Like every human, they deserve words of encouragement and appreciation when they do cool things, too.
At the minimum I try to send a "wow, your game is awesome!" tweet directly to the people behind the game (not the studio/publisher account). I gave up on Twitter though so I don't have a way to send nice words to people anymore.
For smaller indie devs without the PR buffer layer to separate them from the masses, yeah if I particularly enjoy a game I might drop them a message. A positive message of thanks & support (when deserved) here and there can brighten someone's day in the sea of negativity that is the net.
In the 80s and into the early 90s, yeah. Real handwritten letters, too. Once everything got big, as in corporate-owned and controlled by mid-90s, not so much. Any letters I did send around that time were generally returned or never seen again.
I did send a few tweets to Kamiya to thank for TW101 because I did have an amazing time with the game. Also because he deals with so much trolling and people bitter because of Bayonetta 2 on Twitter that I think that a tweet saying thank you would be nice to read.
I usually only tweet if I have a nice thing to say. I definitely won't tweet anything bad to anyone, unless it is EA (the publisher and NOT the developers under their belt) .
I get this, but sales aren't enough imo. Often there are really fantastic games that simply don't sell well, I think in these cases words of thanks are very appreciated and deserved. And what about games that sell really well, but are hot garbage? BF4 comes to mind, I remember seeing some report about how they were surprised about the kickback with regards to the bugs and everything, because sales were so good! I mean the devs clearly aren't (completely) stupid, and I'm sure they know there were a lot of disappointed people out there, but sales do not always mean the product was worthwhile or praiseworthy.
And also, I simply think it's just a really nice thing to do that takes almost no time. It makes you and the dev feel good, so I say why not thank someone for something you really enjoyed, in addition to supporting them with your dollars? There's not much excuse other than laziness.
Yes, of course. Most devs are happy that people buy and play their games. Friendly messages and such are a nice bonus.
Being an artist and aspiring dev, I do thank them. A lot of gamers have no clue as to how hard and stressful it is to make a game. So, I do thank them for their effort and dedication. I'm also brutally honest and will tell them if something sucks too.
When I'm in Madrid later this year I'll bring some candy and let it at MercurySteam's reception with an appreciative letter. I wish I could do that for lots of studios, sadly they are the only ones I'll be near to soon.
I think I remember doing so once but cannot for the life of me remember what game it was. I should do that more though, especially for indie games or games I invest way more hours into than most players probably have (something like say, Awesomenauts, which I enjoyed a lot).
I also always seriously fill out those Nintendo surveys. This christmas I had about 5 club Nintendo codes to put in but it took me about 30 minutes since I couldn't bring myself to just write a quick "I enjoyed it" or whatever. Even though what I write will most likely never be read/taken seriously/acted upon.
Tweeted the dev of SteamWorld Dig plenty of times and praised the game, he's always happy to respond and is just a delight, which got me talking to more developers and thanking them for games. I imagine there's a lot of negativity in the industry so they must appreciate the little things. Never written anything to a big dev though.
I thanked XSEED, Taka, and hatsuu for Senran Kagura. I got fav and reply, so it was good to know they saw it. Liking Japanese games it's kinda hard to get in contact with a dev like Monolith Soft and say how much you love Xenoblade. Twitter makes it easier to reach out to some devs, which is cool. Honestly though, they got my money and I recommend them to my friends. I don't feel the need to thank them all the time.
I wouldn't equate purchasing a game with sending a thank you letter/email/whatever. You're certainly supporting the developer/publisher, and I'm sure it's much appreciated, but in return you're getting a product you'll hopefully derive much enjoyment from. You're making a trade. Taking the time to send a message of appreciation, to go out of your way to directly tell a developer what you thought about their game and how it affected you, is a different act, and one I would imagine isn't done nearly enough in comparison to all the trolling and useless negativity swirling about out there.
I don't think I've ever done it myself. I've sent emails with feedback, I've posted on forums showing love for a game, but I don't think I've ever made a conscious effort to personally show my appreciation for a developer's work. I'll begin doing that.
Exactly. Yeah, the people are doing what they are doing for the money but sometimes people do the job so well that they deserve extra acknowledgement that isn't just monetary. Going out of your way to thank somebody is good way to show that they are valued.
Yes. One of the best things about the dedicated message boards on the WiiU is that you can get tips from the developers and talk to them individually (if they are there). I thanked a couple of the Two Tribes developers and it felt great to communicate with them directly.