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Times that video games turned their back on fans

We've previously talked about the times when fans have been forced to turn their backs on their favorite games. Sometimes studios and devs make decisions that their fan base disagrees with so vehemently that they have to put down the controller and walk away … forever. Or take to the internet and rage about it forever.

But what's more disappointing and possibly rage inducing is when this mistake could have been avoided if only they had listened. It's important for any industry, but especially the games industry, to know what its userbase is into. It's okay that fans don't always get what they want. No one likes the entitled fanboy stereotype, and we don't want developers to think of their fans as unsatisfied brats, but there are some occasions when the players have the right to be pissed.

When devs ignore the wants — or needs — of fans, it's only natural that they feel betrayed, disappointed, and ready to make an upset tweet or two.

Shaggy should have been in Mortal Kombat

There is one being in the universe who holds ultimate power. Only he can create and destroy life with a snap of his fingers. He is older than age and stronger than strength. He is … Shaggy Rogers. That's right, Scooby Doo's best buddy is actually all-powerful, at least according to the a meme that has more or less taken over the internet. "Ultra Instinct Shaggy" actually started in 2017, when an edit of Shaggy inexplicably taking down a bar full of bikers bare-handed with a song from Dragon Ball Super made the rounds. From there, it became internet canon that Shaggy is more powerful than Goku, Superman, and Thanos combined.

Flash forward to 2019 and Shaggy gained such a following that his acolytes decided there was only one game that could properly showcase his awesome powers: Mortal Kombat 11. A petition on Change.org gathered over 370,000 signatures to get publisher Warner Bros. Interactive's attention. This outpouring of support was hard to ignore, but developer NetherRealm ultimately dashed fans' hopes of seeing Shaggy in-game, going as far as to post #RIPShaggy on the official Mortal Kombat Twitter account. The closest we'll ever get to seeing Shaggy duke it out in the game is in a tweet from Mortal Kombat co-creator Ed Boon. A very serious Shaggy is depicted throwing Scorpion a savage knee, and this image is the compromise that fans of the immortal and unknowable Shaggy will have to be satisfied with. For now.

Is everybody really in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? No!

Did you know that Waluigi and Wario aren't even related? Or that Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto himself didn't want to imagine what their girlfriends might look like? These fun facts might be new revelations, but after the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate announcement, it was nigh impossible to avoid one piece of Waluigi news: Luigi's lanky rival is not in Smash. Despite the Nintendo's E3 announcement trailer's assurance that "everybody's here," there is a glaring absence in the roster. Waluigi being snubbed shook the community and made national headlines.

Although he will technically be included in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as an assist trophy, the fact that he isn't a playable character irked and angered those who love the ridiculousness of his character. What started as a fun meme centered around Wario's tennis partner escalated into something of a harassment campaign. At the height of the Waluigi controversy, head of Nintendo of America Reggie Fils-Aime admitted that his main in Mario Tennis Aces is Waluigi himself and that he was well aware of the upset over his exclusion: "We look at all of the feedback and share with the devs and certainly Mr. Sakurai will be aware of the groundswell of support that appeared for a Waluigi. And in the end it's his decision to make."

Game director Masahiro Sakurai was forced to start blocking Twitter accounts that relentlessly demanded Waluigi's inclusion, the posts spiraling into the spamming of inappropriate memes under the hashtag #JUSTICEFORWALUIGI. Not cool, guys. Not cool.

Diablo Immortal is immortalized as a bad take, Blizzard

Blizzard used to be something of a paragon of goodness in the gaming industry. Even now it is ranked among the 100 best companies to work for, but this might be surprising considering that recent controversies have seriously marred Activision Blizzard's previously polished reputation. Despite record-setting financial performance that would make any company envious, early 2019 saw Blizzard giving an unceremonious boot to 800 employees. And this is in the wake of the disaster of 2018.

2018's BlizzCon was a prime example of what not to do if you want to avoid pissing off your core audience. Diablo was the most hyped-up property at the convention, because fans had been teased with the possibility of the announcement of a new game. Millions of players play Diablo games on PC, and so when the mobile-only Diablo Immortal was announced … the reaction was mixed, to put it lightly. Fans felt betrayed, because they knew that Blizzard knew that they were expecting a proper PC title.

"We know our audience here is passionately PC- and console-focused," Blizzard co-founder Allen Adham said in an interview with Kotaku. "That being said, we knew our audience here desperately wants to see and hear about one thing in particular."

