For some reason there are people who are fans of entire video game companies, and not just the creative results they produce. These people often have certain gamer brain stress and can lead to thoughts like “This is my favorite company” or “This studio is perfect and all of their games are good”.
I can kind of understand why. For a while there were a number of companies (be they developers, publishers, or both) who were really so adored by their fans, fans who thought there were developers and publishers in the world who only released guaranteed hits who could no wrong. It was a short list, but an impressive one: some prominent members include Rockstar, Bethesda, Bioware, Blizzard, and CD Projekt Red.
The so-called fans of these companies – the company, remember, not the individual series or games they released – may feel that the hits are just going to move on forever because of their recent track record, for any mid-twosome -Bit publishing house to fool customers and publish half-hearted games, their heroes stood as examples of how to do things Law
Not correct. Pretty much every company I’ve just listed has pissed a lot of people off over the past seven years, sometimes because of the quality of the games they have released, sometimes because of their public behavior, sometimes because of both! And for anyone who has ever mistakenly believed these companies were “good,” it was a reminder that time goes on and on and nothing in this world is constant except death and Nintendo as an exception to everything I write will.
Whatever circumstances led you to believe that a studio was perfect, whatever lightning bolt in a bottle they captured for a console cycle or two at a time would never last. The economy that underlies this industry is constantly changing, companies are adapting to respond, and at the same time the broader place of gambling in society is forever on the move.
Let’s use Blizzard as our first example. Loved for a long line of games like Stars ship, Diablo, World of Warcraft and Overwatch, the Company More recently, Yakety Sax has been battling through some serious political controversy, almost canceled a game in the strangest possible way and has seen an exodus of talent as owner Activision puts the pressure on.
Or how about organic goods? Of DIRTY to Jade Empire to Mass effect and Dragon time, By the ’00s, they proved themselves to be masters of modern day western RPG, and for a while they felt they couldn’t make a bad game if they tried. But after a little waver between Mass Effect 3 and Dragon Age InquisitionBioware also disappointed many Andromeda, then shit all over the bed anthem, a game that no one asked for, but that can’t die either.
Rockstar may continue to release brilliant games, but theirs Working conditions sound like hell. Bethesda breathed new life Wolfensteinmilked it then dry botched Fallout 76’s Start in almost any way imaginable. And CD Projekt Red released the widely recognized The Witcher 3 beforehand good We’re living through this right now.
It all sucks. And while it’s easy to just say that any company’s missteps are due to the time, karma, or just bad luck catching up with them, and isolating each factor and pointing the fingers accordingly, they sure have a lot in common when you do look at them all so thrown together.
With each of these studios, money fucked. Whether it’s corporate property trying to get a dollar out of a recognizable brand, or teams greedily reaching for markets / genres they didn’t understand, or management refusing to properly pay their employees or to mentor, video games are becoming more common, the breathless willingness to partake in the wildest excesses of capitalism in the past decade may have resulted in millions of games sold, but it has also resulted in so many tarnished reputations and dead talent.
These companies – remember, they are! – are not and have never been perfect, and if events of the past seven years have shown us anything, you should never assume they were there at all. These were not falls from grace. You are as usual.
TO UPDATE: To explain the Nintendo comment above as I get some interesting emails and tweets about it from course Nintendo has fallen for its fans over the yearsand it’s happening right now with things like copyright and tournaments. But it has always mad people, right back to his Wolfenstein/.Mortal Kombat Days and has always carried on successfully, regardless of that.
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