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Default Gamasutra - Can A Good Game Be A Bad Sequel?

September 19th, 2011, 03:01
Originally Posted by Nerevarine View Post
I think this could just as easily be turned around though: "Buying games and not expecting them to be similar to the previous release is plain old dumb." When a game is labeled as a sequel, it is expected to be a continuation of the game(s) that came before it in the franchise, not a drastically new game with little resemblance to the original. This an over-the-top example, but what if Mass Effect 2 was an RTS instead of a 3rd-person shooter/RPG hybrid like ME1; doesn't it make more sense that ME2 was instead a continuation of the mechanics established in the first game? I think it's completely justified for people to have expected DA2 to more closely follow with the design of DA:O than being the drastically different game that it was.
It's all about being an informed consumer though. If you are not then it's really on you in the end. Can I understand jumping in on a sequel when the screenshots look roughly the same? Sure. Does that absolve the purchaser of any responsibility to learn about a game before paying? Not really.
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September 19th, 2011, 03:32
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
It's all about being an informed consumer though. If you are not then it's really on you in the end. Can I understand jumping in on a sequel when the screenshots look roughly the same? Sure. Does that absolve the purchaser of any responsibility to learn about a game before paying? Not really.
Really? You're going to make that claim with all the BS that the EA hype machine generates? And let's not forget the many 'journalism' reviews that showered glowing praise upon this game.

Conveniently for EA, articles like this that really focused on the extreme shift in style of this sequel didn't start until appear until well after their crucial early sales period.

Again, part of the point of a sequel is familiarity. People have at least some idea of what they are getting (or are supposed to). It's why companies cling to them so much and are so reluctant to invest in new properties. Sequels have a built in audience. They are safer. You get a certain amount of the customers from the last entry coming back. Companies know this and that is why they do them.
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September 19th, 2011, 04:57
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
Really? You're going to make that claim with all the BS that the EA hype machine generates? And let's not forget the many 'journalism' reviews that showered glowing praise upon this game.

Conveniently for EA, articles like this that really focused on the extreme shift in style of this sequel didn't start until appear until well after their crucial early sales period.

Again, part of the point of a sequel is familiarity. People have at least some idea of what they are getting (or are supposed to). It's why companies cling to them so much and are so reluctant to invest in new properties. Sequels have a built in audience. They are safer. You get a certain amount of the customers from the last entry coming back. Companies know this and that is why they do them.
Yes, they try to fool you with marketing and they use sequels to get automatic sales from loyal fans. None of that absolves you of any responsibility to check out the product before you buy though, sorry. It's still on you in the end.

And the changes to DA2 were extremely obvious well before launch to anyone who looked into it.
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September 19th, 2011, 05:20
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Yes, they try to fool you with marketing and they use sequels to get automatic sales from loyal fans. None of that absolves you of any responsibility to check out the product before you buy though, sorry. It's still on you in the end.
What about the publisher's responsibility? Why is all the responsibility on the consumer?
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September 19th, 2011, 06:00
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Yes, they try to fool you with marketing and they use sequels to get automatic sales from loyal fans. None of that absolves you of any responsibility to check out the product before you buy though, sorry. It's still on you in the end.
You contradict yourself. You talk about the consumers job to stay "informed", and then admit that most of the available information is marketing BS.

The only way to "check out" a product before buying it is obviously to play it. So if there is no demo, then you're basically left with no choice but to pirate a copy just to test it.
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September 19th, 2011, 06:46
I do see where DN is coming from(at least w/ respect to DA2)… If anyone took the time to play DA2's demo they knew it had deviated greatly from the original formula, not to mention the dialog left a lot to be desired… Though it is a smidge ironic and somewhat perplexing, considering how he defended the game back when the demo/marketing was out and in full swing. If he thinks the game is awful now one would imagine that after being taken in by the demo/marketing he would be more forgiving/sympathetic to the plight of the avg. consumer…

Only in the gaming community can you find people willing to blame the consumer…

Honestly, if I wanted a toaster and bought something marketed as a toaster it had damn well be a toaster.
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September 19th, 2011, 07:31
I will admit the writing was pretty much on the wall with that piss poor demo, although there were plenty of people running around saying 'You can't judge the game by the demo!'.

I also would note that they took pre-orders on the game long before the demo and even encouraged people to pre-order (free upgrade to the Signature Edition if you pre-order!).

