When did gamers shift from fans of their chosen platform to fans of the devs and publishers?

I was browsing through the comments of the latest Jim Sterling video when I saw this gem:

xPixelatedx:
We all know how fan boys react to criticism of their beloved fixations, how sad it is that this newer generation of gamers are not fan boys of consoles, but instead fan boys of corporations and suits. I imagine them having trading cards of every stock holder in EA. This is the only logical explanation to their illogical behavior. No sane person would defend companies who try to so thoroughly and publicly screw the consumer.

I started thinking about it, and Pixelated, you're right. Let's forget about the consumer rights issues for a minute. When I was a kid, gamers were huge fans who were willing to defend their favorite console, but third party developers and publishers? Not so much. Oh, you'd get the occasional person who was crazy about, say, Capcom, SNK, Konami, or Squaresoft, but it was different from how it is today. You didn't get people defending every little slip up of these companies; if Capcom made a bad or broken game, their fans would recognize it as a bad or broken game. They might not hold it against Capcom's other games, but the fact that Capcom made it wouldn't excuse it, either. On the other hand, the Sega fanboys stayed loyal all the way down with that sinking ship.

Today it's the other way around; the consoles are largely interchangeable, with many gamers stating a preference, but few entering true fanboy levels. The devs and publishers on the other hand? Gabe Newell could eat a live baby at this point and he'd still be seen as a pretty good guy by most of his fans. Same thing with Bioware, Blizard, Bethesda, and pretty much every other developer famous enough to have a following. Publishers tend to be given less of a free pass, but only EA and Activision tend to be hated out of hand, and then only when Bioware and Blizzard, respectively, aren't involved. Why is this? What changed, and when and how did it happen?

I play an EA game and I constantly feel like I'm getting ripped off. Either I'm wasting my money on every small and pointless dlc pack they release for their games or I feel like the game is incomplete and I'm missing out on things. Not getting the full experience.

Mass Effect is a prime example. Mass Effect 1 I loved and the game felt very complete. Mass Effect 3? I still loved it but I hated how it was constantly "Oh, you can't get that weapon because you didn't do this. You can't get that armor because you didn't play this demo at a certain time. You can't get this outfit because you didn't pre-order. You can't get this robot-dog because you didn't buy the collector's edition. You can't get the Prothean character because we enjoy fucking you over and demanding ten extra dollars for content that should come with the game anyway."

I play Activision games and I generally don't have these problems. Heck, look at War for Cybertron. Not only did both of it's map packs have excellent, well-made content that were the equivalent of a Black Ops map pack in size, but they've been brought down to five dollars each and I'm not getting item and skin packs thrown in my face constantly. I've gotten good service online and the game in no way feels incomplete.

EA has been pissing me off big time lately. I'm not one to hate certain publishers/developers, I'm more of a one to say "meh" (like with Treyarch) or "I love those guys!" (Like with High Moon Studios) but EA has really gotten on my nerves.

well, we also didnt have these mega publishers back in the day.

and yea, EA is making it REALLY hard to tolerate them. I used to hate them about 5 years ago, but then they got better, now they are making me hate them all over again.

i even hate activision less than EA. although quite honestly my beef with activision is wow, CoD stagnation, and DLC ripoff. granted activision is much more honest about their DLC ripoff than EA who tries to trick you.

Most big games are cross-platform these days, and it's the developers who actually make the games. I didn't even realize that all video games weren't made by Nintendo until I got a computer and a Sega Genesis.

I think "platforms" are less relevent thease days

aside form console/PC theres not much difference other than a few exclusives

I have always followed the devs since I was like 12. Microprose was my main company. I also liked Squaresoft and Capcom. But I always paid attention to the company logos before the title screen. I started noticing the same logos on a lot of my favorite games. I always have and always will hold companies to their faults and glories, which is exactly why it sucks how Bioware has changed. (I loved them) I was always a fan more of Diablo than Blizzard though so it sucks that happened recently too.

There are several reasons really.

