Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #101  
Old 05-03-2019, 09:27 PM
Banquet Bear's Avatar
Banquet Bear is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 5,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
What the fuck weirdness is this, I spell the word correctly, and you quote me as misspelling it?
...for fucks sakes. It was a manually typed quote, I didn't use the quote feature. I made a fucking typo, that isn't fucking weird.

Quote:
As for the rest of it, what the fuck does anything you're saying have to do with exclusivity deals? It appears to me that I missed your point because I thought you were talking about something vaguely on-topic.
...its as on-topic as this rant:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
Fuck, companies wanting to increase their profits? What is this hobby coming to??!?
Or any of this:

Quote:
Of course the freemium, microtransaction, loot box bullshit might be a losing strategy. I hope it is, because I hate that shit. There's no disagreement there.

The disagreement I have is with the implication that it's an immoral strategy, that one can condemn it by pointing out that they're trying to make more money. Even if you want to offer a critique of capitalism as a whole (and I'm probably down with that critique), video games are a luxury item, and I don't care about whatever gross strategies folks are using to get people to buy their luxury items, as long as those strategies aren't in a small subset (preying on children, preying on addictions, leveraging gross stereotypes, etc.)

There's a decent argument that microtransactions in some cases prey on children or on addictions, and those are good criticisms. But "they're trying to make more money" isn't that criticism.

And Blizzard's downsizing of its workforce is worth examining and criticizing, but not because it's a shitty commercial strategy, because it's a shitty labor practice.
If you didn't want to address what I said you could have chosen to ignore it. You chose to respond, and I chose to respond to your response.
  #102  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:45 PM
Atamasama's Avatar
Atamasama is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...for fucks sakes. It was a manually typed quote, I didn't use the quote feature. I made a fucking typo, that isn't fucking weird.
No, itís really weird. If youíre choosing to attack a personís quote, quote them accurately. It literally looks like youíre mocking a typo that way.

So, sure it was an accident (if it wasnít Iíd be reporting you for forum violations) but itís still weird. Weird in the sense that itís an extremely ironic time to make a typo.

As for the rest of it, Iím with LHoD. Exclusivity deals are about making money, itís a business decision. Ranting about worker rights is completely irrelevant.
  #103  
Old 05-03-2019, 10:57 PM
Banquet Bear's Avatar
Banquet Bear is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 5,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
No, itís really weird. If youíre choosing to attack a personís quote, quote them accurately. It literally looks like youíre mocking a typo that way.
...it was a fucking typo. The only person I'm mocking is myself. I wasn't "attacking that persons quote", I was posting in disagreement. That's what we do here. I intended to spell the word correctly but I didn't. I had a lot of fucking words to type. Give me a break.

Quote:
So, sure it was an accident (if it wasnít Iíd be reporting you for forum violations) but itís still weird. Weird in the sense that itís an extremely ironic time to make a typo.
You've got to be fucking kidding me. What would you be reporting me for? Making a spelling mistake? The typo was not in the quote box, it was outside the quote box. What was in the quote box was exactly what Left Hand of Dorkness typed. What was ironic about me adding an extra o? Is that misspelling somehow offensive in North America?
  #104  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:00 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 40,800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...for fucks sakes. It was a manually typed quote, I didn't use the quote feature. I made a fucking typo, that isn't fucking weird.



...its as on-topic as this rant:



Or any of this:



If you didn't want to address what I said you could have chosen to ignore it. You chose to respond, and I chose to respond to your response.
...........................okay. I've read enough to figure out how seriously to take your arguments. We're good.
  #105  
Old 05-03-2019, 11:50 PM
Atamasama's Avatar
Atamasama is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,262
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
What was ironic about me adding an extra o? Is that misspelling somehow offensive in North America?
I actually have to explain? In North America those words mean different things. I assumed they did in NZ also, maybe I was mistaken.

