Why They Don’t Take Boycotts Seriously…

By Kieron Gillen on November 12th, 2009 at 5:28 pm.

Just as a FYI. (Click for the full thing)

(Picked up from the PCG forum via Poisoned Sponge)

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215 Comments »

  1. stormbringer951 says:

    Nethack is better.

    • Wulf says:

      NetHack is brilliant, as is Noctis.

      Procedural games need more love.

    • ascagnel says:

      Nethack is GOTY for every year. Bonus points: it works on my crappy cell phone, Macbook, and AWESOME PC OF THE GODS.

  2. Torgen says:

    Good thing IW doesn’t allow dedicated servers, else people would be cheating

    • PHeMoX says:

      I think boycotting didn’t turn out useful with Left 4 Dead 2 either and Activision sure as heck won’t fly people over to convince them.

  3. Turin Turambar says:

    I think the average CoD player doesn’t even know the meaning of the word “boycott”. I suppose they believe it means “to complain” or perhaps “to show displeasure”.

  4. Mac says:

    nobs and mugs – the lot of em

  5. mbp says:

    I give up

  6. Tyshalle says:

    I’m renting this shit for the 360, because the single player will probably be fun, but in all seriousness I’ve never been hugely in love with CoD multiplayer and the single player games are always so damn short that it just doesn’t seem worth the price.

  7. Jad says:

    While this Steam group is a BOYCOTT group and therefore this a fail, don’t take the same attitude towards the petition. I signed the petition, and I will be buying the game, because I read the petition carefully. It said nothing about a “boycott”, just that Infinity Ward should “reconsider” the decision to cut out mods and dedicated servers.

    I will be buying the game because I am one of those “crazy” people who want it for the singleplayer, not the multiplayer. I played COD4 for the first time back in January, and it remains the most intense and memorable gaming experiences I’ve had all year. And I’ve played a bunch of great games this year. I don’t care that its only 6 hours long — I would gladly pay $60 for Portal as well — game length is not as important as game quality.

    And for all of you saying “well I don’t care about this game” or “I’ve never heard of this game” or “I’m too busy playing Game X” in every Modern Warfare 2 thread — you’re beginning to sound kinda childish. You’re not special, and you’re not adding much to the discussion. There *are* people who care about these games — let them talk about the game in peace. There are plenty of games posted up on here that I don’t care anything about, but I don’t waste your time and mine telling you that, unless I also have something substantive to say.

    • Shalrath says:

      “and it remains the most intense and memorable gaming experiences I’ve had all year.”
      Out of curiousity, and I’m being serious here, which never-ending-respawn-of-enemies part of the game was ‘intense and memorable’? I remember the street one, the building one, and the sniper one, but none of them was particularly intense, but I guess it’s memorable in that I can see myself sprinting to the x on the floor that prevented further enemy spawning in each of those locales.

    • Jad says:

      I’ve never had the antipathy to the re-spawning enemies thing that everyone else seems to have. Its a gameplay conceit, and one I’m quite used to, having played the previous COD games quite a lot.

      I feel like its almost the reaction I have when playing a point-and-click adventure game: I’ve played so many of them that grabbing everything that isn’t nailed down and combining every item with every other item feels instinctive and natural, not gamey and illogical. Just like it feels natural combing every dead body for vendor trash in an RPG or moving towards the obvious story trigger points in a Half-Life game, etc.

      In COD games, I find myself falling into a rhythm: crouch behind cover, shoot a bunch of guys, sprint to the next cover, shoot more guys, etc. The “cross line X to move on” thing didn’t seem forced or problematic unless you decide to buck the gameplay the game is trying to pull you towards — that is, if you just park yourself in one spot and refuse to move*. Which to me is like refusing to combine items in a point-and-click adventure game — you might as well not play one.

      Also, what the respawning enemies design does is force me out of my standard mode of play, out of my comfort zone: I tend to be a sniper. I recently played Crysis, which has a suit with all these modes for in-your-face action — strength to grab exploding barrels and launch them at enemies, super speed to get right up to people and punch the building down around them. Yet I found myself spending vast amounts of time slowly sneaking forward, binoculars, sneak forward, see tiny dot in distance of enemy, snipe enemy, cloak & run away, do it again. Amusing for awhile, but eventually I grew bored and had to basically force myself to take the more aggressive approach. COD does not allow you to play that way, you have to keep moving forward, aggressively, into danger.

      I’d talk about what parts actually did make the game memorable to me, but I’ve already written an essay about the respawning enemies thing and I’m tired now. If you’re actually interested maybe I’ll write more later.

      * or if you’re playing on a too-high difficulty level, which is a mistake I think a lot of people make. Veteran is not any fun unless you’ve already totally memorized the game. I will also admit that there are a couple of places where the easy rhythm I described above breaks down because the signposting of where-to-go is not obvious; the most blatant of which is the TV station, which I know is what killed the game for a bunch of people. They needed a bit of that Valve-style constant playtesting there, I think.

  8. Brian says:

    Please interview some of them. I would love to make out (in between the racial slurs and insulting my mother) where they’re coming from.

    It really is pathetic how people are giving into activision.

  9. PleasingFungus says:

    That is pretty magnificent. (Note that most of these people are playing it as a Steam game, and thus probably not pirated. You have to get Steam games legitimately to play them online, yes?)

  10. paddytehpyro says:

    MW2 makes me cry at night. I love (still) CoD4 MP. Especially the bigger 32 and even 50 man servers. It was one of the few FPSs I have played online that, imo, is balanced. And was great fun in TDM, sabotage, domination S&D and all the others. I and 5 others would often play CoD4 in the evening chatting over skype. Always picking the one or 2 servers that we always played on as they had the options we liked. When I first heard it was going to be on steam I thought great. Love the steam server browser and fiends lists. And VAC isnt too bad. Still helps to have server admins but still, picks up alot of people. Then the rest of it started to appear…

    MW2 seems to be the same MP as CoD4(Great) but limited to P2P, shoddy host mitigation and only 9v9 AT MOST! (Not so great…).

    All I can hope is they fix it before people figure out out to make MW2 run reliably on dedi servers with cracks and other stuffs.

  11. Captain Obvious says:

    You idiots do know that most pirated copies still use steam to play….therefore all of these people could be playing pirated copies. Way to over react…this site is a joke.

  12. cliffski says:

    This is fucking hilarious. Excellent link

  13. Danarchist says:

    Mocking guys like these scrubs is pretty much the same as throwing rocks at the retarded kid. The few of them that can actually comprehend words above 3 syllables (or even what a syllable is) are already so depressed by their lack of purpose in life its just pointless.

  14. Heliosicle says:

    sure i gave into the big evil activision machine

    watchagunnadoaboutit?

    i want to play the game, and thats what matters to me…

  15. suibhne says:

    In all seriousness, this is more sad than funny. With an eye to long-range trends in the PC game market, it’s much more important to take a stand against IW for MW2 than against Valve for L4D2. (Which is to say, it’s important period, since there was no far-reaching relevance to the L4D2 boycott.) I sincerely wish that IW would end up feeling real pain over its arrogant dismissal of best practices for PC games, but this is yet another reminder that the game will be a super-mega-ultra success no matter how much noise is made by gamers and journalists.

    • Gorgeras says:

      You’re going to have to help me here, because so far every rationalisation I’ve heard from people who support protests about the dedicated servers for MW2 and were utter twats about the L4D2 ones completely smell of ad hoc justification.

      Looking at various different reasons for why they are supposedly issues miles apart, one deserving of support and the other deserving of all the ridicule and bias that was heaped on it, I am not the slightest bit informed about what standards people set, if any. I could not ever predict what possible future issues they would take a stand on and what they would dismiss.

      Some of us stood like a rock over Left4Dead 2, are still doing and are going to keep doing so and will get nothing but shit and ignorance from people for it. But the protests over Modern Warfare 2 have had a very easy ride and I don’t understand why. Nothing has been explained.

