Spam Spam Spam Humbug: Episode 19 – Great Expectations

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One of the first lessons on successfully communicating with the public in any service industry is to “appropriately set customer expectations”, meaning you, as a medium between the customer and the service, should choose your words such that customer expectations will be met or exceeded by the projected quality of service to be provided. A simple example is that if a job should take two hours you’d inform the customer it will take two to four hours. This simple technique is not only honest, as things are generally more complex, unpredictable and time-consuming than one might initially anticipate, but also affords a reasonable margin of error for the service provider should they intentionally choose to delay delivery in order to maximize quality. Unfortunately in the games industry this concept is either poorly-understood or intentionally ignored. Poor planning, egocentrism and lack of communication between the studio and marketing department often result in a marked disconnect between gamers’ expectations and the studio’s final product.

Of course, I’m reminded here of a G.K Chesterton quote:

The reformer is always right about what is wrong. He is generally wrong about what is right.

And I think it’s something to keep in mind as we tread into this territory. Like as not, a lot of the problems here are *systemic and far-reaching*, which some of the best minds in the industry have fallen prey to and have not found a way to surmount. So we should be careful in thinking we can propose a solution.

But, of course, we kind of attempt that anyway.

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