For starters, people are generally more aware of who actually makes the games. Back in the old days, few people really paid attention to whether a game was made by Capcom or Konami or whomever, and nobody really knew about people like Shigeru Miyamoto, Hirunobu Sakaguchi, Hideo Kojima, or Keiji Inafune (especially since, in the 8-bit era, most people who worked on games were credited under pseudonyms). Nowadays people are definitely more aware of the companies that actually make their games, and even individual developers will be well known to fans.

In the 16-bit generation, people definitely paid attention to the games' developers, fueled partly by the growth of gaming-related print media, which definitely exploded around 1988. Publishers developed reputations (though this actually started toward the tail end of the 8-bit era), and they could rise or fall on the strength of their releases.

Furthermore, most major titles now are multi-platform (this really started in earnest during the PS2/XBox generation. The more overlap there is between consoles' libraries, the less reason there is to pick one over the other, and the less likely one is to become an ardent fan of a particular platform.

---

Essentially, in the competition between platform manufacturers and developers/publishers, the developers have pretty much won. I could go into further depth on this topic, but this post is long enough as it is - if anyone wants to hear the econ-speak, just ask.

Squaresoft is the reason I bought a PSX instead of a Nintendo 64.

I only care about the developers and don't care who publishes the game. It amazes me that some people do. It's almost like forgetting that J.K Rowling wrote Harry Potter and associating it with Scholastic.

MagmaMan:
I play an EA game and I constantly feel like I'm getting ripped off. Either I'm wasting my money on every small and pointless dlc pack they release for their games or I feel like the game is incomplete and I'm missing out on things. Not getting the full experience.

Mass Effect is a prime example. Mass Effect 1 I loved and the game felt very complete. Mass Effect 3? I still loved it but I hated how it was constantly "Oh, you can't get that weapon because you didn't do this. You can't get that armor because you didn't play this demo at a certain time. You can't get this outfit because you didn't pre-order. You can't get this robot-dog because you didn't buy the collector's edition. You can't get the Prothean character because we enjoy fucking you over and demanding ten extra dollars for content that should come with the game anyway."

I play Activision games and I generally don't have these problems. Heck, look at War for Cybertron. Not only did both of it's map packs have excellent, well-made content that were the equivalent of a Black Ops map pack in size, but they've been brought down to five dollars each and I'm not getting item and skin packs thrown in my face constantly. I've gotten good service online and the game in no way feels incomplete.

EA has been pissing me off big time lately. I'm not one to hate certain publishers/developers, I'm more of a one to say "meh" (like with Treyarch) or "I love those guys!" (Like with High Moon Studios) but EA has really gotten on my nerves.

Except for Javik, every single thing you listed for ME3 is useless.

I pre-order the ME3 CE, and I will tell you now: all the DLC stuff is rubbish.

You are not missing out on anything.

And I don't see how you get that feeling, seeing as though it isn't like DA:O DLC. None of it is mentioned if you don't have it, and there are enough weapons in the main game that the missing ones don't matter.

MagmaMan:
I play an EA game and I constantly feel like I'm getting ripped off. Either I'm wasting my money on every small and pointless dlc pack they release for their games or I feel like the game is incomplete and I'm missing out on things. Not getting the full experience.

Mass Effect is a prime example. Mass Effect 1 I loved and the game felt very complete. Mass Effect 3? I still loved it but I hated how it was constantly "Oh, you can't get that weapon because you didn't do this. You can't get that armor because you didn't play this demo at a certain time. You can't get this outfit because you didn't pre-order. You can't get this robot-dog because you didn't buy the collector's edition. You can't get the Prothean character because we enjoy fucking you over and demanding ten extra dollars for content that should come with the game anyway."

I play Activision games and I generally don't have these problems. Heck, look at War for Cybertron. Not only did both of it's map packs have excellent, well-made content that were the equivalent of a Black Ops map pack in size, but they've been brought down to five dollars each and I'm not getting item and skin packs thrown in my face constantly. I've gotten good service online and the game in no way feels incomplete.

EA has been pissing me off big time lately. I'm not one to hate certain publishers/developers, I'm more of a one to say "meh" (like with Treyarch) or "I love those guys!" (Like with High Moon Studios) but EA has really gotten on my nerves.

sums up my thoughts tbh. Not to mention the whole BF3 server shut down, I thought EA's excuse for online codes were that it would maintain official servers. Obviously not, which is why I have decided to join the EA boycott.

