So much drama lately, huh? I have been doing a bit of relaxing and enjoying the beginning of my vacation away from work. I decided to check on the latest happenings in the games world and came across now infamous Sony Europe 'goat' stuff and the crazy coverage of Jaffe speaking out about the CAC reviews. It made me really think about the way things work now, and frankly it disappointed me a bit. I personally don’t’ think that developers commenting on reviews are whining, that is just such a stupid argument. Maybe it is hard for people who have never created something, and put it out there for the world to shit on, to actually understand. I don’t really know. I do know it is no easy thing to creatively put yourself out there, and when the public opinion turns against you to stay quite and just take it. Sure, sometimes that is the wisest course of action, but I have always respected those who still speak out, even in the face of harsh criticism. The industry needs more people like that, regardless of how it gets spun. Though the Uwe Boll thing about boxing his critics is probably taking it a bit too far.
Reviews are such a maddening thing for the people who actually create things. I mean, you work your ass for years on something and it lives or dies by the reviews. Though, this is not always the case as many games and movies have received terrible reviews, yet been a commercial success. But as a creator, the reviews still affect you. How could they not? I have worked in this business for almost 8 years, and for a large portion of that time all the games I released were welcomed with scathing reviews. Granted these games sucked, I know this, but that still eats away at you a little. It is like people calling your child ugly. I can’t imagine that most people would respond too kindly to that, eve if their kid is not winning any beauty pageants.
Why can’t developers comment or even disagree with review scores? This makes no sense to me at all, it never has. If you put a game out that gets some harsh reviews, and you have the audacity to comment or disagree with them, you get the “whiney” card pulled. What?? How is it whining to disagree with another person’s opinion of your game? When you think about it is a brilliant trump card for the press, and this kind of “sour grapes” defense is used all over the place. It makes them come off as the rightous intelligent observer while you come off as an embittered Al Gore demanding a recount. They get a forum to completely decimate, sometimes professionally and constructively - sometimes not, something that you have spent a considerable amount of time and energy on. If you do as Jaffe did and share your thoughts on their “thoughts”, you get treated as if you are whining like a child. How stupid is that? It is not too dissimilar to that whole Wii debacle I had a few moths ago I guess. I know that being in a visible ‘public’ position means that you are held accountable for the things you say…and I am totally fine with that...but to me it really seems like a one way street here. With developers being held accountable and some members of the press (not all mind you) running off and making up whatever the hell they want. Not so sweet.
Whatever…in the end a review is an opinion. So when people comment on it, developer or non-developer, they are providing an opinion of an opinion. It is not whining…hell it’s not even news…at least to everyone else except some of the vultures circling above who realize they can spin it as whining.
Im gonna go play a little EDF 2017 now...