KEY DATES

3 Times the Video Game Industry Got Complaint Handling Right


If you think video gaming is a niche subculture, think again. The global gaming market is valued at $180 billion, bigger than the movie and music markets combined. And this is just the beginning: it's forecast to grow at 12.7% annually until 2027.

But how does the industry deal with complaints? Well, if you ask certain die-hard gamers about EA, CD Projekt Red or other big studios, you might get a cynical response about their levels of customer service. Expect to hear tales of a 2017 scandal involving a Star Wars game!

Still, for every story about out-of-touch studios, there are many more about developers who pay close attention to customer feedback and complaints, and who've used these to enhance the gaming experience. Let's take a look at the top 3.

1. Gears of War - First Ball Grace

When playing this classic shooter online, players had the option of a 1 vs. 1 duel with another player (a mode known as PvP). But there was a problem: 90% of users who didn't get a kill in their first game never played that mode again. They probably concluded that other players were just too good, and there was no way they could ever succeed. Epic Games were inundated with complaints about this. And they realised they had to do something. So they decided to introduce a new policy, one that would give beginners a shot! New players would automatically get an advantage - receiving a damage bonus until they scored their first kill, after which the bonus would taper off. This allowed new players to gain confidence and experience and drastically improved their online experience. And the rest is history - Gears of War won three of the most prestigious awards for Game of the Year back in 2007.

2. Destiny - Changing the Tone

This multiplayer sci-fi game involves players interacting with an intelligent floating robot. Originally, this character was voiced by Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage. Perhaps Dinklage didn't have much time to do the recordings. Or maybe his heart wasn't in the project. But either way, customers voiced their complaints about the quality of the voice acting, saying the performance felt "phoned in". So when developer Bungie released an update in 2015, they took the decision to re-record Dinklage's part, and use a voice actor who would bring more enthusiasm to the role. Bungie also fixed numerous bugs and glitches in the update, and it went a long way to cementing user confidence in the game. The result? Well, Destiny is still playable online in 2021 - a major success in an industry where fashions move very fast indeed. Without being attentive to customer feedback, such longevity would never have been possible.

3. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor - One Boss Fight to Rule Them All

In 2014, Monolith Productions released Shadow of Mordor, a stealth/action game set in Tolkien's Middle Earth. And anyone who's read or seen Lord of the Rings will know that Sauron is the big boss of this story! In the game, the player has to fight a series of orc captains before facing down Sauron himself. The issue in the original game, though, was that players found this final fight way too easy. In fact, compared to earlier battles in the game, the duel with Sauron felt like a real anticlimax. But Monolith listened to user feedback on this issue. When they released extra downloadable content (DLC) for the game, they made sure to include a boss fight that truly challenged the player and lived up to Middle Earth's epic reputation. As the old saying goes, "give the people what they want!"

The UK Complaint Handling Awards brings finalists together from multiple industries to share best practices and compete across 22 categories. And until October 22, you can get some great savings with our early bird discount - enter now!

Back