When you are trying to attack someoneís choice words as you did, and misquote what youíre attacking, itís like going into court holding up a crime scene photo to show how depraved the defendant is. But you accidentally show the jury a photo of a kitten playing with yarn. Your mistake undercuts everything youíre doing. Especially if you are basing your attack on the exact words being used. Itís an extremely ironic time for a typo, because youíre not even quoting the correct words.
  #106  
Old 05-04-2019, 12:17 AM
Banquet Bear's Avatar
Banquet Bear is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Posts: 5,213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atamasama View Post
I actually have to explain? In North America those words mean different things. I assumed they did in NZ also, maybe I was mistaken.
...yes you have to explain. I've just looked up on dictionary.com and even the urban dictionary: are you assuming I was using definition number 3? Because I've never heard of that before and in no way fits the context of what I wrote. It was a typo. What was it you think I was trying to say? Be specific.

Quote:
When you are trying to attack someoneís choice words as you did,
I didn't "attack someones choice of words." I expressed disagreement.

Quote:
and misquote what youíre attacking,
For fucks sakes. I didn't "misquote." It wasn't intended as a direct quote. I did directly quote Left Hand of Dorkness and I did so in the quote box, as per the rules.

Quote:
itís like going into court holding up a crime scene photo to show how depraved the defendant is. But you accidentally show the jury a photo of a kitten playing with yarn.
This right here? This analogy about a crime scene photo and a jury and a photo of a kitten? This right here is fucking weird. I made a typo, thats all.

Quote:
Your mistake undercuts everything youíre doing. Especially if you are basing your attack on the exact words being used. Itís an extremely ironic time for a typo, because youíre not even quoting the correct words.
Just a reminder: this is the post we are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Banquet Bear View Post
...I didn't miss the point because your second and third paragraph do not materially affect anything I said. No I don't think games companies are charities. Yes I agree that businesses should try to make money. No I'm not talking about "capitalism" as a whole. I'm specifically talking about the gaming industry.



We aren't agreeing. Freemium, microtransactions, even loot boxes aren't inherently a "loosing strategy." That's not my point.



Again you are missing the point.

Lets forget about the consumer for a minute. Lets talk about the workforce. Lets directly compare two comparable industries: Hollywood and the gaming industry.

Hollywood has a lot of problems. #metoo has shone a giant spotlight on a lot of those problems, from endemic levels of sexual harassment and assault, to systematic racism and sexism that limits opportunities for marginalised peoples.

But Hollywood has one thing that the Games Industry doesn't: the workers below the line have a very very strong union.

If you work overtime on a union movie you get paid for it. If you work additional hours you get paid for it. If you do something extra dangerous you get paid for it. You can't do stunts without a stunt coordinator on set, you can't have children on set beyond a set amount of hours and at certain times unless you get an exception.

In the games industry there is only one section of the industry that has a strong union: and that's the voice actors. And in 2016 they put forward a list of demands, they couldn't come to an agreement with the games companies, so they went on strike. A year later they came to an agreement and the strike ended.

This sort of thing doesn't happen anywhere else in the games industry. You may have heard of crunch. There is no equivalent outside of the games industry. Its a heartless, soul-destroying process that is near-industry standard in the gaming industry. And the practice continues in the gaming industry for one simple reason: because they can. Because games companies don't want to make "more money": they want to make "all of the money." There are very little protections for workers and contractors in the gaming industry. And with so much competition for jobs in the industry workers are disposable.

And here's the thing. It gets fucking worse. Because while Hollywood is still grappling with endemic levels of sexual harassment and assault, to systematic racism and sexism that limits opportunities for marginalised peoples, one could argue that the same thing applies to the gaming industry, except things are an order of magnitude worse. Add a toxic fanbase that run campaigns like goobergate that the industry as a whole did very little to combat and what you get is an environment that is shitty, that is toxic, that needs to fundamentally change.

