Do I Hear People Say That I Am A Whiny, Self-Entitled Gamer?
Do I hear people say that I am a whiny, self-entitled gamer? Sure, I am, and I won’t deny it. I do, however, find it increasingly sad to see how gamers turn on one another by throwing around this bullshit buzzword ‘entitled’, in an attempt to ‘bully’ away any reasonable expectations of quality, fairness and good business practices when it comes to game releases. People who keep on hammering gamers that complain are totally missing the point. Games are all about the fan-service, and you cannot deny that. If you give the fans of a franchise enough fan-service, they will come back again, and again, begging for more each time. I once thought that being loyal to a brand was rather stupid, but I can see how brand loyalty can work for developers, especially ones like BioWare. Gabe Newell, from Valve, also keeps his fans happy, and because of this, he is rolling in cash. Not to mention, Gabe Newell is worth $1.5 billion.
As important as brand loyalty is, BioWare seems to be fighting fans due to the Mass Effect 3 saga, which included Day One DLC issues and controversy about the ending. Sure, certain reactions were wrong and they did blow the issue out of proportion, however the flipside was equally as bad. There were certain articles on various online publications which saw authors openly taunt and tease people who were complaining that they were ‘cheated’ by the developer. To be honest, I don’t think that it is unreasonable for fans of the Mass Effect franchise, who have invested 100 hours into a series, to ask for an ending that reflects the quality of the entire franchise. We were also promised that our choices would matter, where it didn’t. BioWare has acknowledged all feedback in an attempt to win their fans back.
Whether the company will respond to this is another concern altogether. In general, a lot of gamers will pay for DLC, if need be, to get proper closure. According to Brent Knowles, a former BioWare developer, “I’d throw $10 at it just to make it go away”. In reply to that, Erik Kain wrote an article which considers further points on Day One DLC.
Alongside BioWare’s issues comes Blizzard. The creator of Diablo III has been openly criticised for the requirement an always-on internet connection when playing the single-player mode. Just think about that for a second. You will need an always-on internet connection to enjoy a single-player experience, where if you don’t have this, playing the game is somewhat impossible. If you do have an always-on internet connection, your next problem will be lag, random disconnects and server maintenance, in your single-player game. Majority of the community is fine with this, where it is the minority who are then told to get lost once they complain. What the hell has happened to the consumer opinion? Why are so many people happy when large companies roll over them? I do not understand why a certain section of the gaming community would have a problem with people like me complaining about this. Why call me self-entitled because I have a problem with something? Could it be because it is a game created by Blizzard? Or could it be because the game is Diablo III, and this forces people to ignore the issues as they are massive fans of the series?
Ubisoft has also tried the always-on DRM idea, and they got absolutely grilled for it. However, when Blizzard does the exact same thing, no one flinches. Blizzard gets away with it because of who they are. Capcom recently tried pulling a stunt, which was a first for the gaming industry. Capcom tried on-disc DLC. This phenomenon is basically hidden content on the disc which needs to be purchased to use. Note that you’ve already bought the game and the disc, where on-disc DLC requires you to ‘buy’ extra content which is unlocked from the disc. Gamers should realise how disruptive these practices are, and how ethically questionable they are.
It might seem like a form of over-entitlement, and pettiness, to complain about these things when we’ve got real world issues like world hunger, and war, but the sad indictment facing the gaming community today is that developers are creating problems by insisting on questionable practices. If people want to play a game, they should not be forced to keep paying to enjoy themselves. Personally, I think that these issues could have been handled better, and avoided by both the developers and the fans. There needs to be a middle ground were developers and gamers can discuss issues, and try and find more viable solutions to things like Day One DLC, on-disc DLC and always-on DRM.