NPD analyst Mat Piscatella: Gaming Industry should ‘fire toxic customers’

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The NPD is well known among core gamers for producing monthly sales data for the United States of America’s gaming market. Every month via analyst Mat Piscatella and his incredibly informative Youtube channel, you’ll get a rundown of which software has performed strongly and which consoles are selling best. This also comes with analysis of the year to date, meaning you can see what titles are consistent performers, like Far Cry 5, Monster Hunter World and God of War in 2018. If you enjoy sales data in any way I urge you to head here and check it out. Considering Mat’s job and Twitter presence, it should come as no shock that he experiences all kinds of gamers. From those genuinely interested in how their favorite series sells, to the idiots who want to know if the black box they love the most outsells the black box they don’t own.

The industry analyst is well placed to observe the ‘toxic potion of its customer base.’ The video game industry has forever had a problem with certain parts of the community that spread bile and hatred. This includes the horrible backlash to Ellie’s sexuality in The Last of Us, the abuse directed at Mass Effect developers after Andromeda and the anger displayed towards Battlefield V developers for daring to include a female soldier in their title. It’s incredible that these people can dispel their belief long enough to understand why a certain treasure hunter can kill hundreds of trained soldiers while stealing from under their noses but not long enough to accept that a teenage girl who grew up in a post apocalyptic world isn’t straight.

The point that has motivated Piscatella’s opinion here isn’t anything I’ve mentioned. It involves Ubisoft banning Rainbow 6 Siege players for using a racial slur. This article from The Verge covers that situation well if you missed it. Some of the Rainbow 6 Siege community have actually voiced concern towards Ubisoft over this decision, saying that the punishment is harsh for ‘just quoting a song’. No honestly, check the guy’s story out here. This superpower comes in handy here:

The whole Twitter thread is worth checking out as it raises numerous interesting points. The most important one is that catering to your most toxic fans can end up alienating and putting off regular people interested in your platform. The toxic fans themselves can put off other people from the community. How many times has a Dark Souls player seriously told someone to ‘Git God’ when they’ve asked for help? They subsequently might never play the rest of the series. This goes for a lot of gaming communities. The constant negative stream of gaming news that breaks into mainstream media could be limited by companies shunning the players causing it. Recently British National Broadcaster the BBC covered this Roblox story. This hardly paints a pretty picture for the industry on a whole never mind that specific community.

Do you agree with Mat? Should companies begin to cut out toxic fans in order to become more open to growth and more appealing to newcomers? Let us know! For all your news and reviews, from Earthfall to Paw Patrol, stick to