Jimquisition: Companies Exist To Make Money

dragongit

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I'd like to first say, charming poetry. Second, stating what we all know, but the industry continues to shovel onto us. Just because they want money, doesn't mean they gotta be dicks about it.
 

DrunkOnEstus

In the name of Harman...
May 11, 2012
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I like this one a lot, a shift from preaching to the choir to drawing a line on a divisive issue. And you're right, the phrase shouldn't really permit justifications for any damned means to make said money. I hope EA catches wind of that beautiful poem and realizes where they need to take the franchise, assuming they got their 5+ million sales (check out VgChartz for every other game, I highly fucking doubt it.)
 

scw55

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I agree.
I believe in ethical business practise for the consumers and manufacturers.

Yes, by being a dick you may make a lot of money now. But by being not-a-dick you ensure income for the future, long term. For some reason (which is strange), human beings like people who are not dicks. And tend to hate dicks.

It's funny. Steam used to get a lot of slack for Hats. And stupid keys to unlock chests. Now they're eclipsed by everyone else.
 

leviadragon99

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Not that much of a stretch to extend the same agument to any corporation that people try to defend that way come to think of it.
 

LifeMakesMeLOL

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I've always ignored people who pull the "but it's their job!" argument, but it's always nice to see Jim call others out on their BS.

By the way, best fanfic 2013.
 

themilo504

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I kind of expected you to talk about how the behavior of company?s like ea is not only bad for the consumer but also in the long run the company but this is fine too.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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themilo504 said:
I kind of expected you to talk about how the behavior of company?s like ea is not only bad for the consumer but also in the long run the company but this is fine too.
I've touched on that subject in other videos. This one is a more purely focused argument.

The short-sighted self-destruction of companies may be worth an entire video too.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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It's not even a "true" argument. Companies exist for whatever fucking reason their owner deems they should exist for.
Sure it wouldn't be a bad idea to make money for a company to continue existing and doing what it does, but there are different core values that different companies put higher or lower. For instance for some companies customer service or the quality of their product is their highest goal (they could possibly make more money by producing mass-market products or outsourcing all their services to India, but they want their brand to be known for quality, for instance some manufacturers of musical instruments are a good example). Or certain other companies, for instance "Oculus Rift" were made because their creator really wants something (like VR) to succeed and is trying to push it into the market.
There's even incorporated charities which's primary goal is expressly not to make money, but to help people.

I liked this example of a "rating scale" for corporations:



Level 0 ? Massive exploitation. Company provides no benefit to mankind whatsoever. Purely predatory and exploitive, may promote death and destruction (e.g., slave labor, etc.).
Level 1 ? Significant predation. Company?s predatory actions may result in financial ruin of others but the product or service may not be detrimental to mankind.
Level 2 ? Mildly predatory. Company has some redeeming value but profits are funneled to a select few.
Level 3 ? Somewhat humanistic. Company is interested in doing the right thing, but is caught up in mainstream capitalistic structure and protocol.
Level 4 ? Very humanistic. Company has a nice blend of beneficial products and services and demonstrates a propensity to share the wealth.
Level 5 ? Completely humanistic. Company exists only for the benefit of mankind. It is altruistic, philanthropic, promotes the general welfare, and makes just enough profit to innovate while serving its customers and employees.
Level 5+ ? The company is Level 5 with full financial transparency.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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I'd like to say: why is this up so early? And why do I have to keep reloading it?

Edit: Seriously you guys? First Escape to the Movies gets put out a whole DAY ahead of schedule and now this? This isn't the third season of My Little Pony you know.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Companies Exist To Make Money

Jim goes deep into the minds of publishers in this week's episode of Jimquisition.

Watch Video
 

VanQ

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Oct 23, 2009
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Thank God for Jim, at least someone with a voice in the industry sees some sense. The amount of times I've had people jump down my throat for disapproving of EA's or Ubisoft's or Namco's or whoever's DLC and DRM policies is staggering. I still can't believe people so avidly defend such practices.

As someone who has been playing Japanese games for quite a while now, it's quite easy to see that developers here are attempting to ease us into the same pricing structure that is dominant in Japan. That is, pay $15 US to buy one song or dress in a DLC pack.

I recommend everyone take a look at the kind of prices Namco of Japan squeezes out of their customers over there. It's not hard to believe publishers here would want a piece of that big, juicy pie.

http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/637325-the-idolmster-2/64938697

Each of those prices is in yen, making up for a rather hefty fee of 8860yen or the equivalent of roughly $100US if you want it all. The original game costs in the range of 6000yen. Yeah, it's actually common practice over there that a DLC pack should cost more than the original, standalone game. And catalog 15 is one of the cheaper packs to be released.

There is good reason to be very scared of the future we're heading towards.
 

Marik2

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Nov 10, 2009
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I may have missed this when playing through the MGS series, but why exactly was Solidus using child soldiers in that war? Did it have to do with fighting the Patriot system, what?

New to MGS here
 

Legion

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Oct 2, 2008
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Well said.

The whole "Stop making excuses for companies" thing, not the poop part. That was just... odd.

I've never liked the argument that existing to make money means anything goes. It makes it sound like we need the companies more than they need us, where if they make a crap product or do not act in a way that makes us want to buy from them, we can go elsewhere, while they are the ones who are screwed if we don't.

It also reminds me of the point you made about isms recently. I get the impression that a lot of people who defend shoddy businesses and their practices are secretly afraid that if we don't suck up to them and defend them they might stop making games for us.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Finally. When people say the end justifies the means, what they're really saying is: The end justifies the mean.
 

Jennacide

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Glad you got to this one Jim, I've always hated this strawman argument. I've never understood how so many people will defend bullshit business practices with this weak defense. "Capitalism is about making money." Well, no, not really. Capitalism is about offering the best service for a competitive price. Not "How badly can we gouge users for the least amount of effort?"
 

Hitchmeister

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Companies exist to make money. But when they drive to make more money leads to shitty products, over-priced with expensive add-ons to bleed more money from consumers the proper response is not to keep giving them money and vilifying them or apologizing for them. But to not give them any more of your money.

"You are charging too much for your shitty, incomplete game and your over-priced DLC to make the game somewhat less incomplete, but simultaneously more shitty, therefor I will not play it and you won't get any of the money you want." That is the message we need to send publishers.
 

TheLastFeeder

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Well a nice recap there Jim.

But I'm past all my problems with EA, Square Enix, Konami, and Capcom. Because at some point I stopped buying games these companies publish, subconsciously just thinking maybe later I'm not in the mood to see what kind of business decisions or half finished game I'm going to get to know this time.

Now I'm spending the same amounts on the Indie bundles as I did on the games from those companies and I'm happy with what I'm getting for my money.
 

xPixelatedx

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I appreciate your efforts to try and bring a reasonable light to this topic, but I feel your pleas fall upon deaf ears. As the last few years have proven, (particularly with bioware, EA and Capcom), some companies butthole's are so insanely clenched around their sycophants, even superman couldn't pull them out. And that is the reason why these companies still exist and do the things they do, regardless of how bad their business practices are or how terribly they view their own fanbase. Seriously, I have never seen any other industry actually call their customers names. Objectively speaking, that should be the death of any company right there... so why isn't it?
 

SNCommand

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The argument is more complex than just "companies exist to make money"

It also means that companies need to make money, if a practice is deemed unprofitable they will of course try to steer away from it, they might not be correct in their assessment, but then it's up to the consumer to buy the product or not

The argument isn't about someone having to like or even accept why a company does what it do, but it is to make someone understand why they do it
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Alright lets skip ahead (And not just cause of the poop part, even though that in and off itself is a reason to skip ahead).

Do you have a point some where in this? I love you to death Jim.. but...are you trying to shame EA or who ever into being good? Now we're online and your pandering to a bunch of people who at least 50 percent pinch all their music, movies, and possible games for free,

and your giving an ethics class on money? Lets not act like the gaming fan base is good whole some people by and large. Certainly not the online gaming fan base.

I don't see the point of the rant. "Companies suck and we have the right to say they suck!" Well yeah you do. Christ you have the right to say they suck even when they don't suck. who are these people who said "SHUT Down jim STerling he has no right to do what he does!"

I've yet to see a video Review where a critical gamer does something he has no right to do.
hay that's a curious challenge....

when can a critical gamer go to far ^^?
 

Ryan Hughes

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Actually, the idea that companies exist to make money is relatively new. Adam Smith would have found the notion horrifying, as he would likely have said that companies exist to further moral sentiments and examples. In fact, in America you used to have to prove that your company benefited its community at large or they would revoke your incorporation.

Beginning in the 1800's, the idea the companies exist to make money began, but it really did not begin to take hold until the post-war era, reaching its zenith in the Regan era.
 

Vault Citizen

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Are you sure a poop based sequel is a good idea? You just know that EA is going to microtramsaction the shit out of it, it would be the most anti consumer poop in history.

....


I'll go stand in the corner now.
 

Ickabod

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Companies are entitled to a fair profit, if that profit didn't exist than we wouldn't have anyone making games. EA really is trying to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs though. It's shameful actually.
 

WanderingFool

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DVS BSTrD said:
I'd like to say: why is this up so early? And why do I have to keep reloading it?

Edit: Seriously you guys? First Escape to the Movies gets put out a whole DAY ahead of schedule and now this? This isn't the third season of My Little Pony you know.
What? I thought it came out on Friday like always...

OT: Companies dont merely exist to make money, they tend to exist to produce a give product or service which is associated with them. Thus I find the argument that "Companies exist to make money" inherently flawed.
 

Canadamus Prime

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Jun 17, 2009
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That poem was... um... disgusting. Anyway, the excuse "a company exists to make money" only goes so far. Esp. considering many of the decisions being made don't even make sense from a money making perspective. After all alienating your consumer base doesn't seem like a wise money making decision to me. Then again if enough of these idiots who keep trumpeting the "a company exists to make money" excuse keep shelling out their money to these companies then I guess I could be wrong.

Dexter111 said:
It's not even a "true" argument. Companies exist for whatever fucking reason their owner deems they should exist for.
Sure it wouldn't be a bad idea to make money for a company to continue existing and doing what it does, but there are different core values that different companies put higher or lower. For instance for some companies customer service or the quality of their product is their highest goal (they could possibly make more money by producing mass-market products, but they want their brand to be known for quality, for instance some manufacturers of musical instruments). Or certain other companies, for instance "Oculus Rift" were made because their creator really wants something (like VR) to succeed and is trying to push it into the market.
There's even incorporated charities which's primary goal is expressly not to make money, but to help people.

I liked this example of a "rating scale" for corporations:



Level 0 ? Massive exploitation. Company provides no benefit to mankind whatsoever. Purely predatory and exploitive, may promote death and destruction (e.g., slave labor, etc.).
Level 1 ? Significant predation. Company?s predatory actions may result in financial ruin of others but the product or service may not be detrimental to mankind.
Level 2 ? Mildly predatory. Company has some redeeming value but profits are funneled to a select few.
Level 3 ? Somewhat humanistic. Company is interested in doing the right thing, but is caught up in mainstream capitalistic structure and protocol.
Level 4 ? Very humanistic. Company has a nice blend of beneficial products and services and demonstrates a propensity to share the wealth.
Level 5 ? Completely humanistic. Company exists only for the benefit of mankind. It is altruistic, philanthropic, promotes the general welfare, and makes just enough profit to innovate while serving its customers and employees.
Level 5+ ? The company is Level 5 with full financial transparency.
I'd say most video game publishers are at level 1.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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WanderingFool said:
DVS BSTrD said:
I'd like to say: why is this up so early? And why do I have to keep reloading it?

Edit: Seriously you guys? First Escape to the Movies gets put out a whole DAY ahead of schedule and now this? This isn't the third season of My Little Pony you know.
What? I thought it came out on Friday like always...
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.398782-Escape-to-the-Movies-Broken-City
Check the times on the first four posts.
 

Sylocat

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Nov 13, 2007
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This reminds me of one of my favorite jokes:

What do you call a kid who has just read Atlas Shrugged for the first time?

A Libertarian economist.
 

Thoric485

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I think this popular little phrase is one of the things that have lead to the oh so common Metacritic score bombings we see nowadays.

If "Companies exist to make money" it's quite easy to realize that "Companies don't give a shit about your feedback unless you hit them in the wallet", and constructive criticism achieves little in that direction.

So you see those bright red scores next to the 88 from journalists and the complete and thorough damning of specific titles, franchises, studios, publishers and gaming industry figures, until everyone knows they have a toxic reputation.

Sadly, it's the only thing that seems to elicit a reaction from gaming media and most companies. Even if it's not a satisfactory one, it's better than being ignored.
 

veloper

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Jim took the easy way out by attacking what's basicly a strawman.

Only the weaker flamewarriors use the "Companies exist to make money" argument and leave it at that.
Most of the anti-crowds have learned to use this unassailable argument: "I don't care." Aslong as they use this line consistently they won't take a scratch in the flamewar.
 

At_The_Gates

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Yep, companies need to make money to continue to operate. Funny thing though about alienating your consumers is some of them stop buying your products. Anyone notice ea's stock price over the last several years has hardly been enviable.

The people making the top level decisions at most big publishers just don't know their products. It's sort of like trusting a car company in the hands of someone who's never driven a car or even understood why someone might want to. It may not sound like the 80s again but it certainly rhymes.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Once again, Jim says everything I want to say better than I ever could! Thank god for Jim!

Companies are making money, they shouldn't be giving the finger to their customers while doing so.
 

Xdeser2

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......It IS the only reasons companies exist. If they didnt make money, they would have to do something else for a living.

Now I've never used this as a defense for a company. There are companies that adhere to strict Ethics (IE. THE RIGHT WAY TO DO BUSINESS) and dont fuck over the consumer. But there are companies that dont. That will use any means to squeeze your wallet for cash.

Its not right. Its fucked up, and you have all the right to not buy it and call Bullshit. However they have the right to extend whatever shitty offer they please. And, to reiterate, no, its not right, moral, or ethical.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Well, the problem is that as consumers we keep buying the product.

I kind of understand the justification, but not phrased in such way. But as we know, survival and growth are not free. A company is like an organism that wants to survive and grow, they have mouths to feed and responsibilities to fulfil. Some companies go around it in better ways than others, but it's true that the future is starting to look rather grim in this respect.
As many people have said, that is the same conflict We can see in EA, Blizzard, Ubisoft and Capcom, but its not exclusive to them, always on DRM, banning the ability to play used copies, not enabling users to trade or give away virtual software licenses (yes even the holy Valve does this) are all nether tendrils of the corporate greed.

(as a sidenote, I've made the decision not to purchase any next gen console that denies you the ability to play pre-owned disks, since I sometimes trade games with a friend of mine, and I find it ridiculous to be denied the ablity to do what we can and should be able to do in ANY OTHER MEDIUM in existence today.)

I wonder why companies don't focus more in making quality games that people will treasure, rather than shamefully creating hellish entrapments that force the player to keep paying. I suppose creating actually good things is a risky business, it requires investment, and it might not be very well received, but filling up the market with mediocre expecting to get paid for great is profoundly disturbing, and in the end is killing the ecosystem.
We can see today, that there are very unrealistic expectations disconnected to the actual quality of a game 8as if Quality was a non-factor). When capcom says: Oh my god! how strange that Resident Evil 6 didn't sell as we expected, and determine that the failure was caused by not enough publicity, they miss the point entirely.

But what can we do about it?
Reviewers should punish companies harshly for their greed (other artistic mediums are extremely critical about it), and players should refuse to purchase such predatory products. It's the only way in wich they will fall short of their quota and wake up to the potential of the medium which they are tarnishing and milking dry.
 

Alandoril

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As far as I'm concerned companies exist to offer a product or service. The making money part of it is just a side effect of that.
 

The Grim Ace

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I always did find the "they only exist to make money" argument crazy. I mean, if I went over and stabbed a man in the dick and he asked me why I did it, he wouldn't accept, "hey, I exist to stab people in the dick," as a reason. That might be an extreme analogy but when I'm spending sixty dollars on a game and only getting fifteen hours of content, my wallet feels terribly abused.
 

babinro

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I'm one of the few that have absolutely no problems with on disc DLC or day 1 DLC.

We all know a company plans out it's DLC along with the game.
Teams work on this material hand in hand with the official product so the content can be released in a timely manor.
It was all in the works during the game production and planned to be released as a paid extra.

Why should it matter to the consumer if the content is conveniently placed on the disc or released separately via download within a couple weeks of the launch?
 

CatmanStu

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A company EXISTS to provide a product/service; a companies GOAL is to make a shit-load of money.
A more accurate combination of the titles words would be:

A company exists because it makes money.

When you look at the most successful publishers business practices, that statement becomes quite a sad condemnation.
 

Assassin Xaero

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I agree with the "companies need to make money" argument to an extent. For DLC like the ones for Fallout 3 and Borderlands, where it adds hours to the campaign, then I see no problem with charging for it. Same with purely cosmetic DLC (character/skin packs) because not buying them won't prevent you from enjoying the game anymore. Even the micro transactions I can tolerate because, nobody is making you use them. If you can get the same stuff in game as you could with paying for it, fine with me. I won't pay for it, but if someone wants to, power to them. Charging for on disc content is a bit stupid, though.
 

IronMit

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Marik2 said:
I may have missed this when playing through the MGS series, but why exactly was Solidus using child soldiers in that war? Did it have to do with fighting the Patriot system, what?

New to MGS here
Raiden was one of the child soldiers. It was supposed to mirror the player (you), as a kid playing a crap load of shooters.
Or was Raiden's VR training supposed to mirror us playing the previous MGS title? Anyway I think that story was more thermatic then anything.

I'm just going to assume it was one of many wars in the military industrial complex the 'patriots' wanted to continue. Solidus couldn't of been waging war on them for that long -they let him become president. It was only then he realised he was still just a 'pawn' and rebelled.


I have played through the game many times but try not to think about it. MGS2 was some giant 4th wall breaking experiment where you are constantly questioning weather it is real or not. Many die hard fans decided it wasn't real but then MGS4 decided it was real.

VR THEORY:
http://metagearsolid.org/reports_vr_theory_1.html

in depth review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8AVbjd94vc
 

Gigano

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Oct 15, 2009
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Videogame companies exist to make money, so it was foolish to ever suggest their anti-consumer policies are deserving of criticism while still handing over the money. It's like complaining that the local restaurant serves increasingly more distasteful food, while nonetheless returning again and again to eat there. If you do so, then obviously your criticisms of it can't be that severe, however hyperbolic they might be presented.

The only efficient form of criticism is to not buy the game/DLC/subscription. If you're not prepared to do so, then there's no actual reason a company should give you more than what's obviously sufficient to get you to hand over the cash. Actions speak louder than words, since in this case words don't really speak at all.
 

Yellowfish

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There's quite an interesting dicussion going on in this thread, but the thing I really want to know right now is what in the name of God is that thing at 2:20?
 

Sheo_Dagana

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This is kind of why I've never liked DLC; it allows developers to be lazy. Less content available to the average consumer (who is paying $60) at the launch of a game, plus, you aren't even playing the FULL GAME. You're paying for a beta. Tell me, how many times have you put a brand new game into your system of choice and a few days, or even a week later, you're greeted by the "update available" screen? It happens with pretty much every single game I buy.

It's even more frustrating when publishers try their best to hamstring used game sales. Say what you want about GameStop (Best Buy has shittier trade-in prices, but I'll admit I'm sometimes equally baffled at GameStop), but I live on trade-ins and I'm thankful there's still one around me to be able to take my old games in and put the credit towards NEW purchases. I think that's the thing most publishers forget about when taking used games into account.
 

GonzoGamer

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The fact is that some people are suckers (especially fanboys) and when you call them out on it they will probably either stew in their shame or try and justify their exposed frivolity with any excuse they can think of...or laugh at you and light a $1000 cigar with a $100 bill.

We all know that the people who defend companies with statements like that just don't want to feel stupid for being a sucker so they're going to call you stupid for not bowing to our corporate overlords; because that's what capitalism means.
 

IronMit

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The price point for games is not flexible. What if someone wanted to make a £60 game? As in £60 of quality. 20% more effort and investment then deus ex/skyrim etc. They can't sell it for £60 ..no one would buy it. So they sell it for the typical rrp £40, add a dlc, weapons packs etc. That way everyone can enjoy it.

If other companies are pushing gaming to it's limit then they have to push it too.

Just something to think about. I hate dlc's /microtransactions...maybe the only way to do this is gaming regulators to ban dlc until 3 months after release or something....or the one company that doesn't add dlc's will suffer
 

Therumancer

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SNCommand said:
The argument is more complex than just "companies exist to make money"

It also means that companies need to make money, if a practice is deemed unprofitable they will of course try to steer away from it, they might not be correct in their assessment, but then it's up to the consumer to buy the product or not

The argument isn't about someone having to like or even accept why a company does what it do, but it is to make someone understand why they do it
Hmmm, I wrote a lengthy response to this video but apparently it didn't save properly, nothing I hadn't said before so here it is (in a more condensed form) in response to your post where it seems fairly relevent:

I think a lot of the issue comes from what people refer to as "the corperate mentality" more than a problem with businesses needing, or wanting to, make a profit. That is to say when it goes from producing a good, solid, product for a fair profit, and turning it into a situation where they expect to consistantly produce the least possible, for the highest possible returns. A mentality which has lead to a view where to succeed a company needs to constantly grow, instead of simply making money. Failing to make continually huger ratios of profit are considered the same as a
failure. Likewise if you say make 45 million dollars less this year than last year, that's considered catastrophic,
even if you might have still made hundreds of millions of dollars in excess of what you spent.

