Indie Studio Vents: “Gamers Aren’t Very Nice People”

Indie Studio Vents: “Gamers Aren’t Very Nice People”

British indie studio Puppy Games, who are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment, have posted a long and heartfelt essay/rant on their site about the people who buy (or don’t buy) their video games. Don’t let its aggressive leads fool you. It’s a very good read.

Mostly because it does exactly what it says it’s going to do, throwing caution to the wind and saying things like “Firstly, gamers aren’t very nice people. Yes, you. You are not a very nice person. Statistically speaking”.

It gets better/worse:

Customers all think they’re worth everything in the entire world to us. The funny thing is, you are. Without customers, we’re dead in the water, homeless and living in a cardboard box outside Berko sewage plant. But individually, you’re like ants. And all of developers secretly know it and don’t talk about it. You’re not worth supporting. It’s far, far better to completely, totally ignore support, if you want to make a living. Developers don’t like to talk about it, and they certainly don’t want to make customers aware of it. Some developers right now are bristling with public-relation-inflating indignation, waiting to burst into my castle in shining white armour championing the cause of their customers, and how they treat their customers like royalty still. But I know, and they know, they’re only doing that because it’s actually yet more Dark Side of Public Relations. It’s a lie. The numbers do not add up. I’ll show you where they do add up — on Steam, on the App Store, on Big Fish, on Google Play. That’s where all of the money is going these days, great sucking, black holes, spewing out tat on their event horizons and hoovering up pennies from wallets worldwide. You can yell about how important you are into the black hole if you like. No-one cares. You can “take your money elsewhere” and “never buy another product from you again, EVER”, and the black hole will continue to treat you exactly as you deserve — with impassive, voracious, inexorable silence, and still ever-growing. Because you’re worthless.

If you’re going to take it all on face value and get offended, you’re more than welcome to, but I think you’re missing the point, at least in terms of why you should be reading this.

Whether what Puppy Games are saying is “true”, or even representative, is up for debate. There are plenty of indie devs who will reply to even the most inane and offensive tweet or email. But I think what’s worth seeing here is just the emotion on show, regardless of how incendiary it is.

You can read pleasant, clean, PR-driven quotes from video game developers anywhere you look. Literally: the entire games industry, from AAA to the smallest indie, is so intent on sales pitches that almost every comment you ever read about a video game (outside perhaps a live interview or actual criticism) has been sanitised beyond any genuine sense of meaning or importance.

The stuff Puppy Games are venting about here might not be the nicest thing to read, but the truth – even if it’s only the truth from Puppy’s perspective – isn’t always nice.



  • No shit sherlock! Now fuck off and fix all these game breaking bugs that means the end of my personal little fucking universe. Or I shall continue to slander you behind my nondescript online alias.


    ( •_•)>⌐■-■


    Deal with it

    EDIT: /sarcasm (for those that couldn’t tell)

  • Hmmmm, Dangerous. Yes, very dangerous

    Perhaps we should all tell the truth for 24 hours, and see where we are tomorrow

  • bunch of entitled two year olds is my view of current gamers, this what i have noticed from my 37 years on this planet

    • I’ve been gaming since the 80s and the only feedback we could give was by sending a nasty letter to the publisher with a guaranteed no response,maybe a telephone call to a service centre if we were lucky. I also use to have to sleep in a shoe box in the middle of the road and get up 30min before I had to go bed and work 24hrs a day, but you tell the kids today and they won’t believe you.

    • Nailed it.
      It’s sad but true.
      A game is announced, and usually the first lot of comments are about how much it sucks already.
      A lot of the gaming community (not all) are dicks. Plain and simple.
      The customer IS NOT always right, they just think they are.
      Anyone in any job involving people ever, will tell you the same thing.

      • the last line is spot on, i work in a call center and you get the worst of humanity calling you to bitch about the smallest thing but they are a noisy minority.

