With the recent publicity surrounding Gamescom, HHSNBN tweets and multiple outlets attempting to write news artices about Star Citizen, I had to sit back and calm down about everything going on. This isn't the first time a very successful game was under tight scrutiny and plenty of people weren't giving a game worth its credit.
I would like to present: World of Warcraft!
The amount of negative publicity is very similar to how WoW was going before the official launch. Seeing Star Citizen trend on Facebook and every other comment look like a DS tweet with no actual facts behind them, figured I would show some light on this subject. The most successful game in history recieved very negative criticism.
Here are some good examples:
I had been playing EQ since '99. EQ2 and WoW came out at about the same time (Novemberish of 2004). I decided to give EQ2 a shot, as that's where my loyalties were. Played for about a month with some of my guildies and had enough. The game sucked (IMO). Buddy of mine switched to WoW a week or so after trying EQ2 and told me it was awesome. I made the jump to WoW in December of 2004 and haven't looked back.
WoW was touted as the "EQ/EQ2 killer". It really was. I was highly skeptical at the time. Much like the "WoW killers" that have been released over the past several years, I didn't believe anything could dethrone EQ. I'm currently maintain a similar philosophy when it comes to WoW now. It's going to take a helluva game to dethrone WoW. Perhaps only Blizzard with a new IP can do it. There's just something magical about this game.
I remember that many people were pretty skeptical and kind of groaned when they heard the news. MMOs at the time were pretty crappy and not very fun (Looking at you, Everquest and Asheron's Call). You only played those if you really really really wanted to play an MMO. So there was a sense that Blizzard was just going to add another crappy MMO to the mix. At the same time, there was definitely the contingent of Blizzard fans that was pretty excited for WoW from early on.
I'd say it really exploded once it released and we all got to play it. It was amazingly easy to get started, and it was actually fun. Doing quests as your primary activity was, at the time, amazing. In games like EQ, you level up just by killing lots of monsters, they had quests but they were very rare. So a game with 5,000 quests at launch was mind blowing.
Also, EQ and similar games were extremely punishing towards death. You could lose all your armor if you didn't recover your corpse. So, WoW's very light punishment for death was also mind blowing, it meant you could actually explore and have fun without being so stressed out.
Anyway it became "the MMO that is actually fun to play" and it spread like wildfire just by word of mouth.
Was hyped pretty well. Sony had just shot itself in the foot with the Gates of Discord expansion - a lot of us in uberguilds decided to quit the game at that point because of how bad it sucked and took them forever to fix things.
That was around the time of WoW closed beta - and a good majority of us couldn't wait.
All my friends and I played Warcraft for years (my friends, admittedly, were more heavily into than I was) and were super excited for it. At the time just before the release, we were all playing DAoC (I was an MMO newbie) and I was just getting really into it. Then WoW was released and everyone ditched DAoC. I was a high school kid that didn't have a job, so I couldn't buy myself a copy of the game and was really bitter that all my friends left me, so at first I really hated WoW.
My friends kept talking about how great the game was. I was getting to the point of giving up on gaming for good, but then my boyfriend bought and paid for my own WoW subscription. I played hardcore for years, and up until about a year or two I have been off and on as casual.
Also, here is an old article that very closely resembles the German PC Gamer article: