GameCentral readers admit to whether they have any loyalty to a particular company, console, or video game franchise.
The subject for this weeks Hot Topic was suggested by reader Alberto, who asked whether you consider yourself loyal to anything in gaming? Do you defend whatever it is online and how do you feel your loyalty is rewarded by the companies in question?
The surprising thing about this Hot Topic was that the smallest percentage of answers was people admitting they had a loyalty to a particular console. Instead it was trusted developers that proved the most popular, although few considered their loyalty to be without question.
This is a good question because I assume most people dont like to think of themselves as being loyal or following things just out of habit or blind faith, but its pretty obvious that happens a lot in games fandom. Defending games and companies in particular is such a staple of online life that I think its pretty obvious that some people enjoy it more than actually playing the games. Or at least put more thought and energy into it.
Its like any other fandom I suppsoe, except with games theres an awful lot of money involved in proving your loyalty and arguments are hard to fake unless youve actually played a game properly. (Or maybe not, as that would account for the poor quality of Internet debate in general).
I have a number of favourite games and creators but I dont think Id be loyal enough to them to knowingly buy a subpar game. Although its true Id be more inclined to buy an okay-ish Resident Evil game, for example, than I would for a game from another franchise. Theres no doubt loyalty exists, for even the most rational people, but its never really a good thing.
All that matters
I wouldnt say that Im blindly loyal to any gaming company no matter what they put out but based on reputation there are a few developers that I will always buy their games day one, providing that they have reviewed well, as expected.
These developers are Rockstar, Rocksteady, Naughty Dog, Drinkbox Studios, Futurelab, and Valves single-player games when they release them once in a blue moon. Other developers I will only buy if it has reviewed well, even if I have played all the previous iterations in a certain franchise.
Im not normally too fussed about the story in games unless its exceptional so I will happily not see the conclusion to a franchise I have played if the gameplay is poor.
Now playing: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
This is a tricky one because loyalty is strong word. Im sure it does describe many peoples connection to certain companies and franchises but while Im a great fan of Nintendos work and would be interested in most things theyd do as a matter of course I dont think theres anything of theres Id buy without first checking a few sources.
Im loyal enough to give everything they do a chance, and to give them a second or third chance on most things, but I wouldnt just buy one of their consoles or games without good logical reasons. Or at least thats what I tell myself. The thing with Nintendo is that 9/10 their stuff is good and you end up getting it, so you never really make a choice.
I guess the Wii U was the closest to getting stuff on faith but while the console was a failure Im not sure Id really classify it as a waste of money or anything because I did have a lot of fun with the games that were released on it. So yes, I guess I am loyal to them to a degree… just not blindly loyal.
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Years ago I would have been happy to say I was loyal to lots of different things in games: Nintendo, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Resident Evil, Tomb Raider, etc. But ever since social media weaponised loyalty Ive begun to feel more uneasy about the whole concept.
I like these things and would quite happily defend individual games and consoles but I think its when you start defending whole brands that you move from being just a fan to a mix between a corporate stooge and fanatic.
Perhaps worse than that you just start arguing for the sake of it, refusing to budget or acknowledge a counter-argument simply because its not what you want to hear. Thats hard to do in real-life but basically the life blood of the internet. So yeah, I recognise Resident Evil 6 is not a great game and Id argue its positive sides in person, but Id probably avoid doing it online just as much because of the sort of people that would be on my side as compared to those that would argue with me.
Eyes wide open
Based on current evident I suppose Id have to admit that I am loyal to Xbox, sort of. I now realise that I didnt put much thought into buying the Xbox One. After loving the Xbox 360 and knowing that to be the go-to console of the last gen I just got the new one by default. I knew of the controversy but it didnt really make much of an impression on me, which I guess is a sign that I was too overly loyal.
And I was punished for it: the weakest console with very few major exclusives (good job I like racing games, is all I can say). It has opened my eyes a little though as I will certainly be giving more careful consideration to which team I play for, as it were, next time.
I know some friends that have switched between Xbox and PlayStation multiple times and before Ive kind of always looked down on them as… indecisive? I dont know what youd call it really but it always made it seem like they werent really as committed. I now view them as being more sensible and will be more cautious myself in the future.
No questions asked
I think were all loyal to something. The more normal thing to admit is a football team or musician but I certainly couldnt ever imagine myself not buying a Rockstar or Naughty Dog game. Theres probably others as well but those two being involved means I dont need to worry about pre-release hype or reviews or anything else – Ill just get them automatically, no questions asked. And I havent been disappointed yet.
Im not suggesting thats a good thing in general but I think the small output of those companies means that its a risk you can afford to take (and probably the reason they always turn out good).
The only thing in gaming that Im loyal to is quality games, regardless of the company that provides them. Sure, there are software houses that Ill look forward to their latest release but even that cant be trusted wholeheartedly/ I mean how many people have bought Fallout 76 on the back of the franchise or Bethesdas name? And not even Nintendo have a 100% record.
Ive been gaming since the 80s and Ive lived through the Commodore/Spectrum, NES/Master System, SNES/Mega Drive and so on and so forth with all the pointless arguments that went with it and even continue now. I couldnt care less who makes the plastic box that sits under my TV and I long for the day where one machine will play all, although thats more to do with not having to buy three or four consoles each generation.
Ive never understood how people can have blind loyalty to a corporation that wants nothing but your money and after they have it couldnt really care less about anything but making more money. Its the simple premise of every company on Earth: you make a desirable product, you market it accordingly to create a need, consumer buys product and company makes money – regardless of what they sell.
This all seems a bit dour when I read it back but all Im saying is Ill buy or buy into quality products regardless who makes them, if I go back to my first sentence Ill finish on a cheeky note by saying that I do think of myself as being loyal to GC. Ive read every day and sometimes contributed since the Teletext/Digitiser days and youve even outlasted a 20-odd year Edge subscription that got cancelled a couple of months ago!
GC: Thank you.
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