Daily Reaction: Games, by Gamers, for Gamers

June 9, 2015 Written by Chandler Wood

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Video games are made by people who are passionate about the industry they work in. By gamers, for gamers. In today’s Daily Reaction, Dan and Chandler are talking about the growing trend of developers, publishers, PR, and others that work within the games industry being very active gamers themselves.

Chandler: It’s fascinating to work in this industry, and to be in a position where I get to meet the people creating the games that I play and love. E3 2015 is coming up, and once again I will get the opportunity to rub shoulders with not only the creators of these games and consoles, but people who are incredibly passionate about games. At PlayStation Experience, we saw Adam Boyes get on stage and reference playing Destiny when talking about the then upcoming release of The Dark Below, but he wasn’t just reading a script. He was naturally speaking from his own extensive experience with the game. At the same event, Shawn Layden told me “You gotta dance with the girl that brought ya,” meaning that what they do is for the gamers who keep the business alive.

When The Elder Scrolls Online beta rolled around, Boyes was livestreaming his time with it and inviting people to come play with him. Not as a Sony representative, but as a gamer that was simply very excited that The Elder Scrolls Online beta was here. Shuhei Yoshida recently proved himself on Bloodborne, recording his gameplay as he took down a boss and made it look extremely easy. These guys aren’t just a bunch of suits shuffling pieces and money around for business and profits. They are gamers too, and their passion is their industry.

This passion leads them to make decisions more from our perspective. Yes, ultimately they are a business, and in order to remain in business to keep providing us with games, they need to make money. But they are also better able to look at business decisions more easily from a consumer perspective, because they too are the consumer of their product. Many of the staff at Bungie are active players of Destiny, and their own frustrations with the game have mirrored those of the fans, leading to more understanding and sympathy for the things that gamers want from the game.

Developers are not shortcutting their creative work to screw the gamers over. Publishers are not being “anti-consumer” in their practices. PR reps are not trying to keep information from you in order to deceive you. Are there some misguided decisions? Some mistakes that are made? Sure. Will everything always be put out there in black and white or made crystal clear? No. But the gamers will always speak the loudest, and the gamers will be the ones to shape the industry. Every single one of us. From Shuhei Yoshida and Adam Boyes to you, our dear readers that are passionate enough about games that you are here reading our take on the industry.

As E3 2015 comes, we need to remember that this is an industry of camaraderie. That we are all gamers. The developers. The PR. The publishers. Ourselves. And you, the readers. We are all in this together, and our actions, decisions, and voices will shape this young and fledgling industry. But we can’t do it segmented. We need to work together, providing constructive criticism, and working with our fellow gamers to ensure that this industry stands the test of time and evolves to a strength and force to be reckoned with in the creative digital entertainment world.

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Dan: Precisely, Chandler. I honestly don’t think it is that much of a surprise that many of the people who populate this industry are in one way or another, gamers. But, I do think that for a company to truly understand the market they are trying to be successful in, they can’t be simply gamers, or business people, they need to walk a line between the two.

Just going off of my own personal impressions, I have always gotten more of a high level business and marketing side to the way Microsoft has approached the industry, than one that was driven by people actually using the content. Obviously, they do have more than a few gamers who are high up on the food chain, but I have never felt a level of passion for the industry as I have the other two major first party publishers.

This has always left me with some slight disconnect from Microsoft, while even though I am writer for PlayStation LifeStyle, I do enjoy the industry in all of its different shades. Sadly, as I was saying, this impression has always been something I have wanted them to prove me wrong about. This is because that no matter which of the major publishers you look at, there is a great emphasis on capitalizing on existing successful IPs, and a secondary push for innovation. But, when a company comes across as passionate about what they are doing, it does become easier to palate the obvious, simply because it is easier to believe it has more earnest origins.

The concept of big business is something that feels so foreign to the games industry, mainly because so much of it is dependent on a community to drive it. So, as we do see people in suits try to explain to us what we want, it is easy to become jaded and cynical about anything that is said. But, if a company can truly relate to its users, it can get people to actually listen. For me, this has almost always been Sony. Not only with the way that they have presented content, but it has always been an attention to reach out to gamers, and make them feel special.

Going back into the early days of PlayStation, I remember getting invited into the PlayStation Underground, and receiving a membership card with my name printed on it. It really was a number of little things that they did as a company that really sold me on feeling connected to the industry that I haven’t gotten with the others in a long time. Nintendo really had a grasp on me during my younger years, but with their over reliance on a handful of IPs it was difficult to not feel that it was being run by people who only played the same games, year in and year out. Despite all this, there is still a level of camaraderie that needs to be maintained by gamers all around. 

Do you see the passion of the figures within the gaming industry? Let us know in the comments below, email us your suggestions at DailyReaction@PlayStationLifeStyle.net, or game with us on Twitter @Foolsjoker and @Finchstrife

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