I quit posts
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 9 January 2013, 3:40 am
Overly Positive is discussing the value of "I quit!" posts, quote: "about people who quit games and why they feel the need to publicly post about them". He ends up dissecting the value of such posts for a community manager, which is interesting. But I'd like to discuss another aspect of those posts. Why do people write "I quit" posts, and what is their value for other players?

Take me for example. I am constantly mentioning on my blog what games I started to play, and what I games I quit. The reason I do that is that this gives my readers important information about what posts to expect from my blog. When I stopped playing World of Warcraft, I posted a lot less about World of Warcraft, so the information that I quit had some predictive value for my readers.

Somebody posting "I quit" on a game forum is likewise sending out a signal: If he was a regular poster on that forum and considered himself part of the community on that forum, an "I quit" post serves as announcement that he'll be quitting that community. You could say it is the polite thing to do, instead of just disappearing without a trace. There is even more value to such posts on guild forums. It is obviously good to know if one of your raiders quits the game. And then there are guilds that span different games, so the discussion of what somebody didn't like in one game might lead to the guild finding a better home in a different game.

What "I quit" posts can't do is change the game. It is not because some player describes in detail what he hates about a game that will cause some developer to read that post and change the game accordingly. No matter whether it is a popular blog, or the leader of a big guild who quits, no player's influence is big enough to produce actual change. It isn't as if developer's aren't listening at all, but if anything they look at much bigger trends:  A million players quitting WoW and stating "I hate daily quests" on their exit interview might possibly change something, a single player posting "I quit because I hate daily quests" on whatever blog or forum isn't going to achieve that, however forceful or clever his arguments are.

One good reason to ignore "I quit" posts is that what a player states are his reasons to quit is often not the real reason. Players rarely know the real reason why they quit. A lot of people quit games for the simple reason that they played them too long, and got bored. But what they are likely to post is about the straw that broke the camel's back. That is quite often something rather minor, while the fundamental reason for quitting goes unmentioned. Ultimately we quit games because we stop having fun, and there is no change of a single feature which could serve as an easy fix for that.
Tobold's Blog

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