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Bioware writer laments "increasingly toxic" fan feedback

Bioware writer laments "increasingly toxic" fan feedback

Thu 10 Jan 2013 11:06am GMT / 6:06am EST / 3:06am PST
PublishingDevelopment

David Gaider addresses the sour atmosphere on the Bioware Social Network

EA BioWare

BioWare develops high quality console, PC and online role-playing games, focused on rich stories, unforgettable...

bioware.com

David Gaider, the lead writer for Bioware's Dragon Age IP has published a blog post lamenting the "increasingly toxic" atmosphere on the studio's online forums.

The post was published in response to a question about whether Bioware's staff was aware of how many fans now avoid the Bioware Social Network "like the plague." Gaider agreed that, "the overall tone of the forums has become increasingly toxic," and he has retreated from using them as a source of feedback as a result.

"Spending too much time there starts to make me feel negative- not just about the games we make, but about myself and life in general. That's not a good feeling to have," Gaider said.

"I'm sure there are folks there who would bristle at that comment, suggesting that all negative feedback is justifiable and that ignoring it is the equivalent of us sticking our heads in the sand. How will we ever improve unless we listen to their scolding and take our lumps like good little developers?

"That is, of course, ignoring the idea that we haven't already digested a mountain of feedback- both positive and negative- and there's really only so much of it you can take. Eventually you make decisions (informed by that feedback, though only in part- it can only ever be in part) and move on."

"Perhaps there is also something to be said about whether the games BioWare makes still satisfy our core fans"

David Gaider, lead writer, Bioware

Bioware has been the target of significant criticism from its community over its recent games, specifically Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3. In the latter case, the anger from fans was intense enough to prompt Bioware to change the game's ending through a post-release patch, and release DLC that offered further explanation of its backstory. When Dragon Age 3 was announced last September, Mark Darrah, the game's executive producer issued an open letter to fans reminding them that, "We've been listening, and we will continue to listen."

According to Gaider's post, however, listening to the fans' feedback has become increasingly difficult due to the marked increase in vitriolic posts. While there are still many "keen and intelligent" posters, Gaiden claimed that "the signal to noise ratio does seem to be worsening."

"Eventually you get the feeling like you're at one of those parties where all anyone is doing is bitching. It doesn't matter what they're bitching about so much as, sooner or later, that's all you can really hear," he continued.

"I think there's something to be said there about the level of rhetoric and entitlement among online gamer communities in general. Perhaps there is also something to be said about whether the games BioWare makes still satisfy our core fans."

Thanks to Polygon.

31 Comments

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,577 1,419 0.9
Mmm... I used to hang out on the BSN quite a bit when DA:Origins was released. Then DA2 happened, and... Yeah. It got quite bad.

The last time I actually visited there was a little before ME3 was released, and at that time, I don't think the moderators help in any way. I understand that they are there to promote BioWare/EA, but Chris Priestly's post about why ME3 wasn't going to be on Steam was shockingly poorly handled. What he said was used verbatim in a press release, which negatively affected how I viewed the mods (and what is supposed to be a fan forum). Then you factor in Stanley Woo's "End of Line" phrase (which at one point was trending on Twitter due to how hastily he used it), and you have a forum which, in a way, got the community it asked for.

Then, of course, you have the fact that BioWare fans are some of the most vocal out there. The people who are positive are really positive, and the people who are negative are really negative.

Edit to add:
"I think there's something to be said there about the level of rhetoric and entitlement among online gamer communities in general. Perhaps there is also something to be said about whether the games BioWare makes still satisfy our core fans."
Well. Here's the entitlement issue again. *sigh* What does it mean in this case? That people who buy a product aren't entitled to complain about it? That people aren't entitled to complain about veering quality between original game and sequel? (Whether you love or hate the DA games, there's no doubt that the quality of them is dramatically different). Or what?

