As I am sure everybody knows, last night there was a pretty large outcry from the Bungie fanbase as Bungie announced that PS4 users would be getting dibs on the Beta before anyone else. Some people are furious, others apparently don't mind, and a smaller amount are happy (not due to numbers of people as a whole in gaming, but because playstation users have yet to become as numerous as Xbox users on Bungie.net). I find myself in the former category, and I would take this opportunity to explain why. Bungie has traditionally been a company with a large focus on the community. This has been their stance- their methodology- for years. Many years ago, Bungie developed on computers rather than consoles, and enabled things like voice communications in-game. For funding purposes, Bungie was purchased by Microsoft and their RTS/3PS/Squad Based Shooter/ Whatever-at-the-time, currently named Halo, was instead developed for the Xbox. Microsoft saw the potential in this title and company, and brought it into exclusivity by purchasing the company that made it. Bungie needed the publicity and the funding for this project, and we all know it was for the best because that project turned into one of the most culturally significant titles ever released- Halo: CE. But this was done from necessity, and at this point Microsoft owned both Bungie and Halo. That's right. For those of you who do not know any better, let me say that again. [i]Microsoft owned Halo[/i]. In 2007 when Bungie became an independent company, people say Bungie gave away the rights to Halo. This is a misconception. Bungie never owned Halo since they were bought by Microsoft. Microsoft has owned Halo for well over a decade now. Therefore regardless of how Bungie wished to expand or publicize, it was Microsoft's choice. Fast forwarding, Halo became a title very community oriented. Custom games rather than just private games ('custom' being the key word, as in customizable). The variance in gameplay made possible, and even moreso with Halo 3's Forge Mode which was outstanding at the time. Bungie would hold contests and interact with the community regularly both for the sake of publicity and because Bungie was very focused and tight with their community. For example, look at Bungie.net. During Halo 3's era this was considered the most advanced and in-depth developer website in the world. The vast majority of people came for statistics which were incredibly detailed at the time. Bungie invested many, many resources into this project and it showed just how community oriented Bungie was as a company. Fastforward to Halo 3: ODST. Bungie told us it would be what... a $30 title? That was a public statement. Then the game price was announced by Microsoft and we were absolutely floored that it was $60 instead. Bungie lied to us, they are greedy, they just want money, yaddya yaddya. But later, Bungie made another announcement. Included with ODST would be the Halo 3: Mythic disk. This included Halo 3 multiplayer and every piece of DLC ever made for the game. Currently the Legendary Pack is $2, Mythic $5, and Mythic2 is $10. Now keep in mind the fact that those were all $10 at the time of ODST. So Bungie managed to balance out the price by getting Microsoft to let them include that in there. It was a stroke of genius. And let's not forget how Cold Storage is free to this day! So now. We are in 2013, and we have emerged from the darkness. I came to this website every single day during the darkness. This is because I was loyal to Bungie, I felt valued, loved the community, and couldn't wait to see what would come out next. Throughout the darkness, those of us here were promised time and time again that we would not be forgotten, that we would be 'rewarded' for staying here. 'Rewarded' for being good members of the community and sticking it through to the end. We would be 'rewarded' for being test subjects of the new forums. I ask those of you that stayed. What have we gotten? Many of us have lost our private groups, places that hold very special places in our hearts. We've lost our sense of community as everything is now a jumbled mess. Holding conversations as a group is nigh impossible because the current forum structure only realistically keeps hold of one on one communications. What we have received... is a number in our profile saying how long we've been here, invisible to everybody that doesn't click your name, and [currently] 17 codes that redeem something in Destiny- but that EVERYBODY gets. And it's cool- people sticking around should get something. It's not like I want those exclusive to a console or anything. Not being able to get the complete game like that would be a terrible thing, I think. ... And yet here we are. When we all deduced that Bungie would be developing for the Playstation by the leaked contract, and even before then the job requests for Playstation developers to work at Bungie, there was no outcry. The community, for nearly everybody, was actually [i]pleased[/i]. No gamer worth anybody's time [i]wants[/i] something to be exclusive to only one chunk of the community. Very few people actually [i]want[/i] others to be left out of something. So the Xbox... no, the [i]Bungie[/i] community was happy with this development. The community would expand. It would grow with new life brought by a whole new mass of people swarming the website for what we all honestly believed would be a title for the ages. Rare are the times when the community would come together in such agreement. There is where things started to sour. Bungie wanted to expand to a new community, which the Bungie community was thrilled about. But their methods... their methods left people quite confused at first. Destiny was announced for the PS4, and the Xbox was never even mentioned. It was almost like it being multiplatform was a secret. Like they didn't want people to realize it was not an exclusive. Next. An exclusive partnership was announced between Bungie and Sony. People were upset over this. We welcomed the playstation users to the community. But it sucks that they are going to be getting things. Yet there was not a truly massive outcry because people interpreted this commonly as Sony users getting, say, some custom skins or other small items. And even then those things might be timed exclusives, so for such inconsequential things it wasn't really worth the heat. Disappointing, but nothing to have much emotion about... ... And now we have the Beta. The Beta received for preordering Destiny... huh. Bnet, did you know that at 0900 last Spring I waited outside of my Gamestop for it to open so I could preorder the game? I have little doubt I was the first person in the midwest to preorder it. I told the cashier I wanted to preorder this game. He said he never heard of it. I looked at my watch and told him it was a game that was going to be announced in around an hour or two, but since it's in their systems I wanted to preorder it. He looked it up and there it was. He claimed they didn't have the poster. So I walked back to my apartment- a 30 minute walk one way, by the way, and they called me back saying they did have them. So I walked back, got