  • so he just wants to make video games…great! unfortunately to sell those games you have to deal with people, and people usually suck when they want something from you – just ask any lawyer, doctor, salesperson, chef, whatever…the crappy part of their jobs are usually the people

    but i agree with him in one sense, the anonymity the interwebs provides allows people to spew vitriol at others without any fear of reprisal, and that kinda sucks. But it also kinda sucks that he’s whinging about trolls, then goes on to troll gamers (and his own customers too) as one huge, amorphous, stereotypical group, whilst seemingly being completely unaware that he is perpetuating the very behaviour that he’s whinging about in the first place. massively hypocritical – well, at least he’s sticking his hand up and owning his rant i guess

    as far as I’m concerned, limiting shitty behaviour in people generally, particularly on the internet, starts and ends with yourself. If everyone takes the ‘everyone on the internet is shit so I’m going to be shit too’ approach, then we have a self-fulfilling prophecy. Fight the tide buddy…

  • “But individually, you’re like ants. ”

    Ugh so true. Like Diablo 3’s launch last night on PS4 had a bunch of issues, like it downloads two copies of the game- English/German/French version and also a Polish/Russian version, making your download double in size with two games installed on the dashboard. Then preorder DLC doesn’t actually work yet. Tweeted them about it, no response, instead they’re too busy retweeting people saying “game rocks yeah!”. Cheers for the support guys. Eventually a Blizzard staff member replied to the official forum thread about it saying we have to wait for the US release to get the preorder DLC to work (thanks as usual for caring about non-Americans).

    Same shitty response when Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn came out recently, kept trying to get a response of when the game would go up for preorder on European PSN to get the preorder DLC, no response, but they were happily tweeting out DLC codes to people sending in photos of their physical copies bought. Isn’t the customer who hasn’t given you their money yet more important? ffs.

    • Wait..aren’t you contradicting yourself:

      1. I bought Diablo, DLC doesn’t work, Dev help me i’m an existing customer!!

      2. I want to buy Dynasty Warriors. Dev won’t help me because they are servicing existing customers! 🙁

      ….or was that the joke…I dunno.

  • I love reviews on Google Play.
    1 star till you fix this.
    4 stars, you get 5 when you do X.

    These people are so hilarious, thinking it will make a difference. I often see people who make actually constructive reviews or criticism will sometimes get responses. Not the above drivel though.

    • Totally agree with you – though your grammar is way above par with the standard GP review.
      4 stars u git 5 wen u done fix yaw grandma.

    • I don’t know about that. I gave a review of the Facebook on GP aeons ago 1 star with the comment “I might give you more stars if the android app ever becomes better than the IOS one”
      I got a response from Facebook about 9 months later saying “It’s better than the IOS one now.”

  • Nerds in general are some of the most abrasive, exclusive, mean spirited bullies anywhere. They bitch and moan about every little thing wrong with a game, they complain about being bullied by society and simultaneously belittle other nerds – if someone doesn’t know as much as them about comics they are a noob/casual but if they know more than them they’re a no life virgin. They pollute twitch streams with vile, racist speech. A while back Marvel Australia released a pic of Black Widow in her costume before Winter Soldier hit the cinemas and the amount of memes in the comments talking about vulgar sexual stuff and Scarlett’s rear end was so appalling your think it was the first woman a nerd had ever seen.

    And the worst part is that usually nerds’ higher intelligence and advanced vocabulary just enhances their ability to be nasty.

    And don’t even get me started on hygiene, ever been to a midnight launch lately?

    I love nerds, they are my peeps, but they are sorely in need of developing some class.

    • Ahh yes, you’re on it here. Basically they lack actual social skills and a sense of reality.

