A comment on Massively caught my attention this morning:
“It is truly amazing to me how the gamers have changed over the years. Now all they do is complain. This is whats wrong with the MMO industry, They have spoon fed most of ya to the point where nothing they do now will impress. too many spoiled gamers!
Give the game a chance, 99% of ya have not even played the game yet. So we all know what assumptions do. Just sayin.”
It’s not a particularly new comment – people have been stating this for years. And while I do agree with the comment, it’s tempered by the reality of obligations and priorities that I think many of us face in the Real World. Also, I think the assessment of “spoiled gamers”, while probably true in many cases, is also too simplistic.
It’s all well and good to say, “Give ’em a chance!”. Especially because Masthead is an independent studio trying to put out a game that actually takes some chances in it’s design. I want to give them a chance; I would love nothing more than to reward that type of risk-taking. But the comment above is the statement of, I presume, a young gamer; at the least, someone with few real obligations and plenty of disposable income.
For many of us, this kind of attitude just isn’t realistic (especially in this economic climate). Money is tight, and free time is even more precious. After all of my real obligations have been fulfilled (bills, food, diapers, kids, etc.) the money I have to feed this hobby is pretty limited. I’m lucky in that I don’t have to make any “hard” decisions, but I’m probably in the minority in this regard these days. (Not that “food or games” is a hard decision). Take a look at sales figures for the gaming industry over the last year or so and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Sure, some games are setting all-time sales records. Even MMOs. But overall the industry is suffering just like the rest of the world.
So, yes, Haukeye, I would love to just give Masthead a chance and drop 50 bucks on a game that hasn’t proven itself, or even really sold me on its ability to execute. I’d love to be able to take them on their word that the features they describe are actually in the game, work as they should, and are fun. But I don’t have that luxury; I have to carefully pick and choose where I place my dollars and where I spend my time. And free time is really the catch here – I’m not going to shell out serious cash for a game I’ll never play. I don’t have the funds to just throw money away.
I’m not a “spoiled gamer”; I’m a middle-class husband and father. If a game company wants my money, they better damn well prove the value in what they’re selling.
So far, Masthead hasn’t done that with Earthrise. So, sadly, I have to play wait-and-see. But I’ll be watching, closely.