Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Biggest Headache For Game Developers: Abusive Fans

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the hiding-behind-an-internet-connection dept.

Games 381

chicksdaddy writes "Haters keep buyin' — that appears to be the dynamic playing out in the ever-hot video game industry, where game developers say harassment and trolling from their rabid fans is turning them off of development completely, according to a report over at Polygon.com. 'Fans are invested in the stories and worlds that developers create, and certain design decisions can be seen by fans to threaten those stories and worlds,' said Nathan Fisk, lecturer at the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and co-author of the book Bullying in the Age of Social Media. 'Harassment silences and repositions content creators in ways that protect the interests of certain fan groups, which again is no justification for the kinds of abusive behavior and language seen online today.' The problem is widespread enough that it may even pose a threat to the future of the industry. Developers, both named and those who wish to remain anonymous, tell Polygon that harassment by gamers is becoming an alarmingly regular expected element of game development. Some developers say the problem was among the reasons they left the industry, others tell Polygon that the problem is so ubiquitous that it distracts them from making games or that they're considering leaving the industry."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

WILDCAT IS ON TEH SPOKE (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585023)


 

Who else should comment on your games? (-1)

itsme1234 (199680) | about a year ago | (#44585055)

Your mom, who never played them? I strongly suspect this is just a case of content creators expecting the "content consumers" to have an attention span of under 30s, similarly to what happens with "Lost" or "Star Trek" fans bashing the product for not being consistent with itself.

Just shut up and buy, damn it!

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585135)

Yes, that's exactly what the article is about and not stuff like:

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=call+of+duty+death+threats
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=bioware+death+threats

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (1)

itsme1234 (199680) | about a year ago | (#44585277)

We are talking about millions of customers. Because of the numbers involved I'm sure that includes beside people who are well ... dead by now also people that pee on themselves, people who have both AIDS and cancer and (gasp) people who leave in a fantasy world that involves running around killing as many people as possible.

Sure, bad mouthing on a forum, sucks. Death threats, sucks much more. But in the end that's it, do your best to prepare for the worst, hope for the best and life goes on (until it doesn't).

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (3)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44585635)

man if you haven't felt "OMG WHAT THe FucK I PAID FOR THIS SHIT WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS FUCKING INVISIBLE WALL DOING HERE AND WHAT THE FUCK BUGGED MENU tOOK MY ITEMS" then you really haven't played at all.

anyways, it's not like they're going to go through with the threats unless they screw over south koreans with some loot disappearing bugs.

besides than I'm pretty sure if you found guys responsible for kotor2 release and whoever came up with me3 ending you could get away if it was a "jury trial of your peers"..

I don't think that any game developer with any vision is going to stop developing because some guys bitch on twitter though... many more are going to stop because nobody gives a fuck either way about their games.

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (2)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44585155)

Ultimately the number of "votes" you get is proportional to what you spend, not how many hours you play. The most vocal people are not necessarily to most representative, nor the biggest customers.

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44585257)

Actually, on Free-to-play pay-to-win games, they seem like the most useless demographic.

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (0)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44585421)

Your mom, who never played them? I strongly suspect this is just a case of content creators expecting the "content consumers" to have an attention span of under 30s, similarly to what happens with "Lost" or "Star Trek" fans bashing the product for not being consistent with itself.

Just shut up and buy, damn it!

If you don't want strangers to comment on your game and complain when it doesn't evolve the way they want to (and are willing to pay for), then don't release your game to the public - keep it for yourself and close friends who will be more tactful with feedback.

But if you release it to the world and are willing to take money from all of these rabid fans, then don't be surprised when those that are paying your paycheck want some input into the direction of what they are paying for.

It's not just the gaming industry that faces feedback from its customers... at least game players (for the most part) are not physically in your face, try running a retail store and face the woman that feels she was cheated on some purchase and brings her burly husband to back her up right at closing time when you're the only one in the store.

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (5, Insightful)

EricTheGreen (223110) | about a year ago | (#44585539)

Since when is "I will find you and kill you" useful feedback, let alone appropriate? And who should have to listen to dreck like that?

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (-1, Troll)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44585645)

Since when is "I will find you and kill you" useful feedback, let alone appropriate? And who should have to listen to dreck like that?

I guess "I will find you and kill you" became acceptable feedback when many of the top games on Xbox Live are games in which you try to find and kill people.

Don't train your customers to enjoy killing people in gameplay if you don't want them to treat the very thought of killing someone so casually.

Shit, look at the abuse to the fans in an EULA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585613)

Fanfic content? RABID ATTACK DOGS! ATTACK! is the response from the companies.
Trying to use the frigging game? OUR WAY ONLY (see both the closure of Windows For Games and the move to "We are putting it as a Steam Exclusive, and STFU and buy it or don't" elsewhere) from the companies.

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (1)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#44585581)

I would go another direction and say it is a case of 'no good deed goes unpunished'. Developers have increasingly been building relationships with their player base, interacting in forums and such, .. and while you get some good feedback out of listening to the community you also get a LOT of very soul crushing abuse, much of it coming from people who do not understand game design or balance, or even consider other types of players.