The re are plenty of other Publishers out there who don't have these unfair practices.

As a kid and teenager I never thought about who made the game, and couldn't have told you if you had asked. The only thing that mattered to me was the game and whether it was good or not. For the most part this is still true. The difference now is that I am the one buying the games and so I care if I am being ripped off. The only time I take notice of a corporation is when I am putting their name in the mental file I keep of people who's games I won't buy anymore.

Savagezion:
I have always followed the devs since I was like 12. Microprose was my main company. I also liked Squaresoft and Capcom. But I always paid attention to the company logos before the title screen. I started noticing the same logos on a lot of my favorite games. I always have and always will hold companies to their faults and glories, which is exactly why it sucks how Bioware has changed. (I loved them) I was always a fan more of Diablo than Blizzard though so it sucks that happened recently too.

Do you mind me asking how old you are? I am curious if their is a cultural difference (in regards to this topic) between age groups.

I don't think that's necessarily true, I mean yeah, devs have fans now, but I STILL find people fighting over Microsoft or Sony, Sony and Nintendo (after Playstation All Stars were announced), and PC and consoles in general in the comments of IGN and Gametrailers.

When they realised that it's developers who make the games?
When games became predominantly cross-platform?

Also, why is it "sad" that people follow developers instead of hardware manufacturers? How are developers any more "corporations and suits" than the likes of Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sega?

Also-also, haven't you noticed all the PC vs console bickering? Don't worry, your preferred brand of childishness hasn't gone far.

Games went cross-platform and we still needed to cling to retarded factionalism, so we chose developers and publishers.

Zhukov:
When they realised that it's developers who make the games?
When games became predominantly cross-platform?

Also, why is it "sad" that people follow developers instead of hardware manufacturers?

This. I don't get this thread. I'd rather have fans of a certain developer than fans of a game platform.

I dont follow any person/publisher/console manufacturer/developer it just seems so pointless im interested in playing good games I dont care who makes that game that said I am aware of who made games I enjoy (and dont enjoy) and so am aware they may make another but its not taken for granted.

People talk about these companies like they are an unchanging entity when in fact people leave and join all the time every big company is in a state of constant change but no its always company x is still the company x from 15 years ago in most peoples eyes.

The trouble with fans of a console/pc/developer is that it makes it difficult to have an objective conversation on the things as they see their opinion as fact and so they think that when they are stating their opinion they are actually stating facts its quite bizarre.

Im just waiting for when people will become fans of games instead. Why would you ever be a fan of a company? a fan of some of its products sure but an actual company that just seems a little sad.

So, why is following a console better than following a developer / publisher? The quoted person is an idiot who really thinks that only one of them is a corporation and run by suits.

I for one followed developer for the last 12y (at least). My first two games were Warcraft 2 and Half Life so I followed both developers, by now only one of those two remains. Guess whch. I NEVER followed a console because the console of my choosing was made by my hands from the parts I bought.

Well personally I was always a franchise fanboy if anything.

But on whole probably when consoles ceased to be first party games only, or rather when the public was educated that such a thing as development companies exists.
However there is still a bucket load of people who think console makers also make all the games in the world.

I'll be honest and show my ignorance here.

If I see a game I like i'll buy it. 9 times out of 10 I couldn't even tell you who had made or published that game.

Out of ever game in my collection right now I could only tell you about a quarter of which I know who the devs are.

As for being a fan of devs and publishers .... Laugh? I nearly died.

I care about them about as much as I care which chicken laid the egg I just had in my bacon and egg butty just now.

I play on the pc because I like to have a lot of buttons (dur hur hur, buttons weeeeeeeeeeh). I suppose that I started picking games based on the dev team/publisher since I realised that:

A) there are those who just want my money and make shit games.


B) there are those who want my money but make a passable game.

C) there are those who want my money and make a good game.

There are more then 1 of each of these. But for me personally, everyone has his own opinion on the matter, this is a good divide. And that is why I pick games based on dev's.

Still I take a lot into account what game reviewers say. What people here on the forums of the escapist say about new games. Even what yathzee says.

