Assessing the Exchanges
Software Expert on Exchanges: Without New Management, Project Is Doomed
‘Tech Experts: Health Exchange Site Needs Total Overhaul’
Design Firm Wipes Website of References to Work on Healthcare.gov
Admittedly these are all from National Review, a conservative publication, but that's just because I was too lazy to scour the web looking for MSM articles. The links in the stories have some of those. Besides, the focus of this post isn't about the wisdom of Obamacare. I want to point out how good of a job game companies do on a day-to-day basis.
Think about it. The U.S. government spent a reported $634 million on the website and it had a hard time even creating accounts at launch. Even Star Wars: The Old Republic only spent $200-$250 million and not only could you create an account to play, it has some pretty good voice acting! Admittedly, over the past 14 months both Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn had to stop digital sales after launch due to demand, but that's because they just didn't have enough servers built. All across the political spectrum of the U.S. media outlets are reporting that the design and coding of the exchanges left a lot to be desired.
Just from reading the coverage over the past 3 weeks I'm convinced that the policy makers thought that building a website as massive as Obamacare was easy. Hey, Blizzard had 12 million players (when the law was passed) and the target insurance market is about 16 million. All that's needed is throw money at the problem, and the government has a lot of that. Easy, right?
Watching the technical train wreck makes me realize how easy companies like Blizzard, CCP, ArenaNet, NCSoft and SOE make running an incredibly complicated software project look. Sure, we complain about bugs and lag and exploits, but I've never had an instance where I couldn't create an account and log into a game I'd just purchased. I've read people complain about a lack of QA on game forums, but the Obamacare exchanges are giving me a greater appreciation of just how much goes right in order for us to play our games.