Video games just keep getting more complex. Commercial games that used to get made by small teams of developers are not multi-office endeavors requiring hundreds (or even thousands) of employees. It’s only natural a few bugs are going to sneak through the cracks — but these aren’t your normal everyday bugs. The bugs on this list wreck your game, wreck your computer, and maybe even wreck your life. Sometimes bugs are bad, and sometimes they’re catastrophic.
Here are 10 infamous bugs from gaming’s past. Some of these are recent, some of them are old, but they’re all devastating reminders that video games aren’t always fun. When everything goes wrong, your files can get deleted, or even your Windows partition can be broken completely. There are some surprisingly huge games with massive problems, and we’re exploring some of the times gaming just went completely wrong due to bugs.
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Beware The Half-Life Uninstaller
Half-Life signaled a sea change in shooters. After Half-Life, shooters became thrilling story-telling experiences with tight action and explosive set-pieces built with care and polish. Half-Life 1 really changed everything — and it’s also one of the most popular games of all-time that can completely chew up the insides of your computer with an all-time terrible bug.
On PC, uninstalling Half-Life 1 could delete your entire Program Files folder. Instead of deleting the folder where Half-Life is installed, the Sierra uninstall utility will wipe out the entire root folder. This was the old days of PC Gaming, before Steam and cloud saves — everything was in the Program Files. All your save files and installation folders. And this problem was never really fixed.
Instead Valve released Half-Life Source, which doesn’t feature this problem at all. It’s the only version anyone can buy and for good reason. It won’t delete all your files! If you installed Half-Life straight onto the Windows directory, it could do far worse.
Playstation Underground Sends Out The Worst Christmas Gift Ever
One of the most unbelievable screw-ups of all time comes from the Playstation Underground magazine. Back in the days before internet became the only game in town, gaming magazines tried to entice customers with packed-in demo discs. One of these discs came with Viewtiful Joe 2 on the PS2 — and attempting to play the demo wiped entire PS2 memory cards.
Infact, the demo doesn’t just delete all save files on a single memory card. It wipes all the memory cards inserted into console. Sony tried to warn customers by sending out postcards telling readers to remove all memory cards from the PS2 before inserting the disc. Too bad those info cards didn’t arrive for weeks!
You can even read about the press release sent out way back in 2004.
These are the bugs that made us want to snap our CPUs in half. Check the next page for even more despair-inducing bugs in gaming.