It was Diablo 4 fans were pumped for. Instead, Blizzard turned their backs and offered a game that no one had apparently asked for, leading to massive backlash and a dive in Blizzard's stock value.

Huniepop 2 gives and takes away representation

Okay, so Huniepop isn't a game that we expect to make the most ethically sound decisions. It's an adult dating sim in which conquering match-three minigames will allow players to get steamy with women whose bodies strain against the confines of their clothes. But it gets points for being diverse, and Huniepop 2 was set to be even more inclusive (in a fetishized, exploitative kind of way) before the developer went back on a decision that fans had apparently begged for.

Huniepop 2 is set to include Polly Bendleson, a beauty tuber, with an '80s-glam style and who just so happens to have male genitalia. The trailer announced this with less tact, and didn't include the term transgender, but nevertheless served as a smidgen of representation in a genre that excludes trans folks. Developer Huniepot, the apt alias of Ryan Koons, claims that hundreds of people had been asking for a character like Polly, which is why he was surprised when the announcement was met with backlash. After a split poll, with 43% of respondents saying that they'd like a way to skip Polly because she made them uncomfortable, Huniepot said that he would add a function for players to choose whether Polly was trans in their playthrough or not. The other 57% of players, and folks on Twitter, were upset considering the realities of LGBT+ discrimination and conversion therapy. The fact is there were plenty of players ready to welcome Polly, all of Polly, with open arms.

Valve sidesteps Half-Life 3 again

One of the oldest jokes in gaming that still plagues YouTube thumbnails to this day is "HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED!!!!" It's a joke at this point because the community has begrudgingly accepted that it's just not happening. Valve just doesn't seem to want to make another Half-Life game, as disappointing as that is when there are millions of fans ready to swing a crowbar again. It's also kind of infuriating because in the early aughts, the third installment in the series seemed like a sure thing. Gabe Newell had an enthusiasm for it that quickly turned into stony silence over the next few years.

In 2016, Valve's The Steam Awards allowed for PC gamers to nominate any game for fun categories like "Better With Friends" and "I'm Not Crying, There's Something In My Eye." Fans were also able to write in their own award titles under the category "We Didn't Think Of Everything." Naturally, gamers took this opportunity to write in Half-Life 2 under the user-generated "Game That Deserves A Sequel" award. In typical Valve fashion when it comes to the glaring absence of Half-Life 3, they ignored this clear plea for any inkling of a possibility of another game. This seemingly intentional blind eye is just another nail in the coffin for fans' hopes and dreams.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance switches to the Switch exclusively

Marvel is hotter than ever, so it's only natural that some games celebrating the characters living (and dying in dust) on the big screen are getting released. The renaissance of superhero movies has awakened the long-slumbering Marvel Ultimate Alliance games. The first in the series was released all the way back in 2006 and had since been made available on nearly every platform, from PlayStation to Xbox, from PC to GameBoy Advance. The game allowed players to make their own Avengers teams with characters like Storm, Deadpool, Captain America, Black Panther, and many more.

Ultimate Alliance 2 had more characters and similar gameplay three years later. While it didn't get nearly as much praise as its predecessor, gamers on all kinds of consoles had fun playing as their favorite superheroes. Then in December of 2018, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order was announced by Team Ninja at The Game Awards, which brought back a wave of nostalgia for longtime players. These warm fuzzy feelings were quickly replaced with betrayal when the game abandoned these Xbox, Playstation, and PC players: The Black Order would be a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Fans took to Twitter to post Deadpool facepalming gifs and their disappointment at the way Team Ninja had turned their backs on them.

World of Warcraft is making the Horde evil?

There is a near-even split between World of Warcraft players who have pledged their respective allegiance to the Alliance or the Horde. Despite the stereotypes associated with both sides of Azeroth — the shining armor of humans and the war-painted faces of orcs — neither side is entirely good or bad. In war, everyone is subject to making poor decisions that cost lives. That's why players feel comfortable playing either side throughout the game's expansions. Battle for Azeroth, however, has made Horde players uncomfortable at best, betrayed at worst.

In a move that fans have called lazy or even misogynistic writing, Warchief of the Horde Sylvanas Windrunner has taken a dark turn, contrary to her normal position as morally grey. In the titular Battle for Azeroth, Sylvanas arbitrarily decided to set the World Tree of Teldrassil on fire. Rather than being a defender of her people, determined to find a place in the world for the Forsaken, she seems to be going down the slippery slope that warchiefs before her had predictably followed. We've already had Garrosh Hellscream, who eventually became a raid boss to be destroyed, turn all kinds of evil. This evidence of history repeating itself has rankled Horde players who love the Banshee Queen. We got goosebumps back in Legion when Sylvanas became warchief. Now we just feel awkward.

