My Lit 12 teacher had a saying: “They can do anything you don’t stop them from doing”.

At first I misheard it as another bland ‘inspirational’ quote like “You can do anything you put your mind to!”. But this was much more cynical than boring office poster propaganda. This was the tough advice we needed before hitting the real world.

Gamers need to realize that:

Publishers will make whatever you keep buying

If you don’t like publishers hawking $50 Season Passes of content that DOESN’T EXIST then stop buying it. Battlefront was a beautiful but lifeless shell of its previous entries, but it sold well enough that we’ll see a 2017 sequel. If it flopped, EA would have two choices: 1) Never make a Battlefront game again or 2) Make the Battlefront game everyone wanted.

If you don’t like boring rehashes, micro-transactions, pay-to-win, bullshots, Deluxe/Exreme Editions, or anything else you feel is hurting your enjoyment of gaming, then vote with your wallet.

The same thing that motivates Publishers to do the things you hate, will also motivate them to change their ways: profit. Profit motivates Publishers in every direction. If gamers pre-order Season Passes without knowing what the content is, you are guaranteed to see that strategy continue. On the other hand, if gamers stop buying Bethesda games until after full reviews come out, then they just might go back to giving journalists advance copies of their games.

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An interesting example is Shenmue 3.

A very loud community had shouted for years that the final chapter should be made. But it wasn’t until the record-breaking Kickstarter campaign smashed its goals that Sony revealed themselves as the real money behind the project. Sony’s Gio Corsi explained:

“We said ‘the only way this is gonna happen is if the fans speak up. We thought Kickstarter was the perfect place to do this. We set a goal of two million dollars, and if the fans come in and back it, then absolutely we’re going to make this a reality.”

The Shenmue situation was a strange mix of E3 hype-euphoria and the dirty realization that backers had been manipulated (full disclosure: I backed the game). Personally, I’m happy to see the game get made, but if it ends up looking terrible and I don’t get a refund I have only myself to blame. In this case, I’m a part of the problem when it comes to giving publishers money long-before knowing if the game is good or not. It was less than the standard $60 USD, but the principal of the matter remains: I rewarded Sony and Yu Suzuki for a game that doesn’t even have a release date.

We all have our limits.

How do you feel about the state of gaming? Do you pre-order games and/or Kickstart?

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