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Why are fanservice models bad for video games?



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I know the fanservice is so taboo that even the most divided fanbase don't want a fanservice or franchise. Why is it bad for video games? I know about other mediums, but fanservice model for in video games is like a big no no.

Can someone explain why fanservice mode is so bad and notorious for video games & other media. Thanks for reading, I really need help understanding this.
 

Ballad of Caius

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In Marketing, one of the very important stuff that they teach you is that, sometimes, or perhaps, even the entirety of the time, consumers don't know what they want. This is precisely what is going to happen: no one is going to be satisfied by the end product. Just look at FINAL FANTASY XV. The consumer-base is divided of people that like it, people that don't, and people that think Versus XIII should have never been canned.

Besides that, I am of the belief that a video game's storytelling should be restricted to the author's mindset and structure, not decide to export whatever crazy shennanigans the fandom can think of.
 

Veevee

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In Marketing, one of the very important stuff that they teach you is that, sometimes, or perhaps, even the entirety of the time, consumers don't know what they want. This is precisely what is going to happen: no one is going to be satisfied by the end product. Just look at FINAL FANTASY XV. The consumer-base is divided of people that like it, people that don't, and people that think Versus XIII should have never been canned.

Besides that, I am of the belief that a video game's storytelling should be restricted to the author's mindset and structure, not decide to export whatever crazy shennanigans the fandom can think of.

This. Although I think it's not entirely bad to hear what the fandom has to say because sometimes the developers have a mindset that is pretty disconnected from their players - for example, Yasue seemed pretty surprised by people missing Final Fantasy characters in KH3. Their disappearance, especially because Radiant Garden is in the game, feels unnatural and weird and I don't know how they could've missed that.

Other than that, Fanservice can also ridicule or contradict the story. Japanese people seem to love to it when JRPGs girls are fighting monstern from the size of a skyscraper and running around through snowstorms and deserts in their underwear but for me it's pretty ridiculous. There's fanservice at work because they want to please the japanese audience asthetically without regarding of whether it makes sense or not. Same thing with characters returning without any other reason than their popularity which often enough gets them revived.
A lot of series (e.g. in anime) only seem to focus on fanservice nowadays. There are anime with about no story at all, but you having titties and butts everywhere. Fanservice usually doesn't help the story, it rathers replaces it. Another example: The second Digimon Tri movie has a bath house scene that has no importance to the story but takes away about half the movie's time. We have half-naked bodies, ship tease and all that. They could've used that time to improve the storytelling because the pacing is all over the place, but no, we got that.

My marketing teacher at the university told us this at the very first lesson of the semester:
"You don't know what the customer wants. You think you know, but you don't. It's the most common mistake."
I can only agree.
 

Ballad of Caius

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Yasue seemed pretty surprised by people missing Final Fantasy characters in KH3.
Honestly, they have said this for every single title that has had little to no FINAL FANTASY presence. So I think their feigning ignorance. Besides that, they may need to be more of a data-driven development team.

My marketing teacher at the university told us this at the very first lesson of the semester:
"You don't know what the customer wants. You think you know, but you don't. It's the most common mistake."
I can only agree.
Pretty much. Which is why data analytics is such a strong market nowadays.
 

Magnus

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Fan service of the sexual kind is everywhere now and I'm just so tired of it. It's become like modern pop music, where most songs being played on the radio have suggestive lyrics and not so subtle sexual innuendos. It's usually also very unbalanced, with female characters both being portrayed as sexual objects but also stripped of their power and Independence. But when it comes to male characters, they're shirtless at best, which isn't necessarily objectifying nor degrading like some female costumes tend to be, and they're still shown to be powerful. This is most likely because it is assumed that most gamers are straight men (and honestly, I think it's insulting to assume that straight men in general are this simple minded and need to be pandered to in this way).

But there is a vocal minority of guys who get very upset when developers decide to put more clothes on women (because we all know that if they wear as much clothes as the male characters, they have to be burqa wearing Muslims - at least if you believe the rhetoric of the people who identify with the ridiculous and non-ironic hashtag "bonerculture"). The other day I read an article about people being up in arms over not being able to grope women in Dead or Alive Xtreme on PC. Just looking at these ridiculous female character designs isn't enough for some people. There's also been some backlash against Mortal Kombat 11 because they've made a conscious decision to put normal costume designs for female characters that are on par with those of the male characters, because the series has a growing female fanbase (and also more female members on the dev team). Imagine being upset over not having your female fighters dress in string bikinis and having silicon boobs. I've also seen people complain about Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn not being "fap friendly", or that Ellie from The Last of Us is lesbian - and this of course means the game is "feminazi and SJW propaganda" and thus unplayable. I can't help but dismiss everyone who makes such stupid remarks as basement dwelling incels.

