In the year 2021, everyone is probably used to hearing criticism from everywhere. This is wrong, this is bad, and this is why - everyone is always dissatisfied with something. But in some cases, you can't do without criticism: when companies make mistakes and don't want to fix them, the only thing that can save the situation is mass discontent, angry posts on social networks, and petitions. We remember, when "gamers are in rage" not only made a big deal out of this, but really helped to make the gaming industry better.
Get Stronger for Donate.
One of the elements of Marvel's Avengers promotion campaign was the developers' voluntary refusal from gameplay-impacting microtransactions. The authors assured that the money will only be able to buy skins for their superheroes, but to get an advantage for real dollars is not possible.
At the launch of the game and for some time after, the publisher was true to its word. But in the fall, the action game was added to Xbox Game Pass, and the number of players in the virtually dead game skyrocketed. Square Enix decided it was time to tweak the monetization: not only did they cut campaign rewards, but they also added an add-on that boosted the game's character upgrades.
The players began to be outraged, but the publisher was in no hurry to give up the extra money. The online storm lasted a month: in early November Square Enix still removed the boosters, apologizing for not keeping their promise.
Free Enhancements on PS5.
In early September 2021, Sony opened pre-orders for Horizon Forbidden West. But the happy fans were in for an unpleasant surprise: the game's purchase on PS4 and PS5 were divided, and for some reason they didn't allow us to upgrade PS4-version to PS5 version. The only option that allows you to get two versions of the game at once is the more expensive extended edition.
Perhaps in any other period players would not have been so crushed by this decision, but due to the shortage of consoles, the decision was reacted extremely negatively. Many had planned to buy Horizon Forbidden West on PS4 and then upgrade to the enhanced version when the PS5 was finally available in the free market. But Sony offered to pay another $70, and everyone didn't like it - the publisher was criticized by the media, bloggers and players.
It took the company three days to change its decision. As a result, Horizon Forbidden West will get two versions at once in the standard edition.
Players are not allowed to spend any money.
Another Sony-related scandal erupted in the spring of 2021. In March, the company announced the closure of the PlayStation Store on the PS3, Vita and PSP. Users were promised to leave the ability to download purchased games, apps and multimedia, but to buy something new - no. The company explained that maintaining the servers has become financially unprofitable, and it is better to focus on the development of new technologies.
But the player base on these platforms was big enough. Or at least loud enough: in social networks began to demand to leave the store, because to find on sale many PS3-games on physical media is problematic. Prices on the secondary market flew up, too.
After nearly three weeks, Sony changed its mind. The company confirmed that the PlayStation Store will continue to work on PS3, Vita and PSP, so that everyone will still have the opportunity to buy old hits. At least for now.
From dirt to princely.
The Star Wars shooter is a perfect example of how you can easily piss off literally half the planet, but make the right decision at the last moment. Shortly before release it was revealed that EA plans to aggressively monetize Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and to unlock one heroic character, like Darth Vader, you will have to spend insane 30-40 hours in multiplayer.
The Internet after this news, as they say, "broke". Users wrote angry posts, and all attempts of EA to justify themselves in the forums drowned in the minuses. The company now holds the Guinness World Record for the worst comment in the history of Reddit.
The day before the release, the publisher got tired of fighting, turned off microtransactions, reduced the price of heroes and abolished the system of Loot Boxes. So Star Wars fans got one of the best games in the franchise: beautiful, big, exciting, and without having to spend extra money. We've even recently returned to the shooter and will soon tell you why it's worthy of the attention of all Star Wars fans.
Not stolen, but inspired.
At the end of August 2021, Epic Games unveiled the "Imposters" mode for Fortnite. In it, eight agents must figure out two traitors who are sabotaging the work of the rest of the group. Doesn't it remind you of anything? Sure, Among Us, an indie game that suddenly gained popularity a few years after its release.
Game studios borrow other people's ideas all the time, but the authors of Fortnite didn't just use InnerSloth's gameplay mechanics this time around. Epic shamelessly stole the terminology, effectively making a slightly more expensive version of a popular game.
InnerSloth took offense, but didn't threaten the competitors, simply tweeting that it was "just a typical indie developer's day-to-day". But the studio was defended by fans, who demanded from Epic Games to publicly acknowledge the authors of the original, and better generally remake the mode so that it was not a complete clone of Among Us. It wasn't until October that the creators of Fortnite publicly stated that they were "inspired" by the indie hit and suggested that InnerSloth arrange a joint crossover. The team agreed, but how it will all come to fruition is still a mystery.
