This is a long one so I'll just leave out the things I agree with.
MadBoris wrote on Jul 1, 2012, 20:02:
But today, I pretty much dislike the money grabbing industry, different than games. They take money first, sight unseen. The fans that pre-purchase are then connected/invested to the game developers, not the unfinished unseen game. Even if it's not that good on arrival, they won't look themselves in the mirror and say I shouldn't of bought it and leave, no, they are in for at least a short haul as the fan community. Infact, people would have a hard time admitting they made a mistake of pre-ordering if the game isn't all that, they wouldn't want to look a fool. Their is a psychology that comes into play here also where people tell themselves the game is much better than it is, because they paid for it, plus were hyped for it, felt like they made a contribution on beta, etc. Getting people invested mentally in a product before there is a product is just hype, and it's working.
I think you are overestimating the amount of pre-orders that games get. If you take a look at http://www.vgchartz.com/preorders/
it's fairly obvious. These are games that typically sell in the multi-million units. Diablo 3, last figure I heard, has sold 6 million units; it is on that chart with 97,261 pre-orders. Halo 4 is somewhat understandable, since it is a massive franchise that launched an entire line of consoles, and is arguably one of the best gaming experiences of the last decade (I don't particularly agree, it was good for a console FPS, but sub-par compared to its PC counterparts). For myself, I rarely pre-order. This year I had pre-ordered Diablo 3 and Guild Wars 2, because I knew when I did that they were games I was going to enjoy (for Diablo 3 I actually didn't consider pre-ordering until after I had gotten a beta invite). I guess the difference is I never set my expectations too high. I got exactly what I wanted, and what I was expecting from Diablo 3. The funny thing is whenever I see anyone criticize the game it is always about the always-on DRM, or the RMAH. I have yet to run across anyone, that just doesn't like ARPGs, criticizing Diablo 3 for the actual gameplay, or at least anyone not grasping to find reasons to hate it. It makes me wonder how many people in this thread would be singing a different tune had the game no internet connection requirement or an auction house of any kind.
How do you hold a developer accountable after a pre-order, or if the promises of the unfinished online game doesn't get the features promised, or if it doesn't get fixed in a patch?
By demanding a refund. Almost every developer, that sells their titles directly, and digital distribution service has a refund policy of some sort. Blizzard's is 30 days for digital sales, no questions asked. I ended up with two copies of Diablo 3, and I got a refund for one. It was quick and painless. If you did not get what you were expecting, if the game is unplayable, it is possible to get a refund. I sincerely wish that everyone that complains about Diablo 3 doesn't just let the game sit on their hard drive while they play forum commando. Get a refund. That speaks more to developers and publishers than any forum post you can make.
Fanbases are developing on hype, even more so, and protecting devs from being accountable with their continued mantra "it will be fixed by a patch, or it will; get better, give them time". As if they know something more than how to defend the dev team that they got in bed with.
Often time it does. It takes some developers more time than others. If I buy a game from Blizzard I know that it is going to have years
of timely support (at least 4 patches in a month and a half for Diablo 3... hell, Diablo 1 servers are still up and running, you can't tell me there are more than a few other developers out there with that kind of dedication). If I buy a game from Bethesda I know it's going to be chock full of bugs and issues at first, but 6 months to a year after release it will be in a good state (I'm actually playing through FO:NV this very moment, my first play through, for exactly that reason).
And although my walls on f2p have come down, w/ Tribes for instance. Online only PVP gets damn old when you did it as long as I have.
I'd take LAN gaming of yesterday anyday, it was not about who had the most XP or achievements, that is for sure.
Oh, the great nostalgia argument. "Things were better yesterday." Was it, really? You never competed in Doom with your friends? You never played them in 1v1s in WarCraft 2 over Kali and rub it in their face when you stomped them with bloodlusted ogres? The only difference between yesterday and today is we have visual cues for those bragging rights.
Single Player adventures of immersion for 30-40 hours, with advanced AI and physics have slowed considerably, not because people didn't like them, but people's options and psychology changed.
You say this while Skyrim and ArmA II are still demolishing the sales charts on Steam, while the Modern Warfares are nowhere to be seen. Minecraft is one of the biggest indie smash hits of the last few years. The most acclaimed games these days, among critics and players, are those that you claim people can't handle psychologically.
Sweeney is now talking freemium online only too, no more pressed discs, next gen console.
That is just technological progression. With the popularity of services like Steam, GoG, PSN, and Xbox Live, and the ubiquity of high speed internet, it was only a matter of time before digital became the primary means of distribution.
That is the product of greed, we lost a lot that now is in Microsoft's pocket.
Not sure if you knew this, but the last numbers say the Xbox division had lost nearly $230 million. Yeah, they're still making money, but it's not off their consoles.
Console gamers are usually completely ignorant on game development. That ignorance keeps them in the dark of what a game could actually be, compared to some kid building assets in the game fresh out of gaming school excited about his $14 hr job. There's more pressing buttons today in game development than ever before, it's not being expert in AI or physics logic and coding anymore.
That is more a product of gaming becoming an increasingly accepted hobby. In the late 90s when I was in high school it was uncommon to find anyone in the halls of school talking about video games. I played Age of Empires with my girlfriend, Diablo 2 with most everyone else. Yeah, a lot of people had an Xbox or PS2 when those came out, but it was usually to play Madden or Halo. Now that I'm (almost) 30 with nephews that are 13 and 15, gaming is everywhere. Everyone does it. Even my friends from high school that I still keep in contact with are playing more. It's no longer a social stigma to be labeled a "gamer", because everyone is one now, and therein lies the problem.