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[Column] General: An Episode of Frustration

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 17,039MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

It seems as if gamers often fall victim to corporate hype and have to put up with poor treatment by gaming publishers and companies. In today's Devil's Advocate, we take a look at that phenomenon and offer a few thoughts. Read on and then take the discussion to the comments.

I am frustrated with game companies because of how they treat gamers looking for a great gaming experience. I am also frustrated with gamers for repeatedly falling into the same traps and not organizing better to fight abuses.  Strangest of all, I am frustrated with myself too because, as a representative of games media and as a gamer, I sometimes perpetuate gamer mistreatment from companies while falling into the same traps gamers get into.

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: An Episode of Frustration.


Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom



  • DJMantissDJMantiss Tracy, CAPosts: 100Member

    Well written! While I am not a columnist like you, I still find myself having access to half a dozen or more betas at any given time. This has caused me to drop a game fast when I see that the developers are obviously overpromising based on their in-beta or even in-alpha actions.

    On the reverse side I put more faith into games and developers who respond to the community and make changes that make sense. What I mean by that is when the developers just roll-over and do whatever their alpha/beta community tells them to do, it rarely works out. In contrast those rare developers that listen and make changes while sticking to thier own goals, ideas and ideals is what draws me to a game.

    Games these days are obviously being over-hyped and the constant barrage of pre-orders to guarantee beta access + 5 or more random perks is just wrong. I miss the days when a game could stand on its own and offer one, maybe 2 unique items for a collector's edition, not a pre-order but a collector's edition. Those companies are also the ones still around. Rare as they may be.

  • AwDiddumsAwDiddums Great YarmouthPosts: 400Member Uncommon

    Taking a stand against poorly released games, overhyped products, missing features etc really hasn't produced what gamers where after. Take a look at the multitude of newly released MMO's to know that our pleas for better games has fallen on deaf ears, and I can assure you it will remain that way for some considerable time to come.

    Overhype, preorder beta access etc is prolific for a reason, your competitior is doing it so you better damn well make sure your doing it aswell to get bums on seats. If you miss a single trick in pre-selling your product your the one that will be seeing poor sales come release day. If your product is the best thing since sliced bread then it will shine through in the end, but those first few weeks will certainly dent your profits, and your competitors will be laughing all the way to the bank.


  • RinnaRinna Las Vegas, NVPosts: 388Member
    Just organize the boycotts and have a decent way to spread the word for all of us that follow. Im sick of feeling bent over a barrel with over promises and under delivers by big money game companies as well.

    No bitchers.

  • lugallugal Escondido, CAPosts: 650Member Uncommon
    How can we as gamers trust the game media? We can not. Just seeing how this site overhyped swtor and gave it one of the highest scores ever, alongside constant adds of course. Integrity in the game media is hard to believe.

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    The reviewer has a mishapen head
    Which means his opinion is skewed

  • RobbgobbRobbgobb Dallas, TXPosts: 453Member Uncommon

    I am slowly getting to where I buy less and less games unless it is a single player game or out for a while and heavily discounted. I appreciate this article. I realized that I can't bring myself to buy any more MMOs. Doesn't mean I won't buy packages for certain games if I have tried them or if I can spend a small amount to help fund something I would like to see.


    FF XIV is the only MMO that I truly want to go back to. I am lifetime to the Secret World. I like that game though still has issues. There are games I am interested in but haven't tried Neverwinter so have hard time wanting to buy a package for it. This report is one that is something that I had already decided. I just don't trust companies any more to proper release products worth the money that they charge. When a shooter game costs $60 and need to buy season pass for a year of DLC then that mean the game normally is costing $100 plus. And if you don't like the game?


    I know we have moved from being able to take games to a friend and let them play it but I feel too many games are about having as little as possible to get people in and finding ways to get them to pay for more. Tera is example of a game I had pre-ordered and got to test it and realized that I needed to cancel pre-order. I am not saying FF XIV is, was or will be great to most. I know that it scratches the itch I have but I still held off buying when it first came out. Things can look great but then be horrible. Thank you again for the article so as a consumer that already does hold back on most games it helped me understand better the choice I have made.

  • Attend4455Attend4455 BirminghamPosts: 161Member


    I think it's probably unfair to single out MMORPG for over-hyping SWTOR. I read Massively most days as well and the level of hype was pretty much the same and didn't appear to me to be driven solely by the gaming sites.

