Feature: The 10 Strangest Videogame Petitions of All Time
Post by Erin Marcon @ 02:34pm 29/01/13 | Comments
In the wake of an actual petition to US President, Barack Obama, to have DmC: Devil May Cry banned, we've compiled a list of 10 of the most outlandish and strange petitions in the games industry. Read on for the full list...
Entitlement is an interesting thing. It's certainly something you need to earn, but is it something you can be actively aware of? And, once earnt, is it not a Spider-Man tool anyway? As in, with great power, comes great responsibility? Gamers certainly feel they're owed an obligation by creators and publishers to listen to their demands, and in more recent times this has almost become a trend, but have gamers earnt the right to demand what they want out of a developer's vision because they've invested in that vision? The question might actually be a bit heavy to answer without some serious thought and discussion, so instead we've put this together.
In honour of what may be the most absurd petition of them all (Dear Mr. President, please ban DmC -- since removed) we’re going to take a look at some of the wackier demands to have emerged from the farthest reaches of the gaming community. If there is a common thread among them, it is that these people have almost certainly crossed over into another reality, one in which we’re all apparently obligated to do exactly what they say.
1. Don’t Let Haze Die!It isn’t always easy, but sometimes you need to step in and save people from themselves. Prior to its release back in 2008, many gamers had understandably high expectations for Haze. Here was an exciting new concept from developer Free Radical, the FPS specialists responsible for TimeSplitters and (in an earlier incarnation) the legendary GoldenEye 007.While the finished product was almost universally panned by critics (including us), its most ardent followers continued to hang on for dear life.
When publisher Ubisoft elected to pull the plug on the Haze multiplayer servers, it certainly put a few noses out of joint, but it also gave the 72 signatories to this petition their lives back. Haze was meant to be about taking off the blinkers and seeing the world as it truly is. If only the game’s supporters had been willing to do the same.
2. Kill the Xbox Version of Devil May Cry 4!The first three instalments in the Devil May Cry series were exclusive to Sony’s hardware. Therefore when Capcom revealed that Dante’s fourth adventure would be skipping the PS3 in favour of the Xbox 360, you could sympathise with the resultant outrage. Or at least it would have been had that actually been the case. In reality, the publisher had announced the game for simultaneous release on both platforms. Surprisingly enough, this simple fact didn’t satisfy the organisers of this petition, who apparently felt “very left out” of the decision. In a classic case of cutting off your nose to spite your face, over 11,000 people threatened to boycott the game. After all, how could they be happy unless someone else was miserable?
3. Give Us Dedicated Servers for MW2!When it became apparent that the multiplayer component of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 would rely on peer to peer infrastructure, hundreds of angry PC users formed a widely publicised Steam group. These hardcore players threatened to boycott Activision’s marquee shooter unless the publisher caved in and established dedicated servers for the game. According to the complaint, the decision to omit this feature was “an outrages” [sic]. In principle, this wasn’t an entirely unreasonable request. Unfortunately, principle went out the window almost as soon the game launched. Perhaps forgetting that their Steam profiles would display whatever title they were currently running, an embarrassing proportion of the boycotters were sprung playing the game shortly after its release.
4. Change the Ending of Mass Effect 3!A great many Mass Effect devotees weren’t entirely satisfied with the conclusion to the epic sci-fi trilogy. However, only a small percentage of them felt that their dedication to the series entitled them to an associate producer credit. Demonstrating a flair for contradiction, the organisers demanded a new ending even as they claimed to respect BioWare’s right to conclude the saga “however they see fit”. If they weren’t trying to assert ownership over the property, they probably shouldn’t have dubbed their petition “Retake Mass Effect”. The fact that they linked their campaign to a Child’s Play charity drive further soured their efforts in the eyes of many. This little episode would probably have been remembered as one of the more amusing dummy spits in recent memory but for one disturbing fact. BioWare actually capitulated to their demands and issued an extended conclusion to the game via DLC.
