By: Sam Fisher
Corporate ownership’s effect on a game’s quality varies depending on the game and owner. For example, I would argue that the corporate ownership in Diablo II provides a player with an enjoyable experience, because I have enjoyed the game myself. It varies from player to player as well then. The only problem with corporate ownership may be the indirect means of communication with the players, as most interaction within the gamespace occurs amongst gamers.
There is a responsibility by the corporate owner to “please everyone.” The ultimate goal of the corporations is to make the most money by pleasing the most possible subscribers and make the most people buy the game. This has a good effect on the quality of the game if one is a member of this majority. Otherwise, the game might be less than desirable and there is nothing that the corporate ownership can do to help. This draws on the indirectness of the corporate owners and the players as there is no ideal way to directly communicate one’s isolated status from the group who enjoys the game. Owners attempt to patch games to help appeal to players, but we have seen in games like Star Wars: Galaxies that this can have an opposite effect in which veteran players who have become adjusted to old standards. Corporate owners have a tough time making these decisions but in this case a decision to try and help draw profit from a larger majority made the loyal gamers quit. Being a corporate owner proves to be the more difficult job than the whiney gamer who wants a game to suit him or her perfectly. Therefore, of course it limits experience, the game is through the eyes of the owner and not of the subjective desires of oneself.