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I’m a gamer, always have been.

Game Developers vs Players – A Foolish War? (Part 2)

Continuing from part 1, the upside of the quarrel was that Respawn Entertainment’s CEO apologised for the whole affair:

Some of our folks crossed a line with their comments, and that’s not how we want Respawn to be represented. I apologize to any of our fans that were offended. I will always stand behind the team here at Respawn and support them on speaking out against some of the toxic and nasty comments being directed at them, including everything from death threats to comments aimed at their family and loved ones…….Having an open, healthy relationship with our community is incredibly important to all of us at Respawn.

Vince Zampella – CEO at Respawn Entertainment

An “open, healthy relationship” is definitely the ideal; and healthy doesn’t refer to everyone being happy all the time, but working on what causes dissent. I’m confident that at some point, every game developer has disappointed the community in a certain fashion – it’s through working together in both directions that better communities can be constructed which avoid ‘toxicity’. Respawn Entertainment does need to control themselves on public media – lashing out like that to the community hardly professional. Even though it’ll blow over momentarily, it’s something to learn from.

Quite the punchline for a while

With Call of Duty being one of my personal favourite franchises, I’m rather used to this ‘toxicity’ within the community. Yearly hate towards a title I’d always find fun has become conventional and not constructive at all – the usual comments of ‘it’s the same game’ alongside many others on the famously disliked YouTube video don’t usually reflect sales. That year of release of 2016, Infinite Warfare surprised by still being the highest selling game of the year, surpassing the competition in Battlefield 1.

It’s back and turning heads

Though as I’ve said, community hate is sometimes justified as exemplified by No Man’s Sky. I’m making reference to this once again as I find it a great example as to what a healthy relationship looks like between game developer and gamers. The initial release in 2016 deserved all the flak it received; a poorly conceived title with a bizarre list of empty promises backed up by equally void gameplay. Following rumours of fired staff and other bad news for the developers, the community claimed a form of victory over the caused injustice. However, the developers swore to make amends and three years later – their efforts have shone through thanks to No Man’s Sky:Beyond. In this free update, they’ve completely changed the game, finally adding multiplayer and enough features such as VR to even pique my interest and I’ve never played before.

The community response has been heartwarming, to say the least. The community have been funding a gofundme page in order to raise enough money to purchase a billboard outside the office of Hello Games showing the following message:

Gratitude on display for the whole world to witness

When things go wrong, fighting is expected but when hard work shines through, gratitude needs to be shown. Sometimes the community takes a few things for granted, and we might be a little spoilt with our very high expectations – though if these are set by game developers, that’s another story.

While it’s not the most comprehensive view on the subject matter, one take away should be that of having an open-mind with regards to new games, feedback and the life of game developers especially during a time such as the week of Gamescom, filled to the brim with new initiatives from game developers which could use constructive criticism on their way to success. While the opinion of the community doesn’t always affect sales, it makes things easier when everyone’s on the same page. The same applies for the esports community too, which runs parallel to the gaming community – nobody benefits from toxicity from either side. Communities consist of people, connected by relationships which need to be maintained for the benefit of all parties involved.

Let us know your thoughts on the subject below in the comments section!

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