A few weeks ago, I came across a story about the upcoming video game, RiME, regarding how one of the key members of the team working on the title had, in his own words, “cried for two days” after reading some of the negative comments some gamers had posted on Neogaf.
Basically, a source claiming to be close to the developers of RiME posted on Neogaf that the footage shown of the game had been entirely cinematic and was not actually in-game footage and that the final game would not be the same as of that displayed to the public because the developers had struggled to produce the content displayed in the trailer.
Regardless of whether it is true that the trailer was entirely cinematic or not, most people have yet to play the game (especially as it has not been released to the public) so claims regarding its actual quality are rather dubious.
Then a few days ago, I came across a Polygon article in which it was suggested that Call of Duty: WW2 was quite simply not inclusive enough, despite the fact that at this moment the only information we have about the game is that of a reveal trailer, a few images and a few statements made by the developer.
At this point, there is literally no way for anybody to know how ‘inclusive’ the game really is because, you know, it hasn’t been released yet.
But of course, in both of these cases a lot of general negativity has been created surrounding issues that at this moment, most people don’t even know if they even do exist.
The two cases mentioned previously are obviously not isolated cases, in which it appears that gamers became overly negative about a product within the gaming industry, for rather dubious reasons.
This all kind of had me thinking about what makes gamers angry about a particular game and whether or not repeated instances of anger has created a community that is overall very negative about the hobby and quick to criticise.
What Makes Gamers Angry About Certain Video Games?
There are several reasons as to why gamers as a whole may grow to view a particular title in a negative manner and any attempt to make a list of such reasons would be an incomplete one. However, perhaps a very basic broad explanation for why gamers get angry about a particular video game is that it fails to deliver on the experience promised.
This can happen in any number of manners, such as developers releasing a game that doesn’t live up to the promises made in press conferences, a title that is broken or near broken on release and developers purposely sectioning off the ending of a title to sell off as DLC.
Recently, quite a number of titles have failed to live up to consumer expectations, often due to the level of hype that accompanies a lot of video games nowadays. With the price of video games, gamers will and do get angry if a game fails to live up to expectations because many do feel that such titles may simply be a cash grab.
Probably, the best recent example of a title that received a huge negative reaction from the gaming community as a whole due to both hype and false advertising, is No Man’s Sky.
Quite simply, Hello Games made grandiose statements about the game’s overall capabilities, which they absolutely knew that they would never be able to deliver on.
These statements also compelled many gamers to buy the title, and then when it was realised that the title was not what it was meant to be, Hello Games basically didn’t really do anything to compensate the gamers they had hoodwinked and kept infuriatingly silent on the matter.
Granted, supposedly Hello Games has released many patches that are aimed at making the game closer to what they originally promised, but many do feel that it may be a little too late to try and fix the game at this point.
However, the reasons thus far mentioned have only focused on what features video games usually contain when gamers already own and have played the title.
There are also instances in which developers release information about a game before it has been made available to the public that results in outcry, for example, announcing that a title will contain a feature that most gamers find undesirable, such as a title requiring a constant internet connection or making use of micro-transactions, such as the case is with For Honor.
Even if a game is fully functional and provides a worthwhile experience, it may still come under fire for outside factors, such as the idea of a title’s overall inclusivity as the case was with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
Overall, there are a lot of issues that could result in gamer outcry, but are all of them really worthwhile complaints?
What Are Worthwhile Complaints?
This is a very difficult question to answer because one cannot really dictate what is a good reason to raise complaints with regards to a video game as that is a decision for each person to make on their own, but there are certainly situations where the majority of gamers feel that a certain complaint is worthwhile or ridiculous.
Perhaps, two good contrasting examples is complaining about the state of Assassin’s Creed: Unity on release as opposed to complaining about what the grass looked like when The Witcher 3 was first released.
Most gamers did agree that AC: Unity was released with a lot of issues that severely impacted one’s experience of the game, whereas perhaps not everybody felt that the grass not appearing to be realistic enough in The Witcher 3 was such a huge issue.
Even if you personally weren’t affected by ‘Grassgate 2015’, you can’t really say, however, that it’s a non-issue. People pay a lot of money for gaming PCs and do want developers to release games that make the most out of the hardware, however, it is hard not to look at such complaints about the grass in a particular video game as not a situation of complaining for the sake of complaining.
However, it is important to remember that as with the idea that raising no complaints will lead to no action, raising too many complaints may also lead to the same outcome, where developers begin to feel as if they are in a ‘damned if you do, damned if you don’t’ scenario.
Suggesting that a title lacks inclusivity when the only information that has been released is a reveal trailer, some images and a few statements from the developer is quite ridiculous, particularly when this developer has released titles that have done quite a bit in this regard. I also won’t go into the argument about historical accuracy when it comes to making a game based in the Second World War.
With regards to the RiME situation, although anyone releasing any artistic work to the public should expect some sort of criticism, one cannot deny that it must be a strange situation when the public denounces your product as a lie before anyone has even had access to it.
Are Gamers Overly Negative And Quick To Criticise?
I think that while many gamers have become overly cynical and quick to criticise, it isn’t exactly without reason. There are so many games, such as No Man’s Sky, Mafia 3 and Destiny, that have given gamers a reason to be rather cautious when choosing to purchase a particular title.
I do believe, however, that people shouldn’t let themselves be consumed by cynicism or criticise games that they haven’t even played on the basis of little or dubious information and should be more willing to wait until more concrete information is released before making judgement.
This, though, is just my opinion and those who choose to criticise games on the basis of very little information have just as much right to speak their mind as I do.
Do you feel that gamers have become overly negative and quick to criticise? If this is true, do you think with good reason? Please share in the comments down below.
[Sources: NintendoToday; Polygon; Forbes; Tom’s Hardware; GameSpot]
Have you watched the trailer for Call of Duty: WW2 yet? Be sure to check it out here: