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Why did people freak out over Ubisoft nerfing graphics, but not CD Project for Witcher 3?
Probably the biggest reason is that CD Projekt came out and acknowledged and apologized for the discrepancy. They then went on to release like 12 weeks of free dlc.
The issue with Ubi is that its often not just the graphics, but also gameplay features that get gutted as well.
Because Red makes good games and ubisoft tends to shit them out like EA
Bandwagoning. That's the answer. People, regardless of actual experience want to hop on to bandwagons. It's why Duke Nukem Forever got shit all over too. It wasn't an amazing game, but it was pretty good. If the amount of people who said it was shit actually played it, it would have been one of the top selling games ever. Another one that's carried over through time is ATI/AMD drivers. Ati released some crap ones over a decade ago, but people enjoyed the bandwagon so much they just kept it going. Even after they had released stable releases for years.
Then there is the short sighted "Make everything on steam cause origin and everything else sucks". Well origin has been crazy stable for years now. Requires less updates than steam, and updates super fast too. Plus... do you really want steam to have a complete 100 percent monopoly? They can dictate whatever they want if that happens.
So there you have it... most people complain when it's certain target companies to be part of bandwagons. These are people with little to no experience and they are dangerously stupid.
Most peeps still run on cheap ass PC's, for optimal game experience vs for optimal marketing experience so the new deal is show the game at the very best it can for marketing, though it won't properly play that smoothly so they cut some stuff back.
On the case of Watch Dogs there was that patch that enabled some high end graphical settings that quite hurt the game experience, even though it looked shiny on the videos.