And, regarding the "satisfy core fans" remark, I think that's fairly obvious. The gamers that BioWare are catering towards now don't seem to be the ones who enjoyed KoTOR, NWN, Jade Empire, or even DA: Origins.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 10th January 2013 12:55pm

Posted:A year ago

#1

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
There are lots of sad people on the interwebs, some of who are gamers.
Anonymous posting really brings out the very worst in a lot of these people.
It is not just social networks.
There are malicious comments and scoring on Amazon, the Apple App Store, Metacritic etc.
The answer, as Facebook proved, is to remove online anonymity.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Samuel Verner Game Designer

131 243 1.9
Popular Comment
first they relesed a game which is nowhere near the quallity the customers are used to, with all the level-recycling and a terrible combat design, and then they talked the end of mass effect 3 into heaven, but delivered an extremly unsatisfiying clone of the deus ex: hr ending to take a shortcut in the development and now they complain about unhappy customers? everything shows that a lot has changed in the studio since EA took over and now they expect the customers to just shut up and eat what they serve? if they dont change their approach to develop games again, then their good days are over and wont come back.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve

340 291 0.9
@ Samuel Verner
I don't think it's entirely fair to say that Bioware have taken a "shut and eat what we serve" attitude. ME3 may not have had the ending some people expected, but they provided so much free DLC for the multiplayer in return, and even changed the ending to try and appease the crowd. How is changing the ending in response to fans outcries telling them to 'just deal with it' in any way? Even if you still didn't like the new ending I think you have to have respect for how much they did to try and win fans back.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Samuel Verner Game Designer

131 243 1.9
biowarewas doing this because the screwed up. these messures are just slowing down the fall a bit and they where needed so save whats left of their image. but thats nowhere near of whats needed to get back on track. if they screw up their next game too, then there is not much hope left for the studio. you cannot constantly dissapoint the expectations of your customers and think you can continue to do so forever.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Daniel Hughes Studying PhD Literary Modernism, Bangor University

436 496 1.1
I spent some time on BSN, but stopped because of the amount of vitriol being spread around the same few topics.

In the aftermath of Mass Effect 3's ending furor, Bioware asked for fan feedback. I left feedback, including some heavy criticism of the Priority: Earth section and the poor fetch quest/journal systems, but also made sure that I attempted to be as constructive as possible in my criticism, and praised and thanked Bioware for the effort they put into the game and the things they got absolutely right. In the initial aftermath of Mass Effect 3's release, the vast majority of comments were along those lines.

Unfortunately, what was once reasonable debate with a minimum of malicious posting, has become a minimum of reasonable debate inside of a storm of vitriol and unwarranted malice. It's a huge shame. I think it's because the community is less active than it was months ago, and the most 'dedicated'--either those who love Bioware's output, or those who hated it--remain, souring the forums and leaving little to no room for reasonable debate.

I might still not be massively impressed by Mass Effect 3 as a final product, but I got over that months ago, and appreciate the efforts Bioware went through to listen to their fanbase.

Posted:A year ago

#6

Pier Castonguay Programmer

189 106 0.6
Even if you produce the best game ever, there will still be people whining on the forum about how much it suck. I know, I've spent my life reading them since about 15 year, and I was even part of the whiners when I was young. Developers should not worry about that. I read reddit/r/gaming since a few years and the general opinion of gamers got worse and worse. The majority of posts praise simple stupidity details in games and hate the actual game complexity/depth and most of the time don't even speak about the gameplay at all. As if they don't realize how good they have and it would completely screw things up if they were in control of some game design.

On the other hand, I also agree BioWare made some very strange design decisions in their latest games.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Pier Castonguay on 10th January 2013 1:46pm

Posted:A year ago

#7
The question really is has Bioware lost its golden touch....

Posted:A year ago

#8

David Radd Senior Editor, IndustryGamers

359 78 0.2
In a way, I'd say BioWare is getting what they asked for in this regard. No one wants this level of accrimony, but lets have a look at their last two major releases. With Dragon Age II, they've basically acknowledged that wasn't completely the path the series needed and are taking a different tact with Dragon Age III. With Mass Effect 3, they outright changed the ending (changed it, not just added stuff) basically validating most of the criticism.

I'm not sure what the solution to either of this situations could have been alternatively, perhaps more closely consulting their fanbase before the games come out rather than after, but by responding to the criticism in the way they company has, they reinforce that behavior by acquiescing. Unfortunately, negative attitudes like this tend of feed each other, and what was once probably a proud forum of passionate fans has become mostly a refuge for the extremists, and you don't want to get your primary feedback only from them.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Bryan Robertson Gameplay Programmer, Ubisoft Toronto

86 210 2.4
Popular Comment
Well. Here's the entitlement issue again. *sigh* What does it mean in this case?
Well in the case of BioWare, I'd say looking up developers' personal accounts on Twitter so you can hurl tons of abuse at them, because they said something about video games that you didn't like, or you didn't like the game they made, is pretty indicative of a sense of entitlement.

