Customer Service 101 and Software Development

I’ve been in the software field the entire 21st Century. I spent most of that time as someone who supplied products to other countries. I either wrote them, maintained them, or ran the teams responsible for writing, maintaining, testing, and/or supporting said software. I have learned a lot of lessons about what it takes to sell software and I understand the value of sometimes giving away something for free.

So when people tell me Free to Play (F2P) games are “free” and we deserve nothing I disagree. When you set expectations then it’s reasonable for me as the customer for you to either deliver on your promises or explain why you won’t. It really is that simple. If I am paying nothing for your software, it is actually reasonable to back out of an idea if you feel it won’t pay off. It is not reasonable to utterly fail at communicating with your customers.

Which is what has been going on with almost all of Warner Bros. mobile games right now. They even have an official forum, but there has been no information. Last night after much waiting and dealing with incredible bugs and exploits, an update was released for Mortal Kombat X Mobile. You would think that their hot new game would be a huge priority, but there has been radio silence from WB. Furthermore, in the update notes they tease a challenge that has been advertised since day one. Why tease a challenge if you are still not going to release it? The people who have been playing the game have been waiting for this to be released for over a month now and you make a statement like it will finally be live and it still is not? If you fixed it what are you waiting for?

The ongoing lack of communication has left players to speculate, and a bunch of people sitting around speculating isn’t going to devise scenarios that will reflect well on the company.

I pride myself in supporting games I enjoy playing. I WILL spend money on things I enjoy. It is this kind of behavior that makes me believe the F2P bubble is going to pop because at some point people will tire of being treated so poorly while also being asked to support these games after the fact. I already have games I play that I refuse to give money to because the company hasn’t shown me the value I would get for the cash. There are other games I refuse to play simply because I don’t want to increase their stats and make them think they have a viable business model. I may be one small voice in the wilderness but I will at least stand on principle.

I can look elsewhere for my entertainment. I really hope WB doesn’t give me a reason to go and do just that.