  • Grinding Gear Games goes a long way to make sure this isn’t the case. I see Chris Wilson on the poe sub reddit almost daily. His contributions are always welcome and not about spouting a particular sales pitch. They listen to the feedback that is provided, and also provide clarity that I’ve never seen before. There are leaks happening all over the place with regard to a new patch that is going to be released soon. Chris is on the forum talking about which ones are out of date, clarifying how skills will work. I’d give them an A for effort and transparency. Compare to blizzard who seem to hold their customers in contempt at points by flat out lying to us.

  • I think it’s no secret that the residents of the Internet can be bastards. The praise may go unnoticed in the face of all the vitriol, and to have a vocal minority shit on something you’ve worked hard on and believe in must be discouraging.
    So I read this and I sympathize. I’m glad they’ve got to the point where they’re willing to speak their actual minds rather than writing some generic statement before handing it to the PR department… but it’s sad that it came to that in the first place.

  • I don’t disagree with any particularly assertion – they all seem valid to me – though I do think that there’s nothing special about gamers or gaming in any of the claims made:

    …gamers aren’t very nice people

    I’d argue that when it comes to any area with a customer service role, people aren’t very nice people. Statistically speaking. Try working in banking and finance – the average time an employee spends working the bill collections area is 3 months, due to burnout from the mixture of abuse and devastating hard-luck stories. Or work in insurance. Or government. Or retail.

    I wonder just how many other creative industries have to deal with customers like this

    All of them. And it could be worse – ask John Lennon. Or Rebecca Schaeffer. Or Selena. Or Theo Van Gogh.

    Doesn’t even have to be a creative industry – look at what happened to public servant Glen Turner last month.

    Interestingly I don’t ever hear of people taking their laptops back to the shop – which remember cost $500 or more – and yelling at the salesmen for selling them something that didn’t work

    Then you’ve never worked in a shop that sold computers. I’ve seen 17 year old shop assistants assaulted for not accepting a return of a 2-year-old bit of kit that had clearly been put through the ringer. And it worked – they got their money back.

    Things changed fast. So fast that in other industries it would have been seen as a [sic] cataclymically disruptive event.

    Well, a cataclysmically disruptive event would be the rise of cheap Asian manufacturing, the elmination of typing pools, automated ticketing for public transport, the development of the ebook, etc. They all represent an industry and/or profession basically being wiped out. This is just very, very bad.

    None of that is to dispute that developers are doing it tough, or that consumers can be outright arseholes, but the industry itself isn’t under threat, and being abused horrendously by awful customers isn’t unique or noteworthy. The disruption introduced by Steam and Humble Bundle is certainly troubling, but there are genuinely far worse positions to be in when it comes to service and/or creative industries.

  • Was talking to a indie dev at AVCON in Adelaide earlier this year and he mentioned his game was just greenlit on steam. Without thinking I responded with “I love greenlight, you can just feel the tears of indie devs whenever you hit downvote”.
    the dude set up next to him gave me the most evil glare I have ever seen. Felt like an arsehole but it made my mates laugh.

    May aswell link the guys game since I’m a nice person and all (the guy I was chatting to, not the guy with the evil glare).

  • I don’t think the majority of consumers are jerks, I think its the social media driven internet that has given a platform for everyone to voice their stupid thoughts and opinions on everything.

    If Mass Effect 3 came out during the PS2 era it would not have had the same outcry of non stop bitching and complaining. In my opinion the shift from anonymity to comment, like, favorite and share has created this.

    • If the latest transformers film came out with out audio and someone playing old timey music on a piano in the theater instead. Claiming that’d have been acceptable in the days of silent movies doesn’t excuse it not meeting expectations.

      I don’t get people who are so invested in excusing everything shit developers do. If a dev does a bait and switch from trailers to the game. Yes I am going to complain. If they release the same game everywhere, yes I will complain. If they release the same game again but this time broken, I sure as hell am going to complain.

      I think some people are taking some lame, ‘i don’t care bro’ attitude where they think they’re above anyone else who has an opinion. Everyone’s opinion is valid, whether the devs give a shit or not. No opinion or an opinion accepting mediocrity and crap is less however valid because it’s useless to everyone and does nothing but support the contempt and apathy from devs.

