Loyal to the End
Lately, I’ve noticed brand and company loyalty is rather high in today’s modern market. While I understand using the same company’s products because it’s reliable and what you might need at the time, it seems to be getting out of hand. The easiest example I can come up with is a quote from the Futurama episode, the Killer App.
The conversation is between the seller and Fry, respectively: “Ok, it’s $500, you have no choice of carrier, the battery can’t hold a charge, and the reception isn’t very goo-“ “Shut up and take my money!” Loyalty and preference of what you buy from which company is normal, but when a conversation like I quoted takes place in reality, it may be time to re-think things.
Sadly, I see this same crazed loyalty to big name game developers such as Bioware and Nintendo. I’ve sat in a room while grown men have shouted and screamed that Nintendo owed it to their customers to have a second nub built into the next model of the 3DS. When I tried stepping in to just say, “maybe that’s not the direction they want to take it in,” I was met with the response that Nintendo should be paying attention to what they wanted from it. It’s a portable game console made by a company that wants money. It isn’t run by your old BFF from elementary school; it’s run by businessmen who want as much money as you are willing to throw at their feet.
Perhaps the largest backlash in gaming history took place with Bioware’s Mass Effect 3. The publicity this game received when it was released couldn’t have been worse. Bombed reviews on Amazon, controversy regarding on disc dlc, even reports sent to the Better Business Bureau. Bioware seemed to think that it had crafted a masterpiece, a game that would leave customers wanting more and enjoying the adventure they had rode along with. Instead, they experienced the wrath of thousands, if not millions of disappointed fans.
While I understand the issues people had, like with the ending; I enjoyed the overall experience of the game. Bioware had a helping hand in one of my all-time favorites, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and I felt not the least bit “stabbed in the back” when they took their company in another direction than where I wanted them to go.
Alone, brand loyalty isn’t all that bad: it’s nice to have a company that you feel comfortable buying from again and again. I have no regrets anytime I’ve bought a Bethesda game or any of my business with Verizon and I plan to continue to use their products for some time. It’s important to remember that they don’t know me personally and may not always do things the way I want them to do it.
Who knows, Verizon could suddenly have no service anywhere and Bethesda could become the next evil corporation of the world. It seemed necessary to remind everybody that the video game industry is a big business that has the main focus of making money; it would be wise to remember that when the next big blunder like the Nintendo 3DS XL comes along.