[Updated Nov 1/2012: GameTrailers today declared that Metal Gear Solid 2‘s ending was the third worst in game history! A special note has been added to the end of the article.]
I’m not exactly sure about the context of this quotation, but apparently Entertainment Weekly reviewed Mass Effect 3 and said:
“… Mass Effect 3 has provoked a bigger fan reaction than any other videogame’s conclusion in the medium’s history.”
Which EA’s marketing department has happily embraced, using it in their promotional material like so. The irony being that the “reaction” is mostly negative, etc.
That’s fine, but I have to disagree with Entertainment Weekly‘s claim. There’s no doubt in my mind that Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty provoked a bigger fan reaction, if you account for what I like to call “internet inflation”. Internet inflation, like old fashioned money inflation, is when you dilute the value of something by producing too much of it, making the numbers higher but the actual effect lower.
Back in 2001, the Internet was just getting off the ground as far as mainstream adoption went. Google had only existed for four years, and Facebook wouldn’t be created for another three; YouTube was a year after that. The infancy of the internet meant that sharing your opinions still had a trace of significance to it, with people behaving more like actual individuals and less like faceless lumps of coal trying to pile up to fuel some particular fire. Nowadays internet activism and the “viral effect” has ensured that every little dislike will be exaggerated into the most dramatic Shakespearean opera they can, hoping that their collective force will change things if they all work together. Ten million negative comments in this new inflated environment doesn’t equal ten thousand “legitimate” comments in the old days.
Stay true, Metal Gear Solid 2.