Our lone Reader Submission this weekend comes from PRC.net reader Sonke S., who has shown us a troubling trend in the way game developers are interacting with their community. As our site has documented quite extensively, a fair amount of developers within the gaming industry believe silencing genuine criticism is the easiest way to downplay their games’ nagging issues. We’ve also demonstrated, in great detail, the sim racing community’s reception to Assetto Corsa and the strange lack of functionality for pretty much anything within the popular 2014 racing sim.
Today’s submission mixes both subjects together.
Hey guys, I’m not sure whether I’m obligated now to state how much I love your blog, but that would be undifferentiated because sometimes I do and sometimes I really don’t, because some articles lack the basic principles of causality. Therefore, I’ll skip that part.
You wrote a lot about how some developers censor opinions they don’t like, and I have one to add to that list:
I recently asked on their Facebook page whether or not there will be AI pit stops coming soon, and somebody said no. I afterwards stated how I think that rFactor 2 is more advanced, and while many people made fun of Project CARS when it launched, it at least had more functionality and has truly improved a lot since its release (I’ve run into more bugs playing AC offline).
They deleted the post and blocked me from further commenting on their page, although it was a valid statement that did not include any insults. Seemingly, I struck a nerve, otherwise they wouldn’t have felt the need to delete the comment.
Luckily the page with the comment was still loaded in my mobile browser, so I was able to take screenshots. The desktop screenshot shows how the comment field doesn’t appear any more; I can only read other comments.
Oh boy, this one’s gonna cause some problems with the Assetto Corsa fanboys that visit here on a regular basis. I can already see it now – “He was just trying to start an AC vs. rF2 war! Kunos doesn’t have time for obvious trolls!”
The points you brought up were legitimate, regardless of whether you mentioned rFactor 2 or not. Look, it’s 2015, you can’t just build a racing sim from the ground up, and leave out a whole bunch of shit that people had become accustomed to in other racing sims. Pit stops, online league functionality… those sort of things weren’t just fancy features thrown in by rival developers to push their racing sim over the top, those were things people more or less needed out of a racing sim. I’m sure some fanboys will say “you’re nitpicking, you’re just a whiny entitled brat”, but this same bullshit has happened in other video game genres, and with similar results.
I remember when Madden 06 came out on the Xbox 360 as a launch title, and the game was shit on by all mainstream sites for being really fucking bad. There was no commentary from John Madden and Al Michaels, no practice mode, no create-a-team, you couldn’t challenge calls made by the referees… all stuff people had become accustomed to over the years had suddenly vanished.
The major difference is that fanboys didn’t sit around and argue with those unhappy with the game, because people generally agreed that Madden 06 on the Xbox 360 sucked. As someone who’s actually played competitive football (one of my high school teammates made the CFL, and there’s a bunch of other kids in the CIS), it took until Madden 10 to get something that played somewhat realistically, and Madden 13 was really the first game to get my approval since NFL 2K5.
Did EA ban people from their forums for bringing up issues with their games? Oh yes they did. The major difference is that the community banded together to speak out against EA being dipshits, and they succeeded. Along with EA being named one of the worst companies in America two years in a row, the games actually improved and people, for the most part, stopped bitching.
Instead, in Sim Racing, people just go on witch hunts and accuse each other of being shills under alternate accounts.
I’m not a fan of developers silencing other people’s opinions because it can lead to an extremely shitty future. Back in my day, trolling meant something. Now, it appears that’s the label anyone gets slapped on them for having a different opinion. Dear people of the internet: stop that shit.
You weren’t trolling. Project CARS, while every bit as buggy as Assetto Corsa, at least has the potential to be a good racing sim, because all of the necessary functionalities to compete with something like rFactor or Race 07 are already in the game, they just don’t exactly work the way they’re supposed to at the moment. For someone like myself, I point and laugh because that’s how this site works, but the reality is that Project CARS could actually be pretty damn good if they just fixed everything. So you’re not exactly wrong.
Developers outright removing people just for posting something they can’t deal with creates a false sense of security for their own egos, and inevitably the direction of their game. Shit gets better when people criticize it and you take those criticisms into account to improve your product. If you surround yourself with nothing but people who kiss your ass and make excuses for you – called “yes men”, which is what it appears Kunos is doing, we’re looking at a future where the game is out on PS4 and the Xbox One next year, and the game’s popularity dies within a week because “what the fuck is this shit, there’s like nothing to do…”
You probably just have an irrational hate for Kunos and Assetto Corsa though. Get a life, go outside… etc…