Quitters never prosper. Its an adaptation on the old quote ‘cheaters never prosper.’

While a bit cliche, in the current world of online gaming, its a moral that more people should be following… and more game companies should be enforcing.

If you’ve played in any sort of team environment online, you’ve had to deal with gamers who will rage quit or worse, the people who will join games just to simply leave them, trolling servers and causing issues for other players.

There’s a lot of gamers who have complained about this over the years and for all the right reasons. Whether it’s a game like Risk or team battles like League of Legends, losing one player during a game can throw off the entire strategy and change the entire dynamics of that game.

Even games like Pokemon run into this with online battles. Where the whole point of that game is the Pokemon battle, sometimes playing online in one match-up can take 20-30 minutes, all depending on how well balanced the teams are. How would you feel after playing a game for 15 minutes and it suddenly ends because the other player took their ball and went home? Unfulfilled, frustrated and a little angry.

Took their Pokeball home, I should say…

The player who didn’t quit probably just wanted to get through a game without other players backing out on them at the last minute because they didn’t want to get stuck with a loss.

So what can be done to deal with quitters? The developers behind Halo: Reach seemed to have an idea. In Reach it is looked down upon to leave games early. If you quit games early too often, you will wind up with a temporary ban. This includes dashboarding, so many people will not leave games because of this.

Want to join this game? Gotta wait 15-20 minutes!

The strategy incorporated in Halo: Reach makes a lot of sense when you think about it. If you are a gamer prone to rage-quitting, why not give that gamer 15 or 20 minutes to cool down and relax.

Of course, this can always backfire and result in one angry gamer raging in their own room, but at least they aren’t bugging other gamers this way. 

Broken PS3

Smooth move, genius!

Capcom has an idea to deal with this problem as well, implemented in Marvel Vs. Capcom 3. The game includes a quits tracker and will punish rage-quitters by pairing them up with other players with similar stats. It basically creates a rage-quit brawl-for-all.

Who will quit first??

Mass Effect 3 with its multiplayer mode also has its own form of incentive to stop gamers from quitting mid-match. Building up your characters in ME3 relies entirely on experience points and money, which can only be earned by completing a match.  If you quit mid-game, you cannot earn experience points or money, making it entirely useless to quit. 

Good luck buying anything!

Measures to deal with quitting mid-game vary across the gaming spectrum. Some games will register a rage-quit as an automatic loss to the player who quit, possibly with an automatic win for everyone else.

The quitting stat has also been proposed and used in some games, keeping  a separate tally for the number of “disconnects” as a permanent blemish for the gamer.

The only problem with this stat is that it is actually impossible for the network to distinguish a ragequit from actual technical problems, be it a power outage or a person falling asleep at the controller (believe me, I’ve been there.).

Also, there are usually ways for players to exploit the ranking system to avoid taking the loss in this case as well. While it is beyond me to figure out how to exploit the system in that way, other gamers have done it, only mounting the frustration for other players.

Besides, rage quitting any game has been around long before online gaming. Look at poker games in the old west where people were shot over a bad beat or modern Texas Hold’em players who can’t take a string of bad deals.


Bad Go

Pictured: Itatsuki Hiryu rage-quitting Go. Or so I’m told…

How about competitive sports, where bad sportsmanship can ruin the experience for both teams and the audience?

So what’s your thoughts? Do games need to implement a quitting stat? Or is this something that Microsoft or Sony should implement for a gamer’s player profile, forever marring that gamer’s image?

Whatever decision is made by a game developer, it is safe to say all gamers are going to continue to experience this, no matter what game they are playing online.

the author

Jeff Johnson is a Canadian journalist and the host of GameOn here at GameNTrain. He was born in Ontario, but moved to British Columbia to learn what it's like to be attacked by deer on a regular basis. If you've got an idea for a feature story on GameOn or would like to be featured as a contibutor, simply e-mail gameongamentrain@gmail.com. You can also find Jeff on Google+ at http://www.gplus.to/jeffjohnsongnt