Sunday, 8 April 2012

Power to the People, er gamers

A couple of months ago I put my email address onto an online petition. This petition was, obviously, game related. It was to bring Dark Souls, the rock hard rpg, to the PC. I had tried Dark Souls on the PS3 and liked it, but, as is often the case, I felt I was being hindered by the joypad. This petition ended up with the best part of 90 thousand digital signitures. Today Namco Bandai, the makers of Dark Souls, have announced that they are going to release a PC version in August.

This in itself made me pretty happy, but it got me pondering. We gamers seem to be in a pretty influencial position right now. Kickstarter has a new headline on the gaming sites pretty much every day, console games are being port to the PC and hell they are even amending (sot of) the

ending of Mass Effect 3 because the internet got upset.

It is no big secret that sales of games have dropped off a little of late, and I think that is due to gamers voting with their wallets, now more than ever. Plus at this point in time it is easier than ever to make yourself heard by game makers. if you are not happy about something there are multiple channels allowing you to express that annoyance (which is handled with varying degrees of success and dignity).

I think the days of releasing a game and moving on are long past for developers, when days (minutes?) after a game is launched you have forums, and emails and tweets from fans telling you what is broken with your game. As with the buggy launch of Skyrim, which is still being updated, not to mention the fiasco with the PS3 version. This is regardless of DLC, though again more than one game has given away free DLC that they were going to charge for as a way of saying sorry for releasing the game in a poor state, as in the case of Dead Island.

I certainly don't mind that developers are being more attentive and actually listening to the flaming, er feedback from their fans . I am just wondering if we are missing out on newer games because the developers, in the case of Mass effect especially, are having to go back and fix their mistakes. 5 years ago, hell even 2 years ago, this would have been unheard of. However now true gamers have the money to put into great ideas and the tools to critisise the bad ideas and get straight to the people who will listen. I am just not sure that this is a good thing on the whole.

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