But again: this is only a piece of the puzzle. Lets look at "games as a live service" again. This is what EA Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen said back in 2017:



https://www.tweaktown.com/news/59990...ist/index.html

I've bolded "engagement" because that word is important. The industry is driven by metrics. And "engagement" has become the latest metric that has guided the industry. More engagement, more revenue, bigger profits. Its the thinking that has shifted the industry away from single-player-stand-alone games and towards the "live service" model.

Except engagement is bullshit. The biggest exemplar of this is the revelation that Facebook had vastly inflated engagement figures and that in part was what prompted many media companies to "pivot to video."

Just read this twitter thread by Aram Zucker-Scharff. Its epic. And it provides the receipts. It shows just how crappy a metric "engagement" can be. The money quote:

"The numbers are all fking fake, the metrics are bullshit, the agencies responsible for enforcing good practices are knowing bullshiters enforcing and profiting off all the fake numbers and none of the models make sense at scale of actual human users".

https://twitter.com/chronotope/statu...200256?lang=en

So how does all of this tie up?

Many video game companies have pivoted their entire business models based on dubious metrics. That pivot resulted in inflated company valuations and huge profit forecasts. The video game companies hit certain metrics that meant directors and CEO's were rewarded with multi-million dollar bonuses. They took in billions of revenue and made billions in profit.

They made more money than they had ever made before. But they don't want to make "more money." They want to make "all the money." They didn't hit some arbitrary profit margin that was formulated on the basis of dubious statistics. They didn't reach their "full potential."

So who got "punished" because they didn't reach their "full potential?" The people that did all the work. The people that spent weeks and months in crunch, often unpaid for all of that extra time. They got laid off despite the parent company making billions of profit because they didn't hit an unreasonable forecast based on dubious statistics which resulted in company shares loosing value so they had to "fire people" to make it look like they were doing something about it.

And its this: not the implementation of "microtransactions" that I find to be immoral. It doesn't have to be this way. Hollywood actively demonstrates it doesn't have to be this way. The labour laws in capitalist New Zealand show that it doesn't have to be this way.




Again: back to the Jim Sterling quote. "Companies don't want to make money. They want to make ALL of the money." That is the criticism.



Its all part of the same problem.
I used quote marks quite liberally throughout the post. Its just what I do, sometimes I'm quoting someone, sometimes it for emphasis. Maybe its not "technically correct." (See? I've done it again.) But I'm not writing a scholarly article here.

Apparently the hour it took me to research this, to track down an obscure twitter thread, to find quotes from CEO's from 2017, typed on a laptop that doesn't have a mouse plugged into it in between trying to finish an assignment and get invoices sent out to my clients, all to make a point about how shitty the games industry is was, is undercut because I accidentally typed an extra "o."

Suuure. That makes sense. Thanks for the positive contribution to the discourse I guess.
  #107  
Old 05-12-2019, 01:09 PM
SenorBeef is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,111
Crowd funded game Outer Wilds sells out to epic. This happened before with a game called Phoenix Point.

These games were funded by the public under promises of having access to the games on steam or other stores, then Epic comes in at the last minute and bribes them to be an exclusive.

That's even shittier than the normal tactic of just negotiating with publisher-funded studios. The crowdfunded devs are the biggest shits for taking the deal, but Epic are shits too for offering it.

"These partnerships have enabled us to make the game more accessible for everyone."

I like how they can't even come up with a plausible sounding reason why this is a good thing. Just "yes, taking it off the biggest gaming platform in the world, and a dozen other stores, and putting it on one and only one new startup storefront is making the game more accessible for everyone"

Disgusting.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 05-12-2019 at 01:11 PM.
  #108  
Old 05-12-2019, 03:19 PM
Sicks Ate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: KS, US
Posts: 6,478
Quote:
Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Crowd funded game Outer Wilds sells out to epic. This happened before with a game called Phoenix Point.

These games were funded by the public under promises of having access to the games on steam or other stores, then Epic comes in at the last minute and bribes them to be an exclusive.

That's even shittier than the normal tactic of just negotiating with publisher-funded studios. The crowdfunded devs are the biggest shits for taking the deal, but Epic are shits too for offering it.

