Skyrim Dawnguard DLC Disaster Proves That Game Devs Still Don’t Get It, Lack Of Communication NEVER Works

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So let me start off by saying, my intent is not to pick on Bethesda but there handling of the recent Dawnguard DLC for PS3 and PC highlights the issue that game developers continue to create. As you all know, there is an agreement in place that meant that the Xbox 360 would get the Dawnguard DLC exclusive for a set period of time before either PS3 or PC. Even though I hate timed exclusives, that was a business deal and it was clearly communicated. Fans knew how this was going to play out for the most part, but Bethesda left out some core details.

After they announced the exclusivity, they eventually announced a beta and then a release date for the expansion on 360. At this point, they had the opportunity to confirm that the DLC would indeed make its way to the other platforms at some point but didn’t do that. Instead, they left PS3 and PC gamers to not only wonder when the DLC would hit their platforms, but if. Fast forward a few weeks and Dawnguard has been out on 360 for a while, at this point Bethesda misses another key opportunity. They could have come out in that timeframe and confirmed that the DLC would in fact hit other platforms to quell those rumors even if they didn’t give a release date. They didn’t. That caused PS3 and PC fans to continue in a state of Limbo until rumors broke that we might get an update on the status of the expansion for the two remaining platforms this week and we did. At QuakeCon, Bethesda announced that Dawnguard was now available for PC. This of course made PC players very happy but left PS3 players to wonder.

They then came out and revealed that they weren’t happy with the performance of Dawnguard on PS3 and they wouldn’t release it until they could get it up to snuff. The problem I have with this is that they probably knew weeks ago that it wasn’t going to be ready and that is fine but you should come out and tell fans as such. Don’t force them to wait weeks with no info and announce release for one platform and a delay for the other. All this has done is royally piss of PS3 players and while most fans of the game will still buy it once it is released, its sad that they feel the need to keep consumers in the dark like this. I mean people are literally waiting to give you money, the least they could do is keep those fans in the loop.

As I said, I’m not picking on Bethesda, I think they make great games but they could have communicated what was happening a lot better. This is the same mistake I talked about TellTale Games making with its The Walking Dead Game. I want to take this opportunity to tell game developers and publishers something, it NEVER works to your advantage to not communicate what is happening with a game or DLC. All it does is create resentment from players who love your franchises. The thing that developers and publisher need to understand here is that fans might not be happy about a delay, they may even be extremely disappointed but ultimately they will have a better opinion of the developer for being up front and telling them. It allows them to prioritize their gaming life, if PC and PS3 players had known it would take this long for Dawnguard maybe they jump into something else in between, which is alright because since you communicated what was going on they really won’t carry any ill will toward you about it and will more than likely come back to it when it is available.

On the other hand, when you don’t communicate it creates totally different emotions…anger and resentment. The truth of the matter is that most people feel that lack of timely communication in situations like this is a sign of disrespect. You don’t respect them enough to take 5 minutes to put out a quick update to let your loyal fans know what the hell is going on with your game? For me personally, that is normally what rubs me the wrong way the most.

The bottom line I want to make to developers and publishers is that more communication is better, less communication is bad, and no communication is basically the worst freaking approach you could ever take. As fans, we just want to know what’s going on, good or bad, just tell us and let us deal with it however we are going to deal with it. Don’t keep us in the dark, because it only pisses us off and for some people assures that they will never buy your product again.

Alright folks, that’s my thoughts on this topic, now we want to hear from you. Hit up the comments to let us know what you think about communication from devs on a game’s/DLC progress and status. Do you feel like we get enough info from devs on average or would you like to see more? Sound off and tell us and them what you think.

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Lorenzo Winfrey

Lorenzo Winfrey

Editor-In-Chief at ZoKnowsGaming
I am the Co-Ceo of DLT Digital Media. We are a company that is focused on developing new and innovative web properties in addition to developing WordPress based web sites for others. But before I was all that, I was a gamer.
Lorenzo Winfrey