Game Developers Can Learn From McDonald's - Page 2 - Myth-Weavers

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Game Developers Can Learn From McDonald's

   
Good call, Renshaw. It's true that many testers/consumers don't know how to articulate their criticism. It has to be a difficult task to interpret the feedback in a useful manner.

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Now this is a high quality piece of work.

I like it.
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I don't really have anything else to add to this conversation. Just seconding this.
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You sir, and your team, have entered the realm of real journalism. And rivaled my favorite group on the Subject. Extra Credits. Kudos.
Hey thanks all! That's hugely high praise being that I'm new to the journalism scene.

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The question is: Which demands are worth listening to? Which requests are reasonable and make sense? I agree with your premise - that many game companies (not all, but many) are bad at responding to customer feedback. However, the vast majority of customer feedback is, frankly, worthless.
The good ones. No, really. Mc Donalds has a whole culture surrounding customer satisfaction When was the last time you saw a game company get that serious about their feedback? Now, and god I'm probably reaching here- I feel that the same kind of customer that trolls DICE, Infinity Ward, Bethesda, Ubisoft- is the same type of Troll that has a go at Mc Donald's. Which means that McDonalds has to filter down the same trash that games companies do (except on a much, much larger level). Now notably, McDonald's can't fix every single issue and sure, they still have some disgruntled customers- that's why they've got branch reps and area managers and store managers. However they fix the over arching issues. (The recycle program) now let's compare trash with trash *grins* Infinity Ward just brought out a game with the most hated trailer of all time, a game that ignored 99% of it's entire customer bases requests and hopes for the next game. If they'd have applied the McDonalds business model- maybe their trailer could've been the next well, you know.

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If these game companies can get away with it, why should they change? If you don't like it, don't give them money. There are plenty of (indy) game developers that produce excellent games without such issues.
McDonald's could probably get away with it too. But they don't. They've realised that change is important in becoming the number one Fast Food retailer of all time. (Agreed on the indy front though) We've let this happen though. The reason why they can get away with it is because we've allowed them too- and I hate that.

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The thing that maddens me, personally, is that games are a luxury item! Nobody in the world needs a game.

Sure, we may want a game, but does that really mean we are so jaded, so lazy to just accept the products these companies are pulling on us instead of telling them 'If you want my money, you better meet my demands, my expectations and my standards. Can't keep up with those? Tough luck, that's a buyer's market for you.'

If the 'free market' would work like people who believe in the 'Homo Economicus' believe it does (spoiler: It doesn't), these companies would have long since gone belly up.

Or how about certain ISPs or cable providers, who have an outright hostile relationship to the very people who feed them. By all rights the 'invisible hand of the market' should long ago have grabbed them by the scruff of the neck, dragged them behind the proverbial barn and put put them out of their misery.

But yeah, as long as *we* give these people money for ripping us off, we *only* have ourselves to blame. Unless we collectively grow a spine and tell them to put their polished turds back where they came from, they have not only no reason to change, they would have to be stupid to do so. It's up to us.
+1, sorry, there's not really much else to respond with. Ripping us off is accurate- and we (well, some of us) allow it.

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I agree with this.

And here is the perfect counter-example of why customer feedback can be bad, or at least not helpful.

Customers don't actually understand what makes for a good game, what is balanced, or even what they want.

Now if we're just talking about bug issues and customer service in the form of responding to complaints... well, that's a different story.

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I'll just copy the article here for convenience sake:
I'm a fanboy of Gearbox. And to me, that article enhanced my own article.

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A similar complaint was that guns took too long to load. The designers knew this wasn't a real concern, as reload times were a balancing conceit for weapons, and even the slowest weapons reloaded quicker than some in Call of Duty (the "benchmark for a shooter that feels good," says Armstrong). Rather than speed up the reload, Gearbox added more motions to the reload animation, again giving the appearance of heightened speed.
Customer Satisfaction 101.

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The real wisdom of Solomon, however, came from user's complaints that Skag Gully, one of the game's earliest areas, had too many eponymous Skags. Players reported that they were running into too many clusters of enemies while moving through the Gully, offering feedback like, "this isn't fun, this is boring."

Gearbox, as a result, tripled the number of Skags in the area.

"All of a sudden, it wasn't a travel area that had too many enemies getting in the way," Armstrong said. "It was a combat area."

Armstrong and Puri were careful to explain that the Truth Team doesn't just ignore focus tester feedback. Rather, it analyzes the intention behind that feedback for the most effective solution.

"In that example, the problem wasn't that there were too many Skags, it's that the pacing was bad," Armstrong said. "But the tester might not have known how to say 'The pacing is bad,' so we had to figure out what they really meant.
Customer Satisfaction 102.

They listened, they interpreted the data, they heard all the troll boy responses and the genuine responses, looked at it sideways and went "Here's what the customer wants" and it worked.

That being said the Borderlands DLC is absolutely ridiculous.

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Good call, Renshaw. It's true that many testers/consumers don't know how to articulate their criticism. It has to be a difficult task to interpret the feedback in a useful manner.
But they did! They interpreted the data, understood it and rectified it without really changing a single thing. That's McDonald's!


