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Why Fans Completely Turned Their Back On These Games

Games can make their players feel a myriad of emotions: joy, sadness, shock, awe, terror, and disappointment. Even betrayal. Usually the latter is the unfortunate side effect of a game gone wrong. Much to the ire of angry players who vent their rage on fan boards and forums, there's a lot that can go wrong with a game. There is no franchise, title, or studio that is safe from producing something that fans will be angry about. Multi-million dollar productions from studios who have previously crafted beloved favorites manage to bungle sequel titles. Final gameplay winds up being a shadow of the shiny and exciting gameplay trailers, as developers fail to live up to their promises.

It's disappointing, infuriating even, to have seemingly reasonable expectations that aren't even close to met, and to spend $60 on a game that wasn't what you wanted it to be. This is how the internet ends up in uproar and games are effectively blacklisted for their studios' sins. There are quite a few games that have broken the cardinal rule of gaming and instead of having steadfast fans, wound up being shunned.

Fallout 76 flopped

Bethesda's announcement of a new Fallout game at 2018's E3 was something of a summer blockbuster. It was exciting, bombastic (literally), and had everyone singing about West Virginia and mountain mamas for months to come. In this brave new, open world, the player's choices matter more than ever. And one of those choices is to unleash nuclear strikes on your enemies. Neat.

Fans wanted to tell their own stories in Fallout's compelling, post-apocalyptic world and Fallout 76 would allow them to do just that ... in theory. The game would feel realistically populated with hardboiled survivors piloted by real people ... in theory. What fans got instead was 76 frustrating reasons why not to waste their time trying to make the game work. Fallout 76 was meant to deliver on fan's hopes and dreams of playing in an apocalyptic wasteland with their friends. Which you can do, technically, but the buggy ghost town that the game wound up being was a huge let-down. PvP is convoluted and cumbersome, the quests are just glorified community service, and even if the creatures are cooler than ever, they're boring to fight. It feels like an unfinished and unfun grindfest, and to add insult to injury, Bethesda didn't seem to acknowledge its failure.

Don't even get us started on the nylon bag fiasco.

Diablo Immortal incensed fans and incinerated Blizzard's stock value

Blizzard makes good games on any platform: PC, console, and mobile, there's no denying that. But there is also no denying that some of the company's most hardcore fans that spend the most time — and money — on their games are largely PC gamers who dedicate themselves to titles like World of Warcraft and Diablo. Somehow, Blizzard seemed to have forgotten about that fanbase at 2018's BlizzCon.

After some nudges and winks from Blizzard in previous months, fans were clamoring for what was clearly about the be the announcement of a brand new Diablo game. Which they got. Technically. Diablo fans, mainly PC gamers, felt betrayed when devs announced a mobile game, rather than the full-fledged sequel they were anticipating. It felt like a tone deaf bait-and-switch. Stumbling devs on stage couldn't seem to figure out what the problem was when Diablo Immortal, a mobile Diablo game developed by third-party studio NetEase, was met with boos. One fan deadpan asked if Diablo Immortal was an April Fool's Day joke.

"Do you guys not have phones?" Blizzard developer Wyatt Cheng asked the enraged room. Of course people have phones, and of course mobile is the fastest-growing platform for games, but a mobile Diablo game isn't what fans expected or wanted. The loudest, most telling backlash following the announcement was the sudden nose-dive Activision Blizzard's stock value took, dropping 7% overnight.

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Take that and my money, Sega

Most of us are pretty used to Sonic's 3D look by now, which is why people are so shaken up over a significant departure from what has become his signature design in the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie. Funnily enough, this backlash is a kind of echo of the fan outrage that Sega found itself caught up in back in 2010.

In February of 2010, Sonic the Hedgehog 4, which marketed itself as a traditional Sonic game free of angsty, gun-toting hedgehogs or the weirdly Final Fantasy-esque princesses that had plagued previous Sonic titles, was announced. Sega was getting back to basics, which is supposedly what fans wanted, right?

As it turned out, this Sonic title wasn't Sonic enough for them. In a nostalgia-clinging kind of tantrum, a petition appeared as an attempt to "finally show sega what the fans truly want" which wound up gathering over one thousand signatures. According to the anonymous poster, "Sonic 4 will simply not be anywhere near as good as the original sonic games" and that it didn't constitute as a "true successor."

Thus they came up with the brilliant strategy of buying the first Sonic game upon the fourth's release, in order to really show Sega what the fans wanted. Surely, this scheme would make the developer bend to their will, right? Not really. Sonic the Hedgehog 4 sold well, and Sega probably enjoyed an increase in sales of the previous titles too.

"Blatant SJW rhetoric" in Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear

Baldur's Gate came out in 1998, so BioWare's top-down RPG has had plenty of time to gain fans and fulfill their Dungeons & Dragons-based dreams. A game so beloved was never quite forgotten, and so even after years of silence, the game was given an overhaul by Beamdog games, who released a remake entitled Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition in 2012. This remake got its very own expansion four years later in 2016, Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear.