"These partnerships have enabled us to make the game more accessible for everyone."

I like how they can't even come up with a plausible sounding reason why this is a good thing. Just "yes, taking it off the biggest gaming platform in the world, and a dozen other stores, and putting it on one and only one new startup storefront is making the game more accessible for everyone"

Disgusting.
The update says, does it not, that they will still make it available on the 'platform of your choice'?

So Epic gave them a heap of dough for the rights to release it first. I'm sure the devs are going to be very happy with the extra financial security.

I still don't get the outrage, even a little. It's like being pissed off that you can't walk in to a Ford dealership and buy a Tesla.
  #109  
Old 05-12-2019, 05:00 PM
SenorBeef is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,111
So as long as they make it available on the platform of your choice one day - even if that's 10 years in the future - no big deal?

The short update is full of doublespeak. "Rest assured that we read all of your comments and our goal is to bring the game to your preferred platform as quickly as possible." - So you guaranteed that your game would only show up on one platform for most likely a year, to guarantee that it would get to the platform of my choice as fast as possible? "Each of these partnerships has enabled us to make the game better and more accessible for everyone who will play it." - removing 90% of the places on the internet that you could buy the game is in the name of improving accessibility?

Your analogy doesn't work. Epic is not selling their own games. This is already done in the industry, and while people don't like it, they generally accept that, for example, Battlefield and Apex are only available on Origin. But at least EA makes these games and can decide to put them on their own service. Bribing the creators of other games, that have nothing to do with EA, to only sell on their service is nothing like only being able to buy Fords at a Ford dealership.

Additionally, buying a digital copy of a game (really, an indefinitely digital license to a game) is not the same as buying a product. It's not a one time transaction. It affects how you go about playing it too. Games can take advantage of features on steams that allows them to have achievements, integrate your friends list into the invite/party system, provide voice chat, matchmaking, server browsing, anti-cheat, cloud storage for saves and configuration, workshop mod support, and other features.

And games that choose not to take advantage of those still get the benefit of things like having your friends able to see what game you're in so they can join you, discussion forums for each game, community reviews, managing screenshots and videos of games, and tying them to your profile, streaming the game to your friends, etc. Steam has a wide variety of features that Epic Game Store doesn't have.

Also, steam is not mostly owned by a shady chinese company with suspicious business practices.

Additionally, since you're buying an indefinitely digital license, you want to have confidence that your game will be accessible indefinitely and without arbitrary restrictions. Steam has a 15 year history of being reliable, user friendly, and generally serving the consumer's interest. Epic games and Tencent have no such demonstration, and in general since their business policies are being a consumer-unfriendly pile of dicks, I would expect them not to be reliable. Valve has promised to make steam and games operable in the event that they ever shut down, EGS/tencent has not. Valve gives a shit about their customers and will probably be around in 10 years. EGS? Who knows? This bribing thing may not work out and they may shut the whole thing down.

Also, this isn't epic vs steam. It's epic vs every other games store. When a game only appears on epic, there's no competition. Even if you're just talking about steam, Valve allows you to buy steam keys in dozens of different places. Competing storefronts compete to sell steam keys at various discounts. Or even taking steam out of the picture, there are other storefronts like origin, uplay, gog, etc. Epic is not just excluding steam, but all of those too. Epic will be the the only place to get their games, and so they have no pressure to keep the price low, no competition.

So, if you're a person that says "okay, I really believe in your idea. I'm going to crowdfund your game. Here, take my $40. Thank you for guaranteeing me a copy of a steam key when your game eventually is launched. Good luck" - and then the developer says "lol fuck you, I know you gave us the money we needed to make this game, but epic just gave us a shitload of money, so you'll get your steam key a year late, or you can suck tencent's dick and play it on the epic game store." - you don't get even a little bit of outrage?

