Nowadays, it’s not enough to simply create a game. We as consumers demand high quality graphics, innovative gameplay, story arcs that send the player on an emotional roller coaster, and don’t forget that multiplayer mode! Every single time we go into E3 or GameCon or Pax or what have you, the trailers promise all of these features (and more with the DLCs!) but we know deep down the promises made will never come to full fruition, but we still become enraged and act betrayed when the game developers give us a shitty product.
But I think we as gamers forget that we’re often the reason the product comes out that way. Why? Our sense of entitlement, that we deserve all of the very best games because we paid a measly $60 for a product. Yes, I’m referring to No Man’s Sky the latest “disappointment” in the gaming community. Many people who bought it wanted their money back almost immediately once the game came out, claiming it’s “nothing like” the previous trailer.
Except, as it is, the game delivers an endless array of galaxies to explore. Exploration and craft building go hand in hand, which makes sense in terms of wanting to keep the player exploring various parts of the new worlds. For $60, this is exactly the sort of product one should expect to receive.
Yet we’re not satisfied, and because of this entitlement we are effectively killing the innovation of the industry. Every single year, more and more sequels to already established franchises clog up the newsfeeds, promising better things that are lies, and we know they’re lies, continuing to buy them anyway. We keep demanding better, but refusing to admit that we’re making demands that can’t be met realistically.
Ninantic promised the world an open map game long before Nintendo got involved, but no one cared. Then, once Pokemon Go chatter started, investments came pouring in. Ninantic could’ve given us something original, but we as gamers would rather complain about tracking systems rather than get in on the ground floor of something amazing. We would rather spend our time trying to tear down a game that connects people around the world and creates gameplay on your street, because we imagined something like this would be perfect despite not needing to even pay for the app itself.
We want to fuel the industry with complaints, and all that’s doing is creating a vicious cycle. We complain, they promise MORE at the next con, we demand additional features via Twitter and Facebook and angry emails, the gaming company lacks the funds to even pay everyone by Friday, we get the product, we demand a refund. When we get a “bad game,” we vilify the industry we supposedly love, claiming they’re the people in charge and so they should give us what we want.
If you go into a fast food place and pay $5 for a meal, do you expect it to be a five star course? No, and yet we’re expecting a game with an entire universe inside of it to explore to be perfect at $60, we’re expecting a free game app connected to GPS to come to the world with a game that will feature zero bugs or hiccups (despite never being done before). We expect too much, way too much, and the industry is going to buckle under all these expectations. They’re going to continue to create the safe sequels, the remastered games, the playable co-op versions of the things we’ve done before, and it’s going to never progress or change.
And we’ll be the ones to blame, but we’ll never see it that way.