It’s been an eventful month for Microsoft so far. With the “always online” rumours, which are yet to be dismissed, and Adam Orth’s “deal with it” response, you can imagine Microsoft aren’t in the best of situations at the moment. This can soon change though with a new console reveal though.
Then only a few days ago we had Crytek CEO, Cevat Yerli, rather controversially claim that graphics count for 60% of a game, which has even lead to some debate here on TSA. This makes me wonder whether it’s time for those prominent in the gaming lime light to just stay quiet from time to time.
If we look back to when the first “always online” rumours for the next Xbox emerged there wasn’t the friendliest of welcomes, understandably you could say. What only made things worse were Orth’s replies back on Twitter – leading unintentionally to a newly adopted slogan for Microsoft – deal with it.
Because no one ever gets into trouble over tweets...
In hindsight, if he had refrained from making these comments he would, of course, still be a happy Microsoft employee. More importantly, this “always online” public outcry wouldn’t be as bad a situation as it is. That’s easy to say with hindsight but let’s be frank: it’s not that difficult to spot without it.
Moving on to Crytek’s CEO, Cevat Yerli, believing that graphics are the thing that matters most when it comes to game immersion. This might not come as much of a surprise, critical reception and user accounts of the company’s games have most often cited gameplay and narrative progression as the weak points. Crytek is not a company often brought to task for shoddy looking games.
Arguably, the underlying plot, character performances, the way the game plays and audio are equally as important to helping immerse a player into the game world. Surely Cevat Yerli could have known that his comments would lead to debate? Many have spoken of wanting improved controls in the Crysis games, for example, and comments like this may only add salt to the wounds.
Again, I fail to understand what led Yerli to make these comments. Similarly to Orth, he would have known they would have negative repercussions from many within the gaming community, and that reputations could take a dent after reckless comments.
In the present day gaming world, it’s clear that the phrase “actions speak louder than words” has turned on itself. Those high up in the media, or employees associated with large publishers and developers, really do need to be careful with what they say publically. It’s a risky business replying to public outcry or expressing your own controversial opinions in a very public space. It’s sad to see that some don’t take care with this and fans can become upset by certain attitudes.
I believe that, in some situations, it’s better leaving things unsaid. Knowing when to speak and what to say would certainly have helped in the two instances we’ve looked at here and there does seem to be an element of just keeping quiet for a while and letting the controversies blow over now the cat is out of the bag.
Of course, I wouldn’t want to see communication cut off completely. As fans and consumers of games, we rely on developer and publisher communication, as well as social media for our sources of information, debate and discussion. Games media simply wouldn’t have the variation or the volume of information without strong communication with the people who create, publish and market games.
A little bit of common sense and a little bit of understanding, on all sides of the discussion, will go a long way.