Similarly, setting up hate campaigns on the internet against particular individuals on the team.

If people don't like a game that a company releases, that's fine, it doesn't give them the right to abuse the staff that created it.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@ Bryan Robertson

In the UK these are criminal offences.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Graeme Quantrill Mobile App Developer

42 8 0.2
He has a point and the whole blog post is worth a read. I specifically like the way he states:
Unfortunately, the internet avoids that whether it's anonymously or not. Social rules have changed which allows for far more anti-social behaviour

Posted:A year ago

#12

Samuel Verner Game Designer

131 243 1.9
If people don't like a game that a company releases, that's fine, it doesn't give them the right to abuse the staff that created it.
you mean because bioware gave out these games for free and the customers... aehm... fans should be happy for everything they got? :-)

ps: the "hate" for this studio isnt coming from nothing. videos like the following showing some of the problems the people have with bioware now. they are eating up their positive image bonus very fast and the people are allready past the point of saying "it was a mistake, next game will be better". now they are not holding back anymore, because it became very clear to gamers whats going on there.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMcVZQI6ybw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ri0vrJ-y2zM

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Samuel Verner on 10th January 2013 6:50pm

Posted:A year ago

#13

Robert Mac-Donald Game Designer, Lethe Games

65 58 0.9
Popular Comment
Maybe game developers are the ones being 'entitled'. When you create a business for years based on one target audience, and then you start making games to a different target audience while still telling your older fans "our games are for you", you'll get people mad at your forums.

Posted:A year ago

#14

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,577 1,419 0.9
Mmm... Entitled is a very explosive word. You could say that BioWare fans are "entitled" to games of a superlative quality, since that's what the BioWare name meant at one point - games of almost pure genius, even if, like Obsidian's games, they're ever-so-slightly flawed. But surely that's what happens when you nurture a certain image - you get fans who feel entitled to better work than you've produced?

(Not trying to enflame the situation, btw. Just thinking out loud, more than anything.)

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 10th January 2013 5:13pm

Posted:A year ago

#15

Anthony Chan Analyst, CPPIB

91 79 0.9
In terms of my career and my interests, I would say I am closer to being a gamer than an actual person working in the industry. I do not know what goes on in content design, and how the decision process works, or even if fan opinion matters.

I do know that the "fan" forums for many "disappointing" games are extremely toxic and despite Morville's arguments on entitlement being rational, I still think the fans are asking for more than they deserve.

Beiing creators of their own art work, game developers have the right to create in the way they see fit. Bioware should not have changed the ending to ME3. I played through ME3, I did not like the original ending either, however I did not throw violent fits in response. I recognize that the game was created by them, and they have every right to end it the way they see fit. Blizzard created Diablo 3 and that was a forum that turned extremely toxic as well. Did they screw up the game? To some yes. But it is their game, and gamer's choice to buy it. The gamer shelling out money does not entitle them to a place at the decision making table. They did not purchase a right to the IP. They just purchased the end product. If they don't like what they got, thats too bad, as art is not appreciated the same way by everybody. Same thing with Far Cry 3, getting the responses to the storyline from critics.

And this brings up the final point. Gamers are not critics. They are gamers and should stay as such. Their opinion is valued but not the law. Gamers should never feel they are the law and they definitely are not entitled to a place at the decision making table. They are spectators not playmakers.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Anthony Chan on 10th January 2013 5:49pm

Posted:A year ago

#16

Steve Nicholls Programmer

66 29 0.4
Fact is that the quality people expected from a Bioware game has vanished. I don't know if there are new guys in charge or what but there is a huge drop in quality. This is why people complain. Get it together.

Posted:A year ago

#17

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,577 1,419 0.9
@ Anthony

I totally see where you're coming from with that. I myself try to avoid use of "entitlement" as a concept, and I agree that no matter how bad the ME3 ending, BioWare lost much in changing it.