As I've said before as well, the problem isn't entirely the fault of publishers like EA, Activision, and their ilk. We as gamers like to lionize the developers, the ones who actually make the games, but they are part of what contributes to the problem. The actual cost to make a game is largely a matter of human resources, the cost of office space, materials, etc... are minimal compared to these game budgets. Publishers talk about how increasingly expensive it is to make games, and point to rising costs, it's important to understand that that rising cost pretty much amounts to some line coder or graphics artist demanding more and more money each year. By definition a professional keeps up with the latest technology and such as part of their profession and what they do, it's what makes them a professional. At the end of
the day the reason why one shooter winds up costing more money than a very similar one released the year before is because some guy is demanding more money to draw pictures and such with his computer. Success of course contributes to this as well, after all if a Publisher is making millions upon millions of dollars on someone's work, it only makes sense for the guys actually producing it to want to see more of that actual profit, of course this causes a cycle where as the successful developer asks for more, the publisher in response gouges more to cover it, especially as their demands for profit consistantly increase.

While it was years ago "Maxim" (I think it was) did an article called "Why Game Developers Drive Ferraris" or something like that. I believe The Escapist covered it at the time. The source was not one known for utter reliability, but it's own sources were supposed to be tax filings and earnings claims by individual people that wound up on public record if I remember, so that made it rather hard to dispute. The bottom line is that while we like to support the view of game developers as ordinary folks, who just happen to love games and make them, that's not entirely the truth, these are guys demanding top dollar for skills that they as ruthlessly promote as other professionals like Lawyers. A developer is going to demand as much money as it can possibly get, especially if it's working on a product like a sequel a Publisher specifically wants, which all filters down to the employees of that developer who tend to do quite well for themselves. To date I've never seen another breakdown quite like the one Maxim did, so I pretty much take that as a general indication of how much your line coders, graphics artists, etc... are making.

To be entirely fair also if you've seen studio tours and such put out by some development companies, it also doesn't paint a flattering picture from the perspective of cost, and what our money pays for. Rarely does such a video show anything like professional cube farms, with people hunched over computers working non-stop under the gaze of a relentless boss. Instead you see a bunch of people lounging around, relaxed, tons of clutter around their work space, and other things. Companies like Valve have even done things like show off their corperate snack bars and such in the past. An enviroment that makes me sort of "get" why you have complaints by groups like "Rockstar Wives" when there is actually a crunch, requiring people to work 12-16 hour days or whatever, since no game studio I've seen covered has exactly seemed all that productive to me, and it makes me wonder if that contributes to how long it takes for some
games to get made, and how sloppy and bug filled a lot are. In short, you see millions of dollars being throw into groups of people that are high paid, but seem to also be sloppy, unprofessional, and inefficient.

None of this would be a big deal of course, I mean I have no problem with low-stress work places that are high on comfort and low on productivity, or people enjoying the fruits of their work by having nice cars, houses, etc. The problem mostly occurs in a big picture sense when you consider that at the bottom line you, the customer, are paying for all of this, the cost for all of this goes into the development cost for the game, which then the Publisher has to make up with it's own inflated needs, and that all falls to you, with things like all that gouging taking place to support all of this along with the demands for ever increasing profits.

To some extent your on-disc DLC, microtransactions, and other assorted things, come so some graphics designer can sit back with his feet on his desk 8 hours a day, talking comics with the guy in the next cubicle over. I mean sure, he DOES eventually get the work done, but probably not to the extent he would otherwise, and your dealing with what probably amount to dozens if not hundreds of wasted man-hours. If they halved or quartered what these guys make down to actual "normal people" earnings (you know, like most of us, who also probably have degrees and professional level skills) and then cracked the whip to get these guys to actually work every hour they are paid for, we'd probably see higher quality games released in less time, for less cost. Of course at the end of the day the corperate mentality of the publishers would still be a problem, representing another mentality that needs to be dealt with, with a lower expectation on what a reasonable profit is.

I know a lot of people don't like what I have to say on these things when I talk about the business aspects, but I call it as I see it. Over the years various websites and magazines and such have done industry exposes on how it all works. To be honest a lot of my criticism of the developers comes from what they show of themselves in studio walkthroughs, videos, etc... in addition to financial reports. In a lot of cases these walkthroughs of studios and "meet the team" videos are probably intended to show them as "hey we're gamers just like you, and this is a nerd's paradise!", and on some levels they succeed, but when looked at as a group of professionals producing a product it doesn't always leave me with a good impression. Of course then again my own former employment probably has a bit to do something with that. Someone who was acting anything like the guys in some of those videos would have wound up in an unofficial security "pool" about how long until we were sent to walk them out. Our occasional walkthroughs back of the house oftentimes being a sort of "look a blazer, this is your get back to work warning" even if we had no direct authority there, you know "dog and pony show, security exists to be seen" schtick.

From a productivity perspective, the nervous mole-like IT guy in the white shirt and black pants who is always hunched over his computer typing furiously is a good employee and the guy who is likely to actually make a solid product. The dude who sits around in jeans and a geeky T-shirt, action figures on his desk, and chatters all the time display occasional bounts of doing something might be a nicer guy, and more fun for making a show about computer nerds, but at the end of the day he's more likely to fail to get either a quantity or quality (or both) of work done and need to be badged and sent packing. I've seen it for years. Some of these studio walkthroughs make me think "you know, I can see exactly why their last game took 3 years and was glitched to death".

In short I agree with Jim, and I guess with you, though the gist of what I'm saying is that I think I have a pretty good idea of WHY they do things, and even HOW. From my perspective identifying the problems isn't the issue, it's actually getting people to change without some kind of cataclysmic crash. This goes from developers who are both paid more reasonable wages and salaries, lowering the costs of games... combined with a demeanor that comes accross like a group of people I might actually want to hire if I was looking to invest my money in publishing a game (from most of the behind the scenes studio stuff, I wouldn't hire 90%+ of these guys if I was spending my own money), combined with publishers contenting themselves with a reasonable profit.... not setting the standard based on what was made last year, projected growth, or what the most successful franchise of all time has managed to pull down. At the end of the day if a product makes more money than it cost to produce, that should be considered a "win". It actually makes me angry when someone wants me empathize with their position when their company has only made a few hundred million or whatever... I mean "QQ, we've only got more money this one year than a person could ever reasonably spend... pity us".

It's one of those things where I'm actually extremely capitalist, as an idea I love it. The problem is when you inevitably wind up with a few greedy arseholes that ruin it for everyone else. I don't nessicarly feel that's inherant to the system, though, more of a matter of nobody keeping an eye on it, and the gradual erosion of the safeguards that were supposed to prevent this. Half the problem being that it's pretty much impossible to call a big company on thins they should be called on due to the expenses involved in the legal system... more of a general commentary than one on the game industry in paticular. Right now being RIGHT doesn't matter so much as your abillity to represent yourself in court, and by spending a few million dollars on defense casually, and making a potential loss (forcing you to cover their expenses) catastrophic, it pretty much means that the only one who can challenge a big company is another big company, rendering any safeguards almost entirely irrelevent, as that tends to only leave the goverments, and since big business can donate to political campaigns we know how smashingly that tends to go.
 

Your Gaffer

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I'll tell you nothing makes me estimate a poster's IQ on any forum to be roughly that of a week old mayonnaise than hearing this old tired line, "what do you expect bro, they're a company, they are trying to make money/stop piracy/eat your first born". Like that is supposed to make me OK with whatever BS customer unfriendly stuff they are trying to pull at the moment.
 

WanderingFool

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DVS BSTrD said:
WanderingFool said:
DVS BSTrD said:
I'd like to say: why is this up so early? And why do I have to keep reloading it?

Edit: Seriously you guys? First Escape to the Movies gets put out a whole DAY ahead of schedule and now this? This isn't the third season of My Little Pony you know.
What? I thought it came out on Friday like always...
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/6.398782-Escape-to-the-Movies-Broken-City
Check the times on the first four posts.

Ohhhhhhh...

Thought that was a little weird...
 

j0frenzy

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Could we maybe get a warning about discussions of poop before a video? That would be nice.
 

Catrixa

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I feel like this argument exists because of the standard irrational internet argument feedback loop:

Company A does something intrinsically stupid (e.g. $70 DLC for a stately monocle) -> Internet calls them out on it (and is justified in doing so) -> Company B does something similar, but not quite as stupid (e.g. $5 for a hat) -> Internet overreacts -> Someone (games journalist or respected games authority figure on Twitter) calls them out on it, saying "Yes, it's nice that you're outraged that you won't get this hat just for being alive, but Company B is just trying to make money. No one is making you buy that hat." -> Company C does something that is debatably stupid (e.g. the decision to put DLC advertisements in Dragon Age as NPC conversations) -> Internet argues, but all arguments in favor are "Well, they're just trying to make money!"

As far as I can tell, this is pretty much par for the course. We could probably solve this whole issue by actually saying things like "I agree that Company [X] is being a greedy asshole, but Game [Y] is still a worthwhile purchase because [insert the game's merits here]." If you bought the game because you like it, you don't have to defend the company who is trying to squeeze every penny out of you (there's a good chance they aren't the ones who actually MADE the game). Hell, it makes a certain amount of sense to buy the game, then complain your butt off to the company about their predatory practices. Of course, if they ignore all complaints, it makes even more sense to stop giving them money, but that's just my opinion (and what I'd be most likely to do in that case. If your game isn't fun because you try to gouge money out of me, your future games will also probably not be very fun, either).
 

Ukomba

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A lot of the business practices are stupid and, in some cases, self destructive, but they can do what ever they want with their game. I don't think 'False Start' painted by Jasper John is worth 80 million dollars but I would never think to go rant about it on the internet. I think that Kick Starter Open Source Death Star is dumb and is just being done so some people can make money but I'm not being force to give money to them.

You know what I do when I think a game is too expensive or is doing Bull S*** dlc packages? I don't buy it. At least I don't buy it right away. I just wait for the price to come down, or for a steam sale, or for them to do a 'Game of the Year' edition that has all the dlc stuff bundled with it (That's how I bought both batman games).

So ya, kind of whiny. Give me, Give me, free, free, free.
 

CaptainKoala

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But companies do exist to make money, and as long as it stays within the bounds of the law they have a right to do any scummy business practices they want to. It's our job as consumers to not take part in the bullshit, because when we do, it doesn't happen anymore. If a company realizes that something is losing them money they will stop doing that thing.
 

Aaron Sylvester

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Hey Jim, could you please explain how your examples/analogies are even vaguely relevant to what gaming companies are doing? (I expand further on my question below the quote.)

The Grim Ace said:
I always did find the "they only exist to make money" argument crazy. I mean, if I went over and stabbed a man in the dick and he asked me why I did it, he wouldn't accept, "hey, I exist to stab people in the dick," as a reason. That might be an extreme analogy but when I'm spending sixty dollars on a game and only getting fifteen hours of content, my wallet feels terribly abused.
1) You stabbed a man in the dick - you broke the law, here come the assault charges.
3) You didn't give the man a choice, you didn't ask him whether he wanted a knife in the dick or not. You simply did it, implying force.
2) You severely harmed a human being. This is a very negative thing.

So your analogy, while extreme, wasn't even vaguely on the right track. Neither were Jim's terrorism, drugs and human trafficking analogies. They are devastatingly harmful, they are forced, they break the biggest of laws. How were they relevant in any fucking way?

While they're not exactly saving starving babies with their profits, companies aren't HARMING anyone either. They may be harming gaming as a whole but that is an extremely subtle and difficult-to-measure issue, because a lot of companies are doing really great stuff as well. The extreme analogies which imply forceful harm, destruction or lives, etc 100% of the time don't goddamn apply.

You don't live under their fucking iron-fisted rule, EA is not your abusive alcohol-drinking dad and you are not 10 years old. You have options - either don't bother with the product, or boycott the company and all it's products, or buy the product and give negative feedback. All 3 options are effective to varying degrees.

Companies make money because people GIVE them money. Do I feel it's right to abuse that power? No. But do I feel it's harming mankind and the companies should be HATED for it? Fuck no! They are only taking hints from the consumer, and the overwhelming hint companies like EA/Activision have received is that consumers will willingly spend money on anything if it is marketed heavily enough. Consumers willingly give money for poor DLC practices, consumers willingly spend money on DRM-infested games. They are simply testing what they can get away with, how far they can push the boundaries. But I repeat, they are not forcing you to buy their shit, they are not mass-murdering fellow human beings.

Companies will alter their practices according to how consumers react (sales, reviews, feedback, etc). It's that simple. No need to over-complicate it or use dumb analogies.
 

Vegosiux

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What can I say.

That whatever god you believe in for Jim. Me, I'm just glad he's around, as insufferable as he can be at times.
 

Callate

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Yes!

(To the refutation of "companies exist to make money". To the Dead Space scatological fanfic, not so much.)

I've done this before, but again (short form)- game companies shouldn't exist to make money; game companies should exist to make games. If they do that well, we should reward them with tons of money so they can continue to pay their people and make more games, but ideally, they should be able to make games even if there's a chance they won't make money; to try out niche markets, innovate, and take risks. That's what moves both the medium and the industry forward, and if they can't do that, well... we end up with a bunch of dead developers, and a handful of big players who make almost nothing but franchises and sequels loaded to the neck with every form of nickel-gouging DRM the marketing department can come up with.

Fortunately, we're way too enlightened to allow such a thing to happen, let alone turn a blind eye and make excuses for it...
 

Brad Gardner

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As an Economist, Companies aren't made to make money. Company are made to supply the demand. And if you have a money system often time profit does come in money form. Taking sysmatics out of the picture I doubt the gaming companies will do any different until there is a colapse in the gaming market, or at least, a mass migration in realization of the demand that they don't want 'Ea' (or other company)'s balls in thier mouth and find someone who will treat us nice with a product as good or better or even slightly worse than the product we now get with balls in our mouth.

But it would have to be at least 50% move or a 30% move with riots at E3 and other gaming convetions with reps of the companies haraassed and maybe assaulted. I'm sorry to be sinic.
 

DiMono

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I think you're missing the point of the "companies exist to make money" argument. It's not that we should bend over and accept whatever they do, it's that they're free to try whatever they think will make them more money, and we get to decide whether to put up with it.

Allow me to rephrase it into how it actually works, rather than the clumsy "exists to make money" wording:

EA is not in the business of making video games. Honda is not in the business of making cars. Sony is not in the business of making electronic devices. Every company on the face of the planet is in the same business: to make money. Everyone is in the business of making money, it's just the method that varies. EA makes their money by creating and selling games and game content.

Because they are in the business of making money, they get to try new ways to use their resources to achieve that end. DLC was the second such post-purchase effort that came about, after subscription play. The first time it was used, it was a gamble. Would people accept it? Turns out the answer was yes. And now post-launch DLC is almost expected from games.

The thing is though, the companies don't have any power whatsoever when it comes to people paying for DLC, wherever it's located - the consumer has all of the power. All that has to happen for a particular business practice to go away is for the people who buy the games to vote with their wallets, and not buy something they think is unreasonable. If people had rejected DLC the first time it happened, there wouldn't have been a second time.

Basically, because companies exist to make money, they're free to try whatever they want (within the realm of what's legal) to accomplish that end. It's up to the players to decide to support those efforts or not. If you want EA to stop doing the stuff you don't agree with, then gather like-minded people together with you and don't pay for it. It's not the company's fault that they're able to get away with stuff like that; it's the players' fault for letting them do it.
 

anonymity88

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IronMit said:
Marik2 said:
I may have missed this when playing through the MGS series, but why exactly was Solidus using child soldiers in that war? Did it have to do with fighting the Patriot system, what?

New to MGS here
Raiden was one of the child soldiers. It was supposed to mirror the player (you), as a kid playing a crap load of shooters.
Or was Raiden's VR training supposed to mirror us playing the previous MGS title? Anyway I think that story was more thermatic then anything.

I'm just going to assume it was one of many wars in the military industrial complex the 'patriots' wanted to continue. Solidus couldn't of been waging war on them for that long -they let him become president. It was only then he realised he was still just a 'pawn' and rebelled.


I have played through the game many times but try not to think about it. MGS2 was some giant 4th wall breaking experiment where you are constantly questioning weather it is real or not. Many die hard fans decided it wasn't real but then MGS4 decided it was real.

VR THEORY:
http://metagearsolid.org/reports_vr_theory_1.html

in depth review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8AVbjd94vc
I always thought it was a convenient way of having Solidus and Raiden already know each other. The same way that Solid and Liquid had a past.

I do like your theory better though!
 

II2

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Jimothy Sterling said:
Companies Exist To Make Money

Jim goes deep into the minds of publishers in this week's episode of Jimquisition.

Watch Video
I think implicit in the 'Companies exist to make money' argument, when presented by a thoughtful individual, is that their fist order mandate is to increase the value of themselves for their investors.

One of the reasons Valve can be Valve and do things their way is that they are (extremely uncommon for a company of their size) privately owned. Their decisions are not subject to review at shareholder meetings and there is very little noise the signal of their executive process.

I think a big root of some of the customer issue / customer service complaints that crop up are the result of the publishers existing in a completely isolated corporate bubble from their developers and retailers, each entity interacting via a toxic mix of rent-seeking and friction...

The free market in this case is not producing optimal productivity, in most cases, because the big money interests and investors that put white collar power players like Kotick or Riccitiello at the helm are establishing relatively effective executive decision makers who would be fine for a company like John Deer Motor, but don't really UNDERSTAND what they're trying to sell as anything other than 'entertainment media products' and think on how to push every angle to monetize them.

Gabe Newell, by contrast, IS / or at least was a gamer. I don't love or hate the man (G.N.) but he understands his business from a perspective "old money" doesn't comprehend. It can be seen in how he structured his company in it's incorperation to it's ongoing success. It's not an accident Valve does so well.

---

One final aside: I know people complain "when's halflife 3 coming", but compare Valve's slow and unreliable development vs Success against Activison and EA's "annual iteration" dev/sale cycle that's running studios, franchises and customers into the ground.
 

The Deadpool

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Companies exist to make money.

Consumers exist to demand quality.

That's the heart of the capitalist ideal.
 

sadmac

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A company exists to make money, and so long as you continue to give them money you are implicitly approving of anything that company does to further that goal.

On-disc DLC doesn't exist because EA put it there. It exists because people continue to buy it. If it didn't succeed in making money, then it would have stopped.

Try it like this: when you read in the news that someone's pet Bengal tiger mauled their 2-year-old, what do you think? "Why would you have a pet Bengal tiger? Why would you let your kid near it? These parents are irresponsible!" You don't think "how could the tiger be so cruel?" because it's a tiger. Tigers do that.

So when a company does something you don't like to make money, you don't complain about the company because it's a company. Companies do that. The question is "why would you continue to do business with a company that sells incomplete products at unreasonable prices?"
 

Marik2

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IronMit said:
Marik2 said:
I may have missed this when playing through the MGS series, but why exactly was Solidus using child soldiers in that war? Did it have to do with fighting the Patriot system, what?

New to MGS here
Raiden was one of the child soldiers. It was supposed to mirror the player (you), as a kid playing a crap load of shooters.
Or was Raiden's VR training supposed to mirror us playing the previous MGS title? Anyway I think that story was more thermatic then anything.

I'm just going to assume it was one of many wars in the military industrial complex the 'patriots' wanted to continue. Solidus couldn't of been waging war on them for that long -they let him become president. It was only then he realised he was still just a 'pawn' and rebelled.


I have played through the game many times but try not to think about it. MGS2 was some giant 4th wall breaking experiment where you are constantly questioning weather it is real or not. Many die hard fans decided it wasn't real but then MGS4 decided it was real.

VR THEORY:
http://metagearsolid.org/reports_vr_theory_1.html

in depth review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8AVbjd94vc
Stuff about MGS2

Yeah I got that Raiden was one of the child soldiers and had the highest kill ratio. It's just that they didn't really provide much info on Solidus' past and what the war was all about(the librarian war?).

The whole game was a big simulation on MGS1 and it seemed like the Patriots spent like decades setting up the events of 1 and 2 so they can see if the population can be controlled. Was pretty cool how the game started to glitch when the system was starting to fall- giving you false death screens.

And I thought they only made the proxy wars after MGS2 since all they were doing in the past was managing the economy and information of the United States.

MGS is one big mind fuck after another.
 

jklinders

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Oh, this again.

Companies existing to make money is hardly a hail Mary argument and certainly justifies nothing but the heart of the matter is this. The choice to buy or not is on the consumer's side. Full stop with a period at the end. Whenever I hear someone bitching about this or that company's business practices I always say the same thing. "If you don't like what they're doing don't buy their shit." 9/10 times they are like "But I have to." No, no you don't have to. It's your wallet, it's your choice and if you don't like it don't buy it. It's easier to ***** about it though.