I'm never pre-ordering anything any more though, you can be damn sure of that. (DA2... Duke nukem forever... So much money thrown away)

Zhukov:

Also, why is it "sad" that people follow developers instead of hardware manufacturers? How are developers any more "corporations and suits" than the likes of Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and Sega?

Also-also, haven't you noticed all the PC vs console bickering? Don't worry, your preferred brand of childishness hasn't gone far.

Mainly because the devs and publishers are the ones who treat their customers the worst. It at least used to be that if a hardware manufacturer did something bad, it involved a poorly designed console (such as the 32X). When a software manufacturer does something bad, it usually involves screwing over their paying customers with increasingly intrusive forms of DRM. Also, it's not that it's sad that console fanboys have been replaced by dev and publisher fanboys so much as it is that the latter category of fanboys have gone from being willing to call out their favorite company on making a mistake while still enjoying the rest of their output, to blindly defending every mistake and only atacking those companies they don't like. The Diablo 3 situation is a perfect example of that. When Ubisoft did the same thing, the internet was in uproar. Now that it's Blizzard, a company beloved by many, the biggest complaints are a little bit of grumbling that the DRM isn't working properly, instead of the outrage at it even existing that Ubisoft (rightfully) had to deal with.

As for how the devs and publishers are more "corporations and suits" than the console manufacturers, I'd say it's because back in the day, people weren't fans of the company so much as its output, while today they're fans of the company and its employees, hanging on every word of people like David Jaffe, Gabe Newell, and (in a less positive manner) Bobby Kotick.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Zhukov:
[snip]

[snip]

Mate, I barely even know where to begin.

Mainly because the devs and publishers are the ones who treat their customers the worst. It at least used to be that if a hardware manufacturer did something bad, it involved a poorly designed console (such as the 32X). When a software manufacturer does something bad, it usually involves screwing over their paying customers with increasingly intrusive forms of DRM.

I'm struggling to see how selling someone a game with crummy DRM is significantly worse than selling them a crummy console.

Also, it's not that it's sad that console fanboys have been replaced by dev and publisher fanboys so much as it is that the latter category of fanboys have gone from being willing to call out their favorite company on making a mistake while still enjoying the rest of their output, to blindly defending every mistake and only atacking those companies they don't like.

Yeah, because the console fanboys of old never blindly defended their totem of choice.

Oh wait.

Also, you're being a bit free with your blanket statements. I've seen plenty of people on this very forum complain about the decisions of developers that they like.

The Diablo 3 situation is a perfect example of that. When Ubisoft did the same thing, the internet was in uproar. Now that it's Blizzard, a company beloved by many, the biggest complaints are a little bit of grumbling that the DRM isn't working properly, instead of the outrage at it even existing that Ubisoft (rightfully) had to deal with.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Are you seriously trying to say that people aren't pissed off at Diablo 3's DRM? Exactly which internet are you on? Just look around this forum, there's people complaining about it everywhere.

If you want a real heavy dose, head on over to Blizzard's official forums. It's something of a shitstorm over there.

As for how the devs and publishers are more "corporations and suits" than the console manufacturers, I'd say it's because back in the day, people weren't fans of the company so much as its output, while today they're fans of the company and its employees, hanging on every word of people like David Jaffe, Gabe Newell, and (in a less positive manner) Bobby Kotick.

This makes no sense to me.

People become fans of specific companies and people based on their output. People didn't suddenly start liking Gabe because of his roguish good looks, it was because his company was putting out games that they loved.

TheVioletBandit:

Savagezion:
I have always followed the devs since I was like 12. Microprose was my main company. I also liked Squaresoft and Capcom. But I always paid attention to the company logos before the title screen. I started noticing the same logos on a lot of my favorite games. I always have and always will hold companies to their faults and glories, which is exactly why it sucks how Bioware has changed. (I loved them) I was always a fan more of Diablo than Blizzard though so it sucks that happened recently too.

Do you mind me asking how old you are? I am curious if their is a cultural difference (in regards to this topic) between age groups.

