Wondercon is coming up at the end of the month and, of course, we’re going. Don’t worry, I’ll do what I always do, post progress reports for the convention on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights and will have regular posts those days as well. However, that’s not what this article is all about.
I see a lot of old-school MMO players who seem to think that because they’ve been playing in that particular genre of video games for a long time, that somehow that gives them some say in how modern-day video games are made, like someone ought to have consulted them before daring to make any changes in the genre. Far too many of them feel entitled to get a game made specifically for them, whether or not it’s financially viable, just because they’ve somehow “earned” it.
But that brings us back around to Wondercon, or more properly, Wondercon’s big brother, San Diego Comicon. I started going to that convention back in the mid-70s when it was only a few years old and attended for close to 40 years straight. Hell, I’ve not only been an attendee, not only been a volunteer, I’ve been on staff for the convention. Today, I don’t go anymore, I don’t really like what it’s become and it’s just not fun anymore. However, does my longevity in attendance and organization mean I somehow have some control over what they do with their convention? Should they have come and consulted me before they made any changes? Of course not!
To be sure, this is all a bunch of entitlement nonsense, people thinking that they deserve to be rewarded with exactly what they want, just because they want it. We’ve raised a generation or two of people whose entire mindset is “gimme gimme gimme! mine mine mine!” They think that the planet owes them whatever they can wish for and if they don’t get it immediately, then they’re entitled to sit there and whine about what an unfair place the world is.
What’s worse, even after you explain to them why it’s unlikely that they’ll get what they want, they just don’t care. I’ve had people tell me “I’m a consumer, not a stockholder, I don’t care about their business considerations, all I care about is getting what I want!” What would happen if I took that attitude with regard to SDCC? I don’t care that all businesses exist to make money! I want them to be a smaller convention that only caters to those things I’m interested in! If they don’t do exactly what I want, I’m going to sit here and hold my breath until I turn blue! Waaaaaaah!
They’d tell me what to go do with myself and rightfully so, just as MMO developers ought to tell these old-school nuts where they can shove their entitlement fantasies. It’s one thing to say “I’d really like to have this but I understand that in the current gaming market, it’s just not popular enough to engender the millions of dollars and years of development time required”. I can live with that. It’s the people who jump up and down and demand that someone out there cater just to them that make me want to knock people in the head.
And finally, for those people who say “you don’t know that the game I want will fail”, you’re right. I don’t know, to any absolute degree of certainty, that your game will financially combust, but neither do I have any reason to think, nor evidence to support, a claim that it will be financially successful. Luckily, business decisions are not made on the basis of spending money on every cockamamie idea that comes down the road that cannot be proven wrong, they require good evidence that the project will provide a significant return on investment. There is no reason to think that an old-school MMO will do that, therefore, nobody makes them.
Logic, whatever will they come up with next?