    The amount of unrealistic expectation amongst players was, to me, jaw-dropping.


    I sometimes make spelling and grammar errors but I don't pretend it's because I'm using a phone

  • MadnessRealmMadnessRealm Montreal, QCPosts: 2,716Member Uncommon

    I've long stopped pre-ordering games, I've done it once and it was the last time I did it. Not that my experience with pre-order was overly bad, but I felt that the notion of buying something before it's even out on the grounds of pretty words by developers to be silly and in most case outright lies.

    I also stopped reading reviews to determine whether I should buy a product or not. My problem with reviewers is that they always have limited insight into the game they critic because of time constraint and/or personal bias. So usually what happens now is that I'll only read reviews of a game I've already bought and played or for a game I've no intention of buying, just to see what people think of it.

    The recent events with games like D3, SimCity, SWTOR, GW2, Aliens, etc have only made it much more clear to me NOT to buy into the hype and instead wait it out and see what happens, or try them out for free before making a judgement call. It has saved me a lot of money so far.

    Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!

  • MumboJumboMumboJumbo LondonPosts: 3,219Member Uncommon

    Generic response: "Your message is important to us."



  • allendale5allendale5 kansas city, MOPosts: 124Member

    Such a good article and one that focuses on a concept that really needs to be talked about more often.  I've said it before and I'll say it again: we gamers do not have any collective power because we simply do not have any collective unity.  


    Charge me $5/mo for being in a gamer's union; I don't care, I would gladly pay the $60 per year.  We no longer can stand by and be satisfied with our little forum rants; we need force, the kind of force that is only achieved by standing next to and up for our fellow gamers.  

  • marksteelemarksteele Newtonville, ONPosts: 26Member

    you make it sound like its easy, but its not. Just about every single country in the world has laws (or lackthereof) designed to screw gamers out of getting back at companies for bad games. Take refunds for example. Got a digital version of simcity? Too bad, no refunds. 

    To make it worse EA activly patrols their forums taking town threads from people posting refund tips. They have also been regularaly deleteing posts that contain THEIR OWN SUPPORT NUMBER.



  • RodentofdoomRodentofdoom NottinghamPosts: 273Member

    I never pre-order anything.

    I wishlist it on steam, and then wait for the price to drop in a midweek/weekend sale.


    On the point of legality and ownership, I am purchasing a PRODUCT. I very much doubt that any EA employee/representative still owns the very first car they purchased. If I am, as they maintain, purchasing Intillectual Property ... wheres my f%^king source code on the damn disk, because I can't find it.

  • grimfallgrimfall Missouri City, TXPosts: 1,156Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lugal
    How can we as gamers trust the game media? We can not. Just seeing how this site overhyped swtor and gave it one of the highest scores ever, alongside constant adds of course. Integrity in the game media is hard to believe.

    You can't take one review you don't agree with and say that the site is rigging scores.  I prefer SWTOR to Guildwars 2, yet the voters here think GW2 is a better game.  It doesn't mean they're wrong, it just means that I weigh things differently.

    WoW has an 8.1 score, do you really think they've spent less money over the years here than SWTOR has?

  • AwDiddumsAwDiddums Great YarmouthPosts: 400Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by lugal
    How can we as gamers trust the game media? We can not. Just seeing how this site overhyped swtor and gave it one of the highest scores ever, alongside constant adds of course. Integrity in the game media is hard to believe.

    The media in general has been proven to be as morally corrupt as any other industry, more so in some ways. Phone hacking to gain lurid details of families who have lost loved ones to horrendous crimes. Paying the police to provide inside info on explosive cases that "are in the interest of the general public". The list of wrong doings by the media is long and sickening.

    I find it laughable for journalists to berate other industries for thier poor behaviour when they themselves are very willing to sink to any low to break a story.


  • CypeqCypeq TychyPosts: 66Member

    Victor in ideal world we wouldn't be impulsive and as easy to manipulate as right now but the fact is that is our nature you are praising reason while one third of Diablo's 3 initial sales were made in preorders. Blizzard told us they wouldn't release unifinished game and they did... we are closing in on a year from release and there is still no promised PvP and horrible necesity of always online was suddenly not so necesary when they sniffed extra dollars on console market.

    Back in the day every game had something called demo version that went along or even before game release. Well I don't live in usa so it happened that english demo was available before distribution had game localized and released here.

