What is your stance on telling gamers to just “buy something else” if they find a series doesn’t enjoy them anymore? Do you think it’s a fair thing to say?

While such a statement definitely isn’t the most diplomatic means of expressing an opinion, it is a statement that probably describes the best overall course of action for the player who is dissatisfied with the product. Players should give their feedback if they care about the game or franchise, but should also avoid having expectations that the company will act on that feedback. In situations that affect literal millions of players, there are bound to be situations where some players love feature or content X and some can’t stand it. No matter what our response to the feedback, somebody is going to feel betrayed and let down.

Beyond this, every project also has constraints on development. We’re limited by the expertise of the developers on the team, the number of available developers in each discipline, the skill of the developers assigned to specific features and content, and so on. We can’t ship a super animation-intensive game if we can’t hire enough qualified animators. We can’t go over budget. We need to earn enough money to be profitable. The unfortunate truth is that what one particular group of gamers asks for might not be feasible within our constraints and circumstances. 

Instead of telling angry disaffected gamers “just buy something else”, I prefer to use the response “I’m sorry what we offer isn’t to your taste. I hope that you enjoy our next offering more”. These two statements are functionally and practically equivalent - we recognize that the game isn’t to the complaining player’s taste, but the phrasing makes the former come across as dismissive and unnecessarily antagonistic when it really doesn’t need to be. I like it when players find games they like. I hope that they’ll like the games I work on, but I recognize that my game can’t make everybody happy all the time. I honestly hope that the angry and dissatisfied players do find something else that they enjoy more. I think there’s more than enough negativity out there already.

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