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Gamers are Finally Getting Tired of Developers’ Crap, and That’s a Good Thing

For all my fellow basketball fans, I am sure you saw the recent clip of Lebron James against the Utah Jazz walking about five steps without dribbling the ball and getting away with it, just because he’s Lebron James. Well growing up, the video game industry had quite a few video game developers who were basically Lebron James.

Traveling with a ref looking right at you? Now that’s power you can’t buy.

Growing up, some of my favorite video games were the Megaman: Battle Network series, and Alpha Protocol. The Battle Network series caught flak for having derivative gameplay in later entries in the series (A criticism that I would argue is false).

You know what series didn’t get much criticism for it’s relatively unchanging gameplay loop? Pokémon.

As much as I love Alpha Protocol, there was no real way to defend the game when it first came out. Most of the technical issues are gone now, but at launch, the game was laughably broken, and only the biggest masochists of the gaming community would dare play it. So rightfully, the game was heavily bashed. If we are being honest, all Obsidian titles were, from Alpha Protocol, to Knights of the Old Republic 2 and Fallout: New Vegas.

You know what games weren’t bashed for their woeful at-launch states? Bethesda titles like Skyrim and Fallout 3. It seemed like as long as you were a Lebron James in the industry, you got more of a pass than other developers.

In the last few years, I have noticed a nasty shift in attitude among consumer bases. Be it video games, TV shows, movies, etc. the art of constructive criticism seems to be a dying species. If you criticize anything, no matter how constructive your criticism is, you are labeled a hater, whiner, and a crybaby. This is especially prevalent among the younger generation, and this is really annoying.

We seem to have entered what I like to call the pig consumer era. We, consumers, are the pigs, and the video game developers are the farmers who own us. The slop that they pour into our troughs are their products, and since we’re pigs, we just eat up what we’re given.

This mindset is incredibly harmful both to people and to the video game industry. It dulls people’s ability to think critically, and it gives video game developers the impression that they can do whatever they want because gamers aren’t going to be complaining about anything they do. I firmly believe this is one of the reasons why Triple AAA gaming is in such a bad and stagnant place. And definitely why some Triple AAA games are little more than glorified mobile games with better graphics and FPS. We are giving developers a pass once again, and now, apparently all Triple AAA developers are Lebron James.

Luckily for all of us, however, things look like they are changing. In 2019, gamers have been very vocal about some of the games that have been released. EA’s Anthem, and fútbol and football casino simulators FIFA 20 and Madden 20, respectively. The annual basketball casino simulator NBA 2K20. NetherRealm’s Mortal Kombat 11 and its awful-at-launch Krypt grind. Pokémon: Sword and Shield for all the controversial game mechanic changes. Wolfenstein: Youngblood, otherwise known as the most cringe-filled, positive reinforcement fest, and forced open-world game ever made. Activision Blizzard for being awful about almost everything nowadays. And of course, Fallout 76. With microtransaction lies, more bugs than an Aburame clan member and a saga of drama spanning more episodes than the fight between Goku and Frieza, Fallout 76 may be the worst game in recent history.

Ignore the shiny paint jobs. They’re all lemons.

Whether it’s because gross monetization practices, an abundance of technical issues, or annoyance at blatant pandering or political interjection, or anything else, gamers are getting very vocal about the video games that are being released. And whether or not you agree with what dissenters are saying is irrelevant. We should all be happy that gamers are letting their voices be heard.

Gaming isn’t getting any cheaper, especially with the video game industry about to enter its ninth generation. So, why should gamers just sit back and take whatever these video game developers give us? Especially when they have made it blatantly evident that they have no issues giving us absolute crap?

So, ignore the entitled gamer nonsense that you hear about nowadays on social media platforms and in mainstream video game “journalism.” The label is thrown around excessively, and more times than not is just used as an attempt to shut down any valid criticism you may have. If you have an issue with a video game, then speak up! Developers are getting out of hand, and it is up to us who line their pockets with our hard-earned cash to keep them in check.

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  1. animefan.andy on January 2, 2020 at 12:54 pm said

    I had an argument with someone as well that people complain too much… he even was an advocate of the “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature” saying and even with my arguments I don’t think i stuck any sense into him… though my country is full of normies, and very few people that are in the actual gaming space still suffer that normie mindset sadly…

  2. Daniel Dover on January 2, 2020 at 2:12 pm said

    Support indie games. They actually fight for your dollar, and if they won’t, support a different indie game. Almost all of the oozing entitlement is in the AAA industry.

