There's no denying that patches and updates are one of the greatest things about modern gaming: though it can theoretically invite developers to get lazy and just "fix it in post," it also allows nagging issues to be quickly dealt with and extra content to be added after release.
There's perhaps no better example of updates fixing a game than No Man's Sky, which is now almost completely transformed from its controversial original release back in 2016.
Yet there are also rare occasions where a patch does the opposite of its intended effect, by introducing gameplay elements that actually make the game worse.
This can be an accidental unbalancing of the delicate core mechanics, a fatal glitch that ruins the entire experience, or perhaps a cynical overhaul intended to make the game more accessible.
In each case, fans were left infuriated at what the patch left in its wake, sometimes to the extent of swearing the game off forever more. Yet even with these games that were eventually fixed, in many cases the player-base simply didn't stick around...
10. Incursions Update Revealed A Loot Exploit - The Division
Barely a month after it was released, The Division received a massive 1.1 patch which added raid-style Incursions to the game, intended to prolong its longevity by way of a higher difficulty level and more valuable loot.
The initial Falcon Lost Incursion unfortunately launched with a major glitch which allowed players to use the portable cover skill to slide through a wall, skip most of the Incursion's boss encounter, and hoover up the loot while tricking the game into thinking it hadn't been claimed yet.
As a result, players were able to keep repeating the exploit, and gear scores soared pretty much overnight, creating a massive chasm of inequality between those who took advantage of the exploit and those who didn't.
This basically derailed the game's PvP area the Dark Zone, giving players who rinsed the Incursion a huge combat advantage.
Ubisoft eventually provided a fix and even banned repeat offenders, but this screw-up in conjunction with the game's rather lackluster endgame upon launch caused the player-base to quickly dwindle.
It arguably wasn't until several years later that The Division got anywhere close to regaining its release period momentum.
9. "New Game Enhancements" Ruined The Game For Legacy Players - Star Wars Galaxies
Upon its 2003 launch, Star Wars Galaxies seemed like a dream come true for fans of the franchise: a rich, sprawling MMORPG set in the Star Wars universe.
But in November 2005, developer Sony Online Entertainment announced a "New Game Enhancements" update, intended to make the game more accessible to a wider range of players.
The problem was that the NGE took a complex and rewarding loop and simplified almost all of its major functions, in turn undermining the hundreds if not thousands of hours some players had invested in reaching their current point.
With its massive dumbing down of fundamental mechanics, many felt that Galaxies had become a mediocre World of Warcraft clone overnight.
The straw that broke the camel's back was allowing Force-sensitive characters, previously heavily gated and unlocked by only the most dedicated players, to be a starting profession.
This caused many fans to ask for their money back from the recent Trials of Obi-Wan expansion, and Sony surprisingly agreed.
Despite Sony reportedly unleashing the NGE to ensure player retention, the irony is that it sparked a mass exodus of legacy players, causing many previously bustling player towns to become deserted within weeks of the update's release.
Years later, Sony's John Smedley called the game's treatment of NGE "stupid." Given that it effectively killed Galaxies dead, he's not wrong.
8. 1.10 Update Made The Game Too Difficult - Diablo II
Diablo II's 1.10 update was released more than three years after the game first hit shelves, and in an attempt to shake things up just as the player base was beginning to dwindle, the patch introduced major systemic changes to the core gameplay.
The overarching issue was that 1.10 made Diablo II significantly more challenging, buffing enemy health, nerfing player abilities, and also reducing the quality of the drops from higher-tier enemies.
But it was already getting tougher to find other players to group with online before 1.10 was released, and making the game harder at this point only turned players off faster.
That's not to forget that 1.10 also invalidated a lot of players' existing character builds. Though many fans hoped 1.10 would reinvigorate the core experience, it ultimately did quite the opposite.
7. 1.08 Update Added Predatory Microtransactions - Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered
Though Activision received plenty of flak for initially only allowing owners of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare to purchase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, that seemed like a positively harmless infraction compared to what would arrive with the game's 1.08 patch three months after release.
While Activision predictably didn't wait more than a few weeks to plug microtransactions into Modern Warfare Remastered - despite the original game having no such nonsense - they initially insisted the game's supply drops would only contain cosmetic items.
But lo and behold, two months after MTX were introduced, fans discovered that the 1.08 patch introduced new advantageous weaponry in the supply drops, thereby encouraging players to throw down real world money in order to have a greater chance of the RNG working in their favour.
Fans craving the nostalgic comfort of the original game felt understandably betrayed, causing many to abandon Modern Warfare Remastered and never return.
