"Contrarian" Gamers Suck Says Treyarch

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"Contrarian" Gamers Suck Says Treyarch


When asked if he could change anything about the game industry, Treyarch's community manager said he would stop all the bitching from fans.

The gaming industry, similar to many other pursuits, has a very vocal community of fans that post endlessly on forums about why this or that game sucks. There is nothing wrong with speaking your mind in a clear and concise way, but as the Community Manager for a major developer, Josh Olin thinks that such complaining isn't helpful. Part of his job is monitoring the Call of Duty: Black Ops community, and he finds reading the constant negativity and vitriol to be the worst part of his job.

"Personally, as a community manager who lives in the media or social media world every day, I think the social culture of video games is moving in a more negative direction as technology and social media continues to grow," Olin said. "Rather than growing with it, the trend seems to be devolving. More and more gamers seem to forget what this industry is all about." Which is ostensibly bringing fun and entertainment to millions of people, something that many so-called fans forget.

More than that, Olin believes the reactions are actually holding the industry back from taking risks. "It's a creative industry - the most creative form of entertainment in existence," he said. "Too many developers who try new things are getting burned by 'pundits' and angry entitled fans who look to be contrarian, sometimes simply for the sake of being contrarian. The only thing this attitude aims to achieve is stunt that creativity and innovation even further, which is something that no rational gamer looking to be entertained would want to do."

I may not be a huge Treyarch fan, but I think that Olin just perfectly expressed something that I've been considering for a while. Why are so many gamers quick to bitch about a game that exists solely to provide pleasure? It seems that the more popular a game is, the more people "hate" it, while they still play it every day.

Can't we all just get along?

Source: Now Gamer


This is too true. It really pisses me off to see someone says a game is bad, just cause they dont like it. For example, i dont like Deadspace, but that doesnt mean its a bad game.

Whilst i agree the community is prone to bitching (im looking at YOU NeoGaf), black-ops brought a lot of problems to the series it did not have before and further exasibated some of the existing flaws especially in the singleplayer department. There is also the issue that Activision tries to sell us the same fucking game every year. As a series, CoD has given gamers a LOT more to bitch about than most.

I think that a large number of people complain since they think the game would simply be better if it was changed the way they wanted it to be. The thing is that there are non-bitchy ways to do that, a lot of game forums have "suggestion" boards where you can propose an idea in a polite manner.

Just a couple of days ago I read a news story about how Treyarch's latest BlOps patch has broken theatre mode (whatever that is), whilst a number of people still can't play the game in spite of their perfectly-capable hardware.

Whilst I agree that gamers are needlessly negative for the sake of it... Is this guy fucking serious? With the problems on his own game?

I'm also starting to notice these sorts of comments coming from certain types of developers. I've never seen people like Valve or BioWare say this sort of thing.

Well the gaming culture has always had a very large amount of negative commenting, but the same goes for every other medium I suppose.

I agree with this guy. I wish people would concentrate more on the great things.

"It's a creative industry - the most creative form of entertainment in existence,"

I love me some gaming, but let's start with an end to developer snobbism and we'll talk,

I believe games are potentially the most creative form of entertainment, but they're definitely not there yet.


Also, this behavior is in no way limited to the games industry: it's just that gamers are on average more internet-active and less socially developed.

I can see his point but there is a flip side to all this.

If developers/publishers stopped:

- Adding new DLC for games so quickly, even on release date for some; they are discussing Dragon Age 2 DLC already and the game isn't out for over a month yet.
- Stopped tacking on multiplayer to every game series, even if all it's prequels were single player only.
- Stopped churning out sequels like there is no tomorrow, while changing practically nothing.
- Stopped with the failed DRM.
- Waited until games worked fine before releasing them.
- Stopped shipping multiplayer games with 5 maps so they can intentionally wait for a month or two to release new maps that have to be paid for.

Then they'd get a hell of a lot less complaints.

Hence why the only complaints Valve gets are when games not released as soon as people would like. Basically Valve are loved so much that all people want is more of what they are selling.

This guy just made Treyarch gain a few respect levels for me.

Criticism of games is good as long as its constructive, but I've seen multitude of game forums and its just pathetic some of the things people bitch about.

EDIT: Just got reminded of all the people bitching to Blizzard because the WoW Cataclysm dungeons are "too hard". Oh, I'm sorry that they're trying to make the game a little bit more of a challenge than pushing a few fucking buttons. Here go play Barbie Horse Adventure, seems like the perfect game for you.