These guys will not change their tune until they stop making money on the current song. So stop buying from them and see if anything changes.

Don't like Ubisoft's always on DRM? Stop buying from them. DOS bombing their servers won't get the message across. That just makes them think they are right to hate you. Not getting money will get it across though. Don't like microtransactions? Don't use them. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing. You can't control that shit. Just stop feeding it yourself. I am on a dedicated boycott of a few companies. I might have from time to time been tempted to cave in and get their shit but until they actually earn the right to my money they won't see a thin dime of it.

At the end of the day no one owes anybody anything in this formula. They don't owe you anymore than they offer as part of the sale, you don't owe them your loyalty. When someone buys something from EA and bitches about being charged for DLC I liken it to someone who goes to a market and knowingly buys a shit sandwich. Then they later complain about it tasting like shit. Well guess what, you knew what the sandwich was when you bought it. Fair trade.

tl:dr Vote with your wallets folks, at the end of the day that's the only language they will understand.
 

The Deadpool

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Aaron Sylvester said:
So your analogy, while extreme, wasn't even vaguely on the right track. Neither were Jim's terrorism, drugs and human trafficking analogies. They are devastatingly harmful, they are forced, they break the biggest of laws. How were they relevant in any fucking way?
You misunderstood the analogy. Jim wasn't saying "What EA does is akin to human trafficking." He was saying that "your unwillingness to accept human trafficking as a reasonable business model proves that 'making money' is NOT an excuse for any and all behavior."

The idea is, if you want to argue that EA's business practices aren't bad ENOUGH to demand the level of complaint Jim, or whoever your opposition in said argument is, is dishing out, then DO THAT. Don't simply say "Well, they're doing this to make money, and making money is their job." and leave it at that because THAT argument is empty and vapid.

Making money isn't an excuse for bad behavior. THAT was the point of the analogy.
 

thanatos388

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I don't get it. Companies exist to make money. At least publishers do, every one who works in the industry has told me the highest goal in making a game is to make a profit so they can keep making games. They cost more because making games is FUCKING hard and FUCKING expensive. Nobody said it was right or fair but it is the cause of bad business practice. Nobody ever said it was right and if they did there quite stupid. So what purpose does this episode serve?
 

The Deadpool

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sadmac said:
A company exists to make money, and so long as you continue to give them money you are implicitly approving of anything that company does to further that goal.

On-disc DLC doesn't exist because EA put it there. It exists because people continue to buy it. If it didn't succeed in making money, then it would have stopped.
But the argument here isn't "Is this successful?" but "Are these ethical business practices?"

Unethical business practices are successful ALL THE TIME.
 

The Deadpool

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jklinders said:
Companies existing to make money is hardly a hail Mary argument and certainly justifies nothing but the heart of the matter is this. The choice to buy or not is on the consumer's side. Full stop with a period at the end. Whenever I hear someone bitching about this or that company's business practices I always say the same thing. "If you don't like what they're doing don't buy their shit." 9/10 times they are like "But I have to." No, no you don't have to. It's your wallet, it's your choice and if you don't like it don't buy it. It's easier to ***** about it though.
So human trafficking is okay because they make money? Drug empires are okay because they make money? Child labor is okay because they make money?

No, most of the business practices of game industries aren't THAT bad. But the point is that "this is profitable" or "consumers are stupid enough to pay for this" has never been an ethical nor legal excuse for accepting a business practices. Why should the game industry be any different?
 

The Deadpool

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DiMono said:
Basically, because companies exist to make money, they're free to try whatever they want (within the realm of what's legal) to accomplish that end.
I think you have been missing Jim's arguments against the industry.

He's is not saying what they do IS illegal. He's saying what they're doing is IMMORAL. And some of it SHOULD be illegal.

Trying to sway public opinion to MAKE this illegal, or at unprofitable is the goal here.
 

jklinders

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The Deadpool said:
jklinders said:
Companies existing to make money is hardly a hail Mary argument and certainly justifies nothing but the heart of the matter is this. The choice to buy or not is on the consumer's side. Full stop with a period at the end. Whenever I hear someone bitching about this or that company's business practices I always say the same thing. "If you don't like what they're doing don't buy their shit." 9/10 times they are like "But I have to." No, no you don't have to. It's your wallet, it's your choice and if you don't like it don't buy it. It's easier to ***** about it though.
So human trafficking is okay because they make money? Drug empires are okay because they make money? Child labor is okay because they make money?

No, most of the business practices of game industries aren't THAT bad. But the point is that "this is profitable" or "consumers are stupid enough to pay for this" has never been an ethical nor legal excuse for accepting a business practices. Why should the game industry be any different?
We are not talking about drug trafficking or human trafficking. We are talking about video games. Do try to keep up and pay attention in class M'kay? You are knocking down the same strawmen that Jim was and calling yourself a genius. You are not a genius, you are not even original.

If you can't stay on topic, you can at least attempt to avoid insulting my intelligence by blathering on about this irrelevant stuff.
 

Ukomba

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The Deadpool said:
DiMono said:
Basically, because companies exist to make money, they're free to try whatever they want (within the realm of what's legal) to accomplish that end.
I think you have been missing Jim's arguments against the industry.

He's is not saying what they do IS illegal. He's saying what they're doing is IMMORAL. And some of it SHOULD be illegal.

Trying to sway public opinion to MAKE this illegal, or at unprofitable is the goal here.
Immoral? Please, do tell, what have they done that is 'immoral' or a practice that should be made against the law?
 

Aaron Sylvester

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The Deadpool said:
You misunderstood the analogy. Jim wasn't saying "What EA does is akin to human trafficking." He was saying that "your unwillingness to accept human trafficking as a reasonable business model proves that 'making money' is NOT an excuse for any and all behavior."

The idea is, if you want to argue that EA's business practices aren't bad ENOUGH to demand the level of complaint Jim, or whoever your opposition in said argument is, is dishing out, then DO THAT. Don't simply say "Well, they're doing this to make money, and making money is their job." and leave it at that because THAT argument is empty and vapid.

Making money isn't an excuse for bad behavior. THAT was the point of the analogy.
The difference is that it's not inherently "bad", I would say it borders along the lines of "mischievous" and "experimental". "Bad" is still something which negatively affects people in some profound way, more importantly in a way that can't be avoided. Like a drink driver who knocks over an old lady, now that's bad because the old lady didn't even have a choice.

Lets take EA for example, this is what they are indirectly doing: "Our strategy is to charge more money for less content - is this your cup of tea?"
The answer will reflect in sales/feedback/reviews and they will take their next step accordingly.

Can someone please explain to me how this is BAD? And I mean bad enough to make people scream and yell about it, comparing it to far more horrific examples of what is truly bad? It is bold, it is experimental, it is bordering on mischievous. It's nothing more than a phase, a phase which consumers have full control over when it comes to determining how long it lasts.
 

walruss

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It's the job of the company to use whatever means is possible to increase its profit margins. It's the job of the consumer to only buy things that are worthwhile to them. When the two meet, the company is going to charge the most it possibly can, and the consumer is going to get the lowest price he possibly can. This model is broken in a lot of places (necessities, for instance), but the one place it works perfectly is in luxury goods like video games. This is because nobody HAS to buy video games, so consumers have a lot of bargaining power.

Maybe we should consider, you know, using that instead of complaining that companies aren't doing our negotiating for us. Unless you believe that EA has some moral imperative to give you video games in the manner to which you're accustomed. In which case you need to consider whether you maybe have a bit of an entitlement issue.
 

theultimateend

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SNCommand said:
The argument is more complex than just "companies exist to make money"

It also means that companies need to make money, if a practice is deemed unprofitable they will of course try to steer away from it, they might not be correct in their assessment, but then it's up to the consumer to buy the product or not

The argument isn't about someone having to like or even accept why a company does what it do, but it is to make someone understand why they do it
That's the rational argument but I've literally never seen that be "the argument."

100% of the time its a mob of people defending literally anything and acting like businesses not don't don't need to have moral compasses but they SHOULDN'T have them.

That capitalism is above the health and safety of all people.

You won't catch people saying "companies exist to make money" in response to a complaint and then seeing them follow it up with anything short of objectivism.

I've been on the Jim side of this for most of my life, basically a business exists to profit but they should be expected to create the maximum amount of profit with the minimum level of negative impact.

I realize "negative impact" is a vague term but you get the heart of the message.

Similarly any business willing to endanger for maximum profits should be held to damages equal to its profits. So if you flood an entire gulf with oil you should lose your business. That's the danger of doing something extremely dangerous for extreme profits, you get hit with extreme repercussions.

As it stands most extreme businesses get hit with fines equal to a few weeks or months of income. Hardly enough to care.

Ukomba said:
Immoral? Please, do tell, what have they done that is 'immoral' or a practice that should be made against the law?
I would consider the step by step back peddling of what people get for what they buy is wrong. Looking at the customer as a hurdle to profits instead of a market to be satisfied is wrong.

Morality is inherently subjective, but I would say that in general when your business is in making markets instead of satisfying them you are probably doing something wrong. Is it as wrong as killing a child? No obviously not. But its destructive, you end up with more money without any improvement to the system your business exists in.

Basically any profits gained without improvements to a market are negative gains. Again subjective but you can see companies all over the place raking in record profits without adding anything. Comcast gives terrible service and rakes in massive margins, oil companies, banks, the list goes on.

All these companies do give 'something' back, usually small things, the convenience of depositing a check by phone is nice for instance. But the giving back versus the intake is so disproportionate that in the end it hurts everyone.

Not just the people who don't like it, but the people who (for whatever reason) defend it. It hurts them in ways that they are not aware of or it will eventually hurt them when it crosses that thin line between "Acceptable" and "Unacceptable".

In business the slippery slope is less a cliche and more of a history repeating truth. Give any industry enough rope and they'll hang you with it.

Lakes on fire, vegetables choking on toxic waste, dead zones, mercury in fresh water and fish, and the list goes on. The gaming industry might seem trivial in contrast but that attitude and the ever stricter grip on profits is something that shouldn't be acceptable anywhere.

But in the end I just wrote most of this to butter myself because your question is obviously written in a way that exclaims proudly "I've made up my mind. So give me fuel to flame you." There wasn't even an attempt to veil the condescension :/...

walruss said:
It's the job of the company to use whatever means is possible to increase its profit margins. It's the job of the consumer to only buy things that are worthwhile to them.
In a perfect world with a perfect distribution of information this would work. However that world doesn't exist so this world view won't work.

walruss said:
When the two meet, the company is going to charge the most it possibly can, and the consumer is going to get the lowest price he possibly can.
Originally this view was put forth by Publilius Syrus. "Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it."

Except over thousands of years we've gotten a very detailed understanding of psychology and how to manipulate people. You can easily put people in a situation that makes them feel compelled to spend more money than they otherwise would have in a fair situation.

What is a fair situation? Tough to say, everything down to how aisles are laid out, the colors of packaging, the word choice and location, all these things are part of the goal of manipulating people.

I would say a fair situation is any situation where people find a market and they satisfy it. Any situation where you create a market to satisfy is likely unfair and involves manipulation. But that's a personal belief.

Basically when Syrus wrote that the message seemed to be more that "you can't charge people more than they are willing to pay" and not "Charge everything you possibly can and milk them till they get some sense about them!"

It also probably didn't take into consideration preying on children for profits.

walruss said:
This model is broken in a lot of places (necessities, for instance), but the one place it works perfectly is in luxury goods like video games. This is because nobody HAS to buy video games, so consumers have a lot of bargaining power.
This system works terribly in luxury goods and everywhere else. When a company that does things you don't like gets large enough they can start buying up companies you DO like.

Suddenly it doesn't matter if you have an opinion because all your alternatives are gone. You can name just about every single non-nintendo company that I liked in my childhood.

You know what they all have in common? EA bought them and destroyed them. Did I have any say in that matter? No. This is where that model breaks down.

walruss said:
Maybe we should consider, you know, using that instead of complaining that companies aren't doing our negotiating for us. Unless you believe that EA has some moral imperative to give you video games in the manner to which you're accustomed. In which case you need to consider whether you maybe have a bit of an entitlement issue.
So basically your argument is "businesses are entitled to do whatever they want and if you have any problems with that you are a child."

Classy.

Anywho, I'd suggest going back to the drawing board. Once you can invent a system where every company I enjoy can't simply vanish tomorrow into the maw of some entity that basically controls the market I'll be on board.
 

aelreth

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Companies exist to make a return on investment of the time that was put in to create that savings.

Humans want EVERYTHING and they want it for FREE.

There exists an alternative medium for making games outside of the publisher model, I would suggest that everyone either use it or create an alternative model. The current model is kickstarter.

If you find that a companies margins are to high, find a group of people that are willing to invest and incorporate an entity that will exist at smaller margins.
 

malestrithe

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I used to argue that Corporations exist to make a profit. Not anymore. I now say corporations will do as much as the consumers let them. EA does a lot of things you do not like because consumers let them get away with it.

Funnily enough, Nintendo often releases the same every year, but that does not even register with users. Yes, they are not releasing increasing amounts of DLC with every game, but they are releasing the same game over and over again. I thought that was the main gripe with Call of Duty?

In regards to EA, I think the last games I bought from the company were Deathspank trilogy and that was a few years ago. Since then, they have not made games I'm interested in playing anymore.

Capcom has stopped putting On Disc DLC on their games after Resident Evil 6. It worked with Dragon's Dogma, but it blew up in their face with Street Fighter X Tekken. They were worried that it was the DLC that made people want to avoid it. I say it's because they did not bother to make it playable to anyone who is not a hardcore fighting gamer, but that's neither here not there.
 

theultimateend

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aelreth said:
Companies exist to make a return on investment of the time that was put in to create that savings.

Humans want EVERYTHING and they want it for FREE.

There exists an alternative medium for making games outside of the publisher model, I would suggest that everyone either use it or create an alternative model. The current model is kickstarter.

If you find that a companies margins are to high, find a group of people that are willing to invest and incorporate an entity that will exist at smaller margins.
While I think you are wrong in the beginning I would agree that it is inevitable that publishers will die.

The best I can figure is we'll see Publishers doing what Politicians are currently doing to the internet. They'll start trying to pass laws and change the rules to make it difficult for this "new thing" to thrive.

When a new system that is difficult to control becomes a threat the natural response of most major companies is to get extremely litigious. Be it farming, internet, gaming, television, or whatever else.

malestrithe said:
Funnily enough, Nintendo often releases the same every year, but that does not even register with users. Yes, they are not releasing increasing amounts of DLC with every game, but they are releasing the same game over and over again. I thought that was the main gripe with Call of Duty?
I think the reason people don't complain about Nintendo is because the Genres they are satisfying are not really touched on by anyone else.

How many alternatives to Pokemon are there?

I know for me I started becoming critical of Nintendo after Super Mario Galaxy 2. It was like nothing but happy times for me until that game and its been "the same feel" ever since.

Zelda actually has considerable changes with each game. Much more than any FPS series but I think part of that is because you can't really mix up "people" too much and still keep true to reality in shooting games that are trying to push reality as their selling point.

What other game are you thinking of? I'm sure its obvious and I missed it but for the most part most Nintendo games I've purchased have been markedly different than their predecessors.

Metroid Prime series compared to the previous Metroid games comes to mind. The Wii Donkey Kong is considerably changed from its past kin. Zelda has unfortunately changed a lot and I'd argue not for the better.

Mario seems to be the thing that really jumps out at me as Carbon Copy Town now :(. Which is a shame because it had a solid run of improvements.

Mario 1 lead into the wonder of Mario 3 which lead into even more impressive Super Mario World. Which then lead into the astounding Mario 64 and then Sunshine (VERY hard game to me) and then Galaxy.

In the middle you even had various fun spin offs like Luigi's mansion, Super Mario RPG, various Mario Sports games. Heck even Pokemon had a ton of different spin offs. Snap being my favorite and the Mystery Dungeon series being way better than most people probably know.
 

nightazday

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I think you are misunderstanding those people when you say that they think that what they are doing is a good cause. It's not that what they are doing is moral as it is morality is not a factor in this. That businesses are not really human so we shouldn't really put it on human standards. Like a predator or a robot, if a lion killed someone you probably wouldn't blame the lion because "hey that's its nature" likewise if a company does something amoral not many will fault it because "hey its in a companies nature to get money by any means, it has to supply its investors somehow."

You and Moviebob say that people are not judging companies by the standards of good people but that's the point, companies are inherently amoral. Only used for the necessity of the economy and their investors and no real artistic and moral purpose.

Or at least that's how I interpret it.
 

aelreth

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theultimateend said:
aelreth said:
Companies exist to make a return on investment of the time that was put in to create that savings.

Humans want EVERYTHING and they want it for FREE.

There exists an alternative medium for making games outside of the publisher model, I would suggest that everyone either use it or create an alternative model. The current model is kickstarter.

If you find that a companies margins are to high, find a group of people that are willing to invest and incorporate an entity that will exist at smaller margins.
While I think you are wrong in the beginning I would agree that it is inevitable that publishers will die.

The best I can figure is we'll see Publishers doing what Politicians are currently doing to the internet. They'll start trying to pass laws and change the rules to make it difficult for this "new thing" to thrive.

When a new system that is difficult to control becomes a threat the natural response of most major companies is to get extremely litigious. Be it farming, internet, gaming, television, or whatever else.
Beginning? Please clarify.
 

theultimateend

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nightazday said:
I think you are misunderstanding those people when you say that they think that what they are doing is a good cause. It's not that what they are doing is moral as it is morality is not a factor in this. That businesses are not really human so we shouldn't really put it on human standards. Like a predator or a robot, if a lion killed someone you probably wouldn't blame the lion because "hey that's its nature" likewise if a company does something amoral not many will fault it because "hey its in a companies nature to get money by any means, it has to supply its investors somehow."

You and Moviebob say that people are not judging companies by the standards of good people but that's the point, companies are inherently amoral. Only used for the necessity of the economy and their investors and no real artistic and moral purpose.

Or at least that's how I interpret it.
Lion's aren't run by people. That was a terrible example.

Business are run by people and should be held to human standards.

Objectivism is a terrible world view. Even Rand became depressed after she thought it was the truth.

The idea that companies are supposed to be (and inevitably will be) amoral leads to situations like "The Jungle". If you haven't read that book I highly recommend it.

We MUST hold businesses to the same standards as we hold one another, period.

EDIT: I just re-read your post and now think you were just trying to explain the viewpoint not support it. I'll keep what I originally wrote but wanted to clarify that I think I misunderstood you :p. My apologies.

aelreth said:
Companies exist to make a return on investment of the time that was put in to create that savings.
aelreth said:
Beginning? Please clarify.
Sorry I used the wrong word. What I meant was that that isn't what companies are doing. Getting any ROI and even a reasonable ROI is understandable. But when your margin is hundreds of percent (the case with some businesses) there is a problem.

Basically a lot of money is removed from the market without any of it going towards anything worthwhile. Capitalism feeds off a generous exchange of revenue between businesses and people. If businesses pull out much more than they put in the imbalance results in most of the problems you see in the world economy right now.

Basically companies SHOULD make money (otherwise they wouldn't exist) but the ferocity with which they make money is the issue. You COULD turn a huge profit by using child labor in Thailand to make your products.

You really really shouldn't.

But if your only working off "what is and isn't legal when returning on investment" then really why not?

People can't let the law be the only qualifier for business when the laws are basically being written by businesses :p. However I'm digressing WAY too hard.

So yeah my point was just that I don't think that businesses doing what you said in the beginning is the problem, its the lengths they'll go to do that which is.

...I still don't know why I used the word "wrong". Honestly, that was a slip on my part.
 

MatsVS

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People don't seem to understand that even though a company has the RIGHT to utilize predatory business practices, doesn't mean they SHOULD. Good video.
 

Something Amyss

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Jennacide said:
Glad you got to this one Jim, I've always hated this strawman argument. I've never understood how so many people will defend bullshit business practices with this weak defense. "Capitalism is about making money." Well, no, not really. Capitalism is about offering the best service for a competitive price. Not "How badly can we gouge users for the least amount of effort?"
It's especially bad when you see the pro-capitalists posting long laments in threads about THQ going bankrupt. Or even when EA closes down a studio. Because the former, to me, is capitalism done right: bad game company makes bad games, bad game company makes bad decisions, bad game company go away. The latter is the end result of the kind of sociopathy these "pro-capitalists" are generally arguing, since cutting weight appears to be a big part of this "capitalist" ideal.
 

The Deadpool

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jklinders said:
We are not talking about drug trafficking or human trafficking. We are talking about video games. Do try to keep up and pay attention in class M'kay? You are knocking down the same strawmen
The Deadpool said:
No, most of the business practices of game industries aren't THAT bad. But the point is that "this is profitable" or "consumers are stupid enough to pay for this" has never been an ethical nor legal excuse for accepting a business practices. Why should the game industry be any different?
Do try and keep up. I responded to your post BEFORE YOU POSTED IT....

Ukomba said:
Immoral? Please, do tell, what have they done that is 'immoral' or a practice that should be made against the law?
That is the crux of the argument in like... Every other video he has done in the past few months?

And hey, it's okay if you think their practices are ethical. But the argument here, today, is that wanting to making money ISN'T AN EXCUSE. You may excuse it in DIFFERENT ways if you'd like, but giving them a motive isn't going to change a damned thing.