    • Jeremy says:

      I think both boycotts are kinda pointless because these companies will still make millions and these boycotts will feel like a slight breeze on the backs of their necks. For every 1 person boycotting it, 5 new gamers just became fans. Unless you’re just doing it on principle, in which case, good on ya. IW doesn’t owe 1% of gamers anything, least of all me, and maybe that’s cynical, but I would like to think that’s just business. I don’t want to play a game without dedicated servers, so I don’t.

      My principle is this: without dedicated server support, the multiplayer is useless to me (unless proven otherwise), so I don’t buy it. Not so much a boycott as it is a setting up of priorities for my gaming habits and following through. We can complain, we can be upset, but why? There are a ton of games that are available for any platform, if it doesn’t affect 99% of gamers, then what are we fighting? Should I begin by trying to prove to others that dedicated servers are better, and then start a petition? I do understand the complaint, getting rid of dedicated servers is completely stupid in my opinion, but only for PC, which is why the game will not be purchased by me. But think about it, most gamers play on a console these days, and of those that don’t, only a small percentage are “boycotting” the game (as in, I’m mad, but am still buying it anyway). So, have they even lost any sales? Now add the percentage they just gained from the hype machine and this is the most successful game of all time.

      What reason do they have to change? If I made a game, would I cater to the smallest percentage to make them happy?

    • Gorgeras says:

      You’ll excuse me if I don’t think feedback should be left to the lowest common denominator.

    • Jeremy says:

      Well, I think the point I’m making is that we are the lowest common denominator.

    • abhishek says:

      That superiority complex that these ‘hardcore pc gamers’ have is one of the biggest problems for the platform.

  16. int says:

    That is funny. Hah!

  17. Tworak says:

    I’m confused. so because they’re playing mw2 they DON’T want dedicated servers?

  18. int says:

    “A boycott is a form of consumer activism involving the act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons.”

    -Wikipedia

  19. jonfitt says:

    Are boycott breaker ‘Scabs’?

  20. Out Reach says:

    this made me lol in real life.

  21. Brad Grenz says:

    Very funny. I also like the subtle irony of people using Steam’s community creation feature to complain about the Steamwork’s game most of them are currently playing not being able to foster a community.

  22. TheSombreroKid says:

    there’s 800 people in that group how many are playing the game?, how many of those payed for it? they do take boycotts seriously just not that seriously, if they had 1 million signatures they’d've caved, 100,000 an’t enough.

  23. Alan Au says:

    I think it would be funnier if they set it up so that people who signed the boycott couldn’t actually play online.

  24. Sym says:

    The thing I find the most amusing will be all the people that are so “this is the bestest PC game evar” will be all the ones crying a few months from now when a map-pack comes out and you have to drop more cash to download it or you’ll be the only one playing the old boring maps. Do you like being nickel and dimed?

    I signed the petition – I didn’t buy it – and if I do someday want to play the 4 hr SP game, I’ll torrent it…and I’ll seed it. And nothing matters beyond that to me – my money will go to a company that supports PC gaming.

  25. rocketman71 says:

    Pathethic. But not exactly surprising.

  26. Jorlin says:

    How sad…
    All those younglings that cannot resit the dark side of the force… is this our future?

  27. Radiant says:

    I played some mw2 multiplayer last night on the 360.
    Some kid made monkey and chicken noises for 30 minutes straight non stop over the voice chat.

    Unfortunately he was also the top scoring player in every round.

    • Radiant says:

      I guess what I’m saying is that actual sentient human beings are no longer top of the food chain.
      We’ve managed to create a sub species that will eventually overwhelm out eat and out pace us for the win.

      We’ll have to live in the sky in airships and our downfall will be that we were smart but not smart enough to create enough foods that fly.

    • Starky says:

      It’s fine, I’m an engineer and come the xbox-tard (zombie?) apocalypse I’ll jury rig some kind of automated plankton and/or algae extractor.
      I’m sure that the biochemists in our flying cities (or more probable floating in the middle of the Atlantic) can manage some kind of processing in order to make it digestible for us. Or at least plan it and then look at us engi’s utterly confused and helpless when it comes to actually building it practically.

