The official answer: "Of course we do, blahblah"
The inofficial answer: "We do of course cater our products to our fans"
The real answer: "Of course do developers do their best to finetune their products for their customers and implement fanside input if it is deemed profitable, but in the end only the publisher knows exactly who they are developing the game for. The term "fans" can consist of diehard core-fans, both traditionalists and give-us-innovation crowd, the casual game whose only prerequisite is a somewhat working game to spend fifty bucks and fifty hours of playtime on it.
Never doubt the answers. Don't even scrutinize about the questions as much, but always, always doubt the motives that lead to questions and answers.
All Developers care about the fans without any hesitation. Feedback and Suggestions are very helpful to the various game developers in the industry. Not all feedback and suggestions make it into the various games for a number of reasons. Some reasons come down to time constraints and others are such that some just do not translate well into the various games out today depending on the features or suggestions that are requested.
Some do, some don't. And from those who care, some care only to get more money, and some from sincernity.
Activison doesn't care about them.
Blizzard cares only to get more money (it used to be different before).
CD Project is more sincere about the care for customers. All the DLCs are free (in form of patches), not one patch ever did the game worse, they bring the best they can and don't ask all of your money for it.
I think small companies are interested in forming the fan base first. That is why they are more close to the fans. The bigger they become the more they don't care about them. Blizzard its not the same now after wow and EA its not Westwood.
I think companies need how to read what fans want, and what the fans want is good or not. Mostly of the time the fans cannot come with new ideas, or they cannot embrace easily new ideas. So in my opinion a good game company its a company who takes the best out of the fans, and make the fans feel like they are part of the game and its development.
Last edited by dantes12; 06-21-2012 at 08:53 PM.
I could go on about how blizzard listens to their fans but I wont. All developers suffer this same problem and it's how the feedback is received which helps the games out in the end.
In case of SC2, listening to pro players it is not listing to fans, They are payed for what they do. For them is a job. Wanting to make the game as balanced as possible is critical for that game because it is the only things which makes people keep playing it.
Blizzard is the typical example of how a good small innovative company, once it grows, it just follows the plan of the shareholders, which leads to a product for the masses.
That is why there is a crisis today in terms of innovation. Therefore indi companies are now becoming popular.
They are the response to the market need for new ideas.
Regarding SC2: Blizzard doesn't always listen to the PRO players as they have normal casual users reporting issues and giving feedback all the time. Like all companies after a game is released they look at the numbers and how people play their games. If the numbers show a certain percentage of playing the game in a manner that it wasn't designed for then some changes will take place. In the case of Diablo, Blizzard responded quickly due to a 0.02% of players not playing the game the way it was intended as they found exploits and other game breaking issues that hurt the game and the way it was meant to be played in several ways.
Do I agree with everything that Blizzard and other companies do? No.
Do you have to like how some companies listen to feedback and how it applies to patches or future game improvement? No, we don't. No matter how much we report bugs and report exploits or game breaking bugs. Not everyone will like how each issue is resolved or fixed in the end.
As for Generals 2 I really hope they will surprise us and that all this time waiting would be worth while.
Victory Games is Electronic Arts' dedicated Strategy Gaming studio. Formed in 2010 under the leadership of Jon Van Caneghem, Victory Games has offices in Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX; and Shanghai, China and is currently focused on the Command & Conquer franchise.