Tag: blizzard

“This was never intended.”

“This was never intended.”

Introduction

It’s the same broken record every time. “This was never intended.” “We missed the mark on this one.” “It’s too hard to make games.” “We’ll do better this time.” Blah blah blah blah! This excuse is being used more and more since the Battlefront 2 controversy, and people are actually defending them. Some gamers are being told the false ideology that games are too hard to make for AAA companies. Something (unless they’re an indie game developer) that is a weak excuse. Especially if they’re a multi-billion dollar company like Activision or EA. They have every resource at their fingertips with the kind of money they have, and they should have no excuse for why they can’t do better. Here’s two main reasons why.

The Gaming Industry is a $90 Billion Business

Like I said previously, these big companies have no room for excuses when they’re making insane amounts of money annually. In an article by IGN back in 2016, Electronic Arts CEO, Blake Jorgensen, was quoted saying,

“The extra content business is a billion-three [$1.3 Billion] a year. Half of that is roughly our Ultimate Team business.”

For those who don’t know, Ultimate Team is an EA contributor responsible with providing players in FIFA, Madden, and NHL games to be able to buy, sell, or trade player cards for cash or in-game currency. A system that EA has been profiting on for well over a decade. That’s not all. The article continues to state that Jorgensen explained that most gamers’ will “typically pay money to beat their friends”. Its also explained that EA makes over $650 million in digital revenue through mobile purchases. They also receive anywhere from $300 to $400 million from digital and subscription purchases across all platforms.

Remember though, these numbers are from 2016. Imagine what those numbers probably look like today. Astronomical I imagine. So when developers want to give the excuse that developing games is “too hard” or “too expensive”. Do yourself a quick Google search of what their annual revenue is. If it’s more than what you make annually, then they’re talking bullshit.

Some Developers Rush Their Titles

One of the biggest problems with games today is that they’re being rushed. It’s a simple yet terrible fact. Look at Mass Effect Andromeda and Battlefront 2, both of those titles were rushed for two different reasons. Andromeda was rushed so they could have it released on time, even though the finished product was not ready for release, and Battlefront 2 was rushed to be released alongside The Last Jedi film. Duke Nukem Forever met a similar fate. Even after all of the old advertising campaigns explained the game is “Coming When it’s Done!”. They had many years to make this game absolutely badass, and it completely missed the mark.

The finished product was completely botched, glitchy, buggy, and a total broken mess at release. The complete opposite of what was advertised back in 2001. A sad end to a rather epic game franchise. This is a very dangerous practice in the gaming industry that has a affected many game developers financially, and has also been the root cause of some companies being shut down. So why are games rushed? Well, it usually depends on the title. To many game publishers, there are some titles out there that they feel are too risky to sell. Which is usually the reason most big budget games are pushed towards the end of the year before they’re released. This is because most titles are usually given only a month to earn any profit.

So what do they do? Market the shit out of it. Over hype the hell out of the game to the heavens above. Scream from the highest mountain top about their game. Do everything they possibly can to hype the game up. It’s what Destiny 2 was very famous for with their Live Action marketing campaigns. Cayde-6 (one of the main characters of Destiny 2) being the face of most of the advertising. Hell, I got a Cayde-6 mini-figure with the copy I pre-ordered. It was to hype up their game as much as possible. So no matter how bad they did, they would still get the money they’d need from the advertisements. It doesn’t matter how bad the game was (and still is), they still got our money, and in the eyes of their corporate overlords, they won.

Conclusion

The Gaming Industry has and always will be one of the biggest industries worldwide, and will continue making money for years to come. Electronic Arts makes $4.8 Billion annually as of 2017. Activision makes $6.6 Billion annually as of 2016. Blizzard makes $2.4 Billion annually as of 2016. You get my point. If you ever hear game publishers complain and whine about how making games is to hard and that they need to implement micro-transactions to support their $60 games, just look at the numbers. A quick Google search will show just how much bullshit they’re spewing. They’re making us look stupid. They’re making us look like easy prey, and we need to stand up to them.

