Petitions

running_in_jam

Videogame Sound Designer and Composer
#1
I'm curious about the lobby's opinions on petitions. In my time of following gaming news, I've come across a lot. The number that I've signed? Without a doubt, no more than 2. I believe they were a Xenoblade petition and a Timesplitters petition.

What I'm getting at is that I have never seen an online petition make any difference in the industry, ever. The case of Xenoblade is confusing, because it has been said that Operation Rainfall didn't influence the decision. I don't personally know if that's fact or fiction. There may be cases where a petition has made a difference, but I've never even heard of one.

With the Timesplitters petition, I signed because I truly want more of the IP. However, it's become a clear embarrassment for the Timesplitters community. The petition asked for 300,000 signatures. Last I checked the petition had stagnated at around 70,000. How does that look to Crytek? Absymal. They may have been considering Timesplitters before. Well, not any more.

The most recent petition I saw was the Dark Souls for Wii U. I know Juegos actually posted it here, but I have not signed it. Sure, I would absolutely love to play it when I get a Wii U. Will me signing this petition make an ounce of difference to the publisher? Nope. If anything, it will highlight the comparatively low install base and frankly give them reason not to develop it for Wii U. (Note: I haven't checked the status of the petition in question...probs should do that)

From the perspective of the publisher, the things people ask for with petitions are actually enormous risks. Putting them in a position where they are either going to be deemed "lazy" for not porting something, or porting something on request of a small group of consumers and losing money on that port, is not fair at all.

I'm not even going to go on about the fact that people sign multiple times, or sign without any intention of actually buying.

/rant
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#2
70,000 on a petition is VERY good... a petition will never match the total sales they only represent the msot vocal of the potential fanbase
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#3
OpRainfall definitely made a difference... just not to Nintendo. It influenced XSEED, whose whole business model is based around finding Japanese games that might sell in the West and localizing them in limited amounts. So, XSEED saw the obvious demand from the OpRainfall movement and capitalized on it. GameStop did the the same with Xenoblade. So, I think fans outcries can make a difference when big enough, just not to Nintendo and not if they aren't really big movements. And of course, big movements only happen when the game is actually very sought after by a large group of fans.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#4
OpRainfall got allot of attention and was able to make so much noise because we weren't just a petition we really had an attack on every front possible approach, we also tried to be polite and professional... though I had trouble fitting into that mold at times lol... other people starting up movements have asked me for advice and I always say they need to be creative, they need to think of different ways to make noise, they need to do that while being polite and understanding, and they need to try and see it from the publishers perspective and appeal to what would interest them, you need to show that your numbers have and are willing to spend money for the product, and you need to focus the massive energy of your numbers to make better use of them (as in an organized event on 1 day rather than a constant low hum of activity)

petitions by themselves don't really do much.. it doesn't really show commitment, signing a petition is quick and easy after all

but if you sink in countless hours of work and play it smart you can make some real noise, and that is about the best we as fans can do
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#5
The funny thing is that Dark Souls did make it to PC thanks to a petition, and it's certainly the odd case. For the most part, petitions really don't work until they get huge numbers, and even then they have to be accompanied by clever and effective campaigns, like MightyMe said.

Many petitions I've signed on Change.org illustrate this: not only do they get a 100,000 people to say "we want Bank of America to do whatever and apologize to whatever person", but they establish media campaigns around the number of people that have signed this petition, and deliver it to the correct people that can actually use this petition to make a difference. In the case of Xenoblade and The Last Story, Op Rainfall made sure the entire gaming industry was aware of the number of people signing the petition, and we pointed specifically at XSEED, asking them "what will you do about this?" Eventually, they published an otherwise Nintendo-published game in North America - a huge oddity, and a first for the industry. Even stranger was Nintendo signing an exclusivity deal with GameStop for Xenoblade. In those two cases one can see an obvious influence that the social movement had.

As for these TimeSplitters and Dark Souls 2 petitions, though, I don't really think anything will come out of them. The truth is that people have already forgotten about the TimeSplitters franchise, and Nintendo-centric gamers are generally not very aware of Dark Souls, thus they don't have the passion for it that many had for Xenoblade.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#6
I dunno.. I think crytek themselves kind of baited the timesplitters petition into being which makes me think they themselves will actually pay attention even if it doesn't get much coverage.... and the dark souls one has gotten allot of press attention.. if somebody involved would take it a step further it could create a fairly sizeable little movement.... theya re already almsot at the the numbers we had with Oprainfall.. but it took us MUCH longer to get there.. the problem is that it kind of peaked in numbers already, and as a petition only they don't really have anywhere to go after that...

also I think dark souls 2 might turn out to be a stinker... Keza at IGN UK wrote an article about some very concerning comments coming from the developer about the game, and that the original director of the series seems to be involved in name only... it seems liek they want it to be more of a skyrim rip-off than a dark souls continuation... if this turns out to be true it will burn the fans of the series and could implode any movement for the game that exists now

so I dunno it is hard to say... but it would be nice to see somebody do more than just a petition again, and more than just naming themselves with an "operation" headline
 

