Earlier today I was reading up on some video game sites, as I always do, trying to get the news of the day and inspiration for writing when I got home from work. I stumbled upon the news on Kotaku that Rockstar had issued a patch that would fix the disappearing character issue. In the story it was noted that yes the issue seems to be resolved but Rockstar has no plans of reimbursing the gamers that lost a character or any other digital property.
At the bottom of the story one of the first posts was by someone that had lost a level 25 character and roughly $240k in money, a feat that would have likely taken them hours of playing time to acheive.
“So my level 25 character with her 240k apartment is completely gone with no compensation or resolution whatsoever.
This comment didn’t strike me as crying or demanding, they were simply upset that a company failed to deliver a product that was acceptable and they had lost something because of the company’s failures. What did strike me was the very first two comments that followed in response.
“Play it again. It’s a game – stop acting so entitled! What compensation are you looking for exactly? Money for time played??“
“Yeah exactly, this attitude pisses me off so much.”
There were multiple comments like these through the remainder of the post. “Cry harder, no one cares” one user said and multiple “QQ” were posted (the symbolic post for crying eyes).
It baffled me how much these people were attacking this gamer for something I am sure they had done hundreds of times in their life, ask a company to correct the wrong they had done.
Let’s all get one thing straight Rockstar messed up badly with the launch of GTA Online. Whether you love or hate GTA V the fact is GTA Online goes down as yet another online game launch failure.
IGN’s very own Keza MacDonald wrote in her GTA Online review when her character was lost, “I’m pretty furious. This is what public betas are for. Currently I’m not sure GTA Online even qualifies as a beta – it feels more like alpha code.” And was later seen posting “I WANT MY CHARACTER BACK DAMMIT” on a news story on IGN about how Rockstar was investigating deleted characters.
Both Keza and the gamer on Kotaku lost the character they had spent hours working on by no fault of their own. Neither logged in and accidently deleted their character or hacked the system to gain a benefit so Rockstar decided to remove their character as punishment. They simply disappeared because Rockstar messed up and both had the right to be upset.
In today’s world it is good business practice to compensate a consumer when a company messes up. Starbucks will hand out a free drink coupon if they mess your order up or make you wait too long. If you’re order doesn’t taste right at a restaurant they will bring you a new one. Even at the company I currently work for if we mess up with a customer we will issue them a credit on their bill. It has become common place in the business world.
For someone to expect a company to fix their wrong or at least provide compensation isn’t entitlement. The company failed to deliver and should be held responsible. Both Keza and the other gamer weren’t demanding and weren’t being threatening they were upset and were simply asking for Rockstar to correct their wrong.
Of course companies aren’t required to give anything back to the consumer. Rockstar could have simply launched GTA Online and not even bothered to fix the problems and just left it as a broken mess. But good companies will respond and they will correct the wrongs they have done. All the evidence I have seen from Rockstar is that they want to be viewed as a good company and I fully expect Rockstar to compensate gamers for their failures.
When Rockstar issues their apologies and gives every gamer a free car or DLC and people are complaining it’s not enough that is when the issue of entitlement comes in. Not when a gamer is upset because a company doesn’t deliver a workable product and expects the company to correct it.
If you aren’t upset at Rockstar for their failures that is more than fine, but just because you aren’t upset doesn’t mean other gamers can’t be. Rockstar failed and I am sure they would be the first to admit it. Gamers are allowed to be upset and expect Rockstar to correct their wrong. Don’t attack someone because they hold a company to a higher standard than you.
Rockstar will correct this and most likely compensate everyone in some way in the future. I applaud gamers like Keza and the gamer on Kotaku for voicing their displeasure. Just because they are upset with Rockstar for failing doesn’t mean they hate or are attacking Rockstar or GTA V. Keza in fact gave GTA V an 10/10 and I fully expect a solid review for the GTA Online portion when she can finish it.
GTA Online is a blast and Rockstar is one of the better video game companies in the industry today, but the fact is they messed up and gamers are allowed to be upset and voice their displeasure. If you don’t think they messed up and you aren’t upset that is ok too, but attacking a consumer because they expect a company to right their wrong is just silly.
Now let’s all go play some GTA Online and enjoy life.