Re:Who else should comment on your games? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585653)

I said it before and I'll say it again, gamers are losers! Get off your a$$ and grow up. If your past 16 and still play you might be a loser. This article just proves it.

Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequels (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585059)

Fan groups can get pretty sensitive about sequels and be really unpleasant about it. (I used to follow Fallout forums back in the day before 3; you could do no right)

Perhaps this will push more developers, if not the executives, to push for doing more original games, where you're not "destroying" someones vision of an IP?

Re:Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequel (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44585177)

Some gamers have moved from a perspective of critical approval before purchase, "If it's a good game then I'll get it" to a sense of entitlement, "they owe me a good game".

Run that up against the whole process of finding a game idea, fleshing it out, coding it, adding the art & sound, network support, testing, packaging, marketing and if you are in the business you wonder how you succeed at all.

Re:Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585461)

Some gamers have moved from a perspective of critical approval before purchase, "If it's a good game then I'll get it" to a sense of entitlement, "they owe me a good game".

It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between this entitlement and when a game is marketed as "teh bestest game ever!!11!!"
Once you have promised the customer a good game and you expect them to save their money and time for your game instead of the competitors then you can expect some flak if you don't live up to your promises.

There is still no excuse for death threats but expect people to be angry if you waste their time with hollow expectations.

Re:Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequel (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44585605)

Some gamers have moved from a perspective of critical approval before purchase, "If it's a good game then I'll get it" to a sense of entitlement, "they owe me a good game".

It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between this entitlement and when a game is marketed as "teh bestest game ever!!11!!"
Once you have promised the customer a good game and you expect them to save their money and time for your game instead of the competitors then you can expect some flak if you don't live up to your promises.

There is still no excuse for death threats but expect people to be angry if you waste their time with hollow expectations.

Advertising a game with a load of pictures and hyperbole is a waste of effort. The word gets around that it's good or bad and it sells or does not sell. All they need to do is email people who are registered for their last game there's a new one out and Word of Mouth will do the rest.

Re:Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequel (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#44585743)

I'd wonder as well how much of it is because of the distinct lack of demos, shareware, and trials.

Re:Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585759)

Uhh... I'm paying money for it. They DO owe me a good game. Why would I give them money for a bad game?

Re:Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequel (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44585835)

Uhh... I'm paying money for it. They DO owe me a good game. Why would I give them money for a bad game?

Vote with your dollars. If you don't like a game, don't buy it, go buy something else. Whinging about what a bad game or company it is if it doesn't meet your standards is sour grapes.

Re:Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585823)

Wanting a good game for you money is entitlement now, eh?

Re:Unintended positive consequences - fewer sequel (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585399)

The issue is that it's not the giants folding under this, it's the little people. Sure, there won't be a Fez 2, but the guy probably isn't going to make anything else either.

Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (-1, Troll)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44585061)

Couldn't have happened to nicer set of people... right? Wrong! Gaming industry is rotten inside-out, infamous for sweatshop-like working conditions (look up "EA widow"), end-of-project layoffs, and large studios buying and gutting creative studios on one side and 'designers' squeezing all kinds of shady profits (zero-day DLC, "free"-to-play micro-transaction games targeted at minors) while constantly failing to innovate (e.g. any sports game franchise).

Gaming industry deserves all the abuse it gets. Extreme cases of abuse aside, all criticism is they get is deserved.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (4, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | about a year ago | (#44585281)

Gaming industry deserves all the abuse it gets. Extreme cases of abuse aside, all criticism is they get is deserved.

But who should be getting the abuse you advocate? The executives of the big publishers or the regular folks working for the industry to actually make games? I've disliked games before but that doesn't mean that I should be justified to spew vitriol at the coders, artists and others working in the industry.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (0)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year ago | (#44585551)

that doesn't mean that I should be justified to spew vitriol

No, of course not; there should definitely be a censhorship apparatus put in place.. right? That's what you're implying/suggesting, I assume?

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (5, Informative)

DarkFencer (260473) | about a year ago | (#44585687)

No, of course not; there should definitely be a censhorship apparatus put in place.. right? That's what you're implying/suggesting, I assume?

Yes - self-censorship. The internal voice that says, or should say, "This is something that should not be said to another person, since I (ideally) don't want to be a jack ass".

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (1)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44585817)

You are confusing interpersonal relationships with corporate relationships. Are you one of the "Corporations are people" market extremists? I hope not.

Fundamental issue here is Customers vs Corporations, and customers by virtue of payment, are entitled to any and all kind of abuse directed at these corporations. When abuse spills on unsuspecting employees of these corporations, well then it is a problem with corporate governance.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (1)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44585679)

>>>I should be justified to spew vitriol at the coders, artists and others working in the industry.

Why "coders, artists and others" are representing your company? Almost-always deserved abuse is targeted at the specific company (e.g. EA Sports). Vitriol falling on regular folks is direct result of these regular folks attention-seeking diva behavior that is so prevalent in the gaming industry.

