I’ll be the first to tell you that the game industry is ultimately about sales and profit, and that it always has to boil down to the business side of affairs. No matter what the conversation is, whether it be the change in direction for a beloved series, the philosophy behind DLC production or the design of a new console, it always has to be about making money.
That’s not exactly a bad thing, despite the connotations. You can have a good studio culture and still have your eyes on those sales figures. In an increasingly entitled world, it’s a common expectation for development studios to do exactly what the fans want, when the fans want, as if they were a charity for the good of the gaming community rather than a business. The fact is that to continue producing the games we love, the studios have to turn a profit, and it’s very easy for fans to lose sight of that.
So what happens when a game performs well but is poorly received by its core audience?