5. Bring Back the Duke!How many of you recall (fondly or otherwise) Microsoft’s first attempt at a controller for the original Xbox? Affectionately known as ‘the Duke’, it had a surface area roughly equivalent to that of the sun. While this unwieldy beast did have its defenders, Microsoft was forced to discontinue the line after several young gamers became trapped beneath their controllers. Its successor, the compact and sleek Controller S was superior in almost every respect, but at least 375 people (presumably contestants in the World’s Strongest Man Competition) asked Microsoft to reconsider its position. We… err… may or may not have signed this petition during the preparation of this article. Don’t judge.
6. Hey Nintendo, You Should Buy Rare Back!Long time Nintendo fans have never really forgiven the company for selling its stake in Rare back in 2002. Before it changed hands, the UK studio was responsible for a string of stellar exclusives, including Donkey Kong Country, Perfect Dark and Banjo Kazooie. The very idea of a sale seemed laughable but no one counted on Microsoft’s willingness to part with US$375m (an amount almost as absurd now as it was then) in order to secure a studio that has since been reduced to working on Kinect Sports titles. At least 935 Nintendo devotees aren’t willing to endure this rather depressing scenario for one more minute. According to these desperate souls, they are “beginning down to their knees” (say what?) in an attempt to get Nintendo to “do the right thing”.
7. Tell Us Something (Anything!) About Half-Life 3!Gamers everywhere would love to know what Valve has in store for its award winning Half-Life series. The most recent chapter (the bite sized Half-Life 2: Episode 2) arrived more than four years ago and fans have since endured a number of hoax revelations from Internet pranksters. Throughout this period Valve head honcho Gabe Newell has played his cards so close to his chest that they are now permanently fused to his shirt. According to some 60,000 (and change) registered Steam users, the time has well and truly arrived for Gabe and co to open up (if only a little) about their plans. The unspoken fear at the heart of this protest is surely that many of the game’s most dedicated players will expire from old age before Half-Life 3 finally makes an appearance.
8. Make a New Dreamcast!When you consider that its catalogue was brimming with offbeat hits like Jet Set Radio, Samba de Amigo and Shenmue, it’s easy to understand why SEGA fans are still mourning the loss of the Dreamcast. Less easy to understand is the (very nearly delusional) notion that the company should shake off years of catastrophic losses and re-enter the hardware race. We discovered at least two online petitions pushing for precisely this outcome. Strangely enough, none of the signatories appeared to be willing to offer SEGA a billion dollar line of credit to get started. Has anyone ever raised a billion dollars on Kickstarter?
9. Say No to a Cel-Shaded Link!Now considered among the more beautiful and atmospheric titles of its era, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker wasn’t always a hit with the Nintendo faithful. When the game’s more realistic graphics were ditched in favour of a cel-shaded look, at least 11680 gamers signed a petition condemning the move. History hasn’t been kind to their cause, but these passionate malcontents will have the opportunity to complain all over again when the recently announced HD remake lands on shelves.
10. Dear Mr President, Please Ban DmC!How could we possibly finish without reference to the magnum opus of petitions? After the underwhelming performance of Devil May Cry 4, Capcom could have abandoned the series. Instead it asked UK developer Ninja Theory to inject new life into the concept. When DmC launched to widespread critical acclaim, a small group of players remained less than impressed. Perhaps recalling that the Devil May Cry 4 protest had fallen on deaf ears, they drafted a petition aimed not at Capcom but at the President of the United States of America. When Obama eventually determines whether there is a link between videogame violence and mental health issues, this petition will doubtlessly be at the forefront of his mind. According to the perfectly normal and well-adjusted folk responsible for this campaign, DmC just isn’t as good as its “past predecessors”, which are of course the best kind of predecessors.
And we’re back from Planet Entitlement. It’s was a nice place to visit, but we wouldn’t want to live there. On the off chance that our little retrospective has ruffled a feather or two among the creators of these (perfectly reasonable) protests, we encourage them to launch a petition demanding the immediate removal of this article from AusGamers. We’ll be the first to sign it.