It's so bad it's even funny.
One of the most underrated games in recent years was WWE 2K20, a wrestling simulator. On Metacrititc the game got a shameful 1.5 out of 10 points for a huge number of bugs. Characters were twisting, breaking, flying around the arena and doing other insane things - it's hard to watch videos with glitch picks without laughing.
They laughed so hard at the game that 2K decided to cancel WWE 2K21. Franchise writer Justin Leeper said that all the problems were due to a change of developers: Visual Concepts replaced Yuke's, but didn't have time to figure out the production process. So instead of WWE 2K21, WWE 2K22 was immediately announced, and the new team decided to give more time. Whether the company has learned from its mistakes, we will find out as early as March 2022.
Voluntary Denuvo Waiver.
It is no secret that the Denuvo anti-piracy protection affects the performance of games. There are dozens of tests on the web proving that disabling DRM causes an increase in FPS and level loading speed - sometimes we talk about a gain of as much as 30 frames or tens of seconds.
The critics of anti-piracy protection were listened by the authors of the strategy game Humankind. After the news about the performance problems in Resident Evil Village and fan fears, the developers decided to refuse Denuvo and removed the program from the final version.
The fans loved the decision, but the game has a lot of problems even without it. But the team does not give up and continues to release updates.
Saving on players.
Fallout 76 release was accompanied by constant scandals. Firstly the first buyers were scolded, because a few days after the release the game was sold at a discount. Then Bethesda was sued for unfair trade because of its unwillingness to return money to dissatisfied customers.
But it was the collector's edition that caused the most dissatisfaction. Bethesda replaced the canvas bag with a nylon bag at the last minute because "it's cheaper." All outraged support coolly denied, noting that there were not even any plans to address the problem. At the same time bloggers and streamers were sent a canvas bag to promote the game, which, of course, further enraged the ordinary players.
Bethesda was threatened with legal action, scolded on social networks and called to boycott the game. In the end, the company took the path of correction: began sending canvas bags, although it took a little over six months to fulfill the promise. Fallout 76 itself also received numerous patches and fixes, eventually managing to convince players to change their anger for mercy.
It takes more personal data.
The Oculus Quest line remains perhaps the best in the VR segment. The low price, ability to work with PC and Steam, no wires and great features all make buying any version of the helmet a great buy. However, with the release of Oculus Quest 2, Meta wanted to collect more personal data and made users link the helmets to their Facebook account.
Of course, users didn't like that. Facebook remains one of the leaders in collecting personal information as it is, and integrating the account into the helmet threatened other problems. The Oculus Quest 2, for example, has a microphone and plenty of cameras that can record what's going on. Given the development of porn in VR, it's unlikely that users want anyone to be able to peep on them at that moment.
Facebook's decision has long been criticized, with customers going to all sorts of tricks to cheat the social network tie-in. After the rebranding to Meta, the company said it had changed its mind - no more Oculus Quest will require a Facebook login. The change will go into effect in 2022, and for now one can only wonder what it was, besides user dissatisfaction, that made Mark Zuckerberg change his plan.
Advertising to the brain.
In June 2021, Facebook announced plans to bring advertising to games on Oculus Quest. The company was supposedly going to find out "profitability in the growing, but complex field of game development", and the field for experiments was the paid PvP action Blaston. According to the idea of the game appeared real billboards, and users had a choice - to click on the ad and open it in your browser or save a link to the future. Profits from the ads would be shared by Facebook (now Meta) and the game's developer.
Players did not appreciate the news about advertising in a paid game. Steam immediately began to destroy Blaston's rating, and after a few days the studio made a statement - there will be no ads in the game. It should be noted here that the battle was won, but not the war: it was decided to test the advertising in Bait!, another game of the studio, but at least it is distributed for free.
Video game fans are a very demanding and sophisticated audience, constantly demanding revolutions, new ideas and perfect technology from developers. And in the cases listed above, their complaints really helped make the gaming experience more enjoyable. The only frustrating thing is that often the accusations are either off-topic or misdirected. Players like to lash out at, say, voice actors and regular developers for decisions that are usually made by the publisher and studio bosses.