Friday, February 29, 2008

Tribes - Another Take

It's no big secret that I'm a democrat. I find the presidential race both facinating and exciting. All of the candidates were surprisingly strong, capable, and interesting. The final two democrats, particularly so.

But that's not what you hear on talk radio.

Instead of hearing "I like person X for reason Y", we hear versions of "I hate person X for reason Y". For a while it was disheartening to me. Don't these people know the two leading candidates are two sides of the same coin?

Than it hit me, these are the same sorts of hyperbole filled discussions I read on gaming message boards. Console Wars. Board gamers "hate" Collectible and Video Games. Console Gamers "hate" World of Warcraft. World of Warcraft players hate sunlight...(kidding!)

People are emotionally invested in the choices they make, and the more emotion they invest, the more difficult it is for them to accept opposing viewpoints. Criticism of their choices equates to criticism of them, and that can cause folks to lash out in response. This most often manifests in the anonymous worlds of radio and the internet, thankfully. I've haven't heard about fist fights at the political caucuses and game conventions tend to be peaceful affairs.

Bring it home Adam!

If you're releasing a new game that going to go head to head with an existing game with an existing fan base, be aware that you're not just competing with that game, you are indirectly attacking the choices made by the fans of that game. They will resist, even if your game is better, because quitting their game is like admitting they made a mistake playing it the first place. That's one of the reasons it's so much easier to launch a new game in a genre dominated by one product when that product is in decline (WoW replacing Everquest). When fans are making the decision to quit on their own, being the fresh, new thing is exactly what they want and where you want to be. The rest of the time, you're better off finding new customers who are looking for entirely new experiences.


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