To me, the fact that more women and minorities are playing games and that developers take that account into their design philosophy is something to celebrate. This doesn't mean I am opposed to characters with sex appeal or nudity, but it doesn't need to be everywhere and when it's a thing it should apply to both female and male characters alike.

As for non-sexual fan service, I do enjoy the occasional nod to previous instalments in a franchise. Using Mortal Kombat as an example again - in MKX you could unlock outfits for characters like Kitana and Kung Lao based on their MK2 and MK3 appearances. They look super cheesy, but it's fun to see them rendered with more realistic graphics. Or the old classic PS1 era polygon Lara Croft outfit in Rise of the Tomb Raider. That's fun fan service, imo. Another example would be how you can listen to soundtracks from previous games while driving around with the Regalia in FFXV.

Of course, some games rely very heavily on nostalgia fan service but then you know what you're getting yourself into. Kingdom Hearts, World of Final Fantasy, Marvel vs Capcom etc. I see nothing wrong with those. However, I do think KH ignoring its roots is worth criticising. It was originally pitched as a Final Fantasy x Disney experience. The FF characters weren't just minor fan service. They were a huge selling point back in the day. To just drop them now feels like a disservice to those who've stuck with the series since day one.
 

Veevee

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Fan service of the sexual kind is everywhere now and I'm just so tired of it. It's become like modern pop music, where most songs being played on the radio have suggestive lyrics and not so subtle sexual innuendos. It's usually also very unbalanced, with female characters both being portrayed as sexual objects but also stripped of their power and Independence. But when it comes to male characters, they're shirtless at best, which isn't necessarily objectifying nor degrading like some female costumes tend to be, and they're still shown to be powerful. This is most likely because it is assumed that most gamers are straight men (and honestly, I think it's insulting to assume that straight men in general are this simple minded and need to be pandered to in this way).

But there is a vocal minority of guys who get very upset when developers decide to put more clothes on women (because we all know that if they wear as much clothes as the male characters, they have to be burqa wearing Muslims - at least if you believe the rhetoric of the people who identify with the ridiculous and non-ironic hashtag "bonerculture"). The other day I read an article about people being up in arms over not being able to grope women in Dead or Alive Xtreme on PC. Just looking at these ridiculous female character designs isn't enough for some people. There's also been some backlash against Mortal Kombat 11 because they've made a conscious decision to put normal costume designs for female characters that are on par with those of the male characters, because the series has a growing female fanbase (and also more female members on the dev team). Imagine being upset over not having your female fighters dress in string bikinis and having silicon boobs. I've also seen people complain about Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn not being "fap friendly", or that Ellie from The Last of Us is lesbian - and this of course means the game is "feminazi and SJW propaganda" and thus unplayable. I can't help but dismiss everyone who makes such stupid remarks as basement dwelling incels.

To me, the fact that more women and minorities are playing games and that developers take that account into their design philosophy is something to celebrate. This doesn't mean I am opposed to characters with sex appeal or nudity, but it doesn't need to be everywhere and when it's a thing it should apply to both female and male characters alike.

As for non-sexual fan service, I do enjoy the occasional nod to previous instalments in a franchise. Using Mortal Kombat as an example again - in MKX you could unlock outfits for characters like Kitana and Kung Lao based on their MK2 and MK3 appearances. They look super cheesy, but it's fun to see them rendered with more realistic graphics. Or the old classic PS1 era polygon Lara Croft outfit in Rise of the Tomb Raider. That's fun fan service, imo. Another example would be how you can listen to soundtracks from previous games while driving around with the Regalia in FFXV.

Of course, some games rely very heavily on nostalgia fan service but then you know what you're getting yourself into. Kingdom Hearts, World of Final Fantasy, Marvel vs Capcom etc. I see nothing wrong with those. However, I do think KH ignoring its roots is worth criticising. It was originally pitched as a Final Fantasy x Disney experience. The FF characters weren't just minor fan service. They were a huge selling point back in the day. To just drop them now feels like a disservice to those who've stuck with the series since day one.