it, and back home again. All in all, it was around a 2 1/2 hour adventure... just because of how excited I was. I'm actually known at the store as the Destiny guy, now, because I answer questions for the guys working there about it and the likes. They recognize me, even. My friends make fun because of how I talk about the game, wear the shirt, etc. Where do I stand? I am a player that has played Bungie games for 12 years now. I have posted and been active on this website almost every day for the past 7 years, going on 8. I feel that overall I've been a good member, too. I wear merchandise of them- shirts and backpacks that say Bungie on them. I have super-awesome editions of their games. I stood outside the store for Destiny because I love Bungie. And... I'm only one person. One of many, and I'm sure I'm not the most hardcore fan of them, not by a longshot. But still... more than most. So I ask again... where do I stand? I'll tell you. Due to the fact that I have been with Bungie for 12 years; due to the fact that I followed them and got an Xbox 360 largely to stay with them because I felt the company valued its community as a whole; and due to the fact that I became so engrossed in this community that it became a part of my REAL life as well... I am told that I don't matter. People that have stuck through the darkness. People that have been with Bungie for years. People that have stayed as guinea pigs for this new Bnet even as it ruined what many of us saw as pillars of the community. People that remained after promised of return. This massive section of the community is being told that they are less important and that we should make room for the new baby coming into the family because mommy needs to pay special attention to a newborn. And worse... Bungie refuses to even address it. This is a turn from the early years. When Bungie moved from the computer to the Xbox, it was due to needing superior hardware and because Halo was no longer their property- they merely developed it. But Bungie is independent now. They chose to enter these deals with Activision and Sony. They chose to tell their most loyal fanbase that it needs to sit down and be quiet. And this goes against everything Bungie has stood for over the past decade.
Edited by burritosenior: 11/15/2013 4:57:22 PMYou will note that very, VERY few people are upset whatsoever at the prospect of future Destiny games not being on the Xbox 360 or PS3. Therefore the 'Mac users are the true fans that were abandoned, not you,' argument is asinine at best. People aren't upset at the progress of the game. If Bungie were developing only for the PS4 because it had superior hardware to the other consoles, then that would be a valid reason to prefer Playstation users. Yet instead, they are developing for them all. And while they develop for them all, they are shoving half of those users (although currently much more than half due to the 12 years of loyalty issue arising again) that they are less important that the new people coming in. You will note, valiant reader making it this far into the post, that these points tie in quite nicely with the beginning of these posts. You see, earlier I mentioned how Xbox users welcomed Playstation users into the community. Sharing is good, and the more people the merrier. Everybody should be able to enjoy these titles. The Bungie community did not ask for half its community to get something, before this. The Bungie community wanted everybody to get the whole experience. We were coming together. It was really a magnificent thing to behold. Yet now there are people proclaiming that Bungie is giving these exclusives because they need to get Sony folks to come into the community. To this I say… no. If the loyal Bungie community didn’t need exclusive content to become what we are, why do new people? Are the Playstation users of such low moral character that they won’t get involved in a game or community unless they get something that other people do not? I don’t think so. Advertise to Playstation users that they will get cool content for coming to Bungie.net, or by doing things with the game or their preorder. But the key factor here is… this doesn’t have to exclude the Xbox users. No, the Xbox users could get all these same things and Playstation users would still be attracted. So it isn’t why this is happening, unless one truly believes those buying PS4’s are actually terrible people- which I don’t think any rational person would believe. No. What this comes down to… is console purchasing. This is all happening because Sony wants people to buy their console. Microsoft does the same thing and it isn’t any better when they do it, true, but we’re talking of Bungie here so for now that is irrelevant. Sony is getting exclusives so people will have an incentive to purchase Playstation consoles rather than Xboxs. Is that necessarily a bad thing for Sony? No… but Bungie community here’s something I propose to you: Have you thought of what this means for Bungie? Think about it. If we have concluded that the exclusives are not simply for attracting fans from Sony, and we accept the hypothesis that this is due to console selling, then what exactly is Bungie focusing on by giving these things to Sony? Money. Money and publicity. That’s right. For a company that has had community focus as their prime directive for nearly a decade now, Bungie is showing that they are abandoning these principles in favor of publicity and funding. They are forsaking their community for these reasons, and have therefore left all of those that had faith in them in the dust. No matter your time spent believing in them, and no matter your loyalty in the past, you are being forgotten about. And this doesn’t just go for Xbox users, but Playstation users as well. These people should realize that they aren’t the focus either. It isn’t about them, but the console. Because Bungie is abandoning their community-centric approach… no, HAS abandoned it, we have little left to believe in. When Bungie.net was changed to this format, we were told it was easier for Bungie to sift through information and posts. Most people still dislike the format, and it limits conversations. This potentially shows how Bungie is focusing on themselves rather than the community- making it so they see what they want to see. Throughout the massive complaints, such as the ‘why PS4 users instead of XBone users,’ Bungie has ignored the posts. Loyalty is worth little now, and dedication has turned to ash. You can insult me, attack me, whatever. Have at me, community and Bungie. But I wrote this post not because I hate Bungie. I wrote this post with a soreness in my throat and tears welling up in my eyes because of how important Bungie and this community is to me. And I mean that absolutely- this community has been one of the most important and influential things in my life. This trend Bungie is on right now… it cannot continue. This is a horrible thing that is happening. We need it to stop. Please, Bungie. Don't have Peter Parsons on stage with a smile on his face while you forsake the people that care this much about you as a company and, to an extent, as individuals.