Okay, so there’s been alot of stuff lately about “Fan Entitlement”  and I wanted to throw in my two cents on the matter.

Summing it up, basically fans feel like they own a bit of the game, movie, and/or comic they pay for, so when it doesn’t go the way they want it to, they feel like the creators owe it to them to “fix it.”  Or at least make it up to them.  This can be downloadable content of a game that makes it the way the fans want.  Or a movie project gets thrown out or changed to make fans happy.  Or a new comic story is written that “clicks the undo button” and brings the status quo back to the way the Fans want it.

But is it right?  Should fans have that power? or are they have a misplaced sense of entitlement over the products they buy?

The truth of the matter is that its a symbiotic relationship with give and take.  The creators owe the fans nothing… however if they make crap, they’ll have no fans at all, so they have to produce something that people want to have. But they also can’t listen to every gripe the fans have, or else everything created will be the same homogenized garbage over and over again just because thats what alot of fans want to see.

So lets break it down from 1st the creator’s point of view then the fans.  I’ll say what the reasonable expectations are, and what is just bat shit insane.  Keep in mind, this is just my opinion.  If you disagree with me, thats fine, it’s your right and it means you have your own brain and thoughts. I encourage you to keep them, but I don’t want to hear you complain about me having mine.  Lets get started.

1 The Creators.

As the name suggest, these are the Creators.  They write the stories, draw the comics, direct the movies, produce the video games.  If it weren’t for these people there would be nothing to make memes about, and nothing to entertain us from our otherwise boring days. And these people do it because they love it.  Some might make alot of money at it, but thats not why they got into the business.  They did it because they love creating entertainment for you.  And that being the case, you know they want to make the best thing they can.

The problem is none of these creators are mind readers.  So they rely on their skill and their own personal tastes to create.  They rely on their ability to write, draw, direct, program, etc to make the piece of entertainment the best they can and hope to god that people like it enough to buy it, and if they’re really lucky people will love it.

So here the Creator’s expectation is to make the best quality product possible.  Now sometimes they’re limitations they can’t help.  Like budget, or availability of actors and other things that might impact what they can make.  But They’re expected to do the best they can with what they have.

What they should NOT be expected to do is make something the fans like.  Like I said, they’re not mind readers, so they can’t make something they know everyone will like.  The writer will write a story they really like.  The artist will create character designs that they really like.  The Director will direct the actors in a way they really like, and the programers will program an game engine they really like.  But  That doesn’t mean that the fans like it.  I take that back. There will be fans out that really like it.  Everyone has different tastes out there.  And for every piece of entertainment created there are people that really love it.  But they’re also people who’ll really hate it.  And it just boils down to taste.  I LOVE Final Fantasy XIII, even though it got terrible reviews in the RPG comunity, and alot of people call it the worse final fantasy game.  I think its a great game, alot better than Final Fantasy X.  So who’s right? who’s wrong? no one really.  If there are no technical reason why something is good or bad, then its all opinion, which is arbitrary.

What Creators should WANT from fans is feedback.  Whether it’s a shower of praise, or a shit storm of hate, creators need that feedback.  I don’t believe they have to listen to any of it.  They can fully disregard it, or do everything the feedback says, but they should still want it.  They need to know where fans stand on the product they’re making, so they can do better the next time.

2 Fans

These are the fans of the entertainment.  In our symbiotic relationship, they’re what allows the creators to create.  Without fans buying the entertainment, the creators would have nothing to create for, and thus nothing would ever be made.

So what are the expectations of the fans?  To take what the creators give them as is.  This doesn’t mean they have to like it.  But they have to accept it.  This is someone else’s creation.  Someone elses property that came from their mind, and their hard work. The Fans have no right to complain that its not what they wanted.  If a story didn’t end the way they wanted, or the art didn’t look the way they wanted.  The fan has no right to demand that it be different.  They don’t own the property, any more than you own your neighbors house.  And they don’t have any more right to say what the property should be, any more than you have any right to tell your neighbor how they should decorate their kitchen.  You might not like how it looks, and your entitled to your opinion, but you have no right to march over to your neighbor’s and demand they change it to your liking.  You just have to just accept thats how it is.

What Fans SHOULDN’T be expected to do, is accept the bastardizations of existing properties away from the base concept.  This does not mean they have the right to dispute how a story ends, just cause they don’t like the final plot twist.  This means when a property is bought by a company and then totally changed away from its original concept but then marketed to fans to be the same thing they love.

Case in point.  The  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie coming up is being changed so that the Turtles aren’t Mutants, but instead Aliens.  This change is away from the base concept of the franchise.  Fans should not be expected to just accept this.  If the movie studio and producers want to make a movie about turtle like alien creatures fighting ninjas that’s fine.  They can do that, thats their right as creators.  But don’t call it Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, because it is not. The TMNT are mutants not aliens (its in their name.)   They have a long history and mythos.  To change that, changes what is being creating.  And if what is being created does not share the mythos, it should not share its name.


So thats my 2 cents.  I’ve rambled on enough.  Basically Fans don’t have to like whats being created, but they have no right to demand that what’s been created be changed so they do like it.  Its not their property they don’t have that right.  But Property that already exists should not be bastardized.  If you want to make something different, make something new and different, don’t change something that already exists.


And if you’re a fan and you don’t like the stories you read, or the movies you watch.  Make you’re own.  Invent one you DO like.  There’s no excuse not to.  Don’t make excuses, make comics! (or whatever you want to create.)