Do I hear people say that I am a whiny, self-entitled gamer? Sure, I am, and I won’t deny that fact. I do, however, find it increasingly sad to see how some gamers and the video game press turn on people like myself who have a reasonable expectation of quality, fairness and good business practices when it comes to video game releases. Throwing around this bullshit buzzword ‘entitled’, in an attempt to stop any form of discussion. The people and media who keep on telling us that gamers like myself complain too much are totally missing the point. Games are all about the fan-service, and you cannot deny that. If you give the fans of a franchise enough fan-service, they will come back again, and again, begging for more. Case in point: CD Projekt RED, their success is built on their fans and making them happy.
A happy fan is more willing to give you his money and support any future endeavors you might have. So I have to ask, why is the reverse not also true? Why are publishers and developers not being punished for screwing over gamers? Why are so many gamers happy when large developers and publishers fucking them over? Why has it suddenly become okay for developers and publisher to release unfinished, unpolished broken games? And when has it become acceptable for a portion of the gaming community and the video game press to defend these bad business practices? Could it be because it is a game created by Bioware? Or could it be because the game carries the Mass Effect name, and people tend to wear rose tinted glasses when it comes to their favorite gaming franchise?
Fanboys and the video game press seem the be vehemently defending BioWare’s latest entry into the Mass Effect universe, namely Andromeda for its terrible animation and lackluster polish. And anyone who dares point this out is either considered a “bandwagon hater” or a self-entitled gamer. To be honest, I don’t think that it is unreasonable for fans of the Mass Effect franchise, who have invested 100 hours into the series and a fair amount of money, to ask for the same level of quality and polish that the franchise is known for. It might seem like a form of over-entitlement, and pettiness, to complain about these things when we’ve got real world issues like world hunger, and war, but the sad indictment facing the gaming community today is that developers are releasing unpolished half finished products without any sort of repercussions.
As a consumer paying for a product, in this case, a video game. I am “entitled” to a video game that works and looks as advertised. Alien: Colonial Marines being the perfect example of how not to advertise and release your game. There are other examples out there like Steam Early Access, where people are selling video games that are barely functional or that steals assets from other games. Not to mention atrocious PC releases like Mortal Kombat X and Batman: Arkham Knight, which was later pulled from sale due to not evening running. No other industry out there that I know of would ever get away with some of the bullshit promises and lies that the video game industry has pulled over the years. And then publishers and developers alike wonder why there is a such increasingly strained relationship between themselves and gamers.
Some gamers, developers, publishers and the video game press who likes to throw around buzzwords like “entitled” only ever uses it to dismiss or deflect valid criticism and consumer disgust at these business practices. Basically, to call all gamers “entitled” for being angry is an admission that you have no reply to any of the issues they might have with your product. Gamers need to start becoming more vocal when it comes to disruptive practices like day one patches, DLC and Microtransactions and releasing of games in a broken unpolished state. Publishers and developers alike will continue this trend because there are still people out there who will blindly support practices like these because they are fans of a given game, franchise or brand.
Now I am not saying that there aren’t entitled gamers out there if you go onto Facebook or Twitter and either sends a death threat to a developer or tell them to go kill themselves because they nerfed one of your favorite guns in a game you are playing. Then that makes you a self-entitled asshole. These people do exist, but they are the vocal minority and they definitely do not speak for the majority of gamers. Having said that, if harshly criticizing and calling out a developer or publisher for not having a certain standard of quality when it comes to their workmanship in videos games makes me a whiny self-entitled gamer then I don’t know what to say. So remember next time a developer or publisher fucks you over it is because you enabled them to do so. So you only have yourself to blame, the only way to stop this cycle from continuing is to vote with your wallet!