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So ya Don' Like dem Squaresoft Games?
by ArcanaSquare has been receiving flack for being a sell-out, for producing games of a lower and lower quality, and for spreading out its market. It's been criticized for being unethical, controversial, and monopolistic. It has been attacked for releasing games that don't play like games, games that suck, games that aren't RPG's, and games that you, a gamer, don't want to play. However, the problem is not with Squaresoft, but with the consumer. The consumer's rights are powerful, and you, as the gamer, must realise that. Square, like many corporations, is a profit-driven company. They seek to change their inputs to outputs, and to market these outputs for the greatest cost. They have many intermediate goals, such as to extend their market influence, create video games, and develop new storylines. But in the end, these objectives lead to maximize profits.
How come people can't realise that? The reason why Square's games are going down in quality is because you're LETTING them go down in quality. The way the consumer talks is not by voice, or by rallying, or by protesting, it's by the dollar. The more money you pump into Squaresoft games, the more they think you'll like them, and the more of the same they'll develop. Why does Final Fantasy keep going and going? It's because you PAID for it. You waved twenties in front of Squaresoft's face and said, "I love this game, and I want more!" Why didn't Square approve the budget for a Xenogears 2 (therefore causing many of Xenogears' developers, including the main character designer and the developer to split)? It's because, in their minds, Xenogears didn't pull in enough of a profit. Did you like Xenogears? Should've bought it instead of getting your PSX modified. Should've encouraged your friend to buy it instead of rent it five-dozen times.
Let's look at Final Fantasy VIII. Bought it? Hated it? I applaud Mr. Colianna for expressing his rights as a consumer, and protested the quality of Final Fantasy VIII by not buying it. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, he decided to keep it cool, and now has cast his vote to Square: "Improve your games, because I don't like them enough to buy them." If you don't like FMV, then stay away from the Final Fantasy Anthology, and wait for another game to come out. You express your style of game by what you buy. Want old-school? Buy Working Design's Lunar: Silver Star Story. Like strategy? Invest in Brigandine and Tactics Ogre. Rent everything else.
Square will turn a blind eye to the consumer and keep doing what they're doing until they realise that, one day, they're not pulling in any profits. And when they realise that they're looking at a deficit, or at a less-than-expected earnings report, they'll start assessing the situation and wonder, "We've been missing the mark here!! What sort of games does the public REALLY want?" In the past, you didn't have much of a choice. You either said, "Dragon Warrior!" "Final Fantasy!" (Personally, I have always preferred Dragon Warrior over Final Fantasy, but that's another editorial). But now, who makes or distributes role-playing games? Capcom. Namco. Working Designs. Atlus. Heck, even Enix is getting back into the scene. What does this mean? CHOICE. The consumer choice. It's the right of the consumer to have choice. It's the right of a consumer to vote.
Your ballot comes in the form of green paper with dead people printed on it. Although I have used Square as my example, this Consumer's Right business extends to all money-making businesses. Hey, if you don't like Bill Gates, run out to the nearest store and buy a copy of Linux. If you despite Wal-Mart with a passion, shop at Sears. If you don't ever want to see a Shania Twain ever again, buy some Faith Hill. Or, if you don't like Final Fantasy, buy it only when it reaches your level of quality again. Express your right to freedom. Vote now.
Or, better yet, educate yourself and vote later.
Or not at all.
...Let's go out for pizza.
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