Truly truly truly outrageous
We gamers are a fractious and combative community, and we love to take our grievances onto the Internet. Most of the time, this rage passes over with time, and the gaming community moves on to the next big event that's sending the Internet into a tizzy. We here at GamesRadar have covered this before, discussing the instances when everyone hated Valve and the concepts that gamers love to rage about, but today we're taking a step back and looking at the big picture.
Sometimes, gamers' grievances can turn into an obscene amount of outrage. These instances can become legendary, leaving a mark in the collective memory of the gaming world. The last console generation, coinciding as it did with the emergence of massive social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, saw many such outrages blow up into massive proportions. These are but some of the tales of this generation's biggest ragefests.
Sony's meme-tastic E3 2006 press conference
The Background: In the summer of 2006, Sony had yet to reveal much of anything about the hotly anticipated PS3. The world held its breath for the entertainment giant's E3 press conference. Sony fans didn't know what to expect, but had vocal confidence that the makers of the beloved PS2 would keep up the excellence in the next generation.
The Outrage: To call the presentation "disappointing" is a massive understatement. The Internet's gaming community immediately began to make fun of Sony's perceived hubris with a vast array of memes and remixes, from Genji 2's Giant Enemy Crab ("Actually took place in ancient Japan!") to "Riiiidge Raaacer! Remember that one? to "599 US Dollars, Sony's PS3 reveal conference was widely meme-ified. "Giant enemy crabs" and "Attack its weak point for massive damage" have both entered the gaming lexicon, inspiring everything from awesome gifs to League of Legends character skins.
"Resident Evil 5 is racist!"
The Background: After Resident Evil 4's critical and commercial success, gamers feverishly looked forward to its sequel. The first few trailers looked pretty good, and the hype train was chugging along smoothly until the E3 2007 trailer revealed the new setting: a sub-Saharan African village.
The Outrage: Newsweek kicked off the controversy, saying that "There was a lot of imagery that dovetailed with classic racist imagery." Blogs and news sites all over the Internet picked up the story, raising questions about the racial makeup and sensitivity of the development team and whether or not the game was intentionally racist. The controversy sparked a lot of conversation about race and colonialism in video games--but even heavy allegations of racism couldn't keep Resident Evil 5 from flying off of store shelves. It recently overtook Street Fighter II as the best-selling Capcom game of all time, leading us to the conclusion that the pre-release controversy may have actually boosted sales.
The Left 4 Dead 2 "boycott"
The Background: Left 4 Dead, a then-new IP, took the gaming world by storm, earning critical love and consumer adulation. The game's makers supported it post-launch in the typical Valve fashion: with free content updates and top-notch add-ons. One of the campaigns they were working on, however, soon took on a life of its own and morphed into a standalone experience. Valve decided to continue this development and announced Left 4 Dead 2, with a release date a mere year after the original.
The Outrage: Many Left 4 Dead fans HATED it. "They'll stop supporting the original!" they cried. "They're trying to rip us off with a prettied-up DLC expansion! They're going to make L4D a yearly franchise with no soul or imagination like Madden or Guitar Hero!" Some gamers were so incensed that they created a Steam group dedicated to boycotting L4D2 and attracted over 30,000 members. These players stated their intentions to NEVER play the game that would ruin their experience of L4D then they pretty much all played it as soon as it released.
The PSN hack and shutdown
The Background: On April 20th, 2011, the PlayStation Network mysteriously shut down. Many gamers thought that some small matter had gone wrong, and waited for it to come back up
The Outrage: and they waited, and waited. A whole week after that fateful Wednesday, Sony finally revealed what the hell was going on: an "external intrusion" had forced Sony to shut down the Network. It wasn't for a few MORE days after that announcement that we learned how "external intrusion" actually meant somebody extracting millions of email addresses, passwords, and credit card information from Sony's less-than-secure databanks. Following this, Sony went into damage-control mode, and PlayStation players became rightfully angry. Many said they were going to jump ship for the 360, and Sony spent millions trying to clean up the mess. Worst hit were the games released during this period, especially SOCOM 4, which had a large online component, and Portal 2, which was the first foray onto home consoles for Steam. Thankfully, no identity thefts were reported to have originated from the hack, and PSN service resumed a month(!) after it had gone down.