Respawn didn't listen to fans on Titanfall 2

It's not unusual for games to suffer sequelitis, never quite living up to the experience of a much-lauded predecessor. It's hard to follow up a game that got smashingly good reviews, but Titanfall 2 managed to do it. It wasn't without complaints, however, or without comments that seriously offended fans.

Fans said that they wanted more content, which really means that they want more of what they already love, which shouldn't be too tall of an order — especially for a sequel — for the devs at Respawn to fill. Respawn listened to this feedback, acknowledged it, and … promptly ignored it.

Game director Steve Fukuda said to Shack News, "After the original game, we sat down and looked at it objectively. We got a lot of feedback from the outside, from fans, from research saying, 'Hey, there's not enough. There's not enough content. We want more content.' Internally, we played the game and came out of the play session thinking, 'That was super exhausting. That was super chaotic.' Why is that? We struggled with trying to answer what it was."

Despite knowing what players loved and expressed their enthusiasm for, devs at Respawn made the gameplay in Titanfall 2 less chaotic in order to suit their own tastes, fans' demands be damned.

Pokemon Uranium got nuked

The ultimate from of flattery is imitation, or so the saying goes. It's near impossible to stop fans from making fan art or writing fan fiction about a property as big and beloved as Pokemon, but it's apparently possible to stop fan-made games. In 2016, after nine years of development, a full-fledged Pokemon game was released. Not by the usual developer Game Freak, but by mere fans. Pokemon Uranium explored a whole new region, added over 150 new Pokemon, and had several features unheard of in previous games. The loving homage to the Game Boy experience was met with praise from fans … and takedown notices from Nintendo.

Within a week, the fans behind Pokemon Uranium took down the free download link. The game had already been downloaded over a million times, but we would imagine that it would still smart after nine years of work. Despite good intentions and zero profits made, fan remakes or reboots are usually met with legal threats. Lucasfilm lawyers dashed any hopes of a fan-made reboot of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and a fan-made Halo Online was stomped from existence by Microsoft. Even when there isn't any profit involved — just the blood, sweat, and tears of fans volunteering their time and talent — studios and publishers don't take these fan-made projects lightly.

Except in the case of the remastering of The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. This project managed to get Bethesda's blessing, a rare exception to the typically strict rule of developers.

The Spyro Reignited Trilogy doesn't ad subtitles

In this day and age, people no longer have to misunderstand accents or miss a second of important dialogue due to hearing loss or deafness. Just about everything comes preloaded with subtitles … except for the newly remade Spyro games, for some reason.

When Activision similarly remade Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy, it was also conspicuously missing subtitles. The original incarnations of these classic games didn't have subs, but that was a long time ago. Today, it's generally accepted that games with cutscenes are expected to have them. There are times in Red Dead Redemption 2 and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey when they really came in handy to suss out what characters with accents were saying. Subtitles are also a must for deaf and hard of hearing players. The fact that Activision originally excluded subtitles from the Spyro Reignited Trilogy because there is technically no legal industry standard for them made those players feel snubbed and insulted. It was effectively a message that Activision didn't care about them.

Four months after release — far longer than some would have liked — a patch added subtitles to the game. Deaf and hard of hearing players could finally find out what was being said, but maybe they didn't want to after such a blase and tardy response from Activision.

Monster Hunter: World abandons Nintendo

Monster Hunter's formula of hunting, trapping, and taking on ridiculously large monsters with ridiculously large weapons has been around since the 2004 release of the very first Monster Hunter. The Capcom game was originally on the PlayStation 2, but eventually made its way to the PlayStation Portable. This handheld experience continued when the third installment found a home on the Nintendo 3DS. Monster Hunter 4 in 2013 was only on the 3DS, so fans thought they were right to assume that 2018's Monster Hunter: World would be on the Nintendo Switch, right?

Wrong. Monster Hunter: World targeted the Western audience like never before. Western players expected the kind of big screen experience that only a console sat beneath a wide screen TV could provide. Thus, Monster Hunter: World released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, decidedly ignored the Switch despite its TV capabilities. The return of the series to home consoles felt like an insult to 3DS loyalists who had championed the handheld experience. In order to gain a foothold in the West and appeal to a new audience of gamers, it seems that Capcom stepped on the toes of longtime fans.