I just wanted to briefly share something I posted on Bethesda’s Fallout 4 forums. The discussion concerned whether or not Beth reads forum posts (the thread title was “Does Beth even bother to read our feedback?”). The usual flaming back and forth was going on when, to everyone’s surprise, a Beth employee actually posted (I’ve been on those forums for a few months now and it was the first time I’d ever seen a dev post). His post was the usual “we appreciate fan feedback” (you can read snippets of it below); this was my response:
“I think part of the frustration regarding perceived disengagement with developers comes from the long arm ‘corporate/political speak’ ya’ll are forced to use when communicating with the public. Take “Todd has mentioned in a number of interviews that we look at feedback from the fans on a regular basis. I think if you look at features from previous Games, patches and DLC’s you can get a sense of us responding to what the fans ask for.” Not to be a jerk, but that’s pretty empty language. Every game developer says “we listen to fan feedback” and “if you look at what we did in the sequel, we were clearly responding to what the fans wanted.”
Not to compare you guys to another dev, but Turtle Rock Studios is the perfect example of how to handle fan engagement. Not only do they respond on their forums regularly, they take the time to explain the logic behind their decisions; throughout the production and release of Evolve (their latest game), they have been willing to go into specifics as to WHY a character gets balanced a certain way or why X feature was omitted.”
I just want to thank TRS (especially @MacMan and @Matthew) for doing such an incredible job engaging their fans. You guys are the gold standard for community engagement in my book, and I hope other devs follow your example.