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Dark Souls was a surprising hit for From Software last year. The game that came before it, Demon's Souls, was well-liked, but it just did OK in the sales department. Dark Souls was a more well-received release, and it almost seemed like everyone played it. I definitely enjoyed it as well. The game even ended up on my top-10 list for 2011.
People have been clamoring for a PC version of the experience, and we're finally getting one. Whether this was planned all along or the petitions actually worked is hard to tell. Regardless, gamers were overjoyed — until they learned that the title would include Games for Windows Live, a service that PC players love to hate. New petitions have shown up begging for the removal of GFWL and a lot of the positive comments about Dark Souls turned negative.
I can kind of understand this vitriol for GFWL. At times, I have had massive problems with the platform, mostly with updating the client and getting stuck in impossible update loops. But for the most part, it is fairly unobtrusive. Some complaints state that Dark Souls' ever-online functions would be hindered by GFWL, and I could certainly see that being the case at points.
But I cannot get behind this petition. Its intents are in the right place. The anger around the whole thing, however, is not. Gamers managed to convince From Software to put the time and effort into a PC port, and they immediately complain when it isn't everything they wanted. GFWL can be a horrible piece of crap sometimes, but it isn't the end of the world.
It seems like 2012 is the year of gamer entitlement. If something isn't exactly to players' likings, they yell, scream, and pout until they get their way. BioWare caved with the Mass Effect 3 ending, and I'm willing to bet From Software will cave too.
On one hand, we are the consumers paying for these products, and our say should matter. On the other, the consumer doesn't always understand what went into a decision or how game design actually works.
We are heading down a dark path toward a future where any little thing about a title that the majority doesn't like will be patched or updated because that is expected from the developer. This future will be one where the only successful game makers are the ones who don't even bother to try something new because they don't want to risk being drawn and quartered by the online community.