PS3 News: What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate - PS3 News

Members Login: Register | Why sign up? | Forgot Password?

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

Perhaps it's inevitable when one makes the jump to big business. Maybe the huge mega-global corporations are perfectly justified in saying something like, "how the hell can we possibly listen to every gamer out there?"

But you know, these days, we often see a very common complaint from gamers: "such-and-such company doesn't listen to us!" Square-Enix is a frequent scapegoat but one will often equate faceless executives with the likes of Activision and EA as well, and many hardcore fans will typically bemoan certain business decisions because their "feelings were ignored." But in defense of the companies in question, we may unfortunately have to embrace the maxim- money talks. Activision releases a Call of Duty every year because it's a giant cash cow. EA will continue with its popular franchises. Square-Enix will keep doing what it thinks is right in catering to a Western market. Fans from yesteryear can scream until they're blue in the face; they can send letters, make petitions, and freak out in the forums and comments sections at gaming websites...and if the corporation in question has grown to a particular size, those complaints may go unnoticed.

Due to the fact that this industry continues to grow and often remain in flux, we do have smaller studios amongst mammoth publishers (and even smaller publishers), so we can usually see the clear contrast. Take the recent new/old Cole fiasco concerning inFamous 2. Well, Sucker Punch isn't a gigantic studio and when it became painfully obvious that "douchebag-Cole" wasn't going over well, they went and responded. They did some work and made a significant change. They listened. This doesn't always work, though, and the level of effectiveness appears to be directly related to the size of the development studio or publisher. This isn't 100%, of course, as some companies are just better at listening to their fans but we do notice a difference. That being said, perhaps individual game makers do keep an eye on the community at large (they're gamers, too), and what they see on message boards may indeed impact the Monday meeting. So that's something.

In the end, is it okay for the big companies to focus on money? Isn't financial success (or lack thereof), the truest form of fan feedback? If this product makes money, and keeps making money, isn't it serving the fans to continue to produce similar products? It seems sensible. But what happens when the rising cry of, "we want something different" doesn't register in time, and the company spends a ton of money and resources on something that just doesn't work? Companies stayed on the music/rhythm bandwagon too long, as evidenced by last year's huge drop in that category.  It's a complicated issue, especially when you factor in the different types of gamers (hardcore, casual, and everything in between), and the differences in games and game-playing (genres, multiplayer vs. single-player, etc.). It can't be easy to determine the exact formula for success, but we still say listening is important, regardless of size or financial indicators.

Tags: developer, gamer feedback, game companies

8/22/2010 10:13:06 PM Ben Dutka

Put this on your webpage or blog:
Email this to a friend
Follow PSX Extreme on Twitter

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google Share on MySpace Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Buzz Share via E-Mail Share via Tumblr Share via Posterous

Comments (59 posts)

Scarecrow
Sunday, August 22, 2010 @ 10:41:11 PM
Reply

Coincidence that this all became a bigger problem when Microsoft stepped in?

This is why I tend to support Japanese games way more. Sure it's all about the money for them as well, but there's no doubt in my mind that they take art seriously.

MGS is a great example.

I know this, if I don't approve of a game, FFXIII for example, I will NOT buy it.

I still feel sorry for those of you who did. You have my condolences.

Agree with this comment 11 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

CHAOS THEORY X
Sunday, August 22, 2010 @ 10:44:39 PM
Reply

" Isn't financial success (or lack thereof), the truest form of fan feedback?"
I was tricked into pre-ordering FFXIII. Not making that mistake again...

Agree with this comment 9 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

shadowscorpio
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 9:03:07 PM

I was too and you can believe I won't do that again either..