Capcom cancels its fan-driven project (2011)
The Background: Mega Man fans around the world rejoiced at the announcement of Mega Man Legends 3, an ambitious project where the fans would have a huge sayin the development. MML3 was set to knock 3DS gamers' socks off when it launched in concert with the eShop until Capcom announced that they were cancelling the game because it wan't meeting the required criteria for development and publishing.
The Outrage: Fans, understandably, blew a gasket. The wording of the announcement was not clear on the "criteria" that the game failed to meet, leaving commenters clueless as to why their pet project was being canned. Many ascribed it to the recent departure of Mega Man's creator Keji Inafune, despite Capcom explicitly saying that his departure had nothing to do with it. Other fans jumped to the conclusion that Capcom thought the game wouldn't sell enough to be worth the effort. No matter the cause, though, MML3's cancellation touched a lot of nerves, and a lot of former fans vowed to never buy a Capcom game again.
Diablo III's failure to launch
The Background: In the hot summer of 2012, PC gamers eagerly awaited the launch of Diablo III, the follow-up to Blizzard's immensely popular hack'n'slash RPG Diablo II. Finally, the promised day arrived, and millions of people went to log in to the Battle.Net servers to get their game on
The Outrage: then were met by an error telling them that they couldn't log into their game because the servers were full. Fans across the globe were annoyed, and jumped onto Twitter and Blizzard's forums to say so. Many players expressed their outrage, since they only wanted to play single player or with their friends on a LAN, and lamented the need to log into a server in order to do so. The outrage quickly escalated into a condemnation of always-online DRM policies. A full-on fan riot was averted, however, when Blizzard quickly went into damage control mode, offering a swift explanation of the technical problems, and issued a public apology and refunds to those who wanted them.
Mass Effect 3's ending sparks a revolution
The Background: What sort of thing do you think could cause a company to be voted "worst company in America" twice? Illegal practices? Mass murder? What about "a video game's ending?" If you guessed that last one, you probably read the headlines after Mass Effect 3 was released. The trilogy's conclusion left many--who believed their actions in the 30+ hours leading up to the finale--furious over what they saw as betrayal.
The Outrage: Cupcakes. So. Many. Cupcakes. Fans took to making threats, signing petitions, and even sending pastries (colored red, blue, and green to match ME3's triplet of conclusions) to the developers. It eventually became so huge that Bioware buckled, releasing DLC that provided more context to the conclusion and added some additional cutscenes to make the choices leading up to the ending more meaningful.
Developer receives death threats over changes to digital guns
The Background: Call of Duty's online multiplayer is one of the game's biggest draws. It also has an incredibly devoted and vocal fanbase. The developers spend a lot of time watching the online statistics and listening to their community, balancing overpowered weapons and equipment with frequent patches.
The Outrage: However, the July 23rd, 2013 patch to Black Ops II went too far for an unorganized group of "hardcore" Call of Duty players on Twitter. After the announcement of changes to the DSR-50 Sniper Rifle and AN-94 Assault Rifle (changing reload times and fire rates by a tenth of a second or less), Treyarch developer David Vonderhaar started receiving incredibly graphic and violent insults and death threats. Some of the vilest tweets wished his mother had gotten an abortion, or told him to light himself on fire. According to Vonderhaar, this kind of response was not unheard of before or since, which is the saddest part of this whole sordid tale.
DotA 2 players REALLY want a Halloween event
The Background: Ah, Halloween. It's a beautiful time of year for gamers. TF2 players get Scream Fortress, Guild Wars 2 experiences the return of the Mad King, and DotA 2 players see a spook-tacular update to their game in the form of Diretide. Or at least, they were supposed to; Valve decided to skip a Diretide event in DotA 2 this year.
The Outrage: When Halloween came and went and there was no sign of the Diretide, players began to loudly wonder where it was. The DotA 2 subreddit blew up with threads lamenting the absence of Diretide. Also affected were their Facebook and Twitter accounts. At the time of this writing, nobody at Valve has publicly responded to the controversy or to anything at all: Both the official website or Facebook have not been updated since October 28th, and fans are starting to get sick of it. The game's Metacritic user score has plummeted, and people still petition official DotA 2 for Diretide, or at least some information on what happened to it.
What outrages you?
Whew! That was quite a bit of bile we just waded through. The worst part is that this isn't even all the outrages that graced us in the last generation. Which big blowups (on the parts of the industry or the fans) did you find particularly outrageous? Tell us about them in the comments below!
If you want to read more about fanboy rage, check out the Top 7 Things Gamers Hate (And Why They Really Shouldn't).