Letters to the Editor

Microsoft: The “X” Men


In response to “‘You’re Wrong'” from The Escapist Forum: The hardcore may not always be wrong, but they (we) are always safely ignored.

The hardcore complain about everything; so we can’t just point to one or two cases where their complaints were justified as some sort of proof that they (we) have any credibility.

The most important thing for developers to remember – the place where I disagree with this article altogether – is that official message boards are a waste of time altogether.

They’re an ineffective, error-prone, and expensive method of official communication. All the benefits of message boards can be easily gleaned by reading the community boards. All the benefits of official communication can be had by actually publishing information. Official boards are a waste of time and resources.

– roc ingersol

In response to “‘You’re Wrong'” from The Escapist Forum: This may be the way in PC game land, but in every company I’ve worked for making console games have had focus groups.

We put an advert in numerous sources, some aimed at the “hardcore” – signs in EB for example – and others not so hardcore – we ask our friends and relatives.

This is a much better process for giving feedback – we have casual gamers as well as hardcore gamers.

Anyway, more of the stupid decisions get made by execs hired by companies because they’re (supposedly) good managers or marketers, but who really have little knowledge of the games and the games industry, than by hardcore gamers.

– FunkyJ

In response to “‘You’re Wrong'” from The Escapist Forum: The problem with message boards is that many people use them to express, and gain recognition, with regards to their thoughts on whatever the subject may be. If you type “I didn’t like a weapon in this game” on a board you’re not going to get any recognition, whereas if you say “They have totally destroyed this game by designing the crappiest pea shooter weapons ever seen in a video game – congratulations you all suck!” you may get more responses (and recognition) as its more emotive, but you’re thoughts are no longer realistic.

Therefore it would be ridiculous to use a message board for improvements – or as a place to provide feedback to you’re beloved game developer. They are just a marketing tool.

– Nobodies15

In response to “Starforce Must Die” from The Escapist Forum: It always irritates me when people attack the publishers’ (or whoever’s) decision-making on our part, and then proceed to make the decision that we are all being “kicked in the teeth” or “sucking it down” for us. It’s really quite demeaning, offensive even, to those of us who don’t work ourselves into rages about anonymous anti-cheat data collection that’s never even glanced at by a human, or who are really not that bothered by the minuscule chance that SF might possibly maybe do permanent damage to our computers.

I also find it amusing that both the author and several unrelated others I’ve come across lately during my interblag travels are describing Steam, GameTap and their peers as the ‘alternative’ to DRM – when in fact they are textbook definitions, far more so than SF in fact. Just goes to show: it’s not the idea that’s to blame.

– Tom Edwards

In response to “Starforce Must Die” from The Escapist Forum: I love the analogy given by the Starforce guys about their product: “Imagine this – your car breaks down, and instead of taking it to the mechanic to be fixed, you go online and start complaining. Such behavior cannot make anything better.” And they urge everyone to contact their support if there are any problems. One minor problem with this recommendation is Starforce’s complete denial that their software can ever cause any problems. With this belief, how can they fix anything?

A better example would be this. I buy a new car, and I pay for some gas to go in the tank. As it’s being put in, I notice the attendant is under the car, working on my brakes, without even asking me or telling me what he does. Is it any wonder that when my brakes fail, I’m not inclined to return to the gas station attendant to have them fixed?

– milieu

In response to “Gears of War: I Wouldn’t Buy It” from The Escapist Lounge: Well, I almost entirely disagree with this review, but that’s the beauty of opinion!

Something I found interesting: You are holding the Halo franchise up as the gold standard in this review. Both Halo games suffered from some significant design flaws in the single player campaign but offered staying power through excellent multiplayer. Gears undeniably has flaws, but if the single player campaign doesn’t hold your attention the online multiplayer is really beautifully done. Yet, you don’t mention it, even as you point to Chromehounds, a game with a cursory single player component at best, as a good example of a game with lots of content for your $60. Try co-op or vs. multiplayer before you dismiss the game.

– Ian Dorsch

In response to “Gears of War: I Wouldn’t Buy It” from The Escapist Lounge: I don’t think I could disagree with a review as much as I am with this one.

– Albedo777

In response to “Team Humidor on Used Games” from The Escapist Lounge: The next question is how the inevitable transition from optical media to digital distribution will play out for brick and mortar retailers. There will still be people who want something tangible when they buy a game. Will they be able to go to a kiosk at EBGameStop, choose a game, and have the kiosk burn it to a disc?

– Ajar

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