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Over 12,000 sign petition to cancel Metroid Prime: Federation Force

Incensed 'fans' call forthcoming 3DS game an "atrocity"

A petition seeking to halt the development of Nintendo's Metroid Prime: Federation Force, a 3DS title which was announced during the firm's E3 Digital event, has passed 12,000 signatures in just 2 days, rapidly approaching its goal of 15,000.

The game, a spin-off from the main series which doesn't feature heroine Samus Aran, is predominantly a multiplayer shooter set in the Metroid universe, with an additional 3 vs 3 football-like game called Blast Ball also included. Currently, it's slated for a 2016 release. Frankly, it doesn't look like a classic, but The Internet is furious.

"It has no elements at all of what Metroid is about and its a disrespectful manner to old and new fans of the series of showing them that the Metroid franchise is not dead afterall," froths the petition's call to arms. "This is not the Metroid we asked Nintendo to make. We should let Nintendo know what we really think of the game and make them actually LISTEN to their fans for once. Help us stop this atrocity of a game from bearing the beloved Metroid franchise name and make Nintendo halt production on it."

Petition founder, Gilbert Manzanarez, is clearly not pleased. I mean, you don't throw words like "atrocity" around without good reason, so he wants us to know that he's not just angry about this, he's personally outraged. Compared to some of his supporters, however, he's remarkably Zen.

"I signed it, honestly i refuse to just fucking let them ignore us and not listen to their gaming audience," says one enraged player. "I REFUSE to let them walk all over us and pretend this was a good idea, this is a travesty to the metroid series and NOBODY asked for this , EVERYONE wanted ANYTHING but a FUCKING SOCCER METROID GAME AND SAMUS ISNT EVEN IN IT. This is disguting so yeah i signed it and im happy i did becuase maybe now they'll finally listen to us."

"As a Metroid fan, I'm very offended at this mockery of a game."

"How is this metroid? Why would they pass this garbage for a beloved, HARDCORE franchise. This is unnacceptable."

Maybe there's some justification for frustration, given that many feel Nintendo put on a relatively weak E3 performance overall. Given that it's been five years since the last full Metroid release, perhaps fans do have a right to be upset that a not-brilliant looking spin-off on 3DS, rather than a full-scale Wii U game, is being put out under the Metroid masthead. You could argue that, finally, people have lost patience with the endless reworking of old IP - even that they have a right to be disappointed after the wonderful Splatoon reminded them of what the company can do when it finds its inspiration. But really, atrocity?

Manzanarez is far from the first to attempt to bottle the rage of gamers to get things done. Three years ago, Mike Julliard started a petition to get GTA V ported to PC, garnering over 728,000 signatures. A year later, someone operating under the handle of Trevor Phillips started a petition to make sure it didn't come to PC, collecting over 14,000 names but falling just short of its 15K target. More recently, a campaign to have Bloodborne come to PC accused From Software of "betraying" fans and "forcing them to buy a PS4" by making it an exclusive. That movement came agonisingly close to a total of 50,000 signatures, but stuttered at the last.

So entitlement, particularly amongst fans, is nothing new. One of the consequences of the democratisation of mass media is that there are more messages to be heard, that previously relatively isolated opinions become movements - sometimes for good, sometimes for ill. Is there a lesson to be learned by Nintendo here? A warning to heed? Perhaps. But there's definitely a very clear snapshot of the power of consumer feeback which increasingly surrounds the industry - and the need to find a way to either appease or mollify it. Generally, it behoves the companies involved to do their best not to acknowledge the anger of what is almost always the minority of its audience, but Nintendo might not currently have that luxury. Whether it's a reflection of the sentiment of the wider fanbase is debatable, but the firm's reaction could be pivotal to the perception of its position.

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Latest comments (26)