      • I was a huge fan of the Mass Effect series doing multiple playthroughs of each game. When I played Mass Effect 3 I did not like the ending. But I did not CRY, BITCH, COMPLAIN on every possible social media outlet. I said oh that sucks *sigh* and moved on with my life. I was saying that in today’s SOCIAL MEDIA driven internet that whining and bitching about everything is echoed everywhere. People crying on twitter, facebook, youtube, ign, kotaku and everywhere else that has a comment section.

        • I guess I am more focused on the complaints over broken netcode, bait and switch graphics than story points. Game play to me is the key to me.

          • Look there is legit criticism I wasn’t trying to belittle that. I hate day 1 DLC, on disc DLC, pre-order a season pass etc etc, but among all the legit criticism is a bunch of stupid opinions getting spouted out about console fanboys, flame wars and so on.

  • I think the biggest issue is that in any other industry we can easily get refunds for faulty goods. It’s impossible to get a refund on a game through steam.


    @sparhawk0 said it best. I think if this dev had to work in a customer-facing position for a while he might be truly staggered by just how fucking horrendously people will behave without the protective veil of anonymity. This is nothing new or particular to the industry.

    What’s probably new is a small dev team getting to see literally thousands of pieces of feedback that any other customer service rep might have restricted to only a couple dozen – maybe a hundred in a call centre – per day.

  • Also, amused:
    That’s where all of the money is going these days, great sucking, black holes, spewing out tat on their event horizons and hoovering up pennies from wallets worldwide. You can yell about how important you are into the black hole if you like. No-one cares. You can “take your money elsewhere” and “never buy another product from you again, EVER”, and the black hole will continue to treat you exactly as you deserve — with impassive, voracious, inexorable silence, and still ever-growing. Because you’re worthless.

    Sounds like someone looked into the Abyss and saw it looking back.

    The exact same thing could be said of indie developers and their latest silhouette/pixel-art/voxel shmup/endless-runner/roguelike/platformer/multiplayer-only brawler/walking simulator. Make. Don’t make. Think you’re changing the world with your game which I’ll buy for two dollars fifty on a Steam sale, or not at all? Equally worthless, my friend.
    Let us all join hands and celebrate our insignificance as we succumb to the black hole.

    (Edit: If it helps, developer whose name I didn’t bother to read… I did read the linked article. And I like you. Rage if it helps you feel alive. Bless your cotton socks.)

      • …gamers alike. Yes. Good point.

        It’s interesting that the post author seems to assume we don’t know developers think we and our opinions are worthless. Hell, publishers like EA don’t even try to hide it.
        No shit we don’t talk about it… because if we did, there wouldn’t be a nice thing said by anyone, ever.

  • People want and expect different stuff out of games. Just because someone complains or has a problem doesn’t mean they are whining and don’t have justified complaints and issues.

    I have complained a tonne about Battlefield 4 and it’s many list of bugs. The game is still so buggy that myself and people I game with don’t play any more. Which is a shame as we love the franchise. I have people I play with who simply don’t give a shit about the issues.

    Fundamentally for what I want and expect the game doesn’t reach those standards. The previous battlefield game did. I don’t think in anyway it is unreasonable for me to be annoyed and complain. Bugs and issues there since launch which fundamentally mean you can’t play the game properly are still there.

    This accepting the least discerning player, the most casual players, those that don’t give a shit if a game is broken is ruining gaming. Console games lowered the standard of gaming on PC. Now in recent years developers and lowering the standard again by not making games which work properly. Why should we give in and shut up? Accepting what ever crap they give us.

    If I get a game I don’t enjoy or like, I don’t care. When I get a game that is broken, I fucking care. Especially when it’s from a beloved series of games or genre where I know for a fact they have and can do better. Like Battlefield.

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