Vaporware Junction: Stop Giving Blizzard Praise

By David Piner -
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First I’d like to just say I’m deathly ill but I don’t want to be the dude clapping after everyone else is. I have the stomach flu so forgive the cold medicine related inability to form complete thoughts. I took the liberty of rewriting this from the cough medicine induced scribble it was.

Every single game journalist out there right now is saluting Blizzard for what seems to be the greatest thing any company has ever done, by canceling a 7 year tease of a TF2 ripoff that was, what I assume, the leftover resources behind Ghost, which will now go to work on Blizzard’s latest vaporware and/or WoW 2.

I still maintain there is little reason for anyone to care. Blizzard posted some job openings, apparently were making some Persona 3 online, and figured out that once again they failed to match the emerging tech market. Ghost was canceled because the company they hired then acquired to create it was too slow and the next gen console release pretty much just made it not worth their while to continue.

Of course, journalist are all about how awesome Blizzard is for taking the moral high road and canning their game. Because we need to I guess celebrate the fact that Blizzard is going to be known for its three main IPs and that’s it. These IPs are an RTS that they keep pushing to be the world’s best eSport, the only MMO anyone plays for more than a month, and a dungeon crawler that became a top down version of that on rails Final Fantasy game that came out with Lightning.

Of course this is the same series of people who decide a game about a mountain is worth weeks of analysis and also people who hate Destiny because it’s a great game but it doesn’t offer something “new.” Our journalist industry is pretty much nothing but marketing executives now who are trying to churn through buzzwords as they promote some artist’s gallery.

We need to stop giving these companies credit for essentially marketing moves. They canceled the game because it sucked and/or was going the way of ESO where the technology had outpaced their slow development run. They have effectively gave up on a new IP and are not opening any jobs to some idea men with fedoras to roll in and come up with a new franchise for them.

I almost say we should admonish them for using this archaic smoke screen for their development. This is the future and gamers want transparency, not “we’re working on something so cool, that you’re just going to have to want it, and we’re not going to tell you what it is.” Gamers want alpha streams, they want webcams in the design room, they want letterboxes to provide suggestions, and ultimately they want a part because now, we gamers know that unless we provide feedback in development, the game is going to suck ass.

Gone are the days of developers being able to design something behind closed doors and produce a quality product because technology has reached a point that there is a wide variety of options and directions to take a game. In the past, let’s just say PS2 and back, there was a very limited set of things you could do in a game. You could make a shooter and it used the generic shooter engine, you could make an RPG and it would use a generic RPG engine, or a side scroller. That’s like it.

Now though, we can make super futuristic games that have huge worlds, tons of skills, more classes than ever, and we all crave some form of balance in everything. This has ultimately made it where while developers could design games to appease themselves, it’s probably not going to appease their audience, and we’ve learned this countless times from many failed MMO launches.

I’ll go ahead and end my rant here and return back to to rambling about other things, but I just want to say to everyone - don’t let a company manipulate your emotions. Don’t get excited over some piece of tech or some idea of a game until you see proof. This is the cornerstone of the foundation of why I think Star Citizen’s launch is going to not go the way people think it will.

See ya all tomorrow, hopefully I will be feeling much better.

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About The Author

David "Xerin" Piner
Get in the bush with Xerin every week for his column, Respawn, as he analyzes the hottest trends, buzz topics, and absurdities in MMO gaming. In addition to his ongoing war against early access titles.

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