Don’t Make Overkill’s Mistake: Introduction

So I noted yesterday that when I began my journal with its singular post, it received a few hits from a user in Sweden who then proceeded to run a search on the rest of my site for “almir listo”. I have a feeling that Google Alerts has something to do with this curious set of coincidences, and so I’ve chosen to write this introduction. It is my guess that this series is what that person was looking for and it didn’t come up because I just haven’t mentioned Almir specifically yet.

I did say in that chat that I was going to write a piece on the Infamy 2.0 reddit AMA and how it could have been handled better. I do still plan to address certain things I saw happening in that thread. As I kept trying to get out everything I wanted to say, however, I realized that even trying to contain myself to just that one PR event was a gargantuan task. There was just no way that I could even begin to talk about how things could be so much better without being painfully tl;dr.

But moreover, as I dug deeper into Almir’s answers, the more I came to feel that trying to speak to him personally, as per an open letter format like I originally tried, was a futile task.

I mean, what reason can you impart to a man who seems to genuinely believe that no feedback is good feedback? What enlightenment can you bestow on a guy who has the gall to argue that someone with level eight infamy hasn’t tested Infamy 2.0 enough to be giving a valid opinion of it? Or that anyone who’s criticizing it online is too busy doing so to have tried it? There just came a point at which I did not feel it was a worthwhile use of my time to try and convince Almir personally that he could be doing better.

We learned a lot from the Titanic though.

Which is not to say that Overkill is a sinking ship exactly. I’m sure they’re making plenty of money to keep afloat. But EA makes a lot of money too and you hardly ever see anyone actually excited about supporting them. Ideally, you want to be making lots of money and cultivating loyalty in your consumer base. The latter breeds the former far more sustainably than shitting out half-assed, untested, paid DLC every other day.

So that’s what this series is about. Overkill itself is, I think, a lost cause but there’s plenty to be learned from their slow descent from cool indie bros into corporate shills. And if Overkill has already fucked up, there’s no reason any other developer needs to repeat their mistakes. It is my hope that with these articles I might possibly prevent others from acting dumb.

However, I do note that whenever I’ve mentioned ways in which they could be doing better, Overkill does seem to actually take my advice. Whether that’s because they’ve came to the same conclusion on their own or because they check Tumblr and can tell I am a sage-ass motherfucker when it comes to games and the promotion thereof, I do still see a glimmer of hope in them from time to time.

So if Overkill themselves are reading this, don’t let the intended audience for these articles stop you. There’s no reason this can’t be for you too.

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July 2020