How can Bioware repair it's rep? Can it really be repaired?

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Vegosiux:

Draech:

How is that different from what Valve does with TF2?

Diametrically opposed, actually.

You have to get an online pass first and only then can you enjoy the allegedly free stuff. TF2 or LoL you can just download and play without spending a cent on it should you choose not to. It doesn't force you to pay up so you can get your free stuff.

To my knowledge, most versions of the game contained online passes to Mass Effect 3. In fact if you look it up at a wiki it even says "The Mass Effect 3 Online Pass is included free with all new copies of Mass Effect 3". And even if you had to buy it separatly, the thing is not that horribly expensive, especielly if you look at all the stuff that comes with it.

1st: Bioware never lost any rep with me. They were mostly neutral to begin with because I've never really gotten into their games. Never hated, just didn't pick them up due to a lack of time, money, and/or interest. Ergo, Mass Effect 3's "incident" didn't affect my opinion. Ergo, they can go on doing whatever they want and I won't change my opinion on them.

2nd: Mass Effect 3's ending is a mixed bag. People believe it sucked and should have changed. Others believer that Bioware made the ending they felt worked best and it should have stayed that way so that the original concept or idea remains in tact. Bioware changed their ending. To what, I don't know or care because I didn't know or care about the original ending. All I know is the whole thing devolved to a level of stupidity that made me lose respect for the butthurt fans of Mass Effect who couldn't just look past this and move on to something else. Do I have a little dislike about the fact the ending changed? Yes, but I also don't care enough to have a solid opinion on it. I don't think they should have caved and stuck to their guns. But what's past is past and I don't give enough of a shit to worry about it.

3rd: Their publisher is EA... okay... So maybe there is something they can do to gain some favoritism from me, and that starts by leaving EA and going somewhere better. Staying with them isn't going to make me hate them because financial situations might not give them a choice.

Now, I get that this only reflects on my opinion, and perhaps a small minority because a lot of people (in my opinion) overreacted to the Mass Effect 3 ending and I get that's where all this hostility (for the most part) is coming from. So before anyone quotes me and says that I lack enough information or experience with the games to make an opinion, I don't give a single fuck. These are my opinions. Don't like them, don't care because my goal isn't to put out an opinion people agree with. It's to put out my thoughts on the situation. End of story... I guess or whatever.

Elcarsh:

Fr]anc[is:
Make a good game. That's really all they have to do. No more bullshit. No more using "it's a more personal story" as an excuse for shit writing, no more "push a button, something awesome happens" gameplay, no more desperately trying to butt into CODs territory, no more holding a freaking Prothean hostage and tricking people by making him not so significant, no more tacked on multiplayer no one asked for in the first place. All they have to do is make a good game.

Don't really care about the multiplayer being tacked on. It's bloody fun, and that's kinda what matters.

Damn right. The multiplayer is the only thing I'm still playing in ME3. I got the extended cut, etc, and I still haven't played it because I'm too busy playing the shit out of this bitchin' multiplayer.

OT: Bioware doesn't have to do a thing. We all bitch when something happens that we don't agree with, but once their next game comes out we'll not care and buy and play the fuck out of it.
I don't really get this whole "ruined rep" thing either, since I strongly believe in the Indoctrination Theory when it comes to ME3 (what with it making perfect fucking sense and all).

Elcarsh:
All they need to do is go on as usual. Sure, we all love to complain and be pissed now and then, but nobody is actually ready to give up quality gaming experiences to spite a developer.

In short; eveyone will have forgotten the whole thing by the release of their next game.

Unless its another load of shit, like the past two have been.
OT: When they start releasing good games again, we'll forgive them. As it is, though, that seems rather bleak.

Elcarsh:
All they need to do is go on as usual. Sure, we all love to complain and be pissed now and then, but nobody is actually ready to give up quality gaming experiences to spite a developer.

In short; eveyone will have forgotten the whole thing by the release of their next game.

It's attitudes like that that allow them to screw over their customers with on-disc DLC and rushed pieces of garbage like DAII.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say they should release good games. More polished than Dragon Age 2 and without the spin-out ending of Mass Effect 3. Personally I'd recommend:
Knights of the Old Republic 3
Another Baldur's Gate style game
A game where you navigate alien planets with jetpacks and populate them with giant wolves who shoot lasers out of their mouths.

Alright, so i'm going to make more enemies here then I usually do, but in for a penny, in for a pound.

