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Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

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From the OXM archive: The minds behind Devil May Cry, Battlefield 3 and Aliens talk fury and feedback

According to Gearbox Software's Brian Thomas, cinematic director for Aliens: Colonial Marines, human beings need to be taught the art of being nice to each other. "One of my degrees is in Political Science, and I had a Political Polling professor tell us that his number one rule was that angry people have the easiest time talking to you," he explained to me at a recent preview event, discussing tempestuous responses to the game's interpretation of Alien lore. "Because it's a really easy thing to grasp and articulate, usually in a curse towards you. Positivity is a harder thing to grasp, because we're not trained to actively go to another person and say something positive to them unprompted."... read more

Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby Ciaran Hillock » 16 Dec 2012, 00:09

You know how they deal with them, they just don't bother listening!
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby kevicus12 » 16 Dec 2012, 12:09

I've logged hundreds and hundreds of hours on Elder Scrolls games over the years and I've never once thought of dropping Bethesda a line to say how much I love the series. The thinking is: why would they care what I think? Same with games I've not enjoyed. I imagine some low-runger getting my positive-or-otherwise email, giving it a brief scan then sending it to the recycle bin. I certainly don't imagine a developer taking the time to digest my thoughts.

Perhaps that's not what happens after all. Maybe feedback is genuinely important to them.

Hey, with that in mind - good article, Ed, and thanks for all your hard work!
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby OXM ETboy » 16 Dec 2012, 13:01

You're welcome sir! It was a pleasure to research.
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby cade360 » 16 Dec 2012, 18:30

Interesting article, I think I'll send feedback to developers more often... Cheers Ed :)
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby PaladinRonin » 16 Dec 2012, 19:49

I think a main problem is that fan hatred of somthing is more publisied than fan praise, so it appears to be larger. But I agree that many people do expect more nowadays which seems to lend weight onto game delevoupers. However, I also think that fan feedback is crutial to a game series life span.
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby Drainwater » 17 Dec 2012, 02:09

I've always thought that developers seem like they're paying more attention to the criticism because they've already sold it on the people who are praising it. They've already made those people happy, so now they're trying to pay attention to the criticism so they can make more people happy.

As for our standards being higher today than they were 20 or more years ago, I can agree with that. The problem on that front is that every now and then you get a game that comes along and everyone agrees that it's a spectacular example of that genre. I'll use Baldur's Gate as an example. There were interesting and engaging npcs that you could easily care about along with side quests and a plot that all added up to a very unique experience. Every rpg that came out after BG for a very long while was compared to it in a gamer's head. It had set a standard. Theoretically things are supposed to get better over time, so why can't my Fallout 3 compare with my Fallout 2? That's not my personal belief, I actually loved 3, but it was a common complaint.

And as far as the sense of fan self entitlement...I don't know where that comes from. I know it exists but really, if you're buying anything you always have to be ready to accept that you'll be disappointed. The same goes for video games. Expressing what you like or hate about something is fine, but please don't feel like you deserve better. Since video games are being considered art nowadays I'll make an art reference: I seriously doubt anyone who buys a painting ever feels like they deserved something more from the artist. If you buy a game and you don't like it, tough luck. Do a little better research on it before you buy it next time. Or rent it. Personally I believe developers should be immune in some way to criticism, but they are in it to make money and that means making as many people happy as possible. Unfortunately. I'm fine with seeing people's opinions and everything, and developers should feel free to accept feedback, but I wish they didn't feel obligated to accept it.


Very nice article. I always think of one or two of the points you made every now and then, but you managed to lay it all out at once and combine them very well. Sorry for the wall of text, your article just inspired me to type my mind.
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby DarthTwitch » 17 Dec 2012, 12:08

Would you say it makes me "entitled" to say that I wish Pitchford would pull his head out of his ass and fix the very nearly gamebreaking Badass reset glitch that he insists only 1% of gamers are suffering from, even though (OXMs total silence on the matter nothwithstanding) gamers all over the world are recording their instances of said rare glitch? Maybe I'm "entitled" because I'm annoyed that I have to start all over again after putting in 120+ hours of gameplay to get where I was.

Well, it's moot now, I sold Borderlands 2. One playthrough per character is enough, I'm not going through all that again. By all means, call me "entitled" if you will, but I don't pay £50 for shoddy, buggy messes. YOU may be rich enough to do that. I'm not.

