Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Companies Minus the Public

Here is something that when it happens in the video game industry is considered cool and such, this is something few companies do, though most of the ones that do it are the well known ones.

What I am talking about is people from a company actually taking time to talk to fans, denying, or confirming things about their game, just talking about things, ect.

Why do only some companies do this? It seems like the more player feedback the better right? If people are continuously ask for something, then it's probably something good to add. Maybe people point things out that the developers didn't notice, whatever the way, to me it seems like a good idea to have a company to have contact with "The Outside World."

Some companies are doing this, like Kojima Productions(Metal Gear Solid), Bungie(Halo), Guerilla Games(Killzone), and more. This is a good step, it brings players that much closer to the developers, which is a good thing for many reasons, not the least of which is that some companies see to be up completely of people that have never played games, as sometimes games get released, and you just have to wonder about the people making it.

Often companies listen to fan feedback, and take what fans like to the drawing board, trying to incorporate what people like to make the game better, but sometimes, companies, sometimes one that even talk to their fans(Rebellion), but don't listen to them about things, which end hampering the game (Battlefront: Renegade Squadron).

Then there are companies that listen to fan feedback and make their product what the fans want, (Guerilla Games, Bungie), and this obviously pays off, as the companies that do this often come out with games that are generally considered the best.

Another thing that companies talking to fans does is give a face to some of these companies that would otherwise be just a name. Obviously some companies you will only know by their games, and name, where as some companies such as "Bungie" will be known also by the people that work there, that have shown themselves to the public, (Frankie of Bungie).

It's easy to enjoy a game more when it feels like you know the people behind it more. Additionally, when you see something you don't like about a game, it's nice when a reason if giving for having it the way it is, sometimes it will stop bothering you even.

So, why are there so many companies that make a game and do very few interviews, and have bland page with no way to contact them? You have companies that release 1 game, and then disappear again, where you wont hear from them until another game is released. Are you going to care nearly as much as you would if it felt like you were keeping up with the company? Probably not.

I see it happening more and more where companies talk to the public, and I think this is a good thing, and I am glad it is happening, it's just a little odd it's taken so long. What happened to "The Customer is always right?" I would assume the reason a lot of companies don't keep in contact with the public is because they would believe they know better.

But this all leads to some interesting points, such as the fact that there are things that fans have complained about for a long time and developers still get wrong, such as certain crappy animations (Halo 2 - Halo 3), better camera system (Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty - Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater), major control problems (Camera - Grand theft Auto III - Grand Theft Auto: Vice City).

Hopefully these types of issues will happen less and less due to more then just the developers looking out for them. in this respect, hopefully games and companies will continue to improve.

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