I hear this one a lot. How the ability to patch games has made the game developers of today lazy. They rush to release games by a dead line, put out an unfinished product, and rely on the update systems.
Considering how many release dates have been scrapped, I kind of doubt this. Sure, they rush to meet deadlines, but who doesn’t? The testers certainly have improved. When was the last time you saw “Uh oh. The truck have started to move!” or beat a game to be congratulated with “congraturation!”?
All games have glitches, and we used to regard a few of them as something special instead of complaining about them. The Minus World and Kill Screens come to mind. I am certain there were a lot of other glitches going on that were not publicized though. Most of us probably never experienced them, but I imagine that they were there. I even found a way to exploit an old hockey game on the SNES so that I would score a goal every single time, and I imagine that would get patched if it were a Xbox Live or PSN game today. With modern games being a lot more complex, and a lot more people playing the more popular ones, a lot of glitches are found and exploited. In Call of Duty, patches come out all of the time, and people take notice of this. I cannot say for sure what all of them are for, but some are to prevent people from getting an unfair advantage via a glitch. Getting out of a level for example, something that has been happening since at least the days of Socom on PS2. The others are likely minor bug fixes.
In closing, I don’t think ability to patch systems has lead to lazier video game developers. I think it has really just brought a grater awareness of bugs to the consumer.