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kangasfwa
Sunday, August 22, 2010 @ 11:19:29 PM
Reply

I think activision is listening to the fans (to a point). Would we be getting an "adventure/FPS" (CoD 8) otherwise?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 7 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 1:51:35 AM

Maybe, but who really knows what an adventure/FPS is, by their rationalisation. To me, it has to be something along the lines of Mirror's Edge, but I don't see Activision letting CoD go and do something out there different like that.
peace.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Kowhoho
Sunday, August 22, 2010 @ 11:25:47 PM
Reply

The thing is, once you start out small the priority you're going to have is doing things the right way, the way the people want it. (Of course they need to take care of their finances as well, but they're gonna do what they got into the business to do and their passion may be their priority)

Then, if you get big, you have to think about your employees as well and how your profit margin effects all of them.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Victor321
Sunday, August 22, 2010 @ 11:37:56 PM

So basically, the more bigger in the world you get, the harder it is to maintain it.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

gangan19
Sunday, August 22, 2010 @ 11:53:32 PM
Reply

Demon Souls!!!, An excellent game! it's not that hard at all. Well at least not for me, I have so much fun in that game...I want to thank those people who said to go get cause I'm missing out!...thank you.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

hellish_devil
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 12:03:33 AM

Demon's Souls isn't excellent. It's sticky excellent +5

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Clamedeus
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 7:26:34 AM

Demon's Souls FTW! Love that game.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

shadowscorpio
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 9:05:47 PM

I agree. Thank you all who suggested I get this game. I don't even want to put it down before I platimun it. Guess that means other games are going on the backburner.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

hellish_devil
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 12:00:51 AM
Reply

That's why I love Atlus and NIS

Agree with this comment 5 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Qubex
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 12:09:09 AM
Reply

Ben, it can be a difficult question. I see it everyday at work. How my life (and others) goes through the motions of whether there will be job security in the future, or whether are not we are making enough sales each quarter to sustain our business model, make a profit and keep staff employed.

I think this questions begs to understand how do developers satisfy their "loyal" customer base whilst actual improving the bottom line.

AAA developer studios have a good following already, and their popularity has grown because their "core" group of fans have grown with them. As they release squeals and updates to their beloved series, so they usually make more, and their "core" fan base grows to a healthy number, permitting more development and further "improvements".

The problem comes in when a developer "takes for granted" that loyal and trusted core of supporters. They are the ones who got you where you are now... their dollars. The developer struck a cord with their fan base, and it has taken that developer years to build it. They have settled on a formula that "works"... why change it?

So, respectively, for each developer, be it Infinity Ward, TreyArch, Team ICO, Squueeeenix, Guerilla, Polyphony etc etc... will "mature" and "change" over time, and to "enhance" existing formuliac experience try to create brand new exciting experience - that may or may not gel with their "core" group of supporters.

It is a fine balance to be struck. In the case of Squuueeeeenix they "alienated" their "core group" with FFXIII, but it seems, they have heard the calling and are doing what they can to "redress" those issues. If they don't, and they continue losing support, it could be a devastating blow.

I am a firm believer that the "core" supporters are your most important customers. If you keep them happy, that core support customer base will continue to grow... all be it, a little slower thank if a developer simply changes the formula to try and appeal to another crowed of gamers... and, in the process, possibly causing their downfall over time.

For each category of game, developers need understand who their market is, how a particular formula of game mechanic and presentation suits that market and try to stick to it... and within that "comfortable" formula enhance and develop the IP to be more innovative and exciting...

Look at Starcraft II as a good example. Or Mass Effect II. Similar forumla's but presentation, gameplay and story have all been enhanced... is it that difficult?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 8/23/2010 12:13:15 AM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 1:41:08 AM

"The problem comes in when a developer 'takes for granted' that loyal and trusted core of supporters. They are the ones who got you where you are now... their dollars. The developer struck a cord with their fan base, and it has taken that developer years to build it. They have settled on a formula that 'works'... why change it?"

You know, I've thought about this a lot. The only conclusion I can come to is when I try to picture a meeting at some place like Square-Enix-

They're looking over the charts or whatever and noticing the ailing Japanese industry, while also noting the rising West branch. They're going, "are we willing to take the risk that our loyal fan base is big enough to support us in this shifting age?"

This must've made everyone really nervous on the Japanese side. I don't blame some executives for going, "to be safe, we really need to roll with this and make sure we try to appeal to new audiences we currently don't have." But then there are the big Western pubs like EA and Activision and I'm relatively certain they're entirely about numbers and expansion. But even then, look what happened when they both figured the music boom would just keep going at the same pace. The genre fell over 50% in one year and WELL before that, people were going, "uh...we're really done with the Guitar Heros and Rock Bands and spin-offs for now."

