Monday, July 23, 2012

Beyond Our Influence

An interesting article by Simon Hill on Digital Trends has me asking if gamers are pushing too hard for changes, or are devs becoming more aggressive at sticking to their guns.

Lately we have been hearing a lot of backlash from gamers about making changes to games. The ending to Mass Effect 3 is a prime example. There was a giant uproar from the internet and people were not going down quietly. The result was a free add-on of an alternate ending.

Much of what you see online with MMO’s is also from the influence of customers. Not just new items or quests, but sometimes redesigning the whole damn engine. Consumers have a lot of power, mostly due to the almighty dollar (they want your money of course).

Not all ideas are good, however. For every 1 good idea, there are probably a million really crappy ones from fans.

Realistically if devs followed the whim of every gamer, there wouldn’t be any content out there, or a bunch of really boring games. Even if you want to see a tiger riding a motorcycle spewing flames at rainbows, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world wants to see it too. In fact, most of us probably don’t. I’m not spending $59.99 without tax on that.

I like Katsuhiro’s (Tekken) point of view as well as some of the BioWare devs (posts removed after beta testing for TOR so can’t really link them). But the summary is to put some faith into the devs. They know what they’re doing and they’re doing it for a reason. Take a step back, look at the whole picture, and stop being babies.

Thumbs up.

There is a balancing act of trying to get your ideas across without it going over the heads of your audience. If after testing people truly don’t understand what’s up, then yes. By all means please change your game, and a lot of times devs will do that. If it’s just “let’s do this” but devs know that would never work in said game, then it won’t happen.

Realistic Expectations.

That’s what it should be called. If fans unite in mass and are truly unhappy with something in a game, they need to provide realistic alternatives to resolve the problem.

My simple 2 cents.


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