That said, I think I'll take issue with something you say. :)
Gamers are not critics. They are gamers and should stay as such.
Gamers are critics, far more than people who buy books or go to the movies. Partly this is because of their passion, but mostly it's because there's no distinction between criticising and consuming in this industry. A number of gaming magazines in the 80s were formed from people who didn't have journalist degrees or careers, but were just a bunch of gamers. And the industry isn't that far removed from that period even now, so when you add in the possibilities of the Internet... Gamers definitely can be, and are, critics. Surely, what developers should do is stand firm on their principles in the face of criticism? It's not like Martin Scorsese changes his films based on what the average Joe Sixpack says, so why would a games developer change his game?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 10th January 2013 6:12pm

Posted:A year ago

#18

Tom Keresztes Programmer

683 335 0.5
And this brings up the final point. Gamers are not critics.
But critics are not the fans. They would be interested in the next game from the same developer. Complaining when being criticized is childish.

But i guess unhappy customers are not important then. Critics are. They know better - maybe thats why EA was recently de-listed from NASDAQ.

Posted:A year ago

#19

Anthony Chan Analyst, CPPIB

91 79 0.9
@Morville
I can see my statement being touchy, and I admit it comes from sentiment. When I mean they are not critics, they should not have the ability to direct change through their opinions. Games, movies, books, painting, etc are all art forms. Art forms must express the creative decision making process of the maker. An artist is allowed to have only one masterpiece and there is no law against that. Nobody forces gamers to buy and as such gamers should not expect the same level of quality each and every game. What gamers should do though, is be the educated consumer. I have purchased my fair share of lemons, and a lot of those lemons were based on reputation of the developer, the predecessor being amazing, etc. And that has taught me a lesson. Read reviews about gameplay from more than one source. Find as many different opinions of pros and cons, since one person' con may not be another person's. Try to select reviews that speak from a voice similar to your own. That will help you decide. It is because so many of the gamers purchase strictly based on hype, trailers, viral marketsing,and misleading screenshots, they get super angry and become a rabid mob. They just shelled out "big bucks" for something totally not to their expectations. Well, mom and dad always taught, "serves you right, shoulda done your research first".

Posted:A year ago

#20

Bryan Robertson Gameplay Programmer, Ubisoft Toronto

86 210 2.4
Popular Comment
you mean because bioware gave out these games for free and the customers... aehm... fans should be happy for everything they got? :-)
@Samuel Verner
It doesn't matter if their game cost $70,000 a copy, it still doesn't give people the right to personally harass developers and start internet hate campaigns against individuals on the team. Paying for a product doesn't entitle you to harass the employees that worked on it.

People can say whatever they want to companies through forums and other means, there's nothing wrong with that, whether the feedback is positive or negative. Tracking down individual employees and making them figures of hate is way over the line, and not acceptable. I'm talking about the latter here, not the former, in case that's not clear.

Posted:A year ago

#21

Anthony Chan Analyst, CPPIB

91 79 0.9
@Tom
I would venture that David Gaider is not "complaining". He is simply stating that he is weary of the forums. I say the posters on forums are extremely childish when raging and nobody should be subject that kind of verbal abuse.

Unhappy customers can complain, however the subgroup known as unhappy gamers take it to a whole new level. I have seen the most disgusting things said about Blizzard's Jay Wilson, and he does not deserve that kind of abuse. Especially over a game. One example was a "fan" suggested D3's lacklustre gameplay was a result of Jay Wilson's physical size. Because he is overweight, the "fan" suggested that in general overweight people are lazy. Linking his epiphany together, Blizzard should fire Jay Wilson because he is fat and lazy. This is the crap I am talking about. This is the state of forums that promote discussion of games on publishers/developers' websites when games are not as good as expected.

In summary, (especially for you since you are apparently a developer Tom), creating games is your passion, you career, your art. Everybody should do their best. However a falter in the final product to not mean you deserve the verbal condemnation from the interwebs. Nor should any company who values its employees ever allow it to be posted on their own forums (which they pay for and manage for the "fans" convenience). In this case, I strongly feel that Bioware, Blizzard, Bethesda, who have suffered severe verbal lashings should just go out and delete and censor all such commenting. "F" free speech in this case. Verbal abuse is verbal abuse. Taking it was never part of anybody's job descriptions.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Anthony Chan on 10th January 2013 6:59pm

Posted:A year ago

#22

David Serrano Freelancer

300 272 0.9
@Robert Mac-Donald

Exactly. For example, I didn't begrudge Bioware for choosing to take the Mass Effect IP in a new direction with ME 2. What pissed me off and made me feel like I'd been cheated out of $60 was that EA - Bioware mislead and deceived the established ME 1 audience by marketing, advertising and promoting ME 2 as an "RPG". When they knew for a fact that ME 2 was neither a pure or hybrid RPG. Because the lead designer of ME 2 has openly admitted the goal was to design a shooter and to only retain RPG elements which didn't interfere with or degrade the game's functions as a shooter. So EA-Bioware purposely kept the established audience in the dark because they knew if they disclosed the IP had effectively switched genres, it would negatively impact sales. And making matters worse, most gaming media outlets failed to inform their readers or viewers about the changes because they didn't want to risk losing ad revenue or access to preview future games from EA or Bioware. And make no mistake about it, this played a role in ME 3 controversy. EA-Bioware got away with misleading consumers once, so they (EA business and marketing) thought they could do it again.