But as you say, it's complicated.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

BikerSaint
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 12:12:41 AM
Reply

We should be asking the companies "Which one will you become known as...Pride or Greed?

It all boils down to whether the company decides to take the high road to be known as craftsmen & artisans who care that they're making the very best they can with both, their core, and future customers too, in mind. And the willingness to listen to, and take in account all constructive feedback too....

...or whether they blindly follow the MS low road approach of "as long as we're raking in the money, then F*ck em!

Fair warning to all developers:

The "high roader's" will keep being rewarded time over time for their hard work & diligence of listening to their fan-base on what keeps their games great, and what doesn't work.


But sadly, little do the "low road'ers" know that like a roll of rough toilet paper, we'll soon get tired of always getting our butts bloodied, and we'll just start buying the better brands of TP instead.

BTW Ben, I dug that "HUD" reference!


Last edited by BikerSaint on 8/23/2010 12:19:42 AM

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 2:06:26 AM
Reply

An interesting topic. As much as I would like to rant and rave and decry these immoral companies that are out to get our money by any means necessary, I can't do that. It is the point of business to do that, and such a thing cannot be done without gaining a larger audience with each new, more expensive range of products that you introduce. I'm not just talking gaming here, but any business. It has to consistently earn more money to be able to create newer, better products.

When it comes to games, or any entertainment media field really, of course the audience plays a role in determining the direction of a game, but more often than not it is through our wallets. As much as we scream and b**** and cry about how we feel in regards to a particular product, if you continue to buy the aforementioned product, and support development of other such titles, then it only makes sense for a developer, a filmmaker or a musician to follow those market trends.

The reason, I feel, that Sucker Punch was at liberty to change the face of New Cole wasn't because it was something the fans wanted, but rather because it was a small change, that really didn't require a whole lot of effort on their part, but would quell the hate for the game. The same can't be said for S-E. Even if it were still a small company with a relatively small fan base, and the information about the linearity and d***ed-up battle system had leaked to the public, I sincerely doubt that they would have made any major changes to it. The reason being that they would have already invested so much money, time and energy into crafting the game in the way that they had seen fit, that it would have been counterproductive to change it all.

I think that there are many different factors that contribute to potential changes to a game while in development. It really can't be determined for what reason a company chooses to listen to, or ignore their fanbase, as they will often lie through their teeth to appease the fans. That's my two cents (more like ten cents).
Peace.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 2:07:23 AM

Damn curse words...

Agree with this comment 0 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:30:42 AM

All right, but let me ask you a question: do you think that if a bigger company was in charge of inFamous, they would've responded in the same way to that fan feedback...?

It's a relatively small change, as you say, so would bigger companies really even care?

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Lawless SXE
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 1:26:33 PM

I think that if it such a small thing has a chance to improve their bottom line they would. So yes, but only because it is such a minor thing.
Peace.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

THE-GAMER
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 3:10:15 AM
Reply

I have a question, is PS jailbreak legit or BS because i saw on the web the other day and couldn't believe it, i know it has no meaning to this article so i just posted it

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Zorigo
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 4:36:10 AM

I think it was done by a professional company and rather than going public, theiy're gonna sell the info to Sony so sony can keep the ps3 un-jail broken so to speak(by patching over whatever allowed the guys to break it), while the company makes money by selling this to Sony.

I would hate to see the ps3 jail broken because it would f*ck up things, and i myself wouldn't do it because if my ps3 got taken offline or something, god damn would i be pissed.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

___________
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 3:53:24 AM
Reply

depends on what people are asking for.
some things are simple and can be easily met, other things not so.
developers certainly listen to feedback though, i mean look at infamous 2.
just because fans request things, and developers dont implement them in there game does not mean they dont listen it just means maybe they did not get a chance, or maybe it just would not work!

developers certainly listen to fan feedback though, i mean look at assassins creed 2.
allot of twitch idiots complained the cut scenes after the death of each Templar was too long.
so ubisoft cut the cut scene lengths in assassins creed 2, and now instead of having the Templars trying to explain why they think what there doing is the best thing for man kind you get a whole bunch of gibberish!

or people wanted multiplayer for uncharted, so what did naughty dog implement in uncharted 2?

developers certainly listen to feedback, but what i would really like to see is some customer interaction.
valve allot of times play games with their fans, send them emails to see how their going, send them emails on things they would like to see added to steam, heck they even went to a few fans houses to see their L4D2 mods when they were here to promote the game!
now how many developers come to your house to test your game!?
if thats not fan service than i dont know what is!

