Tameem tells you what developers do

The latest Devil May Cry game caused a lot of commotion for right reasons. The game has been panned by the users across the board for what seem  to be good reasons.

The first real problem really starts with CAPCOM, who doesn’t have any idea on how to manage the DMC brand at all. People in charge seem to think that when they have no real direction, the best thing is to give it to some other company and wait for the results. This could be a right thing to do, it really would, but only if they gave the brand to people who have competency in the field. Ninja Theory didn’t. Heavenly Sword is one of the worst controlling games I’ve ever had a displeasure to play. Enslaved was decent at best.

I don’t see any reason why CAPCOM gave such a small and unqualified developer such a high brand project as Devil May Cry. I’m sure it was partly because the developers of Platinum Games basically did a new DMC game with Bayonetta, and despite all the buzz around the titular female character Bayonetta managed to garner a decent amount of positive feedback. Vanquish went under the radar, and while the game is a bit unfinished and rough, it’s still pretty fun to play. I just wish it had a lock-on function or I could play it with keyboard/mouse combination.

Nevertheless, what’s done is done despite expectations. Ninja Theory rebooted the whole franchise, discarding and mismanaging the brand while making a game that is laughable at best. I’m not the biggest fan of Devil May Cry series, but I have played the games and I appreciate what they are, and just looking at the gameplay videos throughout the Internet makes me wonder What the hell were they thinking? The gameplay looks so muffled and mediocre, that random PS Move waggling would suffice for the moves. No, just waving your hands in front of Kinect would suffice. Most of the time I see no strategy, and breaking the combo system seems to be easier than shooting fish in a barrel.

All of this because neither CAPCOM or Ninja Theory didn’t care about the customer.

An interview with the main figure of Ninja Theory, and the person who put his own face in the game, shows two basic things; One is that developers really don’t give what you wish to see in your games and only are there to fulfil their own damn interest; Second is that there are people like the interviewer who regard developers as creative rockstars that who are there to be worshipped.

I instead assumed the snarky journalist persona, and without thinking asked, “So, how do you feel about the fan reaction to DMC?”

Tameen looked at me a moment and took a drag of his cigarette. Then without blinking, and without pausing to exhale the smoke from his mouth he said, “I don’t care.”

And neither should any other developer.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Most Idiot Interviewer Award of the Month goes to whoever typed in that line. Saying that developers should not listen to the reaction from your customers is like advising someone not to listen to the warning sound in an aeroplane.

The interviewer mentions some examples that are mostly superficial, like the change in Sonic’s eye colour or how Zelda hasn’t seen any voiced characters to date. I’m sure Zelda would’ve have voice acting if it was up to Aonuma. With DmC the changes are not this superficial, as not only the visual design has changed, but so has the atmosphere and core gameplay. The change is comparable between Castlevania and Castlevania II, but detract the decent gameplay from II and leave the bad bits in.

The changes DmC made ruined the DMC brand. As it is, the brand is now basically in its deathbed. CAPCOM acknowledges this. If all signs follow as they always have, it seems that Devil May Cry has become unprofitable like Street Fighter did after Third Strike, and Mega Man after 9 and 10 (which ultimately killed the franchise.)

I’d start to listen how to make DmC2, if Ninja Theory ever got a second chance. It’s possible, but seeing that the developer rockstar Tameem doesn’t want to hear any of the critique he has gained while basking in the sunlight like in the interview, DmC2 would be just as bombastically bad or won’t be made.

The interviewer is actually a really good example how modern game journalism is all about but journalism. Why would he have a need to thank Tameem for either Heavenly Sword or Enslaved? This sort of ego stroking should be left outside when journalism is in question. The interviewer was doing his job, and he allowed personal life to get better of him.

Ninja Theory’s DmC at the moment struggles with customers that are in the Second Level of Blue ocean strategy (even thou DmC as such competes in the red ocean); customers that are aware of your product, but for whatever reasons they have refuse to purchase your product.