    • That’s a valid strategy – give money to people who respect their fanbase and don’t include anti-consumer practices.

    • Agreed.

      One of my 2020 resolutions is getting more involved in the indie gaming industry and finding some hidden gems that I’ve been missing out on.

      Any recommendations? Especially RPGs.

      • I only play Indie games and can suggest you many things. If you’re into RPG then have a look at CrossCode, Lucah: Born of a Dream and Secrets of Grindea!

      • Wait one year and enjoy the upcoming EVERSPACE 2. I backed it on Kickstarter. While the first EVERSPACE was a rogue-like space shooter, which I very enjoyed, its sequel will be an open-world Action RPG. They stated that the ship fighter classes play like your usual Tank, Magician, Assassin classes as in an RPG. This will be great!

    • Just be sure to support the big devs under big umbrellas that deserve it as well. I.E. Naughty Dog, CDProjekt Red, Guerrilla Games, and a select few others.

  3. Anal McFisty on January 2, 2020 at 2:17 pm said

    Here here.
    Spot on. In the last 4 years I’ve stopped myself buying certain games just to prove that I’m sick of a developer/publishers shit and they need to change. Vote with ur wallet is always the best and probably only real thing u can do. AAA gaming is dying a slow death.

  4. The way I see it is if money exchanges hands then constructive criticism is always allowed. Especially if the product was not truthful/deceptive to what it advertised. If the consumer paid for a product and sees anti consumer tactics then by all means being critical about bad practices is good for the industry.

    • Agreed. The idea that I’m not allowed to criticize a product that I spent money on, is absolutely insane. Especially when said product has some anti-consumer elements thrown into it.

  5. Amen! The AAA developers and publishers only do underhanded shenanigans and put no effort into games because WE have been letting them. It’s infuriating when so-called “advocates” like Jim Sterling talk about how awful developers are simply because they’re capitalists and thus automatically awful all the time, and never once mentions that people actually have the ability to decide things for themselves – it’s just that it hasn’t happened much the past few years, but gamers refusing to buy things actually works. After all, are we still flooded with music games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero? And why is that? Because people stopped buying them. If more people just voted with their wallet more and followed the advice of this article and the countless like-minded people who are called “entitled gamers,” the industry would be a lot better.

  6. emitremmus26 on January 2, 2020 at 11:24 pm said

    The issue I see with a number of your points is that you’re experienced enough to have seen one, maybe two small data segments of a much larger data set. Home electronic gaming has always gone through the cycle of wonder, mainstream adoption, over commercialization and eventual decline. From Atari to Sega to the several smaller console/service model platforms we see recently such as tablet gaming, ouya, Razer gamestore and most likely inevitably Google Stadia.

    There should always be a great degree of critical cynicism toward any new product, realistically the greater the marketing fanfare the greater the degree of cynicism. No one should pre-order anything, not cars, not shoes not video games nothing. This would resolve a large portion of the predatory practices that have been allowed to fester in the gaming market over the last decade or so. Not ponying up your hard earned dollars ahead of time lets companies know that they have a much more pragmatic consumer to sate and over time that will have an affect on their perception of their market. It will ensure that they realize that they must earn your money rather than have it thrust into their waiting hands.

    Lets be clear, micro transactions are the most egregious thing to ever happen to gaming. However they very well may have been the straw that broke the camels back as just about the most public tipping point regarding them was Battlefront 2 which based upon Gameranx recent re-review seems to have been purged of them at this point. This also lead to Jedi Fallen order which (after replaying Dark Forces 1&2 as well as Jedi knight 2 and 3) may very well be the best Star Wars action game of the last 20 years (I’ve got a sick masochistic spot for Shadows of the empire and Dark forces 1&2). The point here is that these companies run on statistics, if people keep buying titles with M/T’s in them en masse their numbers will show it to be a salable strategy and it will continue.

