Developing a game can be fun, tedious and sometimes conflicting. However, during the development of a game or even afterwards, a physical and mental toll can loom over you; but does it give you the right to dis fans and attempt to get away with it? In this short-lived series called “a little look”, we attempt to peer into a specific case of two devs from 2016 and2017, who dissed their fans and now must reap what they have sown.
I have spoken to a lot of indie devs, some of which have gone the extra mile to respect their fans whether they are having a bad day or not. But what happens when you decide to dis the very people who made your company or product what it is? Well, there’s an ongoing answer for that and it manifests through the works of Cliff Bleszinski and Randy Pitchford.
Let’s take a trip back to the year 2008, and focus on a dev named Cliff Bleszinski. The man who’s responsible for one of the most classic FPS games to date and one of the most iconic TPS games to date: Unreal and Gears of War. Cliffy B., made a rather potent statement when Gears of War 2 released on Xbox 360 back in 2008, during a time when a lot of PC gamers wondered whether that title would be coming to their platform. Bleszinski claimed that Gears of War 2 was not coming to PC due to piracy, stating that PC enthusiasts were pirates:
“The person who is savvy enough to want to have a good PC to upgrade their video card, is a person who is savvy enough to know [BitTorrent] to know all the elements so they can pirate software. Therefore, high-end video games are suffering very much on the PC.”
In layman terms, Bleszinski is basically saying that due to PC allowing the act of people, in general, to access files that otherwise can’t be reached on console, is the main reason why all video games were suffering a sales decline on said platform: because of pirates. It’s not because of stuff like developers trusting in DRM, bad business practices, badly made games or abysmal ports, no it’s because of pirates…
Well, as of recent (2017 recent) it seems that Bleszinski has returned to the PC market with an arena, fast-paced competitive shooter titled LawBreakers. Entering in a heavily saturated FPS market — with the past of dissing PC players and now excluding Xbox One players — has resulted in a rather unsettling outcome. You can read what Bleszinski had to say about the Xbox One community and player base when interviews by IGN about LawBreakers:
“Xbox fanboys got really salty at me on Twitter, like, ‘It’s like you’re turning your back on the box that built your career with Gears. And I’m like, not necessarily, because my first priority to me is my employees. I have 65 employees, many of whom have families, and I need to keep the lights on. When we looked at the fact that we could only ship on one console initially, PlayStation has the huge install base. That doesn’t mean that we can’t do an Xbox version later, or Xbox XOXO, or whatever they’re calling it these days. I wouldn’t rule it out.”
So in other words, he admits that he partially turned his back on his fans by saying “not necessarily” and that they are fanboys. Well, in return here is two responses his fans made that he did not block nor censor (which he does a lot) on his Twitter:
“Over the last 24 hours, the peak number of concurrent Steam users playing LawBreakers dropped to 364, down from a high of 2,500 when it was first released. To put that into some context, the peak number of players in the last 24 hours for Dota 2, the most popular game on Steam, was 742,050. Looking at the FPS genre, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive garnered a high of 570,173 players in the last 24 hours.”
Some people say that the game is fun and faltered to over saturation of similar games and to Overwatch’s Summer Games kick-off, which more than likely holds a lot of weight. However, a lot of respect seems to have been lost due to Bleszinski’s attitude towards his fans. Remember, gamers never forget.
On to the next foci of this article… Randy Pitchford. I could go on and on about this man, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll just show you one of his biggest blunders and dis moments to fans by showing you this act at PAX 2016.
The above video manifested five months after Battleborn’s launch, which resembles that of LawBreakers’ launch. The result of that very act has spawned several people being blocked across his social media accounts, much like his Twitter, and causes a lot of people to respond in similar fashion, inasmuch like the below string of tweets:
Jeff Joestar felt the need to elaborate on Pitchford’s query and noted that…
And the last one to tie everything together to show that dissing a fan base results in gamers dissing that developer’s game, which comes in with this:
Billy told me something very valuable sometime back, and that was to always listen to your fans and never censor them no matter the day you are having or what opinion they may have. Some of the biggest pieces and articles on this very site comes from you, the community, offering up interesting information through PMs or in the comment section, so thank you fans and community.
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