When Gamers Get Greedy: The Issue Of Entitlement Among Franchise Fans
The issue of gamer entitlement is one that has been talked about a lot, especially this year with the whole Mass Effect 3 ending debacle. So why do a lot of gamers seem to feel so entitled? Should gamers be able to demand things from developers and publishers? I will answer these questions and more as I attempt to break down the issue of gamer entitlement.
Video games are unique in the fact that their fan base is seemingly becoming more and more entitled every year. You simply don’t see this kind of entitlement with other entertainment mediums. If a movie comes out that has a terrible ending, you don’t hear people demanding that the director and actors film a new one. The same goes for music and television as well. You may hear people complaining about a certain movie or CD, but there is a big difference between voicing your dissatisfaction with something and demanding that it be altered in some way that will take time and money from the people who created it in the first place.
The main argument I hear from the aforementioned gamers is that none of those other mediums are interactive, so you can’t compare them to video games. While it’s true that neither film nor music have the same interactivity that video games do, that doesn’t change the fact that these gamers are trying to force developers and publishers into a desired action. Have you ever purchased a CD that turned out to not be as good as you hoped? For most people the answer to that question is probably yes. Now did you proceed to contact the person/band and demand that they record new tracks for the CD? I highly doubt it, because most people realize that would be an absurd course of action. You get over it and move on.
I was one of the fans of the Mass Effect series who was disappointed with the endings when the game first released. I went on the Bioware forums and talked with other fans about why we disliked how the ending was handled, but that’s where my involvement ended. I didn’t start a petition to get the endings changed, or boycott the game by not playing it, and I certainly didn’t file a complaint with the FTC. The fact that Bioware caved and made the “Extended Cut” DLC is a double edged sword. I was happy to get a little more content that did a better job of providing closure to the trilogy, but at the same time it showed all of those gamers that all they have to do is make enough noise and they will get what they want.
There have been a couple issues over the past week or so that really drove me to write this article. The first one being the responses from PS3 gamers upon hearing that the system might not be getting any of the Skyrim DLC. Ever since Bethesda’s community lead said that the issue with the DLC was something they weren’t positive that they could even fix, many PS3 gamers have taken to bashing Bethesda and Sony alike. I understand being upset that the content might not find its way to the PS3, but to imply that you are entitled to a refund on your copy of Skyrim because of it is just asinine. You purchase a game in order to play the core game, not because of the hope for future DLC. While I feel that PS3 gamers should get an apology, anything more than that is just being greedy.
The other recent issue that has made me ashamed of some of my fellow gamers is the completely uncalled for rage against Platinum Games and Nintendo over the announcement of Bayonetta 2 being a Wii U exclusive. If you haven’t seen some of the outrageous tweets directed at the two companies you can check them out here. Slamming Nintendo and Platinum Games without knowing the facts of the situation is, for lack of a better word, stupid. Having to purchase a Wii U in order to play a sequel to one of your favorite games may not be ideal, but at the end of the day exclusives are a part of the industry so you can either keep complaining to no avail or just learn to deal with it. The fact of the matter is that Nintendo saved the franchise from dying. Sega wasn’t willing to publish a sequel to Bayonetta, so Nintendo stepped in and agreed to fund it in return for it being a Wii U exclusive. It was a very smart move by Nintendo, and a Wii U exclusive Bayonetta 2 is much better than no Bayonetta 2 at all.
The issue of gamer entitlement is not one that is likely to end anytime soon. There will always be gamers out there who feel like they are owed whatever they want just because they purchased a title. I am not saying that we as gamers shouldn’t be acknowledged or that our feedback shouldn’t be taken into account by developers and publishers, but the line between respectfully voicing your concerns and rudely demanding certain results is one that is being crossed entirely too often as of late.