The point being that sometimes the anger or outrage of gaming fans, a.k.a. consumers, is fully justified. Because sometimes the behavior of people on both sides of the industry is unprofessional, unethical or simply dishonest.

Posted:A year ago

#23

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,130 1,162 1.0
Games have always been a medium in which you turn a blind eye to certain aspects of a game for the sake of those aspects which come together.

You never judge WoW based on it being an RPG competing with Skyrim, because playing with your friends is fun. You never question the story of a fighting game, because you play it for the actual fighting part. Heck, Nintendo made all the Wii fans ignore sub-par graphics.

Bioware have certainly cornered themselves by switching the genre half way through one narration. But in all honesty, even though the writing in ME is very good for a game, who would believe it could actually win any prices at Nebula/Hugo awards? If the competition was other games, then yes, but if the competition was all the SciFi shows and movies in the world, then sorry ME. On top of that, has ever anything good come from" saving the world plotlines" other than a pile of BS?

ME is fine with being a game, even if it covers different genres. The whole "Citadel Detective" way of communicating quests and doing something with a large space that is not a combat simulation will be industry leading for generations of games to come.

Posted:A year ago

#24
Solution: WiiU & Miiverse.

Posted:A year ago

#25

Kevin Patterson musician

187 103 0.6
I love Bioware's games and have been a fan for a long time, but their decisions on Dragon Age 2 were puzzling.
Everyone gives them a ton of grief for DA2 and the Mass effect 3 ending, but those were still good games in my opinion, just not the game they could have been.

The one thing that I didn't understand about DA2 was their combat direction. In DA:O mages were so powerful, and they felt really gimped in DA2. I hope for Dragon Age III they bring back that powerful feeling. I originally played the 360 versions of both DA games and ive begun to replay them on the PC. DA:O still captures my heart over DA2, I find myself still enjoying that game more.

I think David's writing in both games was wonderful, and I imagine that seeing constant negativity would be tough, but that just shows how beloved Bioware and their games are. They are held up to a high standard, expectations are extremely high. However, Any fans that resort to contacting the devs to harass them should be ashamed, but it doesn't really surprise me. When 12 to 14 year olds are berating adults with racist, sexist, or violent comments during online gaming matches, how can we expect forums to be any better?.

Posted:A year ago

#26

Yiannis Koumoutzelis Founder & Creative Director, Neriad Games

363 207 0.6
i am a huge Bioware fan. HUGE. and i am also one of the people who have remained silent on BSN. i was enamored with DA:O and i really enjoyed Dragon Age 2. i even discussed the da2 situation briefly with couple of the developers, and i told them, that even though i am an old school fan, i enjoyed what they had done i clocked several hours on da2. They both insisted that they had done at least something wrong (the levels i assume. i didn't insist) and that the fans were right about a couple of things which they planned to fix on the next game. The leads even had an open discussion with fans during certain events, to discuss the plans they had for the next game. Now i am afraid that DA3 may not come out after all that. And i am worried that we won't see another fantasy RPG from them again. That is sad.

ME3... what can i say. i actually felt sorry for the developers of what could easily be described as one of the best if not the best, sci-fi franchises out there. If you do not like a game that is fine you have every right to say it and be unhappy. Give your criticism, don't buy another game.

Bioware for sure has lost its old community. The best period imo was during the life of NWN and KotOR and for several years it was by far the best community. Then i think things went downhil with the addition of the console crowd. Do they deserve what they have now? I do not think so. The creation of BSN played an instrumental role in that unfortunately. Bioware did some mistakes too; but regardless, nobody deserves such behaviour by anyone. Also, many blog commenters, forumites etc. nowdays as many already said, feel that they own the company that makes the games, sensationalist blogs have made people lose control and decency, many feel they are entitled to behave like this; even demand changes or claim that they can do better than seasoned professionals. There is a lot of stress and anger vented out towards all directions. If it is not the publisher, then it is the developer, or the writer, or the producer, or the art director (Diablo3 artwork case), an artist who designed larger boobs and is labeled sexist, and so on.

