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Robert Tamayo

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Gamers Cannot Be Tricked

I didn't like the new James Bond movie, mainly because of how the character was changed or broke away from tradition. Everyone else in the theater loved it, and everyone I talk to loves it. That's fine. I'm honestly glad they enjoyed it.

I learned this lesson about 15 years ago when Avatar came out. I was watching it with 2 of my friends at a midnight premiere. We were all pretty excited to see it. In the months leading up to its release, it was being lauded as the next greatest thing on earth -- a brand new sci fi IP with stunning visuals directed by James Cameron. Oh, and it was in 3D, too. But I found myself bored while watching it. At the end of the 3.5 hours, I looked around the theater expecting to see all of the disappointed faces in the audience. Instead, to my genuine shock, they started applauding! My friends and I were confused. Did the rest of the audience just watch the same movie we did? 

I learned from that experience not to care about people enjoying things that I don't. Everyone I talked to liked Avatar for its visual effects. I disliked it for its long length, mediocre story, and uninteresting characters. We really did see 2 different movies. I saw the story, they saw the pictures. I didn't like the story, and they liked the pictures.

What does this have to do with Gamers?


Perhaps an even bigger reason why Avatar was so beloved by everyone who saw it (remember, no one talks about that movie today) was that every single media outlet was praising it as "amazing" before it even came out. People went into the movie expecting to see something beautiful, and they believed it. They were sold on the idea that the movie was great even before watching it.

Praising a film as "extraordinary" before the audiences have seen it is common in the movie industry, and most often, it works. But last year they tried the same thing in a different industry -- gaming -- and they failed, extraordinarily.

Gamers Can't Be Tricked


Cyberpunk 2077 was being marketed as "The Greatest Game of All Time". That might seem like an exaggeration, but it's not. Virtually everyone in the gaming media was talking about how amazing the game was going to be. I bought the game on release day and excitedly started playing it, eager to try out the much-hyped ray-tracing lighting effects and explore the cyberpunk world of Night City.

Only, the game sucked. It didn't suck because the game sucked. Maybe the game was okay. It actually hurts me to talk about it because there really was a great game somewhere underneath the mess that was Cyberpunk 2077.

Cyberpunk 2077 - An NPC started living in my apartment


The glitches in the game didn't make it truly unplayable, but they made it unenjoyable. All too often, I would fail a mission due to cops spawning behind me. An emotional cutscene was ruined by a glitching handgun. A companion would run around in midair. And an NPC started living in my apartment.

From the very first mission I noticed dead enemies "freefalling" while stuck inside a door. "Night" City was all too often "Day" City. And the NPCs looked like trash after the initial day one patch nerfed them.

The point about this is that gamers as a whole outright rejected this game. Gamers didn't buy into the marketing. Once they played the game, they hated it. They couldn't play it. There were too many glitches. They wondered why it was released. It should have been delayed 2 years at a minimum.

Unlike movie-goers, gamers can't be tricked. When a game is unplayable or not good, gamers will know it.

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