Aaron Sylvester said:
The difference is that it's not inherently "bad",
NOTHING is "inherently" bad. It's all subjective.

And we can argue the ethical details of large game company's practices. Hell, that's what Jim HAS been doing.

The argument in THIS video is that giving them a MOTIVE does not absolve them of their guilt. Yes, you can defend them in OTHER ways, but saying "they did it to make money" isn't a valid argument.

THAT is the point of this video. Which ultimately a LOT of people have missed.
 

The Deadpool

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walruss said:
Maybe we should consider, you know, using that instead of complaining that companies aren't doing our negotiating for us.
But complaining IS part of the negotiation. Public perception is important to companies...
 

aelreth

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theultimateend said:
Sorry I used the wrong word. What I meant was that that isn't what companies are doing. Getting any ROI and even a reasonable ROI is understandable. But when your margin is hundreds of percent (the case with some businesses) there is a problem.

Basically a lot of money is removed from the market without any of it going towards anything worthwhile. Capitalism feeds off a generous exchange of revenue between businesses and people. If businesses pull out much more than they put in the imbalance results in most of the problems you see in the world economy right now.

Basically companies SHOULD make money (otherwise they wouldn't exist) but the ferocity with which they make money is the issue. You COULD turn a huge profit by using child labor in Thailand to make your products.

You really really shouldn't.

But if your only working off "what is and isn't legal when returning on investment" then really why not?

People can't let the law be the only qualifier for business when the laws are basically being written by businesses :p. However I'm digressing WAY too hard.

So yeah my point was just that I don't think that businesses doing what you said in the beginning is the problem, its the lengths they'll go to do that which is.

...I still don't know why I used the word "wrong". Honestly, that was a slip on my part.
The publishers are providing the capital (vast sums of savings) to developers (that provide the capital) for those employees needed to create these large games, and thus they need a return based on the time and risk. That money that is being given to those developers is actually debt, owed to the bond & stock holders.

Perhaps debt is the true problem.

The riskier the loan shouldn't the interest rate be much higher?
 

Entitled

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Dexter111 said:
It's not even a "true" argument. Companies exist for whatever fucking reason their owner deems they should exist for.
Well, the problem is that most publicly traded companies don't have any tangible owner. They are owned by hundreds or thousands of people, many of them not even knowing exactly what stocks they are holding at the moment,just buying and selling based on automated market analysis, with the expectation that their value will increase.

There is literally no one in EA who could decide that right now they have an important goal than profit maximalization. If any CEO would try to claim that, they would get fired by the Board of Directors.


While Oculus is ruled by Palmer Luckey, and Valve is owned by Gabe Newell (and even Nintendo's stocks are mostly held by a single family), EA, Activision and Ubisoft are just automated machines designed solely to increase their own value.
 

Phuctifyno

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I don't always agree with you, Jim, but in this case I do. I really really do. Thumbs up.

Also, I've got a better title for your game idea: Dead Space 4 - Shitstorm Zero-G
 

walruss

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theultimateend said:
Suddenly it doesn't matter if you have an opinion because all your alternatives are gone.
Right, but that's not my point. My point isn't that people think they are entitled to EA games. My point is that people think they are entitled to luxury products at all. You literally don't have to play video games. You can read a book, or watch television, or board games, or a million other hobbies. Unlike with food, shelter, etc, the market should not be forced to provide you with ways to entertain yourself, and they certainly shouldn't be forced to do so according to some faux-moral code of how to distribute their products.

I'm not calling people who act otherwise childish, exactly. I'm just saying that they believe they are entitled to something they've done nothing to earn. Get a good-sized boycott going for one or two quarters and I guarantee that DRM will be gone. Period. That will not be a problem anymore. But it'll never happen. And it's not that it'll never happen because people are sheep, or because of some issue with corporate structure, it's just that people don't believe it's their job to negotiate with producers anymore. Once again, this isn't about something you can't live without. You can go 4-6 months without buying new video games and it will have a limited effect on your quality of life. But as gamers we'd rather whine about how we're mistreated than take steps to correct it.

I don't know if it's because we have too much disposable income, and we don't consider budgeting that important, or it's because the vast majority of people are okay with the byzantine anti-piracy and pay systems that companies like EA use, or what exactly it is. I know that I'm not going to spend $60 on half the content for Dead Space when I might one day lose the ability to play it. I'm the biggest Starcraft fan this side of Korea, but I'm sure not going to buy Wrath of the Swarm, because they're trying to sell us multi-player in installments, and it's not finished yet and it's terrible. And you know what? My life is relatively the same as it would be otherwise. Do I wish I could play those games? Kind of. But I figure eventually it'll get bad enough that those things will cut into profit margins, and then I'll be able to, and be able to play in the way I want to play them.
 

carnex

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I was with Jim up until On Disc Locked Content. When will people stop with this bullshit! Location of content is not relevant! If it's good, it's good, if it's bad, it's bad be it on disc or on iterwebs! It's not like on disc stuff is made prior to the game launch and content you actually have to download later. In majority of cases both are made during the main production phase and team shifted to next project when the game is finished relegating just a bit of time towards patching up bugs later.

Murder is bad whether it happens in center of the richest town or in the poorest slums, even if we don't like to see it as such. Feeding hungry people is good thing be they out next of kin or our enemies even if we, for our personal reasons, don't see it as such. Don't attack On Disc Locked Content because the solution is not to improve the game, it's just to make you download more. You still have to pay for it, it's just that you have to download it too now. This feels like chasing a mouse around the kitchen while people get sick because food you get from suppliers is spoiled.

We, the gamers, as a group are retarded. Mob mentality at its finest, or worst if you wish. That means that people who have high soapboxes steer that ship. Don't steer it into the fucking rocks you blithering idiot! Fight the battles that are worth fighting, not some pathetic distractions!
 

walruss

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The Deadpool said:
walruss said:
Maybe we should consider, you know, using that instead of complaining that companies aren't doing our negotiating for us.
But complaining IS part of the negotiation. Public perception is important to companies...
I agree, but a lot of the people I see complaining, and even Jim in this case, seem to think that we should throw a hissy fit, and then the company owes it to us to get its act together. We tell the company what they're doing wrong, and we tell the consuming public what the company is doing wrong, sure. But then we back that up by making purchases based on how we want companies to act.
 

Fiairflair

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scw55 said:
I agree.
I believe in ethical business practise for the consumers and manufacturers.

Yes, by being a dick you may make a lot of money now. But by being not-a-dick you ensure income for the future, long term. For some reason (which is strange), human beings like people who are not dicks. And tend to hate dicks.

It's funny. Steam used to get a lot of slack for Hats. And stupid keys to unlock chests. Now they're eclipsed by everyone else.
I suppose the main difference there is that TF2 is no less enjoyable if you don't buy items. The trade system is really enjoyable to use, even though you know Valve are the ones who are really winning. But try playing ME3 multiplayer (when it works) without purchasing item packs.
 

Phuctifyno

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nightazday said:
I think you are misunderstanding those people when you say that they think that what they are doing is a good cause. It's not that what they are doing is moral as it is morality is not a factor in this. That businesses are not really human so we shouldn't really put it on human standards. Like a predator or a robot, if a lion killed someone you probably wouldn't blame the lion because "hey that's its nature" likewise if a company does something amoral not many will fault it because "hey its in a companies nature to get money by any means, it has to supply its investors somehow."

You and Moviebob say that people are not judging companies by the standards of good people but that's the point, companies are inherently amoral. Only used for the necessity of the economy and their investors and no real artistic and moral purpose.

Or at least that's how I interpret it.
If it's doing nothing but amorally servicing itself by sucking everything else dry, why should we keep it around? Companies are created by people to serve people (thus the moral judgement), and as long as they do it well and cause no harm, there's no problem. Clearly, the customers who defend them care more about the service they receive than the cost they pay; everyone has their own personal line.

I think animals in nature are exempt because they serve the ecosystem. Corporations have a pretty shaky history in that regard. The company itself is not to blame, it's the people with their hands on the plug who don't pull it when they should, as long as they keep making profit.
 

carnex

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And on the topic, companies do exist to make money. Some have other goals too but even companies (owners, investors, fill it yourself) that don't want to hoard gold and spend all to do charity want to make money because if they don't they don't have anything to help with! For that matter they are entitled to do whatever they want.

It's up to the customers to slap them in the face when they do stupid things. If you make them lose money instead of making it, they will stop doing that. Plain and simple! Yes, it's stupid excuse if it's made to plead the case that action of companies are good. But it's simple truth, and if some action that makes them money goes unpunished, they will go along doing it again and again and again. That part is dead simple. We are the market, we are the force that judges their actions. They are out there to make a buck. It's in the shops that we clash and ultimately decide what is right.
 

neonsword13-ops

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Could I get a copy of that Dead Space 4 script, Jim? I want to send it to a friend.

OT: Good episode. Just like the rest. Keep up the good work. :D

...

I'm serious about the script, though.
 

mjc0961

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I fucking love you so much right now, Jim.

Every time I see this bullshit excuse, I just cringe. I can't believe how many people are that stupid. I can't believe how many people think making money and way you want to try to make money is okay because they're supposed to make money. I've said the same thing you said in this video to people as well; you can make money without being a dick. Companies like Rockstar and Valve have tons of loyal fans because they go about making money in ways that aren't about screwing people up the ass, and they make way more money in the long run because of it. Meanwhile, what are EA, Capcom, Activision, and Ubisoft doing? Canceling this, shutting down that, slashing sales expectations (or just not meeting them because they refuse to slash them, hello Capcom). Maybe if they tried not being dicks about making money, they might find that they end up making more of it like Valve does.

Also, I really love how most of this video is footage of Rayman Origins, because the "companies exist to make money" patrol was out in full force to defend the completely bullshit Rayman Legends delay. Companies do exist to make money, so why are you defending a company that did a move that fucking guarantees they will make less of it?! Rayman Legends is now going to be ground into the dust by Grand Theft Auto V and anyone who doesn't see that is stupid. If anything else, you should be just as mad at Ubisoft as the people who wanted to play the game because "companies exist to make money" and Ubisoft is actively trying to not make money.

[small]Was anyone else half expecting "Thank god for poop" at the end of this video?[/small]
 

jklinders

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Sep 21, 2010
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The Deadpool said:
jklinders said:
We are not talking about drug trafficking or human trafficking. We are talking about video games. Do try to keep up and pay attention in class M'kay? You are knocking down the same strawmen
The Deadpool said:
No, most of the business practices of game industries aren't THAT bad. But the point is that "this is profitable" or "consumers are stupid enough to pay for this" has never been an ethical nor legal excuse for accepting a business practices. Why should the game industry be any different?
Do try and keep up. I responded to your post BEFORE YOU POSTED IT....

Ukomba said:
Immoral? Please, do tell, what have they done that is 'immoral' or a practice that should be made against the law?
That is the crux of the argument in like... Every other video he has done in the past few months?

And hey, it's okay if you think their practices are ethical. But the argument here, today, is that wanting to making money ISN'T AN EXCUSE. You may excuse it in DIFFERENT ways if you'd like, but giving them a motive isn't going to change a damned thing.

Aaron Sylvester said:
The difference is that it's not inherently "bad",
NOTHING is "inherently" bad. It's all subjective.

And we can argue the ethical details of large game company's practices. Hell, that's what Jim HAS been doing.

The argument in THIS video is that giving them a MOTIVE does not absolve them of their guilt. Yes, you can defend them in OTHER ways, but saying "they did it to make money" isn't a valid argument.

THAT is the point of this video. Which ultimately a LOT of people have missed.

No, no you did not respond to my post. Or at least not the part that mattered. Ergo you are NOT keeping up. I said that the power in this equation is on the consumer's side. We hold the wallet. Not the companies. Then you divert on some weird tangent bringing up illegal and harmful practices like human trafficking or drugs as if they have any bearing on this. Wrong. You can't simply throw up a strawman, knock it down then pretend you weren't doing just that by saying "hey they aren't as bad as that, but..." and expect to get a free pass on this. Like Jim, you are making correlations between non legitimate and harmful illegal things and companies that sell luxury items to willing consumers and you don't see the logical fallacy of this? Get real please.

A fair price is what I am willing to pay for it. If the price for a luxury item is too high or in some way "unfair" I am free to exercise my prerogative to not pay it. Immoral? What's immoral here. They are saying in advance what you are purchasing. If they advertise one thing and give less then there is a problem. But as long as I am free to vote with my wallet, I will consider the equation to be perfectly fair. As the consumer the power is mine to pay or not. Fewer people are getting my money than ever these days. I consider this more their problem than mine.

I certainly won't whinge about it where it will never be read by the players in question. The publishers don't give a shit what you or I think, or even Jim for that matter. They care about what we pay for. Stop paying them and see if something different happens if they upset you mortally so very much. Of course you shouldn't consume their product at all because pirating the game just sends the message that they are making the right game but not putting enough shackles on paying customers.
 

cerebus23

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Ryan Hughes said:
Actually, the idea that companies exist to make money is relatively new. Adam Smith would have found the notion horrifying, as he would likely have said that companies exist to further moral sentiments and examples. In fact, in America you used to have to prove that your company benefited its community at large or they would revoke your incorporation.

Beginning in the 1800's, the idea the companies exist to make money began, but it really did not begin to take hold until the post-war era, reaching its zenith in the Regan era.

wow what are they teaching in school nowdays?

i think rockafeller, andrew carnegie and a number of other of business titans, whos sole purpose in life was money over anything, a consequence of which many of our nations infrastructure was built, would like to have a word with you.

that fact that the word monopoly was over and one with decades before regan was even born and i find the notion that somehow the regan era is now seen as the height of greed is good.

study some history.
 

DeaDRabbiT

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Sep 25, 2010
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I agree that there is no "proof" that the second hand market negatively effects the new game market, but it's not a stretch to think that if that used market didn't exist to provide a 5 dollar discount on a brand new game, that the consumer that buys a slightly used game for a measly 5 dollar savings, wouldn't just drop the rest of the cash and buy brand new.

I think Steam is lighting the way. It's not about margins, it's about volume. Drop your prices, sell more games. It's that simple. You'll make more money in the long run, and you don't run the risk of (as Ricotello (sp) so stupidly put) "devaluing the IP"
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Jimquisition this week was really weak.

I agreed with everything Jim said, but the episode was bad and the arguments also weren't very good. But most of all, is was a boring episode to watch.
 

mjc0961

YOU'RE a pie chart.
Nov 30, 2009
3,847
0
0
DiMono said:
I think you're missing the point of the "companies exist to make money" argument. It's not that we should bend over and accept whatever they do, it's that they're free to try whatever they think will make them more money, and we get to decide whether to put up with it.
No, if that's the case, the people using "companies exist to make money" are missing the point of "companies exist to make money." People use it as a "you are not allowed to complain so shut the fuck up" button and nothing more. It's as dumb as "If you don't like it, don't buy it". No shit, Sherlock! I already knew that. Doesn't mean I don't have the right to complain about it, and telling people that they can't complain about it because they should just not buy it if they dislike the practice is completely stupid. Everyone who thinks like that needs to sit down this video and watch it until the message sinks in: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/6187-Why-Boycotts-Fail-Where-Whining-Tantrums-Win

Quietly not buying something is not going to solve the problem. It's going to make the problem worse (I want Radical Entertainment and Prototype back too). Whether or not you choose to boycott or not, it's still very important to vocalize your complaints. So everyone who pulls out one of these cheap "arguments" that is basically them telling you to shut up... They are the ones who need to shut up because they are dumb.

theultimateend said:
That's the rational argument but I've literally never seen that be "the argument."

100% of the time its a mob of people defending literally anything and acting like businesses not don't don't need to have moral compasses but they SHOULDN'T have them.

That capitalism is above the health and safety of all people.

You won't catch people saying "companies exist to make money" in response to a complaint and then seeing them follow it up with anything short of objectivism.
Another excellent way of putting it.

Zachary Amaranth said:
Jennacide said:
Glad you got to this one Jim, I've always hated this strawman argument. I've never understood how so many people will defend bullshit business practices with this weak defense. "Capitalism is about making money." Well, no, not really. Capitalism is about offering the best service for a competitive price. Not "How badly can we gouge users for the least amount of effort?"
It's especially bad when you see the pro-capitalists posting long laments in threads about THQ going bankrupt. Or even when EA closes down a studio. Because the former, to me, is capitalism done right: bad game company makes bad games, bad game company makes bad decisions, bad game company go away. The latter is the end result of the kind of sociopathy these "pro-capitalists" are generally arguing, since cutting weight appears to be a big part of this "capitalist" ideal.
Agreed. There's a massive difference between EA buying up companies like Westwood and Pandemic, running them into the ground, and then dissolving them into nothing while continuing with their own existence to do it to another company later, and THQ running itself into the ground and no longer existing because of it.

THQ deserves no sympathy, they did it to themselves with terrible business ideas. Westwood and Pandemic, they do deserve sympathy, they did pretty well for themselves until EA came along and destroyed not themselves but these other companies with their meddling.
 

Fiairflair

Polymath
Oct 16, 2012
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walruss said:
The Deadpool said:
walruss said:
Maybe we should consider, you know, using that instead of complaining that companies aren't doing our negotiating for us.
But complaining IS part of the negotiation. Public perception is important to companies...
I agree, but a lot of the people I see complaining, and even Jim in this case, seem to think that we should throw a hissy fit, and then the company owes it to us to get its act together. We tell the company what they're doing wrong, and we tell the consuming public what the company is doing wrong, sure. But then we back that up by making purchases based on how we want companies to act.
Perhaps, but that isn't so much a reflection on commentators like Jim than it is on their audience. Unfortunately it is the audience that must spend differently if anything is to change. And right now they won't. For a lot of gamers the "byzantine anti-piracy and pay systems" (great line btw) is outweighed by their desire to experience a new game. It isn't so much that they like how publishers treat them, but rather that things aren't so bad they will stop buying the product.

I suspect that in deciding what to put into his video Jim thought it best to address the largest obstacle to change: gamers who say companies can do what they want without looking closely at the deal they are being offered.
And he did: "You may be happy to buy DLC that was already sold to you because it was on the disc. You may think getting less content at higher prices is acceptable... That's fine... But at least understand that just because you're cool with it doesn't mean everyone should be..."
 

Phlakes

+15 Dagger of Socks
Mar 25, 2010
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It makes sense when you're not looking at the small, specific group of people that use the phrase in the exact way you described.

i.e. when you're not defaulting to the exaggerated, unrelenting anti-corporation side of the argument.
 

weirdee

Swamp Weather Balloon Gas
Apr 11, 2011
2,634
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scw55 said:
I agree.
I believe in ethical business practise for the consumers and manufacturers.

Yes, by being a dick you may make a lot of money now. But by being not-a-dick you ensure income for the future, long term. For some reason (which is strange), human beings like people who are not dicks. And tend to hate dicks.

It's funny. Steam used to get a lot of slack for Hats. And stupid keys to unlock chests. Now they're eclipsed by everyone else.
they're HATS

they are for the purpose of BEING ON HEADS

we're talking about exploitation and you're angry at the hats in a now free to play game
 

aelreth

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Dec 26, 2012
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walruss said:
The Deadpool said:
walruss said:
Maybe we should consider, you know, using that instead of complaining that companies aren't doing our negotiating for us.
But complaining IS part of the negotiation. Public perception is important to companies...
I agree, but a lot of the people I see complaining, and even Jim in this case, seem to think that we should throw a hissy fit, and then the company owes it to us to get its act together. We tell the company what they're doing wrong, and we tell the consuming public what the company is doing wrong, sure. But then we back that up by making purchases based on how we want companies to act.
Then we as consumers should begin directly speaking to the developers with our wallets, the publisher will happily cannibalize it's adopted child developers to survive.
 

Stryc9

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[sarcasm]But Jim, corporations are people and you want to deny them their human rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness through making huge piles of cash by any means! You're starting to sound like some sort of filthy socialist, 99%-er that hates America and the free market![/sarcasm]
 

The Material Sheep

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Corporations exist to make money. This is a fact. They don't owe anyone anything. However we don't owe them anything either and if they put out stupid things like on disc dlc, drm, and other terrible terrible ideas. We have just as much right to tell those fuck heads to give us a better deal and not give them any money.

Principle is a big part of this though. You have to follow up action with words. Wish more people would.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Therumancer said:
....A whole lot of opinionated crap.....
Oh god,
I'm sorry dude but you seem to be spewing out complete ignorance there. Blantant, rabid, ignorant stereotyping, from what you "get" from studio walkthroughs.
First off, this walkthroughs normally show the more light hearted areas of a company simply because it is more likely to entertain an audience. But Dev companies often have several different components all in charge of different areas of the production, not always as clearly portrayable. (also, I'd love it if you could point me to those really efficient lawyers you speak of, becaus I don't really know any)

Sure, people in game dev seem laid back, but this mainly responds to the fact that they love doing what they are doing, and not about them not working hard enough. One of the most complex and highly demanding fields of computing today is gaming and real time visualization and it requires some extremely specialized knowledge. The production process is far from what you are describing, and I am inclned to believe that you are just saying this without actually knowing what any of it entails. First of, Different areas of a company work at different times, artists are often very active at the start of a project when doing concept design, and other artists pick up 3d and texturing later in the development cycle. There are several different specialties of graphic arts required for the complete production of a game. Some of them will temain through the whole process, while others will only be required for specific situations, NOT ALL ARTISTS CAN DO ALL ART.

