Alright, so with the recent news of the Unreal Engine 5 possibly causing game file sizes to “skyrocket” in the future, and our other recent Up For Debate earlier this week about next-gen hardware possibly requiring a completely brand new PC setup, I thought we could discuss about game file sizes in general, and how developers could possibly handle the issue in the future.
Some of us may be alright with a lot of storage space available, but with games like Call of Duty Warzone shooting past the incredible 200GB+ mark, this starts to pose a problem not just in regards to storage space, but to download speeds as well.
We all hate when a download takes a long time, possibly even sitting there with popcorn anxiously watching the waveforms go by, and accounting down the approximate time till it finishes downloading. But some of us don’t have the luxury of fast internet, and even though we might have the storage space available, a 200GB download can take anywhere from a few hours, to a few days to complete.
Usually these download sizes have more to do with the textures and models used in-game rather than any actual gameplay mechanics. But what the hell is the use of these fancy high-res textures if some of us are just going to keep the graphics settings at Low or Medium quality anyway?
Sure, some games allow you to download a separate 4K texture pack instead for those who can run them, but what about a universal control for throttling the quality of data downloaded?
We already have games that allow us to play the single player version whilst all other assets for multiplayer are still downloading in the background, so why can't we do the same for video game file sizes? Like being able to play the game with lower texture resolutions or model details before the higher resolutions are eventually downloaded?
There’s probably a simple answer to that being somewhere along the lines of “it’s not that easy”, but it’s still something to think about as game file sizes begin to grow and some of us are still trapped with low bandwidth internet.
So with that I ask: should developers let players decide the file size of a game? Should they allow the users to throttle the quality of data downloaded if they’re not going to use the higher quality textures anyway? Or is this just asking too much?