    • Bret says:

      Of all the things for Mike Judge to be right about…

  28. Megamaj says:

    I lol’ed. I played CoD4 for the single player, and I might play this game for the single player, and I’m glad I won’t have to cope with those guys in multiplayer. :)

  29. Jonathan says:

    While I’m sure that there are tons of whiners who said they were going to boycott the game who ended up buying it, I don’t know if pointing to a boycott group where 0.04% of the total group is currently playing the game is big evidence that the boycott is a failure.

    More interesting to me is that, at least in terms of revenue, Torchlight outsold all the MW2 preorders on Steam. That makes me really happy, because Torchlight is amazing.

    • Baris says:

      You know, I’m trying to take your argument seriously, but if you just look closely at the picture, you’ll realise that it hasn’t been handpicked in any way. If you go onto the group page, that’s what you see.

  30. We Fly Spitfires says:

    LOL yep :) Gamers are too addicted to do anything but moan on forums :)

  31. Vadermath says:

    Bah, it’ll probably end like the L4D2 one, but with a lot more rage. And IW is certainly mocking the PC. I mean, I’ve read an interview with them, in which the following question was asked;

    “Ignoring IW.net, is the PC version a direct port of the console version?”

    D’ya know what their answer was?

    “Mackey-IW: No, PC has custom stuff like mouse control, text chat in game, and graphics settings.”

    • Paco says:

      yeah, they are totally prick, and Bobby Kotick (CEO activision) the most, if it were for him the price would even higher (said by himself)

  32. Praz-el says:

    L4d2 is actually a good game, it plays totally differently from l4d. Valve looks like it came through on making the game a lot better and changing everything

  33. Ceebux says:

    Anyone else remember not buying games and just not telling anyone about it? And getting on with things?

  34. Azazel says:

    Speak not such thoughts – that way does madness lie!

  35. Vinraith says:

    Further proof that people that can’t stick to their principles should just shut the hell up, they make the rest of us look stupid by association.

  36. Shnyker says:

    /facepalm.

    Caught green handed.

  37. Railick says:

    yuck yuck yuck.

    I will not buy MW2 no matter what! Of course, there is the small fact that my computer can't play it, I can't afford it even if I did want to buy it, I have to many games already to play and seriously can't add another to them or I will physically create a black hole in my computer room that will tear apart the earth, ect. So I don't really count for a boycotter I'm just poor in every way (time/money/will power)

    I played the L4D2 demo and feel a bit more for Vinraith's camp then before, it isn't really a diffrent game at all :( Sure it has diffrent locations and diffrent monsters ect but these are the sort of things you find in expansions all the time. I'm not saying I'm totally for L4D2 boycotters but I can see their point of view as I can the MW2 boycotters point of view. Both parties have some silly people in them though making the rest look bad. such is the case with any large group of angry people though some people join a group of angry people just so they can be angry.

  38. Jorgen says:

    Eh… These people are just hopeless.

    Guess we can expect even more crap from devs with PC games then, huh? Higher prices, less features, dumbed down experiences and all. Great! Something to look forward to…

  39. Ed says:

    This is just like those people who call themselves vegetarians yet eat fish and chicken.

  40. Jonathan says:

    Oh, I know it wasn’t handpicked at all, and I’m not trying to insinuate that (and I hope it didn’t come off that way). Seeing the screenshot made me curious, because it sounded like a huge majority of the group was playing the game, so I actually went to look at the group itself to see how many people were playing the game.

    My point is that while the screenshot is funny and highlights a few people who are obvious hypocrites, pointing to it as “evidence that boycotts fail” seems a bit ridiculous given the extremely low percentage of people it represents. When I checked, out of the entire group, 0.04% of the total members were playing the game. I’m sure a whole bunch more in the group will go on to play it, and I wouldn’t be surprised the majority of people boycotting the game end up buying it anyway, but seeing this screenshot plastered all over the internet like some killer piece of evidence is weird to me.

    That said, I have no idea if this “boycott” will be successful or not, and I don’t really have any vested interest in if it does or doesn’t as it doesn’t affect me in any way.