Similarly, an AI programmer will likely only become really active later in the game production cycle when basic gameplay dynamics have been defined. While an engine programmer will actually be busiest before the actual production is started. But these are just a few, through the production dozens of specific programmers might be needed for different areas of the game.

Then you are forgetting the sheer volume of content games have today, Levels all have to be designed, each set piece must be produced as a unique structure. Acting, Music, Sound, UI, Lighting, Gameplay Systems, Architecture, Writing, Network, all of these have specialists that iterate towards producing the exact result that the director and publisher expect.

Also, as many other people, you are falling into a profound ignorant fallacy, which is that working more is better... When in fact working BETTER does MORE. Looking busy does not equal producing better work.
As a programmer myself, I can tell you that a programmer that types furiously and restlessly, may be very good when properly directed, but it is far more important to plan ahead and solve the system problems elegantly and thoughtfully, since a single slip can come back later in the development process and destroy hundreds of hours of work.
Often 3000 lines of code are not the answer, and believe it or not, when you are typing furiously, it is hard to see the bigger picture and easier to fuck up.
In my indie team, I had a "very good" programmer, that was busy all the time, typing thousands and thousands of lines of code, seemingly complex as hell. But it all fell apart when we found a bug: I went in to revise it, I realized that it was all trash Thousands upon thousands of cryptic trash. I had to re-think everything, recode thousands of lines into 20 lines that did the same, faster and better, but that realization took time. Efficiency is priceless.
But efficiency actually implies doing the same work in less time, not the other way around. Complaining about the inefficiency of the process when you don't really understand the necessary steps is plain ignorant.

Underestimating the importance of pre-planning, prototyping, iteration, refactoring, bug fixing, and optimisation is one of the worst mistakes in companies, and it shows lack of experience and profound short-sightedness that ends up killing and driving projects over budget.

The other point that you are shamelessly ignoring is that a lot of publishers use more than half the budget of a game in publicity, PR and Press coverage, Market research and simply Publisher's cut.
Just so you get an idea, in a market as small and independent as the app store, apple takes away 30% of all profit, and a publisher takes an extra 30-40% on top of that, meaning that the developer gets less than half the money that is paid for the game.

Many bigger publishers fund the production of a game by a limited amount, without actually taking into account the profit to be made from the game, and only if a profit margin is reached, the development team receives a certain percentage as bonus. But it is not as if the developer can demand a higher pay from the publisher. They just present a budget that the publisher approves (or normally cuts), to begin production.
In fact it is well known that most positions in game companies are not the best paid in their field either, A Programmer can make MUCH more money, working on banking administration systems than game physics engines, shaders, or AI, even though it is a lot easier. And an artist can probably have a much more reliable work in fields of marketing, publicity or editorial design.

I really encourage you to learn about game development from more than the occasional "inside x game studio" documentary, before you make such thoughtless comments.
 

Darth_Payn

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So bottom line is : it's ok to make money, but it has to be for something people want to buy without feeling like they're being shit on.
And what THE FUCK were those animals in the video?! Jesus, Jim, how do you find such High Octane Nightmare Fuel?!
 

XelaisPWN

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Companies exist to make money.

So stop giving them money.

If you can't handle that (e.g. you can't help but spend $60 on Mass Effect 3 even though Origin [insert everything bad here]) then it's probably not that big of a deal.
 

Ryan Hughes

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cerebus23 said:
Ryan Hughes said:
Actually, the idea that companies exist to make money is relatively new. Adam Smith would have found the notion horrifying, as he would likely have said that companies exist to further moral sentiments and examples. In fact, in America you used to have to prove that your company benefited its community at large or they would revoke your incorporation.

Beginning in the 1800's, the idea the companies exist to make money began, but it really did not begin to take hold until the post-war era, reaching its zenith in the Regan era.

wow what are they teaching in school nowdays?

i think rockafeller, andrew carnegie and a number of other of business titans, whos sole purpose in life was money over anything, a consequence of which many of our nations infrastructure was built, would like to have a word with you.

that fact that the word monopoly was over and one with decades before regan was even born and i find the notion that somehow the regan era is now seen as the height of greed is good.

study some history.
I have, quite a bit more than you it seems. The reason the Regan era is seen as the era of "Greed is Good," is largely because of Michael Milken, who said those very words in an address at the Dow Jones a few years before his arrest. Also, because of the deregulation of the financial sector begun with Nixon and the undermining of the Bretton Woods system, and continued by Regan and Jesse Helms.

Also, are you talking about the same Rockefellers who murdered their own employees at the Ludlow Massacre in Colorado in 1914? Because if you are, then you are literally holding up murderers as paragons of American progress.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Milken
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludlow_Massacre
 

Eclectic Dreck

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Companies do exist to make money. As a human construct, that is it's sole purpose, it's singular reason for being. Attempting to deliver a crippling broadside speaking about about the presumed moral shortcomings of this construct are folly simply because the only moral standard inherent to a company is to make money. This is the fundamental problem with attempting to personify a fundamentally inhuman structure like a company: good or bad cannot actually apply. If one actually wants to unironically judge the relative worth of such a thing, it must be on the basis of if it efficiently and effectively fulfills it's purpose.

This places a company in an interesting position. You can judge the actions of the people who work at the company by a moral standard, certainly but it all becomes very nebulous very quickly. Who precisely, for example, was responsible for a man in my camp in Dragon Age constantly asking for more money? Since it becomes impossible to track this down for a consumer (and in many cases difficult for anyone in the company in question to determine with any certainty) we project the presumed morale shortcoming into the corporation itself.

That said, it does offer a fairly unique relationship. If you accept that a company exists to make money and actions that further that end are morally correct, it stands to reason you have an easy solution to this moral conundrum. If a company takes an action that you believe to be immoral, simply do not give them money. By supporting a company that engages in a practice you do not agree with, you torpedo any argument you might otherwise have about the presumed rights and wrongs of the world. If you insist on applying a moral framework to an idea so nebulous as the corporation, to support a company that you believe does wrong goes beyond hypocrisy. You become a collaborator, a traitor, the very agent that allows the action you despise to happen. By contrast, if you refuse to buy a product from a company that has taken an action you find despicable, you have achieved the seemingly impossible: you've made the action the company took that offended less moral by undermining the effort of said company to make money.

Don't voice a strongly worded condemnation of a shady practice and then turn around and buy a product. A half measure achieves less than nothing. This is not an industry that produces things you need. There is no sophie's choice to make here. Morality of a corporation is determined by the consumer's willingness to give said corporation money.
 

Ryan Hughes

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Eclectic Dreck said:
Companies do exist to make money. As a human construct, that is it's sole purpose, it's singular reason for being. Attempting to deliver a crippling broadside speaking about about the presumed moral shortcomings of this construct are folly simply because the only moral standard inherent to a company is to make money. This is the fundamental problem with attempting to personify a fundamentally inhuman structure like a company: good or bad cannot actually apply. If one actually wants to unironically judge the relative worth of such a thing, it must be on the basis of if it efficiently and effectively fulfills it's purpose.

This places a company in an interesting position. You can judge the actions of the people who work at the company by a moral standard, certainly but it all becomes very nebulous very quickly. Who precisely, for example, was responsible for a man in my camp in Dragon Age constantly asking for more money? Since it becomes impossible to track this down for a consumer (and in many cases difficult for anyone in the company in question to determine with any certainty) we project the presumed morale shortcoming into the corporation itself.

That said, it does offer a fairly unique relationship. If you accept that a company exists to make money and actions that further that end are morally correct, it stands to reason you have an easy solution to this moral conundrum. If a company takes an action that you believe to be immoral, simply do not give them money. By supporting a company that engages in a practice you do not agree with, you torpedo any argument you might otherwise have about the presumed rights and wrongs of the world. If you insist on applying a moral framework to an idea so nebulous as the corporation, to support a company that you believe does wrong goes beyond hypocrisy. You become a collaborator, a traitor, the very agent that allows the action you despise to happen. By contrast, if you refuse to buy a product from a company that has taken an action you find despicable, you have achieved the seemingly impossible: you've made the action the company took that offended less moral by undermining the effort of said company to make money.

Don't voice a strongly worded condemnation of a shady practice and then turn around and buy a product. A half measure achieves less than nothing.
In a way, I see your point. But as I stated earlier, many of the people seen as the founders of capitalism (in as much as such a vast structure could be narrowed down) like Adam Smith would be horrified by the very notion that anything could exist solely for making money. Adam Smith wrote "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" before he wrote "Wealth of Nations," and simply assumed that the foundations of moral sentiments would exist as the primary basis for action in his laissez faire economic system that he envisioned. This system should be separated from the laissez faire proposed by Milton Freedman, though, as Freedman's system makes no account for moral basis for actions.
 

aelreth

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Dec 26, 2012
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Ryan Hughes said:
Eclectic Dreck said:
Companies do exist to make money. As a human construct, that is it's sole purpose, it's singular reason for being. Attempting to deliver a crippling broadside speaking about about the presumed moral shortcomings of this construct are folly simply because the only moral standard inherent to a company is to make money. This is the fundamental problem with attempting to personify a fundamentally inhuman structure like a company: good or bad cannot actually apply. If one actually wants to unironically judge the relative worth of such a thing, it must be on the basis of if it efficiently and effectively fulfills it's purpose.

This places a company in an interesting position. You can judge the actions of the people who work at the company by a moral standard, certainly but it all becomes very nebulous very quickly. Who precisely, for example, was responsible for a man in my camp in Dragon Age constantly asking for more money? Since it becomes impossible to track this down for a consumer (and in many cases difficult for anyone in the company in question to determine with any certainty) we project the presumed morale shortcoming into the corporation itself.

That said, it does offer a fairly unique relationship. If you accept that a company exists to make money and actions that further that end are morally correct, it stands to reason you have an easy solution to this moral conundrum. If a company takes an action that you believe to be immoral, simply do not give them money. By supporting a company that engages in a practice you do not agree with, you torpedo any argument you might otherwise have about the presumed rights and wrongs of the world. If you insist on applying a moral framework to an idea so nebulous as the corporation, to support a company that you believe does wrong goes beyond hypocrisy. You become a collaborator, a traitor, the very agent that allows the action you despise to happen. By contrast, if you refuse to buy a product from a company that has taken an action you find despicable, you have achieved the seemingly impossible: you've made the action the company took that offended less moral by undermining the effort of said company to make money.

Don't voice a strongly worded condemnation of a shady practice and then turn around and buy a product. A half measure achieves less than nothing.
In a way, I see your point. But as I stated earlier, many of the people seen as the founders of capitalism (in as much as such a vast structure could be narrowed down) like Adam Smith would be horrified by the very notion that anything could exist solely for making money. Adam Smith wrote "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" before he wrote "Wealth of Nations," and simply assumed that the foundations of moral sentiments would exist as the primary basis for action in his laissez faire economic system that he envisioned. This system should be separated from the laissez faire proposed by Milton Freedman, though, as Freedman's system makes no account for moral basis for actions.
The bretton woods situation was created because the the politicians & the american people were unwilling to give up their welfare state. Whatever we have now has been described by Bastiat.
 

Eclectic Dreck

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Ryan Hughes said:
In a way, I see your point. But as I stated earlier, many of the people seen as the founders of capitalism (in as much as such a vast structure could be narrowed down) like Adam Smith would be horrified by the very notion that anything could exist solely for making money. Adam Smith wrote "The Theory of Moral Sentiments" before he wrote "Wealth of Nations," and simply assumed that the foundations of moral sentiments would exist as the primary basis for action in his laissez faire economic system that he envisioned. This system should be separated from the laissez faire proposed by Milton Freedman, though, as Freedman's system makes no account for moral basis for actions.
That's the catch - when you deal with people, there are all sorts of moral considerations to make. But a company, in spite of the fact exists with many of the same rights as a person, is not a person. It is a construct designed to a particular end - the efficient acquisition of money. Like other constructs, to attempt to judge the morality of the thing is impossible to achieve without sounding very silly.

For example, a hammer is just such a construct. It serves to apply high impulse force to a small area to, for example, drive a nail. But it's purpose is not to drive the "correct" nail, or drive a nail in the "correct" way or indeed even to drive a nail. It's purpose is simply to apply force. A "good" hammer allows for the efficient and precise application of sufficient force, a bad hammer does not. A sledge hammer used to smash a window in a riot does not become a bad hammer; a reasonable person directs the moral outrage to the person swinging the hammer.

But, in our very particular case, we decry the evils we see and yet we buy the products anyhow. They aren't things we need by any common use of the word. These are trivial things we want for petty amusement. If the company exists to make money and they are selling a thing we fundamentally do not actually need, why are we so eager to cry foul and then giving them our money anyhow thus allowing the company to fulfill it's fundamental purpose? Does that sound like the sort of action that results in a change? Does that moral condemnation really seem to have any teeth?

That reason alone is sufficient cause to consider a company as a money making construct above all else. Because it gives you, the consumer, the ability to do something besides wring your hands.
 

Ryan Hughes

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aelreth said:
The bretton woods situation was created because the the politicians & the american people were unwilling to give up their welfare state. Whatever we have now has been described by Bastiat.
Bretton Woods was created to prevent capital flight from re-emerging economies that were wrecked during WWII. It placed very few restrictions on the trade of goods, but heavy restrictions on the trade of capital and currencies, in order to make sure that the countries that were ravaged by the war were not bled dry of what little resources they had left, and it and the Marshal Plan were massive successes that led to growth not just for Germany, Japan, France, Belgium, etc, but also for the US. Simply put, these two together may be the greatest economic successes in human history.
 

plainlake

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This video is relevant to bronies. It seems like the majority will take bullets for Hasbro no matter what they do to them. And that is another thing, these large companies does not need your protection, they have accumulated enough wealth and power to do that themselves.
 

scw55

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weirdguy said:
scw55 said:
I agree.
I believe in ethical business practise for the consumers and manufacturers.

Yes, by being a dick you may make a lot of money now. But by being not-a-dick you ensure income for the future, long term. For some reason (which is strange), human beings like people who are not dicks. And tend to hate dicks.

It's funny. Steam used to get a lot of slack for Hats. And stupid keys to unlock chests. Now they're eclipsed by everyone else.
they're HATS

they are for the purpose of BEING ON HEADS

we're talking about exploitation and you're angry at the hats in a now free to play game

At no point did I say I was angry. Thank you for putting words in my mouth so-to-speak :)

In fact, Jim talked about exploitation. You aren't.
 

level27smartass

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Jun 23, 2012
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cerebus23 said:
Ryan Hughes said:
Actually, the idea that companies exist to make money is relatively new. Adam Smith would have found the notion horrifying, as he would likely have said that companies exist to further moral sentiments and examples. In fact, in America you used to have to prove that your company benefited its community at large or they would revoke your incorporation.

Beginning in the 1800's, the idea the companies exist to make money began, but it really did not begin to take hold until the post-war era, reaching its zenith in the Regan era.

wow what are they teaching in school nowdays?

i think rockafeller, andrew carnegie and a number of other of business titans, whos sole purpose in life was money over anything, a consequence of which many of our nations infrastructure was built, would like to have a word with you.

that fact that the word monopoly was over and one with decades before regan was even born and i find the notion that somehow the regan era is now seen as the height of greed is good.

study some history.
Do you even socioeconomic studies? In all sincerity Rockefeller, Carnegie and all the other minds of guild-ed age did way more evil than good. I kid you not these men had a private army to break strikes, kill union bosses, and frame-workers, you probably know them as the Pinkerton Detective Agency. A privatized police force bought and payed for by those you idolize. In 1914 a strike broke out in the Ludlow, Colorado the coal miners there where sick of working for days at time with underground and with fresh air. The miners went out to build a tent encampment outside the company land(before you ask these people where homeless to begin with even though they where working. Colorado Fuel & Iron Company camp guards(Pinkerton trained) and the US National Guard torched the encampment 1,600 people mostly women and children and begin to open fire with machine guns. 18 people died 11 of them children. This was just one strike broke by Rockefeller's goons
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Fuck using Valve as a positive example.

They were the first company who REQUIRED me to install some shit middle man portal on my machine, first company who sold me a game off a shelf in a store that WAS NOT a full working game because the last 5-8% of it had to be downloaded online, one of the first companies that REQUIRED an internet connection to run your game, even if it was only a one time thing.

The fact that they have sales and all sorts of other nonsense doesn't excuse the fact that the core of what they do is draconian and entirely in their interests, not mine.


If that's the best positive example you can give then this a shitty industry we deal with.
 

T_ConX

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Companies do this because it works. Enough people buy this crap, be it overpriced DLC, on-disc DLC, or yearly rehashes, to justify the practice. The most anyone can do to stop this trend is to not buy into it.

I'm still waiting for the version of Mass Effect 3 that comes with the full game, and doesn't require me to drop an extra $30 on content that was cut from the first release so it could be sold separately. Sorry ass-hats, but I'm under NO obligation to buy this game, so until you get your act together, I'll be buying what I like to call 'FINISHED PRODUCT'!
 

Sonic Doctor

Time Lord / Whack-A-Newbie!
Jan 9, 2010
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Aaron Sylvester said:
Hey Jim, could you please explain how your examples/analogies are even vaguely relevant to what gaming companies are doing? (I expand further on my question below the quote.)

The Grim Ace said:
I always did find the "they only exist to make money" argument crazy. I mean, if I went over and stabbed a man in the dick and he asked me why I did it, he wouldn't accept, "hey, I exist to stab people in the dick," as a reason. That might be an extreme analogy but when I'm spending sixty dollars on a game and only getting fifteen hours of content, my wallet feels terribly abused.
1) You stabbed a man in the dick - you broke the law, here come the assault charges.
3) You didn't give the man a choice, you didn't ask him whether he wanted a knife in the dick or not. You simply did it, implying force.
2) You severely harmed a human being. This is a very negative thing.

So your analogy, while extreme, wasn't even vaguely on the right track. Neither were Jim's terrorism, drugs and human trafficking analogies. They are devastatingly harmful, they are forced, they break the biggest of laws. How were they relevant in any fucking way?

While they're not exactly saving starving babies with their profits, companies aren't HARMING anyone either. They may be harming gaming as a whole but that is an extremely subtle and difficult-to-measure issue, because a lot of companies are doing really great stuff as well. The extreme analogies which imply forceful harm, destruction or lives, etc 100% of the time don't goddamn apply.

You don't live under their fucking iron-fisted rule, EA is not your abusive alcohol-drinking dad and you are not 10 years old. You have options - either don't bother with the product, or boycott the company and all it's products, or buy the product and give negative feedback. All 3 options are effective to varying degrees.

Companies make money because people GIVE them money. Do I feel it's right to abuse that power? No. But do I feel it's harming mankind and the companies should be HATED for it? Fuck no! They are only taking hints from the consumer, and the overwhelming hint companies like EA/Activision have received is that consumers will willingly spend money on anything if it is marketed heavily enough. Consumers willingly give money for poor DLC practices, consumers willingly spend money on DRM-infested games. They are simply testing what they can get away with, how far they can push the boundaries. But I repeat, they are not forcing you to buy their shit, they are not mass-murdering fellow human beings.

Companies will alter their practices according to how consumers react (sales, reviews, feedback, etc). It's that simple. No need to over-complicate it or use dumb analogies.
You sir, said exactly what I wanted to say, thanks for saving me time. I just shook my head and laughed as I heard Jim make those analogies.

People in this thread have said that a company's main purpose is to provide a service/product not just make money. What people seem to forget is that companies don't have to provide the service/product in the way people want or charge only what the people want to pay. People more and more forget that they can walk away and find another company if others aren't providing what they want.

I know it is kind of hard for some people to understand, but such battles are the type that are won by retreating. The can't do the so called "bad" things to people if there aren't enough people to do them to.
 

aelreth

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Ryan Hughes said:
Bretton Woods was created to prevent capital flight from re-emerging economies that were wrecked during WWII. It placed very few restrictions on the trade of goods, but heavy restrictions on the trade of capital and currencies, in order to make sure that the countries that were ravaged by the war were not bled dry of what little resources they had left, and it and the Marshal Plan were massive successes that led to growth not just for Germany, Japan, France, Belgium, etc, but also for the US. Simply put, these two together may be the greatest economic successes in human history.
My bad, Mr Hughes. I stand corrected. I keep getting mixed up between that and closing the gold window.
 

Lonewolfm16

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I feel you have somewhat misrepresented the general argument. "companies exist to make money" is only the first part of the arguement, at least in all the forms I have heard it given. The next part generally goes "you can't expect them to do anything else, such is the structure of capitalism. The only way to voice descent to a company and have them actually care is to make it so the business practices you disagree with fail to make the comany money. Don't like a games business practices? Don't buy it. Encourage others to do the same. But sitting here whining, as if you have any right to content, solves nothing. You only have right to what content the publisher offers to sell you. If you don't think a game is worth it without the DLC being free? Don't buy the game. Still like the game enough to buy it, even though on-disk DLC exists? Buy the game but not the DLC. Find the game worth the price as well as the DLC? Buy both. Thats how economics work."
 

