Top 5 SOCOM related blunders that led to it's downfall

Discussion in 'SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs' started by Frosty_The_Swagman, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. I'm high on mushrooms and feel compulsed to type.

    SOCOM was once the flagship online shooter experience for playstation. Much like halo for xbox, SOCOM held the title as the most played multiple player game for much of the PS2's hayday. However how did such a once great and respected franchise become another series in the gamers graveyards? Today I'm looking at the top 5 blunders and decisions, that led the SOCOM series where it is today.

    Number 8 - Encumbrance

    What is a good way to take a fast paced, arcadic shooter and make it not that for not one, but the next three main series sequels? Add encumbrance. Fans disliked this move from the start, and for some reason it stayed until the last series title SOCOM 4. From shotty design of the feature, such as keeping the movement restrictions even after using/getting rid of the item, to them making so some of the most popular loadouts made you slower than other loadouts.

    Number 7 - Not launching with Demolition mode

    Ok look, some of the other things we can kind of think "this is what they were trying to do". However releasing the next big sequel without the most popular game mode is not one of those things. SOCOM fans were treated to a shock to learn that their beloved mode would not be coming to the sequel, and instead there would be a modified version of the mode on the game.

    This lead to outcry as many speculated they would try to double dip with a DLC of the mode later on, however it was eventually patched in for free.

    Number 6 - Technical issues

    While some fans will remember the technical mess that was launch SOCOM 3, others will immediately think of the series first introduction to the PS3, SOCOM: Confrontation. Not being able to even load up a game turned off a lot of new players to the series, as well as old ones expecting a next gen experience.

    From randomly dying, game breaking glitches, frustrating gameplay, it would be nearly two years before the game was in a state where it should have been launched. While in the end we got a great game, the technical issues turned many off of the series for good.

    Number 5 - The great extermination.

    Coming in at number 5, mostly because this isn't technically a SOCOM game, is the H-hour mass banning and forum shutdown. While this game was not a main series title, it did have the most successful crowdfunding campaign we have seen for this series, bringing in original staff including the SOCOM 1 and 2 creative director David Sears.


    This was a perfect opportunity for SONY to gauge interest in the series coming to the playstation 4, without investing their own resources. The game at first received massive hype, and fans seemed to have come out of the woodwork for one last chance at a SOCOM game. A year later, David Sears had left, the game wasn't coming together as perfect as hoped, and the community was getting impatient. The founder of the gaming studio created the SOCOM inspired game Tom something, purged the forums by banning some of the most active and vocal members, and then shut down the games forums, killing any discussion going on about the project. The negative PR, loss of interest and supporting members lead to the game becoming irrelevant, and killing any hope fans had of a new game.

    Number 4 - Making SOCOM 4's main mode respawn based

    Want to know a good way to kill a classic? Take one of it's core features, throw it out the window, and do the opposite in the name of reaching a broader marker. That's exactly the direction Zipper Interactive took with it's final franchise title SOCOM 4. It worked, they got the attention of the broader market, and the broader market HATED IT.


    With talks of it being another Call of Duty Title, there was only hope that the original series fans and a few curious casuals would pick up the game, and the last minute addition of a round based game was added to a game designed for a respawn experience. Sour reviews and a lack of original fan interest led this game to be one of the PS3's greatest failures.

    Number 3 - Don't buy the game if you don't like what you see.

    Members of the official forum for SOCOM will be familiar will a podcast done by the Studio to answer fan questions, and market progress on the game. One such podcast featured one of the founding members of Zipper Interactive a mere few months before release.

    It was full damage control. The question was asked regarding the being generous luke warm reception of their game, and he was quick to reply that they were doing something different, and if you didn't like what you saw, to not buy the game. This didn't sit well with a lot of fans, as up to this point Zipper had at least seemed to be listening and changing their game to please the fans. However this put the nail in the coffin for what a lot of people already knew - This game was done, and it wouldn't be changed, so either buy it or don't.

    Number 2 - Adding the Playstation move to SOCOM 4

    Ahh, remember the playstation move? There classic move games such as Everybody Dance, The just dance series, and....SOCOM 4?

    Yes, for some the appeal of holding on to what felt like a dick for hours on end was a great way to spend their weekends. However for most, especially for a tactical shooter, the fans were not interested and preferred the controller. However difference between the two devices, made for major design decisions such as the crosshair, map design, movement, and aiming/firing to be based around the move, and not the controllers.

    The move is considered to have contributed to the lack of immersiveness reported by longtime fans.

    Number 1 - Zipper being bought by Sony

    For a lot of studios, getting bought by a major publishing force is great. No more trouble securing funding, you have someone to market for you, and you are free to create your games, right? In Zippers case, a lot of design decisions are reported to have stemmed from Sony themselves, including trying to market the game to a broader audience, including the move, and design decisions.

    If Zipper had been able to create this game freely, who knows how different this would have looked. One thing is for sure though, a lot of us have not been as exciting as the day SOCOM 4 was announced, that is before we seen gameplay footage.
    iDeaL likes this.
  2. Big Daddy Davee

    Big Daddy Davee Butterstick

    1. Adding vehicles
    2. Big maps
    3. Not learning from the mistakes of Socom 3

    Everything else is just garnish surrounding the steak.
  3. Swill

    Swill Killjoy

    Tombstone? Is that you?