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Vivi_Gamer
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 4:11:45 AM
Reply

Really i think they're listening more than ever, practically every video on E3 they said they listened t the fans.... if that is ture is questionable of course.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Zorigo
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 4:34:01 AM
Reply

Its kinda true, i mean Acitivision dont listen to gamers.. they piss us off
Sucker Punch, Naughty Dog, those guys listen to gamers... i'll let their titles speak for themselves

point made my friends.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Godslim
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 7:46:39 AM

yeh activision dont listen like with the stupid amounts of money the map packs on cod cost! which is a shame coz i luv iw's work

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ChronowerX_GT
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 6:11:04 AM
Reply

Am I the only one that heard Civil War by Guns and Roses when I read the title?

Ben, you've got a point about measuring fan feedback by financial success. But perhaps some of the bigger franchises will sell regardless of the quality.

For example, if the next GTA was really bad, I bet it would still be a best seller because people would just assume it will be great. You can say the same with Gran Turismo, COD or MGS. I know GT5 will be a day one purchase regardless of if I've tried it or not. For all I know (but I very much doubt it), GT5 could be a load of rubbish but I would have still bought a copy. I know that's exactly what happened to me with Far Cry and Far Cry 2.

However, it's still a fairly good way of measuring feedback. The previous game had to be good for people to buy the next, right?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:34:17 AM

That may be true but there are very, very few titles in this industry that would translate to automatic sales. GTA, Halo, Madden, etc.

But thankfully, basically all such titles are great, anyway. ;)

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

ChronowerX_GT
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 12:04:23 PM

I think that's why demo's are so important though. It really does let you make your mind up.

I can see if the game's bad, how it can be in the publishers best interest to not release a demo, but really no one should be hiding what they created. Almost all of my games have been bought from trying out a good demo. The likes of Burnout and Just Cause 2 gave really good demo's and I bought their games. I don't think I'd own Dirt 2 or MGS or even Mirrors Edge if I hadn't played the demo first. I only wish that all games had demo's released.

There are plenty of great games out there that havn't had demo's released. Like Fallout 3. I'm sure I'd have bought the game sooner (closer to it's £30-40 asking price) rather than waiting until I got the Limited Edition for £10 on ebay last month. I'd like to see COD demo's especially. Just because everyone raves about it doesn't mean I'll like it. I never really liked COD 5 apart from Nazi Zombies, (it wasn't bad but I'm very tough to please, that's why my collection is so small :p) but I refuse to pay the £25 for a used copy of MW2 of ebay before I try it for myself.

Sorry if it seems a little off topic. But if you game publishers are listining, can we have more demo's please? If you make good games then I'm sure I'd buy more.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

www
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 6:16:06 AM
Reply

Well with my experience with EA, I think they've listened to us in the forums when it comes to FIFA. I'm a very big fan of FIFA and I buy it EVERY year and looking at the improvements with each installment, I think they listen.
As for COD, i've had it, am not getting no Black OPS nor MOH, or any upcoming fps for that matter.
I'll be getting ME2 for 360, and I'm fine playing Red Dead Redemption and GTA episodes till the end of the year. Yea well, I might get GT5 too.

