Psychology and DLC


I think this video has a good explanation about how misinformation spreads and is hard to correct. As some of Evolves dlc perceptions are based on misinformation. (Yes I know the video is about vaccination, but it has a good part related to the topic 6:18-6:55, though the entire video is a good watch)


Interesting points. If I got the video correctly, it’s relating how people that are looking for answers believe what people tell them without verification. This then spreads among the people looking for answers. However, if a person corrects one of the people, a person may have the right information but will not feel obligated to correct others. Thereby allowing misinformation to spread at a faster rate than the correction.

I can’t source it but I believe there’s also something about people remembering bad memories more easily than good ones. Or at least those are supposedly easier to recall. I wonder if the combination of these two points have helped spread that negative perception of the game.

Thanks for posting!


There’s also been psychological research showing that people are much more likely to be skeptical of information that contradicts their beliefs than they are information that confirms their beliefs. If you love chocolate, you hear news reports claiming that chemicals in chocolate may be good for you, and you never question it, because that conforms to your beliefs and emotions. If, on the other hand, someone prints a story saying that chocolate contains a chemical that gives you diabetes (I’m making that up), you’re much more likely to stop and scrutinize the article and ask critical questions of it, because you don’t want to believe that it’s true. We all do this, you and I both. Likewise, being presented with indisputable facts that contradict their beliefs tends to make people insist that their beliefs don’t depend on facts anyway, until they settle on a viewpoint that is impossible to prove or disprove.

I recently heard a bit… I can not for the life of me figure out what program or podcast or whatever it was part of… where a magician set up a scenario that sounds plausible. He said it’s possible to give someone a coin, have them hold it behind their back and switch it between hands, and then predict which hand the coin will be in. He explained that this wasn’t magic, but just human observation, although the implication was that this was part of how he did his performance tricks. Muscle tension, facial cues, body positioning, etc. could tip off which hand the coin was in, if you were very observant. He then offered to let the interviewer try it. The magician showed a coin, then did the old behind the back switcheroo and presented his closed hands, coaching him on what to look for. The interviewer picked correctly. The second time, he picked correctly. The third time, he picked correctly. Impressed, the magician started questioning him. “Did you play lots of rock paper scissors when you were a kid? Well, that helps explain it, that’s a very similar set of skills.” And so on, probing for the source of his natural talent. After a large number of correct guesses in a row, no wrong guesses, and no accusations of foul play from the interviewer, the magician revealed he had an identical coin in each hand the entire time. The point being, if the interviewer had guessed WRONG every single time, the guy would have eventually wondered what was going on, and tried to figure out how the magician was rigging the odds. Nobody wants to be wrong every time. But present a scenario where a person gets to not only have their belief reinforced, even one that was just planted in their mind, and as a bonus, suggest that they, personally, are special, and people never question it.

So, if we assume that people want to believe that all game companies (and remember many people don’t distinguish between developers and publishers) are evil greedy monstrosities on par with Big Oil or Big Tobacco, then they’re going to latch on to anything that supports those feelings no matter how silly they may be, and no matter what contradicting facts are presented. And while this may not make them feel like they have special powers like the coin trick did, it DOES allow them to feel like the repressed underdog, fighting the good fight against the Evil Empire while watching out for the little guy. Throw in the fact that some companies in the gaming industry ARE kind of evil, and you’re done. There’s very little we can do to convince these people that they are incorrect in their beliefs. It’s just the way our brains are wired.


Lets not assume all forms of negative criticism are “misinformed”, negative criticism has helped TRS make Evolve a better game, the method of DLC chosen by 2K is not a method we all like to have and there is good criticism of the current state DLC. Lets just not forget that this is a learning experience for 2K aswell.

Hopefully they realize announcing heavy content DLC at high price BEFORE launch will hurt the games image, especially with a game like Evolve (not very well perceived by most considering how “out there” it is) even if the DLC IS NOT BEING MADE before the games release, thats the image they have given Evolve.

If the game is good we can forgive them for this kind of DLC method so lets hope it goes great, I think it will.



Yeah, totally agree that perception plays a big role and how that perception can make a person be selective about the facts they consider when they form an opinion. It also feels like the underdog point does create a very pleasing story for that person. As for the fact that some gaming companies do try to exploit people, it’s true that sometimes you need a little bit of truth to make something fake more believable. So yeah, I can definitely see all of this playing a role with people that might be infatuated with the idea of harping on Evolve. Sad Times :sob:

However, I also think we have to be careful about ourselves. After all, we can fall into the same underdog perception as everyone else and I personally like everyone aboard the hype train as opposed to the hate train.