6. "Evolution Of Combat" Killed The Game's Popularity - RuneScape
Iconic MMORPG RuneScape was originally released back in 2001, but its status quo was violently shaken up (literally) with the 2012 release of the Evolution of Combat update.
Per its title, the patch attempted to update RuneScape's undeniably rudimentary combat for a new generation of players, but the byproduct was that PvP became massively unbalanced, and for an update intended to "evolve" combat, it ultimately ended up feeling more dull and simplistic.
Above all else, many fans felt that developer Jagex had simply tried to re-fashion the game's combat in the vein of other popular MMOs.
In the years that followed, RuneScape's historic popularity began to crater, and though Jagex introduced a Legacy Mode in 2014 which allowed players to use the traditional combat system, for many the damage was already done.
It's fair to say that Runescape still enjoys tens of thousands of concurrent players at any one time, but EoC caused the brand to take a massive hit from which it's never really recovered.
5. The "Final" Update Let Enemies See Through Walls - Far Cry
Crytek released the 1.4 patch for their 2004 FPS classic Far Cry in 2006, and it was intended to be the final update for the game, largely concerned with fixing minor bugs.
Except, 1.4 also introduced its own major glitch to the game, as enemies were now able to see and even fire their guns through walls and tents, which is pretty much the definition of a game-breaking bug.
Of course, players could simply roll their game back to an earlier version or install one of the many fixes released by the fan community, but it wasn't until last year, some 13 years after Far Cry came out, that an official hotfix was actually released for the GOG version of the game.
4. 2.30/2.40 Update Broke A.I. & Multiplayer - Wipeout HD
Though Wipeout HD received rave reviews upon release, it was patched into a broken state several years after its initial release when an update was created to allow cross-play with the PS Vita game Wipeout 2048.
The 2.30 update (or 2.40 for North America) snapped many of the game's A.I. routines in half, ensuring that CPU racers simply wouldn't fire weapons at you or use turbo boost. This certainly made the tougher tracks easier, at least, but wasn't really what players signed up for.
Elsewhere there were also reports of online leaderboards glitching out and players having their rank randomly reset. Though Sony did eventually release a patch to remedy most of these issues, the online community sadly never recovered and quickly fizzled out.
3. 1.27 Update Left Multiplayer Unbalanced - Killzone 2
Though Killzone 2's single player component was released without much incident, the game's multiplayer suite received vocal complaints from those playing as the Tactician class, who felt that their sentry bot's air support ability was simply too weak to be effective.
Guerrilla Games listened to the complaints and eventually released the 1.27 patch which gave the air support drones a significant boost in both damage and health, while also nerfing the speed with which opposing turrets and bots could target them.
But in a classic case of over-correction, this resulted in most other classes complaining that air support was now grossly over-powered, as the gameplay was just too chaotic to be much fun.
Sadly it fundamentally broke Killzone 2's multiplayer overnight, prompting many players to eventually take leave and never come back.
2. The 1GB "Fix" Removed The Best Part Of The Game - Sonic Boom: Rise Of Lyric
Now, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is in no way a good game, and some fans might even argue that it was released as fundamentally broken.
However, players soon enough realised that the terrible action-adventure game had a ludicrously entertaining hidden "feature": the infamous Knuckles infinite jump glitch.
Basically, while playing as Knuckles, players could achieve an infinite jump by jumping, pressing the Wii U controller's Y button, pausing, un-pausing, and then pressing Y again.
Hilariously, this allowed players to reach off-limits areas and, best of all, skip huge parts of this utterly joyless slog of a game.
Two months later, however, fans' fun was ruined when Sega finally patched the glitch out with a 1GB update, ensuring that anyone who hadn't yet finished Sonic Boom had to do so the hard way. Oof.
While this patch technically fixed the game's biggest "flaw," it also removed pretty much the single enjoyable thing about it. Boo.
1. Difficulty Adjustment Patch Caused Unbalanced Difficulty - Bionic Commando: Rearmed
Almost a year after it was released, cult classic remake Bionic Commando Rearmed received a console patch which provided a number of fixes intended to make the game more accessible.
This included making Easy and Normal difficulties easier, primarily by giving the player unlimited lives and allowing them to respawn as close to their last death as possible.
Bafflingly, developer Grin also decided to make Hard mode even more challenging, resulting in there being a colossal chasm of difficulty whereby Easy and Normal were too easy, but Hard was too damn hard.
The difficulty curve was far more consistent before the patch was released, and afterwards players were forced to either breeze their way through it with an embarrassing amount of ease or put up with a hard-as-nails endgame on Hard difficulty.