For example, you don't see "regular folk" speaking for Microsoft, and no-surprise they don't get abused for Microsoft's transgressions. Now, Ballmer, on other hand is known to throw chairs around...

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (5, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#44585313)

So everyone is deserving of abusive, sociopathic behavior? Even the indie developers whose team is small?

Extreme cases of abuse aside, all criticism is they get is deserved.

No. This is about the studios and developers being undeservedly abused and harassed. Not criticism but blatant abuse from immature children masquerading as adults who have no mental capacity for filtering their insane behavior. It's probably the same lack of mental facilities that cause others to abuse women who stand up for themselves.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (0)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44585573)

>>> blatant abuse from immature children masquerading as adults who have no mental capacity for filtering their insane behavior.

When you frame criticism and your customers in this light, it is clear that your industry has a huge problem. Imagine, for example, Microsoft or Apple, referring to their customer base as "immature children who have no mental capacity for filtering". Do you think they get any less or more polite criticism (esp. Microsoft) ?

Gaming Industry doesn't get that they are part of the service industry. Customer is always right, and all that. Instead they act like divas and treat customers as nuisance.

What other IT industry behaves as badly and treats their customers with such contempt?

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (5, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#44585783)

Death threats are not criticism.

No. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585647)

[quote] So everyone is deserving of abusive, sociopathic behavior? [/quote]

No.

However, the game companies continue to give abusive and sociopathic behaviour to not only their fans, the entire public as well (making courts pursue the civil case of copyright infringement by lobbying to make them criminal, and now the cases cost the public rather than the company, who can offshore their profits and not pay taxes to the court system).

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (3, Insightful)

gameboyhippo (827141) | about a year ago | (#44585315)

These are many of the reasons I'm a big fan of Nintendo. They care about the developers, take their time to develop the right product, and don't engage in this microtransaction nonsense. Even with games like Pokémon Rumble U, Nintendo promises that you can see everything there is in the game even if you don't buy their collectible figures. I'm glad Nintendo ignores the investors (iOS!) and the non-Nintendo fans (MMOFPS sports game please!) to make a quality product that doesn't rely on these "shady profits".

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585317)

By your definition then we should be sending death threats to the authors and people who work at publishing houses if they produce a book you don't like, or produce a book you like but then the main character gets killed at the end,

People like you are why we can't have nice things.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (5, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#44585333)

All those evil things you describe; sweatshops, layoffs, buyouts, DLC, lack of innovation are not initiated by the designers and developers, yet those are the people getting harrassed.

This isn't some anonymous "gaming industry" that gets the crap, it's individual people.

Imagine somebody coming up to the counter of whatever supermarket you work at and start verbally abusing you for decissions made by some upper level management people.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585787)

Are you wearing the nametag? Then they are yelling at a representative of said company, not the employee as a person.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585335)

Because the entire game industry is EA and Activision, amirite?

Or maybe there's independent devs who just make games out of love of the art and wish they got some basic degree of respect and dignity from their NAAAAAH lol I'm joking of course, anyone who's ever touched a gaming API is a heartless sweatshop owner who rapes children and eats their dogs in front of their faces for profit.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44585337)

Unfortunately, the abuse is frequently targeted at hapless employees. You can hate bobby kotik all day for the business abuses he engages in, but when people threaten the lives of poorly paid writers for daring to have a philosophy about writing [metro.co.uk] , it's not a good thing.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (2)

EricTheGreen (223110) | about a year ago | (#44585533)

Isn't that sorta like abusing the rowing slaves for the lousy conditions on the galley?

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44585589)

The people in charge of making such unpopular decisions are not the ones paying the price though. Much like how many of the people who pull the strings to decide the good people of some other country NEED a war aren't going to the front line.

The people at biggamecorp who decide that the end to the game will require an additional $20, and you will need to be online at all times with ads popping up in-game, who make the testers work 60 hours a week for no overtime and then are fired immediately upon launch AREN'T the ones being threatened here. Don't try to rationalize it.

To extend the metaphor, the trolls who make death threats are like the terrorists. When is the last time you heard of a terrorist trying to attack a US politician who actually had any power? That's too hard. They're both taking their rage out on innocent people because they are too lazy, cowardly, and/or stupid to do anything against the real "bad guys" they claim to be hating.

Re:Couldn't have happened to nicer people... (3, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | about a year ago | (#44585643)

Wait, the game industry treats its people badly, so that means it is morally ok for fans to treat them badly too because it is their own fault for being game developers?

Don't feed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585077)

I know that this may not grasp the problem entirely, but typically it's best to just not engage the haters. The worst way to deal with them is to flip out back. Often this causes a Streisand Effect and makes more people hate you. I won't say which developer, but after making a showing fit of leaving the industry on twitter, he went on 4chan with a picture of the tweet saying, "Weren't we being too rough on him?" You could see that the picture was from the same account that made the tweet as it had a delete option. That's one way to lose sympathy.

Games cost a lot of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585081)

Just like car owners and sports fans, once you spend a certain amount of money on an industry you start getting rather passionate about the subject.

