Going Gold: No Pleasing Some People

Going Gold: No Pleasing Some People

Gamers are a very hard lot to please - a problem that the industry is exacerbating through ridiculous hype.

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Yes I will demand a patch a week after launch. That I don't see a problem with. I spend between 59.99 to 69.99 for a game niegh a product which I expect to function properly. Is that really asking for so much? I know developing games is hard. I also know they are well paid for thier hard work. So when I buy a game at launch that has some game breaking glitch should I be happy with that? If it was any other product I would have some kind of recourse. If my happy meal is cold when I get it then I can take it back to the cashier and get a new one. Games don't give me that option.

most games that Peter Molyneux has had a hand in.

or Will Wright

*blinks*

I...I agree with this.....

I think you broke the 4th Wall of Journalism. You recognized that the Industry you write for is evil.

Hype a procedure is marketing in getting fools to let go of their money.

Look at "Borat," the hype for it, told the potential customers that it will be a gay movie that is funny. All movie theaters in my area during the day and after it opened put up the following sign, "No refunds after buying Borat ticket." Usually in my area the theaters are more willing to refund a ticket even after the movie starts. The trailers showed something that was really funny, but apparently they just really showed all the funny bits in the trailer and then everything gets really graphic. I know a guy that was okay with watching gay sex as long as the movie was funny elsewhere but the funny is really far and in between the graphic stuff they show you.

You go to a car dealership for an oil change because your too lazy to do it yourself, the dealer will put out a lot of hype about their (Number of miles) maintainence plan. They'll do all this extra stuff that absolutely needs to be done. If you get convinced you get service that you could have been done for twenty bucks for instead a couple hundred bucks.

hype obviously works to get people to let go of their money but in games people have an outlet to whine about how they were cheated on a massive scale. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was a great game that was released with huge unplayable bugs. Anyone that brought it was rightly pissed that they brought a game that wouldn't work. The new Turok game claimed to take the fun in the old game and translate it to this generation and when it didn't really do that we all cried and whined and probably made a whole lot of useless internet petitions.

A well written article that voices several opinions I share myself. There are reasons that most development teams are at odds with their own marketing departments.

xvgq:

most games that Peter Molyneux has had a hand in.

or Will Wright

Eh, The Sims games aren't hyped nearly as much. Also, with Sims 2 doing so well, they have at least one leg to stand on.

Greatest disappointment for myself thusfar has been Fable 2. It's a good game, at least in my opinion, but the hype that was buzzing before it was released made it sound like it could literally be a defining point in gaming. They (Lionhead, especially MR. Molyneux) promised an evolving world, a city will start as a handful of pioneers in the forest but will grow into a great city and if you kill said settlers the forest will reclaim their settlement. They promised a wide open world, something that brought to my mind a vision of an Oblivionish vision but with better third person character movement, that would allow you to wander the forests watching as said settlements from before grew and changed.

Instead what was delivered was a game whos 'zones' were only somewhat explorable by linear paths and the occasional water body to swim across. You couldn't swim underwater, only occasionally dive for object who apparently cause significant water turbulance for some reason. Yes, sometimes cities evolved in a way but not in the fluid ever-changing way that the developers promised; they only evolved if critical actions/quests were taken or done.

I'm not complaining, really I'm not, the game was still fun and exciting (lets forget about the disappointing ending) in the Fable way. The evolution of Oakfield if you complete the quest in which you help acolytes of the Temple of Dark slaughter the population and kill the world tree was still impressive. Where the grass once grew green and healthy at first began to turn brown and die, very gradually, then mushrooms began to spring up and the citizens begant too look less cleanly and more Bloodstone-ish, and at last the place is covered in fungal growth and ruined.

As was written in the article the reason why we're so bitchy and becoming (at least I am) morbidly pessimistic about new releases. We complain because we're conditioned to expect the best but the best is never delivered.

Great read. I ended up following the wiki link about the flopped Ford model as well. It is interesting though as you say. I mean, 10 .. 20 years ago... a dot on a screen with some beeping was all we had, but we made it work. In a way, I started to wonder if kids toys were falling into this same type of thing. Like, when I was a kid, I mean, He-Man and Star Wars action figures were the shizzle, heh. They didn't have blinking lights or made noise, you had to actually play with the darn thing. Now the toys like play with them selves, beeping and booping themselves until the parents start wandering why they even bought the darn thing. I think games have gone that way a bit. Games didn't have graphics to rely upon back then, so you had to use your imagination (as with the toys). However, today with all these eye popping graphics and things, when you see them you think, wow that's neat. But after a while you start picking it apart and wondering when the next gen console will come out, lol.

