23/10/2014

Where is the line drawn between cute and crazy.





So I stumbled across a very weird thing recently. We all know there is a desire among gamers of old to see the next chapter in the half-life series but the question is to where one draw the line of this far is far enough. Dressing up as the missing game and posting it on the web, kind of cute. Trekking half across the world to have a chance to speak with the developers…. Dedicated.


Starting an IndieGOGO campaign with the express purpose to harass Valve and Gabe Newell… That is moving from cute and right in to creepy as all come fuck. That is not stopping a pair of marketing interns who in what I can only assume is a combination of work-place practice and beer-fueled insanity have decided that the best way to make it clear to Valve that there is no way but the HL3 way. You know… Just in case they missed that people are clamouring for a HL3. With such a small and silent movement that would be easy to do. Now the idea itself is fairly well thought out and it fortunately seems to me that most people are sane enough to not get involved with this (or the guys are worse at social media marketing then I am.( but it does sit a bit wrong with me, especially as I have kept an eye on the gamergate movement and it´s trials and tribulations.
To take it on yourself to dictate what sort of product a company should produce, and to do so by what is in essence bullying is in itself a bad thing. But to use crowdfunding to do so is both cynical and in my mind a recipe for disaster. Not only do you open the door for a bunch of people you do not want to be working with. The kind of zealots that casually send people threats for their life and sanctity. The kind of people who in their righteous rage will turn on you if you should not deliver. Even worse you give them ideas...  

It also create a rather uncomfortable situation for the employees of the company in question. While you or I might shrug off insane people dressed up as your boss shouting in front of a billboard truck doing the Indianapolis 500 around your building, not everyone as that fortitude, and truth be told they should not have to either. They signed up to create games and applications, not to be the recipients of torture. Heck I would not have accepted that kind of crap back when I was working as a customer service rep… and I was paid to deal with pants on head crazy people on a daily basis. Add to that the very volatile world we live in today and it is very easy to see where a thing like this could go very wrong. And this is a very real problem these days, it seems that the time between idea and action grows ever shorter and perspective follows with it. Maybe it was just that back when I was younger things had to be slower and more things was tossed out because the gatekeepers of money and publicity was actually still in place for better or worse. After all without that lack of control I would never get this published nor would I actually be planning projects around the Occulus Rift. But at the same time we get stuff like this and worse… Like gamergate. And while they are fairly low impact things compared too many other things out there in the world I still feel that one need to keep track of the small things too.


Now speaking about games and marketing, it is with sad eyes that I realize that the era of grandiose Collectors editions for games in general and particularly on the PC platform is a thing of the past. The market is slowly phasing them out as the brick and mortar store lose its importance in a world turned digital and wireless. More and more we see digital goods replace the art books and busts. Now for some this I guess is a welcomed change, getting more stuff they can actually use in the game and set them apart from the common man. But I am a collector at heart, I like my swag, my loot and my shiny, for an example the upcoming Arkham Knight CE with it´s awesome batmobot could never be replaced with a paltry digital skin or an extra fancy bat-a-rang. Fortunately it seems that more and more companies get in to the collector scene with everything from replicas to small plastic figures. So I guess I will survive, but I remember lugging home the CE for Warhammer Age of reckoning.. A beast of a CE that was heavy enough to shred my backpack. But I guess that they have sort of played out their role as a marketing tool as the eye-catcher in your local gaming store.
 
One very angry dragon
Finally I must say I am getting in to the Dragon Age Inquisition hype, at least my own hype. Now I am not someone who say that BioWare can do no wrong but I have always enjoyed they way they tell stories and how you actually have an impact in them… for the most of the time.    So with less than a month to release and in essence a new BioWare at the helm I am very curious to see what the next adventure in the world of Dragon age will bring. After all I really enjoyed the previous games and I REALLY enjoyed the Mess Effect games, even the ending and I completed ME3 before the extended cut. But to me the entire third game was the ending, not just the last 15 minutes. All the conflicts and alliances coming to close and bitter sweet farewells to characters I have learnt to trust and care for. I hope that DA:I will be able to deliver a little of this even if it is not a sequel to any of the previous DA games. I need to be captured by a game… To laugh, cry and curse. In my mind there have been way to few games like that form a big publisher lately and I am not sure who would pick up the ball if BW drop it.

Any way that is the in and out of that. Until next time take care and be safe.

fe.