Who am I? I'm a guy who plays video games, talks way too much about comics and movies, likes Godzilla and Robocop, and lives up in Wisconsin. And yes. We get that much snow. Why should you read my blog? Because when I write I have fun, make up bullshit lists, and when I do get a little serious with some blogs I try to be insightful and use resources and facts to try and back up my opinion as much as I can. And if you don't follow my blog, I'll send you a picture of a sad kitten who wants some love.
Also, I tend to debate a lot and get up on a soapbox a bit from time to time. I like to debate for the sake of debating and I tend to find it fun to get other peoples perspectives on things, and sometimes I like to play devil's advocate a bit just for the sake of it. Basically, don't take me so serious sometimes even if it seems like I am being serious.
You don't have to dig far to find out I've had my reservations about the Devil May Cry reboot and that I think the end result was a sub-par game, but even with that knowledge I've been told by numerous people that I've done a fantastic job of being pretty level headed and thoughtful about everything regarding the whole fiasco.
Now, I have to admit, I'm a slight bit ticked off.
Obviously the full DmC sales figures aren't available because the US and digital numbers are not available. But what we do know is that the game has been a pretty resounding dud in Europe and Japan. I also highly doubt digital sales are going to make much of a difference overall either due to console digital sales or on Steam. As a matter of fact, just glancing at Steam right now DmC isn't even in their Top 20 for "Top Sellers" and is getting outsold by such heavy hitters as Euro Truck Simulator 2 and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
After I found out that DmC's UK debut was meager compared to Devil May Cry 4 and that DmC's Japan debut was the weakest in franchise history (by the way, fucking called that one), I kind of figured what I'm about to talk about would end up happening. I guess I didn't anticipate how much it would, in fact, piss me off when it actually happened – both as a Devil May Cry fan and as a gamer in general.
This article from MVCUK.com talks about DmC's (again) lowered fiscal expectations, and then tries to blame fans for the game's poor sales thus far. He even suggested titling his article “Devil May Cry fans destroy brand out of spite”.
Here's an excerpt from the, admittedly short, article.
It’s potentially a sad end to a tale brought about very much by the fans themselves. Anyone who played Devil May Cry 4 must surely of seen how desperately the IP needed an injection of new ideas and modernisation – which is exactly what the skilful Ninja Theory achieved.
I'll address a more specific thing first. People's issues with Devil May Cry 4 had very little to do with the characters, universe, or the core gameplay of the game. The complaints about Devil May Cry 4 had to do with the fact that the game was rushed and wasn't freaking finished. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that plot points were hastily cut out and that the rehashed second half of the game was a byproduct of time crunching. DMC4 didn't need a fresh injection of new ideas and modernization, DMC4 simply needed more time. Devil May Cry 3 and Devil May Cry 4 were released three years apart almost to the day (with the DMC3 Special Edition in between), and the team had to learn how to build for two new consoles in that time frame.
On to the more should-really-piss-all-of-you-off issue, yes fans are to blame for DmC's floptastic sales so far. But why label the fans as whiny spiteful children? The most common retort you always see when someone is complaining about something they don’t like is;
“If you don’t like it then vote with your wallet and don't buy it”
So now after people have done the thing they are actually supposed to do when they don't like a product, they are being slammed for not supporting a product. “Entitled gamer” is a slur that gets thrown around a lot these days, but if “journalists” are going to suggest that gamers need to support franchises regardless of whether or not they like the changes that have been made then who truly is feeling the sense of entitlement?
Allow me to pull a second excerpt;
Yet the fans revolted because Capcom dared to reinvent its IP for the 21st century and dared to change the colour of Dante’s hair. It’s really very sad.
Well, for one, the guy loses most of his credibility for bringing up the “white hair” straw-man argument. But this goes back to my point, if fans dont like something why in the blue hell should they support it?
It's reached the point where I just honestly feel sorry for the Devil May Cry fanbase. They had to watch the franchise get turned into a watered down version of itself gameplay wise and had to sit through a pretentious story that was so horribly written it was laughable. And at multiple turns detractors for the DmC reboot had mud slung at them by Ninja Theory, Capcom, and tons of the gaming press who took pot shots at them in their glorified commercials vaguely disguised as reviews that danced around as many issues fans had as it could. (I hate to spoil my own review that I'm still working on, but seriously, most of the major gaming press is completely full of shit if they think DmC is an 8 or 9 out of 10 caliber game). I also find it rather coincidental that most of the major gaming sites that dumped truckloads of praise onto DmC have been almost completely silent regarding it's utter failure to achieve it's goal of expanding the franchise's appeal despite having three weeks almost entirely to itself on gaming's open market.
Are there DMC fans who took their hate for DmC too far? Of course, but that's something that happens with everything that has a substantial fanbase (go Google fan reactions to Amazing Spider-Man #700). And there were also a fair share of people who were defenders of DmC who also went a bit too far in their defense of the game.
But at some point people might just want to accept that perhaps DmC was just not a game a majority of the existing fanbase wanted. They did the right thing and voted with their wallets, which is the simple most immediate way to send a message to any publisher these days. Demonizing people for not supporting something they don't want is about as screwed up as it gets.