I agree!
Although the whole gamers bitching about bugs and demanding patches probably shouldn't be a big issue. If games were better tested (which has become an issue lately) then we gamers wouldn't have to be worried about unplayable game bugs. I think if I buy a 65 dollar game I have a right to be pissed if I can't play past the first level because of a massive bug.

We gamers are responsible when we overbitch about our hopes being crushed for overhyped games. That point you made I full agree with.

squid5580:
Yes I will demand a patch a week after launch.

I demand that games be beta tested longer in order for these bugs to not arise in the first place. If bugs exist, let the game be released 99% bug free and then release a patch to correct the other 1%.

I have cleverly avoided hype by being a metaphorical emu and sticking my head in the ground. I didn't even know about Infamous until after it had come out. And I'm happier for this.

megapenguinx:

squid5580:
Yes I will demand a patch a week after launch.

I demand that games be beta tested longer in order for these bugs to not arise in the first place. If bugs exist, let the game be released 99% bug free and then release a patch to correct the other 1%.

You can't say that. Trust me I have tried. The leading response (in a very whiny voice) is "developing games is too hard. Lets see you code a game. And they don't have time. And if they take the time they lose money." So they are better off releasing a buggy product making those fools (like I used to be) who bought it at launch and expected to be able to play and enjoy it until they get pissed off (like me) to the point where I just rent games and buy games used a few months later. Saves money and frustration. Funny thing is before the last completely unfinished game I bought at launch (Sacred 2) I believed renting was bad and rarely bought used. Now the only 2 games I plan on buying at launch are both put out by Bioware. The only company who has yet to let me down.

is this Stupid Day at the Escapist or what?

While Ward got his point, I feel intellectually insulted as gamer and consumer by the way he writes about "us" and the hype perception. Like anyone with a IQ higher than 55 would believe what the (games) marketing departments say.

If that is your view on "us" then count me out!

I feel that there is a good reason for all my disappointments. I mean, If I like a game, nothing anyone else says, not even Yahtzee's scathing remarks about the lack of variation is going to hamper my enjoyment of it.

That might be because I ignore marketing hype, and I have a fairly clear idea of what games I would want to play.

So, can it be denied that the Sony has almost completely failed to listen to their consumers and even the market itself? Or that most games released now are fairly generic, and very similar? My personal opinion is no.

Hmmm. Maybe we should move away from genres, as they seem to help limit designer imagination.

"Gamers are a very hard lot to please"

If only it were true. Modern gamers are chewing through thier colorless gruel with the hunger of the rarely fed.

"- a problem that the industry is exacerbating through ridiculous hype"

TRUE

Frank Zappa once said something along the lines of "one day some guy will hold up a turd and say, "can you feel the power eminating from the turd?" and people will agree that they can indeed feel its power and worship the turd."

He was basically right.

This is why the first Metal Gear Solid remains my favourite game, it's the only one I really got into the hype for and wasn't disappointed by. Other than that it always seems that the only notable games either overhype themselves, (I'm staring at YOU Assassins Creed) and fail to meet it, or slip by unannounced and end up blowing me away, (HI ICO!)

-Bimbley

I would like some good games with good engaging storyies, fun game play and, little to no bugs, please

Well, of course theres going to be high standards. Without them we would be drowning in shit.

MorteSphere:
Well, of course theres going to be high standards. Without them we would be drowning in shit.

Rise and shine Gordon, time to wake up and smell the......... @#$%

We ARE drowning in it man.

Razorback0z:

MorteSphere:
Well, of course theres going to be high standards. Without them we would be drowning in shit.

Rise and shine Gordon, time to wake up and smell the......... @#$%

We ARE drowning in it man.

Point accepted. But occasionally, we get something good, something innovative, and imaginative. Ie, Portal, Half Life 2, Left 4 Dead, they all pulled off what they want to do and they did it well.

Without our standards and bitchiness, we would be without those.

MorteSphere:

Razorback0z:

MorteSphere:
Well, of course theres going to be high standards. Without them we would be drowning in shit.

Rise and shine Gordon, time to wake up and smell the......... @#$%

We ARE drowning in it man.

Point accepted. But occasionally, we get something good, something innovative, and imaginative. Ie, Portal, Half Life 2, Left 4 Dead, they all pulled off what they want to do and they did it well.

