04 Feb

Josh Olin, community manager at Treyarch, has had enough with finnicky gamers. In a NowGamer interview, Olin described the disgruntled portion of the gaming populace as “angry entitled fans who look to be contrarian,” and saying that catering to such a niche throws a wrench into developer creativity.

“Too many developers who try new things are getting burned by ‘pundits’ and angry entitled fans who look to be contrarian, sometimes simply for the sake of being contrarian,” said Olin. “The only thing this attitude aims to achieve is stunt that creativity and innovation even further, which is something that no rational gamer looking to be entertained would want to do.”

“I think the social culture of video games is moving in a more negative direction as technology and social media continues to grow,” he noted. “Rather than growing with it, the trend seems to be devolving. More and more gamers seem to forget what this industry is all about.”

Is fan punditry locking developers into set patterns? Or is there another explanation for game makers being adverse to risk? Give us your thoughts below!

5 thoughts on “Treyarch: ‘Contrarian’ Gamers Hampering Dev Creativity”

  1. Woah, calm down there Olin. The fans have a right to get a campaign that is longer than 4 hours from an FPS. The standard time should clock in at over 8 hour minimum, and be something that is awesome, and not a rehash of older mantras. It is cool that your games are reaching a new audience, but if you don’t innovate, that audience will realize what you are doing and not purchase your game.

    Gaming culture is growing in a positive direction with things like downloadable services, Facebook games (yeah I said it), iPod Touch games, and other games of the sort. More people are accepting gaming and that is a good thing. Oh, but paying for DLC that is already on the disk is just not acceptable in any circumstance (Capcom). Also, paying for DLC that was content in the main story, but was ripped out and sold as DLC is also not acceptable by any means. Day one DLC is also just bad form. Those are criticisms developers need to understand and fix. Lastly, DRM sucks, and more companies are going that way with restrictive measures (Ubisoft, and now Capcom with Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 on PS3; seriously, it is pretty much as bad as what Ubisoft did with ACII on PC).

  2. What criticism hinders creativity… normally creativity is welcomed by the masses (except in the form of the controls for KZ2 I guess). I mean, the most innovative thing that Treyarch did in Black Ops, the wager games, were one of the best reasons to go back to standard death match, and people gave them credit for it.

    I guess he doesn’t like people making fun of the COD series for being fairly bland and (how should I say this) too realistic. Black Ops was the 4th game in the series to feel alike, and it is starting to show.

    So “contrarian” gamers don’t hamper dev creativity, the fear of bad sales usually hampers dev creativity… and sadly, Treyarch is owned by the kings of playing it safe.

  3. This is funny to read. I thought most devs listened to their fans when it came to what they wanted in their game. Didn’t Black Ops have a zombie mode to match the ever growing popularity of zombie games, and to appease fans who pretty much only went back to play World at War because of it? I don’t see how he could say it’s a negative thing. I’m pretty sure devs could weed out any troll ideas versus solid good ones. In a backwards world, where listening to the people you sell your product too. Yeesh.

  4. I just find it funny that a developer that is making games off of another developers franchise is complaining about their creativity being hampered by fans. Lawl.

    1. Ha! Good point. Though I will contend that they made the CoD series BETTER. Certainly CoD 3 was a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig step back (though I did enjoy sending ragdolls sailing with the butt of my gun). United Offensive and CoD:WaW are probably my two favorites in the series.

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