The reaction to the Mass Effect 3 ending was so completely overblown that I felt bad for agreeing with them. I finished Mass Effect 3 once, hated the ending, bitched about it to some friends, and /moved on/. I didn't go on a crusade demanding a new ending, I didn't start up a boycott. I just walked away with a feeling of disappointment. The arguments were valid, and I understand why they were upset, but I felt it was so overblown and dramatic.

Overall? They probably can, I enjoyed Dragon Age, and even Dragon Age 2, so i'm hoping for Dragon Age 3. I think people will move on and forgive them if they make a good game. But then again I didn't forsee how dramatic that ME3 controversy was so I might be wrong.

What's to fix? They're doing fine, people are going to bitch either way anyway. I'm sure if it weren't for the... how do the kids put it these days... "fat wads of mad paper" people keep sending them in order to play their games I'm sure they'd not get out of bed in the morning and cry all day.

Elcarsh:
All they need to do is go on as usual. Sure, we all love to complain and be pissed now and then, but nobody is actually ready to give up quality gaming experiences to spite a developer.

In short; eveyone will have forgotten the whole thing by the release of their next game.

I'm going to have to disagree you there Elcarsh.

After the monumental fuck-up that was ME3's ending, I just can't trust the company to put out things that are worth my time or my money.

I spent over 200 dollars for ME3, and they ruined the entire series (and by extension my investment in it) with one of the most unbelievable slap-to-the-face endings I've seen in gaming. Doesn't matter that they tried to fix it, as it only came around because thousands of fans screamed at them to fix it because it was horrible and the company didn't want to lose their fanbase (or the money that comes from that). They didn't even acknowledge that they screwed up, which I feel is the biggest indicator that they are incapable to providing content worthy of their customers. Until they learn how to write a proper story AND provide a formal apology to all the fans who invested into their games only to be literally be given the opposite of what they were promised, the company doesn't have enough going for it (both technically or karmatically) to make me remotely interested in their products.

Elcarsh:
All they need to do is go on as usual. Sure, we all love to complain and be pissed now and then, but nobody is actually ready to give up quality gaming experiences to spite a developer.

In short; eveyone will have forgotten the whole thing by the release of their next game.

Nope.
Not even close. Legions of people have forever downgraded their view of BioWare and some have even gone as far as to swear them off, myself included.

The damage was irrecoverable, and permanent.

People won't forget. Maybe DA2, but not after ME3.

Khazoth:

The reaction to the Mass Effect 3 ending was so completely overblown that I felt bad for agreeing with them. I finished Mass Effect 3 once, hated the ending, bitched about it to some friends, and /moved on/. I didn't go on a crusade demanding a new ending, I didn't start up a boycott. I just walked away with a feeling of disappointment. The arguments were valid, and I understand why they were upset, but I felt it was so overblown and dramatic.
.

As did I. That is how rational people react to something that they don't like. I hated the ending to the Sopranos, and I shrugged it off. I hated the ending to Lost, and I shrugged it off. At no time did I feel the need to throw a hissy fit to the developers/networks

Pissing off some fanboys and being legitimately in trouble as a company are two completely different things.

As long as they keep making good games that earn critical acclaim, people will flock to them like they always do, even the people who were unsatisfied with Dragon Age 2 or Mass Effect 3.

Jaeke:

Elcarsh:
All they need to do is go on as usual. Sure, we all love to complain and be pissed now and then, but nobody is actually ready to give up quality gaming experiences to spite a developer.

In short; eveyone will have forgotten the whole thing by the release of their next game.

Nope.
Not even close. Legions of people have forever downgraded their view of BioWare and some have even gone as far as to swear them off, myself included.

The damage was irrecoverable, and permanent.

People won't forget. Maybe DA2, but not after ME3.

I'm sorry, but please tell me this is some sort of satire or ironic statement. You sound as if they traumatized you or something. One mediocre game and a crap ending is not the end of the world, people. Maybe a small fraction of people like yourself will "hate them forever" now, but the large majority including myself will play their next game provided it's good, and that's all they have to worry about.

By making Dragon Age III as great as or better than Dragon Age Origins - I don't think they will, but I sure hope they do.

Devoneaux:
Okay so after the dust settled from the absolute clusterfuck that was the ME3 ending controversy, a lot of people left the field claiming they would never purchase from Bioware/EA again. Now whether these people were sincere or not, it seems to me that Bioware has steadily been losing ground and goodwill with the consumer base in recent years.

My question is this: What would Bioware's next move be if it wanted to make an earnest effort at rebuilding the bridges that were demolished? The edit to the ME3 ending was a good start, but what else do you think they could do? Is there anything they even CAN do or is this something that time will have to mend?

