We’ve talked about Michael Pachter here before (many times) and one thing we know about the Pach man is that he does not hold back. He’s passionate about the video game industry and for several years now, GameTrailers has played host to Pach Attack, a weekly, 7-minute Q&A segment featuring games industry analyst Michael Pachter as he answers related questions submitted by viewers. But what he said in this week’s episode, hosted on Saturday, might strike a chord with some gamers.
He talks about the closure of Pandemic and the departure of BioWare founders Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk and says:
“I think that we’ve seen a lot of nasty stuff lately,” he said. “I think that the whining about the ending of Mass Effect 3 really very much could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back for the doctors. I mean, if you look back at the BioWare blog, Ray Muzyka said he notified EA in April of his intention to retire in November. April was right about when all that Mass Effect 3 noise was hitting.”
And honestly, I think I have to agree with him here on some level. But then he goes on to address the gamers who he feels are responsible. And these next comments are real doozies!
He then goes on to address all those gamers directly. “I think you guys who were out there whining vocally about how BioWare screwed you out of a happy ending in Mass Effect should really look in the mirror and wonder… now you’re not getting anything like those games again with the two doctors gone. You might get good games, [but] they won’t be the same,” he added.
Ouch. He goes on to tell gamers that whining “pisses everybody off, it pisses off creative people, and every once in a while, [developers] say they would rather do something else.” He then points out that Zeschuk is moving on to pursue his passion for craft beer, and Muzyka is moving on to pursue his passion for helping animals. Gamers won’t get anything out of these new pursuits, he said.
And finally, he follows it all up with this one comment: “Shame on you, you whiners.”
Agree with him or disagree, it still brings up some interesting questions. Are gamers spoiled today? Where do you draw the line between giving input on your favorite games and being a spoiled brat who wants everything done to their specifications? Are gamers too fickle today, keeping their interest for only a short time before some other shiny game comes along?
When I ask myself this question, I’m on the fence. My answer is “maybe”. I know some gamers have grown impatient with the games we are being offered today. But I don’t feel this is a problem that is exclusive to the gaming industry alone. All of the entertainment industry is suffering from this same issue. Nothing seems new and unique or original anymore and if the creators take too much of a risk, people complain that it is not familiar to them.
I don’t envy game developers today and I know how much hard work goes into it and how little the community often appreciates it. They want what they want and if they don’t feel they have gotten in 100%, they give up on the game or they criticize the game.
But maybe Pachter is being a little too harsh here. I also know what it’s like to be a gamer who is so excited and pumped up for a new game. You wait for it and wait for it. You sign up for the beta and you pray you get in. You cannot sleep at night thinking about the game and how awesome it’s going to be. Then it comes out and… it’s not what you thought it was going to be. It’s not what they promised it would be.
People today are more vocal than ever before. We have social media and the Internet, forums and gamer sites, direct access to the developers and the ability to have the “voice” of the people. Maybe sometimes all of this talking and sharing and all of these loud opinions is a bit too much. Maybe we just need to learn to sit back and appreciate our games for ourselves and if we don’t like one, just search for another. There’s no need to bash the companies who are working hard to create this entertainment for us.
Maybe that is what Pachter was really trying to say after all? Or, maybe he’s just a jerk who doesn’t get gamers at all…
What do you think?