    MACK IS GOD VP of Toxicity

    You know Frosty was wasted when the title of the thread is Top 5 Reasons and he starts off with reason number 8. Lmao.
  5. dizee

    dizee Lucille is thirsty

    you dont need a big list to explain what happened. when you dont listen to the core community, your game goes to shit. you see, casuals come and go all the time. they wont be the ones playing your game on xlink 12 years from now, the core players who truly love your game will be. and those same core players will give you the best/honest feedback so you can make a better product down the road.

    so when you listen to the casuals, you end up with a piece of shit that only ADD retarded kids love. hello socom 4.
  6. SocomKillah28

    SocomKillah28 Boom Boolah!

    Socom's demise in a nutshell.
    JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz and LZMF1 like this.
  7. eVo7

    eVo7 Vicious Provacateur

    SOCOM's downfall started in SOCOM 2.

    Guns were less accurate and sprayed a lot more than S1, health bar, hit detection, after S2 though it was a STEEP downward trend. SOCOM 3 with terribly inaccurate guns, attachments, encumbrance, vehicles, snipe jumping, large scale emphasis, and you know the rest. Confrontation was a technical disaster, run button, knife button, terrible animations, etc. S4 just a full blown disaster and didn't resemble any previous SOCOM game, resembled GRAW first and foremost.
  8. JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz

    JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz Pizza Shitposting CIO

    I have a top 3 though I generalize a bit:

    8. Trying to cater this game to another crowd other than the people that were playing the game 8 hours a day. I understand wanting to bring in more people as that equates to more money made, but Zipper/Sony should have tried to bring them in by enticing them to play SOCOM, not by adding Battlefield features like vehicles, etc.

    2. Making the game easier, or "fair" for everyone. Not just MP, but the SP as well. If you screwed up in SP in SOCOM and SOCOM II, you started all the way back at the beginning. Now comes SOCOM 3, and you have checkpoints. It really took out the immersive quality of the game for me. I liked knowing that if I screwed up I was starting over. It made you think. Then let's not forget the changes they made in MP. Seemed like everyone S3 onwards could be a sniper, then there was the cookie cutter, evenly balanced maps, moving on to side switching, and all of the other crap. It seemed like some of the challenge of the game disappeared. I've said many times that I enjoyed playing 3/CA, but I also admit S1 and S2 was the better because it was more challenging, and the maps had clear advantages. Playing and winning as a SEAL on Enowapi meant something.

    1. Not giving a damn about the state of the game. Zipper/Sony let cheaters run wild on this game and did nothing about it. No matter how many times you reported them, sent video footage, etc., they did nothing. They could have banned them, reset their stats, anything, but they did nothing. Once in a while they did a game wide stat reset, but what did that do? Not like these scumbags stopped cheating. They also waited forever to patch major glitches in the game. This I kind of chalk up to new technology at the time, but it seems like Zipper/Sony didn't care enough to try and push patches through faster. Not incorrectly, but faster. Seems like a patch was always in QA, and there was no sense of urgency to try and get it out. You would think that Sony's #1 online game at the time would have some priorities.
    Ditch, iDeaL, PRE_-CISION-_ and 2 others like this.
  9. Swill

    Swill Killjoy

    It's simple:

    SOCOM 1 and 2 benefited from being a novelty where they were the only, or one of a few, shooter games that had online multiplayer. As each year came and produced more and more competition for multiplayer online shooters, as more and more people gained access to high speed internet, and as more and more consoles came out with online capabilities, SOCOM naturally saw less sales. That was the overwhelmingly major reason why it declined. Stupid design decisions from SONY only hastened the inevitable decline.
    JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz likes this.
  10. JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz

    JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz Pizza Shitposting CIO

    Definitely something I agree with, and is without question a part of the overall equation; maybe even a larger part than a lot of people here, myself included may want to acknowledge, but had the above listed factors also been handled, especially the game maintenance, I think that would have kept more people around.

    Me personally, I jumped to the 360 for the simple reason that I had no faith in Sony to properly maintain their games anymore. I got burned big time with SOCOM, and FIFA, so I said screw it. I know that I am not alone in this. Maybe here I am, but the overall spectrum of gamers would show that I am not alone. I felt that a pay service was better off for me, and had more faith that MS would maintain their games and make them as cheat free as possible. I personally was not disappointed. There were times I had to deal with glitching and cheating, but the issue were fixed VERY fast.

    If I would have thought for an instant that Sony was going to maintain their online games after getting burned 5 or 6 times, I would have got a ps3 first.
    SocomKillah28 and MACK IS GOD like this.

    MACK IS GOD VP of Toxicity


    JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz likes this.

    MACK IS GOD VP of Toxicity

    Get to your shelters! 27 page argument incoming!
    Ditch and JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz like this.
  13. Swill

    Swill Killjoy

    My body is ready.

