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We Are Not ‘Entitled’

Christina Gonzalez Posted:
Columns The Social Hub 0

Given that WoW brought many people into the genre, is it any wonder that some of those features might be in demand among players? That isn’t a call against innovation--because anything can get tired after a while--but one against using supposed “entitlement” as a way to dismiss others’ opinions. No, there wasn’t some sort of outbreak of entitlement. There were developers and publishers that offered us a few new things, especially when it comes to free to play, and thus a one week trial became less than good enough. People started questioning subscription fees once they saw that some devs ran successful hybrid games or implemented additional revenue sources like shops. The practical value changed.

Before, you either had to judge based on a short trial (or play on a friend’s account for a while) whether or not to plunk down a box fee and a subscription. When a few games ditched their subs, it showed that it was possible. Combined with some of the changes in development direction many were not satisfied with, one might say that on the one hand, devs and publishers shot themselves in the foot by gutting the value of a box fee in a world where there were increasing numbers of freemium games. Combined with player restlessness and an increase in MMO tourism because of greater MMO choice, it’s no wonder that a number of people will say they will “wait until it goes free to play” when a game comes out. Many games have in the past several years, with the industry training the audience with its numerous examples.

Sometimes a few moves in an industry can change that industry and it’s imperative to catch up. Games saved by going free to play had their complaints, but they were actively tempering the genre. To blame the gamers for now wanting what companies have given them, and in essence, for the turns the industry has taken, is misguided. That would be like Kodak blaming people for taking pictures on their phones and digital cameras. You have to modernize and give players an experience (or service, or features) they want, and at the perceived value they’re willing to support. By the way, Kodak’s website today reads, in part, “Kodak is a technology company focused on imaging for business”.

Personally, I’m fine with paying a subscription to get a whole game experience. What I’m not okay with is stifling discussion and placing blame on the players for the state of the genre today. As I’ve said before in this space, the MMO is undergoing its shift, its evolution, and we should be focusing on the games we all want to play. Smaller games have increased significance, and free to play isn’t going anywhere. Blaming some phantom “entitlement” does nothing to help anything. It merely dismisses or attempts to silence part of the player population when we're all part of the current reality of the genre. It’s okay to criticize, to think bad decisions were made, and to even complain. Play what you love, encourage what you want to see, but listen to others too.

Christina Gonzalez / Christina is a freelancer and contributor to MMORPG.com, where she writes the community-focused Social Hub column. You will also find her contributions at RTSGuru. Follow her on Twitter: @c_gonzalez

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Christina Gonzalez

Christina is MMORPG.COM’s News Editor and a contributor since 2011. Always a fan of great community and wondering if the same sort of magic that was her first guild exists anymore.