It seems that you like programming analogies. If so, and if you’re a real programmer, you should know, that refactoring others code ALWAYS takes much time, than writing it down from scratch. I did indeed summons other posts, but:
It’s the opposite. Any programmer can add a feature he’s told to add without any problem. But tweaking game balance, finding those perfect numbers is the hardest part of any game. That’s why there is so many beautiful games nowadays, that don’t make it out of early access or die on release. Paragon, Fortnite PVE, Lawbreakes - just some titles I can remember offhand.
And fixing bugs is much harder, than adding features, primarily because it’s hard to find those bugs. Gamebreaking bugs should be fixed, but
And as for balancing, well:
Can not agree more.
One more thing: VT1 had a QoL mod, made by 2 people in their spare time. This mod addressed almost all of the paragraphs in my list. And now there is a studio, that can a) hire these guys together with their mod b) write their own version of it, which should be better and faster, since they have access to the source code. But you’re trying to protect them, telling that’s hard. Sounds far-fetched.