Easy, blame everything bad about them on EA. Saves them any effort they would've put to actually improving themselves and makes their fans happy.

I don't know if they've really lost that much of their reputation.
For the most part, I think blame gets pegged on EA. The Mass Effect thing, I get the feeling that most of the anger there sort of... swallowed itself up. Imploded and not a lot of people care that much anymore. It all got so ridiculous and overblown.
Personally, I will not stop looking at Bioware games. I'll buy them if they seem entertaining to me (I typically wait for reviews), and I won't if they don't.

Jaeke:
Nope.
Not even close. Legions of people have forever downgraded their view of BioWare and some have even gone as far as to swear them off, myself included.

The damage was irrecoverable, and permanent.

People won't forget. Maybe DA2, but not after ME3.

Such incredible hyperbole. You are really overestimating the extent of the opposition to ME3. Just because the most outspoken fans decided to bitch like hell about it, that doesn't mean everyone who bought it was somehow traumatized for life.

Some people just love to hate something, and Bioware has been an easy target. Most people just move on if they find something about the game that they don't like.

I honestly don't care anymore, too much drama, I'm done with Bioware, so I just took m royalty check and got the hell out of dodge.

Make a good game - ja make a good game

Renegade Shepard:
I honestly don't care anymore, too much drama, I'm done with Bioware, so I just took m royalty check and got the hell out of dodge.

What?! But what if another race of machine-octopus-people comes back? Who's gonna save us then?! Please dont say paragon Shepard.

I didn't give a flying fuck about the ending. The game itself was more than awesome for me. So yea, Bioware didn't lose any rep in my eyes. And I'm for damn sure gonna wait for their next game.

Simple, make DA III as good as Origins. Dragon Age is bursting with potential for a great story, the last 3 (If you include Awakening) games have all kinds of fascinating unresolved plot threads. There's just two things to avoid.

One: Take the characters, structure and cocaine laced combat animations from DA II and burn them at the stake

Two: Don't let idea number one get in the way of realizing that DA II did do some things well, or at least well enough to improve upon. The cross class combos, the concept of Friendship VS Rivalry (In theory, at least), the desire to deviate from their established structure was fine, it's just that none of there ideas could save the game from it's paper cut-out companion characters and back-asswards pacing.

And don't ever allow Mac Walters and Casey Hudson to write anything by themselves ever again... Ever.

P.S: They should also make Jade Empire 2 and KOTOR III (And don't just ignore KOTOR II)

I actually didn't mind the endings in the first place, the extended cut only made it clearer for me, so Bioware doesn't have to repair its rep with me, EA is such a big company, it'd be hard for the people who say "I'll never buy a Bioware/EA game again" to honour their threat in the first place

Terminate421:
I'm currently enjoying the multiplayer they keep updating

This, I really am enjoying the multiplayer. In order to fully redeem them selves they need to release more game modes other then wave survival. But so far I'm ok with what they are releasing.

That is as long as it stays free.

As well as this I liked the endings after the extended cut so they don't repair anything really for me. The stuff I've said above are really just bonus stuffs.

A couple of things I've learnt in my years of dealing with customers of multiple companies:

1) Entertainment is a business where customers are supposed to never know what the final product as a whole actually is. That's how entertainment works. It's quite frankly a suprise how the details are filled in. Media outings are there just to lure customers in and to do some early customer-pleasing with that, nothing more then that. It's based on expectations. Expectations for Mass Effect 3 were, frankly, really high. A slight degree of quality lower than expected seems like a whole lot.

2) Customers are increadibly hard to please. Especially big crowds. There's just so many different people in different cultures and different circumstances that there is always going to be unhappy people.

3) Complaining is easier than complimenting. The interwebs plays a large role in this. It's increadibly easy to spew your opinion there. Those two things combined create a situation where people who are unhappy are likely to complain, but people that are content or even happy with the product, are unlikely to say something positive on behalf of the experience.

What this means for Bioware is that:
- Some customers WILL be unhappy.
- Most unhappy customers WILL complain.

What that boils down to for you, is that you've probably seen around 20 truely unhappy customers spewing their opinion on the internet, complemented by a bunch of people that might partially agree, but probably havn't minded as much as the few truely unhappy customers.

Say, at worst, the forums you've seen have -at best (or worst)- 200-500 truely unhappy customers. According to VGChartz.com the game has been internationally sold 2.370.000 times. That's a lot more.

It's not that bad.