If you want the bitching to stop, perhaps you should make a game that doesn't suck. Black Ops deserves all the bitching that it gets, because it's a horrible game. How hard can it be to study CoD4 and copy what it did well? Honestly, Treyarch.

To an extent, I agree with Olin here. It's never nice to see a game you've worked hard on get lambasted with bitching and moaning of all sorts. That doesn't mean we should get rid of them, as some fans may genuinely want the game to get better and put out genuine criticism.

But the problem then, however, is it gets to the point of trying to separate the bitching and moaning to the actual criticism, which I think could be dangerous if it is not discerned correctly.

I think, deep down, every gamer wants their game to be as perfect as it can be, and constantly listing off the bad things among the endless praise is a way to do that. This reminds me of a recent discussion I had with an Escapist, he (you know who you are ;P) absolutely hated Heavy Rain and all it's flaws but I disagreed. I told him that, while I personally loved Heavy Rain despite it's flaws, it's a great thing that Quantic Dream had the balls to go out with it, and that he had the balls to criticize them otherwise nobody would want to improve upon things.

Sadly, the online community for games is all-too-often incredibly immature, short-sighted, unreflective, and outright obnoxious... and that drives me crazy, because we could be so much more with very little effort. The really crazy-go-nuts-making bit is that it's universal; every game's "fan" base seems to have the same mix.

I'd love to see less petty fault-finding and Platform Warz and more real discussions about the give-and-take that comes with creating games.

-- Steve

PS: reCaptcha must die, mixing latin (faituit) and english (excavating) like that.

Greg Tito:

Can't we all just get along?

As long as there are Yanks fans and Sox fans...no.

Seriously, though. This is just a case of everyone wanting to be a critic. In this day where the occasional blogger can be viewed as a credible critic, everyone wants their opinion to have more weight. The internet gives people an audience, even if it is a tiny one. Give someone a soapbox and he'll likely make a speech.

People have different opinions?

Holy shit.

Here's a way to cut down on "Contrarian" Gamer Comments: DON'T. MAKE. CRAPPY. GAMES.
It's not 'creativity' it's Q-U-A-L-I-T-Y that's the issue here. People will still play the games, but if there are broken parts, they WILL notice!

I kind of agree with Olin, but then most gamers don't know how to make a constructive criticism, they can only throw insults, and briefly mention the problem.

And where is the fun in a game that suffers from lag or just hangs up the system?

I now officially love this guy.

As I've been constantly stating I'm really sick of everybody bitching and demonizing games they don't like. Nothing wrong with not liking something, and its perfectly fine not to favor the game but enough with all this negativity! It seriously needs to stop.

This goes for us here as well. People, quit bashing, demonizing, and bitching popular games. It now pisses me off seeing a hate post or thread.

(Sorry for this rant, and if this was slightly off topic)

[quote="Greg Tito" post="7.262196.9890946] "Rather than growing with it, the trend seems to be devolving. More and more gamers seem to forget what this industry is all about."[/quote]

Not trying to be a troll here, but that may just be because about half of CoD's demogrpahic isn't gamers, and don't care about the industry.

I agree with this community manager. Still I understand that people want to express their opinions but when one doesn't have nothing better to say than "BLACK OPS SUCKS HUGE DICK", then maybe that person could just remain quiet. This isn't really a problem here in the Escapist(thank god) but for example in Youtube(perhaps a pretty bad example but the first that comes into my mind) most of the comments are just childish(trolling I know but thats part of the issue).

Am I the only one that is a little angry that treyarc basically asked for feedback so they could improve the game, and now complain because they don't like it. It's the internet, of course your going to get whiny bitches, no reason to become one. Treyarc, Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.


then why the hell do we keep getting game after game of the same frikken concept and gameplay???

After Halo every FPS feels the SAME

of course we are going to bitch and complain about the games that are put in the market if they are ALL THE SAME

only my oppinion :D

Too true... no matter what the game is, if it has some good points, you will see endless posts about how terrible it is.

Sometimes these are long troll posts from people looking to really stir things up, other times it's a single line comment from people who have only ever played COD saying "it sux".

Either way it just gets damn annoying... I thoroughly enjoy almost every game I play, you need to make something horrendously bad before I start bitching.

I just have to say this... If a game isn't fun, it's not that good, or why else would you play it?

