Life of being a video game developer can be difficult. Coding isn’t easy especially for something complex as an online video game. So, you work your ass off to meet the deadline, you put your hard work out there, and then you have to deal with whatever inevitable drawback you’ll receive from your player base. So how should you react when players are making complaints?
Not like this Respawn Entertainment developer, that’s for sure!
When your game gets multiple criticisms in a not-so-polite way, it can be understandable that you’ll feel the need to fire back. Though calling the players “asshats” and “freeloaders” might not help smoothen the tension out in any way.
To understand how exactly things came to this, we have to first look at what caused the player outrage in the first place. During this August 2019, Respawn released an update called the Iron Crown event which allowed players to compete in Solo matches, a mode that has been heavily requested since the beginning, for a limited time. Where there was much rejoicing at the beginning, players soon learned that the mode didn’t come without its drawbacks.
Players wishing to reap the rewards for the Iron Crown event had to pay an extra $200+ if they wanted to achieve all of what the event had to offer. Even completing the challenges won’t be enough at all. As you really do have to shell out actual cash in order to get new skins and etc.
Which overall wouldn’t really be a problem. Apex Legends is a free-to-play title after all; the developers have to earn their bread somehow. But what got the player-base really pissed off was the exuberant prices and anti-consumer practices that Respawn decided to shell out.
So there have been a lot of complaints online criticizing Respawn for bad business practices. While some had been respectful in calling out the developers, some have been not so respectful. Which lead to a developer from Respawn eventually losing his temper.
Now, this isn’t the first time a developer has lost patience with the fanbase. A developer of Metro Exodus comes to mind when he made a bold claim that the next game won’t be coming to PC out of upset that their game will be an Epic timed exclusive. And it certainly won’t be the last time.
But to say that this behavior shouldn’t be tolerated is not my place to say. The developers are people as well and are entitled to respond how they wish. That being said, it doesn’t mean that both sides don’t have a point…at least to an extent.
While I do personally feel that Respawn is in the wrong for their recent anti-consumer practices, I can’t say that the Apex players have responded very maturely; calling the developers out for bad practices is one thing, but to add insults as well might not make them feel so obliged to help the player base. At the same time, I do believe that the players’ complains are valid. The way Respawn charges for their in-game cosmetics has been nothing short of a bad business model. As some Youtube videos correctly state out why this is a bad thing.
Purchasing microtransactions isn’t a bad thing in total, but all we ask for is the advertised content without shady business practices. Is that so hard? Because of my stance on the subject, I find it hard to defend Apex Legends use of its “surprise mechanics.” Regardless of whether or not the developers have been polite or respectful about it and hopefully not sink as low as people who are toxic like they did this time.