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Old 19-03-16, 17:49   #1
larafan25
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Arrow The Hollow Relationship Between Company and Consumers of "Tomb Raider"

For the sake of this example, I will equivalate the business trade between fans and creators with other mediums such as books, films or video games.

Each medium of expression has particular characteristics that are exclusive to the medium. These details characterize the medium. For example, a book is considered writing on paper. Or film is the capturing of imagery to a digital type, or plastic strips. These mediums have subject matter, this is a context given to the instance of the medium. It's what differentiates one instance of the medium from another. For example, the medium is a thread on an internet forum, digital characters appearing on-screen, hosted on a server for all to see. My thread's context is that of the relationship between the creators of Tomb Raider, and it's fan base.

The medium I wish to speak about today is that of the business trade between the legal owners of Tomb Raider, and the fans or consumers. This trade itself, of goods for currency is a medium. The context given to the medium is that we are trading video games, particularly "Tomb Raider".

However, Tomb Raider is created prior to the business trade. Tomb Raider is expressed as a video game. The video game having certain characteristics that are exclusive to the medium, characteristics that are responsible for the video game experience that is Tomb Raider.

However, the words "Tomb Raider" are merely the name given to these characteristics, for the purpose of communication and to provide context for the particulars of the medium. Refer to this, for information regarding Tomb Raider. It is important to note, that I have left out Ratio as a means of keeping this discussion simplistic.

It has come to my attention that there is a lack of value for Tomb Raider (as in the interactive video game experience) by both the owner's and the fans.

The owners trade to us the context of Tomb Raider, as in the brand name or concepts lightly associated with this name. This is a disregard for the specifics of the video game experience that is being sold. The owners wish for money, financial success and well being. There is a lack of interest or understanding with regards to the interactive experience of Tomb Raider.

A visual example would be someone handing a box to another, the box being labeled "shoes", however inside the box is a telephone. Or more precisely, if the box were to be labelled "Running Shoes" and inside were high heels.

This example leaves the receiver feeling an air of manipulation, and that is not entirely the case. For the fans, or receivers of this box are equally as manipulative.

The fans each have their own idea of what they want, and as a community, it is every man for themselves. One wishes for an open world "Tomb Raider" experience. Another wishes for an arcade "Tomb Raider" experience. Yet, these "Tomb Raider" experiences do not equate to the original interactive experience as characterized by the systems of the video game. In this case, the fan is just as self-serving as the owner.

When the owner says "whatever you are buying, we're selling" the fan says "whatever I want, I am buying". Suddenly the medium of trade which was contextualized by Tomb Raider is just a hollow relationship between the company and the consumer. Merely the passing of money through the economic system.

In the end, no fan is ever pleased unless they are capable of expanding their tastes to keep up with the shenanigan, or simply let go and move on.


Last edited by larafan25; 20-03-16 at 14:16.
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Old 20-03-16, 12:50   #2
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I think most people are wondering where you're going with this thread. I must confess that I don't fully get it either (it's sunday ), but I'll try.

TR is 20 years old, LC is 20 years old. Things were changed so many times, bringing in new fans in the process, while alienating others. Some stopped playing videogames altogether. Currently, I think there is a small portion of the fanbase who are pleased with anything as long as a woman named Lara Croft's in it. The majority is mainly in it for the gaming experience. All those fans have different wishes and expectations, it's simply a consequence of the franchise's age and the changes it has gone through, throughout the years, some necessary, some not (imo of course). So whatever they do, they can never please everyone. One half of the fanbase will be laughing, the other will be crying. It doesn't really matter who is happy and who is sad, people will continue to fight and argue about who is wrong and who is right. One person's Tomb Raider, is another person's trash, and vice versa.