Nazulu

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Jun 5, 2008
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While I agree with Jim on the first part. I find him just repeating himself here, and his argument and comparisons are very weak. C'mon Jim, you got to be ahead of the game.

Lonewolfm16 said:
I feel you have somewhat misrepresented the general argument. "companies exist to make money" is only the first part of the arguement, at least in all the forms I have heard it given. The next part generally goes "you can't expect them to do anything else, such is the structure of capitalism. The only way to voice descent to a company and have them actually care is to make it so the business practices you disagree with fail to make the comany money. Don't like a games business practices? Don't buy it. Encourage others to do the same. But sitting here whining, as if you have any right to content, solves nothing. You only have right to what content the publisher offers to sell you. If you don't think a game is worth it without the DLC being free? Don't buy the game. Still like the game enough to buy it, even though on-disk DLC exists? Buy the game but not the DLC. Find the game worth the price as well as the DLC? Buy both. Thats how economics work."
You don't help by saying every one whines about it, they can voice their complaints, and if you don't like it, you can ignore it. Saying "you can't help them do any thing else" doesn't really make sense, especially after telling us the strategy is not to buy. There are many different ways to 'reach people', giving them a bad name is possibly stopping them from doing any thing worse for all we know.

You don't think many people have avoided these certain games and tried to encourage others? I think there just happens to be so many people in the world now that it has more chance of selling. I don't have proof of that, but I reckon it's a fair assumption.

Also, what I find interesting is that you're okay if the game doesn't make enough money if people don't buy it, to stop what they do. That's an 'if' though. With no one saying any thing, they could try many other annoying strategy's, or kill the series itself (which I think EA just did).

I reckon people expressing themselves the best way they can (not whining) opens the door for criticisms, and could actually help these companies before they fuck up. I know there is always idiots, but that shouldn't stop all complaints.
 

sadmac

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The Deadpool said:
sadmac said:
A company exists to make money, and so long as you continue to give them money you are implicitly approving of anything that company does to further that goal.

On-disc DLC doesn't exist because EA put it there. It exists because people continue to buy it. If it didn't succeed in making money, then it would have stopped.
But the argument here isn't "Is this successful?" but "Are these ethical business practices?"

Unethical business practices are successful ALL THE TIME.
These practices only affect exchange with the consumer. Ethicality is a question of the exchange continuing to be voluntary (or euvoluntary if you would like a higher bar).

Check the sidebar here for a good breakdown of the criteria:

http://euvoluntaryexchange.blogspot.com/
 

Redd the Sock

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It's always been a concept people have gotten backwards. It's like saying a kids goes to school for good grades thus we should forgive cheating as they are just being industrious toward them achieving the end goal. In truth, the kids are there to learn the material and the grades are supposed to measure if they did or not. Companies have the same issue: they exist to produce a good or service that the public wants at the best price and quality, and making money is supposed to be the benchmark to say they are the good company offering value to the customer. The sentiment "companies exist to make money" ignores this and assumes that there is few actions that are wrong in the endeavor. I don't go to work for shits and giggles. I go to make money myself, but few would look at me positively if I did so by taking office supplies to the pawn shop or blackmailing my boss. An employee is told to be more valuable to make more money while a company is somehow allowed to do the opposite. They'll try and convince themselves that isn't what they're doing, or that they have no choice, or worst of all, that they are guaranteed a certain profit margin, and that's when we really need to quit humoring the idea.

It's a sign of the power balance shifting away from the customer. Mergers and conglomerates have made real competition a thing of the past so companies have less fear of people voting with their wallet. The gaming industry has also abused a lot of goodwill and have become reliant on nerd devotion to brands and characters to keep them in business as they take actions they'd never take if they really felt a threat by it. Or maybe that's starting to be past tense. I feel great schadenfreude watching Capcom fail to meet expectations of their big titles lately. THQ will be missed, but as series got bought by others, we have less to worry about bankruptcy costing us franchises. Square Enix seeming to fail on every level? No problem because Atlus and Xseed exist with far less bullshit. Yeah it's slow, but it could have an effect. It's sad it comes to this. Voting with the wallet may be effective, but it's also a painful process of lost capital, lost reputation, lost jobs, and lost time for companies that feel they have to see how far they can push customers before they break away in the name of making a quick buck. It's even more painful as they try to instead of meeting customer demands, try and put limits to their ability to go elsewhere. I mean, yeah they don't owe us anything, but the lengths they can go to avoid giving the customer any voice or alternative is a sign they'd rob us blind if they weren't afraid of the jail time.
 

MB202

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Like Jim said, there's nothing wrong with wanting to make money. After all, you need money to buy clothes, food, pay bills, mortgages, taxes, etc... It's HOW you make the money that's the problem. And it really does aggravate me that some people just lay back and accept it.

Oh, and the fact that he played Rayman Origins clips in the video... it's clear he wanted to mention Ubisoft's recent dick move in the video. Probably didn't have time to, though.
 

Nurb

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Dec 9, 2008
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Publishers have existed solely on the good will and loyalty gamers developed from the more fair minded developers of the 90's and early 00's they purchased, ran into the dirt and left for dead.

In the past:
"You're willing to buy our game? Here's a little free DLC for your loyalty while we work on the expansion."

Now:
"You're willing to buy 'our' game? Then you'll be willing to buy a little DLC too, then content we hold back to sell you on release day, then individual items sold in our online stores, and you'll be willing to put up with our removal of dedicated servers so we can take away multiplayer when the sequel comes out at the expense of number of total players... All because of your loyalty... and if you don't like it, you can fuck off."

Now gamers are getting very very bitter, more than in the past.
 

Nazulu

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Jun 5, 2008
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Nurb said:
Publishers have existed solely on the good will and loyalty gamers developed from the more fair minded developers of the 90's and early 00's they purchased, ran into the dirt and left for dead.

In the past:
"You're willing to buy our game? Here's a little free DLC for your loyalty while we work on the expansion."

Now:
"You're willing to buy 'our' game? Then you'll be willing to buy a little DLC too, then content we hold back to sell you on release day, then individual items sold in our online stores, and you'll be willing to put up with our removal of dedicated servers so we can take away multiplayer when the sequel comes out at the expense of number of total players... All because of your loyalty... and if you don't like it, you can fuck off."

Now gamers are getting very very bitter, more than in the past.
It was such a beautiful thing. I remember when I first bought Red Alert 2 and they already had free map packs to download. Later they made a page on their main site so people can put up their own maps and missions. There was too much for me to go through! Literally. And that was when I didn't have any responsibilites. You could play them all online with friends too, and even though some people found ways to cheat, not many people cared because it was still so exciting to get all these new maps.

*sad* Also, there was time I didn't have internet, it lasted about a month, *big smile* but it didn't mean shit when none of the games had DRM and I could use LAN in so many places.
 

Fiairflair

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Oct 16, 2012
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Akalabeth said:
Fuck using Valve as a positive example.

They were the first company who REQUIRED me to install some shit middle man portal on my machine, first company who sold me a game off a shelf in a store that WAS NOT a full working game because the last 5-8% of it had to be downloaded online, one of the first companies that REQUIRED an internet connection to run your game, even if it was only a one time thing.

The fact that they have sales and all sorts of other nonsense doesn't excuse the fact that the core of what they do is draconian and entirely in their interests, not mine.


If that's the best positive example you can give then this a shitty industry we deal with.
Each of those hassles has with it a benefit. You had to install Steam for an on-disc game, but now you have the most user friendly digital distribution platform around. You had to download some manner of patch/DLC/what-have-you, but now the games you buy can be patched with the click of a button. You had to validate your product, but now nobody can take your product from you and you can re-download it on any new computer you get, meaning you can never misplace it or damage it.
The rest is a bonus. You have direct access to system and product support staff if anything goes wrong. You have access to routine markdowns on games that are frequently to the tune of 75%. You even have access to Valve's free-to-play games. If you're in any doubt of how decently Valve treat their customers I can only recommend that you take a look at what EAOrigin tries to pull on you.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Fiairflair said:
Akalabeth said:
Fuck using Valve as a positive example.

They were the first company who REQUIRED me to install some shit middle man portal on my machine, first company who sold me a game off a shelf in a store that WAS NOT a full working game because the last 5-8% of it had to be downloaded online, one of the first companies that REQUIRED an internet connection to run your game, even if it was only a one time thing.

The fact that they have sales and all sorts of other nonsense doesn't excuse the fact that the core of what they do is draconian and entirely in their interests, not mine.


If that's the best positive example you can give then this a shitty industry we deal with.
Each of those hassles has with it a benefit. You had to install Steam for an on-disc game, but now you have the most user friendly digital distribution platform around. You had to download some manner of patch/DLC/what-have-you, but now the games you buy can be patched with the click of a button. You had to validate your product, but now nobody can take your product from you and you can re-download it on any new computer you get, meaning you can never misplace it or damage it.
The rest is a bonus. You have direct access to system and product support staff if anything goes wrong. You have access to routine markdowns on games that are frequently to the tune of 75%. You even have access to Valve's free-to-play games. If you're in any doubt of how decently Valve treat their customers I can only recommend that you take a look at what EAOrigin tries to pull on you.
I'm sorry, but any service that REQUIRES I use it is not friendly, it's invasive. Steam is invasive. Origin is invasive.

This is not a console, this is a PC. I should NEVER be required to install a program to run as a middle man for a product I purchased in a brick and mortar store.

And the most friendly distribution service around is not Steam, it's GOG.com. Why? Because GOG.com does not require a client.

And no sales, no anything else changes the above facts. I do not accept an invasive program, because of a sale. I just shop somewhere else. I haven't used steam in about 2 years, and with the fact I'm doing more console gaming and the fact that GOG.com is offering more independent games like FTL I doubt I'll ever use Steam again.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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I think I would prefer the title "Dead Space 4: Everybody Poops."

That's not trademarked is it?
 

Strazdas

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at first i was like oh im so going to argue, and thne you say just what i wanted to say.
Damn you Jim, you always know the right thing to say.
 

Vault101

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Sep 26, 2010
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this feels kind of like a strawman..I dont think when somone says "they exist to make money" the think thats the end of that..theres more too that side of the argument
 

Not Matt

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The tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs
 

Paradoxrifts

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Fiairflair said:
Akalabeth said:
Fuck using Valve as a positive example.

They were the first company who REQUIRED me to install some shit middle man portal on my machine, first company who sold me a game off a shelf in a store that WAS NOT a full working game because the last 5-8% of it had to be downloaded online, one of the first companies that REQUIRED an internet connection to run your game, even if it was only a one time thing.

The fact that they have sales and all sorts of other nonsense doesn't excuse the fact that the core of what they do is draconian and entirely in their interests, not mine.


If that's the best positive example you can give then this a shitty industry we deal with.
Each of those hassles has with it a benefit. You had to install Steam for an on-disc game, but now you have the most user friendly digital distribution platform around. You had to download some manner of patch/DLC/what-have-you, but now the games you buy can be patched with the click of a button. You had to validate your product, but now nobody can take your product from you and you can re-download it on any new computer you get, meaning you can never misplace it or damage it.
The rest is a bonus. You have direct access to system and product support staff if anything goes wrong. You have access to routine markdowns on games that are frequently to the tune of 75%. You even have access to Valve's free-to-play games. If you're in any doubt of how decently Valve treat their customers I can only recommend that you take a look at what EAOrigin tries to pull on you.
Just want to play an interrupt on this.

But an iron fist that is wrapped in velvet might feel all nice and cool to the touch, but it is still an iron fist. And that fist whether it is covered with velvet or not, will still bust your asshole wide open and leave it a raw and ragged mess. I remember a time when consumers could buy a game on the day of its release and fully expect the game to work straight out of the box without first needing game fixing patches or an online verification system that treats every paying consumer as a criminal. I remember when they sold legitimate expansions that were actually worth paying for, instead of scatter-shot DLC that has been either carved out of the original product, or tacked on as an afterthought.

Steam might contain the least shit of the shit sandwiches I'm expected to pick from, but no matter how thinly you spread it over bread it is and it will remain shit on a sandwich. In the last fifteen years technology has been used more and more often not to make our lives better as should be the case, but to make it just that little bit shittier often at the bequest of who stands to profit from it.

But here you are trying to convince someone that the dick meat sandwich they're complaining about isn't nearly as bad as big Billy Bob's dick meat sandwich. For me personally, that fact more than anything else captures just how far gamers have fallen when they stop complaining about what is the least worst option.
 

Tinybear

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The best parallel I know of to explain Jim's point is when latin-america learned that if you burn the forests, you can use the ashes as fertilizer and it'll be the best farmland in existence, for a couple of years, then it'll be depleted and be useless for several years afterwards. Strangely enough, that backfired a bit, having burned down tons of lush forests just to be able to farm for a few years.

Right now, the video game companies are squeezing the life out of the industry by trying to maximize profits any way possible.
 

Fiairflair

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Oct 16, 2012
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Akalabeth said:
Fiairflair said:
Akalabeth said:
Fuck using Valve as a positive example.

They were the first company who REQUIRED me to install some shit middle man portal on my machine, first company who sold me a game off a shelf in a store that WAS NOT a full working game because the last 5-8% of it had to be downloaded online, one of the first companies that REQUIRED an internet connection to run your game, even if it was only a one time thing.

The fact that they have sales and all sorts of other nonsense doesn't excuse the fact that the core of what they do is draconian and entirely in their interests, not mine.


If that's the best positive example you can give then this a shitty industry we deal with.
Each of those hassles has with it a benefit. You had to install Steam for an on-disc game, but now you have the most user friendly digital distribution platform around. You had to download some manner of patch/DLC/what-have-you, but now the games you buy can be patched with the click of a button. You had to validate your product, but now nobody can take your product from you and you can re-download it on any new computer you get, meaning you can never misplace it or damage it.
The rest is a bonus. You have direct access to system and product support staff if anything goes wrong. You have access to routine markdowns on games that are frequently to the tune of 75%. You even have access to Valve's free-to-play games. If you're in any doubt of how decently Valve treat their customers I can only recommend that you take a look at what EAOrigin tries to pull on you.
I'm sorry, but any service that REQUIRES I use it is not friendly, it's invasive. Steam is invasive. Origin is invasive.

This is not a console, this is a PC. I should NEVER be required to install a program to run as a middle man for a product I purchased in a brick and mortar store.

And the most friendly distribution service around is not Steam, it's GOG.com. Why? Because GOG.com does not require a client.

And no sales, no anything else changes the above facts. I do not accept an invasive program, because of a sale. I just shop somewhere else. I haven't used steam in about 2 years, and with the fact I'm doing more console gaming and the fact that GOG.com is offering more independent games like FTL I doubt I'll ever use Steam again.
I can't see a difference between buying a game restricted to one console and buying a game restricted to one PC gaming platform. A store bought game is no more intrusive for insisting that you have free software from Valve than it would be for insisting that you have expensive hardware from Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. In one case a computer is also needed. In the other a television is also needed.

I judge the deal I get by the quality of the product or service I receive. Valve's products are various, high quality and cheap. Valve's service is comprehensive, secure, easy to use and well staffed for providing assistance. GOG.com is good also, and you rightly called my out on trying to redeem Steam by saying it isn't Origin. But that doesn't make Valve any worse an example of a good gaming company.
 

Fiairflair

Polymath
Oct 16, 2012
94
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Paradoxrifts said:
Fiairflair said:
Akalabeth said:
Fuck using Valve as a positive example.

They were the first company who REQUIRED me to install some shit middle man portal on my machine, first company who sold me a game off a shelf in a store that WAS NOT a full working game because the last 5-8% of it had to be downloaded online, one of the first companies that REQUIRED an internet connection to run your game, even if it was only a one time thing.

The fact that they have sales and all sorts of other nonsense doesn't excuse the fact that the core of what they do is draconian and entirely in their interests, not mine.


If that's the best positive example you can give then this a shitty industry we deal with.
Each of those hassles has with it a benefit. You had to install Steam for an on-disc game, but now you have the most user friendly digital distribution platform around. You had to download some manner of patch/DLC/what-have-you, but now the games you buy can be patched with the click of a button. You had to validate your product, but now nobody can take your product from you and you can re-download it on any new computer you get, meaning you can never misplace it or damage it.
The rest is a bonus. You have direct access to system and product support staff if anything goes wrong. You have access to routine markdowns on games that are frequently to the tune of 75%. You even have access to Valve's free-to-play games. If you're in any doubt of how decently Valve treat their customers I can only recommend that you take a look at what EAOrigin tries to pull on you.
Just want to play an interrupt on this.

But an iron fist that is wrapped in velvet might feel all nice and cool to the touch, but it is still an iron fist. And that fist whether it is covered with velvet or not, will still bust your asshole wide open and leave it a raw and ragged mess. I remember a time when consumers could buy a game on the day of its release and fully expect the game to work straight out of the box without first needing game fixing patches or an online verification system that treats every paying consumer as a criminal. I remember when they sold legitimate expansions that were actually worth paying for, instead of scatter-shot DLC that has been either carved out of the original product, or tacked on as an afterthought.

Steam might contain the least shit of the shit sandwiches I'm expected to pick from, but no matter how thinly you spread it over bread it is and it will remain shit on a sandwich. In the last fifteen years technology has been used more and more often not to make our lives better as should be the case, but to make it just that little bit shittier often at the bequest of who stands to profit from it.

But here you are trying to convince someone that the dick meat sandwich they're complaining about isn't nearly as bad as big Billy Bob's dick meat sandwich. For me personally, that fact more than anything else captures just how far gamers have fallen when they stop complaining about what is the least worst option.
The 'good old days' of gaming you speak of had other issues. For example, Super Nintendo and N64 games were great; almost instant loading times, games pretty much always worked, et cetera. But the electrical contacts in the cartridges were prone to damage (causing a blank screen) and there was only so much one could fit on them. Earlier discs were the same. I strongly believe that graphics aren't everything, but they do allow greater storytelling. As games get bigger, problems get bigger. Patches have been a reality for a long time and digital distribution isn't the reason they are needed. Rather, it is the antidote and Steam is a brand of cure from the top shelf. Also, validating a game is perfectly reasonable provided it is quick and easy and it has benefits to the consumer which I mentioned before.

You're analogy takes Akalabeth's reference to intrusiveness to a new level, but I'd ask you whether the products and services of Steam are really as bad as a velvet iron fist. I reckon Steam on PC is more than alright and I'm keenly awaiting the chance to get my hands on a Steam Box as well.
 
Mar 29, 2008
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As someone who's said companies exist to make money, I'd like to explain what I've always meant by it, and what every person I've heard say it meant by it:
Saying companies exist to make money is a reality not a defense. It shouldn't be meant as any crooked action they take is acceptable, so long as they are profitable. It should be meant as if a corporation takes a crooked action to be profitable, and we the consumers support that decision we should expect more of it in the future, because many corporations will take that action since it worked. In a free-market economy (as much so as it is anyways), every party has to work in their own best interest, if consumers fail to do so it gives these corporations the incentive to give us less and less to make more and more. This isn't a defense of the corporation or stating that that is in anyway noble, its just a fact that it will happen. Personally, I find on disc dlc & companies double dipping with market models like freemium + an initial charge, hell even most implementations of straight up freemium, highly offensive; that's why I don't buy those games, and I find it more offensive that people buy the products that support those actions than the actions themselves.

This is a generalization, I understand that no matter how many times consumers support horrible product guaranteeing more of the same, there will always be a handful of companies that are in it for other reasons like to make a good product, but these are outliers.
 

RobfromtheGulag

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It's hard to disagree with this as a consumer.

It would seem practical however that EA and other big publishers will simply push the envelope until they see significant blowback to change their practices.

-edit-
Paradoxrifts said:
Just want to play an interrupt on this.

But an iron fist that is wrapped in velvet might feel all nice and cool to the touch, but it is still an iron fist. And that fist whether it is covered with velvet or not, will still bust your asshole wide open and leave it a raw and ragged mess. I remember a time when consumers could buy a game on the day of its release and fully expect the game to work straight out of the box without first needing game fixing patches or an online verification system that treats every paying consumer as a criminal. I remember when they sold legitimate expansions that were actually worth paying for, instead of scatter-shot DLC that has been either carved out of the original product, or tacked on as an afterthought.

Steam might contain the least shit of the shit sandwiches I'm expected to pick from, but no matter how thinly you spread it over bread it is and it will remain shit on a sandwich. In the last fifteen years technology has been used more and more often not to make our lives better as should be the case, but to make it just that little bit shittier often at the bequest of who stands to profit from it.

But here you are trying to convince someone that the dick meat sandwich they're complaining about isn't nearly as bad as big Billy Bob's dick meat sandwich. For me personally, that fact more than anything else captures just how far gamers have fallen when they stop complaining about what is the least worst option.
Oh; woah, hey, now we're trashing on Steam? Sometimes I think I should read all the posts in a thread rather than just the first and last 3.

Steam DRM is a form of DRM, and I'm not going to argue that DRM is a good thing. In a perfect world there would be no DRM, we'd simply pay our money, get a game and that'd be it. You never had to install updates or validate your copy of Super Mario 64.