Bigsmith:

Terminate421:
I'm currently enjoying the multiplayer they keep updating

This, I really am enjoying the multiplayer. In order to fully redeem them selves they need to release more game modes other then wave survival. But so far I'm ok with what they are releasing.

That is as long as it stays free.

As well as this I liked the endings after the extended cut so they don't repair anything really for me. The stuff I've said above are really just bonus stuffs.

Do you think there should be a "Gem" difficulty where the entire game is nothing but objectives.

The only way for Bioware to repair it's rep, would be if they broke up with EA.

By now that would require abandoning the Bioware name and starting fresh, but we live in the age of Kickstarter, so it's a non-issue.

Making a protagonist who isn't an empty vessel of nothing would be a nice start.

Whateveralot:
A couple of things I've learnt in my years of dealing with customers of multiple companies:

I can only conclude that you either have no idea what you're talking about, or you've willfully ignored the controversy over the last four months. Maybe both. This is why it pays to read the previous pages in a discussion. We went over this a while back.

1) Entertainment is a business where customers are supposed to never know what the final product as a whole actually is. That's how entertainment works. It's quite frankly a suprise how the details are filled in. Media outings are there just to lure customers in and to do some early customer-pleasing with that, nothing more then that. It's based on expectations. Expectations for Mass Effect 3 were, frankly, really high. A slight degree of quality lower than expected seems like a whole lot.

I have no idea what you mean by "customers (should) never know what the final product actually is." If you're implying that customers should be satisfied with whatever is thrown their way, that has proven to be false time and time again (see: Sherlock Holmes, Harry Potter, Fallout 3, etc, etc.). Publishers would go out of business if they wrote stories where they literally stopped trying and shoveled out garbage games - and many have. On the other side, corporate mismanagement and meddling has also killed franchises that started out well and were changed into something people didn't want. There has to be a median between monetary gain and satisfying fan expectations.

Yes, the expectations for ME3 were incredibly high - it is Bioware's current flagship franchise. Yet, the company hasn't exactly gone 3 for 3 after being bought by EA. DAII was a critical and commercial failure, which forced the developers themselves to apologize for it soon after its release. SWTOR has been hemorrhaging subscribers for the last year - by all accounts, it's a near-failure. ME3, with a previous installment that was heavily acclaimed / won several GOTY awards / was the highest-selling installment of the series to date, and with a marketing campaign that far exceeded the prior two games, couldn't even beat ME2's sales figures.

The comment about "a slight degree of quality lower" is outright false. The game is full of bugs, glitches and mechanics that were inexplicably changed for the worse - disappearing enemies, guns constantly clipping through characters in cutscenes, level holes, buggy animations, a needlessly-broken journal system, typos in the subtitles, weird cutscene/character issues, etc.

2) Customers are increadibly hard to please. Especially big crowds. There's just so many different people in different cultures and different circumstances that there is always going to be unhappy people.

No one is saying that people can't be hard to please - that's a given in any business sector. When the complaints outweigh the positives, however, you should at least step back and take stock of what you're doing, and how you can rectify your problem. Valve knows how to do this exceptionally well - when fans have complained, they've gone above and beyond to satisfy the needs of that "minority".

Bioware, on the other hand, has done everything in their power to alienate their hardcore fanbase and ignore criticism. That's where this whole discussion stemmed from in the first place. If they crafted a game that didn't end the way it did, I'm willing to bet more people would have overlooked the gameplay / day-one DLC issues.

3) Complaining is easier than complimenting. The interwebs plays a large role in this. It's increadibly easy to spew your opinion there. Those two things combined create a situation where people who are unhappy are likely to complain, but people that are content or even happy with the product, are unlikely to say something positive on behalf of the experience.

First off, I practically disregarded your whole post because of you using the word "interwebs". Don't pick on people who express their opinion online and fall into the same lingo used by the culture you're trashing.

I, personally, am willing to give credit where credit is due. I bought DAII and hated it, yet I'm more lenient on the developer team overseeing those games because they admitted a mistake and have tried to make amends for it. DAIII may be garbage, or maybe it won't who knows. At least I'm willing to give them a chance.

If you actually bothered to read any of the discussions that came out in the months following ME3's release, it was almost entirely respectful, thorough and laudatory when necessary. I don't think the fanbase would have complained so loudly if they didn't love and respect the game series prior to that point - they were arguing for something better, and the people on the opposite side (gaming blogs, other fans) who should have encouraged this instead turned on them and told them they can't argue for something better because the developer is all-knowing and all-powerful. Guess what - developers make mistakes. A lot.