    It needs to be pointed out that gaming is actually getting cheaper, substantially so in fact. I paid $699 CDN for a 60GB PS3 in 2006 and only $499 for a PS4 Pro in 2016. Factoring in inflation that is basically half price, that however as we all know is the extreme outlier as the PS3 dropped in price fairly soon after launch. So for comparison (all prices at launch of listed system); 360 Elite 120GB $549 2007 vs. xb1x $499 in 2019 with inflation that’s ~50% decrease in cost. Wii was $279 CDN in 2006 vs. Switch lite $260 in 2019 (maybe not quite apples to apples as the lite doesn’t have display out but it’s what I bought due to form factor and it has basically the same library) with inflation that’s ~50% decrease in cost or parity for a launch edition switch.

    Streaming access services for PS and xbox have made the need to buy individual ~$80CDN titles a thing of the past (I still prefer to purchase discs for no other reason than to flesh out my wall’O games). We need not even talk about the amount of content in a modern title compared to even 10-15 years ago as the average title today is approaching double the play time of early 2000’s titles. If you want to go as far back as N64 or SNES it isn’t even a debate as the average title was a single sitting affair in those days for higher purchase cost even before factoring inflation. Say FF6 vs. FF15, I personally love them both though I’m sure 15 is divisive to some. The amount of content on offer there was simply immense for a purchase price of ~100CDN including all story DLC, whereas FF6 cost me $95CDN in 1994. With inflation that’s $160 for FF6 vs. ~$100 for FF15. Hell even PC hardware is getting less expensive now that the mining craze has subsided and video cards are getting back to sane price to performance metrics, not to mention that the newest generation of onboard graphics puts a top flight 5 year old GPU to shame.

    Always be critical, patient and pragmatic regarding anything you purchase but remember that no one is pulling the trigger on that purchase except you. Developers don’t owe you anything, nor do you owe them. If their work deserves your hard earned money than it is an exchange of equity which allows one party to be entertained while the other is able to continue pursuing a career they most likely love.

  7. Inlustris Nox on January 3, 2020 at 10:26 am said

    Good job

    Also I appreicate the Aburame reference, as that is something no false gamer/geek/nerd/fan would know from head.

    Even tough this is a topic many of us who follows people like Jeremy, Upper Eschelon, Jim Sterling and Yong Yea knows by heart now, It is still important that we hold those companies accountable, because if a company would release new car in state of Fallout 76, they would be out of bussines

    • Thanks, mate!

      Glad someone got the Aburame reference and pointed it out. Still waiting on my fellow Guthix worshipers to spot the RS references haha.

      The biggest thing for me is getting the younger generations to realize the importance and severity of this issue. Because a lot of them seem pretty uncaring about the whole thing.

      • There won’t be any change as long as those Lebron James publishers earn enough money with such AAA games. And this won’t be soon if ever. I think you overestimate the number of gamers caring about this. When reading about such topics anywhere we see people thinking like-wise to us, but every person who wrote something did so, because he cares. So, we don’t see many opinions of the ones who don’t care. I think the number of people who don’t care about this is vastly bigger than us caring gamers. And I don’t even blame them. They do enjoy what is given to them and logically see no reason to change anything. Reaching out to the younger generation may convince some few, but the majority will still shrug and go on like it, because it is in fact good for them. They won’t stop with it, because like it is now it makes them happy. So I think the money making behaviour of the gaming industry, at least for AAA titles, is to stay here for longer.

        Though, I see positive progress being Star Wars Battlefront II having reacted to user feedback and removed lootboxes and pay2win and other changes which by now makes it a good casual AAA game.

    • Personally, I think the anime references may be a bit esoteric; is there really that much crossover between gamers and anime fans? *Shrugs*

      No matter, the rest of the article’s on point. I thought Skyrim was great when I first played it, but the apparent “not a bug, but a feature” sentiment that Bethesda seemed to have and some fans expected turned me off. Avoided Bethesda from then on.

  8. That gif of LeBron really upset me, I get the showmanship angle but still.

  9. The core consumer base is absolutely willing to criticise developers, but the main issue is normies who are simply ready to consume product and get excited for next product. Publishers are still getting money from games featuring microtransactions. Some of the worst offenders mentioned in the article like Battlefront 2 and Pokemon Sword and Shield sold in the millions.

    People are also willing to excuse and defend games who feature anti-consumer practices like Devil May Cry 5 and Resident Evil 2 Remake, because the gameplay is good and they are willing to swallow whatever comes with it.

    • True. It’s funny how a lot of normies hate the label. but then actively do things that perpetuate the, ahem, toxic norms that are ongoing in the current Triple AAA industry. Thus earning the label.