*EDIT* I will say, however, that those people (for example) who tried starting legal proceedings over Mass Effect 3's ending are completely out of line. I will never complain about the way a game ends, or how the games story branches, if the game itself is good, and I certainly won't bitch and moan and start legal proceedings over it. That's just insane. But if devs do nothing about game-breaking glitches, or they release a game that is buggy as Hell and do nothing about it, then sure, I might have a bit of a moan.
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby OXM ETboy » 17 Dec 2012, 12:37

I did look into the BadAss glitch when you mentioned it on Twitter, Darth, but didn't have the time to put together an article. As OXM.co.uk's only full time writer, I can't really cover everything :)

I'll have another look today, though.
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby CunningSmile » 17 Dec 2012, 12:46

DarthTwitch wrote:Would you say it makes me "entitled" to say that I wish Pitchford would pull his head out of his ass and fix the very nearly gamebreaking Badass reset glitch that he insists only 1% of gamers are suffering from, even though (OXMs total silence on the matter nothwithstanding) gamers all over the world are recording their instances of said rare glitch? Maybe I'm "entitled" because I'm annoyed that I have to start all over again after putting in 120+ hours of gameplay to get where I was.



With the sales figures Borderlands 2 got 1% would still be 20,000. That's a very big number of people to be posting Youtube videos whilst still being a very small number of people to actually be counted as a failure rate. It makes the whole issue seem much more common than simple maths points out it is. Sorry if you experienced it but I know most of the people on here didn't.

And why do you always write in bold? We're going to read your post anyway.
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby Woody_802 » 17 Dec 2012, 12:59

I once saw a 'hate' tweet sent to THQ and 4A about Metro 2033, It was about how long it took for the hardcore mode to come out, It went something like "It took you half a year to create a mode with more bullet damage no HUD and a new weapon!? you guys suck!". But what surprised me was that they replied saying "You don't have to tell us that :( sorry everyone" And this guy obviously felt bad getting a really personal and almost emotional reply, so says "Look man, I didn't mean it, I really enjoyed your game, keep it up :)"

So maybe If these developers actually replied to some of these 'haters', maybe they would understand that It's hard to make a perfect game.

Who knows, Great article. :)
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby msbhvn » 17 Dec 2012, 13:35

DarthTwitch wrote:Would you say it makes me "entitled" to say that I wish Pitchford would pull his head out of his ass and fix the very nearly gamebreaking Badass reset glitch that he insists only 1% of gamers are suffering from, even though (OXMs total silence on the matter nothwithstanding) gamers all over the world are recording their instances of said rare glitch? Maybe I'm "entitled" because I'm annoyed that I have to start all over again after putting in 120+ hours of gameplay to get where I was.

Well, it's moot now, I sold Borderlands 2. One playthrough per character is enough, I'm not going through all that again. By all means, call me "entitled" if you will, but I don't pay £50 for shoddy, buggy messes. YOU may be rich enough to do that. I'm not.

*EDIT* I will say, however, that those people (for example) who tried starting legal proceedings over Mass Effect 3's ending are completely out of line. I will never complain about the way a game ends, or how the games story branches, if the game itself is good, and I certainly won't bitch and moan and start legal proceedings over it. That's just insane. But if devs do nothing about game-breaking glitches, or they release a game that is buggy as Hell and do nothing about it, then sure, I might have a bit of a moan.


The patch that came out on Xbox Live last Thursday fixed the Badass rank reset glitch, and the PC patch came out about a month before that, so everyone knew it was on the way. It was Microsoft's fault that it took so long (and Sony's too for PS3), not Gearbox's. Also, the BA reset glitch stemmed from a problem in the Unreal Engine that also affected Mass Effect 3 and Gears of War 3.

Patch notes are here.
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby OXM ETboy » 18 Dec 2012, 11:23

Thanks for the positive feedback all :)
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby Drainwater » 18 Dec 2012, 23:42

No problem on the feedback. Your articles are mostly what keep me coming back here. Well that and seeing what's out each week.

And as for shoddy buggy messes...that's why I would suggest renting or doing a bit of reading about the game before you buy it if you're on a budget/super cautious. Plus it sounds like it was fixed anyway.
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby battfink83 » 20 Apr 2014, 12:47

OXM ETboy wrote:Thanks for the positive feedback all :)


Im not a suck up, but you guys are some of the rare ones, who works in this industry, is busy yet takes time to reply to people.

This is why I always give thanks for replies, even if its a disagreement its nice to know people are at the other end ;).

Now get back to work, wheres my MGS GZ XBONE review, stop slacking.... :)
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Re: Fan entitlement: how developers deal with the haters

Postby Metalrodent » 20 Apr 2014, 12:52

*cough*

"18th December 2012"

[edit]. Whoops, sorry
Last edited by Metalrodent on 20 Apr 2014, 19:08, edited 1 time in total.
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