Fanboyism as defined by Wiktionary is: “Behaviour characteristic of fanboys; blind, aggressive devotion.” Or to put it into simpler terms, a person or group of people known for a lack of objectivity in relation to their preferred product of choice. All of us have been guilty of being and acting like a fanboy somewhere along the line. I was one of the biggest most obnoxious Nintendo fanboy out there, and in my eyes, they could do no wrong. Which brings me to my point, the biggest single reason why developers and publishers are knee deep in the anti-consumer, ant-gamer business practices, and broken releases is because of fanboys. There have been two notable games that have done this in the last two month or so, most notably Ark Survival Evolved and No Man’s Sky.
Ark Survival Evolved’s developers found it prudent to release a $20 DLC package for an early access game. Meaning they released a DLC package for a game that gamers paid them to finish which they have not yet, but instead released some paid DLC for a un-finished game. No Man’s Sky’s developers released a game based off promises and features that weren’t available in the final product, blatantly lying during interviews. There are many such examples to be found in the industry. And the number one reason these developers and publishers keep getting away with it is because of fanboyism, and the irony is not lost on me because we as gamers have bought this upon ourselves. The only reason these practices continue is because of the fanboys.
Fanboys, who will be loyal to a company a product or a brand irrespective of just how badly they get treated by these. They don’t leave this abusive relationship once they realize what is happening, they actually keep on coming back for more. And even more mind-numbingly they try and justify it to themselves. Do you pre-order games? Or buy season passes without actually knowing what they contain? Then you are also part of the problem, and I will include myself here because I have pre-ordered games and season passes in the past. What you are basically doing is paying the publisher/developer for a unfinished product, so what real motivation do they have no to give us a well polished finished product at the end of the day?
None, they already have their money so they can pretty much do as they please and there is no real motivation for them to bring us as I mentioned above a finished product. Were if the reverse was applied they would be working their asses off knowing full well that if the game was not released in a working state and not polished enough that they would not receive a single cent for their work. These practises and fanboys are two sides of the very same coin, these anti-consumer practices thrive in these fanboy communities. Don’t listen to other people’s opinions and reviews, just blindly support your brand. That is what these companies want. And it not only affects the fanboy community but the rest of us gamers when games are being hyped and pre-ordered based on absolutely nothing.
All developers/publishers need to do is announce that they are working on XYZ and the money automatically starts rolling in. People would hand over their money just like that, like taking candy from a baby. Then when you get the final product you wonder why there is cut content, why there is DLC and micros transactions or why a game is released broken on day one. Simply put they had your money since day one so they can just do whatever they want with it. I have currently zero games in pre-order, I cleaned out all my pre-order lists and my favourite online retailers. From now on I will be voting with my wallet, and don’t get me wrong not saying you are a bad person I am also guilty of everything I mentioned thus far.
But you cannot in the same breath support a game financially that hasn’t been released yet and then turn around and wonder why developers and publishers fuck us in the ass each time. Have you ever hyped a game? I have, and it is only human to be excited about something. Hell sometimes even a person like me gets run-over and swept up by the hype train, and that is when objective reasoning flies right out the window. And really how foolish are we as gamers to put our trust in multi-billion dollar companies like Sony or Microsoft. We should stop being pro-gamer and start being pro-consumer, because at the end of the day our money and wallets matter. And it pains me to say and admit this but the blame lies squarely on our shoulders for the current position we find ourselves in.