How do you propose this could be fixed? If you ask me, TR just needs to find an identity of its own and then stick to it. Stop trying to change it into whatever is 'cool' at the moment. That whole chameleon thing is exactly how the franchise lost its identity. What I mean to say is, no more drastic changes. No more reboots. If this one fails, just give the series a looooong rest.
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Old 20-03-16, 13:08   #3
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Originally Posted by Love2Raid View Post
TR is 20 years old, LC is 20 years old. Things were changed so many times, bringing in new fans in the process, while alienating others. Some stopped playing videogames altogether. Currently, I think there is a small portion of the fanbase who are pleased with anything as long as a woman named Lara Croft's in it. The majority is mainly in it for the gaming experience. All those fans have different wishes and expectations, it's simply a consequence of the franchise's age and the changes it has gone through, throughout the years, some necessary, some not (imo of course). So whatever they do, they can never please everyone. One half of the fanbase will be laughing, the other will be crying. It doesn't really matter who is happy and who is sad, people will continue to fight and argue about who is wrong and who is right. One person's Tomb Raider, is another person's trash, and vice versa.

How do you propose this could be fixed?
I think by doing two things. One: split the franchise up in two series, Tomb Raider and Lara Croft. And give them equal footing. This benefits both series as they can focus on doing their own thing without having to compromise to attract the other kind of players.
Second: give the player choice where ever possible. I have talked about this character customizer idea many times before: if for instance some people want her to have a ponytail and others a braid it is only sensible to make a character customizer in which you can choose between ponytail and braid and other hairstyles. Same for clothing and weapons.
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Old 20-03-16, 13:14   #4
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I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. That there's a disconnect between the devs and fans? If that's the case I completely disagree. CD reads the forums and our input far more than other game companies do with their communities.
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Old 20-03-16, 13:22   #5
Eddie Haskell
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Because it's a business, and intellectual property is potential cash. If games were made by an individual like an artist creating a painting, then we would expect that the resulting game would be from the heart and flow from their creative thoughts in a personally satisfying fashion. But since the goal is to make as much money as you can from your properties how you do it is fairly unimportant. When the board of directors sits down to discuss the state of these properties, they don't talk about the condition of Lara Crofts hair or if there are too many QTE's, they only want to find a way to exploit their property for the maximum dollar.

Way back in the bronze age of gaming (the original Tomb Raider era), the powers that be were much smaller, and financial expectations were substantially less then they are today, mainly due to a considerably smaller pool of consumers for the products. Not to mention that the companies that owned these games and properties were much smaller as well. In addition, much of what was thought up, created and delivered to the public was new and without a track record, in a manner not unlike throwing stuff on a wall to see what would stick. Once the big players in entertainment discovered that there was big money to be made here they made their move. And now we see the fruits of that today.

No matter what, Tomb Raider was destined to change over time. On the basis of technological advances alone it would be different over time, but the choices as to what this was going to be were probably made through the lens of "more money". More money means more sales, and more sales means more gamers. You don't get more gamers by making a game that is difficult to master and by nature less accessible to the novice. The fact that Tomb Raider and Lara Croft are well known names from a long running and successful series (not to mention the motion pictures!) means that expectations for monetary return are much larger then a new intellectual property or one that had not had the pedigree of this one.
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Last edited by Eddie Haskell; 20-03-16 at 13:59.
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Old 20-03-16, 13:33   #6
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Originally Posted by Melonie Tomb Raider View Post
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. That there's a disconnect between the devs and fans? If that's the case I completely disagree. CD reads the forums and our input far more than other game companies do with their communities.
Reading other people's opinions is not the same as being "connected" with them, being on the same wavelength as them or understanding them. That being said, I don't doubt that Crystal do really have good intentions for the most part and do have a desire to please the fans. That desire just obviously isn't strong enough to defeat the instinct of doing what seems the most commercially sensible.
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Old 20-03-16, 13:51   #7
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CD never really understand tomb raider and they never want to.

Best give this franchise to the developer of Lara Croft Go to lead; they got a grip of what the essence and heart of what tomb raider truly is.