Works Cited

  1. Passalacqua, Michael. “This Is How Much Money EA Makes on Extra Content.” IGN, IGN, 2 Mar. 2016, http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/03/02/this-is-how-much-money-ea-makes-on-extra-content.
  2. Barder, Ollie. “When Games Are Rushed To Release Who Is To Blame? Hint: It’s Not The Testers.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 17 Nov. 2014, http://www.forbes.com/sites/olliebarder/2014/11/17/when-games-are-rushed-to-release-who-is-to-blame-hint-its-not-the-testers/#49f0aad84159.
  3. Lev-ram, Michael. “Activision Blizzard Aims for the Big Leagues.” Fortune, 7 June 2017, fortune.com/2017/06/07/fortune-500-activision-blizzard/.
  4. Curtis, Tom. “EA Reorganizes after a Landmark $1B Digital Year.” Gamasutra Article, Gamasutra, 12 Jan. 2012, http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/129086/EA_reorganizes_after_a_landmark_1B_digital_year.php.   
The Man who can Save the Gaming Industry

The Man who can Save the Gaming Industry

Since the controversy around Star Wars Battlefront 2 sparked, many gaming companies have been criticized for their implementations of greedy micro-transactions in their triple A titles. Games such as Destiny 2, Overwatch, and even Call of Duty WW2 to name a few. The news on Loot Boxes spread like a wildfire, making it’s way to mainstream media outlets like MSNBC, CNN, Forbes, among others. This news only got bigger with newer information being found by Reddit on these games. Word continued to spread, and it wasn’t long before it caught the attention of worldwide governments.

Belgium, Germany and Australia were the many foreign countries who spoke out against the recent controversy, agreeing that it was a form of gambling to prey on a younger audience or addictive individuals. This eventually leading us to Hawaii Representative, Chris Lee, the man who has spoken out against the Battlefront 2 scandal, and has demanded for the immediate regulation of Loot Boxes in gaming. This is the man I believe will have the power to save the Gaming Industry.

I know what many of you will say; “Government regulation in the gaming industry could lead to it’s demise”, and to an extent, I can agree. I hate government regulations as much as the next guy. However, I honestly feel like we’re being left with no other option. We either continue to allow gaming companies get away with these greedy tactics against consumers, or we leave them with no choice but to face the wrath of Big Brother. We’d be trading one villain for another, but we would also be regulating a practice in gaming that has infested the industry with it’s bullshit.

As of right now, Chris Lee as successfully gotten the support from five other states across the United States, and more support for his cause continues to grow. This move (regardless of how you feel about it) is very important to the future of the gaming community. If you wish to learn more on these matters, feel free to visit Chris Lee’s many social media accounts on YouTube and Twitter. No matter how you feel on the subject, this is an important fight that all gamers should take part in.

Destiny 2, the most disappointing MMORPG in Gaming History …

Destiny 2, the most disappointing MMORPG in Gaming History …

Introduction

It feels like the more we talk about Destiny 2, the more and more we begin to unravel just how empty and lifeless this game is. I paid $90 for this title. I stayed up for the midnight release, hoping and praying that the game would live up to the promise of being better than Destiny 1. However, after spending a total of 334 hours played, I have come to the sad conclusion … Destiny 1 (game mechanics wise) is better than Destiny 2, hands down. It kills me to say that, but it’s the truth, and allow me to explain.

No reason to do anything

There is absolutely no incentive to do any activities. Strikes, nightfalls, crucible, public events, hell even the raid are all but pointless to do. There’s no Strike-specific gear you can get from them like in Destiny 1. You get nothing cool from the Prestige Raid like the Hardened Raids back in Destiny 1. The Crucible has no variety like in Destiny 1. Public Events give you no decent rewards like in Destiny 1. A lot of the mechanics that made these events attractive back in Destiny 1 have been completely gutted in this game.

“Vendors” aren’t vendors anymore

No … no they are not. These new “vendors” don’t sell you anything like they did in Destiny 1. Gone are the days when you could buy the gun or armor piece you wanted from the vendors. So, how do we get stuff from these “vendors” now? Oh you know … earn fucking tokens and give them to the “vendors” to boost their reputations. When you fill the rep bar, they give random (shitty) rewards. That. Is. HORRIBLE. You couldn’t have made a more terrible system. Unless you prove me wrong in the next update…

Shaders shaders shaders

I know I’ve spoken about this previously, but it is still an insane move by Bungie and an obviously greedy tactic to buy the stupid Bright Engrams. In Destiny 2, shaders can only be used on one armor piece/weapon and they cost a handful of Glimmer (the game’s in-game currency). The more rare the item, the more the shader will cost to put on. A system, when compared to the shaders from Destiny 1, is completely garbage.