      What did Devil May Cry and Resident Evil 2 REmake do? I haven’t been keeping up with the Devil May Cry series for a while, and aside from watching Carci playthroughs of RE2, I’m out of the loop. Never have been a diehard RE fan so.

      It’s funny how that happened to DMC5 and RE2 Remake but not MK11, a game that seems more normie friendly than the other two. People were pissed day 1 when they found out how awful the Kyrpt grind initially was.

      • @Xavier Geitz DMC5 has microtransactions with which you could buy skills and revivals, thus making it pay to win. RE2 Remake sold its unlockable weapons as DLC, which were things like an unbreakable knife and an unlimited rocket launcher. Selling cheats is pretty scummy in my book.

        I think MK11 got more backlash, because the level of microtransaction nonsense was much higher than DMC5 and RE2. Plus the hype for those two was much higher than the one for the most recent Netherrealm entry, so people were willing to ignore any issues with the games. Also Crapcom added the DLC unlockables some time after the game was released, so in a sneaky fashion they avoided any potential backlash.

  10. “You know what games weren’t bashed for their woeful at-launch states? Bethesda titles like Skyrim and Fallout 3. It seemed like as long as you were a Lebron James in the industry, you got more of a pass than other developers.”

    I hang my head in shame any time I’m reminded I used to be part of this group. Trying to play Bethesda’s old games in a post-Fallout 76 world is a sobering experience now. So many things that make one go “How the hell did this make it into a professionally made, commercially sold product?”. Things like the vampire cure quest in Oblivion being completely broken and unable to be finished on the PS3 version, the quest Blood on the Ice in Skyrim being chock full of bugs and hangups that will permanently soft lock the quest unless you do things in a very specific order. Hell, just the general instability of the engine that makes the games almost impossible to play without community fixes.

    Decided I’ll just leave their old games to sit in my Steam library. I don’t want to shatter those good memories with harsh reality.

    On the one hand, I’m glad Fallout 76 exists because it shattered my blind Bethesda fanboyism and made me face reality. On the other hand, I hate that it exists because of how it takes a massive, steaming dump all over a once beloved franchise. As if dumping on one beloved franchise wasn’t enough, they dropped another stinker on Wolfenstein last year. I’m seriously leery about how Doom Eternal is going to shape up…

  11. Two things: one, you have bad tastes in games if MM:BN and Alpha Protocall are your favorite games. two, only lemmings buy whatever crap is released. If a company acts like aholes (like bethesda or EA,) gets too greedy (like dead or alive 5/6 DLC,) or a game turns liberal (like Mortal Kombat XI) then you do not spend a penny on their products. If you must have the game, bootleg it.

    99% of the games released aren’t worth playing, so you only have yourself to blame if you mindlessly buy/support whatever is popular (for example, Death Stranding, you couldn’t pay me to play a walking simulator, I value my time too much to throw it away on garbage. The last of us is another one I won’t spend any money/time on…if I want lesbians on my screen, I’ll go to xhamster…

  12. aCid Vicious on January 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm said

    The biggest problem I see is that the all-time greatest IP for making video games is exclusively claimed by the single worst developer of video games. (Yes, I’m talking about Star Wars and EA.)

    There are some great indie developers. I love New World Interactive, they made the spiritual successor to Counter Strike called “Insurgency” (not Reskin: Global Offensive) as a community mod just how counterstrike started and started their own company which has since made excellent FPS games.

    Also Hitman has only improved since IOI bought its freedom from SquareEnix.

  13. Needforspeeder on January 17, 2020 at 10:12 am said

    Need for Speed should be on this list last 5 titles got worst and worst ever since need for speed world.
    people buying it for the name Not the Original Formula now. How did you skip this Crapfest??

  14. Needforspeeder on January 17, 2020 at 10:27 am said

    Need for Speed died when Ea closed down Blackbox studio. NFS should have died then.
    when Ea introduced autolog,alldrive, open world racing,free roaming . when NFS left closed circuit arcade racing I knew NFS was Doomed. the reboot was Nooooo good, rivals was noooooooo good, 2012 mostwanted was nooooo good, payback was definitely nooooo good
    Heat is all sparkles and no substance. just a illusion of NFS used to be, could be.
    remind me of Hollywood illusion of reality

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