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The Division dev feels sense of community in online games is dead

Thursday, 14th November 2013 12:51 GMT By Dave Cook

The Division developer Ubisoft Massive hopes to re-establish a sense of community among online gamers, something studio member Ryan Barnard feels is dead.

Speaking with OXM, Barnard said, “A personal goal for me with The Division is to create community again. Games have lost that. People are afraid to talk in games because they’re going to get yelled at by some 12-year-old kid who’s talking about your mum or whatever. I want us to help create that again.

“[Community is] gone in online games, it’s dead. And a lot of that is because all I have to do is use Google or Youtube, or the game shows me exactly how to do something. There’s no interaction between players. I personally will want to say as little as possible before the game comes out so people will just play, and have a good time, and discover it for themselves.”

The Division is indeed an online experience, one that will see players collaborating in a ravaged America, both in the game-proper and from a distance using the companion app. You can see the app in action here.

Do you feel that the sense of community has died in online gaming? Let us know what you think below.

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21 Comments

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  1. Luciferous

    Because both consoles come with ways of verbally communicating I hope the only way to chat is through voice… Tolerance to vocal abuse is a lot lower than textual so anyone being an utter twat over voice chat would find themselves being segregated pretty quickly providing the game gives us the tools to cut the toxic elements out.

    It would be nice to be able to organise a ceasefire by actually calling out to the guys shooting at me… just before my team circles behind them to take them dead or alive.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. DSB

    The sense of community is mostly dead in Europe though. Americans are always yapping away on their mics. I kinda miss that about gaming in the US.

    Europeans are DEAD SILENT, unless they’re 12 years old, or just making noise because they’re apparently severely mentally disabled. Or both.

    #2 9 months ago
  3. Obernox

    I’ll admit, i really don’t like chatting with randoms. I always have bad experiences, like recently i bumped into an elitist asshole on Diablo 3 who was dictating my build and play style, and couple months before i was playing with a bunch of racist homophobes on Halo 4…. I’d rather chat with a group of well known friends and family members.

    #3 9 months ago
  4. manamana

    Its horrible, thats why! People playing music, kids screaming everywhere. How the heck are they going to fix whats utterly broken?

    #4 9 months ago
  5. Fragpuss

    i also prefer talking to just friends and no randoms, once or twice i’ve found some decent random people on ingame chat, but it’s very rare, usually like #4 said, it’s kids screaming, and people playing horrible bass thumping noise (not music, but noise), or they have the mic so near the tv and the tv so loud that all you hear is massive feedback and noise from the game.

    @#2 i think the reason Europeans (i’m in the uk) are so silent is because the languages of the EU are so different, unlike America where most are pretty similar or easy to understand. When i hear Europeans speaking it’s usually either UK or French. I hear arabic people a lot too

    #5 9 months ago
  6. DSB

    @5 I think it’s definitely cultural. I can’t claim to know every European culture, but the minute I set foot in the US, there was someone talking at me. Just random strangers striking up conversation.

    Of all the places I’ve been to in Europe, the only way anyone would ever approach me on the street is if I was on fire or about to be stabbed by someone. It would be so rude to talk to a random stranger about not very much of anything.

    There was Gotham City Impostors though… But that was because the game was so fucked up they had left everyone’s mics on and broadcasting by default.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. vormison

    A lot of it has to do with the types of games being sold to consumers. What about COD requires or encourages positive interaction or community? Absolutely nothing. Halo? Absolutely nothing…for the most part.

    Oddly enough, my experience playing online racing games has probably been the most positive – racing games! Why? I don’t think it’s because interaction is required or needed in any way, but at least it’s not frowned upon.

    If developers give gamers a reason to interact or communicate positively, it’ll happen. Saying that, I don’t even wear a headset while playing online games. That’s one of the reasons I am excited for games like Forza 5 where I can play against my friends’ AI controlled vehicles.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. powerbuoy

    Arma still has a pretty nice community imo. And almost everyone you meet has a mic. The fact that Arma has “direct communication” (ie you can only hear people around you) makes it totally awesome as well. I’ve seen some pretty cool stickups and kidnappings (on YouTube) in that game that really doesn’t happen in other games.

    SUPER looking forward to the Division. Most anticipated game for me right now.

    #8 9 months ago
  9. monkeygourmet

    @6

    This is very true.

    I am a classic example of that (UK based). I hate chatting on the mic usually. I don’t really like bothering with randoms unless I know Im going to have longer engagement with them.

    I feel Im pretty good at spotting the eb and flow of an online match though, and can usually contribute without having to chat about tactics every 5 seconds.