32. I started following the companies that made games back in '92-93. I didn't follow them the way I do now, but I followed them the best I could without internet or much gaming media. When I got internet ~96 a whole new world opened up to me - and Microprose went belly up :'(

EDIT: Thought it would be funny to note I hated Activision back when they were nothing. Activision is better now than they were back in the day. Activision is the reason Civilization Call to Power exists outside of the Civ franchise. Activision did messed up stuff before they were giants. I hated Activision so bad back then, hehe. Its funny looking back on that.

I was a SNES fan over the Genesis but I liked Nintendo, Capcom, Squaresoft. With PS1/N64 I made a total adaptation thanks to having internet and access to both systems. I haven't been a console "fanboy" since the SNES but my brother had a Sega so I didn't really dislike the Sega, I just didn't like their game library.

Umm, when their approval no longer signified quality. Don't worry, Blizzard and Bioware are quickly undermining the developer worship brand.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Today it's the other way around; the consoles are largely interchangeable, with many gamers stating a preference, but few entering true fanboy levels.

This is your answer.

Minus a few exclusives financed by the consoles themselves, very few games in this day and age will be exclusive. The worst we can expect is a deal to push a game to a certain platform first or DLC deals that will see one platform getting them before the rest.

Along with that, the previous platforms weren't interchangeable, developers had to know their platforms on a very low level to push a good product, so they only had the time and budget to push to a single one. I remember there was a massive stink with Capcom at one point because the Dreamcast version of one of their fighting games ended up looking waaaaaaaay better than the Playstation 2 version.

Nowadays there are so many cross platform engines and SDK's available that the platforms themselves are irrelevant and it's fairly easy to publish a midrange game that doesn't tax the systems too much, makes more sense to publish for both.

Ergo, platforms don't matter, the best you can expect is fans of Nathan Drak, Kratos, and Master Chief deciding their console of choice based on them. For every other developer, just depends on who'se style and gameplay you prefer.

Savagezion:

TheVioletBandit:

Savagezion:
I have always followed the devs since I was like 12. Microprose was my main company. I also liked Squaresoft and Capcom. But I always paid attention to the company logos before the title screen. I started noticing the same logos on a lot of my favorite games. I always have and always will hold companies to their faults and glories, which is exactly why it sucks how Bioware has changed. (I loved them) I was always a fan more of Diablo than Blizzard though so it sucks that happened recently too.

Do you mind me asking how old you are? I am curious if their is a cultural difference (in regards to this topic) between age groups.

32. I started following the companies that made games back in '92-93. I didn't follow them the way I do now, but I followed them the best I could without internet or much gaming media. When I got internet ~96 a whole new world opened up to me - and Microprose went belly up :'(

EDIT: Thought it would be funny to note I hated Activision back when they were nothing. Activision is better now than they were back in the day. Activision is the reason Civilization Call to Power exists outside of the Civ franchise. Activision did messed up stuff before they were giants. I hated Activision so bad back then, hehe. Its funny looking back on that.

I was a SNES fan over the Genesis but I liked Nintendo, Capcom, Squaresoft. With PS1/N64 I made a total adaptation thanks to having internet and access to both systems. I haven't been a console "fanboy" since the SNES but my brother had a Sega so I didn't really dislike the Sega, I just didn't like their game library.

That's interesting, I guess following these companies could be likened to people who enjoy comics following Marvel or DC in a way? I never really thought about the companies much myself, besides loving Nintendo. I even remember calling every game a Nintendo game for the longest time, whether it was actually a Nintendo game or not. To me "Nintendo game" was synonymous with "video game".

Owyn_Merrilin:
Why is this? What changed, and when and how did it happen?

I think it's because console exclusivity is diminishing, and a lot of that has to do with digital distribution and the new rise in PC gaming through Steam and Origin. There are a few exclusive franchises still, but they aren't as common anymore and their exclusivity isn't as emphasized as it used to be. I think this is because, with consoles being so expensive nowadays, that sort of exclusivity isn't working out in developer's or publisher's favors anymore. They're already spending millions to make these games, so why sell them to such a limited audience when for just a bit more, they can double or even triple their audience?

So, now that console isn't the big determining factor for what games and franchises players buy, it's come down to the real ringleaders--the gamemakers. Now that people aren't squabbling about consoles anymore, they can focus on the ones who actually makes the games.

poiumty:

Zhukov:
When they realised that it's developers who make the games?
When games became predominantly cross-platform?

