Nearly all competitive games get “patched.” The NFL updates its rules every year. FIFA recently added goal line cameras to competitive matches. In fact, the only games that I can think of that don’t get updated are turn based, like Chess. Despite these small changes, the games themselves are rarely affected. This past year, the NFL updated a rule concerning running backs charging forward. Prior to this change, a player could run headfirst (literally) into an opposing player, but after the rule changes if the “crown of the helmet” made contact with an opposing player, then the runner’s team would be penalized. Despite a lot of buzz about this new rule, it has barely been called this season, resulting in little to no difference in the play of the game.
I think that this is an example of a “good patch.” It probably changed the way that players were coached to run with the ball, but ultimately it made little difference in the overall look and feel of the sport. This is because American Football has rules that are mostly set in stone. Since the advent of the forward pass, not much of the game has changed. Soccer, long known as “The Beautiful Game” due to its simplicity, has barely changed in a hundred years. Because the rules in these games are roughly fixed, the emphasis of competition is on putting together talented players, managers, coaches, and strategists in order to win.