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Old 20-03-16, 14:02   #8
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I should mention that if Crystal Dynamics were given total free reign and an unlimited budget to do whatever they wanted with Tomb Raider, I doubt that they would try and recreate the classics in any way shape or form. That's just my opinion based on what they have created since they took over. It may be that with the turnover that invariably occurs within gaming companies that philosophically the direction could be altered, but in my personal opinion the "leader" would need to have had played the classics and really liked them in order to see how this direction could be a good thing to try.
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Old 20-03-16, 14:16   #9
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Originally Posted by Shark_Blade View Post
CD never really understand tomb raider and they never want to.

Best give this franchise to the developer of Lara Croft Go to lead; they got a grip of what the essence and heart of what tomb raider truly is.
I don't think that's necesary. Let CD make their "huge success" games, and then give a good budget to the developers of Lara Croft Go to make a "Lara Croft Tomb Raider" classic game. I don't care if it is digital only or whatever.
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Old 20-03-16, 14:25   #10
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^It is odd, that the Lara Croft games are out chance at a Classic Tomb Raider experience, meanwhile they are not at all Tomb Raider games.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melonie Tomb Raider View Post
I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. That there's a disconnect between the devs and fans? If that's the case I completely disagree. CD reads the forums and our input far more than other game companies do with their communities.
I'm actually saying the opposite as well.

We have given Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix the rap of pandering to the consumer. However, we are the customer. As much as Tomb Raider fans on this forum may not equate to the larger demographic of gamers, we are the ones sitting her saying Tomb Raider must be "modernized". But each has their own idea of what it should or should not be. In the end, it feels like it's the fan and the consumer saying "no more Tomb Raider, no more Tomb Raider!" Yet, they all want Tomb Raider. But they are far too "picky" and self-serving with their concept of what it should be.

These same fans are a part of the larger demographic, who go and buy the next big thing that comes out, whether it's Uncharted or Far Cry, and these games get praised by the fans.

It just starts to feel like we are the ones to blame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Haskell View Post
Because it's a business, and intellectual property is potential cash. If games were made by an individual like an artist creating a painting, then we would expect that the resulting game would be from the heart and flow from their creative thoughts in a personally satisfying fashion. But since the goal is to make as much money as you can from your properties how you do it is fairly unimportant. When the board of directors sits down to discuss the state of these properties, they don't talk about the condition of Lara Crofts hair or if there are too many QTE's, they only want to find a way to exploit their property for the maximum dollar.

Way back in the bronze age of gaming (the original Tomb Raider era), the powers that be were much smaller, and financial expectations were substantially less then they are today, mainly due to a considerably smaller pool of consumers for the products. Not to mention that the companies that owned these games and properties were much smaller as well. In addition, much of what was thought up, created and delivered to the public was new and without a track record, in a manner not unlike throwing stuff on a wall to see what would stick. Once the big players in entertainment discovered that there was big money to be made here they made their move. And now we see the fruits of that today.

No matter what, Tomb Raider was destined to change over time. On the basis of technological advances alone it would be different over time, but the choices as to what this was going to be were probably made through the lens of "more money". More money means more sales, and more sales means more gamers. You don't get more gamers by making a game that is difficult to master and by nature less accessible to the novice. The fact that Tomb Raider and Lara Croft are well known names from a long running and successful series (not to mention the motion pictures!) means that expectations for monetary return are much larger then a new intellectual property or one that had not had the pedigree of this one.
I agree that if you look at the classic games, you can see patterns of change, and that we can assume eventually the polygon numbers would shoot up. Perhaps those blocks would create a smaller grid. However, what drives the change, as you said, is another story. But there has to be an inferno or some sort of catch 22 imo. Because Crystal are selling what consumers are buying, are we just not the average consumer? Even if we aren't, that won't change the Tomb Raider fans who stand against Tomb Raider in the state that it was left circa 2000.

Last edited by larafan25; 20-03-16 at 14:28.
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