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Gamers are an extremely passionate bunch to say the least when it comes to the games they play. They study every bit of lore, create conspiracy theories, and update in-depth wikis about a games universe. To some the universe of a particular game becomes a reality to them leading them to create detailed costumes and meet up with fellow gamers of like minds. The gamers even go as far as telling and in some cases demanding what direction they want a games universe to go. This is where the issues begin for the developers as they try to give the fans what they want while creating something new and fun.
Hard To Get A Gamers Love
Every year lots of good games release and gamers enjoy them but they don’t get the obsessive attention that other games do. For a developer to obtain a gamers love they have to create a game that is different in some way whether it be a new gameplay mechanic or a great multiplayer experience. That still isn’t enough the developers have to create a great story with a huge universe to go with it. The worst part is that after all of the time and money invested in creating an epic new game, there is no guarantee the fans will respond positively to the final product. Kingdoms of Amalur is such a game that fits the criteria for a fans love, it sold well (not enough to keep the developer in business) but never received the devotion of the fans. When developers obtain a gamers love it is a gift and a curse where the real issues begin.
Easy To Draw Ire Of The Fans
Once a series becomes a favorite of a player, it becomes very simple for developers to anger the player when the franchise changes its direction. One bad piece of DLC can turn love into rage, but will still remain loyal. Make another injustice to the gamer and the pitch forks will be out in full force demanding to revert the game to the way it was. In the game the player is led to believe they control the story so if there is something they don’t like the player feels that the developers should change it to their liking. The most obvious example is the infamous ending of Mass Effect 3. The gamers wanted the series to conclude differently than Bioware wrote it. I’m not saying I like the original endings but I am not the creative mind behind making the video game. Gamers need to learn to enjoy the art for what it is. Could you imagine going to Picasso (if he was alive) and telling him to change his painting because it doesn’t suit you?
It Is Impossible To Ignore The Fans
The lot of gamers have loud mouths and aren’t afraid to use it. They will do absolutely anything to get their voice heard (it is a shame they don’t use it to get what they need in the political front). They will take to the forum boards, social networks, and any other means of communication. The Mass Effect 3 endings had fans sending cupcakes to Bioware and others started a donating fund to Childs Play in protest. This is all done to ensure the developers have no way to ignore the demands of the fans. The gamers will continue their attack relentlessly until the developers acknowledge the issue and offer a suitable solution. Gamers just will not let any developer who wronged them go untouched.
Any Flaw Can Turn Into An Apocalypse
Most times developers aware of bugs and glitches when a game is released. Barring something really game breaking gamers will overlook these issues as long as they are fixed in a timely fashion. The issue that anger the gamers seemingly come out of the blue. Sometimes it’s a new feature that the fans don’t enjoy or there is something about the game that doesn’t make them feel comfortable. Assassin’s Creed Revelations had a tower defense mini-game you would play to make sure the Templars don’t take over your district; needless to say the fans didn’t like it. Another example is Borderlands Mad Moxxi DLC which was a poor take on Gears of war’s horde mode and less fleshed out. The developers thought by expanding the games with implementing new features would have a positive reaction by the fans. The response wasn’t favorable and the developers are wise to abandon the features before it blows up into a huge Armageddon for the fans.
Developers Can Never Live Down Past Mistakes
The memories of the fans are very long and will remember every little mistake. They will continually remind developers of their previous short comings whenever they get the chance. One classic example that is 8 years old and comes up every year is the NFL 2K5 superiority to Madden 05 and then the Madden 06 mess. This issue arose a while ago and yet players rehash them like it was just yesterday. It makes it tough on developers always having the past always hanging over them. I personally think it’s a good thing because it keeps developers honest and will create a game with the gamer’s interest in mind. For years it has kept the Madden franchise improving and expanding without any pressure of having any competition.
Fans Stifle Creativity
The worst part of the gamer demands and riots is the fact that it limits a developer’s creativity. The freedom to create something new and interesting is what initially got the fans interested in the franchises in the first place. Why would you want to stifle them creatively? I definitely encourage developers to go out and try new features or write a major twist which takes the lore in a new direction than was expected. Whenever you try something different it is a risk and it won’t always be received positively. As long as developers have an exit plan if things go awry like the Extended Cut in Mass Effect 3. It didn’t solve the issue the fans had with the endings but it did appease them.
I love the fact that gamers truly get into the games they play. My issue is that they don’t work together with the developers. Both parties should acknowledge each other’s issues and come together, not against each other. Only this way will developers be free creatively and gamers will feel comfortable with games they love. There should be a mutual respect and the fans should also forgive any errors that have either been fixed or not duplicated in future iterations of the series. The games I enjoy the most are the ones that offer something new and fun even if it is a sequel to a long running series. All gamers should encourage creativity.
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