John McCaul Web Developer, DevPhase.Net2 years ago
I think had Federation Force been shown with a Metriod WiiU trailer or not use the Metroid IP people would be ok about it. It's very unfortunate people feel this way about this game (which I believe is being made by Next Level Games) and have acted in such a negative manner. Personally I think Nintendo use Mario far too much and fear management will get the wrong message if Metroid games don't reach sales expectations.
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Daniel Hughes PhD Researcher, Bangor University2 years ago
Nintendo's showing was poor, but nothing, nothing that justifies this kind of rage and reaction. Ultimately 15,000 people are demanding that a game early in development, anywhere from six to eighteen months (!!) from release, be scrapped, based on 60 seconds of footage broadcast over the internet. How harmful is this to the developers at Next Level, a studio of dozens of people who will work long hours to make this game the best it can be?
Maybe there's some justification for frustration, given that many feel Nintendo put on a relatively weak E3 performance overall. Given that it's been five years since the last full Metroid release, perhaps fans do have a right to be upset that a not-brilliant looking spin-off on 3DS, rather than a full-scale Wii U game, is being put out under the Metroid masthead. You could argue that, finally, people have lost patience with the endless reworking of old IP - even that they have a right to be disappointed after the wonderful Splatoon reminded them of what the company can do when it finds its inspiration. But really, atrocity?
Justification for frustration, discontent, sure. Justification for that frustration to be expressed in this manner? Absolutely not. It's juvenile and insulting, and this opinion piece skirts too close to implying that this petition has some legitimate ground to stand on. And, as for "the endless reworking of IP", get a grip: this is a completely different style of game. That's the whole point of the anger, it's nothing like previous uses of the IP, therefore people don't like it. Not to mention that before this, Metroid games have been side scrollers, a first-person adventure, a third-person action-adventure with CGI cut scenes and a terrible representation of Samus as a character, had split-screen mutliplayer, a spin-off that was an FPS with online multiplayer, and get this: a pinball game. I repeat: a Metroid pinball game. Yet a squad based shooter using and extending Metroid's universe is a step too far, and, this piece hints, a step with justifiable grounds for complaint? Was the Halo real-time strategy game, not featuring the Master Chief, grounds for Halo fans to be unhappy?

If there's anything we've just learnt from Nintendo's E3 broadcast, it's that their fans don't like Nintendo changing core IP into new and unusual things, because fans are asking for more of the same of the previous decades. They want a 'traditional' Animal Crossing (Amiibo Party for my money is more deserving of fans' ire), another Zelda, F Zero. And why the implicit insinuation that a 3DS spin-off--in which Nintendo are attempting an extension of what one of their IP can be--is somehow less worthy of development time than another traditional home console Metroid game? Again, that's an insult to Next Level. Judge them on what they ship, not on what is displayed for sixty seconds. Why shouldn't Nintendo be producing games for the 50 million plus 3DS owners, when Wii U has yet to hit 10 million? Should Sony be producing Vita games at the expense of the more successful PS4?

I expect better of GI than to publish an opinion piece seemingly indulging in and enjoying the juvenile outrage on display here, and then reaching for some kind of implicit justification of fans' discontent taking this form.
Generally, it behoves the companies involved to do their best not to acknowledge the anger of what is almost always the minority of its audience, but Nintendo might not currently have that luxury. Whether it's a reflection of the sentiment of the wider fanbase is debatable, but the firm's reaction could be pivotal to the perception of its position.
If Nintendo have their heads screwed on, they'll stand by Next Level, whose work shouldn't be judged on a) sixty seconds of footage and b) the loudspeaker of an online petition. If 'fans' don't like this, they have one simple and effective weapon to use when the game ships: not buying it.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Daniel Hughes on 18th June 2015 4:23pm

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Ron Dippold Software/Firmware Engineer 2 years ago
This reads like an Onion article. Seriously.

(And that's not a swipe at GamesIndustry.biz - just Poe's Law in full effect).
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Show all comments (26)
Caleb Hale Journalist 2 years ago
Didn't Nintendo fans already work through this kind of rage with Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker? One thing people often do is discount Nintendo games too early. There is usually more to them than meets the eye at first. Nintendo's marketing machine is one that doesn't slap you in the face with a too-good-to-be-true trailer of an upcoming game. I expect in early 2016, a Nintendo Direct will flesh out more substantive details of this game.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 2 years ago
@Daniel
Well picturing it from a fans perspective. I understand the outrage.

It would be like Valve finally releasing another Half-Life game, but it doesn't have Gordon Freeman, and is some weird gravity gun sports game. They announce it as the next game in the Half-Life Franchise. :P Trust me ... people would be pissed, probably more so than this.

I don't think it's just Nintendo fans, it's all fans in general. No one likes change, especially if that change is all there is. If they released what the fans wanted and also released this game ... there wouldn't be much of an issue.
I expect better of GI than to publish an opinion piece seemingly indulging in and enjoying the juvenile outrage on display here, and then reaching for some kind of implicit justification of fans' discontent taking this form.
How do you expect fans to react that will allow them to feel they can make a difference? Sometimes you need to realize, this is the only way they feel they will get the attention .. and that is a problem and isn't entirely their fault.
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Dan Pearson Internal Business Editor, Square Enix West2 years ago
Come on, if you don't pick up that I think this is every bit as absurd as any sane person would, you really need to work on your comprehension skills.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
It does fairly drip with sarcasm and incredulity. :)
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 2 years ago
@Dan
Well, I don't see it as absurd and I am perfectly sane.
Do you think fans would react in this manner if they had a method to actually feel like their voices are being heard?

