You know what’s a setup for an unfair fight? When you have a game that’s yet to come out attacked by an anonymous ranter who claims to have insider info, but lacks any solid credibility. Then pile on a crowd who’s itching for an excuse to put down said game and will take any hearsay as fact, and you’ve got a mismatched brawl where the victim has both hands tied behind his back and is being savaged by an unreasonable and impatient mob.
I’m referring, of course, to a certain infamous rant that spread across the internet last week — said by a person who still has yet to provide any conclusive proof that they’re who they say they are, mind you, a person who’s taken down what little contact info they had — and was instantly picked up by most media and bloggers as indisputable fact. This person is an EA BioWare/Mythic employee — why? Because he says he is! He’s saying things nobody could possibly say, unless you look at the typical rants of any forum troll. But still!
And you know what? He very well could be an employee of that company. He might not be. The important thing is that there’s absolutely no way we can verify this, but little obstacles like that are easily dismissed when there’s rumor-mongering, gossip-flinging and reputation-slandering in the air.
All we do know is that said writer is obviously discontented with the company and games (and is a terribly poor writer, may I add), and is bearing a grudge. I don’t know about you, but when someone is sporting an emotion-backed grudge against something else, I tend to take what they say with huge piles of blood pressure-raising salt. This is not the voice of impartial analysis, but of someone who just wants to cause trouble and see how much of a reaction he can get during his 15 minutes of internet fame.
That is what it is, but what really makes me furrow my brow in frustration is just how many internet commentators and bloggers have repeated what he’s said in this post not as questionable information or anger-laced rantings, but as indisputable proof, especially against Star Wars: The Old Republic.
We see this sort of thing all the time in the political sphere (oh yes, I’m bringing politics into this post, muahahaha). The crowd really dislikes POLITICAL FIGURE or POLITICAL PARTY, and due to that bias, eagerly latches on to any scandal or rumor or hearsay against that person or party way before the truth comes out. Who needs the truth? Tom Cruise? The mob? Nay, it’s more fun just to ride the waves of argument-twisting fantasies.
Star Wars: The Old Republic may or may not be a good game, and may or may not be a financial success, and may or may not become a heavy-hitter in the MMO field come next year. We simply don’t know. People may predict such events with the certainty of prophets of yore, but you know what? They don’t know. EA Louse, he doesn’t know, he’s just acting like a toddler thrashing about trying to do as much damage during a temper tantrum before he’s put away. Me? I don’t know either. The game felt good to me during my time with the demo, I think the IP and dev company are major points in its favor, and I see EA betting a lot on this being a big success. Past that, I don’t know. And it’s okay for me not to know.
Although I like discussing and speculating on upcoming games as much as anyone else, there’s a line that frustrates me to see crossed, and that’s when the voices of doom (or success) start trumpeting their position as if they actually know and it’s just a matter of time before they’re proven right. Sometimes it almost seems like all they’re doing is setting themselves up for a potential “I told you so” because that will make them feel more important.
If TOR comes out and bombs, then the “I told you so’s” will be crowing about. If it releases and does at least reasonably well, then expect none of the advance slander to be recanted — people will always find something else to be upset about. But it might be the worst thing if TOR hits the stratosphere, because nobody likes the popular kid — and they’ll all be waiting in line for their punches.
Except, of course, everyone else who could care less about the meta-discussion and simply wants to experience the game as it is, and not as how they’re told it should be. You know, 90% of the players (statistics void in Nevada).