I was spot on about yesterday’s Twitter event. At 4pm BST, my corner of the social media platform went into meltdown.
This was a beautifully thought out and executed idea: Streamers were used to advertise the game, the current content got utilised as the ‘incentive’ and players were asked to use hashtags on Twitter plus screenshots if they wanted a chance to win beta keys. Frankly, it was GENIUS. So, why are these the first comments on the Blog?
I’ll tell you why. There is an ultra-entitled subset of the current Squatting Game Population, that are now a problem that I for one am both disappointed and disgusted with. Those ultra-entitled players who believe that nothing Blizzard says or does is ever right, yet they refuse to leave. However much you wish they’d just shut up and go away they remain, playing their own way, and utterly refusing to grasp the fact that not only has this game changed in almost 12 years, but the World has too. Social media matters to Blizzard: as soon as Facebook Live is integrated into the Battle.net launcher, you can expect an awful lot of stuff that will happen exclusively on that platform and nowhere else. If you also refuse to play the Twitch streaming game you’ll be so utterly out on your ear soon it won’t be funny, but HEY YOU DON’T CARE because according to you? None of this is any use anyway, and Blizzard don’t have a clue how to sell to their real audience.
To them? Yesterday was a waste of both effort and space, and I’m now both embarrassed and angry to be existing in the same place as many of these so-called ‘fans’.
If you wanted a Beta key, Blizzard provided clear instructions how to gain them. If it mattered enough? You just played the game. What has happened thanks to social media is that there’s a second coda to anything like this, and that’s the instant eruption of moral indignation that occurs when people realise they have to work for stuff, and it’s not just as simple as giving your name. Quite apart from the staggering amount of entitlement on show, there were some quite sensible and rational people who commented on how unfair it seemed that this game (with a T for Teen rating) was asking people to use platforms and methods that for your average teen are the equivalent of switching on a light or crossing the road: simple, easy, albeit requiring at least some actual thought. A lot of people completely forgot context yesterday, and the age gap was almost painfully obvious.
The appearance of data on the background downloader late last night was not, as some people wanted to make clear, a reaction to the swathe of upset over players not getting Beta invites. It means we’re less than two months from launch, and this was due to happen regardless. Blizzard have learnt a lot of lessons this time about who gets invited to pre-play content and why, and their organisational process is clearly and sensibly being redefined. You may not like any of this but the company is clearly confident their methods are working, and certainly from where I’m sitting, the level of application and organisation in all things is in a far better place than it has been at any point I can remember. The chances are that if you’re not happy with Twitter as a beta delivery system, the future for giveaways is not likely to fill you with enthusiasm either. You think yesterday was bad?
Wait until Blizzard have a Warcraft game on your mobile.
Yesterday, I learnt a lot about some people I didn’t know, a few were spectacularly disappointing and the rest just got on and tried to win a key. Congratulations to all of you who succeeded, I hope you enjoy the next event being lined up on the test servers. For the rest of you? You ungrateful bunch, you should be ashamed of yourselves. You’re the reason why we can’t have nice things, and maybe if you changed your outlook on life an awful lot of stuff would be easier for EVERYONE.