Without our standards and bitchiness, we would be without those.

Yup I agree, particularly with your little list. HL2 is still the most polished FPS on the market nearly 5 years after release.

I am geneuinely afraid that the quality of products in the gaming industry peaked in about 2005. I am not hopeful of it returning to that level.

I not a hard gamer to please. For example if game series gets better overall with each new game. I happy if the devs at least trys to make better games.

megapenguinx:

squid5580:
Yes I will demand a patch a week after launch.

I demand that games be beta tested longer in order for these bugs to not arise in the first place. If bugs exist, let the game be released 99% bug free and then release a patch to correct the other 1%.

if only the majority of people who sign up for the beta actually gave feedback it would help a ton...a few people actually do it and the rest say they do it...while a few of them openly admit they just wanna play the game first. right now, i would say the beta process is flawed at best.

Well, as technology advances, people will demend more. That's when the problem begins, people demand more because some more technology is available, and some more technology becomes lots more technology in the gamer's eyes. Then, companies offer this "lots more technology" to make people want to buy their game, and thus that builds hype. However, with hype comes expectation, and that increases as well. Add to that that then, when the game does get released, it doesn't match up to this expectation and you pretty much have it all sorted: Gamers become disappointed at the end result.

squid5580:
Yes I will demand a patch a week after launch. That I don't see a problem with. I spend between 59.99 to 69.99 for a game niegh a product which I expect to function properly.

I hope by demand, you mean, not buy in the first place.

Is that really asking for so much? I know developing games is hard. I also know they are well paid for thier hard work. So when I buy a game at launch that has some game breaking glitch should I be happy with that? If it was any other product I would have some kind of recourse. If my happy meal is cold when I get it then I can take it back to the cashier and get a new one. Games don't give me that option.

You can't really compare happy meals with games. You should know what a game is like before buying it. Unless the glitch is game-breaking in which case I reckon you could actually return it, they are supplying a product and you decide if it is worth buying. I think the point of this article was that nobody owes it to you to make games for you, they want to, and give you options, you decide where to spend your "hard earned" cash.

By all means only buy products that release patches every week but you can't demand anything.

Markness:

squid5580:
Yes I will demand a patch a week after launch. That I don't see a problem with. I spend between 59.99 to 69.99 for a game niegh a product which I expect to function properly.

I hope by demand, you mean, not buy in the first place.

Is that really asking for so much? I know developing games is hard. I also know they are well paid for thier hard work. So when I buy a game at launch that has some game breaking glitch should I be happy with that? If it was any other product I would have some kind of recourse. If my happy meal is cold when I get it then I can take it back to the cashier and get a new one. Games don't give me that option.

You can't really compare happy meals with games. You should know what a game is like before buying it. Unless the glitch is game-breaking in which case I reckon you could actually return it, they are supplying a product and you decide if it is worth buying. I think the point of this article was that nobody owes it to you to make games for you, they want to, and give you options, you decide where to spend your "hard earned" cash.

By all means only buy products that release patches every week but you can't demand anything.

Where did I compare happy meals to games? Can a person not use an example around here without it being taken literally? Or do I need to spell out that I can return a defective product usually without hassle unless it is a game because thanks to piracy once it is opened alot of stores won't take it back.

And why would I demand a patch for a game I didn't buy? Sorry but I don't have that kind of time to waste.

squid5580:

Is that really asking for so much? I know developing games is hard. I also know they are well paid for thier hard work. So when I buy a game at launch that has some game breaking glitch should I be happy with that? If it was any other product I would have some kind of recourse. If my happy meal is cold when I get it then I can take it back to the cashier and get a new one. Games don't give me that option.

Where did I compare happy meals to games? Can a person not use an example around here without it being taken literally? Or do I need to spell out that I can return a defective product usually without hassle unless it is a game because thanks to piracy once it is opened alot of stores won't take it back.

And why would I demand a patch for a game I didn't buy? Sorry but I don't have that kind of time to waste.

I didn't know that stores do that, I thought that if you told them it didn't work any decent store would definitely offer a refund or at least that has been what has happened in my experience.

About your last sentence, I meant that if you hear that a game like mercenaries for example has a lot of bugs, you shouldn't buy it. You can't just buy it and demand that they will fix the bugs for you.

