Quoted from soren:
I don't think the term "released with incomplete code" goes for the software updates in the old Willy days and Whitestar Sterns. That was mearly unintentional and unknown bugs discovered in the wild post release.
No, this isn't true. Back in the day, games definitely came out with very incomplete and rough code in them. It's just that since they weren't selling directly into the home market, basically no one noticed. When I got my DM which was a HUO game, it was missing a TON of the gameplay. But, with 7000+ units made, if the first 500 of them had incomplete or buggy code, it didn't really matter... and it would usually eventually be caught and fixed.
If Stern is only making 500 LEs for instance, and they are selling nearly 100% of those LEs to the home market, it is just way easier to spot than it was. Also, with their LE way, Stern is basically doing double the work to bring each game out, which means a lot more coding needs to be done. It makes the whole process slower.
It really is nothing new, it's just that who they are marketing to changed, and with that comes a different expectation... but then again, they are still selling a significant amount to ops, and you can't tell an op, "Hey! Here's my new game! It isn't done, but I bet it will earn well!" because they won't believe you.