Imagine not liking your drink, or sandwich, and starting to yell towards the waiter or the bartender, or the chef who made your food. what does that make you? Why should the game industry, filled with dedicated talented people who have devoted their life to this have to tolerate this abuse? what kind of logic is this?

Then maybe we should go back to the times when people were throwing tomatoes, lettuce, eggs and all sorts if vegetables to the actors/artists if they didn't like the play? or that we should throw bottles and oranges and coins to the sportsmen who underperform? This is sad, and no studio (or anyone for that matter) deserves such fans, and most definitely not Bioware!

Posted:A year ago

#27

Luke Sather Studying Operations and International Business Management, University of Saskatchewan

2 0 0.0
Gamers should never feel they are the law and they definitely are not entitled to a place at the decision making table. They are spectators not playmakers.
Yet many developers invite fans to the table. Take the recent David Crane Kickstarter. Unsuccessful, perhaps because of a lack of cohesive plan from a man with an otherwise historic track record. But inviting his backers to help design the game they want... that's.... a new way of thinking. No surprise he laments his critics as being the ones lacking vision. No surprise it doesn't work yet, but that's just it... "yet."
Saying video game design can't be crowdsourced is like saying any other art form can't be crowdsourced. It can. It takes the right mentality and motivation, and it will produce a different sort of game.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Luke Sather on 11th January 2013 5:59am

Posted:A year ago

#28

James Prendergast Research Chemist

735 432 0.6
@Bruce:

The answer, as Facebook proved, is to remove online anonymity.

I don't know how you reached that conclusion considering Facebook is like a chat down at the pub or coffee shop whereas all the other exmaples are in stores where you're making a sale or in a specific organisation targetted at achieving some particular aim. If you think that even in the real world with no anonymity people aren't just as fractuous then you've got a huge lesson to learn.

Anyway, there's simply not much on facebook to get upset about unless you're fed up of constant pokes from your contact's applications (which you might have noticed did draw a lot of unseemly ire) and when one of my more politically motived contacts writes something controversial you can be sure there will be some of their contacts that disagree - ignoring thee fact that, by definition, your contacts will be of your own peer group and so the agreement on core issues will be much higher than for a random sampling of strangers. I bet you'd not get the same sort of civility between two random Northern Irish and two selected from the same peer group - even if they both knew each other's names.

Anonymity doesn't make people behave worse, lack of respect does.

Posted:A year ago

#29

Matt Hewitson Senior QA Technician, Crytek UK

10 5 0.5
Blizzard created Diablo 3 and that was a forum that turned extremely toxic as well. Did they screw up the game? To some yes. But it is their game, and gamer's choice to buy it.
This is loaded, though. It isn't a simple choice. Choice is informed - by critics (arguably some that get bought) and by various media influences (promos, trailers, events, etc). These are all designed to persuade people to buy games. If you've been sold something that you didn't buy - you'd be understandably upset. Obviously, harassment via any medium is not acceptable but to claim that gamers simply have the choice to buy or not buy is bull.

Take your Diablo 3 example. The beta was about 30-45 mins of gameplay at low levels - if you even got in. You could not have possibly extrapolated what the game was like to play at max level, which is in most gamer's minds where Diablo 3 failed.
They are spectators not playmakers.
Go a bit further with this metaphor. If a sport, let's say "soccer" were to lose it's spectators - it would very quickly lose it's revenue and go the way of the dinosaur if they ignored the protestations of the fans (spectators). However, if they listened properly and adapted, they'd probably find value in the spectator's feedback.

I hate to break this to you, but playmakers don't give industry money. The spectators do. They hold the power when it comes to purchase. Playmakers do their best to persuade spectators to part with their money.

Posted:A year ago

#30

Craig Page Programmer

384 220 0.6
The writing was great in all the Mass Effect games and the first Dragon Age.

It was just the cut scene at the end of Mass Effect that sucked, they didn't even bother to make different scenes they just changed the colors.

I never bothered with Dragon Age 2 because the gameplay (as a warrior) in the first one was mediocre and at the end of the game the only thing that mattered was if you brought enough health potions with you or not.

Posted:A year ago

#31

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