Friday, March 9, 2012

Dear Game Industry, it is Time to Stop Listening to Fans

I have talked before about how game fans can be some of the most annoying entities in the universe. They can be self-entitled, nitpicking, know-it-all twats that make everything in their power to annoy the shit out of everybody in ears reach. There is some fans who utterly believe that they and only they know what is better for the industry as a whole and will make a storm in a teacup if they feel wronged. And I put part of the blame on developers and publishers.

See, some of the worst 'fans' (this world will be used very, very loosely here) reactions we have are against some of the companies best know for how close and supportive they are of the fans. Valve, one of the companies who are considered the best in the treatment of their fans and customers and BioWare, another company known for working close with the fans.

Valve was always supportive of their community. Damn, they still launch content (sometimes free) for Team Fortress, a game with years on its back. And yet the 'fans' act like what they do are not enough. They act like spoiled children, who believes they deserve more than they really do and act angry and betrayed when they receive a 'sorry, we can't give what you want'.

Valve try very hard to be the cool guys in the block and the 'fans' just decided to 'jump on their backs' as we say here. They decided to abuse Valve's good will and now become very demanding on the company. It is not enough all good things Valve do, they want Valve to become a slave to them, complying with any petty demanding they feel they deserve.

BioWare is another company famous for working close with the fans and listen to their wishes. And yet those same 'fans' will take every minor thing as a reason to hate upon the company. They will rage because the company decided to use a stock photo to base on Tali's unmasked face. Because the company asked how the FemShep would look on promotional material (yes, they hated the company because they dared to ask their opinions! Shocking!).

It seems that the more someone become a fan, the less they love the companies making the games they love. They start believing they are owed of something, just because they bought a copy of a game. That they must be consulted in every change and minutia about the game.

I am not saying those companies are perfect and aren't capable of doing mistakes. But the fans overreaction about the flaws of the companies (no matter if very minor or even non-existent) are unbearable.

That is why, as a game fan, I am suggesting to all the industry that it may be time to stop listening the 'fans' opinion on how they should do games and conduct business. We don't know how to make games, how to do business, so we aren't exactly the best source of advice. And the more outspoken people are even worse.

If you make a game and it is a great game, we will buy it, no matter what we believe would be a great game. It is impossible to please everyone, and some people will never be pleased. So, the time and effort in trying don't see worthy. I am not saying that the industry must start fighting those 'fans' back or shut any communication between them and the fans.

What I am saying is listen to them, be nice to them, but do what you see best for your company. If it is impossible to please everyone, don't even try it. True fans will buy your games because they believe they are good as they are.

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