Markness:

squid5580:

Is that really asking for so much? I know developing games is hard. I also know they are well paid for thier hard work. So when I buy a game at launch that has some game breaking glitch should I be happy with that? If it was any other product I would have some kind of recourse. If my happy meal is cold when I get it then I can take it back to the cashier and get a new one. Games don't give me that option.

Where did I compare happy meals to games? Can a person not use an example around here without it being taken literally? Or do I need to spell out that I can return a defective product usually without hassle unless it is a game because thanks to piracy once it is opened alot of stores won't take it back.

And why would I demand a patch for a game I didn't buy? Sorry but I don't have that kind of time to waste.

I didn't know that stores do that, I thought that if you told them it didn't work any decent store would definitely offer a refund or at least that has been what has happened in my experience.

About your last sentence, I meant that if you hear that a game like mercenaries for example has a lot of bugs, you shouldn't buy it. You can't just buy it and demand that they will fix the bugs for you.

Sure if you are patient then ya. If you don't preorder than ya. I for one am not patient and almost always preorder. Well used to anyways. Been burned once to many times to keep that up. Which is harmful to the industry as a whole.

Also how are you supposed to know if a game is buggy or if the reviewer is just bitter cuz he or she got her ass kicked? Who do you trust for an online review? The problem isn't demanding a patch for a buggy game (and I am strictly a console gamer here not a PC gamer) the problem is the game not being tested and fixed in the first place. The only time it is forgivable is when it comes to the online component. You can't test what a million people will do or what will happen when a million people log on at once.

And I can return a game for another copy of the same game. Doesn't help much when it comes to bugs.

Nice article, I really enjoyed it and agree completely.

I couldn't help but think of Far Cry 2 the entire time I was reading it. A game that was supposed to be one thing and turned out to be something totally different, to the point of false advertising (fully destructible environments were advertised before release, then mysteriously disappeared right after release, you can't even shoot down/blow up and entire tree, only a couple branches).
The multiplayer aspect was put together so poorly it's as if the developers had never played a multiplayer game in their lives, or they wanted to reinvent the wheel. The gamers then spent 8 months begging/pleading/demanding changes to make the game playable, people wanted to play the game, they wanted to enjoy it. Ubisoft, however, did not want the gamers to enjoy it, as they decided to leave it just the way it is, with a few unnoticeable changes and no improvements.
Fallout 3 is another one that was hyped to give you an amazing amount of outcomes and experiences. It ultimately boiled down to the gamer being forced to play the good guy because if he did anything to offend anyone, the entire town would try to kill you, for the rest of existence. You really had no choices, while they did make it appear that you had many, and in the end it all played out the same way.

I have to agree with everything you said, Christian.

People are so used to getting more, more, MORE that they've almost completely stopped realizing that what they have NOW is really damn cool in it's own right.

I don't when it started happening, but people stopped saying, "This game is awesome, check it out!" and started saying, "Yeah, it's okay, but Game X did this better, Game Y did that better, and why every single other game in exsistence doesn't do what Game Z did with maps is beyond me, as Game Z did it so perfectly that I can't deal with how any other game does it."

It's like, when we're given the perfect dish from the best chef in the best resturant, only to have the resturant shut down and when we see the chef again, he's working at a slightly worse resturant, so when we eat his food, all we can do is compare it to before and remark on how it simply isn't as good.

The problem with Fallout 3 was a lack of karma-neutral choices; even being mercenary (yes, I'll find your violin, but only for a stack of caps) was rendered as "good." As a result, in order to NOT be good you had to be a complete a-hole. I don't find it very surprising that tiny Wasteland communities clinging to life would hate a-holes and want to kill them on sight...and as an a-hole that ought to have been good fun...

re: the article. If one played Indigo Prophecy I'm not sure why one would have high expectations for Heavy Rain. It looks pretty but will be a QTE-fest marketed with the same kind of highfalutin' theory of games with which Dyack, Molyneux etc. justify their interesting but flawed games.

I'm not that hard to please, I think. If a game is delayed because, say, they're trying to iron out a few wrinkles, I'll happily wait for its release as opposed to getting an unfinished product and having to update it 15 different times (coughNinjaGaiden2cough).

Also, some gamers have high expectations because the developer in question has yet to disappoint. Much like an earlier poster, I love BioWare because they have yet to produce a game where I said "balls to this".

Though I will say that I have a gripe about the combat system in Dragon Age: Origins, but that's mostly because I prefer hand-on action sequences as oppose to having the characters themselves do a specific action I set for them; that's one thing that turns me off JRPGs.

 

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