Last edited by www on 8/23/2010 6:18:37 AM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Godslim
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 7:45:16 AM

yeh im not getting moh or black ops either dude for my fps fix i'll wait for mw3
a game iam looking forward to is dead space tho and that was a surprise from ea

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

www
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:00:40 AM

This last quarter of the year is literally a games drought, at least on my part, cause am not interested in Halo Reach, AC Brotherhood, LBP2, MOH, all the great games came out early, FFXIII, Heavy Rain, GOW3, Red Dead, all of it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Alienange
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 6:17:53 PM

Oh how I loved RDR. If only every game was that good.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

JackC8
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 7:10:05 AM
Reply

I think it all comes back to what Kojima said about motivation. With small companies, you've got people who love what they're doing and they come from the same community of gamers that we belong to. When you get to big corporations, they're hiring business school grad's who couldn't care less about the industry, only their salary level.

It's like the company I buy my stereo speakers from. They're a small company in Iowa, and they love what they do. You go to the internet boards that deal with home theater stuff, and their employees are right there answering questions. Got a problem with something? The guy who designed your speakers might just give you some advice. The day that I received my subwoofer from them, one of their employees called me up and asked if it arrived safely, and if I had any questions. That's motivation, and a love of what you do, and an extreme willingness to go the extra mile for your customers.

There's absolutely no reason a big company can't hire a couple people to browse the internet boards, get the general pulse of the gaming community, and pass the info on to the executives. It's just that MBA's who were hoping to get a job at an investment firm but through some cruel twist of fate wound up at a video game publisher, well; they don't give a damn about that stuff. They're 100 times more concerned with their investment portfolio and their ESOP and getting that big promotion.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

rogergent
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 7:14:32 AM
Reply

The trouble with the big devs/pubs at the moment is that they have made enough money for themselves that if their company went down tomorrow it would not matter as they are all set for life so to them it does not matter what we want and that wont change.
its only the small ones that need the money that care

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

maxpontiac
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 8:50:08 AM
Reply

I still don't believe multi-platform (and some exclusive) companies listen to the PS3 fanbase as a whole.

If they did, the PS3 games would have the Blu Ray's filled to capacity. The games would also utilize YouTube and screen capture features.

Some day I guess.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

A2K78
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 9:12:53 AM
Reply

Games are far more expensive to make these days and hardly even turn a profit. With that mind developers have pretty much right to avoid the "fans" because in the end its their money they are gambling with.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

Mornelithe
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:18:00 AM
Reply

"But what happens when the rising cry of, "we want something different" doesn't register in time, and the company spends a ton of money and resources on something that just doesn't work?"

Ben, in this case, I can't feel any remorse or pity for a developer who goes belly-up, and it's because of this right here "is it okay for the big companies to focus on money?"

It's perfectly fine for big companies to focus on money, I just don't have to give a damn when their cookie cutter garbage goes belly-up. They try to force feed us obnoxious shooter after obnoxious shooter, with little ingenuity, thought, or passion thrown into it. As you say, it's about making money, not about quality. Was Doom about making money?

In my opinion, allot of the quality have left the bigger games companies, all they see is dollar signs, not the prospect of designing a brand new, fresh way of looking at a genre, or even creating a new one. Gaming has become so popular that it's like the music or movie industry, the media or publishers tell the consumer what they want, and the consumer stupidly goes out and buys it without a second thought. Yeah, you keep your Call of Duty's, Rock Bands, and Guitar Hero's, right next to your Brittney Spears, N'Sync and New Kids on the Block albums.

(This isn't to say you enjoy/prefer etc.. the aforementioned items, simply that type of person, prone to being told what's awesome, can)

Last edited by Mornelithe on 8/23/2010 10:22:51 AM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:33:15 AM

But that sort of clashes with one fact- this industry still rewards quality. Many of the best-selling titles are also the best of the year; it has been a rule for a very long time; a rule I'm very proud of as a gamer. No other entertainment industry rewards quality (of all kinds) on such a consistent basis.

So if that's the case, a developer or publisher can't make money with crap. It just doesn't happen. You produce junk that gets a 5 from reviewers, it's an automatic flop. So why SHOULDN'T they view money as the ultimate indicator? "They're only going to give us their money if the game is good," is what most developers believe. Remember, devs are gamers too and want to make a fantastic experience...some publishers can hinder that, though.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Mornelithe
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 10:49:01 AM

I actually disagree partially with your opening statement there man, I think that 'some' games are rewarded justly. But the industry itself tends to be rewarded through great marketing.

