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First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - Frustrating Game Developers and Publishers

Sniperdoc writes: "I'm sure everyone has heard something similar before, but I guess I'm just kind of tired of video game consumers being treated as second best, so I'm going to unleash a bit.

I have recently bought Call Of Duty: World At War (WaW) and was really looking forward to playing the Co-Op mode with my friends. Because my friends didn't have the game, I ended up purchasing them WaW through Steam and gifting it to them. We tried playing Coop mode and noticed that it is extremely buggy. There are so many forum posts online about WaW Co-op problems that I'm amazed no one has tried to create a class-action lawsuit against Activision for false advertising.

This game has been out November 11th and I haven't seen anyone from Activision put forth one iota of public relations to elate users that something is wrong and that they're working on it.

Why is it that we, who buy games, get treated with such disregard? The industry complains about sales dropping and an increase in piracy... well... ummm... I don't have much to go on here, but maybe it has something to do with crappy product with zero support? Here is a fine example of support for games. I urge anyone to find a support phone number by navigating through Ubisoft's website. I'll even link the support site here. there's a contact link at the bottom which... lo-and-behold, takes you back to the linked support page.

It is like this for a lot of publishers and developers. Once you put your hard earned cash into their hands they could care less about what kind of service they provide to you, or what kind of support they're going to give to the product you purchased.

I am an IT Director, and I work with several vendors for a variety of genres such as hardware and software, and I don't have this kind of a problem! You would think, for an industry that is entirely based upon entertainment value, and keeping a large user base, because that is their main source of income, that you would want satisfied customers?! All I see with game publishers and developers is either "well, it's your problem", "it's XYZ's distributors problem" or "..." (no response at all). If I have a problem with my Accounting system, I call my developer and I say: "Hey! I have a problem!" and guess what... THEY FIX IT!

Yes, sure I understand that some of the products have support plans and SLA's etc. But, you would figure if you buy game X, and it doesn't do what it's supposed to do, that you could take it to their support staff and say: "It does NOT work. I'd like my money back." But, the industry is so greedy for cash, that you're/they're not allowed to. You can't do a dang thing to get your money back for a game that just ends up being a coaster for your drinks.

All the industry will tell you, is that there's just such a wide variety of systems out there they can't guarantee that it'll work... ummm... regular software vendors such as ESRI and Autodesk produce products that work with 3d visual environments and do way more important computational stuff that put games to shame. But THEY provide support? They don't hide THEIR phone numbers from the public.

If these companies have to hide their numbers because the influx of support calls is just too great, then there's a problem that needs to be remedied:
  1. Find better developers.
  2. Make more innovative games.
  3. Don't push for stringent deadlines on games as that only produces a bad product.
  4. Get the heck out of the business!

It just irks me to no end that publishers can't do the right thing. If you think a game is going to suck or cause a customer base uprising, WHY RELEASE IT?!?! Fix it and then release it.

Just yesterday, I purchased Empire Total War (ETW) and I purchased the Special Forces Edition version of the game. Just as a comparison, ETW is $49 and the SFE version is $69. Not only did they state that SFE would be a "limited edition", but they hyped it up with all these special goodies that come with it. Just as an example here was a part of my rant about the SFE on their forum:

I hope there's more to this Special Forces Edition than 6 measily units for 20 bucks. The included art book has like 15-16 pieces of work that already get displayed in the game itself as the campaign loading splash screens. The campaign map is amazingly F'd up. I can't believe that it's all in black and white. All the previous maps for Total War were full color. This is just a P.O.S. line drawing, there's not even any shading on the map. I haven't watched the History Channel DVD yet, but my gut is telling me that it's just a marketing tool. I'm going to go on a limb here and say that I bet this History Channel Revolution DVD has parts on it where the ETW engine is used to show tactics of some kind... which would really be lame. Overall I feel I've been slighted about 15 dollars. All the extras included in the Special Forces pack don't amount to 20 bucks for me... Other people that have purchased the Special Forces Edition can't tell me that they weren't disappointed with that...???

All the other versions of Total War had color maps, they had pullouts showing you the build trees for buildings, units, and different factions. The SFE was in no way shape or form worth $20 but yet they hype it up knowing the die-hards (like me) would fall for buying it. But what can we do... nothing. All of us keep falling for the same thing. We all are a part of the perpetual machine and letting developers and publishers get the better of us. When will it stop? When we pirate games so much because we don't trust the devs anymore that they'll just stop making games for PC or Consoles entirely???

Who is to blame? Is it the deveopers for producing half-baked products or is it us for not speaking up about it???"

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