Re:Games cost a lot of money (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year ago | (#44585217)

Just like car owners and sports fans, once you spend a certain amount of money on an industry you start getting rather passionate about the subject.

Hello World XXVII will be Extreme! Would we lie to you?

You can even ask our marketing department after they get back from sacrificing a goat at their alter to Baal.

Re:Games cost a lot of money (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | about a year ago | (#44585243)

Yeah, nothing compares to NCAA football fans.

I may have not been a big fan of Deus Ex: Invisible War, but I wasn't sending under age girls over to Harvey Smith's house with beer to nail him statutory rape or dressing up as Warren Spector's biggest fan and smoking weed with him to get him fired over a drug test because he went to Disney instead of the studio I wanted him to go to. Some of those fans have gone to cold war era spycraft lengths to get what they want.

Blizzard seems to have gotten a handle on it (5, Insightful)

subanark (937286) | about a year ago | (#44585085)

Yes, it is nice if you have the developers actively communicate with the fan base, but many times, those fans that post on forums the most end up making demands, and in many cases don't fully appropriate the fact that the game developers know what they are doing much more so than the fans do.

Blizzard has CMs (community managers) that act as a buffer between the developers and the fan base. They are trained and hired to deal with the various disagreeing opinions, while being able to recognize when there is a clear consensus that is sensible and something the devs should be aware of. Most people know 2 of the developers: Greg Street, who has taken it upon himself to meet this challenge, and Chris Metzen who primarily works on Art, voice, and lore, which people generally don't complain about too much (although it does happen).

I see way too many game companies let their developers just openly communicate with the fan base unbuffered, and they need to take a hint from Blizzard to let the professionals handle it.

Re:Blizzard seems to have gotten a handle on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585159)

"Blizzard has CMs (community managers) that act as a buffer between the developers and the fan base." -because it's huge, $$$.

Most games aren't going to be able to justify that ongoing cost without the subscription / monthly rape model.

Re:Blizzard seems to have gotten a handle on it (1, Insightful)

sinij (911942) | about a year ago | (#44585167)

Yes, because Blizzard is such a shiny beacon of understanding and communicating player base needs, right? Well, you do not need to look hard to see this is clearly not the case. RealID fiasco anyone?

Re:Blizzard seems to have gotten a handle on it (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585279)

Sorry, did they force everybody into RealID?

I'd say that the "RealID fiasco" is exactly representative of a company responding to the concerns of its player base.

It seemed like a good idea "in-house," so good that they could "push all users into the RealID system!" Then they started talking about it to fans, and fans said, "hold the fuck up. hold the fuck up. I do not want that." And... Blizzard moved away from forcing everybody into RealID. I have it disabled, though I do like the BattleTag features, so I use that instead.

I'm not sure why you seem to think that their response to the RealID concerns are an example of "not understanding and communicating player base needs."

Re:Blizzard seems to have gotten a handle on it (0)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#44585237)

in many cases don't fully appropriate the fact that the game developers know what they are doing much more so than the fans do.

Maybe one of the stupidest things ever said on the Internet.

There will always be assholes who complain about anything and everything. But they are the exception. If users are telling developers that they fucked up their favorite game, then the users are right and the developers are wrong.

Re:Blizzard seems to have gotten a handle on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585463)

Not quite.

Games as a business model you might be right, but games as an art form you're dead wrong.

Re:Blizzard seems to have gotten a handle on it (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#44585509)

If users are telling developers that they fucked up their favorite game, then the users are right and the developers are wrong.

By definition, pretty much. If the users don't like the game, then it isn't a good game. Two points to keep in mind, though: make sure that a majority (or at least a large minority) don't like the game, not just a vocal, abusive few. Also, while the gamer's overall opinion of the game is not only valid but in the end the only one that counts, that doesn't mean his diagnosis of what exactly is wrong with the game and how to fix it is correct. In fact, it most likely isn't.

Re:Blizzard seems to have gotten a handle on it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585409)

I like the Blizzard setup of having people who have social skills able to handle the BS that comes at them (justified or no.) Devs need to work on code, not have to reply to yet another troll.

Were I to set up a game company, I'd probably have the devs be anonymous as possible, perhaps using handles. Let the CM people or people who actually have abilities with dealing with the raging troll-tards (ex-hostage negotiators perhaps?) handle the public mouthpiece while devs can do what they feel like doing without having to deal with the crybabies. For conventions, I'd have people for that job as well, and let the devs go incognito, so they can have fun and not be accosted by the unwashed basement dwellers raving mad because their class was nerfed.

The customer is wrong I guess.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585093)

So, if devs make horribly awful decisions, the customers are supposed to just take it up the ass? What utter rubbish!

What happened to actually listening to customer feedback? Sure, there are haters, but they can be easily dismissed. If you can't handle a few trolls and criticism, you shouldn't be working in any real job, let alone game development.

Re:The customer is wrong I guess.... (4, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44585369)

There is a big difference between complaining about something and being abusive about it, we seem to not understand this concept anymore.

Step 1:
Don't assume your adversary is evil or has some evil agenda. Most people want to do the right thing, however they made wrong decisions along the way.