    Lol, in all seriousness, nah, no argument from me. I've already proven it in the previous epic battle, so there's no point.
    MACK IS GOD likes this.
  14. eVo7

    eVo7 Vicious Provacateur

    But you didn't even play SOCOM 1 or 2 during their primes.
  15. Swill

    Swill Killjoy

    That's completely irrelevant.
  16. JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz

    JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz Pizza Shitposting CIO

    No argument from me, that's for sure. I agree with Swill. it's one of a few things that are to blame. The only thing we can really do is "what if?" the other points brought up and wonder if that would have at least reduced the migration to other games and systems as they became available.

    I personally think the distribution pie would have split the way it did, just with more people eating the SOCOM slice. How many? Who knows?

    Here ya go, Swill...

    MACK IS GOD and Swill like this.
  17. SocomKillah28

    SocomKillah28 Boom Boolah!

    We've had this discussion ad nauseam lol and I did and still do AGREE that yes, Socom 1 & 2 were basically the only PS2 online shooters to play at that time. However the OG Xbox did offer online gaming too, people had other options.

    It still stands that each game in the series after the first major overhaul drove away A LOT of the core community, the die hard fans if-you-will.

    I always go back to how Confrontation was so bad technically, it didn't exactly cater to what the die hard players wanted, but it still was the #1 played online game on PS3. Over games like Killzone 2, Resistance 2, and Warhawk that all had much bigger budgets/following, were way more technically sound and had WAY better review scores. Yet Socom Constipation still managed to have one of the biggest online communities, imagine what could have been if it would have been a true Socom game with minimal bugs and catered to the original fans.

    Again Socoms decline was inevitable as is the case with even some of the best/most critically acclaimed franchises. Sony went through a very rough stretch until the end of the PS3s life cycle which didn't help matters. They could have held on to Zipper but at that time they were struggling financially and needed to cut costs by shutting down studios.

    There's never one sole reason for it, but Sony/Zipper disregarding its community will always be a giant factor to Socoms demise.
  18. ChicKeN

    ChicKeN Socomologist

    Had nothing to do with SOCOMs fall. It made the game more competitive. Carrying around an M82 or M60 with full nades running the same speed as someone carrying around an HK5 is dumb don't you think? The option to drop nades, play with a lightweight sub machine gun, and rush with the front spawn is part of a tactical strategy based shooter that was thought out. Even the most tactical shooter in CS and arcade shooter in COD have encumbrance which works flawlessly with the game.

    Now if you would say the addition of armor that added encumbrance I would agree. If someone wants their person to wear armor it should be 100% cosmetic and have no affect on encumbrance.

    Addressing the broadband connectivity and game choices:

    Yes it did hurt. But it was the combination of bad SOCOMs during that time. If SOCOM released a good steady game during the 2006-2010 years when gaming really really really took off and took off then we wouldn't be on this damn website because SOCOM would be alive and kickin'. If SOCOM didn't suck so bad from S3, CA, SCON, and S4 maybe it would have gained numbers. Fact is SOCOM sucked after S2, we are talking about 2005-2011, S3, CA, SCON, and S4 came out. To many god damn years of bad games. Of course there will be a drop in numbers if the game is shit. S2 had great game play but it had a plethora of technical issues and glitches on release that needed fixed. That didn't help S2 during the early Halo days either, especially when Halo 2 came out in 04' and S2 had so many cheaters.

    SOCOM sucking with no vision in the future is why people left. If SOCOM had a vision and didn't derail from its original formula people would of stayed playing it. Gamers are loyal to their games. We don't just jump ship until we are forced to. CS players have had no reason to leave. COD pro's have had no reason to leave COD. WoW players (until recently) have had no reason to leave WoW. SOCOM has given people plenty of reasons to stop playing after S2, so people did.

    I stayed loyal even through all of S4 and after. I went back to SCON and S2 before the servers shut down. To be honest, looking back now, I wish I would have switched to CS when S3 came out. I kept saying to myself, "Nah, they'll get it right. They will fix SOCOM in the next game." I know a lot of people that did that. I also know a lot of people that didn't waste their time and moved on. That is your "broadband & competition" people I guess. If SOCOM was good though, we may have gained 2 for every 1 lost. Who knows.

    MACK IS GOD VP of Toxicity

    Meanwhile at TOMBSTONE's house after his Google alert for Socom sales references:

    Swill, SocomKillah28 and ChicKeN like this.
  20. JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz

    JuNgLiSt_TAcTiKz Pizza Shitposting CIO

    Well, I agree with Tomb as well. Both sides of that argument are correct. It all contributed to the demise of the franchise. I still think that a return to roots, TRUE roots, would bring people back. Maybe not as a 3MM+ seller, but I think there are people out there waiting for SOCOM. Not waiting in that they play no other games, but if word got out that REAL SOCOM (pun!), was returning, it would draw people back. I can't quantify those numbers, because again, it's a what if? scenario.

    I think it has a chance to be successful, just not COD successful, which is what any developer and Sony needs to both understand and be ok with. So it really means what do they deem a success...
    ChicKeN, Swill and MACK IS GOD like this.

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