Probably not. These kind of things don't happen simply for no reason. Too many people write this sort of thing off way to quickly and just say it's the vocal minority or some crap like that. It could be, hell it might not be. While you may not like the way it's done, and you may think the fans are entitled .. the thing is .. they should be. They are the ones buying the games. So of course they are entitled.

You just expect them to be happy with things they don't want? Crap if only business was that easy.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 18th June 2015 9:48pm

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
I'm still stuck on the fact that someone thinks a game is an "atrocity". Maybe it's just my age, but you use that word, you better be speaking about something more serious than a videogame.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 2 years ago
@Morville
It's just a word. XD Though maybe it is the wrong word to use. I think travesty would have been more fitting.

Travesty: something that is shocking, upsetting, or ridiculous because it is not what it is supposed to be

In fact .. it fits pretty perfectly to what happened here lol.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
As usual, the internet is full of entitled idiots who want what they want and nothing else and then complain there's nothing innovative coming down the road. Granted, this game doesn't look "innovative" at all. But it seems to be targeting that 3DS crowd that loves them some competitive gaming like Mario Kart or Smash Bros. (or Splatoon if you want to go home console).

Anyway, exactly what will happen when those 15K sigs are gotten? Nothing at Nintendo HQ at all. Note to the whining kids: If you don't like a game (you haven't yet played), just don't buy it and you won't be playing what you hate (but haven't yet played).

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 18th June 2015 11:11pm

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Emily Knox Associate Designer, CCP Games2 years ago
Maybe it's just my age, but you use that word, you better be speaking about something more serious than a videogame.
I think it's a fine word to use, but at the very least use it towards a video game that you have actually played.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 2 years ago
As someone who was looking forward to this game(because I desperately want to play another Metroid game on my 3DS) I can't decide which is worse: the internet rage over this or the internet rage over the ending to Mass Effect 3. And what became of that rage...a new ending? Yippee!!! At least the rage against the Xbox One lead to a better system(and was well deserved for what they were attempting to do) but this rage ultimately wants to get a new 3DS game canceled before it's released. I don't see any good coming from that.
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Patrick Frost QA Project Monitor 2 years ago
I've got a feeling that all of this anger about Metroid is more misdirected than people think.

From a fans point of view, the teams behind full fledged versions of Mario, Metroid and a whole bunch of other franchises have not really displayed anything that says AAA. I would say that they are most disappointed that development power is being put into:
- Another Mario Tennis game
- A refresh of Doctor Mario, a game no one was missing
- A Mario Party game reskinned as Animal Crossing

Metroid Prime as a series is a substantial type of game that is sorely missing in Nintendo's catalogue and I think that when you juxtapose that name against a game that seems fun but again light, then I can understand being incensed.
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Paul Johnson Managing Director / Lead code monkey, Rubicon Development2 years ago
I think mr outraged should maybe get out more tbh. I had to check the date when reading this article.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2 years ago
As if it wasn't bad enough that Tom Happ single-handedly did what the entirety of Nintendo could not.
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Stephen O'Neill Software Engineer (Games Developer), Cobra Mobile Limited2 years ago
I just wanted to point out that that trailer has nearly 55,000 dislikes on YouTube as of me reading this. Disappointment is fine but this entitlement is way too toxic.

I can't feel more bad for the devs. The game itself sounds more interesting when you learn different players choose their load-outs before missions and take on roles as a healer or damage dealer etc. Unfortunately they didn't show any of these RPG-like elements this E3 and I only found that information from a Kotaku interview with the game's lead.

I'm curious (in a "can't take my eyes off a car crash" kind-of-way) to see what fan reaction will be when Nintendo put some of their franchises onto phones...
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Daniel Hughes PhD Researcher, Bangor University2 years ago
Obviously I let my astonishment at the petition cloud my judgement. Clearly, judging by the stars on the comment, a few people had the same problem! I'll try harder next time... :-)
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Stu Johnson Technical Lead 2 years ago
It does make you wonder of the 12,000, how many of them were never sent to bed without supper for refusing to eat their tea...
"It's yucky!! I want chicken nuggets!!"

</cynicism off>
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2 years ago
Is it really entitlement, if a customer does not agree to all conditions concocted by the entity creating the product?

The mechanism in video game advertisement follows a dangerous structure.
"Here is a trailer, please buy our game, but...."
...also buy this console.
...also pay now.
...also throw yourself at the mercy of our EULA and grant us every right.
...also be happy about any change we made, even though we are leveraging your memory of a product that was entirely different.
...also be quiet, you are entitled to not like and not buy our product, but please do not tell; we a scared of that.

