Why are gamer unions weak?

Just wondering why whenever gamers unite their voices aren’t heard at all. They come up with some good ideas that can’t always be considered expensive ideas, yet they lack any dramatic impact. So I ask you, why do gamers never have a strong union?

I don’t have much experience bugging developers of other franchises, and certainly experiences are different everywhere. But I’ve spent a largish amount of time on the AoE forums over the years. In modern times (since 2011), they’ve released two stand alone titles (AoEO and AoECS) and seven steam/HD/DE rereleases. This has generated a lot of forum activity.

All told, I don’t think it’s fair to say gamers’ voices aren’t heard at all. But I think it is very fair to say that many great, inexpensive ideas never get adopted. A few reasons why:

  1. Forums like this naturally spawn way too many good ideas for any development team to adopt.
  2. Not only are there tons of ideas, but many times one great idea directly contradicts another great idea. It’s rare for players to universally agree on many things. There’s always someone around here who would argue the sky is not actually blue. In these situations, no matter what the Devs do, at least some group of players will be upset with them.
  3. The process of turning an idea into a real feature usually requires tweaking the idea a bit to make it work. This causes some content to not always reflect the ideas that inspired it.
  4. Along similar lines, some things that sound great to the people who think of them wouldn’t actually be great in reality. The Devs are doing us all a favor to ignore these ones. But every time they do, the guy who came up with it still thinks it’s a great idea and forever feels like the Devs missed a golden opportunity.
  5. Meanwhile, Developers always have their own ideas that naturally get worked into the end product. That’s normal, too. If I describe to you what I want you to make for dinner, you may well deliver that but may also adjust the ingredients or add some extra things to the menu.
  6. No matter how good the idea is or how inexpensive it would be to implement, the idea still needs to rise high enough on the long list of good, inexpensive ideas in order to deserve taking up the Devs’ time and attention, which are always scarce.
  7. The Devs rarely tell us when they’ve slowed or stopped developing new content for games. So at that point, there’s not really anyone out there to take our advice.
  8. A lot of great, inexpensive ideas actually do get implemented, but it’s rarely the smooth, logical changes that stand out. We players quickly get used to them and take them for granted. It’s always the annoying parts of a game that stand out and get on our nerves. I have witnessed (and raised) a number of ideas on the forum that ended up finding their way into the game. So from that experience, I know we players hold some sway.