When CD Projekt Red’s game, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, was released, people who purchased the game, including the over a million who preordered it, were gifted with a note expressing the devs’ gratitude.
Where pretentious developers, believing success to be entitled to them, would call it “pandering to the audience,” artists, who’ve had successful careers, understand that anyone fortunate enough to be working in a creative industry owes their livelihood to their audience, and would call CD Projekt Red’s gesture a heartwarming display of mutual respect and humility.
It is not as uncommon as one may think: fans who waited overnight to assist to the StarWars SDDC panel this year were welcomed with hot coffee and donuts brought by the production of the movie. The producers were well aware that even without treats, these fans would go see the movie; that these gesture wouldn’t increase tickets sales; yet they still did it, because they wanted to show their audience that they care and are thankful for their continuous support over the years. This is in no way, shape or form, pandering.
Gaming is an art and is in need of artists. Certain magniloquent and highfalutin indie developers should realize that, even if the customer isn’t always right, having a minimum level of respect for that said customer who cherishes the craft of game making, is a basic requirement for any creative trade.
Being called an artist is a privilege, not an entitlement: it is a title bestowed by an audience, it is not a right the craftsman is due.