4 little things publishers can do to earn my respect.

Koenig

The Architect
#1
Video Game publishers are in an interesting spot; it is through them that some of my favorite games and content come, however it is also through them that much of the anti-consumer policies are born and propagated. Publishers hold both a place of admiration and disgust in book. I could go on for hours about what they should or should not do in both ethical and business situations, however this time around I would like to suggest four little changes that video game publishers could follow to earn my respect as a customer.

#1. Bring back actual video game manuals.

Many of you probably remember this, but there was a time when games came with full sized manuals instead of one page pamphlets. It was not a pre-order bonus, collectors edition, or system exclusive; it was a standard feature of Video Games to come with a manual that covered all the game had to offer and more for the consumers benefit. They were often in color, covered an extensive amount of content, and were in the consumers native language.

Today most publishers have all but removed the manual in favor of cutting corners, however to any publisher listening let it be known that the cost of putting in a proper game manual would be more than worth it in exchange for the respect they would earn from me as a consumer.


#2. Make game cases sturdy.

Another little gripe, but have you ever noticed how video game cases are becoming increasingly flimsy? Cartridges have come and gone (Not counting Nintendo's handhelds) and disks simply are not durable enough to survive (At least in my household) Yet none the less video game cases keep getting thinner and weaker as plastic is cut out and thinned to save money. I have lost two games when traveling because the case simply did not protect the disk inside of it. Publishers, it is made of cheep plastic, not gold; the very least you could do is make a solid case for your consumers.

Publishers who make a durable case continue to garner my respect while those who do not slowly lose it. I understand that everything costs money, but in regards to your products durability this is something you should simply not cut corners with.

#3. Give your customers a way to provide feedback.

There are many times when I have wanted to contact a publisher either to thank them or suggest something that could help their product (See the above two posts) However in many cases contacting a publisher is akin to landing a man on the moon. Either do to the lack of such communication for consumers or the obscure nature of most contact information, it is nearly impossible to make sure that your voice is hear.

In the age of information a simple online service similar to that of club Nintendo or the Capcom Unity forums is more than enough to let customers know that their interests are heard by the publisher in question. It also does not hurt make such contact and feedback services easy to access either.

#4. Just tell the truth.

Probably one of the most common pet peeves people seem to have with publishers is their tight lipped yet meaningless stance on information relating to their products. If your product has a problem it will be found out by the consumer, regardless of the publishers denial or efforts to hide it.

Instead of holding back information let your customers know the full extent of your product before they buy it. There is no such thing as a perfect product and we as consumers already know that, so stop trying to fool us into thinking that your product is an exception to that rule. Be honest about and readily willing, and dare i say, eager to share information whether it is good or bad. By letting the consumers make their own choice based on the truth you will garner a thousand times the respect than you would have by telling them only the best parts while hiding the hideous flaws.
 

Superfakerbros

ECE 2018
Moderator
#2
I agree with all but the first. While I do love the game manuals my games came with, I also know that they took up resources and, essentially, wasted paper. There is a certain thrill to be had with them but, generally, I often ignored the game manuals that came with my games and so I understand why they'd remove in-depth game manuals
 

Koenig

The Architect
#3
I agree with all but the first. While I do love the game manuals my games came with, I also know that they took up resources and, essentially, wasted paper. There is a certain thrill to be had with them but, generally, I often ignored the game manuals that came with my games and so I understand why they'd remove in-depth game manuals
However there are also many people (Like me) who do want to read the manuals and removing them completely is akin to giving those customers the middle finger. Publishers could release digital versions of their instruction booklets with the game, however to date almost all such manuals have been but a pale shadow of their paper-back counterparts.

To be fair, there as you pointed out many people who did not read the manuals, however it is the courtesy that counts in my book. Imagine if airlines stopped serving complementary drinks because not everyone wanted them? (Well you don't really need to imagine it since it has already happened) They save money, but at no benefit to the customer; We are ultimately paying more for less, and that is something that is simply not acceptable in my book.
 
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Superfakerbros

ECE 2018
Moderator
#4
However there are also many people (Like me) who do want to read the manuals and removing them completely is akin to giving those customers the middle finger. Publishers could release digital versions of their instruction booklets with the game, however to date almost all such manuals have been but a pale shadow of their paper-back counterparts.
Now that's understandable and I actually agree. If they're going to release digital game manuals, at least have them be up to par with what the old paper-based game manuals were like
 

Koenig

The Architect
#5
Its not like it would cost much either, a single qualified person could probably get the job done within a day or so, and the manual could contain left over art assets from the games development. Likewise if the publisher was up for it, they could spend the same amount they had been spending on their paperback versions to make a superior digital version that covered more content and behind the scenes information.
 
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