Last edited by SenorBeef; 05-12-2019 at 05:02 PM.
  #110  
Old 05-12-2019, 05:15 PM
Atamasama's Avatar
Atamasama is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,262
A better analogy would be if your favorite band said they were getting back together and wanted to release a new album but didn’t want to deal with a record label. They want to go independent because F the man!

So you say, yeah, down with corporate greed, and back them. You give them a big chunk of cash and eagerly await the album release.

They do so, and publish themselves. So how do you get it? It’s only available on the iTunes Store. You get a coupon that lets you apply it to an iTunes account.

You hate Apple because they hosed you a few years back when you had some billing disputes with them, plus you don’t own an Apple computer or smart phone. I think you might feel some resentment there.
  #111  
Old 05-12-2019, 05:26 PM
SenorBeef is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 28,111
That is a much better analogy, especially if you couldn't just keep the MP3 where you wanted, and had to always use iTunes to listen to the song - pretty much dead on.
  #112  
Old 05-15-2019, 09:59 PM
Jophiel's Avatar
Jophiel is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Chicago suburbia
Posts: 19,147
There's an amusing PCGamer article up where Ubi credits their (semi)exclusivity agreement with Epic for... driving customers to their own Uplay store.
Quote:
Being on the Epic Store "really helped to actually do more of our business on our own store," he said at the time, noting that Division 2 preorders on Uplay were six times higher than for Division 1.
So Epic paid them a multi-million dollar exclusivity agreement and then Uplay gets most of the orders anyway since people didn't want to deal with Epic, thus giving Ubi 100% of the take on most copies sold. Way to play the system there, Ubisoft
  #113  
Old 05-16-2019, 07:05 AM
Left Hand of Dorkness's Avatar
Left Hand of Dorkness is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: at the right hand of cool
Posts: 40,800
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
There's an amusing PCGamer article up where Ubi credits their (semi)exclusivity agreement with Epic for... driving customers to their own Uplay store.

So Epic paid them a multi-million dollar exclusivity agreement and then Uplay gets most of the orders anyway since people didn't want to deal with Epic, thus giving Ubi 100% of the take on most copies sold. Way to play the system there, Ubisoft
That's kind of awesome. I hate the Ubi store based on the few times I've been there, but whatever. Folks choosing to punish Epic financially for their penny-ante bullshit system gaming is just how I'd like to see it go down.
  #114  
Old 05-16-2019, 10:00 AM
DigitalC is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Obamatopia
Posts: 11,037
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sicks Ate View Post
The update says, does it not, that they will still make it available on the 'platform of your choice'?

So Epic gave them a heap of dough for the rights to release it first. I'm sure the devs are going to be very happy with the extra financial security.

I still don't get the outrage, even a little. It's like being pissed off that you can't walk in to a Ford dealership and buy a Tesla.
Well for phoenix point it was a year of exclusivity. The outrage is that this was a product already paid for and financed on promises that they are no longer keeping.
  #115  
Old 06-10-2019, 03:24 PM
Ethilrist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Saint Paul
Posts: 26,841
For the people who are still annoyed that it's going to be exclusive on Epic after the launch, you can currently pre-order Borderlands 3 on the Borderlands site.
  #116  
Old 06-10-2019, 04:17 PM
wolfman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 10,850
but what does that mean DRM wise? If we still have to get an account on Epic to play, it's no better.

Last edited by wolfman; 06-10-2019 at 04:17 PM.
  #117  
Old 06-10-2019, 07:25 PM
Atamasama's Avatar
Atamasama is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,262
I pre-ordered Borderlands 3 for my Xbox One on the Xbox store...
  #118  
Old 06-11-2019, 12:06 AM
Ethilrist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Saint Paul
Posts: 26,841
I just checked my receipt, and it does look like it's going to be a download from the Epic Store. So, maybe still exclusive to Epic. At least this gets around my problem, which is that Epic stopped taking my card a couple months ago for some reason. Still works fine with 2k and Blizzard, though. Go figure.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:00 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017