Now pretty much all the people who pre-ordered did so because they were fans of DA:O. I doubt very many people want to pre-order some unknown game that's a sequel to something they never played. EAware had to know this too and that the game was in fact drastically different. It was pretty scheisty of them to put the pre-orders out that early without a demo or being clear about just how different this game was.
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September 19th, 2011, 11:21
And, in fact, the "Signature Edition" had a ridiculously early cutoff date - we had only seen very short in-game videos at that point, so people were encouraged to commit before they had all the data.

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September 19th, 2011, 11:31
I don't understand why "consumer responsibility" is relevant here.

Like, let's take drugs as a simplified example:

Drugs are bad.

Making drugs is bad. Profiting from drugs is bad. Taking drugs is bad.

All those things are bad, and because it's bad to take drugs - it does absolutely nothing to change that profiting and making drugs is bad.

Obviously, DA2 has nothing to do with drugs - and I'm not comparing them. I'm simply trying to demonstrate the lack of logic of talking about consumer responsibility in this particular debate.

We're talking about whether DA2 was a good game and/or a good sequel.

Personally, I think Bioware fucked up big time - and though I'd agree that consumers could potentially have picked up on it before buying, I don't see what it has to do with the subject at hand.
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September 19th, 2011, 11:45
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
Really? You're going to make that claim with all the BS that the EA hype machine generates?
I think I should really found an own game developing company with the name of "BS Games". Seriously.

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September 19th, 2011, 12:28
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I think I should really found an own game developing company with the name of "BS Games". Seriously.
Well at least you know what games they will make.

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September 19th, 2011, 16:45
Wrt consumer responsibility, let's cut through one layer of silliness right now - nobody here's asking for their money back. We know the score, when it comes to the rights of these guys to try to rob us blind. We're just bitching about a mediocre game from a very talented company. We know they didnt literally rob us. The only recourse we have is to say, fuck you, ya jerks. We'll probably still buy #3 if it's good. It's not like anybody really thinks they have any competition when they're at the top of their game. The Witcher? Has more in common with … I dunno, Castlevania or something, than DA. And it has the worst dialogue I have ever witnessed. Anyway… back on topic… screw you, bioware.
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September 19th, 2011, 22:05
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
You contradict yourself. You talk about the consumers job to stay "informed", and then admit that most of the available information is marketing BS.

The only way to "check out" a product before buying it is obviously to play it. So if there is no demo, then you're basically left with no choice but to pirate a copy just to test it.
Well first off DA2 had a demo. Secondly you could wait to see video or read forum reaction. Lastly you could just not play the dang thing. It is still the consumer who goes and buys a game, no one forces you.

And with stuff like Syndicate and Dragon Age 2 the differences are easily apparent to anyone paying any attention. I don't see EA being to blame for anyone buying those games expecting something different. Sorry. If they were advertised and sold as shooters and then from level two on they were actually isometric strategy games then yeah, that would be pretty shitty and on EA. Brutal Legend is a game that actually did this from what I understand.
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September 20th, 2011, 02:00
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Well first off DA2 had a demo. Secondly you could wait to see video or read forum reaction. Lastly you could just not play the dang thing. It is still the consumer who goes and buys a game, no one forces you.
Of course no one "forces" us to buy games, but that doesn't have anything to do with what's being discussed. It's about how the game is portrayed in pre-release media and interviews, and the differences from the actual product.
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September 20th, 2011, 03:43
It is still the consumer who goes and buys a game, no one forces you.
Well this may be true, the same could be said no one forces a Hugh Company to for lack of better words pay reviews in the means of ads, sneak peaks etc to give a good review. For something like DA2 that was a cut and paste project for a grade one class to do on a rain day at school.
Also no one force above company to put so effort into their product when they can count on so many sales on word of mouth from the frist game.
So yes no one makes us buy games, no one makes us buy anything. It wouldn't be so bad if most didn't like the story, or the combat, or the graphics. But this game lacked in everything not just one thing. They couldn't even take the time to make more than one dungen or passage way. Cut paste cut paste repeat….
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September 20th, 2011, 03:54
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
Of course no one "forces" us to buy games, but that doesn't have anything to do with what's being discussed. It's about how the game is portrayed in pre-release media and interviews, and the differences from the actual product.
I don't think they betrayed the game in any kind of misleading way. It was pretty clear what DA2 was going to be and like I said, it even had a demo. If someone ignored all that and just bought it because it was a sequel then that person did something stupid. It's okay, we all do stupid stuff from time to time.

