Do major AAA companies listen to the audience complaints, criticism, or do they just make their decisions based on whatever data they have ( what’s popular in other game, what are the new successful trends, etc) For example, blizzard and overwatch 2 or pokemon and their gimmick.

It really depends on what you mean by whether major AAA companies “listen to the audience complaints”. If you mean “those of us on the dev team are made aware of the fan concerns”, then the answer is absolutely yes. [We get a lot of feedback from a lot of sources, and we pay attention to all of it.]

Even when we do get feedback we want to act on, [it takes a long time for those changes to see the light of day]. We are typically working 2-3 patches in the future of whatever’s currently live in game. This is because the content patch process requires certification and testing that can take weeks to complete, so the patch nearest to going live is usually undergoing [cert], the patch after that is near lockdown going through internal QA, and the patch after that is the patch that we’re currently developing and making changes to. Most major content updates ship every three months, so three patches in the future usually means players won’t see the things we’re working for another 6 to 9 months. This includes changes based on feedback.

We absolutely do listen to feedback and I absolutely understand the frustration because it sure looks like all that legitimate, reasonable, and valid feedback is being thrown into the void with no response. However, we can’t really respond in a way that would be reasonable - we can’t commit to anything because a lot can change in 6-9 months (including cancellation of stuff or changes in direction), we can’t reveal our plans before they’re ready, and we can’t hurry the process along without sacrificing what stability we have.

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