Step 2:
Discuss your problems rationally. Get some sleep before you start ranting about something. Ok you are frustrated at this level, perhaps because you have been playing the game for 30 hours straight. And it is you that is blacking out every 5 minutes and not the game. Figure out how big of a deal it is. You love the game but your arm polygons sometimes go threw a wall.

Step 3:
Realize that Perhaps you are not the target audience. I mean the "Pony Unicorn Princess" Game is a bit too girly for a 30 something guy. Or "Hell Killer: Mountain of blood", is giving your 4 year old nightmares.

Step 4:
Focus on the good points too. If you are going to tell someone your product sucks and you will never buy it anymore, they won't care, they lost (past tense) a customer. If you give them the good points and the bad points then they could be loosing (present tense) a customer and they may be more open minded.

Step 5:
Realize if you complain about something, it doesn't make you seem smart. There is the idea that the Intelligent person must be complaining about something and people who are in generally happy must be dumb, isn't really the case. If you like it, it is OK. Stop trying to find faults in everything.

Now you can complain about stuff.
Lets say the game says it should work on your system requirements, but it doesn't load up. Or you get bugs that prevent you from winning, you can complain about those, however you should also preference with the fact you like the game otherwise.

Re:The customer is wrong I guess.... (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44585545)

Speaking from my work experience, i have to tell you man, employees may not be evil, but they are not good too. The only think an employee care is....guess what? PAYCHECK. Nothing more, nothing less.
Now, man, count to 1000, and try to some more reasonable steps, close to the reality, not your imaginary fantasy world you apparently live in.

Re:The customer is wrong I guess.... (1)

techsimian (2555762) | about a year ago | (#44585841)

Maybe not opening your screed with rectal insertion comments, might... just might save your comment from being redirected to /dev/null.

Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585095)

"Every time you insult me, Mario loses a finger. Why do you want me to hurt poor Mario?"

Welcome to Fiction writing. (5, Insightful)

Remus Shepherd (32833) | about a year ago | (#44585121)

It sounds as if game developers are learning what sci-fi/fantasy writers already knew; fans can be rabid and irrational. For most authors this isn't a problem because they sell in the 5 or 6 digits and there may be just one crazy fan. But every AAA video game has millions of players, so the number of crazies can be much larger.

This is why Neil Gaiman was forced to tell people that 'George R. R. Martin is not your bitch.' Because rabid fans wanted GRR to be their bitch, and because he now has such a large audience their harassment was getting out of hand.

The solution to this is to grow a thick skin and/or to get a secretary that will read and filter your mail for you. Or you could make games that only sell 10k-100k units, so the fanbase doesn't reach a critical mass of craziness...but if your company is addicted to money then being a smaller part of the market isn't an option.

Re:Welcome to Fiction writing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585407)

There are other options. I write only fanfiction, which gets posted on obscure sites that no one much bothers to read (not the big ones like fanfiction.net). I have no interest in trying to write stories with original characters, though I suppose I could, because the problems of publishing aren't worth the miniscule return. Plus, even if I did hit the literary lottery and become a well-known writer, after seeing what authors like GRR Martin and Orson Scott Card get put through, it definitely isn't worth it.

Re:Welcome to Fiction writing. (1)

jbmartin6 (1232050) | about a year ago | (#44585471)

Welcome to everything. The more customers you have, the more likely some of them will be nutbars. I found when working retail, the best solution was to have no tolerance for the people who are out of hand. Sure, you lose those few customers, but everyone else is so much better off that it more than makes up the difference. A nice chance to apply the 80-20 rule.

Re:Welcome to Fiction writing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585603)

In principle this isn't so different from politics as well. Politicians and members of the administration have a good idea of how things might work. And then there are the interest groups, the lobbyists....

Sounds like typical press hype (2)

Kohath (38547) | about a year ago | (#44585125)

You see stories like this on other topics. They tend to be hyped up. It's a crisis! Won't someone please think of the children!?

Yeah, it's probably a real issue. No, it's probably not a crisis.

Gamers shouldn't have an entitlement mentality. Game developers shouldn't have a victim mentality. People should be nicer to each other.

Re:Sounds like typical press hype (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about a year ago | (#44585559)

Imagine, there is no war........

Nobody knows why? Really? (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#44585127)

Can't imagine why when all they do is nerf instead of increasing disfavored classes.

Here is their non-sentient nerf-loop algorithm:

1. Datamine to see most played class/power.
2. Conk it on the head so it sucks more.
3. People start moving to something else in the game.
4. Find what that is and repeat.

Important: Repeat until every player is pissed off and disgusted with your product.

Re:Nobody knows why? Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585197)

This happens less than one-thousandth as often as whiners like you claim it does.

Re:Nobody knows why? Really? (3, Insightful)

stinkbomb (238228) | about a year ago | (#44585245)

There are more games than World of Warcraft.

Re:Nobody knows why? Really? (0)

Danial Noll (3021771) | about a year ago | (#44585383)

no this is exactly how it works, and anybody who thinks otherwise is naive as hell

Re:Nobody knows why? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585459)

Or pays attention to the facts and knows to disregard hyperbole as the dishonest bullshit that it is.

