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Reader Comments (27)

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:19AM (Unverified) said

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Dev apologies tend to be disingenuous most of the time, so no, I don't get moved by them. If anything, it's a case of "serves you right for releasing products when they aren't ready."

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:27AM neKr0w said

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Depends on the circumstances surrounding the issues. If it's an indie team with legitimate excuses that I appreciate there honesty and ability to "man up" to the situation. Those responsible for the game mentioned should never be allowed near a game again.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:32AM Drunken Irish Sniper said

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In the case of FFXIV, an apology is basically them acknowledging that they are listening and that they know the fans are not enjoying the game and they will try and improve it.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:34AM Drunken Irish Sniper said

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@Drunken Irish Sniper. If they were a western game company they would have avoided all this by communicating with the fans.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:33AM DrunkenGamer said

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depends on the apology

its usually very easy to tell the apologies that have been made simply as its become an expected step whenever they do anything that turns out not to be enjoyed by the player, these 'forced' apologies get disregarded pretty fast

However apologies where you can genuinely tell that the writer meant what they were saying then i will treat it with the same respect i would any apology

in both cases however there is a plus side - if they are apologising they have at least listened - because otherwise they would not feel one was required

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:35AM (Unverified) said

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id rather see whatever they are apologizing about fixed than read a forum post tbh.

im not really big on lip service.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:39AM Matix said

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Apologies just don't cut it with me for P2P titles. This is these folks jobs, they're getting money for it, and I'm supposed to do without what I paid for--a stable game--because the Devs said "sorry we didn't address the problems you've been telling us about non-stop?"

Instead of empty words, how about a refund? Sounds crazy, because it is: Devs won't part with the cash. But it's pretty telling in regard to what such apologies are worth. After all, if I said: "I'm sorry guys, I don't have the $15, can you let me slide this month?" I'd be locked out at 12:00am to the day.

Naw man, Dev apologies don't mean squat, especially when it comes to long-standing issues in P2P games. I don't expect MMOs to be perfect (it's always a balancing act, I get it). I do expect Devs to work on the problems the customers want addressed. Hire more staff, debuggers, or whatever but fix it.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:55AM Eamil said

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It depends on what's done after the apology. Or perhaps I should say what that company has a history of doing when they apologize (even if just for more minor things).

If they apologize and nothing changes, I'm not going to believe them next time.

If they apologize and at least make an effort to fix what's been going wrong, I'll be more inclined to believe the same thing will happen next time.

Stardock, for a (non-MMO) example, had a good history up until Elemental: War of Magic came out. When it bombed due to being what could generously be called a "buggy piece of crap," the CEO publicly apologized and admitted that he let his own ego and desire to see the game succeed get in the way of his judgement (as he was also the project's lead developer), so that he signed off on a product that wasn't up to standards. At the same time he promised both that the game would be receiving major patches to fix its issues (which they've lived up to so far, from what I've heard) and that anyone who bought the game before the end of 2010 would get the first expansion for free, and anyone who bought it before November 2010 would also get the second expansion for free.

Seeing Stardock's CEO apologize that sincerely and honestly, make those promises, and then actually live up to them means I'm not going to judge them as harshly if they screw up again (and that I will be more receptive to their apologies) because I can at least feel some confidence that, if they've recognized and publicly admitted that they've screwed up, that means they're actually going to fix what they screwed up.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 8:59AM Eamil said

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@Eamil

Fake edit:

He wasn't a lead designer, my mistake. He just did a lot of coding on the game and had a lot of love for it, and lost his objectivity because of it.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2011 9:18AM Tanek said

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Back up the apology with more open communication about what is wrong and follow up with action on fixing it, sure. People make mistakes and developers are people. Sometimes you just don't know how something will really fly until the doors open on launch day.

We can't ask for innovation in games and then immediately turn on anyone who is willing to take a risk on something that does not work out.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 12:25PM Jade Effect said

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@Tanek

Surely Square-Enix is aware of the risks. Why should the consumers be paying for the risks they take? I don't see Sony knocking at my door and asking me for money because they gambled on the stupid PSP-Go and it didn't sell well.

There are good innovations and there are bad innovations. I don't believe in rewarding a company simply because they are trying something different.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2011 7:21PM Tanek said

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@Jade Effect

I'm not saying you should reward a company simply for trying something different, I am saying that you should not punish a company simply for trying something different.

Yes, developers and publishers of MMOs know the risks. So do we. No matter how much hype is built up before the launch of a new game, we know it is a risk to shell out that money for launch day. Sometimes the risk pays off and we end up playing a game we enjoy, sometimes it does not and we end up moving on to other things.

