For the moment, this blog is a schadenfreude free zone.
Schadenfreude, if you don’t know, is a German word that describes the pleasure one gets when someone else suffers misfortune. It sounds terrible that anyone should enjoy the suffering of others, right? But we all do it some extent, it’s just a part of human nature. (The Germans are very good at word construction when it deals with that.)
Bloggers, and to a much larger extent MMORPG Bloggers, are very prone to bouts of schadenfreude. I read a lot of posts that simply wish ill on others.
Most of these tend to be how the blogger wishes that World of Warcraft would cease to exist, putting many out of work and disappointing the extremely large playerbase that actually enjoys the game. Of course they don’t actually say they’d like to see game developers and ancillary staff on the unemployment lines (in the worst economic times for many years.) They don’t say they want to ruin others entertainment. There is always an undertone of, “Hey this is for the greater good.”
It’s also bizzare that there is often an undertone of a desire for failure of upcoming games.
How many posts have you read that talk about how Star Wars: The Old Republic will be a failure? These posts give a real sense that the writer would love nothing better for the game to fail so they can utter the eternal refrain of the armchair critic, “I told you so!”
I’ll admit to this a little myself. I have on occasion written a piece where I am happy with the concept of someone else’s failure.
But that’s not what motivates me. I would be very happy to see every game succeed.
I might not play SWTOR when it is released (who am I kidding?) but I want it to succeed. I don’t play World of Warcraft anymore, and despite a certain amount of Cataclysm envy I don’t have the urge to return. I still want WoW to succeed, apart from dumb ideas like Real ID, even if the direction is not for me.
The thing is, the more that successful titles are released, the more likely that investors will put money into games that don’t fit the WoW mold. The bigger the market, the better chance that there will be more support for niche games.
It’s in all our interests, game devs and players, that the industry as a whole is more successful.