Correct response to obnoxious fans (3, Insightful)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#44585139)

STFU, n00bs!

In other words, ignore those kinds of fans: they'll yell and scream and complain, and in the end buy the next version of the game.

I think.. (1)

malkavian (9512) | about a year ago | (#44585151)

It's all part of the Eternal September playing a rush to the bottom.
Trolls have discovered there's very little (if any) consequence to them being as obnoxious as possible, and many have come to realise that if you troll and upset people, they can't let it go as well as a well reasoned argument.
Thus, it seems that if you Troll, you get a response, so more people troll, and the more abusive you are, the more attention is paid (and god forbid, someone deletes the abusive post, as that then ends up noted on all the tech blogs that the developer is censoring).

While things are stacked towards letting trolling pay off, I don't think anything's going to change..

Re:I think.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585215)

Eternal September has been with us forever, and Internet did not collapse under the weight of n00bs.

Re:I think.. (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#44585633)

This doesn't seem limited to the online world either. I've heard of many instances of female geeks being harassed at conventions and other areas for not being "real geeks." Apparently, in the minds of some self-proclaimed "real geeks", one cannot be a woman and a geek at the same time... any women that claim to be geeks are pretending, likely to try to seduce a "real geek." (Yes, these people have actually claimed this!) Now, I'm not female and have never gone to a convention, so I haven't seen this personally, but it's been documented by many, many people.

I think part of the problem is "Eternal September" thinking. If you view anyone new as being "unwelcome noobs who will just water down the community", you encourage action against them to protect the community. If, instead, you realize that having more people in a community can increase diversity and make the community stronger, you encourage new folks to join. Yes, things will change but things always change. Anything that doesn't change stagnates and dies. (And aren't we geeks always railing against industries like the recording industry who fight against progress at all costs? Do we really want to be like them?!!!)

Don't feel the trolls. (3, Insightful)

space_jake (687452) | about a year ago | (#44585183)

A vocal minority without anything constructive to add should be ignored. I don't see the problem here.

Re:Don't feel the trolls. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585667)

A vocal minority without anything constructive to add should be ignored. I don't see the problem here.

Al Sharpton would disagree...

Some of the harassment is deserved... (3, Interesting)

blahplusplus (757119) | about a year ago | (#44585233)

... from the F2P scam, DRM, and taking away peoples ability to own games by making everything F2P or online, where Diablo 3 introduced us to the DEFECT of SINGLE PLAYER LAG. The entire industry at present and the corrupt whiny little bastard game devs (those who are among the corrupt) deserve everything they get.

The Game industry is among the most corrupt on the planet:

-Taking the ability to own and mod games away from players
-Enclosing games by using MMO/F2P server chaining strategy
-F2P/MMO games are locked down and that makes a suffocating environment for fan creativity, mods, hacks, etc, to the original game and more and more games are being completely locked down and gamers being locked out.

Nanny corporation is trying to make people dependent on it in the exact same way as an overbearing totalitarian state would. They want to force a relationship where they continually draw money from people and you never own anything.

This is just more of a trend of game industry not aware of the industry wide corporate corruption that people are getting sick and tired of and the are too oblivious to the justified anger people have at price gouging, bank bailouts, and wars based on lies.

Re:Some of the harassment is deserved... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585555)

THANK YOU! Mod parent up. I don't think the phrase "crocodile tears" has ever been more relevant.

Re:Some of the harassment is deserved... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585567)

So don't buy or play the game if you know it's got issues. Request a refund if it's a defective product you already purchased. Tell the developers in a constructive way what bothers you about the game.

whiny little bastard game devs [...] deserve everything they get.

No, they deserve appropriate criticism and lower sales for the poor development choices they made. They do not deserve threats against them and their families. Stop being the problem.

Thin-skinned Butthurt (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585249)

Everyone's a bullying victim these days. Le sigh.

The real problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585301)

We all know the real problem. It's the fact that while game budgets have SKYROCKETED over the last 20 years, game QUALITY has PLUMETTED over the last 20 years.

Today's video games are soulless, mcdonalds-esque all you can eat buffets of nastiness. In the '90s, if you picked up 5 random games, 4 of them would be great.

Today if you picked up 5 random games, there is a very real possibility that ZERO would be great.

Of course the fans are angry about this, they SHOULD BE. If the "Industry" cant handle it, maybe it should die. Then the Indies will take over and games will have a soul again.

Re:The real problem (1)

Danial Noll (3021771) | about a year ago | (#44585343)

We all know the real problem. It's the fact that while game budgets have SKYROCKETED over the last 20 years, game QUALITY has PLUMETTED over the last 20 years.

Today's video games are soulless, mcdonalds-esque all you can eat buffets of nastiness. In the '90s, if you picked up 5 random games, 4 of them would be great.

Today if you picked up 5 random games, there is a very real possibility that ZERO would be great.

