I’m sitting here, winding down my day, an hour or two before going to bed and waking up to another work-filled Wednesday. All I want to do right now is play Dishonored 2. Step into the shoes of Emily or Corvo, hack up some bad folk, and see how the story plays out. But, thanks to Bethesda and their apparent lack of respect for PC gamers, I can’t do that right now.
That’s a bold statement - Bethesda doesn’t respect PC gamers. It’s true though, because the alternative is that they didn’t test Dishonored 2 before shipping it. But that can’t be true, because there’s no way to get a game like Dishonored 2 out the door without multiple people playing it, even if they aren’t testers. And, if multiple people played it, someone would have realized the game performs atrociously on PC, right?
So, can we move forward with the agreed understanding that Bethesda knew, or ought to have known, that Dishonored 2 would be broken for more PC players than is acceptable…?
Unfortunately, some of the blame for getting burned must fall on PC gamers and the media. For one, this was another title that didn’t send out early review copies, which everyone needs to get used to because it’s now policy with Bethesda. The average gamer might wonder why the press should get early copies at all, and the answer is so that things like this don’t happen. When a publisher decides not to give out early copies of a game, which is their right, we should be sounding the alarm and warning people to wait. It doesn’t mean the game will be garbage, but it’s a tactic that publishers have used previously to keep bad reviews from consumers in the hopes that they’ll buy before they know they shouldn’t. Bethesda says in the post that they're cool if you want to wait for reviews, but the fact that pre-orders exist is evidence that all publishers want you to blindly toss your money at them.
As for PC gamers like myself, we know better, and if we don’t that makes us as dumb as it makes Bethesda shady. How many terrible PC ports have we gotten in the past few years? The smaller PC audience is treated this way all too often. We can be patched.
Which is nonsense, but part of the reason it continues to happen is because we allow it to. We buy games before the press has a chance to review them and warn us. And part of the problem with the press is that it lacks enough true PC gamers. The PC crowd isn’t getting proper representation in the media, and we’re not protecting ourselves against this type of behavior.
Can we also agree that PC gamers need to do a better job of protecting themselves from being ripped off? That, and the media needs to be better at warning PC gamers when it’s time to pump the breaks and wait before dropping a pocket full of cash.
Where does that leave publishers like Bethesda and games like Dishonored 2? Can we blame them for ripping us off when, historically, we don’t punish them for doing it?
This is no different than leaving your car doors unlocked and having someone steal your wallet from it. Yes, you’re an idiot for a) leaving your wallet in your car, and b) leaving your car unlocked, but that doesn’t make stealing any less of a crime. It just makes you more likely to be a victim.
How do you bring a publisher to justice for disrespecting you as a consumer? If you’re the media, you do it by pointing a finger directly at them and calling them out. If you’re a consumer, however, you do it by chasing that wallet-stealing fool down and tuning them up badly enough that, not only do they give you your money back, but they think twice before ever trying to take advantage of you again.