You're dead right. And there's no winning the whole thing. If there's fanservice in it, it's considered bad; if there isn't, people will find something to call it fanservice. For example, my brother genuinely believes that films like Wonder Woman or Black Panther are "SJW / Feminazi" propaganda per se just because they feature a woman / a black person. If they are successful, it's because it's starring a woman / a black person as the main protagonist and only because of that (all the feminazis in the world must have gathered to watch it and make it successful) and if it isn't successful, then it's because "no one wanted to watch a female protagonist in the first place" so it was deemed to fail. I can't find words for how ridiculous and awful these people can be. Having the protagonist being a female which reflects about half of the world's population must DEFINITELY be feminist propaganda; having her wear decent clothes so she might be able to be regarded as a person is an insult to every gamer with the wrong joystick in hand out there. It's indeed disgusting.
If sex appeal is that important for all those "gamers" - for me, a game is not supposed to be next level porn, but to be enjoyed for it's gameplay, story, immersion, whatever - why can't they see that a woman can be sexy while wearing clothes? I mean, I think Larxene is sexy as hell with her constant "I'm the best, you are nothing" attitude while Aqua is an amazing, good-looking woman with pride and strength. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to sexualize them here, but if it were about that, I'd be much more up for that than for another mindless "oh, I stumbled, how clumsy of me, you'll eventually have to save me" braindead silicon tits girl which I find as unappealing as it can get.
 

Recon

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Loot boxes are a terrible fan service. They are especially toxic with Pay-to-Win boxes. It's crazy to see states and countries enforce regulations to prevent them. Even the FTC is looking into regulations to prevent this monstrosity. And honestly, it should be a turn-off to every gamer.
 

Ballad of Caius

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I don't, personally, put lootboxes as fan service, but rather basic microtransaction shenanigans.
 

VoidGear.

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Fan service of the sexual kind is everywhere now and I'm just so tired of it. It's become like modern pop music, where most songs being played on the radio have suggestive lyrics and not so subtle sexual innuendos. It's usually also very unbalanced, with female characters both being portrayed as sexual objects but also stripped of their power and Independence. But when it comes to male characters, they're shirtless at best, which isn't necessarily objectifying nor degrading like some female costumes tend to be, and they're still shown to be powerful. This is most likely because it is assumed that most gamers are straight men (and honestly, I think it's insulting to assume that straight men in general are this simple minded and need to be pandered to in this way).

But there is a vocal minority of guys who get very upset when developers decide to put more clothes on women (because we all know that if they wear as much clothes as the male characters, they have to be burqa wearing Muslims - at least if you believe the rhetoric of the people who identify with the ridiculous and non-ironic hashtag "bonerculture"). The other day I read an article about people being up in arms over not being able to grope women in Dead or Alive Xtreme on PC. Just looking at these ridiculous female character designs isn't enough for some people. There's also been some backlash against Mortal Kombat 11 because they've made a conscious decision to put normal costume designs for female characters that are on par with those of the male characters, because the series has a growing female fanbase (and also more female members on the dev team). Imagine being upset over not having your female fighters dress in string bikinis and having silicon boobs. I've also seen people complain about Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn not being "fap friendly", or that Ellie from The Last of Us is lesbian - and this of course means the game is "feminazi and SJW propaganda" and thus unplayable. I can't help but dismiss everyone who makes such stupid remarks as basement dwelling incels.

To me, the fact that more women and minorities are playing games and that developers take that account into their design philosophy is something to celebrate. This doesn't mean I am opposed to characters with sex appeal or nudity, but it doesn't need to be everywhere and when it's a thing it should apply to both female and male characters alike.

As for non-sexual fan service, I do enjoy the occasional nod to previous instalments in a franchise. Using Mortal Kombat as an example again - in MKX you could unlock outfits for characters like Kitana and Kung Lao based on their MK2 and MK3 appearances. They look super cheesy, but it's fun to see them rendered with more realistic graphics. Or the old classic PS1 era polygon Lara Croft outfit in Rise of the Tomb Raider. That's fun fan service, imo. Another example would be how you can listen to soundtracks from previous games while driving around with the Regalia in FFXV.

Of course, some games rely very heavily on nostalgia fan service but then you know what you're getting yourself into. Kingdom Hearts, World of Final Fantasy, Marvel vs Capcom etc. I see nothing wrong with those. However, I do think KH ignoring its roots is worth criticising. It was originally pitched as a Final Fantasy x Disney experience. The FF characters weren't just minor fan service. They were a huge selling point back in the day. To just drop them now feels like a disservice to those who've stuck with the series since day one.

Lowkey considering printing this and hanging it on my wall.
Hits the nail on the head, pretty much.
 
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