5:02 PM
    Quote:
    This is not really news. I use to work on the build team at EA and later at MS Certification for builds and technical requirement certifications, not many games pass certification the first go through - which is a shame because it is so expensive to submit. And each fail requires a new submission, which costs the same as the initial submission, and adds at minimum 4 weeks delay.

    It can end up costing the company millions of dollars between advertising having to be pushed back, keeping staff on for a month longer, working overtime, and resubmission. Very very very few publishers/developers ever reach platinum status company wide and even fewer have an average submission rating of 1 (as in 1 time to submit, first pass).

    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    Just think, I said EA has one of the highest submission ratings in the industry, and they were responsible for blunders like Battlefield 4 and Army of Two: 40th Day!

    Gamers need to demand more, and it would be great if first party (Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo) would penalize companies that regularly fail submission compliance tests. I'd go so far as to say that both the company submission rating and the game submission rating should be printed on each game box so gamers can know, "Hey this company on average fails submission 3 times before success, but this game failed submission 6 times, I should probably not trust my money with this company."

    In every other industry we do this, you certainly wouldn't buy a car that had the "lowest safety ratings in the industry" or "highest fatalities in its class" or "from the company that brought you EXPLODING TIRES." The auto industry has to publish their reporting for transparency, so should the gaming industry.


    sense the manufactures take a 7-15$ cut of every game sold anyway, them charging you for certification is such bs to begin with, especially with patches that make some companies go "well the patch is simple, but would cost 30000$+ to patch it... so is the bug really that big a problem?"

    i also remember a time when a game could fit on a floppy disc, its FAR easier to look through the code that takes up less then a mb, than todays.

    and it would be great if companies penalized 3rd parties, it would drive them to a pc first and if we care the consoles attitude.

    and as for the worst care in its class safety wise... i honestly don't care. if the car is cheaper because its less safe than i would still buy into it... and as a person without insurance, if i get into the kind of an accident where a high safety rating would come into play, i sure as hell dont want to limp away from it. id rather the accident kill me outright opposed to putting a crippling debt on my head where i would most likely kill myself to escape it later anyway.

    Quote:
    Well whatever the reason for failed games after release, Zepid's comment makes perfect sense. And yes, I'm one of those who remembers gaming from 15-20 years ago (both PC and consoles) where you just purchase, install, and play with no problems. Over the past several years the increase of failures and bugs with games is just unreal.

    My latest example: Grid Autosport on the PC/Steam version. The game has been patched three times since release a few months ago and it still breaks when doing certain things like buying/selling cars in the garage. The PS3 version has been broken for nearly two months and Codemasters has yet to at least attempt a fix for the PS3 version with a first patch.

    And like Zepid said, we as gamers MUST rise up and demand more for quality and game releases. Otherwise, developers will continue doing things halfassed and/or outsourced. Delayed releases are frustrating to us all, but not NEARLY as frustrating as buying a game that is broken and waiting on patches which may or may not (see my example above) even fix everything.


    like i said above, that 30k number was what indie games have to pay to patch a bug, i cant imagine what a major dev has to pay unless its exactly the same and even than, 30k is what, they would need to sell close to 8000 copies (depending on the cost and the splits) more to make up the cost to submit

    personally, i don't care if my game is broken on release, because i'm not a moron and don't buy on release. patching a game shouldn't cost money, and the only thing that should fail a game is if they fail to save a game, or the game fails to load. if it costs nothing to patch, then we can get the fixes fast, and if the company still screws us, well dont buy their next game because they cant be trusted.

    Quote:
    Quote:
    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    I don't think there was ever a time when games "just worked". 1996 had games like Daggerfall, for example. Also known as Daggercrash.


    thats a bethesda game... they have never in the history of the company made something that was bug free, so bad example, they also focus on open world... which is a bug nightmare as well.
  • 0 Hide
    pizzapeter , August 23, 2014 3:20 PM
    A game can fail for so many reasons, so it's a bit disappointing to not actually know why it wasn't approved. I guess if we did know it'd make for a far less interesting story (if you could even call it interesting to begin with).
  • 0 Hide
    fixxxer113 , August 25, 2014 12:11 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    I don't think there was ever a time when games "just worked". 1996 had games like Daggerfall, for example. Also known as Daggercrash.


    I agree. In PC games, there were always companies that released broken products. Let's not forget games like Big Rigs that came out simply unfinished... The difference in the 90s, was with consoles. With no way to patch the games, Companies were more careful with what they released in the market. A cartridge or CD game that was unplayable due to bugs back then, meant Money down the drain and a very very unhappy customer.

    Now that even console games can get away with patching, Companies shove titles out to meet deadlines and grab Market shares, resulting in faulty games. And because the quantity of titles being produced is huge, there are bound to be more problematic games. It's the same with movies and music now. So much is produced and there are inevitably a lot of crap titles :p 

    Having said that, there is one more thing very different than the 90s. We now have huge companies making games that have Hollywood blockbuster sized budgets. In these cases, there should be a lot more care about what is released to the public. It might be acceptable for an indie developper, especially if they patch whatever problem later, but not for a "AAA" title that costs $60...
  • 0 Hide
    jase240 , August 25, 2014 9:00 AM
    Quote:
    This is not really news. I use to work on the build team at EA and later at MS Certification for builds and technical requirement certifications, not many games pass certification the first go through - which is a shame because it is so expensive to submit. And each fail requires a new submission, which costs the same as the initial submission, and adds at minimum 4 weeks delay.

    It can end up costing the company millions of dollars between advertising having to be pushed back, keeping staff on for a month longer, working overtime, and resubmission. Very very very few publishers/developers ever reach platinum status company wide and even fewer have an average submission rating of 1 (as in 1 time to submit, first pass).

    EA is one of the only publishers who has such status, even from my time at Microsoft. Most companies don't think QA is important and outsource it to 3rd parties towards the end of development. QA with companies like EA is integrated from pre-milestone (in concept phase) with a fully staffed team. Until game developers start seeing the value in QA we'll continue seeing a decline in game quality (it is insanely bad right now if you have been gaming for more than 15 years and can remember a time when games just worked).

    Just think, I said EA has one of the highest submission ratings in the industry, and they were responsible for blunders like Battlefield 4 and Army of Two: 40th Day!

    Gamers need to demand more, and it would be great if first party (Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo) would penalize companies that regularly fail submission compliance tests. I'd go so far as to say that both the company submission rating and the game submission rating should be printed on each game box so gamers can know, "Hey this company on average fails submission 3 times before success, but this game failed submission 6 times, I should probably not trust my money with this company."

    In every other industry we do this, you certainly wouldn't buy a car that had the "lowest safety ratings in the industry" or "highest fatalities in its class" or "from the company that brought you EXPLODING TIRES." The auto industry has to publish their reporting for transparency, so should the gaming industry.



    EA with the best QA? Does anyone remember SimCity (2013)? It had one of the worst launches ever, and it was all because of EA. You mention Battlefield 4, it did not even have the best launch either. It was not bugfree! Even Titanfall had a non flawless launch!

    Please don't make a full story on a company you admire, when that company is just like every other and has the same problems.
  • 1 Hide
    trapper , August 25, 2014 12:01 PM
    Quote:
    Please don't make a full story on a company you admire, when that company is just like every other and has the same problems.

    I think you need to re-read what he was saying. He was saying that EA, which has a terrible track record, is among the best QA. He's pointing out how bad everyone else's must be, when one of the best QAs releases SimCity, Battlefield 4 and Titanfall.
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