Johan Ben Samhoun, a game test specialist at Govidio, said that it is “possible” for the company to survive this crisis, but it is “a risky bet, and if something goes wrong, it may destroy its future.” Although CD Project boasts of selling more than 13 million copies, the bug in Cyberpunk 2077 has shaken players’ trust in the studio, and hardly a game has managed to get out of such a crisis.
No Man’s Sky is an exception. When it came to market in the summer of 2016, it was expected to revolutionize. The British studio “Hello Games” had promised that the game would focus on the character of a space explorer in an almost endless world, where each planet the explorer encounters has its own and unique ecosystem. British player Matthew Winter, 31, said it was “one of the most anticipated games” of his life.
But as soon as the game dedicated to the “PlayStation 4” was released, it became clear to the players that errors disrupted it, that repetition was defective, and that it was less beautiful than the announcement suggested. Yohan Ben Samhoun said that the players were “disappointed”, and spread on social networks a “bad reputation” about the game.
On that day, requests to refund the amounts paid to purchase the game flooded the company, and soon after that the producing studio issued a public apology.
One million copies sold by “CD Project”, but now it seeks to restore the confidence of players
Rather than admitting the failure of their game and moving on to the next, its creators decided to improve it through regular updates, an uncommon choice in the industry. Five years later, No Man’s Sky doesn’t look what it used to be.
Matthew Winter, who plays under the alias “Allmost Epic Gaming” and posts his “No Man’s Sky” adventures online on Twitch, said the game “really became” what he expected.
Ben Samhoun noted that “Hello Games’ recipe for saving itself was to listen to the feedback” of the players. He added, “They made up for what they lost thanks to this perfect follow-up and made the game very good, and the demand for it is still great today.”
This persistence was also demonstrated by the producers of Final Fantasy 14, with the release of an online version of the popular video game series in 2010 that allowed the participation of a number of players was characterized by chaos. The game received average ratings that do not match the popularity of the previously released parts of the video in the series, and players criticized its lack of content.
This prompted the Japanese publisher, Square Enix, to make drastic changes, as the development team was changed and the game world was deleted, which was replaced by a new version that was included on the Internet in 2013. Journalist and writer Daniel Andreev, who has been watching the game for more than two years, considered that “the first release that did not It is now available as a legend.”
Little by little, Final Fantasy 14 emerged from the ashes and its loyal gamer community numbered more than 20 million in the summer of 2020. Behind this insistence was a “non-exceptional economic interest”, according to Daniel Andreev, who noted that this type of game is very profitable because it depends on subscriptions. He said, “The company’s survival depends on this matter, and its admission of defeat is a mortal loss.”
Sometimes it is not the poor technical quality of the game that harms it, but its economic model. The American company, Electronic Arts, paid the price at the end of 2017, when it released the highly anticipated “Star Wars: Battlefront 2” game. And if this part of the series is technically sound, its progression system has pissed players off.
Improving their character in the game requires them to purchase random-content “loot boxes” for unreal amounts of money approved in the game. If chests can be obtained by continuing to play a certain number of hours, players can speed up the process by paying money, but this time it’s real.
Although this practice was not new, fans of the game saw it as a betrayal and called for a boycott of the game. The publisher backtracked at the last minute and abandoned the system entirely a few months after the game’s release, but the damage was done. The image of “Star Wars: Battlefront 2” was tarnished and it took months and a number of levels and popular free characters from the “Star Wars” franchise were added to encourage players to return.
And Daniel Andreev expected “more similar cases in the future” despite everything, noting the difficulty of reconciling game design, which is taking longer and producing companies seeking returns on their investments. “In video games, commercial interests often take precedence over product quality,” he said.