The reason why I feel this way? Look at the sales of Uncharted 1-2, LBP, Alan Wake. From experience, and what I've read on the latter, all are stellar titles, but have sold well below what I'd consider appropriate for their quality, especially when compared to other less...creative IP's.

Uncharted 2: 3.55m
LBP: 3.61m (the PSP version hasn't even hit 1m yet)
Alan Wake: .66m

Call of Duty MW2:
PS3: 8.41m
360: 11.4m


See what I'm getting at? LBP, Uncharted and Alan Wake, are awesome games that deserved to be rewarded. Granted, Uncharted didn't bomb, neither did LBP, but that together they couldn't even amass the sales of 1 version of MW2? I find that apalling.

Unfortunately, as I said, marketing simply makes up where ingenuity, creativity and passion leaves off. And in many cases, can be more compelling to potential consumers. A damn shame, I say, but the truth, as I've seen it so far.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Mornelithe
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 11:12:41 AM

On the same topic however, I really, really hope the world recognizes the quality, passion and the sheer dedication Polyphony and Kazunori have poured into GT5, and it smashes all of their previous sales records.

15-20mil in sales, that's what I want to see.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 12:28:05 PM

You're falling into the same trip a LOT of people fall into: somehow assuming MW2 is junk.

Look, there's plenty of junk on store shelves. I hand out way more average scores than high (or even "decent") scores. All reviewers do. MW2 is hardly in the same category as Clive Barker's Jericho or Alpha Protocol. Call of Duty is hardly a sub-par product, as much as you may hate it. It's one of the best available; easily in the top 5% of games that are made.

Junk doesn't sell. Period. The 5s and 6s (which cannot be applied to MW2) fail. All you're doing is comparing the absolute elite (like the top few games of the entire generation), to the sub-elite (top 25 or 50, maybe). They make hundreds; thousands of games. Most gamers don't understand how much mediocrity there is because they don't have to play it; they simply don't buy crap, as I said before.

Reviewers like me play it all the time. And as far as I'm concerned, MW2 is in the same category as Uncharted, Alan Wake: the top-tier products. The other 80-90% of titles released can't compete in terms of overall quality and hence, they don't compete in terms of sales.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Mornelithe
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 1:53:36 PM

@ Ben: Well, I really assume nothing, this is information gained from 3 individuals who've actually played MW2, however, they've also played Stalker, CoD:UO and CoD2, and ArmaII. Guess which ones they're still playing?

MW2 is garbage on many levels, vastly inferior to Uncharted, LBP or Alan Wake in my opinion, HOWEVER, in the real worldn (that being, a world not clouded by my hatred of consolized shooters), the simple facts are Uncharted 1+2, LBP and Alan Wake got reviews above or equal-to MW2, right? And they sell not just 'less', but less than a quarter? That's a huge problem, imo.

I respect your opinion on a great many things Ben, I really do, but there are far far better FPS' to be had, than MW2. It remains to be seen if GSC and Crytek are able to aptly show a new sector of gamers some of what they've been missing. Playing anything less simply feels like forcing myself to be satisfied with an inferior product.

Heh, as an afterthought, maybe MW2 was a bad choice, I was just thinking of high-selling games that weren't exactly hype-meeting achievements. Uncharted 2, smashed the hype to bits and pieces.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 2:20:31 PM

Well, you have to recognize that you're completely eliminating scores and scores of mediocre games (most of which you've probably never heard of) and putting MW2 at the bottom of your scale. Most games that don't necessarily meet the hype, as you say, are still excellent in COMPARISON to what is available.

I'm not saying I believe MW2 - or other amazingly popular blockbusters - should've sold more than Uncharted 2, Alan Wake, LBP and the like; I'm not even saying it deserves that billion dollars it made. I'm not saying that innovation is always rewarded. I'm just saying that if you actually looked at the games that got released in any given year, you'd realize that REGARDLESS of MW2's inferiority to other FPSs (which I'm not denying), it is still in the upper echelon. The games that aren't are likely games you've never even seen or knew existed.

