Out of all of the things I’ve heard, one thing that strikes me is the people who are of the opinion that companies don’t make games for fans; they make them for customers/companies don’t owe you anything, so they have the right to not release anything.
I’m not a market analyst, nor am I marketing major. However, I’m pretty sure that if something has a fanbase, it has a dedicated stream of income. And the more beloved that particular something is, it has guaranteed profits. It’s agreed that Final Fantasy XIII and ET the Extraterrestrial for the Atari 2600 are colossal piles of shit, but they were also huge sources of revenue.
Because of the fanbases. Final Fantasy fans pre-ordered it like crazy, because (and this may come as a shock to you) it was a new Final Fantasy game. ET sold like hotcakes because (holy shit, you’ll never guess it) it was the video game of a very popular movie. Yes, as soon as people played them, they were out and out appalled, but not before they shelled out big bucks to get them. I constantly heard people whining about Nintendo games and how they aren’t Halo FPSs; how fanboys need to stop liking them so they can be completely changed or discontinued. Yet, so how, fans magically don’t have an effect on something when they get mad about being denied a promise? You can’t say that game companies pander to fan whims one minute and then say that no company cares about what they say. The fans are the ones buying the games. We’ve entered into an age of “If you don’t have this game, why are you even playing games” to the point to where we’ve forgotten that only the people who like a certain thing are the consumers of said thing.
Only Sonic fans buy Sonic games
Only Dragon Quest fans buy Dragon Quest
Only Disgaea fans buy Disgaea games
Only Megaman fans buy Megaman games
So on and so forth. In these cases, fan = customer. I don’t expect an FPS fan to buy Person 2 PSP when it comes out. I’d expect the very specialized number of Persona fans to buy it. Why do you thing Atlus made Devil Summoner 2 have a limited release in the states? All in all, a company should indeed listen to it’s fans when those fans are the primary source of income from that particular product.
And as far as the “they don’t owe you anything” line goes, would that work with anything else? Superbowl’s cancelled, because the NFL doesn’t owe you anything. Toyota and Nissan pull out of the states and don’t sell their cars, because they don’t owe you anything. Peter Jackson cancels production of the Hobbit, because he and his film company don’t owe you anything. The last Harry Potter movie doesn’t come out because Warner Bros doesn’t owe you anything. A video game company releases info about a game that’s been waited for for 10 years, allowing the fanbase to put in more content than any game in the series and then cancels it because they don’t owe us anything. That’s the stupidest reasoning that I’ve ever heard. If there were real reasons, that’s fine, but “We don’t owe you anything” is the dumbest excuse for cancelling a product.
But then, it all comes down to them being a company that really does care more about the money than the product. Considered the following: Capcom would never cancel Street Fighter, because it makes them too much bank. Megaman, whilst making bank, doesn’t make as much as Street Fighter, so who cares if that series is shelved.
Think of it like this: Capcom is McDonalds, Street Fighter is the Big Mac, and MegaMan is the Fillet-O-Fish. You’d never discontinue the Big Mac, but if you discontinued the Filet-O-Fish, sure you’d get backlash, but who cares? Look at all the money you’re making with the Big Mac, the McDouble (which is a Big Mac with less bread and lettuce) and the Big N Tasty (essentially a revamped Big Mac); they’ll just have to wait until we feel like bringing it back.
Capcom: Once a company that listened to the fans, now, just another company.