Battlefield 3 came out not too long ago. The verdict is rather split, console gamers like it and PC gamers hate it.
Upper staff for the game’s development and production went on record that the game was actually designed for the Consoles (To be technical, they switched from developing FOR the PC to developing FOR the consoles at about the half way mark) but told everyone it would be developed for the PC.
So what happened? PC gamers where shown a game that wasn’t up to their standards, and they hated it. But it was fine for the consoles.
The upper level staff went on record saying that they lied because “PC gamers complain”. An article had lots of quotes of these guys insulting PC gamers.
What they didn’t realize, is that they’re freakin’ retarded.
Producers in the videogame industry see “Gamers” as a giant envelope. What they failed to see is that PC gamers and console gamers are both completely different to one another.
PC gamers don’t like glitches. They like user created content. They hate sales gimicks. They like BIG. Big maps, big number of players, lots of free content etc. Console gamers are simple. They like to just jump in and play. They don’t want a lengthy story that’s going to mean waiting 5 minutes for a cutscene to end, they don’t care about downloading a whole bunch of new maps/skins/user content. They just want to play. The two are so different.
But when you develop a game for the PC and it becomes successful, it’s easy to see the successes on the consoles. There’s nearly an equal number of console and PC gamers. So, wouldn’t it be smart to make a game for both of these customers and double your sales?
This is what they where thinking. But they forgot that the two are completely different customers. If you make a game for PC gamers you’re likely to isolate the console gamers and vice versa. So they made this game with intent to selling it to both of these unique customers and at some point they decided they would just focus on the consoles.
Shifting your focus to the console doesn’t mean you’re going to have a game that gamers are going to love. It means you’re going to have a game that console gamers are going to love.
So they made this game for the consoles and low and behold, the PC gamers hated it. It’s small. Small maps, few players, little free content. It’s simple, you can just jump in and get right in the action. It’s loaded with sales gimmicks and lacks free content and has all kinds of glitches. PC gamers didn’t like it.
But then the producers/developers come out and say “You know, it’s not our fault you don’t like our game. It’s your fault, because all you do is whine”.
Let me be the first and say 1. Go f*** yourself. 2. You took a game that had a strong following by one customer, and then developed it for someone completely different, and you’re going to shit on the first guy and blame him for not liking it?
That’s like the lead Women’s Razor brand stops production on women’s razors and makes nothing but razors for men, advertise them to men, and then they get really offended when women stop buying it.
Let me give you a hint, developers of games. Stop merging Console and PC gamers. They are not the same, and never will be. If you want to increase the number of sales, tailor your game to one of the audience. You can still offer it to the other, and you’ll get sales from them, but don’t expect miracles from the other guy.
If you focus on your target customer, success will come. If you build a product for “Everyone” you’ll satisfy no one.
So I made this post initially after the Beta was released, and it was terrible. Glitches and bugs everywhere, all sorts of ridiculous features (A flashlight blinding 95% of your screen from 30+ feet away in the open desert, in the day time), and the game was pretty much “Modern Warfare 9: This time with jets!”. They added a new knifing feature, which literally teleports you up to ~8 feet to the person you’re knifing and instantly kills them and they can’t do anything about it (Remember all the knifers in Modern Warfare?)
PC gamers were believably upset. It was a battlefield game, but it wasn’t. Fans of the series were incredibly disappointing (From a personal note, this is my last Battlefield game, and I’ve owned them all prior)
Developers for BF3 openly said “We developed this game for the PC. Half way through, we cancelled, and developed it for the Console. Then we told the PC players that the game was developed for the PC because we didn’t want them to complain”. When they tried to get reviews for their product, they apparently issued everyone with a full copy of the game but stated “It’s not finished, we know it has a lot of bugs, we’re going to fix it with a day 1 patch” and most reviewers obliged. Fans believed this, too. They played the terrible beta. They saw the reviews. They thought EA/Dice had finally fixed their broken game.
Then it was released, and the game was the beta. There were hardly any changes, and all the “features” were still there. C4 not working properly. Claymores not working on certain surfaces. Red lasers/flashlights still blinding you at what seems like a mile away. Teleportation everywhere. Frankly? It sucked. Big time, and it was a huge disappointment.
Good news for Dice though, they targetted the Modern Warfare crowd so well, they’re sure to grab more sales from them (Even though they’ve lost almost all of the fans) and have easily secured the #2 spot for FPS for the foreseeable future. Which they already had. This game is being heralded as one of the biggest disappointments and fans are even saying it’s worse, comparably, than ES5 Skyrim (See why that game hates it fans, here). I have no doubt that the money machine EA will have Dice try even harder to grab the Modern Warfare market, on the next game, and further isolate the few fans they have.