Home Editorial Dear Developers: Stop Enabling Rage Quitters

WARNING: This post contains a video with extremely NSFW language, which is visible in the preview.

It’s happened to all of us. You’re just minding your own business, decimating noobs by the millions, when, on the brink of victory, your prey drops from the game.

<<ShamelessLoser has left the game>>

Sure, it’s possible he had a dental appointment he forgot about. Or maybe it’s some girl who forgot to wash her hair. Or perhaps your opponent was just straight up murdered IRL seconds before you could murder him/her in your competitive game of choice.

Not likely.

More likely, your opponent just utilized the greatest and most top tier tactic ever devised. The ultimate meta-tactic.

The Rage Quit. Allow me to demonstrate:

Yes, that’s right. Rather than lose a single fight/deathmatch/chess match against you, your opponent would rather preemptively quit the game, unplug the console, or restart their entire system in order to begrudge your win. Why? Because it works.

When I was young, my father once made an odd comment on gaming strategy. (I say odd because he never really took any interest in games). He said, “You know the best way to win in Street Fighter? Punch the other player in the face right before you lose the match. He can’t beat you if he’s reeling in pain.” While I can’t say I endorse these sort of meta-mechanics, it’s obvious that rage-quitters do. They take no issue with working the system in order to cheat you of a win they didn’t think you deserved.

Despite the fact that this problem has surfaced dozens of times as new IPs constantly hit the market, video game developers never seem to learn. Fighting games like Soul Calibur 4 and Street Fighter IV saw ungodly waves of sore losers fill the ranks of its leaderboards. Gears of War 2 and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction were similarly afflicted. Even Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers had an issue with early quitters, which is shocking when you consider that quitting early is a fundamental social aspect of the card game.

Now, many will protest that most of the games I listed don’t have this problem. But that’s only because they were patched, in some cases months after release, to deal with rampant ragequitting. Why wasn’t this addressed sooner? Like… in Intro to Game Design 101?

It doesn’t seem hard to figure out. When a person quits a match early, that person should lose. Or when a person quits early, the opponent gets a win and you get nothing. Or you can disconnect as much as you want, but your disconnect rate is shown to your opponent before the match starts. And yet, rules like these are so infrequently implemented, even in AAA titles with millions spent on multiplayer game balance.

I can only imagine that, for the most part, this is done to protect the tiny 1% of the population who still uses dial-up and would basically be mopping the floors of the leaderboards if this rule were implemented. But, I dare say, too bad for them. Whether it’s malicious in nature or not, if you are disconnecting out of 50% of your games, you’re ruining the experience for everyone else. And if you are doing it to be an asshole, please do the world a favor and burn your gaming console(s).


1 reply to this post
  1. unfortunately these things are not implemented however ive seen that when people do the “remove power from the console” or on the xbox “dashboarding” as the game just registers a time out (whichthey cant penalise players as its the same error as if theyre internet provider has to do maintenence and turns off the power to the system)but it comes down to the fact that somepeople want nothing than to irratate other people like for instance in Modern warfare 2 if someone gets a nuke everyone backs out and that person doesnt get a very ssatisfieng boom to the end of the game

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