The Meta Reigns Supreme

In Crucible, I never feel like I can use what I want. There’s a clear dominant weapon currently in the game, and I see literally everyone using the same damn weapons again and again. The main guns people use are: Better Devils, Origin Story, Nameless Nemesis, any auto rifle with a Rate of Fire over 450, and three-round-burst sidearms. That’s it, and it gets worse during Trials of the Nine, because you have no other option. You have to use these guns, or you will lose.

Trials of the NO

Trials of Osiris is an activity in Destiny 1 that I never really got into. Mostly because I’m actual trash at competitive games. However, this time around, I decided to give it another shot and see how it was. After completing it (not getting flawless), I was so disappointed, that I had no incentive or reason to try again for flawless. Compared to Destiny 1 (again) these new guns look terrible, and with no random rolls, I don’t feel like I got anything special. Especially when I hear my friends telling me that the gun I got was shit. Fuck Trials.

Rest in Peace Random Rolls

What made guns in Destiny 1 special was their random rolls on weapons. It made you want to keep trying until you got the perfect gun. When you did, you felt truly accomplished, and you felt like you had something no one else could get (or have a hard time getting). However, with that system removed, there’s nothing special with any weapon you have. You most likely have a gun that everyone else has. You aren’t special in any way. You’re just like everyone else. Fucking awful.

XP Controversy

I’m sure most of you have heard about this debacle, but for those of you who haven’t, I’ll explain how it went down. It was found by a Reddit user that Destiny 2’s XP system has been giving it’s players false information regarding their XP earnings. When you complete activities, you get a specific XP amount. However, as you continue doing more activities, your XP earnings begin decreasing drastically. If you earn 750 XP from completing an event, that is actually a false number. Instead, you really receive about 1/5 of that. While Bungie said they fixed this issue, that was a lie. Instead of fixing the issue, they just increased the XP Bar limit from 0 – 80,000 XP to 0 – 160,000 XP. While they did stop making us lose XP earnings, they also still made it take longer for players to earn XP from doing activities. They say now that they’re still working on this, but after dealing with this game for over a month, I have no hopes anymore.

The Sad Curse of Osiris

The news is already out on how lifeless the Curse of Osiris DLC is going to be. IGN talking about how little there is to do on Mercury and even the admittedly most disappointing live stream by Bungie. There is no hope for the DLC, that’s just fact. The map of Mercury is small, the Infinite Forest is bland, the story is short, the weapons are lack luster, and the raid (for some fucking reason) has us back on the Leviathan. Yes … because we all know we want to go back to that piece of shit. Jesus … typing this is making me so sad.

In Conclusion

Don’t buy Destiny 2 … don’t. It pains me to say that, but it’s the truth. This game was a colossal disappointment at launch, and I don’t think it’s going to get any better as the days go on. Supposedly there is a big update coming in early 2018 that’ll “fix Destiny 2”, but I’ve given up on Bungie at this point. They’ve given me little to no reason to trust them on anything they say. It is a shame what this game has become, and at this point, we need a new MMO to come out that can completely blow Destiny 2 out of the water. Make Destiny 2 look like absolute shit and dominate all MMOs on consoles, and I really think Monster Hunter World could have the chance to make that a reality. I don’t know, we’ll see. We can only hope at this point.

 

EA is in Big Trouble …

EA is in Big Trouble …

Some advice for you Disney, cut off ties with Electronic Arts right now. Do it before the law suits and nationwide bans start going crazy, because after today, EA’s house of cards are going to begin falling apart. As of recently, the state of Hawaii have declared Loot Crates in Battlefront 2 (by law) a form of illegal gambling targeted at minors, and are demanding for the regulation or removal of the games from store shelves. Belgium, Sweden, and Australia are still investigating on the matter, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll officially consider them gambling.

This is another major victory for gamers demanding for the removal of micro-transactions from full priced $60 games. Since EA made that shady response to one of the criticisms of their game, all hell has broken loose. With this recent event, almost every single company involved in Loot Boxes have gone completely radio silent. Companies such as Blizzard, Sledgehammer, and Activision. After Battlefront 2, investigations are being made on other AAA titles such as Overwatch, Call of Duty WW2, Need for Speed, Shadow of War, etc.

This is a step in the right direction for the Gaming Industry. However, we’ve got to keep pushing and demanding for the removal of greedy practices in our games. When we pay full price for a game, we should expect to have bought the full game. Not have bought half the game with the rest locked behind pay-walls. This is not how gaming should be, and we should work towards changing that. This could be the beginning of the end for bad gambling mechanics in gaming, but have to keep fighting.

Hawaii’s Response to Battlefront 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_akwfRuL4os