Top Six: Things Gamers Said They Wanted But Didn’t

Gamers are a greedy, fickle bunch, and we love nothing more than having our cake and eating it too. For every developer or publisher that tries to please us by making a fan-service game or getting sequels out faster, there’s thousands of gamers who will flock to the forums decrying the release dates and the addition of rainbows.

While gamer hypocrisy has been on the rise for a long time, it’s reached a critical mass within the last few years. Come inside and take a journey as we discover the top six things gamers said they really wanted, but actually didn’t.

Halo Set on Earth

top six odst

Ever since the 2005 E3 demo of Halo 2, people have been left salivating, wondering what a Halo game taking place on our blue marble would be like. Finally, in 2009, Bungie answered our demands…with ODST. While some thought the game was decent, the greater public opinion was that the title was a quick cash-in looking to bank on the Halo name and the nerd-boner worthy voice cast. Small additions like the cool VISR mode and Firefight did placate fans, but the fact that the latter didn’t have matchmaking pissed more people off than not. What we wanted was Master Chief stomping around Earth smashing alien skulls; what we got was Nathan Fillion smarming his way through chatty orange midgets.

Fast Sequels

top six call of duty

For years, the bane of many a gamer has been the long time between sequels and anticipated games. Waiting three of four years just wouldn’t cut it for us, and the publishers wanted to get products out faster to pad their bottom line every year. While it may seem that a sequel to a successful franchise within a year is a dream come true, the minute Activision announced that they had annualized Call of Duty, or Valve and Ubisoft declared a year turn around for their Left 4 Dead and Assassin’s Creed series, gamers went bananas. Never mind that the Madden franchise had been doing this for years, these were games for the hardcore, not the frat boys! Well too bad, sonny. Be careful what you wish for.

Changing Mechanics

top six mass effect 2

Here’s another puzzler for you: why do gamers always say they want developers to change things up, and then the moment they do, gamers pine for the days gone by. Take Mass Effect 2 and Halo: Reach, for example. With Mass Effect one, people thought it was a great game, but the inventory was buggy, slow to utilize and just plain broken. When Mass Effect 2 came out, people wondered where their clunky inventory had gone. It’s like they were expecting the game to be flawed! The same goes for Halo: Reach. After years of essentially the same gameplay, Bungie decided to mix it up and add Armor Abilities and bloom (a recoil mechanic) to their game. Instead of embracing these new ideas, those who felt slighted flocked to the Bungie forums to bemoan the changes.

DLC

top six undead nightmare

At the beginning of this generation, people seemed hyped about the possibilities that Downloadable Content (DLC) would bring. With Microsoft and Sony’s platforms Internet enabled and gamers bursting at the seams to continue adventures beyond what was on the discs, DLC seem poised to revolutionize the industry…and then we all realized that nobody knew how to price DLC worth a damn. After Microsoft’s first venture into that territory with Horse Armor for Oblivion failed, DLC pricing has been all over the place, from ten greenbacks for the excellent Undead Nightmare to fifteen dollars for a few Call of Duty maps. With pricing this erratic, gamer favor quickly turned away from Downloadable Content.

Multiplayer

top six assassins creed

The other side effect of Internet enabled consoles was the advent of multiplayer where gamers typically did not have it before. While PC gamers had been obliterating each other online since the early days of Quake, console gamers didn’t really have full, unfettered (subscription issues aside) access to online frag-fests until this generation. Since the technology was there, developers started deciding that every game should have a multiplayer component. Gamers were all for this until they realized that games whose strength was primarily in the single-player focus (BioShock and Assassin’s Creed) would be up for conversion into arenas for the legions of foul-mouthed twelve year olds that plague every console. While gamers complained and moaned about developers ruining their favorite games, it conspired that the multiplayer portions of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and BioShock 2 weren’t all that bad.

Hard-Ass Games

top six demons souls

It seems that for every game that has a long tutorial or one that offers a Super Guide to beat the level for you, gamers wax nostalgic about the “old days” when you couldn’t save your game and had to beat it in one sitting or when games would trash you over and over without you having the slightest idea why. As gamers seemed to be a bunch of hardcore difficulty thumpers, some developers like Codemasters and From Software said “You want hard games? Here, take Flashpoint and Demon’s Souls.” Once gamers got their hands on titles like these, you’d think the apocalypse had come. Flashpoint sucked in Call of Duty players with its similar presentation but its realistic leanings scared everyone off, and Demon’s Souls was characterized by an alarming lack of hand-holding and rampant player deaths. Gamers may say that they’re tired of developers building games for noobies, but given how many of them whine about Call of Duty on Veteran, I’d say that gamers are firmly entrenched in their ways.