Also, why is it "sad" that people follow developers instead of hardware manufacturers?

This. I don't get this thread. I'd rather have fans of a certain developer than fans of a game platform.

I'm in agreement with these fine gentlemen. The whole console rivalry thing was kinda stupid to begin with, and with cross-platform releases becoming the norm(bar Nintendo), holding on to the idea of one console being better than another is a bit silly. Promoting the developers and publishers that make good games should be what people do.

TheVioletBandit:

Savagezion:

TheVioletBandit:

Do you mind me asking how old you are? I am curious if their is a cultural difference (in regards to this topic) between age groups.

32. I started following the companies that made games back in '92-93. I didn't follow them the way I do now, but I followed them the best I could without internet or much gaming media. When I got internet ~96 a whole new world opened up to me - and Microprose went belly up :'(

EDIT: Thought it would be funny to note I hated Activision back when they were nothing. Activision is better now than they were back in the day. Activision is the reason Civilization Call to Power exists outside of the Civ franchise. Activision did messed up stuff before they were giants. I hated Activision so bad back then, hehe. Its funny looking back on that.

I was a SNES fan over the Genesis but I liked Nintendo, Capcom, Squaresoft. With PS1/N64 I made a total adaptation thanks to having internet and access to both systems. I haven't been a console "fanboy" since the SNES but my brother had a Sega so I didn't really dislike the Sega, I just didn't like their game library.

That's interesting, I guess following these companies could be likened to people who enjoy comics following Marvel or DC in a way? I never really thought about the companies much myself, besides loving Nintendo. I even remember calling every game a Nintendo game for the longest time, whether it was actually a Nintendo game or not. To me "Nintendo game" was synonymous with "video game".

Quite possibly as I also followed Marvel, DC, and Image comics back then too. I kept up with artists mostly and just watched the writers buzz. But I won't go so far as to say that what I did was common. Most people back then didn't want to talk about video games the minute you started mentioning the developers. Many wanted to credit the console and the game title solely as 1 entity. I can see where Owen is coming from 100% because of this but I had a couple friends that would hang in there with me to discuss this stuff. Especially ~96 when more info was available. It took a bit for it to catch on mainstream but I personally prefer it like this. I like this shift and see it as a sort of consumer evolution about the "mystique" that once was "Where do video games come from?" I think this mindset mixed with Kickstarter could bridge some gaps between consumer desires in the market. Personally, I think this is a good thing.

Sure, some people will defend dumb stuff like corporate interest over business ethics and consumer rights but that is just the world we live in. Brand loyalty is more important than the quality of the product for some people. At least that is how it comes off. Honestly, I think it's half people not content with whatever is available and half being pleased by a company so much that gratitude feels obligatory after a certain point for some people. Essentially companies can do no wrong because these people have liked a game they made 8 years ago and now they feel anyone who is dissatisfied with a product they made isn't a true fan. (cue go back to CoD) the next phase of our evolution is being able to hold our favorite companies responsible for bad ideas. I do believe some people won't be able to make that jump though so your guess is as good as mine where things will eventually lead.

When you see how many shitty games are appearing (and by shitty i mean degradating towards our intelligence, without anything to be remembered by) since it turned into a Gaming Industry, people cannot be all decieved; and those whom i'm pointing, turned either to Good Old Games and weeped at the injustice of CEOs, or went for initiatives like Kickstarter among other different initiatives, because that site has pros and cons with different subjects.

Also, Many Developers like Obsidian, can't end a game without bugs partially because they have to meet with deadlines from the hierarchy and from Publishing companies, where many of those, were devs, and turned into Mogul-trolls, like ElectronicArts (after need for speed: High Stakes the rest became blatantly unsubstantial) now EA has sports games like FIFA that appear each year: from the 90's to 2012; and a few times let some new project, because they prefer sure cash rather than risking into new things (market laws/intrigues and shit like that).

Maybe it is because I've been a PC gamer for so long and always had a bunch of consoles also(Until this current generation, where I have none). I always favored developers, not platforms. There was never a change for me.

 

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