If enough players are in that second group and the developer steps up to apologize and try to fix what is broken, I can respect that. The apology itself does not give a free pass, but it will usually get my attention enough to make me what to see their next move.
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Posted: Jan 4th 2011 9:51AM Arkanaloth said

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words are quaint... action is more worth my time. As one of the many who had high hopes for FF14, I'm more interested in what they do than what they say.

I haven't canned my FF14 account at this time... I even log in from time to time, but it's certainly living on borrowed time... If The Old Republic blows me away then the FF14 account will go dark.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 10:15AM (Unverified) said

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IF they apologize they realize their mistakes and wish to learn from them
If they DON'T form the lynch mob we're goin hunting for devs

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 10:32AM Xilmar said

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Apologies mean they spent 1 hour on it when they could have spent it writing code or brainstorming or testing or any number of actually important things.

The only thing that gives a dev apology meaning is when the dev team is small and involved with their small community. Usually it happens on browser games, where there are 3-5 people working and they play with the players, hang out in chat all day and so on.

Other than that, it's always just PR guys doing what they're paid to do. And i'm guessing the apologies aren't for making a shit game, but for trying to convince the customer to pay for another sub or transaction.

Haven't played FF14, not planning to...but my guess is that the devs knew it was shit (or bad, or buggy, or whatever) when it went out and the ones who are surprised now are the shareholders and all those prople wearing suits, not QA testers or software engineers.

tl'dr apologies are from the PR people, not devs. and even if they were, 1 hour apologizing

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 10:33AM Woozer said

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Well, in specific regards to FFXIV, I too like many others pre-ordered the collector's edition and waited for launch so eagerly. I must say, I tried to defend the game, I tried to make excuses for it, I tried to justify it to myself. But FFXIV has got to be the most disappointing game I have ever played.

Tanaka, I'm sorry too, but I'm glad you got fired because you deserved it. I tried to tell myself to wait until all the improvements came out, and that the game would in fact be a good game. I still do believe that it will evolve into a good game with enough time. But there's honestly no reason anymore to wait around for it when there are so many new, polished, games coming out in 2011.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 11:37AM awitelintsta said

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These FFXIV apologies are almost embarrassing levels of mea culpa. It's appreciated, and I'm glad they're committed to fixing their game. I'll probably come back and revisit the title in six months to a year, but it's not possible to forget how badly they failed at listening when they needed to. It's a bit late for now.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 11:47AM Tizmah said

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Umm, they weren't sorry when they took my money.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 11:57AM Jade Effect said

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I have always believed that action is where the truth is. Words are cheap. Nice-sounding state of the game speeches are worthless to me.

If the MMO company desires to improve its game, I'll look at the changes they make and if these changes are made promptly. The phrase "show me the money" comes to mind. Afterall, I'm paying for the end product (game), not for words the MMMO company sprout out.

Posted: Jan 4th 2011 12:12PM Irem said

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In the case of FFXIV, the apology went a long way, because it was the last thing I ever expected to come of it. TBH, I expected years of foot-dragging and "let's pretend everything is fine," ending in a half-assed game limping along on life support, because as far as I could tell, whoever was making the ultimate decisions had actually gotten -more- stubborn and bullheaded after moving from XI to XIV, and judging from my time in XI, I was pretty sure that it would take an act of God to motivate said person to make any drastic changes. And lo, the sky opened up, and a voice like thunder spoke: "YOU CAN STOP BEING BITTER ABOUT FFXIV NOW, IREM." After that, reports of snow flurries started coming in from Hell and SE restructured the dev team.

That last part is what made the apology actually mean something. Tanaka said I'm sorry--and then he left. And Yoshida came in, and he appears to have started to make good on that apology. If Tanaka and the former team had stuck around, I would never have given XIV a second look, because I don't think they knew what the hell they were doing and I'm not okay with playing any more games where the developers are that far up themselves. If Yoshida didn't immediately start communicating and proving that he doesn't live in a beautiful glass bubble made of unicorn tears where the rest of the genre doesn't exist and any complaints from the playerbase are the result of them being silly-willies who just don't know they're playing *~the best game ever~*, I would not currently be tentatively planning to pick up a copy of FFXIV.

Apologies are a start, but unless it actually means "I'm sorry," and not "Here's a bone, now shut up," they don't do any good. Blizzard apologized for the Real ID forum crap, but I still quit, because their insistence on still using real names for the in-game Real ID system after slightly less than ten billion people explained why handles would be the only thing required to make the system perfect showed that they really didn't understand why everyone was so upset, or care about designing the system around players' needs. They only reluctantly changed things because they experienced a massive backlash, so their retraction and apology, while nice, didn't mean much to me.


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