The Outsider is a weekly column written by an author looking at the games industry from the outside. The views of The Outsider do not necessarily represent those of the GamesRadar+ team
Nobody cares. I hate to be the one to tell you, but most of what occurs during the multi-year development of even the greatest game or console is intensely dull. As in, ‘dull enough that scientists will soon discover it’s dark matter’ dull. As in, ‘dull enough to be the the new judge on X-Factor’ dull. As in, ‘dull enough to be Mark Zuckerberg’s t-shirt’ dull.
Consequently, many of the ‘stories’ we pore over in our excitement about games in general are actually, to quote Tamora from Shakespeare’s 1593 play Titus Andronicus, “just some bullshit”.
“But Mr Outsider,” I hear you cry, “Your hair is sensational, and I admire your heady verve, but who the hell do you think you are?” Good question. I’m a lapsed games journalist. A once-committed believer who can no longer quite see what all the fuss is about… or worse, can see exactly what all the fuss is about, and finds 95 percent of it kitten-drowningly familiar. It’s important to remember that I’m still a massive expert. Why? Well, it will make all this nonsense so much easier to take.
During more than ten years in games, I reviewed thousands if not billions of games. Even the bleakest animal testing lab would hesitate to push that many lipsticks into a rabbit, but damn it all if THEY didn’t care – and what’s more, THEY have pulled me out of retirement for one last job. I’m telling you all this so you can’t say I don’t know what I’m talking about. Because I totally do. I know many things. And I see gaming clearly now, from the outside.
And what do I see this week? Well, the rage-quitters in Street Fighter 5 might have a point. It was a minor oversight, like building a bank super-vault with a lovely picture window in one wall. Like building a prison inside Ladders R Us without tidying up first. Like creating a cure for cancer that can only be administered by bullet. Capcom created the lovely Street Fighter 5 and forgot that people playing a fighting game might get angry.
Of course, players who flounce out of a match to avoid losing are arguably not ‘abusing’ the system at all, but exploiting it – that is, after all, what you’re supposed to do. Games are systems. It’s your job to learn the system, exploit the loopholes and win.
Bosses, for instance, regularly have glowing loopholes all over their bodies. As an aside, it’s amazing any survive childhood, let alone long enough to breed. You know what kids are like; if you had luminescent kneecaps, even your mates would be kicking them every schoolday for years.
Does it matter if these loopholes weren’t intentional? I don’t want to point fingers, but it’s Capcom’s fault. Specifically that guy there, the one with the mullet and the catering-size tub of marshmallows under his desk like nobody knows it’s there.
Quite how this guy – yes, YOU! No don’t look at him, I’m talking to you – could release a game that absolutely failed to punish rage-quitting in 2016 is beyond me. You can try quickly swallowing those marshmallows all at once, Capcom Guy, but it won’t work. You look like Marlon Brando in The Godfather, if Brando had cultivated sweat stains and a look of panic.
Luckily for us, Capcom is promising to do ‘something or other’ to fix this glaring error ‘at some point,’ and those are direct quotes ‘or something’ from the press release. Oh, and they’re asking you to provide evidence of rage-quitting on your own time, despite saying they’re ‘well aware’ of the problem. Hmm.
My god Capcom Guy, it’s called Street Fighter 5! Not Street Fighter: That We Just Now Invented And Have No Experience Of, Much Like The Internet.
Am I saying the ragequitters themselves aren’t to blame? I’ve given this many hours of intense thought, pondering crosslegged on my personal Tibetan mountain, and finally come to the conclusion that oh my god of course they are. They’re witless babies. Spineless inadequates doomed to wander the Earth alone, drooling and parping their impotent rage long after the last real human has flown off to the paradisiacal sex gardens of the Moon.
Earlier I asked whether it mattered if these loopholes were intentional, but you didn’t say anything so I’ll tell you. Of course it does. Because, while it’s totally within the letter of the law to use every method at your disposal to win, it’s not within the spirit. And if you don’t play games to enjoy the spirit of them, why play them at all? It doesn’t get you anywhere. You’re just pressing buttons to manipulate an arbitrary number that would cease to exist in the first nanosecond of a powercut.
Given that I’m currently chasing Capcom Guy towards the basement server room, where he thinks he can hide, you better start worrying about those powercuts. Marshmallows are fantastic conductors of electricity, as are sweat stains.
And if everything is secondary to winning, you rage-quitters, flouncers and dummy-spitters, where’s the room for fun? You know there’s a proper word for processes with no fun, right?
Also, you’re not actually winning. You’re just not losing. Scratch that – you’re still losing, you’re just not being recorded as losing. You know there’s a phrase for arranging that process, right?
The Department for Work and Pensions.
If you’re reading this outside the UK, rest assured that was very funny and move on.
I think what we’ve all learned here via impeccable science and philosophy is that, although rage-quitters are terrible un-people who must be crushed like insects under the jackboot of history, in this case Capcom is enabling them. Also – not pointing any fingers – this particular Capcom Guy here, the one cowering in a tangle of cables behind a server, deserves 91.2335 percent of the blame. Regular players don’t like games that can so easily be hijacked by douche canoes, especially when it was so obviously going to happen.
And that, my friends, is that.
The Outsider will return next Saturday for his thoughts on… The Division.