    No big company would release a game without demo it was a form of fair promotion like "Hey that's our new game play few hours and see how you like it!".

    As soon as serious marketing teams showed up the demo versions became something of rarity up to almost non existent. Because if people play demo and judge that they didn't really like  the game that would be devastating on initial sales. So the demo versions started to come out month  after the release. Now the demo version show up months after release (if at all) in different format like steam's free weekends. Biggest titles don't see demo versions at all.

    We can't avoid that piracy became form of unlimited demo for people that don't feel like this industry constant lies about what the game has to offer is fair.  Some people have very limited budget and are only willing to support companies which games they liked a lot.

  • BattlerockBattlerock Youngstown, OHPosts: 1,393Member
    The same cause of your frustration has turn the hearts of people on the fence like me black. You cant quite get there because you love games greater than I.
  • Gurnee, ILPosts: 5Member
    100000% right! | GeekDrop Facebook Fan Page | GeekDrop Twitter
    Recently voted the interweb's #1 "Geek" site.

  • AethaerynAethaeryn Woodstock, ONPosts: 2,004Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by AwDiddums

    Taking a stand against poorly released games, overhyped products, missing features etc really hasn't produced what gamers where after. 

    What stand was taken?

    Wa min God! Se æx on min heafod is!

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,019Member Uncommon

    Good article.  Even now I  gotten to the point of not pre-ordering anything.  I will sit back, wait and see what happens.  Gamers only have themselves to blame when they continute down this path of going ohhh look I get goodies, only to turn around later and flame on the game due to it's pour design.

    I for one sure am happy I did not get sim city.  I used to love that game, but this new one what a mess.  EA just continues to blow it time after time, and it is apparent is is the money they want, not the customer. 


  • dgarbinidgarbini San Jose, CAPosts: 185Member
    Probably one of the better (if not best) articles written on this site, thank you for that and keep it up please.
  • TithenonTithenon Everett, WAPosts: 111Member Uncommon

    Here I was, all set to be angry with you, and the remainder of the gaming community, for bitching about MMORPGs when THEIR input was sought and used to build a game.  I can't be angry with this article, however, because you lay out some things that are relatively truthful.  As long as we accept the behavior of game developers and publishers, in this regard, we are supporting them as being correct, and they will continue to develop what they believe we see as right, and are willing to support by giving them money for it.


    Now, if you want to talk about what I originally thought this article was about, game companies should just build the damn games, and announce Closed Beta when they've done their internal testing.  This seeking the advice of gamers as to what they want to see in a game poisons the original vision the developers of the game have, and that just turns the game into another grind-fest-y ball of garbage.

  • Segun777Segun777 Jade Dynasty Correspondent Lemont, PAPosts: 97Member
    Yes, because cheating and hacking had nothing to do with the online choice, it was enitirely business related. Yet, woe the company that has a game with an online side that hasn't cracked down on cheating. You can't cry about games that have rampant cheating in their online portions and they turn around and whine about online-only games.
  • AwDiddumsAwDiddums Great YarmouthPosts: 400Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Aethaeryn
    Originally posted by AwDiddums

    Taking a stand against poorly released games, overhyped products, missing features etc really hasn't produced what gamers where after. 

    What stand was taken?

    Stand = Not buying a product from a piss poor developer.

    Your not keeping up with this thread now are you.


  • gunderakgunderak Virginia Beach, VAPosts: 8Member

    Amazing article!


    Only thing I would add is for such a type movement to succeed is that there needs to be a group of 4 or more reviewers (maybe on this site) that make it a point to preorder and get into betas for the sole purpose of beating down the BS hype.


    Stuff like that only works with a group because everyone can check each other to make sure no one falls into they're marketing traps.

  • Matticus75Matticus75 Posts: 396Member Uncommon

    Most of this is not the devs or even the gaming companies fault, more closer to the investers and the enviroment it produces. That Enviroment is one where investors exploit gamers eagerness to want to try and play new games.

    Gamers do not shop around

  • dgarbinidgarbini San Jose, CAPosts: 185Member
    Originally posted by Matticus75
    Gamers do not shop around

    Gamers cannot shop around, there is no true competition in the game industry.  If there was all of these companies and bad practices would disappear.  This is a major issue with todays mega corps and psuedo monopolies that extend into almost everything we buy today.  I'd love to see true competition brought back, but until then a hungry gamer will play most any POS you put infront of them.  That has been one of there tactics, keep the gamer hungry.

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