Oh my god I love the irony here. A Treyarch dude telling us what the gaming industry is about? Him telling us about developers who try new things? Gamers don't hate new things. This guy had been living under a rock it seems. We are constantly complaining about the lack of new IP's. Everything is the same these days and he should know for he is a prat of the most evil gaming empire that doesn't know a first thing about innovation!

Too damn true honestly.

I adore Blizzard and Valve titles, yet I cannot approach the forums for any titles done by either of these 2 companies unless I wish to become angered and frustrated at the incredible amount of bitching, whining, unbearable self-proclaimed superiority over the developers themselves, amongst other, equally embarrassing and annoying, trends.

I do wish a lot of "proud, flag-bearing Gamers" would just shut the [email protected] up.

PS: I'm not talking about justified criticism here, a quick stroll through the Battle.net or STEAM forums will show you exactly what I mean, never have I found so much xenophobic, chauvinistic, self-entitled, grotesque, (...) commentary... and I've witnessed WBC rallies.

While bitching has got out of hand more recently, there exists an element of truth behind it. People wouldn't bitch about something if there wasn't a perceived problem. Now maybe they had a few bad games and want to vent on a particular subject where there isn't a major problem, but sometimes legitimate concern gets wrapped up in that crazy rage that Olin is complaining about himself.

Want to stop teh h8? Release a finished game that works on all published platforms equally at launch. You shouldn't need to patch something simple like connection problems weeks after launch when the problem should have been ironed out through QA. If you release your game as a Beta so you can patch it later, you're not doing your job right.

Interesting views, essentially blaming the fans for the lack of innovation in the industry. I think he's well-founded with his complaints, it's easy to forget that despite publishers being money-grabbing tyrants, the developers usually mean well and would do everything they could if they had the chance.

However, a lot of his problems wouldn't be there in a new IP. Of course fans are going to complain about change in an ongoing series, but that's because of the glorified perception of the previous popular instalment. By making a sequel, you're drawing a comparison. If the last was well received, you have to deal with people elevating it in their own minds when judging your game.

Fans need to stop bitching for no reason, but publishers need to start listening too. If the problem is that the series isn't living up to it's potential, perhaps it's time to take a break from it or start a new series. That would be the most creatively-freeing option for the developers, and wouldn't anger the fanbase (as much).

Yes, let's all shell out the money, buy games for full price (You do know buying from sales is equal to theft, don't you?) and the just shut up and swallow it no matter how bad it is. That is is sure to improve the industry!

I will continue to bitch until someone at Treyarch figures out the difference between a 20 round M-16 magazine (which is period accurate), and a 30 round magazine, such as the former not holding as many rounds as the latter...

This would hold water a tiny bit better if it was someone other than a Treyarch employee saying it.
I suspect that the majority of this negativity that irks him so concerns the [email protected] of whatever piece of military hardware the development team didn't craft lovingly enough, or inane hissy-fits over the comparative merits of the next console-exclusive FPS.

None of those things fall especially within the realm of creativity. When a game like Poral, Mirror's Edge or Mass Effect is released, you don't hear a spate of bitching about it due to the fact that they're innovative enough to make people say 'hang on a minute..'.


Greg Tito:
"Rather than growing with it, the trend seems to be devolving. More and more gamers seem to forget what this industry is all about."

Not trying to be a troll here, but that may just be because about half of CoD's demogrpahic isn't gamers, and don't care about the industry.

I wouldn't say so... not when the most audible and obnoxious "fans" are the ones claiming to be the "real" gamers and demanding that the industry should care only about them. As annoying as newbies and know-nothings can be, the worst offenders for what Olin is talking about are those calling themselves "hardcore" the loudest.

Am I the only one that is a little angry that treyarc basically asked for feedback so they could improve the game, and now complain because they don't like it. It's the internet, of course your going to get whiny bitches, no reason to become one. Treyarc, Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get over it.

Thank you for your illustration of the problem.

-- Steve

The guy has a point.

Some people mentioned Valve and BioWare don't have these problems with fans, but their fan base doesn't go around buying their latest game braindead without considering if they're going to enjoy it or not. They keep releasing CoD's because people keep buying them, and most of the people complaining about it STILL end up buying the next in the series.

It's a little unclear what type of bitching he is referring to, and what he counts as "bitching".

The thing is, while there is a lot of nonconstructive whine going on in the gamer community, he can't expect us to swallow everything they give us and be happy, that isn't exactly going to help "creativity and innovation" either. Yes, Black Ops has been taking a lot of crap from the gaming community and while it gets a little repetitive, it's not entirely unfounded.

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