The Allured, Ignorant and Inattentive

Lately I’ve been wondering how stupid we all truly are. I mean there is a few I read and know that are above that yet feel sorry for, for having to constantly watch all us dumb people screw up the industry. The issue is that it appears we just don’t learn from our mistakes, like at all. The same issues keep popping up again and again and we all mostly continue to support these same issues again and again.

Kickstarter projects fail, and yes I feel good about the one I have being mostly smaller organisations and ideas but then we have absolutely huge projects that continue to fail. Or at least fail to meet expectations. Ouya I think was the first big kick-starter that failed to meet their initial pitch. There were a lot of issues there even before it eventual released as a product not as advertised.

Recently Godus was making headlines. Tim Schafer scammed a lot of money for both Spacebase and Broken Age both not meeting their pitch, changing dramatically during the development process. And then we have some big ones recently like star citizen with 70 million and a playing card game that got 7 million which is rather ridiculous. Do we learn, no. We keep funnelling more and more money to them due to our brain justifying it by not wanting to miss out.

People say vote with your wallet and yet this piece of advice seems the furthest from the truth. Pre-ordering games and jumping into early access has been a massive problem lately yet people continue to line up just so they can throw money at their screen earlier. Battlefield 4 was absolutely broken on release, and I believe still is to an extent. There was a huge consumer revolt against it and yet here we are again for the cops and robbers version with people once again gagging to give them money in advance.

The same companies put out their yearly cash grabs, the same companies release buggy incomplete games, the same companies abuse monetisation, the same companies just continually creating the same problems yet ask for their premium price. Yet they get paid, and paid a lot by dumb, ill informed and hype driven fools. I’m part of that I know, I bought wildstar, ESO, Archeage and many other titles because I was too consumed with my consumerist impulses. I probably will again for the next shiny and it’s a cycle I have no idea how to break free from that.

Just going by the principle of vote with your wallet too you’d think the better games, ideas, and services would rise up to the top but no, ours is an industry where the worst possible subscription service possible, WoW. A game that can go nearly a year with no content updates. That has regular long times between patches and charges a premium for expansions that do actually add more things gets several million while decent mmo’s working hard for it, that put out event patches, constantly updates and improvements are left to languish. I can think of any reasonable rationale for that.

Informed gaming decisions is practically an oxymoron and yet we live in an age with a wealth of resources for those that need it. YouTube and twitch for early game play. A great number of websites and blogs talking things over. Community sites like reddit or the numerous public forums that spread information like wildfire. Social media for connecting with developers and companies as well as like minded individuals. Then there is resource sites like Wikipedia and other similar places, specially sites that focus on particular things, archive abilities so that information remains and yet history continues to repeat itself. The same scam artist hype us dreams and don’t deliver. The same companies provide broken day one experiences. The same games peddle us their cash shop nonsense… because they can and will get away with it.

Then we have the weird situation of people actually defending these situations for the companies. Oh, “it’s only early access”, “they have to make money somehow”, or actively attacking those that do voice their criticisms. Accountability for games and design shouldn’t be a bad thing,  holding  the pathological liars shouldn’t be rather. Yes game development is hard but their is limit to the amount of shit you can shovel before the whole project stinks.

I have no idea where I’m going with this ramble. I look at everything around me, the medium I love and truly want for better. I know we are getting what we deserve but it’s time the industry stops that and gives us what we expect. To have an industry that actually respects it’s consumers as more than just a particular spry rabbit to snare and skin. I know I won’t be a part of that, I’ll continue riding the hype train and throw money at the screen when enough impulses have been aroused and supporting these practices. I loath myself for that.

8 thoughts on “The Allured, Ignorant and Inattentive

  1. Wallet-voting isn’t effective, as I’ve also come to realize. The Dark Side of the Force is quite seductive. We don’t have a time machine, so we can’t yet say whether Crowfall is the next WildStar. In the meantime, it’s fun to gamble – I mean, theorycraft.

  2. Well, hey, if people want to get on the Crowfall hype train, let ’em, they seem to be enjoying themselves anyway. 😉

    A lot of the right things are being said right now to appease a great many people, but the question that keeps running through my mind is, what is the combat like?!

    Is it holy trinity? How stats or gear-based is it? How actiony or strategic will it be, how much left-clicking or hot-bar reliant is it? How fluid is it, can you move and cast, are people just going to gravitate to range over melee as in most PvP scenarios? How many people does it take to take down someone higher leveled or longer skilled than you? How reliant on various classes is the combat going to be, how latency reliant is it going to be, how are people from different geographical areas going to cope or be on an equal playing field, etc.

    To me, these are critical factors that affect people’s preferences of whether and how long they’ll play a game for. Until I see a functioning beta that answers some of those questions, they ain’t getting a cent from me. But hey, if other people want to pay ’em to build their dream, means more games for everyone.

    Thanks for the avenue to list the questions in my head, didn’t want to make a blog post and inadverdently add to the hype.

    • Thank you! I mentioned on Scree’s post about pledging that the game seems to be more of a windfall from all the MMOers so desperate to throw money at some bit of hope. Don’t get me wrong: I am VERY excited by what they have on the table, but, like you, I need to know more about the nitty-gritty, day-to-day sort of stuff. Combat would be a great start.

  3. I have never really been one of those people who jumps on a new bandwagon at the drop of a hat. I guess it’s because I am naturally suspicious, resistant to change (ie, it’s new? ewwwww!), and slow to commit. I just don’t understand the mindset of “must have it now! Not finished? Don’t care, gimme!” that it seems a lot of these Kickstarter and EA projects are capitalising on. I mean, I get that people are like that, it’s just alien to me.

    I’m not sure that it is an entirely bad thing, though, at least for MMOs, because I think both developers and players/potential backers are going to get a much clearer idea of what is a reasonable project for X level of funding. It’ll take a couple more years for it to all shake out, but with SotA, Camelot Unchained, Shards Online and Crowfall all having development goals in that time, we’ll see just how realistic future claims are.

    Hopefully, that will tone down the waste and disappointment from these Kickstarters.

  4. Ever since I went against my own better judgement and bought WildStar even though I strongly suspected it would fall out of favour the way it did, I am now utterly ruthless about what I spend my gaming money on. I haven’t even spent a single dollar on Hearthstone yet, and people are probably sick of hearing me profess my love for it!

    With that in mind, there is a very good reason why I haven’t even bothered to click on the Kickstarter link for Crowfall. Like others above have mentioned, there needs to be a LOT more information around about it before I would even entertain the idea of opening my wallet for it.

    However, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m not exactly a key demographic for game devs these days. I don’t have anywhere near enough disposable income 😛

    • i’m getting like that too and my purchasing lately has really started to reflect that.. writing a post right now about that haha.

      If you are playing a game you love then i’d say money is fine.. MORE than fine. support what you enjoy i say. just don’t buy in before you even have… unless your sure… and it looks pretty… and…

      and it’s funny but i think we are exactly the demographic a lot of these games are looking for now.

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