There are probably 1300 games available on the PS3...I will guarantee you that at least 1200, if not more, are well below MW2 in terms of quality. You have to understand that the world of gaming is not restricted to the top hundred games in existence, just because those are the only ones most gamers choose to acknowledge.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 8/23/2010 2:22:43 PM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Mornelithe
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 1:19:43 PM

@ Ben: Yeah, I realize I picked the wrong game to compare notes on here. But, still, the point remains that not all highly rated games, perform as they should.

And getting back to the original point of the response, because devs are only interested in money, and more inclined to sacrifice bits and pieces of what they want their game to be, how is it our problem, to see them flounder and die, when they sacrifice too much?

Yes, it's about making money, but...isn't it also about making something people will enjoy? IE Entertainment? By sacrificing so much, and trying to target as wide an audience as possible, you run the risk of watering down the parts that people really enjoy/cling too. As such, damn right you should burn at retail for it.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Mornelithe
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 1:25:01 PM

@ Wreckless: I'm sorry you feel that way, but I prefer devs to actually look beyond the dollar signs once in awhile. Take Polyphony Digital for example, they probably could've released GT5 a year ago, just cut out parts that weren't finished and be done with it. But, they've chosen not to sacrifice anything for this game, right? And, I'm betting it's going to be the best selling game on the PS3, by mid-2011, and it'll remain that way for quite some time.

Other devs are not that obsessive about their IP, they're not that adamant about bringing exactly what _they_ want to gamers. They simply see those dollar signs, make something shallow, easy, and lacking in any kind of uniqueness toss it out and viola, your company just went under. That's their fault. Not ours.

Last edited by Mornelithe on 8/24/2010 1:25:16 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Fane1024
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 5:22:39 PM

@ Mornelithe

You could not be more wrong about Rock Band.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 11:04:53 AM
Reply

Be careful what you wish for. Here is a cautionary tale with regards to 'listening' to 'gamers'.

Burnout Paradise was a very unique game - for a while. Once upon a time Criterion had a concept for the game that had it changing several times in it's life. About 8 months into it's life Criterion had many good things planned for the game. Some of these features included social gaming innovation such as a calendar of race events, prizes for winning or competing, and community led and designed events.

Now, it's important to note that EA is the publisher for Criterion. At about the time that Criterion was readying their first wave of calendar events they released an update that included two new cars. The cars were intended as prizes for the race events, and there were other things such as special skins for cars that would also be used in the same manner.

Sounds great, right? Criterion's band of loyal gamers, the real hardcore fans were really anticipating all of this wonderful stuff, but it wasn't widely known because it was mostly discussed on Criterion's own forum. Well, something happened. Criterion released one of the new cars to about 50 people, mostly journalists and devs, but they included about a dozen ordinary gamers who were their semi-official community leaders on the Criterion Forum. In less than 72 hours everything turned into dog poo. 1000s of angry young men with fully paid up memberships with the Eye of Moron flooded the criterion forum. They also flooded EA's forums and complained to EA that some were being given this car, so everyone should, it wasn't fair, they cried.

What happened next is something that should be regretted and seen as a lesson to be learned. EA listened to the many tearful whiners and ordered Criterion to release the prize cars to everyone. After all the negativity on Criterion's own forum (most of it aimed at Criterion), that forum closed down. The community leaders were publicly blamed -wrongly - by Criterion for the problems with the car, and the whole planned series of events was canned. In fact because of the way the prize cars were originally to have been enabled, the only way to give the car to everyone at once was to make it a permanent 'test drive weekend' for everyone. Doing this disabled several new features that had been added to the game in the most recent update, and it was months before it was all sorted out by a further update.

What happened here was that Criterion was listening to it's core audience, the gamers that really were into the game, and they were experimenting with new features and ways to play. Kind of an on-going beta test. Then when EA listened to the unthinking whining and mass complaints of more casual players, EA acted without thinking and the result was that many innovative changes to the game were lost.

Listening to your gamers can be both good and bad. One error that Criterion made along the way was they listened to the criticism of the unthinking Eye of Moron, and took it personally. You can never listen to that negativity, it is purely destructive noise.

