Saturday, 14 November 2009

Put your money where your mouth is.

If you have internet access (and if you’re reading this, you do) I feel like I don’t need to explain the massive shit-tsunami generated in the wake of Infinity Ward’s announcement to drop dedicated servers. PC gamers have been up in arms, started boycotts, and I wouldn’t be surprised if death threats had been sent. When former-gaming-visionary John Carmack announced ID’s new IP (the only new IP ID has developed since Quake in 1996) Rage would also be dropping dedicated server support PC gamers threw their arms over their head and awaited Armageddon.

And I’m here to tell you, you don’t have to put up with it. No. Stop. Put down that Boycott group. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the fact that these companies seem to have forgotten they work for us, not the other way around.

Oh we’re certainly to blame for it. There was a time before the internet where our wallets did our speaking for us, loud and clear. At that time, developers took us seriously because if they didn’t, they’d crash and burn. But not anymore. I mean, blame Infinity Ward all you want, but you can’t say we’re not sending them mixed signals here... What’s the point of a boycott where everyone buys the product being boycotted anyways? They can’t hear your e-hate over the sound of how awesome their sales figures are. You think Mr. Kotick cares about your blog? Or your verbose forum post? You think IW give a damn about your eloquent review saying their game sucks monkey balls when you bought it? Go ahead. Tell them it’s the worst thing in the world since cancer. Once you buy their game all they hear from you is “ka-ching!”. Conversely, you can write all the good things you want about a game, but if you don’t buy it, your support falls flat. If any of these companies could make the worst game in history, a game so horrible it would make Atari’s ET or Superman 64 look like flawless masterpieces, knowing EVERYONE would buy it, they would.

Regardless of how much I hate Bobby Kotick, as off this moment, I couldn’t take us seriously either. We’re all bark, no bite.

So how do we get to them? How do we show them they need us a lot more than we need them? With money. The all important currency. The fun thing about this business is that it’s like a permanent election. Companies follow the flow of money wherever it goes. You disagree with a company? Send your money to a company you DO agree with.

The bottom line? Are you pissed about the new “no dedicated servers” policy? Is it important to you? Well, would you look at that, here’s a company that actually seems to care. Dice are reaching out, extending their hand, and saying they care. Meanwhile, Activision seems perfectly content in violating us some more since we seem delighted to take it.

Our turn. Our move.

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