Entitled Gamers or “Greedy” Publishers? Which One is It?
Us gamers, we’re one hell of a rare breed. Like immigrant parents to first generation American offspring, there’s just no pleasing us (ask an Asian friend to explain this to you). We know everything there is to know about the gaming industry and especially how to run it. Publishers and developers are just greedy good-for-nothings that want to scrape us for our last dime… and you know what, they owe us, everything.
That’s the entitled attitude that a small but very vocal minority of core gamers seem to have these days. Some preconceived notion that game publishers and developers are supposed to be at their every beck and call, as if they owe them something. And while even I agree that there should be some give and take on the publisher and developer side of things, it’s the level of expectation from these gamers that it just outside the boundaries of reality.
If you’re one of these people, you need to relax, and here’s why.
Good business isn’t about working hard, it’s about working smart.
That doesn’t mean that developers who work on your favorite games are greedy, lazy, or lack motivation; it’s quite the contrary. Most of the men and women involved in creating the bigger-budget titles you enjoy with your friends and family barely get to see their own, especially when they’re knee-deep into development. With that dedication and sacrifice in mind, the ends need to justify the means.
Another part of it is understanding that at the end of the day, video games are a business and a big one at that. With the high risk (and chance of low reward) developers and publishers alike need to make the moves that will ensure that they will be able to continue (*cough* afford *cough*) to bring more new ideas and products to market. And a reality of that is using proven and, most importantly, profitable franchises and strategies.
Last year, companies like Electronic Arts and Microsoft brought in record profits through their digital sales channels. People love to rip on downloadable content and how it’s a “sham” yet the sale of this kind of content is at an all time high. Say what you will to argue the fact but the numbers simply don’t lie.
Will I condone getting nickel and dimed by publishers with stuff like DLC already on the disc? No, I won’t. But I wont make an assumption that content ‘X’ was already finished at the time when final code was ready, because without being a part of or at least close to the project in discussion, that’s just a foolish assumption to make.
Somebody’s buying this stuff. You’re all a bunch of enablers.
Complaining about a company because they are selling you the content that you want is like complaining to McDonalds because eating it everyday is making you fat. You did it to yourself. We did it to ourselves.
If you feel that you’re getting ripped off, why are you opening your wallet or breaking your digital piggybank full of MS points in the first place? Last I checked, the most recent time I booted up Call of Duty, Robert “fourzerotwo” Bowling didn’t burst through my door all Kool-Aid man style, with a gun in his hand, ordering me to download their latest map pack. Instead I was given the choice (key word here) to add it to my experience if I wanted to.
Everyone’s favorite line whenever the DLC conversation comes up is: “Well, I don’t spend my money on that crap.” It’s almost as laughable as when the porn industry led all VHS sales in the 80’s, yet everyone “didn’t buy that stuff” either. The fact of the matter is that plenty of people do (i’m talking about DLC, not porn here), and as long as that continues to be the trend, companies will do their part to monetize it. Why give something away when you can sell it?
Instead of acting entitled, here’s what you can do about it.
If you feel that you’re getting a raw deal or that a company isn’t addressing the issues or concerns that you have in a timely manner, you should know that you have the most important weapon in your arsenal. It’s something you can’t get through an exclusive pre-order bonus either. I’m talking about your gaming dollars.
Instead of boycotting and nagging on the Internet, use your wallet to cast your vote. That’s the best way to be heard. But also understand that as long as you and I keep buying, in all reality, we only have ourselves to blame. No one owes us anything. Just don’t be an “entitled” gamer because quite frankly, they’re the worst.