Editorial: Speaking with our Wallets

I was filled with hope when I heard the recent news about the closure of the barely 3 month old All Points Bulletin. Now before I am accused of kicking a game while it’s down, let me explain. I did not buy the game. I barely followed the game as it developed. I cared very little when it was released.  Most importantly, this article isn’t about APB. No, this article is about the many sub-par games being released in rapid succession due to a seemly popular developer slogan of “If you build it, they will come.”

It seems to me that the market is finally starting to demand quality over quantity. Shutting down a few titles seems to be only the beginning. Seems everywhere I go, I see reports of people cancelling their preorder of Final Fantasy XIV. I see the same complaints about poor construction and lack of content that I do in every recent release, but this time I hear something different: the word “Cancel”. Complaints do very little towards swaying a developer generally, but something magical happens when we stop spending money. By not paying for incomplete games, the developers must pay attention. After all, they built it, and you didn’t come.

Why does this give me hope? I’m just one man but, as your temporary-seer, it appears that this isn’t about one or two games. It seems we are moving to an age where, by demanding quality games, we will see fewer incomplete games, and the ones that ARE released have the quality to stay kicking for more than a year.

It appears that we, the market, are now speaking with our wallets.  I for one am truly eager to see if I’m right. Where have you recently invested your MMO dollars properly either by purchasing a new game, or by cancelling a bad one?

4 Comments

  1. I could not agree more. There is alot more competition in the market, people aren’t going to stand for games being released with obvious flaws.

  2. I also agree. I never understood how these games could be making enough money to pay back their bills. But people kept buying the next big thing, regardless of its state. thats finally starting to change.

    Like you, I never played, or really cared about APB. But its sad to see a non-WoW clone get canned so fast. Because its going to cause more dev’s/pub’s to lose even more trust in anything that is not a guaranteed money printer. Hopefully people also stop buying clone’s and obvious cash-in sequels.

    I think this is another reason that PC games are not as big anymore. In general, we are more discerning, less willing to buy the exact same game with a face lift and a couple name changes. All those obvious cash-ins are pirated instead. Publishers blame the piracy, instead of the shitty games.

  3. Very nice Tim, I have the same feeling about the avalanche of F2P games that bombard us but never actually build enough hype to register on my (should I try that) radar.

  4. I personally prefer subscription models for MMOs, but I think the F2P tsunami is unstoppable.

    Grats on the post, Tim :)

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