Zeroing in: Terraria fans' unsettling sense of entitlement
Just a few short weeks ago, 505 Games announced that it would be porting the 2D sandbox action-adventure hit Terraria to Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. The news was met with an onslaught of criticism from fans of the game. These individuals claimed that they felt screwed over. They stated that they would no longer support Terraria or the original developer, Re-Logic, for such a great betrayal. These individuals, plain and simple, said that they wanted no part of Terraria on consoles, and they questioned why there wouldn’t be any more updates to the original PC version of the game. By doing all of these things, these so-called Terraria fans expressed a sense of entitlement that can only be described as disgustingly selfish.
The fact of the matter is that Re-Logic released one of the greatest sandbox games of 2011 when Terraria hit the scene. Right at launch, it was one hell of a game – an experience that was pleasantly addictive and joyously captivating. Terraria was a spectacular game from the get-go, and it offered pretty 2D visuals; a massive world to explore and mold; secrets to seek out and uncover; and adventure to take part in. Did it have a few bugs? It definitely did, but Re-Logic made sure to release some fixes for the game to deliver as seamless an experience as possible for its audience.
But that wasn’t enough.
Gamers wanted more. They wanted more in-game content. Bug fixes weren’t enough. So what did Re-Logic do? It released a fairly sizable content update and then called it a day on the project. Admittedly, it was a bit saddening to see the developer finalize something that it had worked so closely with for so long, developing a relationship with its very fan base while doing so. But most reasonable people understood that Re-Logic had to move on to other ventures.
For others, it wasn’t that simple, and this was most evident when Terraria was announced for consoles. “Seriously, what the f*ck?!” “Well, I’m done supporting this game.” “I can’t believe the developer turned its back on the fans that supported it from the beginning.” “Terraria on consoles will fail.” These were just a few of the comments people left on the Terraria Facebook and Twitter pages. These were just a handful of the aggressive and hateful remarks that these “fans” so unabashedly shared with the same studio they claimed to love and support last year when Terraria was only a PC game.
All of a sudden, Terraria became this product not worthy of being supported despite being a quality game, and Re-Logic became this money hungry developer that didn’t care about its fans. It was then revealed that 505 Games was handling the console version of Terraria, which would include bonus content, but that didn’t matter because “screw Terraria and screw Re-Logic.” Oh, and if you were actually stoked about playing Terraria on consoles, well, “screw you, too, assh*le!”
This sickening display of feelings of entitlement genuinely managed to both horrify me and sadden me. The fact that these individuals felt that they deserved more made me realize that this is the way the majority of the video game industry's fan base is now. A company will release one hell of an experience, but more often than not, that’s never enough for so many people who play the game, and it’s disheartening that people share those same sentiments because newsflash: You aren’t entitled to anything.
Terraria is a $10 game. That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if most people paid less than the asking price as Steam constantly offered the game at a discounted price. For $10 (or $5, or even $3), we got what we paid for. Hell, we got more than what we paid for. We got an expansive adventure worth sinking hours into. And yet here we are a year later and the same people who were ridiculously happy to get such a wonderful game for less than $5 are now saying they deserve more for supporting it over the course of the last year. These people don’t deserve more. They got enough and then some, and yet, sadly, they’ll never see it that way.
This Terraria predicament is only one example of fan entitlement. Throughout all of gaming, we see too many ignorant individuals angry with the video game makers because they feel they deserve more. If a game is good, they’re not content with the good that’s there. If the game sucks, they don’t just trade it in or return it. Instead, they complain about it ad nauseam, relentlessly clutching to their hatred toward the game and the people who made it – people they’ve never met and don’t even know. It’s this disgusting mentality that pervades everything from the film industry to the music industry. People feel they deserve something, when in reality they don’t. They should either stick with something they like, or move on until they find something they like.
I never felt that I needed more than what Re-Logic originally delivered with Terraria. This was a game that I could play in small increments or long sessions. I could enjoy it by myself or with other players online. I could seek out monsters or live the life of a carpenter. Terraria was a beautiful package, and the few fixes that were released for it made it all the more pleasant. Then the console version was announced, and I figured I’d check it out one more time, this time with a controller. It was something I was legitimately excited about.
More so than my own personal excitement, I was also stoked to know that now a bigger audience would be able to experience Terraria. More gamers – those who primarily or solely game on their home platforms – would now have the chance to check out one of last year’s most enthralling indie adventures. I know I wasn’t the only person who was happy to know that Terraria would reach more gamers, but it’s evident that we’re a small crowd among a massive population of people who not only hate the notion of Terraria on a console, but also want those console gamers to get a shoddy port. This is most evidenced by the people who say that Terraria on consoles will “suck,” or much worse, those who actually hope it “sucks.”
As gamers, we’re not entitled to anything. Terraria fans, you paid $10 (or less) for a product that was critically acclaimed and financially successful. Ultimately, you got what you paid for. When you saw that the successful product was going to be widely available on HD consoles, you retreated into this pitifully harsh shell that didn’t allow you to accept the fact that maybe other people – non-PC gamers or people who just really like playing video games with a controller – would like to see what all the buzz was about last year with this cool little sandbox gem. Neither Re-Logic nor Terraria owe you anything. You can stop supporting the game all you want, but such actions will only serve to further prove how petty and immature you really are.
Want to talk about indie games, Kirby, or cheap pizza? Follow me on Twitter @dr_davidsanchez.