Opinion – In The Wake Of Online Problems, Give Players Something Back

by Daniel Tack on Dec 27, 2014 at 06:30 AM

It’s hard to imagine the frustration of a player tearing off the tinsel of a holiday gift, plugging the console into the wall, connecting all the bells and whistles, eagerly gripping the controller, and then turning on the power to find that that big bundle of gaming nirvana that was just received is nothing more than an expensive space heater because the online services aren’t working.

It’s particularly devastating this time of year to have multiple days of spotty or nonexistent online services in an industry that sees itself becoming more reliant and symbiotic with online services and functions each and every year.

While I’m firmly in the camp that believes online services have done a ton of good for gaming and most of my games are “always online” options, when services go down like this it’s easy to make the case for the untethering times of gaming, where everything came on the cart and no connection was needed. Sometimes, especially when you’re hyped up to play with a new gift, an already annoying situation is made even more loathsome.

While the circumstances behind these outages may be beyond reasonable expectations of control, expecting the consumer to care about that seems a little off-course. A service is being paid for, and when it doesn’t work, it can be extremely frustrating.

As a longtime PC player, I’m used to day one launch nightmares, server queues, and other issues that can make things unplayable for days or more.

Something done in these situations, as a sign of good faith, can be to hook players up with some extra service time – it’s not the best outcome as obviously we’re all looking to logon and play right now, but it’s something, a nice gesture out of a bad situation.