Steam is also a DDS however, and in it's simplest form a DDS is convenient. I don't have to go to the store, whether I live next door or I live in a small town 30 miles from the nearest Gamestop. Maybe I live in Angola but want an English version of the game.

Patching, again, ideally wouldn't be necessary. But the thought has to occur that with all the improved graphics and programming going into these games there may be a down side. That down side is increased development costs, a not-insubstantial part of which go towards testing. A simplified look at this seems to be either the developers charge more for a game, which no consumer wants, or they release games that are not 100% bug free. Then they patch them. The customer then has to either live with a bugged game or get the patches via some method. Old games had glitches, we tend to idealize them, but there were quite a few.

All in all Steam, Origin, they have pros and cons, and it's up to each individual to decide if it's worth it or not.
 

Wolcik

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Is the intro/outro a play on both small novel from Mass Effect 3 Gay controversy, and South Park's best selling book episode? Regardless I liked it.
Well, that was a good episode about showing how one defense on the subject is invalid, and it was entertaining while it was over all a simple topic.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
9,909
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Delcast said:
[.

I really encourage you to learn about game development from more than the occasional "inside x game studio" documentary, before you make such thoughtless comments.

... and you just invalidated the entire body of what you had to say.

I recommend you actually READ what I have to say instead of shooting off at some bit that bothers you. The bit about the studios and how they show themselves was only one side bit among numerous other sources. As I pointed out in my "wall of text" there have been a lot of magazines and websites that have covered what's going on inside the gaming industry over the years, not to mention reports on the earnings of people in the industry doing various jobs, and of course numerous articles over the years about conditions working in game development.

See, you might have had a valid point if there weren't supporting reasons other than those video walkthroughs, going from the level of pay, to various complaint by anonymous "wives" about their husbands actually being made to "crunch" and do real work like you know... anyone else in a real job. All of this contributes to the big picture of what's going on.

It might not be a flattering picture, and not what a lot of gamers, or people in the industry want to believe is going on, but well... there it is. I write numerous huge posts for a reason, I usually wind up saying the same thing a few differant ways, but in doing so I also tend to include a lot of supporting information.

Also keep the insults, trolling, and tone under control if you want any kind of attention or response from me.
 

The Deadpool

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sadmac said:
These practices only affect exchange with the consumer. Ethicality is a question of the exchange continuing to be voluntary (or euvoluntary if you would like a higher bar).
By your definition, using child laborers wouldn't fit under an ethical dillema...

But the point here is that their income does NOT make all their actions ethical. Whether people buy or not has no bearing on that discussion.

jklinders said:
No, no you did not respond to my post.
I seriously do not know how to make this any simpler for you to grasp...

Making money is NOT an excuse for an immoral business practice. Period. That is the point of the video. That is the point of this post. That is the point of bringing up human trafficking.

No one, not my, not the video, has compared EA business practices to human trafficking. Simply bringing up a subject is NOT the same as comparing, and no amount of huffing and puffing will change that.

You can act indignant until your ass turns purple, it's not going to change reality. Human trafficking was brought up as an example of something that DOES make money and ISN'T ethical in order to prove that making money does NOT excuse unethical practices.

The idea being when someone goes "Hey, what this company is doing is wrong!" if you respond with "Well, it makes them money." then you are NOT actually countering, or even acknowledging his argument.

I know this post has been repetitive, but I honestly don't know how to simplify this any more...

walruss said:
I agree, but a lot of the people I see complaining, and even Jim in this case, seem to think that we should throw a hissy fit, and then the company owes it to us to get its act together. We tell the company what they're doing wrong, and we tell the consuming public what the company is doing wrong, sure. But then we back that up by making purchases based on how we want companies to act.
Well, I certainly have neither the time nor the inclination to keep track of the purchasing habits of every single person I meet online...

Seriously, this is a bit of an assumption isn't it?
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Therumancer said:
... and you just invalidated the entire body of what you had to say.
Why? I just explained that most of those reports show a very particular side of specific companies, and is not a reflection of actually working in the industy, which also varies profoundly from company to company (Experience which I actually HAVE). This seems to be your only experiential observation of the "reality" inside game dev companies, which you are using as a gauge to understand other information, and it's not accurate, so I dont understand how that invalidates anything. Just so you know, in general, Dev studios don't usually show anything through the heavy production timeline.

Therumancer said:
I recommend you actually READ what I have to say instead of shooting off at some bit that bothers you. The bit about the studios and how they show themselves was only one side bit among numerous other sources. As I pointed out in my "wall of text" there have been a lot of magazines and websites that have covered what's going on inside the gaming industry over the years, not to mention reports on the earnings of people in the industry doing various jobs, and of course numerous articles over the years about conditions working in game development.

See, you might have had a valid point if there weren't supporting reasons other than those video walkthroughs, going from the level of pay, to various complaint by anonymous "wives" about their husbands actually being made to "crunch" and do real work like you know... anyone else in a real job. All of this contributes to the big picture of what's going on.

It might not be a flattering picture, and not what a lot of gamers, or people in the industry want to believe is going on, but well... there it is. I write numerous huge posts for a reason, I usually wind up saying the same thing a few differant ways, but in doing so I also tend to include a lot of supporting information.

Also keep the insults, trolling, and tone under control if you want any kind of attention or response from me.
First off, there was no trolling, insult or tone. I just informed you that your perceptions were biased and inaccurate. I've worked directly in the development industry for 4 years now, and in adjacent fields for over 6, and I can tell you that a lot of the "facts" you are dishing out are completely wrong, and actually misunderstand the production pipeline. Posting them as truths does not help to validate your whole idea. And I don't see any supporting information other than passing references to very particular industry comments without any direct quote.

I do agree with your observations about "Corporate Mentality", and the expectations of profit.
That is a fairly straight forward assertion. But then you say that the cost of game development is largely Human resources, which in fact is only a fraction of the budget a publisher sets aside for the complete production of a game. I wonder if you know how big are the marketing and PR budgets in a AAA game, because you seem to completely forget the few dozen million dollars that go into that. Also considering that there are thousands of further technical expenses outside direct "office supplies", which are unique to mediums such as Videogames and Movies.
This is why normally the ones that drive Ferraris are only the directors, and not regular developers. As I said, a staff coder makes more money working developing banking software than games. Artists are often only hired for a specific period that requires their particular expertise, and only lead artists manage to earn a stable and ongoing good salary.

Frankly it is superbly arrogant of you to just say that you wouldnt hire 90% of the people if it was with your money (as if you know how hard they work), because knowing a lot of people that work in the industry, I can tell you with complete honesty that if you are in, you are probably a really hard working specialist. There is too much competition for one to just procrastinate and wait for the next paycheck.

Also, you fail to notice my other observations (which actually include numbers) that shift the problem you present more towards publishers and their expectations than developers and the production/payment rate. A problem that you do brush over but end up ignoring.
But hey, denounce the truths away, doesn't seem you caused any effect. Dont let actual experience slow you.
 

The Deadpool

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cerebus23 said:
wow what are they teaching in school nowdays?

i think rockafeller, andrew carnegie and a number of other of business titans, whos sole purpose in life was money over anything, a consequence of which many of our nations infrastructure was built, would like to have a word with you.
You mean the ROBBER BARONS? The guys whose unethical business practices essentially forced the US government out of their Laissez Faire capitalist policy? THOSE guys?
 

William Greeson

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See, I have this problem. I come up with reasonable well thought out arguments for things that hurt me, and that I don't want to see. I say, "Hey, they shouldn't be charging us $5 an inch to play 5 minutes of game before putting up the ticker and going "time to get another 5 dollars out of you!".

My problem is, that when it's time to use my arguments someone says something so momentously stupid that I stutter. It's like I don't really expect anyone to truly be that stupid, and while I'm recoiling from the immense level of stupid that just hit me in the face like a MAC truck, the person who made this comment gets a smug smile assuming they have shut me down. It's ironic because they really haven't, yet that look yet again gets me stuttering.

This makes me bad at arguments. It's also why I love your show. You so eloquently tore this insipid argument about 5 new assholes, and for that, thank god. Thank god for you Jim.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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Delcast said:
Therumancer said:
... and you just invalidated the entire body of what you had to say.
Why? I just explained that most of those reports show a very particular side of specific companies, and is not a reflection of actually working in the industy, which also varies profoundly from company to company (Experience which I actually HAVE). This seems to be your only experiential observation of the "reality" inside game dev companies, which you are using as a gauge to understand other information, and it's not accurate, so I dont understand how that invalidates anything. Just so you know, in general, Dev studios don't usually show anything through the heavy production timeline.

Therumancer said:
I recommend you actually READ what I have to say instead of shooting off at some bit that bothers you. The bit about the studios and how they show themselves was only one side bit among numerous other sources. As I pointed out in my "wall of text" there have been a lot of magazines and websites that have covered what's going on inside the gaming industry over the years, not to mention reports on the earnings of people in the industry doing various jobs, and of course numerous articles over the years about conditions working in game development.

See, you might have had a valid point if there weren't supporting reasons other than those video walkthroughs, going from the level of pay, to various complaint by anonymous "wives" about their husbands actually being made to "crunch" and do real work like you know... anyone else in a real job. All of this contributes to the big picture of what's going on.

It might not be a flattering picture, and not what a lot of gamers, or people in the industry want to believe is going on, but well... there it is. I write numerous huge posts for a reason, I usually wind up saying the same thing a few differant ways, but in doing so I also tend to include a lot of supporting information.

Also keep the insults, trolling, and tone under control if you want any kind of attention or response from me.
First off, there was no trolling, insult or tone. I just informed you that your perceptions were biased and inaccurate. I've worked directly in the development industry for 4 years now, and in adjacent fields for over 6, and I can tell you that a lot of the "facts" you are dishing out are completely wrong, and actually misunderstand the production pipeline. Posting them as truths does not help to validate your whole idea. And I don't see any supporting information other than passing references to very particular industry comments without any direct quote.

I do agree with your observations about "Corporate Mentality", and the expectations of profit.
That is a fairly straight forward assertion. But then you say that the cost of game development is largely Human resources, which in fact is only a fraction of the budget a publisher sets aside for the complete production of a game. I wonder if you know how big are the marketing and PR budgets in a AAA game, because you seem to completely forget the few dozen million dollars that go into that. Also considering that there are thousands of further technical expenses outside direct "office supplies", which are unique to mediums such as Videogames and Movies.
This is why normally the ones that drive Ferraris are only the directors, and not regular developers. As I said, a staff coder makes more money working developing banking software than games. Artists are often only hired for a specific period that requires their particular expertise, and only lead artists manage to earn a stable and ongoing good salary.

Frankly it is superbly arrogant of you to just say that you wouldnt hire 90% of the people if it was with your money (as if you know how hard they work), because knowing a lot of people that work in the industry, I can tell you with complete honesty that if you are in, you are probably a really hard working specialist. There is too much competition for one to just procrastinate and wait for the next paycheck.

Also, you fail to notice my other observations (which actually include numbers) that shift the problem you present more towards publishers and their expectations than developers and the production/payment rate. A problem that you do brush over but end up ignoring.
But hey, denounce the truths away, doesn't seem you caused any effect. Dont let actual experience slow you.
The differance here is that what your saying is entirely contridictory to the actual facts at hand, I've given referances for that reason if someone wants to bother to do the research on the more hard details of things like reported earnings and such. It's a matter of principle that I don't do people's research for them when it's a simple matter of checking Maxim's online archives, or digging back through The Escapist's (since I believe they covered the same article on earnings). Other statements come from various articles and presentations during the years attempting to shed light on how games are made, produced, etc... which goes through a lot of differant sources. There are tons of things like that so if you want to look it up, it's not hard to do. Viewed critically I don't think many impartial observers would dispute what I'm saying. What's more I call it like I see it, if game developers produce these videos and show themselves in this light, that's what I'm going to call them on when it becomes relevent, "they aren't really like that" isn't an excuse when they say themselves that they are, it's not like someone was pointing a gun at them.... and yes, I stand by saying that going by those videos and what most studios have shown of themselves I wouldn't hire them. Blame the videos for making them look like a bunch of unprofessional slackers if you want, but I can only call it as I see it.

As far as your experience goes, I can empathize to an extent, having using my own personal experience and observations as a factor in a lot of arguements. HOWEVER unlike me you apparently have a vested interest in this debate, since you still work in and around the industry, and these assessions can be applied to you even indirectly. In comparison having been forced into retirement I have no real vested interest in my old profession one way or another (Casino Security) and while there are things I'm responsible enough not to say, you'll also notice I'm extremely critical of the job and what surrounds it, in a way someone depending on it for employment (even potentially in the future) could never be, despite making referances from experience. Likewise many of the arguements I make (usually having to do with groups of people) in no way benefit me, or represent cases I have a personal stake in, indeed NOT making a lot of the arguements I do here would probably benefit me by making me substantially more popular and better received than I am currently am given the crowd.

The point is that while I can respect experience, this is a case where your claims actually work against you. It's sort of like what I might say under the "trust me, it's no big deal, I work for the casino in security" label if I was still employed by them and someone brought up one of the incidents that actually made it into the paper (knife fights in valet, a car riddled with bullets outside of foxwoods on the road, etc...) and speak highly of my employer and the service they provide. I might even actively defend them, because it is my livelyhood. With no vested interest I tend to be a lot more blunt about it, both good and bad, though there are things and incidents I won't talk about no matter how bitter and disgruntled I might be.
 

jklinders

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The Deadpool said:
sadmac said:
These practices only affect exchange with the consumer. Ethicality is a question of the exchange continuing to be voluntary (or euvoluntary if you would like a higher bar).
By your definition, using child laborers wouldn't fit under an ethical dillema...

But the point here is that their income does NOT make all their actions ethical. Whether people buy or not has no bearing on that discussion.

jklinders said:
No, no you did not respond to my post.
I seriously do not know how to make this any simpler for you to grasp...

Making money is NOT an excuse for an immoral business practice. Period. That is the point of the video. That is the point of this post. That is the point of bringing up human trafficking.

No one, not my, not the video, has compared EA business practices to human trafficking. Simply bringing up a subject is NOT the same as comparing, and no amount of huffing and puffing will change that.

You can act indignant until your ass turns purple, it's not going to change reality. Human trafficking was brought up as an example of something that DOES make money and ISN'T ethical in order to prove that making money does NOT excuse unethical practices.

The idea being when someone goes "Hey, what this company is doing is wrong!" if you respond with "Well, it makes them money." then you are NOT actually countering, or even acknowledging his argument.

I know this post has been repetitive, but I honestly don't know how to simplify this any more...

walruss said:
I agree, but a lot of the people I see complaining, and even Jim in this case, seem to think that we should throw a hissy fit, and then the company owes it to us to get its act together. We tell the company what they're doing wrong, and we tell the consuming public what the company is doing wrong, sure. But then we back that up by making purchases based on how we want companies to act.
Well, I certainly have neither the time nor the inclination to keep track of the purchasing habits of every single person I meet online...

Seriously, this is a bit of an assumption isn't it?
And I don't understand how to make more simple for you to grasp. Morality is not at the heart of this issue. It can't be because there is no question whatsoever about the impact of shady dealing in a luxury industry like videogames. There are no workers being exploited to create them. There are no lives being destroyed by them but you continue to make comparisons to things that do just that. That is what makes it a fucking strawman argument. That is why it is mindbogglingly ridiculous to make these comparisons. repeating the same thing (that the comparison between human trafficking and videogame practices is even remotely valid ) over and over does not make it so. This is not about morality no matter how hard you try to say otherwise. because as consumers we have a choice to but or not.

Now how about before partially quoting the only part of my post you have any pathetic counter for you try this as a metal exercise. Give me one good reason why it is immoral to price a luxury item that is not necessary for survival any less than what the market will bear for the purpose of making money. Give me one good reason the free market should not have free sway over something that is not even remotely important to survival. Bear in mind companies have a stake in their own survival and will not do things that put them out of business.

If this was about food or shelter or transit, we would not be having this stupid argument over semantics. But no this is not a life's necessity. It is videogames. It is a verifiable fact that we can live without them therefore give me an actual reason why the free market should not control these practices.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Fiairflair said:
I can't see a difference between buying a game restricted to one console and buying a game restricted to one PC gaming platform. A store bought game is no more intrusive for insisting that you have free software from Valve than it would be for insisting that you have expensive hardware from Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo. In one case a computer is also needed. In the other a television is also needed.

I judge the deal I get by the quality of the product or service I receive. Valve's products are various, high quality and cheap. Valve's service is comprehensive, secure, easy to use and well staffed for providing assistance. GOG.com is good also, and you rightly called my out on trying to redeem Steam by saying it isn't Origin. But that doesn't make Valve any worse an example of a good gaming company.
I never stated Valve was a worse company, I simply said it is not a positive example.

People seem to judge Valve by different standards even though Valve is guilty of the same things that people complain EA or another company is doing. Similarly, people are quick to jump on EA or another company's throat when a game series doesn't go their way but at the same time they never praise them when a game series is good. It's a double standard.

One cannot fault EA for fighting against used games, and then cite Valve as "okay", when Valve has already eliminated the concept of used games through the iron fist of Steam.

One cannot fault EA for micro transactions in-game, and then cite Valve as "okay", when Valve pioneered the practice years ago by introducing the man co store in Team Fortress 2, a game which at the time was not free to play.

It's a double standard.

Either you hold all companies accountable by the same standards, or you hold none of them.

And a company doing well in one area does not excuse their mistakes in another area, it simply says they're doing well in that one area. So Steam having sales does not change the fact that Steam eliminates used game sales, and is an invasive program, it just means they have good sales. And if Origin has terrible sales and Steam has good sales then compare them on that basis, or if Steam has added benefits but Origin has none then compare them on that basis, but don't simply waive away any other transgression steam has made because of "reasons".
 

Atmos Duality

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Brad Gardner said:
As an Economist, Companies aren't made to make money. Company are made to supply the demand. And if you have a money system often time profit does come in money form. Taking sysmatics out of the picture I doubt the gaming companies will do any different until there is a colapse in the gaming market, or at least, a mass migration in realization of the demand that they don't want 'Ea' (or other company)'s balls in thier mouth and find someone who will treat us nice with a product as good or better or even slightly worse than the product we now get with balls in our mouth.

But it would have to be at least 50% move or a 30% move with riots at E3 and other gaming convetions with reps of the companies haraassed and maybe assaulted. I'm sorry to be sinic.
I don't find it cynical; but quite realistic.
We've moved from the 2007-2008 Western Publisher Boom, to the 2011-2012 period of shrinkage and consolidation.

(THQ just went under, and I noticed many of the old publishing giants are either barely keeping their head above water, or are posting losses...except the very biggest of course, which is to be expected)

Their money-making schemes, value-jacking, and nervous and foxhole conservatism (their aversion to new IPs so strong to suggest a fatal allergy) all suggest that the system they're used to easily milking is crumbling from within.

Was this their endgame? Spend all that time money and effort to get the average ignorant consumer to accept less-for-more DLC, microtransactions and shackling DRM?

Or are these new revenue streams damage control?
 

The Deadpool

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jklinders said:
Morality is not at the heart of this issue. It can't be because there is no question whatsoever about the impact of shady dealing in a luxury industry
Drugs are a luxury.

Morality is decided by morality. Period.

Whether or not it is profitable, whether or not it is a luxury, whether or not it affects you... ALL of it is irrelevant to the argument.

jklinders said:
Now how about before partially quoting
I reply to the parts that matter. Your tantrums and your tangents are irrelevant to the argument.

Jim posed a simple argument in this video: Saying "Companies exist only to make money" is pointless, meaningless and has no bearing in any kind of argument.

You, and many others, seem to have completely missed the point. I posted to explain it. Your outrage and tantrums and red herrings and attempts at trolling mean nothing to me. I will correct you where you are objectively wrong and leave your opinions to yourself.
 

Anchupom

In it for the Pub Club cookies
Apr 15, 2009
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Your Dead Space 4 pitch definitely sounds to me more like an interquel. Seriously, think about it. After what they'd both been through in 2, it seems like a logical step.
 

jklinders

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The Deadpool said:
jklinders said:
Morality is not at the heart of this issue. It can't be because there is no question whatsoever about the impact of shady dealing in a luxury industry
Drugs are a luxury.

Morality is decided by morality. Period.

Whether or not it is profitable, whether or not it is a luxury, whether or not it affects you... ALL of it is irrelevant to the argument.

jklinders said:
Now how about before partially quoting
I reply to the parts that matter. Your tantrums and your tangents are irrelevant to the argument.

Jim posed a simple argument in this video: Saying "Companies exist only to make money" is pointless, meaningless and has no bearing in any kind of argument.

You, and many others, seem to have completely missed the point. I posted to explain it. Your outrage and tantrums and red herrings and attempts at trolling mean nothing to me. I will correct you where you are objectively wrong and leave your opinions to yourself.
Morality changes with times places and circumstances. Saying "morality is morality" is like saying "food is food." Well gee, no shit, but who's morality (or food for that matter they are both different by time region and circumstance) are we talking about? Your (and apparently Jim's) belief to the contrary is the heart of our argument. This is also why so many folks don't get you.

