“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” Unfortunately, gamers know all too well how quickly developers can flush decades of goodwill down the toilet. Whether it’s due to publisher greed or a changing of the guard, it’s always sad to see studios see their reputation tank.
Recently, Redditor odinson-09 posed a question, asking which developers this phrase applies to. We’ve thought about that question and returned with a list of studios that have recently seen their reputations drop.
BioWare was known for its compelling narrative-driven RPG games, from Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic to Dragon Age.
Yet with the release of Mass Effect 3, fans were miffed at the game’s ending. They felt like it was a slap in the face and ignored the countless decisions made in the previous two games in the trilogy.
Despite this, BioWare still provided capable of delivering good games. The real downfall that people point to is the release of Anthem. The ambitious looter shooter that attempted to let us live out our Iron Man fantasies was dead on arrival. The game was broken, buggy, and incomplete. Plans to rework the game have since been abandoned.
BioWare is left picking up the pieces; while we’re excited for the following entries in the Dragon Age and Mass Effect franchises, many are cautiously approaching them.
You can look at many recent events in Blizzard’s history as their actual moment of downfall.
There’s no denying the allegations of sexual harassment and misogyny are a gigantic black eye for the company. Unfortunately, there is also the company’s attempts at union busting.
The Blizzard magic was arguably gone earlier than that, though. First, there was the BlizzCon incident during the reveal of Diablo: Immortal, where developers asked fans if they had phones. Another equally condescending moment is when World of Warcraft developers were asked about an option for old-school classic servers, they were told, “you think you do, but you don’t.”
For what it’s worth, Classic World of Warcraft is alive and well in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
Arguably, the actual moment of concern is with the launch of Diablo III. Not only did the game flat-out not work on release day. Additionally, there were plenty of questionable design choices, ranging from the gameplay steering away from what you’d expect from the franchise to the real-money auction house. It left a sour taste in the mouths of many, and people started to realize that the Blizzard they grew up with may be gone forever.
These are all franchises that helped Konami become one of the premier studios in the gaming industry. But instead, the company seemed content to move on to releasing half-baked, low-quality games.
While Konami seems to be bringing back the Silent Hill franchise, fans still seem pretty sour that the company is focusing on releasing pachinko gambling machines instead of high-quality video games.
There used to be a time that Battlefield was one of the best FPS franchises you could play. That ship has long since sailed, though.
Some modern releases, such as Battlefield V and Battlefield 1, weren’t as great as past titles. Still, they had redeeming qualities to them. Battlefield 2042, on the other hand, had nothing good to say about it. Things were so bad that fans petitioned to get a refund on their purchase.
While many argue that DICE’s reputation was slowly falling over the years, Battlefield 2042 is absolutely the breaking point.
CD PROJEKT RED
With the release of Witcher 3, CD PROJEKT RED cemented themselves in a league of their own. Their ability to weave excellent storytelling, brilliant characters, and an inviting world into one game helped make Witcher 3 one of the best games of its era.
Due to the strength of The Witcher franchise, which now has its own Netflix series, many were anticipating what the studio would do with Cyberpunk 2077. Unfortunately, while the game has since stabilized thanks to post-launch support and updates, the actual release of Cyberpunk 2077 was a complete disaster.
The game launched before it was ready. Bugs, poor optimization, and missing features were the name of the game. For a company that told us Cyberpunk 2077 would release when it was ready, the game hit shelves well before it was ready.