Seeing that a majority of the game industry suffers from this, as does film and music industries, I don’t expect any changes to happen unless something drastic that forces these people either out of job or to change their views. The latter will most likely not happen, and these people are forced to look for a real job.

It seems that a lot of highly respected names are being run to the ground by their respective main developers simply because they treat them as something they can do whatever with. If you work in a café joint that Tameem visits, please throw some hot coffee on him and punch him. He doesn’t care what the customers think, so should anyone he pays for give a second thought what he thinks?

Goddammit CAPCOM!

So we got some new Rockman Online artwork, which was neat to see. I didn’t really care about the game when it was announced, but there are loads of people who wish to have an online multiplayer Mega Man.

And then I read that these pictures were released most likely because the game has been cancelled.

So, within span of one year we’ve seen CAPCOM cancel Mega Man Legends 3, Mega Man Universe and now Rockman Online.

I’m not surprised. I’m just… CAPCOM, we know you love money, so why can’t you make productswe would like to buy? Well, Mega Man’s dead to them, so that explains it all. As CAPCOM is now they can’t make a good game. Seems like their company infrastructure also prevents any of their partner companies doing any games for them, which seems to be the case here as well. I’ve got no idea if NeoWiz has done anything good, but seeing their products never really left South Korea perhaps this is for the better. Multiplayer Mega Man is something that would need a completely different design approach than your normal 2D Mega Man. We’ll never know if NeoWiz could have managed to pull it through. Perhaps this is for the better rather than having yet another  fiasco like Xover.

I’ll tell you a secret here, a secret how to make Mega Man and 2D Super Mario sell like hotcakes again.

First step is to have people with skill and will to craft a good Mega Man /Mario game, not people with artistic views and will to innovate. Innovation comes from necessity, and if they truly wish to make a good game, these people will innovate if and when necessary.

Second step is to give them proper resources and realize the world and its contents properly. The way 2D Mario are now is a horrible situation with that WAah wAah music and copy/pasted level designs and visuals. Mega Man Zero sold immensely well because the staff wanted to make a game true to the Nintendo-hard mindset original Mega Man had. They managed to do that, but sadly this mindset seeped through to Mega Man 9 and 10.

With this the third step; have a project leader who knows the aims, the goals and the needs the game has.

A game design needs people who want to make a good game, not people whowant to make the game they want because of their “artistic license.” I do condemn Nintendo for doing New Super Mario Bros. Still,everything after they’ve done the first New SMB game has been nothing short of stupid. Same goes to CAPCOM and their idiotic approach with their games. Nobody wanted a reboot of Devil May Cry, and now we’re getting a game that’s named Devil May Cry Devil May Cry (no, really) which nobody wanted to begin with. There’s also the fact that this new DMC clearly doesn’t respect the original game’s mechanics, design or anything that made it good. I don’t even remember who was it that’s making the new DMC game, and I’ve got no interest in it outside what will happen when it’s released.

At this point it should be clear to all of us that CAPCOM has given up on Mega Man. Whether or not it’s because of their image or not (BWAHAHAHAHA!) CAPCOM won’t do another Mega Man game, unless a hero rises from their ranks like Ono did with Street Fighter. The decades Mega Man existed on, ever since the 80’s, the franchise has been good to CAPCOM and has brought in tons upon tons of money. However, now CAPCOM sees that it won’t bring in any revenue any more. Of course it won’t! They’re treating Mega Man as a second grade franchise to second class customers, much like what Nintendo does with 2D Mario. Mega Man Battlenetwork was a brilliant series with a brilliant design with a brilliant franchising. Out of six games only two can be (and should be) called bad and that’s an insanely good track record right there. It had an animation, a card game, toys, spin-offs and even an arcade game. Original Mega Man had the same thing, X-series to a lesser extent. Legends never punched through, and CAPCOM didn’t really capitalise on Zero-series enough.

GODAMMIT CAPCOM!

I’m really mad about this now. They have a golden goose in their hands, but rather than allowing it to lay those golden eggs they have basically beheaded it and fed it to pigs.

Just get back to your arcade and console roots and you’ll find the same stream of revenue you used to have.