Oh yeah, I definitely think it’s important to be able to discern what is constructive criticism and what are uninformed opinions. It’s just hard to gauge from any perspective what both of those meanings can constitute for different people :stuck_out_tongue: I do also agree that announcing heavy content DLC at a high price wasn’t the best thing to do before launch. Especially in the current atmosphere nowadays toward AAA games :persevere:

Yeah, I totally believe that this game is going to be awesome too :smiley: I do wish that the general atmosphere for the game was a hyped as the people are on the forums ><


Confirmation Bias! That thing is literally the bane of rational thinking, as it is very, very difficult to avoid doing. Not only is it hard to detect when you are doing it, the brain actually rewards you for it. It feels good to have your beliefs confirmed, even if you’re wrong.

Ayep. This really shouldn’t have been a learning experience for 2K. This is meant to be the kind of thing that they know - that people don’t like that kind of announcement, that it will hurt sales. But their business practice has been tilted towards the practice of announcing the DLC pre-launch, because part of it’s purpose is a kind of ‘false sale’ - they announce the post-launch DLC, and make it’s post-launch pricing very clear. BUT! If you pre-order this edition, or buy this season pass, then you get all the same content much cheaper! A saving!

The whole process is designed to boost pre-orders and season-pass sales, which gives them the pre-order figures they want (good for supply chain logistics, good to show the investors) and a solid amount of money for the sale of season passes, which while it is a lower price point, is still higher than they get from someone who buys, say, one hunter.

That’s a large part of the thinking behind the pre-launch announcement of DLC. That’s the business practice that they’re unwilling to let go of. What they’ve been slow to take into account is public perception of early DLC, and that such an announcement plays right into that perception.

(A side comment - the past few days on this forum have been a fascinating exercise in thinking about psychology and economics. Which is really kind of awesome. ^_^)


Wasn’t trying to imply that all criticism about Evolve was bad or unwarranted. But a lot of it clearly IS misinformed. People believe that there is Day 1 DLC, that the DLC will split the community, that there are console exclusives, etc. These things are easily proven to be factually, undeniably incorrect, but that doesn’t stop the misinformation from spreading. Other, more subjective perceptions have strong arguments against them. Some people (who as a rule haven’t actually played it) think the gameplay is repetitive and boring, that one side or the other is overpowered, that it’s just another overhyped FPS. A little time watching actual gameplay footage, easily found online, might convince most people that those opinions weren’t warranted. The first set of opinions are pretty demonstrably invalid, and therefore those people are undeniably misinformed in that specific regard. The second group are still probably misinformed, in that they don’t actually understand what the gameplay is like. Their opinions may not change after getting better information and/or playing the game, but at that point at least we couldn’t say they were misinformed.

Criticizing the marketing practices is a whole 'nother thing. There’s an actual debate to be had there, and there won’t be much data to support either side for a while. So it’s hard to be misinformed because there’s not a lot of information to begin with. Until we see some results, that kind of criticism is really just opinion or speculation (though that doesn’t mean it’s baseless), but eventually there will probably be a stronger argument for one side than the other, and then we can discuss that from an informed position.

Absolutely. Most of us on these boards are pretty clearly “fanboys / fangirls”, myself included, and therefore we are inherently biased in the other direction, and we have to be careful to allow other people to have legitimate opinions about Evolve that we don’t like, and to be careful not to allow ourselves to be blinded to flaws or weaknesses, to not instinctively defend something that may actually not be very defensible.


Commenting on your side comment. Yeah, it’s been cool seeing people talk about it (^_^)v


The whole marketing is stemmed on psychology, also people tend to focus more on the negatives and take positives for granted.

Also in Evolve’s case 2K Games did a great job to burn that negative picture into the public, WAY before release with their ‘misworded’ anncouncement that the game ‘is built for DLC’. Right there, they were done.


Game PR can be a bitch, as people will take things out of context to make click bait.


I can’t agree with the author.

It’s just another cool game that was turned into crap by a greedy studio.

Yes, I’ve played it (nice Game), but I’ve also seen the dlcs, it simply doesn’t matter if it’s cosmetic - it’s a full prize game, so the basic intention is just greed or mismanagement.

And as a gamer, who don’t want a future in this way the only mission should be to convince as much people as possible that they MUST avoid crap like this, even if it seems good at the first glance.


You can call it greed but it’s just all about business. Publishers simply exist as the middlemen attempting to turn their investment into something as profitable as possible.


While I think this is a great post, the points made seem more grounded in a sociological framework; reflecting social mores etc etc. It is a culture of gaming.

anyway, good post.