Rather than new content being received with open arms, the expansion was panned with reviews complaining of game-breaking bugs, bad UI, and "blatant SJW rhetoric." It's the latter of these objections that created a huge controversy around the game. The Steam reviews were littered with similar epithets against the inclusion of jokes at GamerGate and a transgender character named Mizhena. Reviewers claimed that the new writing shoved progressive, social justice warrior elements down their throats, despite the fact that Mizhena is an entirely negligible NPC whose identity is hidden behind several lines of dialogue.

Beamdog insisted that their inclusion of her wasn't "LGBT tokenism." They told detractors that harassing writers and leaving nasty reviews wouldn't sway their decisions. While some former fans found the inclusion of LGBT characters in the world of goblins and elves preposterous, Beamdog's writers said that the reaction reaffirmed their commitment to diversity.

Mass Effect: Andromeda's massive failure

The universe is a big, big place and BioWare wanted to give fans the chance to explore its furthest corners in Mass Effect: Andromeda. This wound up to be an overly ambitious task that floundered in the fives years it took to develop the much-anticipated sequel. It turned out that because of short-handed staff and faltering pre-production, much of the game was built in the final year of development. And it really shows.

There are of course the infamous gifs of horrible, no-good, outright derpy animations. Andromeda just doesn't do facial animations right. The characters have these blank, dead-eyed stares with glossy faces and amatuer make up. Pairing this with the much ridiculed gameplay sneak peek at the 2016 Game Awards, the animations make the game look like a B-grade movie cast with college kids who have never acted in their lives.

Worse, the writing just isn't up to par with the high standard BioWare had set for itself in previous titles. The UI is a tangle of nested menus that are impossible to figure out. And it was crawling with bugs. Fans weren't mad, just hugely disappointed.

No Man's Sky shot for the moon and missed

The king of this compilation is clearly No Man's Sky. Mass Effect: Andromeda did the right thing and saved itself by abandoning its commitment to procedurally generated planets in favor of substance. But Hello Games' No Man's Sky's whole pitch was centered around the idea of a vast, randomly generated universe that players would be the very first to explore. The ambitious project hyped up by developer Sean Murray seemed to be the next step in gaming, a sci-fi fan's fantasy.

But it wasn't. On release, No Man's Sky was a visually great game, but that was about as far as its appeal stretched. Players didn't mass pre-order the game because of the admittedly gorgeous flora and fauna (which you can't befriend or ride, much to our disappointment) but because of a myriad of features that never made it into the final game. What appeared to be a great, multiplayer space conquest was actually a resource-gathering, lonely grind. The biggest games media firestorm at the time, No Man's Sky was universally panned to the point that even after putting in fifty or more hours, players wanted refunds.

Though gamers turned away from the title, they might just be turning back now. A steady slew of solid updates has transformed No Man's Sky into an actually fun game. Can a game make up for its past sins? No Man's Sky is certainly trying.

Star Wars: Battlefront 2 gets downvoted into oblivion

Gamers love that sense of pride and accomplishment that comes along with unlocking new content, earning achievements, and knowing that their hard work pays off. What gamers hate is microtransactions. Putting content behind a paywall of a game that players have already shelled out money for feels greedy, so it's no wonder players of 2017's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 felt cheated when their favorite characters were all but unattainable in the game unless players were willing to spend more money.

EA littered the game with loot boxes that contain items and abilities that would give players a significant advantage during multiplayer matches. Sure, players can technically forego spending any more actual money and just grind the old-school way, but the more people played, the more they realized the game was rigged in a way that would require days and days of gameplay to yield the same results a few seconds of opening loot boxes would. Battlefront 2 was pay-to-win, and people weren't happy. An EA representative replied to a complaint on Reddit, claiming that the characters' prices were set in order to give a sense of "pride and accomplishment" at unlocking them. This comment quickly became the most downvoted comment in Reddit history.

Through PR fumbles like that, EA made itself into something of a villian that spawned thousands of memes and marred the Battlefront franchise forevermore.

Mighty No. 9 isn't worth $4, let alone $4 million

Mighty No. 9 stepped in as a kind of a hero to save fans who have been waiting in vain for a new Mega Man game. When Mega Man's "father" and Capcom veteran Keiji Inafune announced his intention to create a kind of spiritual successor entitled Mighty No. 9 at 2013's PAX, people were excited. So excited, in fact, that they collectively threw $4 million at the project.

Mighty No. 9 was a Kickstarter project that quickly surpassed its original $900,000 goal. This meant that for backers, Inafune's Comcept would be able to develop a bigger and better game than they had originally aimed for. Fans were ecstatic of course to have more content like a ports to the PS Vita and full voice acting. But then fans were less ecstatic to hear of an announced animated series and strangely shifting priorities. Pair that with a glaring lack of communication, backers who had paid hundreds of dollars for development of the game were beginning to wonder where their money was going. Mighty No. 9 was continually delayed and Comcept had started another Kickstarter for an entirely separate game (and anime series).

