Thursday, June 28, 2012

There is Literally Nothing to Talk About So Here's a Rant

So this is one of those nights where there is just jack-all to talk about, honestly.  There's some depressing news out there about Sega shutting down a lot of European and Australian offices, as well as the news about Radical Entertainment basically getting shuttered, but I don't really like talking about stories like that because I can never usually offer much beyond "well, that sucks".  And it does suck.  And.....that's about all I can say on it.  Hopefully Sega can turn themselves around with Phantasy Star Online 2 with the monetization they're doing on it (Which I take absolutely no issue with so long as you'll be able to have a character and a room without paying.  Or you can pay once for something and have it indefinitely.  None of this stuff that amounts to 'renting'.) and hopefully the people let loose from Radical can find employment in companies that aren't absolutely terrible and suffer no repercussions from what they do.  Actually, if you'll allow me a little tangent on that note...

The thing that bothers me when stories like the Radical thing come out is that a lot of people's reaction is to go "Well, I'm going to vote with my wallet and not buy anymore Activision games" (or whichever parent company it is doing the trouble, usually Activision or EA) and get all self-important about it.  Same thing happens on a broader scale with Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony whenever news comes out for them that people don't really agree with.  Region-locking with the 3DS, pick something from a hat with Sony, etc.  People like to think that if they just don't buy a product that comes out from this group, -everyone at the top- suffers.  Imagining that not buying the next Call of Duty game suddenly means Bobby Kotick has to visit the poor-house.  Or that it affects Iwata whatsoever when you refuse to buy a 3DS because you can't import games from Japan to play on it without a lot of hassle, if at all.

This is not how things work.  Kotick already has his money.  Not buying Prototype 2, not buying the next Call of Duty, not buying anything that has the Activision branding doesn't do a damn thing to his earnings or his bank account.  The only people that are affected are the developers, the guys at the bottom of the totem pole, since as we have learned quite often over the last year or so, they are quite 'expendable' in the eyes of the people running companies.  Refusing to buy a game because Kotick runs a company is only punishing the guys who spent 60 hours a week away from their families and everything else to put together something they believed in, that they thought would be a viable, entertaining product.  Because if the game they spent all that time on doesn't sell 'well enough', they get the axe and it's that simple.  Hell, Kotick and the like probably make more money, if anything, when this sort of thing happens.  So if you really want to be someone who is 'voting with your wallet', how about you just buy the games you want to buy, since that's...pretty much all that matters, yeah?  Buying a game tells a company "I want this", and not buying it tells them "I don't want this", because nobody gives a shit if you're not buying something on faux-righteous principles; the simple matter is that you didn't buy it.

And before you drop into that "But Mogs, the Nintendo executives took that big paycut, that's a real classy move, isn't it?" because that comes up all the time, let me just ask you something.  Do I think it's classy that Nintendo Executives who have had more or less the most successful years we've known in a few generations with both the Wii and the DS (in all its incarnations) selling like crazy are willing to accept a little less money in the face of the 3DS only selling like three millions units worldwide at the time?  No.  Not really.  It was associated with a price drop that came into play only because they admittedly over-priced the 3DS because they thought it would sell regardless (which would get anyone else constantly crucified since the literal reason for the $250 pricetag was premium pricing because the demand was so high) and was only done because Sony threw out a pricetag for the Vita that nobody thought they would put down, which actually made things competitive.  Or it -would've-, had Nintendo kept the price the same until after the Vita had launched, but who needs to actually give anyone else a chance, right?  So, no, it wasn't really a classy move because, again like Kotick, they've got their money and the fact that they're taking less out of trucktons of money doesn't impress me a lot, especially when it was a purely PR-grabbing move.

Well, I didn't really expect this post to take a turn like that, but hey, gotta roll with it when it comes like that.  That's been something that's been bugging me for a while and it was sorta kinda tied to another rant that's been brewing lately as well, but I didn't actually think I'd be able to, uh, put it into words.  Regardless, I think I came out making my points pretty clearly.  Or at least partially.  Maybe.  Anyways, at least I did get to write up something in the wake of there being not a whole lot else to talk about.  Nothing to be excited (positively) about, anyway.  Hopefully Friday bears news that will be worth bringing up and speaking of at length.  Or maybe I'll actually do something game-wise that merits talking about.  That's....probably doubtful, but hey, anything could happen, apparently!


  1. This is not how things work. Kotick already has his money.

    Here's the thing, though. If a person has a truly hardcore axe to grind against a particular company, they might not buy the games. You already know that part. Yes, the fact that the games are already sold to retailers, it won't affect pay, it only affects the developers etc are all good points, but here's the thing:

    In the long run, sustained embargoes like this actually are the best way to show dissatisfaction, especially if the embargo is wide-spread. There are some things it cannot change or probably shouldn't be used for- for example, "I don't like the CEO/etc" is a fairly poor one.

    Ultimately it's not about hurting x y or z, it's about trying to get a change. And no matter how you dice it or slice it, a corporation is in the business of making money, and denying them their money will make them change.

    1. The thing that gets me, though, is when people say things like "Well, I was going to get this game, but it's (publisher)'s and I'm not supporting them", in regards to like Activision or EA. The only people that that hurts is the Developer making said game and the consumer because, ultimately, they're just missing out on playing a game they want to play. I know this pretty well, considering the whole KOEI/Warriors Orochi 3 thing. It burns me every day that I can't play the game because I -would- buy it if I could actually play it, digital or not. But I -can't-.

      That's kind of what I was really trying to push on, is that developers are really the ones getting screwed over when people don't buy things because of these half-baked entitlement reasons. And the only thing that really changes when we don't buy games for these kinds of reasons is that these types of games simply don't get made anymore, whereas efforts merely get focused towards games that cater to the less picky crowd. In the Activision Example, that would be the Call of Duty crowd since, no matter how many people hurr-durr about not buying Activision games because Kotick is evil or what have you, millions of people buy that game for the simple reason of just wanting to buy it. That is how those companies make their money.

      To use an exceptionally recent thing as an example, there are all sorts of people out there that won't be buying Persona 4 Arena simply because the higher-ups said "We want the game region-locked so people don't import the American version, since it's the cheapest, comparatively, out there. They're getting all self-righteous about it because that is essentially the reason told down from Atlus USA (who have no control over matters, by the way, but are still being called out for it) since they feel like Atlus is acknowledging that they're gouging them.

      The thing is, though, Atlus knows how to friggin' make money, and they've been touted triumphantly for this fact. So that is what they're doing. The rub is that Atlus isn't developing Persona 4 Arena, just publishing it. Arc System Works is the company that's getting screwed by all these people who won't touch the game (new, at least, simply stating that they're going for Used) simply because it's Region-locked for a very specific reason that won't carry on for any other game. (Considering the fighting game scene is pretty wild in Japan, not region-locking it on top of having Dual-Audio means it would get the -shit- imported out of it)

      Yet there it is. High-horse reasoning for not shelling out for a game people want, and it's not even going to really affect the company they're 'outraged' at, since Atlus will probably just, you know, not bother making anymore fighting games and stick to the other things that turn a handy profit, effectively shutting down creativity and what could be if P4A comes out and turns out to be -really good-. Yes, Atlus loses out on a little money, but they're not going to be monumentally affected (though likely a little moreso than normal since I imagine they have a hand in the story mostly, maybe) like Arc System Works who have spent a considerable amount of time on it which could've been put towards other efforts.