Of course the fans are angry about this, they SHOULD BE. If the "Industry" cant handle it, maybe it should die. Then the Indies will take over and games will have a soul again.

truth

Re:The real problem (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a year ago | (#44585493)

That's looking at the past with rose-colored glasses. For every good 80's/90's game there was a lot of crap that you don't remember.

In the 90's if you picked up 5 random games, 4 of them would have been DOOM clones.

Personally I think the bar of quality has risen. Even the low-rated games are at least "playable" these days and have reasonably good graphics and sound even if they aren't up to AAA quality.

It's not just game fans (2)

GrumpySteen (1250194) | about a year ago | (#44585303)

Hyperbolic insults, rants, threats and bullying are commonplace in every type of communication over the internet. The anonymity and pseudo-anonymity enable a culture where there is rarely any significant penalty for even the worst insults.

Gabriel from Penny Arcade really summed it up nicely with his Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory [penny-arcade.com]

Re:It's not just game fans (3, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | about a year ago | (#44585677)

Yup, I've heard this happening in conventions or online communities where female geeks are told they aren't "real geeks" because they aren't guys. (Other reasons are given because the self-proclaimed "real geeks" don't want to admit to being sexist, but it all boils down to "ewwww girls" attitude.) A vegan friend of mine online has been harassed by people who claim she's not a "real vegan" because she doesn't follow X, Y, or Z and only by following all of this can you be a "real vegan." And then there's the political arena where you can't be a "real" member of the party without following EVERYTHING that the party stands for TO THE EXACT DEGREE that they stand for it. Any variation or independent thought means you are a traitor to the party and should be shunned.

Sadly, I think this is a basic fact of human nature (forming groups then protecting those groups from perceived "outsiders") which the anonymity/pseudo-anonymity of the Internet helps to push to extremes.

Re:It's not just game fans (2)

Kjella (173770) | about a year ago | (#44585709)

And on top of that the people most likely to respond in an adult fashion are those with least time to talk to you. A lot of the people you find trolling the net are fourteen, unemployed, unemployable or have some kind of mental condition or personality disorder which lead to them not having much better to do than to spread bile. That great developer who'd know the answer? He's probably busy designing and writing code after he got home from work while the bastard with no social life who can't figure out why he got fired is the one idling on IRC talking to n00bs, showing off his l33tness by rubbing in just how n00b they are. At least I'd have to be seriously bored to start engaging in trolling, which is usually cured by getting a life. That's really my thought every time, "Really? You really got nothing better to do? Pathetic..."

harden the fuck up (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585319)

if you can't handle words after the age of 13 then you aren't an adult, you are an old child and don't deserve any of the privileges of adulthood

sticks and stones dudes, don't feed the trolls, post the best hate mail on your website for laughs

you have no right not to be offended

lighten the fuck up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585497)

Why are all those other people expected to change their behavior, but you're not to be expected to change yours?

Reminds me of Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585345)

From the article:

"I could go on and on about this, but I'm just going to consider one example: the word 'noob.' [...] But if you want to get started as a gamer, you get told, 'go home noob,' because people in this hobby hate newcomers so much they turned the word itself into an insult."

Around 13 years ago, I bought a cheap computer and monitor setup so I could install one of the Linux distributions (I forget which) and learn it while keeping it completely separate from my main, Windows computer (which I used partially for work). Everything went fine, except that I could not get the modem (I was still on dialup) to work while logged in as a user, but could while logged in as root. After a fruitless search of any online documentation, I went to three separate Linux communities (on IRC? I honestly don't remember precisely) to see if anyone could help or even point me in the right direction. In all three, I only got insults and mocking, and was based told to go fuck myself if I couldn't figure it out on my own.

So I wiped Linux from the system, sold the whole thing to a buddy who wanted a cheap box to slap Windows on for his kid to play games on, and I haven't touched Linux since. And never will.

Re:Reminds me of Linux (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#44585831)

> I only got insults and mocking, and was based told to go fuck myself if I couldn't figure it out on my own.
> So I wiped Linux from the system, sold the whole thing to a buddy who wanted a cheap box to slap Windows on for his kid to play games on, and I haven't touched Linux since. And never will.

So basically you let other people control you. /sarcasm: That will learn them !

--
Ellen Page: noun; winy vanity attention-seeking cunt & drama queen.

fans are in the right (1)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#44585387)

"Harassment silences and repositions content creators in ways that protect the interests of certain fan groups."

s/Harassment/Management/
the only difference being management butters the bread so content creators dont have a problem eviscerating a beloved storyline. There have been plenty of times when content creators have just sold the fuck out and decided their fans were worth less than gobs of cash. Im looking directly at you, Westwood studios. conversely, studios like 3drealms had no problem ignoring trolls and abusive fans while they spent through the cash and coasted into bankruptcy. What did we get? some studio standing at the auction block waiting to inheret and subsequently destroy a sizeable piece of our childhood.

We are hurt, angry, and have very little patience for anyone waiting in the wings to fuck up a good plot or storyline. Can you blame us? If given the opportunity most of us would have gone for the throats of the team that sandbagged the force unleashed 2. if the result is all to often we get storylines like Command and conquer 4, you can expect us to naturally be rabidly concerned youre trying or being forced to franchise and cashcow us.