Telling the customer he was entitled, often sounds as if the developer wants to claim the right of living in an undisturbed bubble. Unless Google finds a way that trailers only reach those who are happy with everything in it, this communication age of ours will result in customer feedback, solicited or not. Like it our not, the user is in fact entitled to voice his opinion at any time; by law. Nobody signed any NDA before watching the trailer. Maybe the industry should start doing that, could solve any negative feedback issues.

The people working on this Metroid game probably know best that if their phone rang tomorrow, this could turn into a Starfox game, or any other license in a very short time. They are probably the people least surprised by their game creating outrage among the fans who perceive the Metroid IP as a collection of game-systems and rules instead of a name and some textures slapped on a game. None of that takes anything away from what they created. If anything takes anything away, then it is the very IP that has been put on this game, because it forces perspective and suggests comparisons to be made. In the end, neither customers nor developers should accept the all too popular arithmetic of: "popular game type plus popular IP = best way to make money".
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...also be quiet, you are entitled to not like and not buy our product, but please do not tell; we a scared of that.
I think there's a fairly significant difference between that and 12,000 angry signatures calling for the immediate cancellation of a videogame they don't like the look of. They are of course entitled to not like and not buy it and yes, even criticise it, but calling it an 'atrocity'(which, in my opinion, is a word that should be reserved for events like what happened in South Carolina the other day, not a bloody videogame), wanting it to not even be made, and taking its very existence as an intensely personal insult are signs that maybe these people feel a bit too attached to, jealous of, and entitled to personal control over a videogame franchise.

People are entitled to voice their opinions. But when voicing your opinion makes you sound like a squalling child upset that the toy truck they anticipated wanting is red rather than blue, I don't blame those who find that behaviour rather difficult to take seriously.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2 years ago
I am not willing to judge the entire petition based on whether or not I can tie one word the author is using to a recent mass murder. Especially since one might as well interpret that word as typical Internet hyperbole. I find it unwise to hinge an entire argument on that. Did we find no better reason to attack the petitioner that we need to fall back on strategies taking only one word into account?

Reading through the entire piece, the petitioner expresses more than just negative emotions, this text is not hate speech. The text has a clear structure. It informs the reader of what happened, presents the petitioners expectations and how the announced game deviates from them. It closes off with a rallying call for more support. This is not the text of a child, this took structure, intent and complex emotions to manifest.

I am also not willing to suggest everybody who subscribed there did so angrily. There is no "angrily" checkbox, only one for Facebook. I did not sign it, but I have no right to deny its right to exist. People might as well have subscribed in disappointment and a better petitioner might have mined its reader for that emotion as well.

Some of the answers below the petition are a textbook example of unmoderated posts. Again I'd be surprised if there were too many children among them, since Metroid is not exactly last year's game. Thirty years ago, one might have shouted to the wall, today, there is the Internet for that.

So yes, Nintendo has to live with customers publicly rejecting their product just as much as they had to live with press and retailers rejecting their product from time to time. One could latch onto this as an emerging trend in the age of social mass communication outside of classic media governance and make that a topic. Or you could get hung up on one word. I refuse to reduce the petitioner down to that.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 2 years ago
@Klaus: Given the guy's made himself a bit of a public spectacle, I'm sure you can sneak away from here and ask him directly about that one word and why he chose it as well as find out what else in gaming these days would set him off. I think it's more that the word that's the issue at the end of the day.

That and hell, if the game comes out and gets favorable reviews, who's going to tell all those people that their opinions and outrage were somewhat misplaced when all was said and done? Of course, that will lead to people accusing the games media of "siding with Nintendo against the real fans" or some such insanity... :D
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.2 years ago
Klaus, it's not so much the use of the word but his actions around that word.

I get the feeling that he, and probably many of those 12,000 petitioners, were more 'moved' by the Metroid Prime: Federation Force reveal than the events in South Carolina. What action did they take following that? Did they publicly denounce and sign a petition regarding that atrocity? I doubt it.
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John Kauderer Associate Creative Director, Atari2 years ago
It will be interesting to see how this game sells. As a 3DS owner and a long time Metroid fan, I must admit that I have almost no desire to play it. I can totally understand fans disappointment but... Creating a rage quit petition is a bit much. One would think that a petition requesting a more traditional (or AAA) Metroid would have had more of an impact.
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Metroid Prime Pinball has no aspects of normal Metroid, but it's one of the best games on the DS. And agree with John - a petition to cancel this isn't going to get them what they want. Internet lameness.
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