Was the final product worth the long, and dubious development? Nope. Mighty No. 9 looked bad, played worse, and wasn't worth its $20 price tag, let alone the millions that funded it.

Aliens: Colonial Marines defined development hell

It's hard not to get excited for an Aliens game, especially one with such a kickass trailer. Aliens: Colonial Marines was supposed to be a first-person shooter featuring film's most fearsome extraterrestrials. The demo looked great, the concept sounded fantastic, and the game was being developed by Gearbox, the studio who had wowed the world with Borderlands.

After six years in development hell, Aliens: Colonial Marines turned out to be a disaster of a game. It looked nothing like the demo and certainly nothing like the trailer. It was an average shooter that somehow made xenomorphs boring. Who was to blame for the bland game that had at first seemed so promising?

Turns out, Gearbox had a hit with Borderlands, so they immediately started development on Borderlands 2 while simultaneously working on Sega's Colonial Marines. The workload proved to be unmanageable so they outsourced development to another studio, TimeGate. It was alleged that when TimeGate got the game from Gearbox, it was clear that very little effort had been put into development. Even so, Gearbox clashed with TimeGate over various issues and claimed that they were the ones who had bungled the game. Sega was caught up in this mess of miscommunication; later accusations alleged that Gearbox had put Colonial Marines money into Borderlands. In the flurry of pointed fingers and false advertising lawsuits, Sega placed the blame on Gearbox, who in turn blamed Sega.

Fans, meanwhile, just turned their backs on the game altogether. 

Total War: Rome 2: no girls allowed

We're going to be real here: the beef people have with Total War: Rome 2 isn't likely about "historical accuracy" as they so claim. Creative Assembly's historical strategy game came out in 2013 and has since enjoyed largely positive reviews on Steam. But a free update prompted an overnight review bombing, the game suddenly flooded with hundreds of negative reviews. Did the Ancestral update destroy all that was good about the game? No, but it did slightly increase the likelihood for female generals to spawn, which for some, made the game unplayable because it was now historically inaccurate.

Angry reviewers claimed that the update had made it so that 50% of generals were female now, which was unfounded. One player did the math and found that there was a slight chance that games might end up with five female generals and three male every now and then, but the review bombers were still livid about "bringing modern politics into a B.C.-era game." Creative Assembly stated that it tried to be historically authentic rather than accurate, "If having female units upsets you that much you can either mod them out or just not play. People saying they won't buy the game because there are too many women in it is fine with us — if that's their reason, we'd rather they didn't anyway."

Anti-piracy policies spawn piracy for Spore

Naturally EA managed to find a way onto this list again. This time the offense that turned its fans on them was back in 2009, way before the era of microtransactions, and it involved a game that was generally well-received. Spore didn't wind up being the hit that developer Will Wright's The Sims was before it, but that wasn't an issue. Spore allowed players to build their own monstrous species and civilizations cell by cell. It's hard to follow up on a game like The Sims, and players didn't expect Spore to one-up everyone's favorite PC game. They did however expect to be able to use the game once they owned it.

EA limited the number of times that users could install the game to three. This was done in order to curb piracy, but ironically wound up spurring spurned fans to torrent the heck out of Spore. This was a kind of mass protest of the "draconian" measures EA had taken to protect its copyright. The Amazon listing of Spore was bombed with one star reviews that were later mysteriously purged, Amazon claiming that the culprit was a glitch. Spore sold out of physical copies in many stores during the first week of release and despite the backlash, apparently doing just fine on digital downloads as well.

Payday 2: Greedfest

What's worse: microtransactions, or lying to players about microtransactions? Either situation would land any developer these days into some serious hot water with fans, and for Overkill Software, a double whammy of controversy was doubly damning. In Payday 2, players pull off heists and steal mind-boggling amounts of cash. It turns out that they don't want their own hardwon cash stolen in turn by microtransactions.

At first, producers assured players that this would never happen. Overkill producer Almir Listo said in 2013 on Steam, "We've made it clear that PAYDAY 2 will have no micro-transactions whatsoever (shame on you if you thought otherwise!)." This reassurance has now become infamous in the wake of an update that would allow players to crack open safes containing specially-skinned weapons with boosted stats ... for $2.50.

Fans were understandably angry and felt betrayed by Overkill for going back on their promise. An AMA with Listo on Reddit only served to further frustrate fans for his seemingly blase attitude toward the mass upset. The subreddit rebelled, moderators quit the sub, and veteran modders quit the game, and some people wanted to rename the subreddit r/Pay2Day. Listo told Kotaku that microtransactions had become necessary to support the game and the Overkill staff, and that they had never expected such a vehemently venomous reaction.