Also might I add; dammit guys for not commenting on the article. Haha. Your input would've been invaluable- especially as well thought out as your responses were!

Also missed some comments in my reply spree:

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I think I more agree with the first comment on the article rather than the article itself.
Dammit! Commenter nabbed one of my readers. That skilfull bastard.

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Comparing Fast Food to the Gaming Industry, oh that is the most perfect analogy. I'm sure that these massive companies who have been majorly successful and been around for years have never thought of this before *sarcasam*
Sarcasm, my old friend.

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Agreeing with Witchslasher on this one, first comment makes more sense than the article.
That's not what she/he said.

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I think I more agree with the first comment on the article rather than the article itself.
Agree, not didn't make sense.

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Let me say that while there are plenty of terrible AAA publishers (EA), there are several that I think do good work (Valve, Blizzard).
Why are we addressing good work? I don't think I addressed the quality they produced?
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Also, on DLC, experiences vary for me. Yeah, sometimes it's stuff that could have been in the main game, other times it's stuff that takes time and effort that the creator's couldn't get done before the game's release, or maybe got burnt-out on. And then there are some DLC like the Dark Souls DLC which are straight-up expansions. DLC like that I will buy, the rest I will ignore. And like MonkWren said, the majority of customer feedback is worthless. Take a MOBA game, everybody wants their favorite champions to be buffed and annoying enemy champs that counter their favorites to be nerfed, no matter the actual power discrepancy. Idea behind the article is sound, but I don't think the analogy is sound.
Read my reply to the first comment on the article and see if this holds up to all the things I responded to comment wise.

I think we're gonna have the same sort of conversation here as on ANY game forum.

Some people will pay for the rip-off that is pre-order and DLC
Some people won't.

Some people will be okay with that.
Some people won't.

But until we all collectively say enough, we're going to keep getting sub-par customer retention strategies.

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And while we’re here- also note that when the milkshake machine is down I can go to any other Mc Donalds store in a 1km radius and get the same thing.
If by "get the same thing" you mean not get a shake, you're right As a goof when I was working a 7 dollar/hour mall security job, I would go to either McDonalds or Del Taco and ask for a shake at around 11PM about every night. Nine out of ten times the shake machine was broke, just cleaned, out of milk, or any number of other excuses. I literally would tell my Co-Worker I was going to take the security truck to McDonalds to "not get a shake".

Anyway, I'm not really on board with the comparison but I get the point of your article and day 1 DLC and such stuff is really just the way they've raised game prices without actually marking the box with a higher number. It's pretty lame, then again I pay monthly for WoW in addition to buying their expansions and the occasional microtransaction, so I'm really part of the problem

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I literally would tell my Co-Worker I was going to take the security truck to McDonalds to "not get a shake".
Accurate in our town. Not accurate in the 3 towns surrounding us. I should move.

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day 1 DLC and such stuff is really just the way they've raised game prices without actually marking the box with a higher number.
+1

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I pay monthly for WoW in addition to buying their expansions and the occasional microtransaction, so I'm really part of the problem
At least you're not alone!

Day 1 DLC is why I only buy it for the Dark Souls games. There it feels less like a price-hike and more like an expansion to the main game that is tied into the story but also is it's own seperate story as well. Helps that they tend to be the most beautifully designed levels in the games.

I still want to get in on Dark Souls and understand what the fuss is about.

It took me a long time, but I was glad I finally did. Do yourself a favor and don't use a guide or online resources on your first playthrough. DS1 is magical (and savage) start to finish.

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Originally Posted by BLOT CEO View Post
At least you're not alone!
I think in the end it's more about the value you get for your dollar. Sure McDonalds has 1 dollar cheeseburgers, but they're 1 dollar cheeseburgers and taste that way, especially when you compare it to getting a nice juicy burger for for 8 bucks at a decent resturaunt. If a company releases DLC for a good game and that DLC is worth the money they charge (Witcher 3 for example), then DLC is awesome. It's when subpar DLC is attached to an already subpar product that it starts to feel bad.

WoW is a good example of paying for it when I feel I get my money's worth it.. Currently I'm putting somewhere around 20 hours a week into WoW, that's 80 hours a month.. 15 bucks for 80 hours of good (IMO) entertainment seems more than worth it. Even if you tack on the box price of Legion and say it was $65 for 80 hours, that's still good value in a day where we pay 15 bucks to see a 2 hour movie.

In the end, that's what it comes down to me. If you're going to give me a 1 dollar burger, I'm willing to pay a buck for it, but not more than that.. if you're going to charge me 10 bucks for a 1 dollar burger, I'm going to wait until your burger is on a Steam Sale.

Game developers can learn from McDonald's... what?

Anyway, it sounds like what you're basically saying is, a lot of game development companies suck. People trying to make money without necessarily producing quality products (i.e. many companies, including game ones) suck, and DLCs and all that rubbish also suck. I mean... sure. Is this news?







 

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