We’ve all been there, it’s 1 am and you’re trying to sleep but your brain keeps reminding you of all the dumb mistakes that you’ve ever made and it’s keeping you awake. If you think you feel bad, imagine that one of your dumb mistakes cost a company thousands of pounds (or dollars if you’re across the pond).
Today I’m going to be looking at 3 games that suffered from a case of the dip shits, whether it’s due to industry hubris or the publisher decided to overstep these titles all suffered in one way or another. If you have any games you feel got shafted by the industry because of dumb decisions feel free to let us know in the comments below.
Middle Earth: Shadow of War
Shadow of War was, at least to me, a bloody good game. I picked it up on release day and didn’t put it down until I got the platinum trophy about 2 weeks later. The gameplay was responsive and visceral, the story fit into the Lord of the Rings lore like it was something Tolkien wrote years ago and the improved Nemesis system looked to be a real game-changer that could change the way the world interacted with the player. The stars aligned and everything was correct and Monolith was set to release a game of the year contender and then people started to see the dreaded phrase “loot boxes” appear in articles and reviews with Jim Sterling being one of the most vocal about it.
Loot boxes as a practice are something I personally believe should be illegal or at the very least, not in games at all and I’m not supporting the decision to add loot boxes into Shadow of War but to anyone who spent any time with the game, you’ll clearly see that the loot boxes were either a last-minute addition by Warner Brothers or Monolith purposely designed the game to discourage the use because the only time I felt while playing SoW where the game was geared towards the loot boxes was when you reach the epilogue chapter after the main story finished. Granted it did suck that you had to either grind or pay to get the “true ending” but honestly if you enjoyed the game like I did you’ll find that you didn’t mind recruiting more powerful captains and there were a few easy methods to getting said captains and I’m gonna tell you my favourite way.
In SoW there are places where you can pit your captains against other captains in a battle to the death, quite often the challenging captains are a higher level during the epilogue. If your captain wins he’ll level up but if your captain dies the victorious captain will start strolling out of the arena leaving him open to being captured unless that captain has the Iron or Unbreakable perk. Rinse and repeat and within no time you’ll have the top-level captains without spending a penny or too much of your time.
The addition of loot boxes in SoW was beyond a stupid idea. It’s pretty much the sole reason why SoW failed to gain that much traction, and while a lot of people refused to buy the game. They were tired of Warner Bros throwing micro-transactions into every game, including the fighting game, Mortal Kombat X, which ended up being another sensitive issue. The game itself was beyond brilliant but this one decision ruined what was easily one of the best games of 2017.
Oh Respawn my dear, you are not having a good time of it are you? One of the more talented developers out there these days it seems that Respawn couldn’t catch a break until the release of Apex Legends which has its own problems right now. Titanfall 1 wasn’t a bad effort and it injected some fun into the, at the time, stale fps genre but it never took off due to the lack of a single-player campaign. Adding to that, it was an Xbox One exclusive and during that time the console wasn’t very popular. Leaving Titanfall isolated to just one console and one that wasn’t doing well wasn’t ever going to set the world on fire. Cut to 2016 and Titanfall 2 is on its way, Respawn and EA wised up and brought the sequel to the PS4 as well as the Xbox, they added a single-player campaign and the titular Titans had gone through an overhaul. Everything was set to knock it out of the park, as the Americans like to say, but of course, you read the title of this article so you know where this is going.
EA in their infinite wisdom decided to release Titanfall 2 on October 28th, 2016, normally quite a profitable time frame as people are buying Christmas presents for their little mistakes but there was one snag with this date. It was a week after the release of Battlefield 1 and a week before the release of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. I’m going to go on record here and state that Titanfall 2 is quantifiably better than both of the aforementioned titles in every way. In my eyes, Titanfall 2 is the definitive multiplayer first-person shooter of the current generation. However, not many people got to see that, simply due to forcing people to choose between something new and something familiar, more people are going to go with what they know. Titanfall never really stood a chance due to this.
The funniest part about it is EA was asked why they chose this date as it was clearly a bad idea and everyone knew this but they had this to say:
“We believe that Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2, while they have some overlap, fulfill very different motivations in what a player is looking for… And so we think there are really three types of players: people that really love Battlefield and that type of big strategic game play that will orient in that direction; the player that loves the fast, fluid, kinetic gameplay of Titanfall 2 and really orients in that direction; and the player that just has to play the two greatest shooters this year and will buy both.”
This poor decision lead to Titanfall 2 not meeting EA’s expectations, which shocked no one. The Titanfall franchise is now as good as done with the release of Apex which is a damn shame as Titanfall 2 is a shining example of how to make an engaging and fun FPS that cuts down on the bs and gives players many ways to have fun.
By far my game of 2019, I feel Metro: Exodus got a raw deal due to public misconception and dumb exclusive deals. For those who haven’t been clued into the goings-on in the world of PC gaming lately, Epic Games decided to launch their own store and they have been gaining traction through either free or exclusive games. These tactics quickly drew the attention of PC gamers around the globe because who doesn’t love a free game? For a long time the only platform gamers have sworn by is Steam and for good reason, they’re reliable and the Steam sales have always been one of the biggest arguing points against owning a console.
For more than a few people, the idea of exclusivity on PC is a bit of a touchy topic as companies such as EA and Ubisoft have taken to the practice of only selling their games through their own platform. From my personal experience, having to sign into 3 or 4 different clients just to see your games library is, to put it lightly, bollocks. Due to this bitterness, there has been plenty of misinformation spread about the Epic games store from claims that they sell your details to China even down to accusations of spyware being installed on your system.
These claims are false and some of the “evidence” that has been presented by people on Reddit and other publications are either faked or don’t understand the difference between a spyware scan and an API executable that requires access to basic functions on your PC to, well…function. Steam does it, Origin does it, almost every piece of software on your PC does it some extent.
You’re probably wondering why I felt the need to go into all of the above? Well, the reason why is because right in the middle of all that drama was Metro: Exodus. Deep Silver signed an exclusivity deal with Epic to have Metro only available on the Epic store for the first year of release on PC, which wasn’t really a smart idea, to be honest. Even if Epic wasn’t having an image problem, platform exclusivity doesn’t make much sense on PC which made the decision to go exclusive quite a controversial one.
Metro is coming to Steam as of February 15th, 2020 so hopefully, more people can pick this game up and give it the love it deserves.
Metro on a financial level did pretty well but only on console with the PC sales taking a nosedive compared to previous entries in the series and for the most part, the game was forgotten by the following month. Anyone who has played Exodus can clearly see the love and care that went into every inch of this game and to this day it’s still one of the most beautiful looking games to ever exist from the haunting vistas of post-apocalyptic Russia to the claustrophobic terrors that are the metro tunnels. If you haven’t played this game yet please do, and if you’re in the market for the most immersive experience outside of VR play Metro on Ranger mode. You won’t regret it.