    US based players do indeed seem to be ‘chatty cathy’s', which is nice, but can also become very irratating IMO. Can quickly descend into ‘smack talk’. I hate feeling like im in a squad of ‘jar heads’.

    Playing co-op with good friends though is an entirley different kettle of poisson.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. polygem

    i am from germoney. i used to talk a lot during online games but that has changed completely. i remember playing lost planet (1) one and halo 3 online. most people have been polite. finishing a match with the kind words ‘good game everyone’ was pretty much standard. people, for the most part, worked as teams. it was great…but it has changed. i communicate A LOT in my job. i wouldn’t mind communicating in my games as well but i can’t stand too much trashtalk. it’s just exhausting…but that’s what it is today – a dudebro or kids trashfest. haven’t used a mic in a year or so.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. manamana

    What powerbuoy say. Thats what makes it also really frenzy when you hear shots nearby … or off in the distance

    #11 9 months ago
  12. Djoenz

    Yeah. . . . .

    #12 9 months ago
  13. UuBuU

    Two of the main reasons why the sense of community has died in online FPS games:

    - Consolization (e.g. match-making, so people just play on random servers all the time against random players rather than frequenting specific servers and getting to know the regulars over time)

    - Heavy emphasis on stats, unlocks and achievements as the main competitive “fix”. Traditionally, online FPS games have been quite social and relaxed on public servers, with players forming clans to get a more competitive experience. Now, everyone just plays competitive as hell on public servers, but in a really selfish way, working toward their own goals

    #13 9 months ago
  14. Legendaryboss

    This is something i can almost agree on for points raised above such as culture and the people you interact with in the community can be for a lesser word complete dicks.

    COD comes to mind for some reason.

    #14 9 months ago
  15. POOhead

    party chat ruined community’s on xbox and the lack of mics with a ps3 ruined community’s on ps3

    #15 9 months ago
  16. DSB

    @7 That’s an incredibly robotic way of looking at it. What about basic human interaction for the fuck of it? That’s what most people use their mics for in the states. It’s like 20% strategy and 80% shooting the breeze. That’s why it’s fun.

    There’s plenty you can talk about while playing CoD dude. Just as recently as yesterday I was telling a guy how sorry I was for my mom, because apparently she and him had become an item.

    Trash talking is awesome, and it goes with almost any competitive game. Maybe people would whine less about 12 year old kids on Xbox Live if 12 year old kids weren’t the only ones with the balls to actually say something. Be the change you want to see in the world.

    So far on the PC, the best social game for me has been Payday 2 by a mile (excluding WoW). When you get a good team, you have everybody taking responsibility for what they’re doing, and so you appreciate a good player that much more than a shit player.

    My Steam friendslist has gotten a lot of cool new additions from that.

    #16 9 months ago
  17. Djoenz

    A lot of ppl have mics but dont put them always on.
    Talking big on mic is not having balls. I can tolerate 12 year olds but so called adults acting like 12 year olds are pathetic.

    Me and the crew trashtalk when needed other than that we down to earth people having fun and co opping.

    I have to agree like 70%of the random ppl Ive encountered on psn are either pathetic fucks or cant play properly. Sometimes funny sometimes frustrating. All in all with friends way better, but even then some cant play for shit hhaha.

    #17 9 months ago
  18. manamana

    @DSB what? 12 year olds squeaking some bullshit takes balls? In which world are you living? Sorry but no. I prefer something else while gaming.

    #18 9 months ago
  19. DSB

    Everything is relative. Ultimately there’s not a lot you can do with a noisy lamer except to mute him, but I think it would be a step forward if people actually used their mics though.

    That would really make those guys stand out a lot less.

    I’m no different though. In the US I’m talking and in the EU I’m like “Uh oh, I’d be the only guy on mic”.

    #19 9 months ago
  20. polygem

    Well, i am a socialworker and i live in berlin. During the week i am driving around town by car bike metro a lot and talk to people a lot…when i get home and want to play a game i really don’t crave listening to someone telling stories about his mom. Communication to get deeper into the game? Alright! Trashtalking? Yeah i love that too but not when i want to relax with a game.

    #20 9 months ago
  21. Vice

    I hate talking in games. Maybe it’s because I have a speech defect, but in any way, I hate it. There’s a chat for it, type what you gotta say. And you shouldn’t be able to talk to your enemy anyway, or it will create alot of verbal abuse. In fact, if I hear someone talking in my game, I’ll mute him right away.

    #21 9 months ago