Personally I don’t understand the sea change. I have enjoyed immensely Mass Effect 3, Guild Wars 2, and Diablo 3; the latest from each of the studios. I still consider Mass Effect 3 the greatest game of its generation. I remember a few years back when EA saw a significant enough drop in the average critic score of their games that several stock analysts felt the need to point to it as a relevant statistic. The same can not be said about any of these companies who in this regard have garnered numerous honors and high critic scores for their products in the last year or two. Like the Diablo 3 fiasco or the circumstances of the founders of BioWare leaving the gaming industry; the time of gaming luminaries and legends is apparently past.
Oftentimes things seem to get away from companies before they have an idea that their relationship with gamers has gone sour. When ArenaNet first put out information about its change of plans, with regards to so-called vertical progression, for a new content patch gamers were talking back and forth about it for 48 hours before ArenaNet put forward any relevant information about the change. Even though their first statement was at best ambiguous about what was actually going to change, gamers rallied around two camps for or against their interpretations about the changes. Any new and relevant information merely added fuel to the fire, instead of quieted the waters. Every 48 hours ArenaNet would try to head off the crisis, while clearly incapable of understanding why a small bump in stats was getting such a big rise out of people. From accusations of ‘selling out’, to worries about ‘gear treadmills’, to the sky falling; you could practically hear the internet judging ArenaNet last week of ‘guilty of all of the above’.