How Online Communities Affect the Success or Failure of Games

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Game reboots can really be an unpredictable situation for many game developers. Gamers can be a really fickle crowd, especially the loyalists of an original game. Nevertheless, almost all gaming genres from simple casual games like poker all the way to fantasy-adventures and RPG, have had to go through reboots. Some of them succeeded while others crumbled. One popular gaming franchise that headlined many gaming site discussions is Capcom’s Devil May Cry. The revamped game in question – DmC: Devil May Cry. “This was supposed to be terrible. One of Capcom Japan’s most revered third-person action game series handed off to Ninja Theory, the Cambridge studio behind PS3 stinker Heavenly Sword.” It could not have been more easily expressed than by PCGamer.com. With the first game initially released in 2001, Devil May Cry became the epitome of hack and slash gaming standards. Capcom released a total of four instalments with the fourth game somehow disappointing the gaming community when it comes to gaming experience. From there, Capcom decided for the franchise to be rebooted. A slew of rants as to how they will mess up the game can be read on blogs, gaming sites’ comment sections and other online communities. Ninja Theory was pre-judged even before they were able to present the whole game. They trudged on.

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Nowadays, it’s the online communities that get to have a substantial influence on the success or failure of a particular game. Take the social gaming genre for example whose range includes hit games like Angry Birds, Tetris Battle, and Texas Hold’em Poker. Games like poker have found a reincarnation thanks to its revamp as an online game. Gaming communities found success because gamers nowadays can easily share their opinions of how engaging and hassle-free their respective gaming services are. With the aid of social networking sites like Facebook, not only can users invite their friends to join in on the fun, they can also instantly share their thoughts on how a particular game performs, like how Partypoker has made it possible to play the card game and compete with anyone from around the world. That said, clashes of opinion between gamers and game critics happen more often now. Such is the case with Devil May Cry’s new game.

For game critics, DmC performed well. As GameTrailers.com explains, “You will do plenty of fighting and the hordes you’re up against only get more varied and maddening as the game lets on, encouraging smart, graceful use of your full range of weapons and abilities. The game’s platforming elements, which lean heavy on the grappling and soaring abilities, do a great job of showcasing Limbo’s eerie contours.” The visuals display a colourfully hellish world of limbo that is contrasted with a gothic-vintage vibe of the “real world”.

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DmC boasted above par gaming experience worthy of the critical acclaim of gaming sites. Unfortunately, it was a reboot that faced multiple criticisms even before its market debut. As ArmouredPhoenix.wordpress.com points out, the reboot was explicitly Capcom’s selfish goal to just expand their market. They disregarded the loyal fans they have gathered during their first four instalments. As for Capcom’s “supposed” goal of targeting new casual gamers, Siliconera.com brought up that it was a failure, if not inexistent. Never mind the fact that many previous DmC fans were angered by the complete change in the character design of DmC’s protagonist, Dante.