A good example of doing the opposite is Lost Planet 2. I liked the original but when I looked into Lost Planet 2 I saw it was an online-focused coop game, so I passed on it. I didn't buy it just because it was called Lost Planet 2, and if I had I would say I did something stupid. I bought Star Trek Online despite disliking MMOs because of my Star Trek fandom… that was pretty stupid and I fully admit to it.
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September 20th, 2011, 05:11
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
I don't think they betrayed the game in any kind of misleading way.
Oh really? What about:

Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Yes, they try to fool you with marketing and they use sequels to get automatic sales from loyal fans.
As for the rest

It was pretty clear what DA2 was going to be and like I said, it even had a demo. If someone ignored all that and just bought it because it was a sequel then that person did something stupid. It's okay, we all do stupid stuff from time to time.
Okay let me stop you right there, it was pretty clear TO YOU. You are not the entire world. If someone bought it they are stupid IN YOUR OPINION. It is not an indisputable fact.

Caveat emptor is old advice and good advice but it does not absolve the creator of a product from having a responsibility of accurately representing that product. You may dismiss people as being stupid for not seeing what you (supposedly) saw, but the fact remains a good number of people felt what they got was not what they expected. Had that not been the case, there would not be nearly as much backlash as this game has gotten.
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September 20th, 2011, 05:26
Originally Posted by qpqpqp View Post
Wrt consumer responsibility, let's cut through one layer of silliness right now - nobody here's asking for their money back. We know the score, when it comes to the rights of these guys to try to rob us blind. We're just bitching about a mediocre game from a very talented company. We know they didnt literally rob us. The only recourse we have is to say, fuck you, ya jerks. We'll probably still buy #3 if it's good. It's not like anybody really thinks they have any competition when they're at the top of their game. The Witcher? Has more in common with … I dunno, Castlevania or something, than DA. And it has the worst dialogue I have ever witnessed. Anyway… back on topic… screw you, bioware.
If I remember right, Amazon was offering refunds on DA2 because the game was such a piece of shit and people were complaining about it. That should tell you something right there.

Computer software is one of the only things you can't get a refund on even if it turns out to be a piece of crap. So there is no emphasis on quality/bug-fixing before release. DA2 is proof of that with that company. DA3 isn't going to sell that well. Watch. They aren't going to get 700k+ preorders like DA2 did based on DA:O's success.

Also the Gamasutra article is stupid. Bioware fans seem to try to justify DA2's shittiness by saying it was good for what it was, but it just wasn't a good sequel to DA:O. Those people are idiots.
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September 20th, 2011, 12:25
Originally Posted by DoctorNarrative View Post
Well first off DA2 had a demo. Secondly you could wait to see video or read forum reaction. Lastly you could just not play the dang thing. It is still the consumer who goes and buys a game, no one forces you.
- Some people are just too lazy to download several GB of a demo
- Some people act under the influence of hype-induced emotions
- Some people just can't wait
- There's a thing called "peer pressure" as well

Etc. etc. .

Originally Posted by Grimlorn View Post
Computer software is one of the only things you can't get a refund on even if it turns out to be a piece of crap.
Time to make noise about it. Not in the internet, I stress, because that's where politicians do NOT look into !

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September 21st, 2011, 06:58
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
Okay let me stop you right there, it was pretty clear TO YOU. You are not the entire world. If someone bought it they are stupid IN YOUR OPINION. It is not an indisputable fact.
Playing the game itself in a demo does not make it clear how it plays? Watching an hour+ video on a site like giantbomb does not make it clear how it plays? Of COURSE those things do, that's not an opinion it is a fact. If one chooses to ignore that stuff and buy the game purely because of the words on the box, that's on them.

Caveat emptor is old advice and good advice but it does not absolve the creator of a product from having a responsibility of accurately representing that product.
I think they did that, they just didn't make a sequel exactly like the original. That's not misdirection, that's just change. I'm thrilled Morrowind was not exactly like Arena and I hope Skyrim is not exactly like Oblivion. The titles are just words on boxes, gameplay is what matters. I don't care at ALL if Syndicate is not an isometric tactical shooter, what I care about is that it is a good GAME. If someone buys it just because of the name on the box they are, frankly, an idiot. I feel no regret for their loss.
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