I've never been the forgiving type: Cross me once and you won't get close enough to do it again. Maybe I have trust issues? Maybe I'm slightly more intelligent than I am kind? Or maybe I just don't care. Either way, I don't forgive--I dont forget--and I don't go passively into the night: If you've seen the color of my blood, I'll know the color of yours soon enough.
Now dont get me wrong, there are exceptions, and I'm not the type to bring the pain for every childhood travesty or adolescent nightmare I've endured. Take family for example, you're kind of stuck with them right? And how can you stay mad at people as beautiful as you anyways!? Even cousins and extended family get a longer leash...but take my kindness for a weakness? You'll get hit twice as hard. It's the principle of the thing and I've got a reputation to keep, you understand, right?
So what happens when a game developer breaks my trust? You guessed it: One and done. Peter Molyneux of "Fable" fame guaranteed a masterpiece with "Fable 2" and lost a customer for life. Activision / Treyarch promised a new "Call of Duty" game but lost my business when I opened another map pack. The masterminds behind "Metal Gear" had me salivating for Snake's story in "Sons of Liberty" but one frosty-haired emo later and I haven't played another Metal Gear game since.
After all, it's one thing to create a mediocre product and let your customers judge its content, but another to promise the world and charge full price for a chunk of soil and a cup of water. Sure, you might get your 60 dollars today--but you'll never see a cent from me tomorrow. Simply put: If you want my business, don't piss on me and tell me it's raining.
Of course there are exceptions with game developers too, there has to be, and I'm far more forgiving of a company who sincerely attempts to redeem itself with a stellar encore to compensate for a mundane opening act. Take "Mario 2" to "Mario 3" for example, or the transition of the second "Grand Theft Auto" to the third. Now I'm not saying that either prequel was bad, not many bad games get sequels after all, but the reinvention of both franchises solidified them as industry leaders and fans the world over were quick to forget about their less-than-ideal pasts.
Another example of a less-than-perfect game series that earns a "forgiveness freebee" is the "Elder Scrolls" franchise. Bethesda, bless their nerdly hearts, couldn't manage a bug free release if the sanctity of their sacred virginity depended on it. People expect it, just like they expect Bethesda to deliver a dynamic and engrossing experience on the grand scale, and year in and year out they deliver. Besides, Bethesda does a fairly good job of patching and updating their products in a timely manner as compensation. Could it be better? Sure. But most people let it slide because their games are often so superior, even in a fundamentally broken state, than the majority of the current titles and name-brand-milk-jobs on the market today.
In truth, Bethesda is like that idiot friend we all have (unless you are that idiot friend) who has the best intentions in the world but cant do anything right without a few mishaps along the way. Sure they screw up and screw up often (Brink anyone?) but we appreciate them, admire their devotion to the craft, and acknowledge the good they do because, well, when they finally pull it off--they shoot the lights out. Putting their legal department aside, Bethesda is a developer who has earned its spot as an exception in the world of forgive and forget. As long as they continue to raise the bar with depth and gameplay, continue to update and improve their releases, and continue to keep the art and craft their primary focus in development: Bethesda will remain a developer whose flaws I can overlook.
So what do you think? Any games / series that get the forgiveness go ahead that you wouldn't offer a similar title or franchise under the same circumstances? And do you think we have a tendency to treat the games we care about a little harsher than those of just another standard release?
I'd love to hear your opinions.