So Gamespot posted an article today. The article reported that Ubisoft Toronto's head, Jade Raymond, claimed that the Splinter Cell games were "too complex," which in turn hurt its popularity. The Gamespot article took a small portion of that article and ran with it. I'll admit, even I didn't take that article so well. The original Eurogamer article has much more info.
One excerpt that really stood out to me was: "There's a big difference between the vocal fans who write things on forums and what the larger base of players think." In other words, what we forum goers say don't always match up with the data developers gather. She goes on to say:
"You can jump to assumptions only reading what people post on forums. That can be very different from what you find from user analysis afterwards.
"And even with the user analysis, when you get the bigger data in, there's also a lot of room for misinterpretation."
Raymond experienced data misinterpretation with Assassin's Creed, which she once worked on.
"There was one mission everyone was playing," she said. "We got the data back and it was like, 'You guys need to make more of these missions because there was something about this mission that was great.' You look at it and it's like, 'That's because that was the only side mission you had to do.' It wasn't because it was magically better. It was the one you had to play in the game.
"You have to interpret the data," she continued. "After shipping Conviction, there were a lot of people who said the fans didn't like Mark and Execute. But when we looked at our broader feedback - we do surveys through Uplay and get thousands and thousands of players - the people who rated those new features the highest were actually players who played at least two games in the series before. So in fact it was the opposite of what the data was telling us.
"So even though there were some vocal fans who felt a certain way and we would go, 'Okay, right, we're never doing that again,' the broader data told us a different story.Eurogamer
So I hear a lot of people who frequent forums say that many companies are apparently "out of touch" with gamers. This makes me think: Are they really, or are they giving the majority exactly what they want? Hanging around several like minded people on a net forum makes it far easier to believe that the majority of all people think as you do.
So when Ubisoft says things like "Gamers want a new AC every year" or "microtransactions are the future" or "Gamers are ready for always online" they immediately get a negative response from the gaming community on internet forums. But are we just one small minority who's views are the opposite of sales data and player feedback from a broader range of players?
Also, are you in favor of making a traditionally challenging game more accessible by giving the player options to play a harder or easier difficulty? Or...do you believe harder games shouldn't be made more accessible at all, no exceptions?