What that boils down to for you, is that you've probably seen around 20 truely unhappy customers spewing their opinion on the internet, complemented by a bunch of people that might partially agree, but probably havn't minded as much as the few truely unhappy customers.

Try 100,000 plus people - the first poll that came out in the wake of the game's release (not counting all the negative reaction pre-release) had close to 80,000 votes - in spite of people pretending that means nothing, you can't get a sample size like that in any normal online poll. Hell, CNN polls don't get those kinds of numbers.

That discontent filtered to the mainstream media - when you have outlets like Forbes, the New Yorker and gaming sites that aren't run by a conglomerate trashing Bioware, you know something has gone terribly wrong. Hell, look at the game itself - four months after release, it's practically selling at bargain bin prices, while a game like Skyrim is still enjoying full-price sales more than a year after release.

Bioware did little to satisfy the complaints - the EC itself was a Hail Mary pass using material partly cribbed from deleted content to explain the idiocy of the ending. I think that most of the outlets and the fans at this point are just tired of the backlash would want to declare a mulligan on the whole thing - nobody came out looking good in this whole situation.

You're not going to see the effects of the controversy until the release of their next game - there's always a lag effect between word-of-mouth reaction and its translation to sales figures.

My opinion of them only diminished when they changed the ending the their game. Though had i too been bribed with cupcakes i might have done something similar

Fluffythepoo:
My opinion of them only diminished when they changed the ending the their game. Though had i too been bribed with cupcakes i might have done something similar

They didn't change the ending and they weren't bribed with cupcakes... so, yeah.

There's no reason for BioWare to change. Not because it wouldn't want to, but because EA wouldn't let it. The only thing that will set BW free from EA's meddling is the parent company's monumental fuckup. Which is something I'm afraid won't happen.

By pandering to the CoD crowd and leaning on its repetitious sports franchises for extra capital, they're doing it right from a purely business-oriented consideration. The thing is, however, that the CoD crowd won't always be around. Homogenizing games is going to turn out to be a very short-term strategy, seeing as folks will get tired of playing what's essentially the same game over and over.

BioWare will change the day Battlefield and Call of Duty will no longer be considered to be industry-leading paradigms. Seeing as they're clearly chasing the money, they'll follow whatever trend is currently bringing the millions in. Now it's shooting folks in the face, maybe it'll be something different in a few years from now.

That's the only thing I'm hoping for.

To quote Vaas from FarCry 3, the definition of insanity is when you do the same thing over and over, expecting shit to change. EA's expecting money to pour in by the truckloads, and *this* is what needs to change.

If gamers don't vote with their wallets, then BioWare won't ever output something like KotoR 3 or Jade Empire 2.

Elcarsh:

Jaeke:
Nope.
Not even close. Legions of people have forever downgraded their view of BioWare and some have even gone as far as to swear them off, myself included.

The damage was irrecoverable, and permanent.

People won't forget. Maybe DA2, but not after ME3.

Such incredible hyperbole. You are really overestimating the extent of the opposition to ME3. Just because the most outspoken fans decided to bitch like hell about it, that doesn't mean everyone who bought it was somehow traumatized for life.

Some people just love to hate something, and Bioware has been an easy target. Most people just move on if they find something about the game that they don't like.

I'm saying that BioWare has skewed it's image and credibility severely, wether you will still play BioWare or not, you can agree that they pissed a lot of people off.

worldruler8:
Where to begin...

firing Casey Hudson (or having him leave in another sort of way),

For some reason when I think what went wrong with bioware, his name pops up in my head. Yet I don't actually know what he DID.

Could you please enlighten me so that I may justify my resentment of this man?

Anti Nudist Cupcake:

worldruler8:
Where to begin...

firing Casey Hudson (or having him leave in another sort of way),

For some reason when I think what went wrong with bioware, his name pops up in my head. Yet I don't actually know what he DID.

Could you please enlighten me so that I may justify my resentment of this man?

Now, just to be clear, when I said "have him leave in some other way", I meant not so much fire him, but send him off somewhere else. As for the man...well.

Now, I don't know much of the going-ons over at Bioware, but if the justification from one of the writers (forgot his name, but he was the only writer who said the ending wasn't up to snuff) announced that the endings were made only by Casey Hudson and another of the head writers, I knew something was wrong. He later went on to explain that Casey Hudson has an odd mindset, one in which where he assumes everyone thinks like he does, and if unchecked (as the endings were, since there was no peer-review), he can fuck up royally. Put simply, that is what happened. I don't know what else the man has done, but that kind of writing is simply not acceptable in a professional setting.

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