arsenal99 (User)

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Gaming Juggernauts Are Finally Listening

arsenal99 | 731d ago
User blog

Yes ladies and gentlemen, the big, brash companies that think they can dictate to gamers what they want with little regard to anything else have finally learnt they can't. I'm not just talking about the E3 backlash that Microsoft received, but it also seems it has had a knock on effect with other companies reacting too.

Customer service economy

Believe it or not, customers have a bigger choice than ever and it is up to companies to stand out in order to receive their custom. More importantly, people demand companies that care about their customers and aren't just seen to want that big wad of cash consumers get at the end of the month. Organisations around the world are employing customer service specialists to improve their overall offering and as a result, improve customer retention.

Microsoft's success truly went to their head. Being market leader gave Microsoft the temptation to start milking the industry for what it's worth with the Xbox One. They thought, ''The market love us and we can do what we want'', Wrong! We all know how E3 went. Everyone was gobsmacked - ''how could Microsoft be so arrogant!'', they thought they could get away with it. What they didn't realise is that the gaming community is one of the largest online communities, and one of the most passionate. The gaming community were baying for blood. Customers want to be appreciated, not taken for 'mugs', Microsoft were scared, they had made a huge mistake.

We're Sorry

Since then, Microsoft have done all they can to reverse the massive amount of damage they caused to the Xbox brand, and to be fair to them they have been quite transparent about it. The list of changes are as follows:

Used games allowed
More powerful GPU
Doesn't have to be always online
You don't have to use Kinect

So Microsoft have tried to rectify all the negative points regarding Xbox One. But let's not kid ourselves, they still have work to do. They have created a base to work on and now they are starting to create goodwill within the gaming community. In August, Microsoft Studio's CEO Phil Spencer stated that their changes on the Xbox One are part of a "two-way conversation we have with our customers". There you have it, Microsoft are clearly stating they made a mistake and are working on providing better customer service. Recently, Microsoft have said they would offer indie game studios free Xbox one development kits - good PR that will appease the gaming community. If Microsoft can keep this going and become even more transparent with it's customers, they could be starting to turn over a new leaf.

EA Too!?

EA also seem to be pushing forward with a PR push to try and build a bridge with their consumers. EA's origin service has continually been found to offer abhorrent customer service and the gaming community generally see EA as one of the 'bad guys'.

In recent months however, we've seen EA act in ways that have surprised the gaming community.
Recently, EA participated in the Humble Bundle sale which gives consumers a selection of games in exchange for a donation of the persons choice.

Firstly, you have to applaud EA for this, over $10 million dollars were generated for charity and many gamers agreed that it was the best humble bundle to date. EA also launched the 'Great Game Guarantee' which allows people who download digital titles on Origin to return the game within 24hours. What this shows is that they are trying to create a better brand image.

The gaming community can hold a grudge for a long time, but with EA finally reacting and trying to build bridges with their customers, they are heading in the right direction.

So, have they learned?

So, it seems the gaming juggernauts have finally learned - you can't keep milking customers for all their worth, offer shoddy customer service and expect to get away with for years to come. Given the chance gamers will boycott. The arrival of the new console generation provided the perfect opportunity to do this. PS4 was a much more attractive option and as such, people saw it as a perfect time to jump ship. I think it woke up the gaming juggernauts and they finally realised - 'if we want to be here in the long-term, it's time to start taking our customers seriously.'

Do you think things are changing, or is it simply a PR stunt from these gaming giants? Let us know in the comments.

zeal0us  +   731d ago
I don't think they learning to understand their customers has anything to do with. To me its more to do with public image and $$$. Low pre-order numbers and people calling worst company ever, can do serious damage. Microsoft is not only just a game company but hardware and software company as well. They wouldn't want people judging them base off whats happen in their gaming division.

I believe the GPU change/speed increase really didn't come from a public backlash. Seeing as 53Mhz increase really wouldn't satisfy spec lovers.

EA's change more than likely have to do image. They won worst company two years in a row. So you know they're trying to show the public they have change.
#1 (Edited 730d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
skydragoonity  +   730d ago
Listening? No its because they were losing money.
arsenal99  +   730d ago
From face value, I agree with these points. I think they are obviously brand image enhancing stunts. That being said, what I'm trying to point out is that I think people are smart enough to see through it. I do believe however, that some companies do actually run an organisation built around what's best for their customers - Zappos or Steam to name a few.

I think companies are starting to be more careful, and having a focus around the customer is starting to be more financially beneficial than ever before
Flatbattery  +   730d ago
Similar to what skydragoonity said, I don't believe any of these changes are a direct result of what consumers have said, rather they have seen a projection of major financial losses. Let's face it EA have been the bane of many gamers for many years and they never batted an eyelid, yet as soon as their flagship titles start selling low numbers they want to be everybody's best friend.

Microsoft came out with their terrible Xbox One reveal and unsavioury policies and I'm proud as a gamer to say that pre-order numbers were abysmal. What happened next was a monumental U-turn on nearly everything and the all-smiles declaration that they are listening to their consumers.

Now, my argument is, if Microsoft are listening to their consumers then why were they not listening when everybody was up-in-arms about the rumoured policies months before the actual reveal. The simple fact is, they only listened to retail outlets reporting poor pre-order numbers.

Every company or corporation on the planet are guilty of poor customer relations at one point or another, it's just some never or take too long to learn their lesson.
arsenal99  +   730d ago
Fair points. I don't think we'll see Microsoft make the same arrogant mistakes again.

You could say however, that the projected losses were caused by consumers backing PS4 over Xbox, so in that regard - customers have reached breaking point with companies taking them for a ride, which would have greatly influenced projected losses.

I think these companies are being taken down a peg and will learn that by engaging and listening with their customers more, it could be much more financially beneficial.

I'm not saying however, that Microsoft hadn't been arrogant in the past, just that the recent backlash has scared these companies in changing tact.
Sarick  +   730d ago
In this case as with most businesses they use rules like these this unless they are some form of charity based organization.

1. Self preservation of company and/or it's investments.
2. Create products/services in it's interest unless they conflict with the first rule.
3. Serve the public demand/interest unless they conflict with the first or second rule.

In the end a successful company achieves a balance of all 3 rules with as little conflict as possible. In extreme cases the company may be to aggressive in their business strategy and cause a customer backlash.

Then there is customer loyalty.

1. Keeping touch with customers using email marketing, thank you cards and more.
2. Treating your team well so they treat your customers well.
3. Showing that you care and remembering what they like and don’t like.
4. You build it by rewarding them for choosing you over your competitors.
5. You build it by truly giving a damn about them and figuring out how to make them more success, happy and joyful.

#6 (Edited 730d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
BillytheBarbarian  +   730d ago
I think MS should have just stayed with 360. Just make an add on to get more power. This way they wouldn't alienate the Xbox community by allowing people to keep the vast library of xbla games too. Like 32x but more thoroughly thought out. They still have not maxed out current hardware for 360 or PS3.
arsenal99  +   728d ago
The benefit of new consoles is that it boosts the whole industry. The simple fact is, new consoles are released when current-gen consoles sales start dwindling. All current gen consoles have a product life-cycle ranging from early adopters all the way to laggards. Currently, we are at the laggards stage where most of the people who want a current-gen consoles have bought one.

Releasing new consoles starts a new cycle which allows for more sales and more profit.

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