So there it is, the gamer tendency to ask for things and then change their mind the minute they get them laid bare. Can you think of any more examples where the developers played to the tune gamers were calling and then got lambasted for their trouble? Go!

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

7 thoughts on “Top Six: Things Gamers Said They Wanted But Didn’t”

  1. Erratic DLC pricing? Oh GOD that is so true. Why do people let Activision get away with it? I’d like to point out that the gaming press hled Bioshock’s lack of multiplayer as a negative (some publications did anyway) but the idiot fans are the main culprits for most of the prevelant hypocrisy.
    Bioware seem to be putting out sequels at a decent rate though and there aren’t any complaints (but I guess 20 months is better than 12 and they’re diong 2 different franchises AND it’s diferent dev teams).

  2. Great article, and although I would disagree with your ODST point (and I’m sure Mitch is with me), I agree with everything. As Anthony has said before, gamers are some of the whiniest people in the world.

  3. Beans, Mitch wrote the article!

    Really good article. I really agree with DLC, which is a very tricky thing to get right for the console crowd. PC users were just used to free DLC because of user-generated maps, mods, skins, etc etc. It’s a big change for both sides, one used to getting it for free, and the other never having touched it.

  4. I don’t know about this list. Some of these things seem to be true, but I take issue with Multiplayer and Hard Games, to say the least. You used AC:B as an example of multiplayer, but critics enjoyed it and people play it, so how can you say players don’t want it?

    And Demon’s Souls is a game that, sure, people always say how hard it is, but it keeps selling! Word of mouth and critical acclaim have kept that game alive for two years after its (initial) release, and and 15 months after its US release. No one saw that coming. How does this translate into gamers not wanting hard games? It sounds like you’re amplifying the loud complaints of the few.

  5. [quote comment=”15440″]Great article, and although I would disagree with your ODST point (and I’m sure Mitch is with me), I agree with everything. As Anthony has said before, gamers are some of the whiniest people in the world.[/quote][quote comment=”15443″]Beans, Mitch wrote the article!

    Really good article. I really agree with DLC, which is a very tricky thing to get right for the console crowd. PC users were just used to free DLC because of user-generated maps, mods, skins, etc etc. It’s a big change for both sides, one used to getting it for free, and the other never having touched it.[/quote]
    Haha I thought it was Eddy! I thought it was Mitch who loved ODST, must have been confusing it with someone else then lol.

  6. [quote comment=”15444″] It sounds like you’re amplifying the loud complaints of the few.[/quote]

    That’s exactly what I did. Exaggeration for humorous effects, haha.

    @SK Beans, you’re right, I did like ODST a lot (not as much as Anthony claims), but like I said above, I took the ridiculous complaints people have made and turned it into an article making fun of them.

  7. I think any multiplayer is better than none as long as it doesn’t interfere with the quality of the single player. Don’t like multiplayer? Then don’t play it.

    Some DLC is good and some DLC is bad… The DLC that most people have a problem with is the DLC that unlocks content already on the disc or DLC that comes out right after the release that should have been on the disc or maybe just free. Some developers understand DLC as a way to add content to a game that wasn’t really thought of while the game was being made. Such as LittleBigPlanets paintinator and water content which were added because fans asked for it.

    Hard games? Games can be made hard with difficulty settings, which most are. Some like games easy and some like them hard. Put all difficultys in one game and then everyone can enjoy it.

    Sequels added every year does kind of annoy me, but I have never bought a Call of Duty game partly because of that reason. Its pretty much the same game just a different location and weapons and such. Call of Duty games also don’t really follow the same story sequel after sequel, so people could also just buy one Call of Duty game every 3 years and ignore the ones in between.

    Changing mechanics can be good if they sucked in the last game. Like I hear they did with aiming for Killzone 3.

    I have no opinion on Halo on Earth.

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