However what's done is done. I think that game developers should listen only to their own heart and their trusted testers. Otherwise they risk losing the artistic vision they have, and risk pandering to one or another section of the potential audience. One thing that developers and publishers need to do is never listen to the dark, negative voice of the Internet.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 11:20:44 AM

BTW This is a true story. I still love the guys at Criterion, I understand the pressure that developers can be under sometimes. I do still mourn the passing of what could have been though.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/23/2010 11:22:42 AM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Snaaaake
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 11:30:17 AM

I kinda don't get it, you're saying that the car was to be a prize to be won and they gave it free to some people and many others found out and they cry about it?

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 11:47:06 AM

They gave the car to some as a test vehicle. For some it was a virtual reward for things they'd done for Criterion, and for journalists it was a fairly standard pre-release tryout. The cars were to be available to all via competition and participation.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/23/2010 11:47:36 AM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Snaaaake
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 12:42:12 PM

And the whiners whined about they had to get it via competition?
Dude.......and I don't hear people whining about lucky people getting the GOWIII demo code earlier than everyone else.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

nogoat23
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 4:07:16 PM

Wow, does this mean that if I round up a million complainers that we can all have Nobel Peace prizes?

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Luiscosmo2
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 12:36:02 PM
Reply

U can't please anyone...Plus the constumers arent always right... if we want change they change it and we complain dat its not the same and if they keep it the same we complain we want sumthin new... So its easier in some aspects.. to let money talk.

Last edited by Luiscosmo2 on 8/23/2010 12:36:15 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

nogoat23
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 4:47:30 PM
Reply

Windows 7 commercial spoof:
http://www.collegehumor.com/video:1929452

Is it sometimes a good thing to incorporate the ideas of fans? Yep, just ask the Sonic fans that are finally getting a game like Sonic 4.

Is it sometimes a bad thing to incorporate the ideas of fans? Yep, just ask Henry Ford.

"If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse." -Henry Ford

Is there an easy way to determine whether you should listen or not? Nope.

Agree with this comment 1 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Alienange
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 6:32:37 PM
Reply

No company, big or small, is going to make money unless their game is good/great in the eyes of its target market.

Large companies that produce a similar game year after year are criticized by MANY gamers, and yet they stick to their guns, unwavering in their determination to keep that winning formula alive, knowing full well that their customers will be very happy to keep supporting them.

SE lost track of who they are. They tried to bring western gamers into a flagship rpg instead of simply making a new IP. That was their mistake. They made a great game, but it doesn't necessarily appeal to any one market.

As for Guitar Hero and Rockband, well, they're more of an experience than a game. Once you've had the experience, and once you've filled your basement with plastic, well, the latest editions just don't look as appealing.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 8:50:19 PM
Reply

First and foremost Cool Hand Luke was just awesome. I think we gamers aren't heard until we complain in unison. So here's to my way of thinking. J/K.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 9:08:26 PM


If the developers would at least address issues and tell people why they're not going to do certain fan requests, it would be different. The way they act, we're left with feeling like idiots for being their fans. Se hears us, they just have to. That's what's the best example of ignoring your fans and it's kinda heart breaking.

Edit: Ooops, messed this post up. I was supposed to have this comment connected with the other stupid comment.




Last edited by tes37 on 8/23/2010 9:11:19 PM

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

tes37
Monday, August 23, 2010 @ 9:17:51 PM

I meant to say

SE hears us, they just have to. That's the best example of ignoring your fans and it's kinda heart breaking.

I promise not to drink and post again. I tried to make sense, and no I wasn't drinking in past posts.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Robochic
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 @ 2:24:05 AM
Reply

fact is most large companies are greedy they see it as hey we've listened to you for many years when we were no bodies now we're some bodies now I can ignore you so i can do what I want to do.

Agree with this comment 0 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Leave a Comment

Please login or register to leave a comment.

Our Poll

What do you think of the Destiny beta?
It's awesome! Can't wait for September!
It's only good, but I'm having fun.
Eh, it's okay, but I expected more.
It sucks, period.

Previous Poll Results