    • Taillefer says:

      It’s not meant as boycott failure evidence; that evidence will simply be simply whether anything changes or not. This is just as you said, a humorous way to highlight a few hypocritical people so we can laugh for a few moments and feel good about ourselves.

    • Taillefer says:

      Too simple.

    • Wilson says:

      I see what you mean, but really I think this kind of screenshot is just a way of pointing out that causes like boycotts often get a lot of people who sign up and make noise, but won’t actually go through with it. I don’t think anyone is saying boycotts will never work and everyone who signs up to a boycott is an idiot (there are clear issues with both L4D2 and COD:MW2, though I wasn’t personally bothered by any of it myself, I can see why people would be).

      There is also humour there as you pointed out, which I feel is the main point of this post. I think (hope) most people are aware of the things you’ve mentioned and everyone else has brought up regarding taking stuff like this as evidence and the weaknesses of internet style boycotts and signature campaigns.

    • Wilson says:

      To clarify, I was replying to Jonathan’s post.

  41. Adam says:

    This is what I said when L4D2 Boycott steam group was create. I bet Valve being Valve will use the stats of how many people who joined that group bought L4D2 as a PR stunt.

    • Gorgeras says:

      Gabe Newell already has, without actually releasing the data. He went down another notch in my book. I was only ever intending to get angry about L4D2 and leave it at that and continue supporting and buying Valve’s games. It’s getting harder to take that view now.

  42. DMJ says:

    Ah, the MW2 “I’ll buy it, but I’ll harbour deliciously rebellious feelings of resentment” campaign is off to a great start I see.

  43. JimmyJames says:

    Wouldn’t surprise me. What I would like to see are stats on how many people who owned L4D bought L4D2.

  44. JimmyJames says:

    Wouldn’t surprise me. I would be curious to find out what percent of people who owned L4D bought L4D2 after a week or two of release.

  45. NykO18 says:

    Actually, I wrote a script a few days ago whose only goal was to parse all the profiles of the people in the Boycott Left 4 Dead 2 group. I excluded private profiles and made a ratio. There was only 3.5% of all this people who bought the game. Looks like they’re taking it a bit more seriously, for the moment…

  46. Donkeydeathtasticelastic says:

    Man, if I was a boycotter I wouldn’t half-arse it.

    I wasn’t 100% sure on getting MW2 as is, and the lack of dedicateds was basically a giant middle finger. But seeing how the campaign is cheesy as fuck from what I read (hell, I thought /v/ were trolling the first time I read the synopsis) I really have no interest for it anymore.

    It’s kind of sad how this will basically tell everyone else that they can get away with shit and still have people play.

    I was kind of annoyed about L4D2, on the other hand, but so far they haven’t done anything dickish apart from maybe release a sequel too early. I’ll probably still be waiting on the reviews and Christmas for it, though.

    • Dante says:

      Yeah, I never touched the CoD4 multiplayer, so I honestly don’t give a damn about dedicated servers, but the price gouging? And the fact that they appear to have turned a single player story with a realistic, gritty depiction of war into a cheesy action movie?

      Yeah, that can fuck off.

  47. NykO18 says:

    Yeah Ok, I was bored.

  48. Some Guy says:

    But surely with the console sales, all a boycott would achieve anyway would be the publishers deciding the PC market wasn’t worth it. Also: People going “I’m so pissed off, I’m going to pirate it, that’ll show them”

  49. Nero says:

    Damn weaklings. I know I will never buy this game because I don’t want to support the things they’ve done with it.

  50. EBass says:

    To be honest I don’t really know how this game has got the hype it has.

    The first CoD was one of the best games of its day, the second kept the formula but built it up into a cinematic masterpiece. The Fourth pretty much did the same but in a different setting. MW2 is the same as the fourth except the plot is worse and the price is higher, apart from a few new weapons NOTHING IS DIFFERENT, hell they’ve reused 90% of the animations from CoD:4.

    The basic gameplay of this series was tired by the time the fourth came along, now its just a dead horse.

    This has made me far more sad than angry, “The Man” always wins. But I ain’t buying this shit.