Not just Games (1)

dennis_k85 (828582) | about a year ago | (#44585405)

This does not just happen with games. I program audio devices for the High end audiophile market. I have the same issues with some members of our firums.

A topic I have some interest in... (4, Insightful)

seebs (15766) | about a year ago | (#44585455)

MMO devs often take a fairly hands-off attitude about their community, don't do anything about harassment and griefing... then are confused that their community is dominated by toxic people.

Yes, it's a great thing to be thick-skinned, but it's not a moral virtue, it's just really useful. The people who are trying to offend other users and mock them for being sensitive are not really good for your community, and if you keep tacitly endorsing them, you end up with a community of people who have learned that abuse works, because the people it worked on mostly left. Then they do it to you too, and suddenly it's a problem...

Here it goes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585467)

Leave.
Twitter.
You welcome... ...

A-HOLE!

Oh wait!

It's easy to fix... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585481)

If a user have more than 100 comments, it's a hardcore fan, and then must be ignored.

OF COURSE I'M BEING RUDE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44585489)

Along with several of the other gaming "journalism" sites out there, Polygon is a sham that exists only to sensationalize faux-social justice issues in game (so it's no wonder that Soulskill fast-tracked it on /., being the "social justice warrior" s/he is). There's a huge problem with gaming journalism today no longer serving the gaming population and instead serving the gaming publishers and developers. This is not how it should be.

However, they're probably right about this. Not that it's newsworthy, since this has always been the case, but it's certainly true. Fans are very loud and obnoxious about changing the direction of a game or game series, and for good reason: we continue to buy into a series or developer because we like what we've seen in the past. It's fine for a dev to try something new in a new title, but taking an ongoing series in a completely different direction is going to get you a lot of unhappy fans.

Look at the recent DmC reboot or SW:TOR as examples. These games royally pissed off fans of the series (the latter especially for me, since it retconned a lot that happened in KotOR 2, which is my single favorite game). Do you really expect me to sit by while the devs bastardize my favorite game? No! I'm going to complain! I'm going to be loud, I'm going to be obnoxious, and I'm going to be every bit as rude to them as they're being to their fans (including me) by bastardizing the series that we bought into, both literally and figuratively. If this makes me a "bully," so be it. I'd rather be a bully than a pussy who can't handle justified criticism and needs to be isolated in their own personal fucking hugbox at all times. Isolating yourself from and ignoring your userbase is the reason why projects like GNOME have failed so hard recently, and if they think I'm going to stand by and be polite and nice when they're doing this with my favorite games, they've got another thing coming.

You can't please all of the people all of the time (2)

jennamilan (2964219) | about a year ago | (#44585511)

This direct communication can actually do more harm than good. The most vocal in a community are not necessarily speaking for the majority and I think game developers make that mistake all too often. They attempt to appease the loud minority which ultimately pisses off the happy majority when the changes are put in. The reality is the unhappy minority will never be happy anyway. They hate their own lives and these developer forums are just a medium for them to express it. I've always had difficulty understanding people who spew their vitriol on developer forums. I wonder why they don't just simply stop playing if it's really as bad as they say it is. Star Wars Galaxies comes to mind where the complaining was so bad from the minority that they changed the game. The problem was the change was so bad it pissed off the majority. Everyone quit to go play WOW but the harassment continued. I think the lead developer of that re-write ended up killing himself years later. Really? Over a game? People need to lighten up. It's a game. Not your real life. Just because you waste your life away playing a video game doesn't give you any rights to demand anything. If you don't like it, quit. The bullying and harassment should be completely ignored. In fact, I would keep the developers away from hearing or interacting with the customer entirely. Allow them to fulfill their creative potential without the noise.

Two simple suggestions (3, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | about a year ago | (#44585515)

To stop programmers getting harrased, why not keep the names and emails of the programmers under wraps? If the programmers insist on hanging around in user forums then that's their business - they should know what to expect by now. If they want to be "rock stars" then get ready for some rocks.

Alternatively, the most straightforward way to stop criticism from disaffected "fans" would be to give them what they want, rather than assuming that some designer somewhere knows better.

This is a really simple to solve problem (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about a year ago | (#44585535)

Just stop reading fan mail. Don't post your email account online. Don't have a blog with comments that people can post to. Don't go to sites dedicated to your game. You will not see all the hate if you don't go out of your way to read it!

Fez 2 & Phil Fish (3, Interesting)

ZephyrXero (750822) | about a year ago | (#44585563)

I'm still mourning the loss of Fez II thanks to all the haters and trolls :(

Laugh (1)

koan (80826) | about a year ago | (#44585595)

The outright sociopathy i see in games used to be funny, conjuring up the image of some chubby raging on his/her keyboard.
Now a days it's a little scary, seriously the churning sickness I see on the Net, especially in violent games gets laughed off as "it's kids in a game" but based on some of the comments I've seen it looks more like budding psychopaths working out their final words to their victims.

It's a psych's wet dream for deviant and disturbed behaviour.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?