I would advise you to avoid using the t word here. I am not trolling you. Nor am I throwing a tantrum (classy that). I was not even talking to you in my first post and you singled me out among others and would not even properly address my post. Maybe you should think about that before you reply to me again.
 

Arnoxthe1

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But there's another thing as well. They have every right to release low quality games at high prices. It's the consumers job to show these companies that they won't buy it. Something that, unfortunately, hasn't been practiced lately. In the end, it's kind of hard to keep blaming publishers when the consumers have shown time and time again that they're willing to buy into their cheap crap. Who's REALLY to blame here?
 

The Deadpool

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jklinders said:
Morality changes with times places and circumstances. Saying "morality is morality" is like saying "food is food." Well gee, no shit, but who's morality (or food for that matter they are both different by time region and circumstance) are we talking about?
Whose.

And that IS the correct argument to be had. And that is the ENTIRE point of this video:

IF you want to argue about the ethical implications of their actions then ARGUE THE ETHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF THEIR ACTIONS. Do not dismiss the argument by simply saying "Corporations exist to make money."

jklinders said:
I would advise you to avoid using the t word here. I am not trolling you.
You have been unnecessarily abrasive and argumentative in every post you made. If you don't like the tag, then stop acting like it.

jklinders said:
you singled me out among others and would not even properly address my post.
You were wrong. I corrected you. I couldn't care less about the rest of your posts. It was merely a correction exactly when and where you made a mistake.
 

The Deadpool

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Arnoxthe1 said:
But there's another thing as well. They have every right to release low quality games at high prices. It's the consumers job to show these companies that they won't buy it. Something that, unfortunately, hasn't been practiced lately. In the end, it's kind of hard to keep blaming publishers when the consumers have shown time and time again that they're willing to buy into their cheap crap. Who's REALLY to blame here?
The reason so many fans are worried is a bit of a theory, but the basic idea is that the public (as a whole) is slow to react, but decisive in its reaction. The fear is that consumers WILL grow bored of low quality for high prices, and they WILL stop buying. At which point the bloated companies will dump tons and tons of money on games that don't sell, developers will go out of business and the industry will essentially collapse under its own weight (and they will point to the crash of the comic book industry in the 90s as an example, or even what happened to gaming in America after the Atari failed so bad no stores would carry video games and the NES had to be marketed as a Robot). What happens to the industry as a whole when the public DOES get tired of getting less for more?

Whether or not that is a true model is a whole different argument. Just wanted to point out that this scenario is kind of what scares a lot of people.
 

karma9308

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Preeety sure I heard someone masturbating furiously during the scat fanfic parts. Besides that, loved the video as usual. Hopefully someone high up will notice.
They won't.
 

Arnoxthe1

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The Deadpool said:
The reason so many fans are worried is a bit of a theory, but the basic idea is that the public (as a whole) is slow to react, but decisive in its reaction. The fear is that consumers WILL grow bored of low quality for high prices, and they WILL stop buying. At which point the bloated companies will dump tons and tons of money on games that don't sell, developers will go out of business and the industry will essentially collapse under its own weight (and they will point to the crash of the comic book industry in the 90s as an example, or even what happened to gaming in America after the Atari failed so bad no stores would carry video games and the NES had to be marketed as a Robot). What happens to the industry as a whole when the public DOES get tired of getting less for more?

Whether or not that is a true model is a whole different argument. Just wanted to point out that this scenario is kind of what scares a lot of people.
Actually, even if there was another video game industry collapse. that might actually be a good thing as people will probably return to the old games that still have some life in them. Further, the collapse won't be permanent. This market has clearly shown that there's still a whole lot of money to be made from it so it's only a matter of time before someone starts it up again.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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Therumancer said:
Again, wrong.
This is not me defending my trade, I now work in an independent studio, and we simply have to work as much as we can to release the best product we can. This is me explaining a process which often may seem unprofessional to an unexperienced observer. A process which is actually very intricate and requires a lot of systems working together that you can only really appreciate when you really see them in action together.

I have found a report in Maxim ( I suppose it's this one: "why many game developers drive ferraris" ), which is hardly what you could call an in-depth analysis or even an article at all. But it states that the managing positions -lead designers, lead artists, and sound designers etc in an ELITE AAA company, make a lot of money- no breakdown as to what senior, junior or temp positions make. Also note, that the highest paid position in game development is listed as MARKETING AND BUSINESS! (SUITS!) (almost twice as much as any other position) But NOT actually part of the hard development team -completely administrative-.
As stated these numbers are only viable in HUGE companies with IN-HOUSE teams, such as Blizzard or Ubisoft. Middle range AAA developers, who are actually under control of bigger publishing companies, such as Viseral games or even Infinity Ward don't count directly with nearly as many resources, and direct payment is much lower. They are also forced to accept to certain strict conditions from a publisher (many famous cases, such as Yager being forced by the publisher to place an unnecesary multiplayer mode into Spec-Ops, or even Viceral with the microtransaction debacle, Or the really unfortunate case of Team bondi and Rockstar), and require to fulfill the requirements of the publisher (not the other way around!).

However, just as a figure, As a game programmer where I live, I need many very specific, very advanced skills that are extremely scarce. I know a few of the best in the field, but none of them make more than 40k a year. On the other hand, Working developing business solution software, which requires rather basic knowledge, you can make up to 80k.
Many of the people working for the 40k might appear at first sight as slow or sloppy, but they are actually extremely efficient and can do things that none of the other "more seemingly efficient" programmers, and are always thinking of the best possible solution, rather than a quick whatever solution.
This means that to an observer, it might appear evident, but to actually know how good a worker is, you MUST analyze their work, NOT HOW THEY SEEM TO DO IT.

And here's where you seem to be "calling it as you see it". Particularly in this field which is actually very tied to classic art and at the same time the cutting edge technology, there is MUCH MORE than meets the eye.
This is not me defending that "that's not how they really are" I'm saying that as with any PR, they present a certain image that makes their work appealing (SHOCKING!).
It is actually a huge problem with some people coming into the industry (which I thougth was solved by now, but I guess not), that from the media does not make it look as a serious ocupation, so many applicants expect that "hey, game making! must be super chill!"
But unless these people have an unsurmountable, controlable and exploitable talent I assure you THEY WILL NOT BE HIRED.

Now I'm not saying bad workers dont exist (they obviously do, everywhere), but particularly in a business as competitive as this, you snooze, you lose, theres a hundred brilliant people waiting for a chance.
The thing is, that particularly when dealing with artistic production, which Videogame Development is one of the deepest forms of, "Calling it as you see it" just doesn't cut it.
 

Soak

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Eh, already so many posts and i'm to lazy to read them all right now. Considering, i'm also to lazy right now to write an elaborate comment. So i will write as much as this:

Uhm, yeah, it's capitalism we live in, right?! As in "those who accumulate the most capital win the game"; at least that's what many of the managers sitting in the upper positions right now probably think. The "game-industry" is now a thing, gone are the days when most developers were "top notch nerds" and could do their own thing, because no one else could do it and actually cared about it (this sounds obnoxiously nostalgic and more simple than it actually is, but whatevs). Throughout the last decades and some roller coaster riding the "game-market", people who are more interested in making money, rather than making "good games" became more and more conscious about the potential of the industry and obviously, games are now a huge part of the whole entertainment-branch. Artistic freedom, the freedom to explore and create whatever the developers wanted to is now often put under the "guidance" of big bosses who may know shit about making games, but know much about making money and when they tell their employees "jump", the little code-monkeys have to jump, if anything, they may be allowed to ask "how high, sir?".
As far as i know, many claim that this capitalism is what the USA, obviously the biggest contributor of games, is build on (considering the founders intents i kinda doubt that, but who am i to tell) and you don't want to say anything against the USA, do you?

However, looking at the recent development regarding the industry itself (high acceptance of indy-productions, kickstarting games and other "experimental" projects, increasing complaints about AAA-titles), maybe this will change again in the near future. If everything works out well for the "gaming community", if customers actually realize that they can influence the market by what they want to consume and by demanding some kind of quality in it (apart from being shiny and stuff) and maybe even if an increasing number of studios reconsider that "money" doesn't have to be the goal, but is nothing more than a currency, the course just might change "for the better".
On the other hand, why should the bigger studios stop their money-hunt when they still get what they want.

We will see.
Oh, before i forget:
As always, an amen to today's preachings and thank god for you, Jim.
 

Domoslaf

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Jim,

I feel like I'm supposed to start with "I know you don't read the comments, but", but of course you do read them.

I really like your show. The actual show. The bits where you talk about important, often controversial things others don't bother to talk about, don't have courage to or haven't even thought about. These tend to be great.

But don't try to be a stand-up comedian. You're piss-poor at that. I don't really get why video games becoming more mainstream led video game journalists to believe they are so mainstream now that they're are capable of doing everything. You aren't and now I'm not only talking about you. It seems like now video game reviewers feel obliged to weigh in on social issues, political issues, culture issues they really have nothing remotely interesting to say. You're great at talking about games. Stick to it.

And coming back precisely to you, be funny while talking about video games. You get video game humor. That is nothing to be ashamed about. I know poop is generally funny, but come on. Leave these things to people who've been doing it way longer than you.
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
9,909
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Delcast said:
Therumancer said:
Again, wrong.
This is not me defending my trade, I now work in an independent studio, and we simply have to work as much as we can to release the best product we can. This is me explaining a process which often may seem unprofessional to an unexperienced observer. A process which is actually very intricate and requires a lot of systems working together that you can only really appreciate when you really see them in action together.

I have found a report in Maxim ( I suppose it's this one: "why many game developers drive ferraris" ), which is hardly what you could call an in-depth analysis or even an article at all. But it states that the managing positions -lead designers, lead artists, and sound designers etc in an ELITE AAA company, make a lot of money- no breakdown as to what senior, junior or temp positions make. Also note, that the highest paid position in game development is listed as MARKETING AND BUSINESS! (SUITS!) (almost twice as much as any other position) But NOT actually part of the hard development team -completely administrative-.
As stated these numbers are only viable in HUGE companies with IN-HOUSE teams, such as Blizzard or Ubisoft. Middle range AAA developers, who are actually under control of bigger publishing companies, such as Viseral games or even Infinity Ward don't count directly with nearly as many resources, and direct payment is much lower. They are also forced to accept to certain strict conditions from a publisher (many famous cases, such as Yager being forced by the publisher to place an unnecesary multiplayer mode into Spec-Ops, or even Viceral with the microtransaction debacle, Or the really unfortunate case of Team bondi and Rockstar), and require to fulfill the requirements of the publisher (not the other way around!).

.
If it's the correct article there should be a cartoony graphic, it starts with the suits at the top, and moves down to more modest people in the industry. Your typical code monkey averaging about 80-100k a year or something like that.

That said since your getting personal with it (association with the industry), I'm going to let it go here. I don't need to have the last word, and if we continue to fight this one out, we'll probably never wind up speaking to each other again online, and it sounds like I might enjoy speaking with you on other subjects at some point.
 

sadmac

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The Deadpool said:
sadmac said:
These practices only affect exchange with the consumer. Ethicality is a question of the exchange continuing to be voluntary (or euvoluntary if you would like a higher bar).
By your definition, using child laborers wouldn't fit under an ethical dillema...
Most special protections for children in this regard come from the notion that a child isn't responsible for themselves and thus cannot consent, thus precluding a (eu)volountary exchange of labor for money.

But the point here is that their income does NOT make all their actions ethical. Whether people buy or not has no bearing on that discussion.
False. If their actions are profitable, then the public approves of their actions, and the public sets the ethical standard.
 

Indecipherable

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Jim has massively misunderstood the argument and just gone off to beat down a strawman. A brief glance over (some of) the responses here have done a good job IMO of suggesting where.
 

Jimothy Sterling

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carnex said:
I was with Jim up until On Disc Locked Content. When will people stop with this bullshit! Location of content is not relevant! If it's good, it's good, if it's bad, it's bad be it on disc or on iterwebs! It's not like on disc stuff is made prior to the game launch and content you actually have to download later. In majority of cases both are made during the main production phase and team shifted to next project when the game is finished relegating just a bit of time towards patching up bugs later.

Murder is bad whether it happens in center of the richest town or in the poorest slums, even if we don't like to see it as such. Feeding hungry people is good thing be they out next of kin or our enemies even if we, for our personal reasons, don't see it as such. Don't attack On Disc Locked Content because the solution is not to improve the game, it's just to make you download more. You still have to pay for it, it's just that you have to download it too now. This feels like chasing a mouse around the kitchen while people get sick because food you get from suppliers is spoiled.

We, the gamers, as a group are retarded. Mob mentality at its finest, or worst if you wish. That means that people who have high soapboxes steer that ship. Don't steer it into the fucking rocks you blithering idiot! Fight the battles that are worth fighting, not some pathetic distractions!
And when will people like you stop with this bullshit of making excuses for companies locking content on the disc? I am totally with Jim on this. This is a perfect example of you bending over and making excuses for a company. Yeah, where dlc is placed DOES actually fucking matter. When I buy a game at retail, I damn well better get access to every single thing on that disc. Don't lock content on the disc that I can't access because you want to gauge more money off me. That's just fucking stupid, and I will make my complaints heard when it happens. You may be okay with companies like crapcom locking content on the disc you pruchased, but many of us are not.
 

Doclector

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Seems a little like stating the obvious, but still, good episode.

And thanks for that dead space poop story.

I don't think I can ever have an erection again.
 

Epona

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xPixelatedx said:
I appreciate your efforts to try and bring a reasonable light to this topic, but I feel your pleas fall upon deaf ears. As the last few years have proven, (particularly with bioware, EA and Capcom), some companies butthole's are so insanely clenched around their sycophants, even superman couldn't pull them out. And that is the reason why these companies still exist and do the things they do, regardless of how bad their business practices are or how terribly they view their own fanbase. Seriously, I have never seen any other industry actually call their customers names. Objectively speaking, that should be the death of any company right there... so why isn't it?
The message needs to be to gamers, not to corporations. The reason corporations do and also get away with this shit is because gamers make excuses, like "they are in business to make money", for them.
 

irishda

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Within the game industry, the movements of "these are bad practices" has become inextricable with the mindset of "we want this shit for free". Part of that is the subjective nature of bad practices. EA, the worst of the lot as many believe, isn't exactly enslaving children in Africa to program in slave mines while they're forced to smuggle out code in between their toes so they can feed their family. They're charging people for products, but the prices feel too much for some people. Or they're *gasp* making people sign up on some website. Or they're making games require a constant internet connection. These are not exactly crushing social issues that demand the attention of civil rights leaders. At worst, AT WORST, it means you don't get to enjoy a product due to financial reasons. I can't enjoy a Ferrari because of financial reasons, but I don't claim the car company is a price gouger that hates its customers.
 

irishda

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Blue Ranger said:
carnex said:
I was with Jim up until On Disc Locked Content. When will people stop with this bullshit! Location of content is not relevant! If it's good, it's good, if it's bad, it's bad be it on disc or on iterwebs! It's not like on disc stuff is made prior to the game launch and content you actually have to download later. In majority of cases both are made during the main production phase and team shifted to next project when the game is finished relegating just a bit of time towards patching up bugs later.

Murder is bad whether it happens in center of the richest town or in the poorest slums, even if we don't like to see it as such. Feeding hungry people is good thing be they out next of kin or our enemies even if we, for our personal reasons, don't see it as such. Don't attack On Disc Locked Content because the solution is not to improve the game, it's just to make you download more. You still have to pay for it, it's just that you have to download it too now. This feels like chasing a mouse around the kitchen while people get sick because food you get from suppliers is spoiled.

We, the gamers, as a group are retarded. Mob mentality at its finest, or worst if you wish. That means that people who have high soapboxes steer that ship. Don't steer it into the fucking rocks you blithering idiot! Fight the battles that are worth fighting, not some pathetic distractions!
And when will people like you stop with this bullshit of making excuses for companies locking content on the disc? I am totally with Jim on this. This is a perfect example of you bending over and making excuses for a company. Yeah, where dlc is placed DOES actually fucking matter. When I buy a game at retail, I damn well better get access to every single thing on that disc. Don't lock content on the disc that I can't access because you want to gauge more money off me. That's just fucking stupid, and I will make my complaints heard when it happens. You may be okay with companies like crapcom locking content on the disc you pruchased, but many of us are not.
That's an argument of semantics and expectations. Are you, the customer, entitled to additional content on the medium you purchased to deliver said content? Or does it just feel that way because the past methods of delivery have given you the expectation that everything on a disc should be unlocked? Let's put it this way. If you bought a game off Steam, are you entitled to all the related extras of said game that were also released the day it was launched? What's the difference between that and the extra content on the disc? If the entirety of the game was locked on the disc, I might be inclined to agree with you. But, as it is, usually it's just some mini episode or a few extra missions, neither of which are necessary to play the game.
 

Atmos Duality

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xPixelatedx said:
I appreciate your efforts to try and bring a reasonable light to this topic, but I feel your pleas fall upon deaf ears. As the last few years have proven, (particularly with bioware, EA and Capcom), some companies butthole's are so insanely clenched around their sycophants, even superman couldn't pull them out. And that is the reason why these companies still exist and do the things they do, regardless of how bad their business practices are or how terribly they view their own fanbase. Seriously, I have never seen any other industry actually call their customers names. Objectively speaking, that should be the death of any company right there... so why isn't it?
I get the feeling that the AAA Publishers are desperately trying to prevent an even bigger market backlash to pay for their rising costs. One that doesn't involve directly raising prices on the core package.

It explains a great deal of their increased emphasis on "less-for-more" (content-to-cost) DLC practices, hyper-conservative attitude towards market variety (read: If it isn't "safe", it's not getting made) and dismissive of criticism (that they didn't pay for anyway).

Can you imagine the drop in sales if they priced games for 100 bucks a pop flat out rather than introducing the rest of the cost as optional DLC? It'd make the Laurentian Abyss look like a playground slide.
(and yes, I am aware that Australia puts up with that already, look at the bigger picture; I'm talking primary markets, and not just those who they pork in the arse with arbitrage)

It may also explain why they spend extraordinary sums on marketing while paying the developer peanuts in comparison.
 

hickwarrior

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Nov 7, 2007
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Well, I've skimmed over this thread, but I think I wanted to address the 'vote with your wallet' point.

From my perspective, a game is more than just a business. A game is something you can hold dear, have memories of while playing it. I think it's something all works of art have. You associate certain experiences with books, maybe paintings or what have you.

What this means for me is kind of like this: A game, or a franchise, has a setting where stories are told. These settings can influence characters in certain ways, or make the world have a certain style to them. Something like Pokemon, Dynasty Warriors or Shin Megami Tensei. There's also gameplay to consider. All of these things create unique experiences, or as unique as possibly can be achieved.

However, the way I'm hearing and reading about how businesses and/or suits tend to handle it, is entirely the wrong way to do it. It's like the AAA games industry thinks it owns these unique properties that are guaranteed to always sell. But, videogames are 'unique', have a certain feel for people that want that kind of 'emotion'. And are willing to pay out of a place where the sun don't shine for it.

I hope this is clear enough to get my point across, cause it's kind of a hard thing to explain. The best way I can put it is heart.
 

Undeadpool

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I...very seriously take issue with games now having the least content for the most money in...ever. I remember paying $80 for Kirby's Superstar. Great game, but that was $80 ~15 years ago. Breath of Fire 1 & 2 were around $50 in mid-90s terms and LITERALLY half of their gameplay is grinding. LITERALLY. Hell, in 2's case maybe MORE than half. JRPGs in particular are infamous for padding their length with mandatory grinding. I understand games like Skyrim, Mass Effect, The Witcher, and hell I'll just say Alpha Protocol to a great extent. I'll admit: it's getting a little freaky. For instance: Leviathan DEFINITELY should have been in Mass Effect 3, there's NO QUESTION, especially with the amount of squad dialog, that that was a piece of content held back to bilk consumers out of money (or at best: held back to get the game out in a certain time frame). That is crappy, disingenuous, and worrisome.

Also: I've noticed a flaw of this series (a series I love, mind you) is that it tends to, somewhat ironically, marginalize downloadable games. I remember when a video brought up that Prototype 2 had sold absolute crap compared to what came before, it COMPLETELY ignored the fact that both Trials HD and Minecraft had SHATTERED records within a week of one another for download sales. I love that large companies with their AAA games are being held accountable, but I also love that I can get a game like Cthulhu Saves the World, a full-on JRPG (without all the grinding and with a few different play modes) for THREE DOLLARS on modern systems. A game that probably would've run $80 in this odd, bygone (fictional) golden age. I'm not saying we shouldn't hold companies accountable for what they do, I'm saying we NEED to let go of this notion that videogames used to be somehow more "pure." Cause they're more pure, and by that I mean egalitarian, now than they've EVER been.
 

cefm

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That statment skips over some pretty important ground. Game companies exist not to make money (only the Treasury gets to do that) but to make a product (games) that customers hopefully like enough to buy them in sufficient quantities and at a sufficient price that the company makes a profit. This only happens (in an ideal world) if the product is good enough to deserve the customer's money. Therefore journalists, reviewers and customers have every right to be insulted and angry when a game company produces a piece of garbage and have the gall to ask us to pay for it when someone accross the street has a much better product.