Menashe

Moderator
Moderator
#7
Another petition that probably will never come to light is the Mega Man Legends 3 petition for 3DS. They called it the 100,000 Strong Movement, and everyone kind of forgot about it. But they actually just recently reached 100,000 and are currently sitting at 107k.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#8
"Menashe" wrote: Another petition that probably will never come to light is the Mega Man Legends 3 petition for 3DS. They called it the 100,000 Strong Movement, and everyone kind of forgot about it. But they actually just recently reached 100,000 and are currently sitting at 107k.
yeah, they had a few things going against them

1. capcom has no faith in megaman anymore... even the game they are making is very cheap
2. it costs ALLOT more to make a game than it does to port one, or localize one
3. when it was in production it was Inafune's pet project, now that he is gone all hope went with it
 

DarkKevit

That old bloke from Crete...
#10
Well, this is weird, I just posted on this very subject, literally a couple of minutes ago, in the DS2 thread. If nobody minds I'll just quote the post I made there, as I would really like to hear your thoughts on it.
Just a point of interest, what would we think the ratio of petition signers to probable buyers would be? Many people who would maybe buy this game will never know about, or sign, this petition. If the ratio was, to keep things easy for my old brain, 10 to 1, then this would represent potential sales of ~112,000 copies.

What are your thoughts, on what the ratio probably realistically comes out at, (I obviously only used 10 to 1 as an easy example) and how many sigs we feel would actually make the publisher take note?
If this cross thread posting is not allowed, please accept my apologies in advance!!!
 
#11
"DarkKevit" wrote: Well, this is weird, I just posted on this very subject, literally a couple of minutes ago, in the DS2 thread. If nobody minds I'll just quote the post I made there, as I would really like to hear your thoughts on it.
Just a point of interest, what would we think the ratio of petition signers to probable buyers would be? Many people who would maybe buy this game will never know about, or sign, this petition. If the ratio was, to keep things easy for my old brain, 10 to 1, then this would represent potential sales of ~112,000 copies.

What are your thoughts, on what the ratio probably realistically comes out at, (I obviously only used 10 to 1 as an easy example) and how many sigs we feel would actually make the publisher take note?
If this cross thread posting is not allowed, please accept my apologies in advance!!!
A large number of people wouldn't buy the game when it comes out and some people sign without having any interest in the game in the first place just to support the cause.

// I think cross thread posting as a habit would be a bad thing but in exceptional circumstances where it makes sense it should be fine.
 
#12
i dunno. i guess it depends on the game, but at least a 2-3 to 1 ratio. so for every signature, 3 would actually buy it. but i could be waaaay off. lol but i also dont see it as that much of a stretch either.
 

Juegos

All mods go to heaven.
Moderator
#13
I'm ok with cross posting, of course with common sense. Sometimes a post is relevant in multiple conversations. And sometimes you're just trying to sell viagra.
 

running_in_jam

Videogame Sound Designer and Composer
#14
I agree that 70,000 is an impressive number. The trouble however with the Timesplitters campaign is that twice now it has trickled off to a stand-still, and no matter how hard the fans press (myself included, I worked pretty hard at one point to raise interest. I think I wrote Cevat Yerli a poem?) it doesn't get anywhere. At which point, the publishers just think "well...that's what we've got to work with....I don't think these numbers are going to work out.."

Operation Rainfall certainly was an exception. I would definitely agree that these campaigns NEED more than just a certain number of signatures, and that's what helped Op Rainfall to stand out imo. What bothers me is that these half-hearted petitions pop up all the time, and even if I want the game, I can't find the reason to help, because the campaign is dead within a week. Anyone remember Operation Moonfall? Was that what it was called? For Majora's Mask.

Another issue with all these petitions is that publishers and developers don't want to be pushed around and told to what to do by small bands of consumers. Select groups of gamers are demanding enough as it is (ME3 ending was an upsetting situation for me) so the less disturbance between the companies and gamers the better. Imo the gamers need to remember they are not entitled to decide what these companies produce.

EDIT: I can already tell I'm gonna be the forum cynic
 

DarkKevit

That old bloke from Crete...
#15
"Bowser-Is-My-Father" wrote: I'd like to say they are useless but Operation Rainfall combined sigs with tenacity, if anything I see that as the way forward. and yes, 70,000 sigs is good, but nowhere near what a publisher would need to take interest IMO. Besides, 70,000 sigs does not always equate to 70,000 sales.
A coordinated email campaign like Operation Rainfall is a far cry from a basic online petition. Such a dedicated campaign actually has a chance of raising awareness, both in the media, and with the Dev / Publisher concerned, and as such I would be far more inclined to sign up and support it, even for a game I have little or no personal interest in.
 
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