7 Instances where a Gaming Community Changed a Bad Decision

7 Instances where a Gaming Community Changed a Bad Decision

Omer Sahar
Head of Marketing

In this post we will go over 7 incidents where a gaming studio has changed something in the game, due to pressure from the game's community

From big video game companies like EA and Activision to small indie companies, developers in the video game business have made a fair share of mistakes in their gaming franchise, (some notorious, others not quite) and have been called out immediately by their fan base and the gaming community

As the gaming industry becomes more and more mainstream, releasing game franchises that please everyone is practically impossible. But even so, there are decisions that are so terrible, that they manage to get everyone pissed at the developers.

Here are 7 instances the gaming studios made a terrible decision, and how the community got them to change it.

7) The "Hot Coffee" Incident - Grand Theft Auto San Andreas

GTA is no stranger to controversies. Hell, the multi-billion dollar gaming franchise thrives on pushing the boundaries of what is legally acceptable video game content to its very limit.  

But notorious as it was, even the Franchise once overstepped its limits.

The "Hot Coffee" refers to a minigame that was included in the action-adventure video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which was released in 2004. 

The video game modding community found hidden code that, when activated, allowed the player character, Carl "CJ" Johnson, to have animated sexual intercourse with his in-game girlfriend. 

Although this feature was not playable in the official game release, it was discovered by the community and made available through modding.

It is easy to see why this decision angered both regulators and many members of the gaming community. This was a game that was wildly popular amongst teens.

Following the discovery of the "Hot Coffee" mod, Rockstar Games and their parent company, Take-Two Interactive, were subjected to a significant amount of legal pressure.

After conducting an investigation, the ESRB changed the game's rating to "Adults Only," while authorities in Australia refused to allow the game to be sold unless the offensive content was modified.

In the end, Rockstar decided to relaunch the game with the content fully deleted (regardless of whether or not it was a mod), and they were successful in getting their game back into the hands of mature players, where it belonged.

6. Batman Arkham Knight refunds PC game Owners

For console owners, Batman Arkham Knight was a great game. The PC version, on the other hand, was a total and utter disaster.

Everything about the release of the  PC game was shady from start to finish.

For one, the minimum system requirements for the PC version of the game were bumped up literally hours before it was released.

Only a few review copies of the game were sent out to beta-testers before launch.

And even though Rocksteady capped the game's framerate at 30 fps, it still had huge framerate drops.

The graphics on the PC version were clearly subpar in comparison to the console game.

To make it worse, activating certain features would make the game flicker and stutter if it were being played on a modern computer. 

Finally, there was a bug that caused it to frequently crash.

After facing significant backlash from fans, Rocksteady removed Arkham Knight from Steam and provided full refunds to all customers who had already bought the PC version of the game.

They later released a much better version of the game to make up for their mistake.

5) No Man's Sky - No multi-player mode

The gaming community is one that runs on trust and speculation.

Video interviews with the developers of highly anticipated, yet-to-be-released games are often streamed by thousands, even millions of people around the globe, and a wrongfully misleading statement uttered in these interviews can come back to haunt you.

No Man's Sky is proof of this.

The developers of No Man's Sky misled the public about the capabilities of the game in an effort to sell more copies.

It is intended to be a game in which players can explore an algorithmically generated science fiction universe.

However, when the game first came out, it lacked a large number of features, the most notable of which was the fact that players couldn't truly explore this world with their companions, despite the developer claiming team party adventures would be possible in the video games.

Because the game was such a dissatisfying experience for players, Sony stopped bringing it up at all during their various press conferences.

Although it has vastly improved over time thanks to patches and has moved much closer to fulfilling the game's early promises, the game is still fighting an uphill battle to overcome the initial wave of negative publicity and to win back players who have already written it off as a letdown.

4) Watch Dog - False promises

At the time of its debut at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2012, Watch Dogs was, without a doubt, the most visually stunning game on display at the event. 

People were led to believe that it was a next-gen title, despite the fact that the conference in question did not unveil any new next-gen consoles.

Because of this, Watch Dogs was unable to meet its debut day and had to be pushed back to May of the following year.

When it was finally published, however, a storm of criticism erupted around Ubisoft due to the fact that the game's graphics did not even come close to matching up with the most powerful systems that were already available.

For the first time, players found out that the gameplay footage exhibited at a conference would not match the final product they purchased. 

After the storm blew over, the video game developers of Watch Dog learned from their mistakes in overpromising and underdelivering.

Watch Dog 2 and 3 did not have nearly as much hype as 1 did, but they are excellent open-world adventure games. 

Both critics and fans agree it was a significant improvement over the first version anyway.

3) GTA V - Deleting Transphobic characters

Rockstar has secretly removed a few characters and jokes from Grand Theft Auto 5 that have been labeled as detrimental stereotypes of transgender people.

The game's initial release was nearly ten years ago, so the removal of these characters and jokes comes close to a decade after the game's debut.

Members of the GTA community noticed a variety of modifications in the remastered version of Grand Theft Auto 5.

Characters formerly referred to as "drag queens" no longer spawned outside of Cockatoos and had their dialogue removed as a result of these changes.

The modifications were made in response to an open letter sent by Out Making Games to Rockstar Games, in which the company was asked to remove information that had been deemed transphobic ever since the game's first release in 2013. 

Rockstar has made the decision to remove content that some find problematic on more than one occasion.

In 2015, certain parts of Grand Theft Auto 5 were updated to feature the American flag in places where the Confederate flag had previously flown.

2) Mass Effect 3 Rendered All The Players' Choices In Previous Games Irrelevant

Mass Effect is another classic example of a video game company overpromising and under-delivering.

BioWare assured players that their decisions will have an impact on the narrative over the entirety of the Mass Effect trilogy.

Fans were dissatisfied with the fact that their decisions didn't really make much of a difference in the grand scheme of things, despite the fact that the third installment received universal praise from critics.

Fans were so vocal with their criticism against BioWare that the developer was forced to create and release an entirely new piece of downloadable content to make the game's conclusions more satisfying.

1) Valve removed Paid Mods after Backlash

When Valve allowed game modders to charge for their work on the Steam platform, the PC gaming community reacted angrily.

The feature, which debuted with Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in 2011, lets game fans add new items, characters, environments, or even game rules for a small fee.

Fans had been doing so for free for years, and Valve planned to capitalize on this and incentivize the whole procedure.

Valve decided to collect seventy-five percent of the revenue from the sale of each paid mod, in contrast to the standard practice in the digital retail industry.

For example, retailers like Apple take thirty percent of revenue from app sales and in-app purchases.