The Folly Of Gamer Boycotts (The Jimquisition)

Pokémon Sword & Shield shifted over 16 million units worldwide despite a significant amount of pre-release controversy. Angry older fans may have promised a boycott, but the game’s success has rendered much of the backlash over “Dexit” rather toothless.

This is because Gamer Boycotts don’t really work, and the concept has been so thoroughly discredited after years of failed attempts that it invites mockery and overshadows any legitimate complaints or grievances.

From Modern Warfare 2 to The Wind Waker, whenever The Gamers(tm) decide not to buy something, that thing gets bought. A lot. So let’s not use the rather poisonous “B” word, eh?


  1. I think there’s something to be said about the difference between boycotting a game, and as Jim has put it before, putting your money where your mouth is. I can’t control how others spend their money, but I can control how I spend my own

    Speaking of which, now that the Epic store has been around for about a year, those timed exclusives are going to be coming to other storefronts soon, Metro Exodus in particular. I think it’ll be interesting to see if it sells really well on those other platforms, or if everyone that wanted it already got it on Epic

  2. It’s really easy to boycott and silence a “niche” audience release, like a Warcraft 3 rerelease. Bonus if it pisses off people raving mad about the original, and, even people who never played any of the two.

    The conondrum begins when “niche” hardcore audiences go against brands that basically left them behind for a much wider, much dumber and much more profitable mainstream market. You just CANNOT do anything against those numbers.
    This market will buy anything when you tell them that it’s not only socially acceptable but even a great social capital, to buy your shit.

    It’s depressing.

    Like many people I really hate what Pokemon has become, for example. And that’s on like the second to last on my list of things to get pissed about in video games.
    I didn’t buy the new games, I told the publishers and devs I didn’t like their “vision”.
    And it doesn’t matter, because 20 million other people will buy this thing I don’t like.
    I am powerless.
    Even worse, I am no branded as a troll, toxic, or even dangerous(!), for voicing my discontent.

    It’s a farce. These companies know they have a weaponized defence force ready, and they know they will get away with murder. Even if they admitted to it on live TV.

  3. Conspiracy theory: The game publishers have agents of theirs start the boycott calls because it kills the discussion.

  4. It’s important that Warcraft 3 Reforged fails, so that the community from the original game doesn’t split up.

  5. As someone who did insanity with his PT group in the Air Force, I can attest that it works but also you kinda gotta be in some sorta shape in the first place to even be able to do it

  6. The definition of insanity when applied to the gaming community. ‘Makes their displeasure known about games with microtransactions, but continues to buy said game anyway and then act surprised when companies continue to add microtransactions to future releases.’ I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not the “whales” keeping microtransactions alive, but instead the sheer number of players simply buying the games. They buy the games thinking “if I don’t buy microtransactions, then that’s my way of not supporting them”. But that’s not the case, there are 2 main things major developers look at. Game sales, and cash shop sales. If a game sells extremely well, but the cash shop lacks, then they’re going to tailor the cash shop in a way that will appeal to the majority of the people who bought the game. They see a popular game that hasn’t managed to find a way to get the cash shop to appeal to their audience yet. What they DON’T see is “well people really like our game, but don’t like our cash shop”. If you want companies like EA to stop adding microtransactions to their games, stop buying their games, full stop. If you do want to keep buying them, then don’t complain about the microtransactions because you ARE showing your support for them by simply buying the game.

  7. I can’t even call those “boycotts”.
    Calling them that would imply I want to buy those games in the first place.

  8. 5 basic steps why boycotts don’t work.
    1.Outraged!!.. someone “starts” game boycott…
    2.Developer shows off pretty new graphics ?!!
    3.People pre-order game anyway ?‍♂️
    4.Game sells well (even if it’s a rushed/broken mess)
    5.Publisher learns nothing ?‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️??‍♂️

  9. Yah, boycotts aren’t working, because people aren’t actually doing them.

    Too many people say they’re going to boycott for clout, then buy the game when it’s released.

  10. I deleted my blizzard account after the Blitz Chung ban and the warcraft 3 “incident” has just reinforced my decision

  11. I see this with reviewers a lot. They go on this massive spiel about how a company’s practices are shit, but by the end of the video they will have said, “I’m still going to buy the game”.

  12. This is why microtransactions will never go away, because developers know that we’ll buy their garbage regardless off what state it’s in.

  13. My personal boycott of Blizzard is precisely that: personal. I can sleep happier knowing I’m not feeding the corporate crap-fest that is Activision Blizzard. What other people do is down to them and their consciences and I can do nothing about that. However. I will continue my boycott because it’s important to me, not because anyone else is doing it or not.

  14. “Gamers get bored quickly, so they do a half-hearted hashtag on twitter and wander off.”


  15. “A fool and his money are easily parted.”

  16. While I agree, this tired “definition” of insanity has to be put to bed.

  17. Being poor makes me an excellent boycotter: haven’t bought a single game on launch yet and am extremely picky.
    Then again, if I had enough disposable income I’d likely be worse than pre-orderers.

  18. Gamers: “I’m boycotting EA!”
    Also gamers: “Wait, what do you mean I have to stop playing EA games in order for it to be a boycott? Don’t be ridiculous…”

  19. “Boycotts don’t work in the gaming industry.”

    Microsoft: “Yes, please listen to him! Don’t boycott our next online-only console and force us to remove the DRM! We need it to make more moneys!”

    Boycotts can work, the problem is that people tend to call them at the drop of a hat any time a game is seen as imperfect. It eventually gets to “the boy who cried wolf” levels, where everyone just ignores the false flags to the point where a legit reason to boycott something is similarly sneered at… and a farmer boy gets eaten by wolves.

  20. “Lets vote with our wallets!”
    “EA earns over a billion in micro transactions this year”

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