Lots of ppl in China who went abroad b4 used them to access sites like fb. Idk if it is still the case, I think they were thinking about banning them.
well, yes, something being illegal doesn’t mean you can’t do it; you still can. it’s a choice
also, guys, can’t someone just say they got a game and they’re enjoying it without someone always having to start bitching about whatever its publisher did bad or blah, blah, blah? That’s not gonna change the world; it will only deter ppl from talking about games they enjoy. If you want to change the world so hard, go clean a beach or something, you know.
All evil need to succeed is for good men to do nothing.
Complacency is what allows the big bad companies to get away with doing their shit so no I will absolutely keep the actions of companies involved in conversations about them.
Hey hey hey…not all shareholders don’t play games, and not all shareholders care about profit. In fact, I think you’d be surprised at the percentage of games companies owned by small, individual investors…aka guys like you and me, not big institutions, banks, and pension funds. The big fund managers traditionally* hate investing in the “arts” because entertainment (even video games) has been and always will be more art than science. It’s hard to predict hits and flops, so earnings can be quite erratic and unpredictable. True believers are the only stable longterm investor core in games companies, NOT Wall Street types.
Every studio, developer, and publisher – even broader, every company – is made up of fellow humans. Oftentimes is easy to make an “us vs them” mentality when a company is doing something we don’t like, or we completely dehumanize them, making generalized statements about every employee/worker. However, perhaps you’ve never seen things from their perspective.
My guess is, you don’t typically listen directly to the leadership of EA and what they have to say about Apex Legends, Battlefront II, FIFA, etc. (to be fair, most people don’t bother), but at least 4 times a year we can get direct access to them with quarterly earnings calls, just put your moniker of choice in here and listen to the most recent one to give you an idea of how they go. And yes, they are long. It’s ~1 hour, as it’s treated like a business meeting/update for the past 3 months and analysts, investors, directors, and all stakeholders have questions they need answered. In case you don’t like listening or want to read and follow along, they and many other sources like the Motley Fool or Seeking Alpha provide a transcript of earnings calls, so here is the Q1 2020 transcript formatted my favorite way.
Now one thing you’re going to notice, these aren’t demons laughably mocking gamers as they tortured us for another quarter. They also kinda know their shit, even the analysts calling in from investment banks and investments research firms – they aren’t just some generic bobbleheads on the other end of the line calling in to say, “You only made X this quarter, how can you make X*2 next quarter?” So lets break down some of the questions they ask:
Stephen Ju, (director of the Credit Suisse research division), asked about the censorship and fragmentation of platforms holding back FIFA Mobile.
Ray Stochel (analyst dude over at Consumer Edge Research) focused his question on “cadence of updates” and whether it was matching players’ expectations…a trickle or a flood, neither are wanted and he knows that, so he cared enough to make sure EA leadership is tracking metrics for each playerbase and each game to see if they need to pick up the pace to keep interest or slow the pace down if players aren’t having enough time to get through all the new content.
Todd Juenger (who happens to be the senior research analyst over at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC.) was concerned specifically about Respawn Entertainment and wanted to make sure EA was giving them enough “bodies and dollars” as they continued to flesh out Apex Legends, and that they weren’t being strained by the stress of multiple projects. Todd is an incredible guy, Harvard grad, worked at tons of great positions over in the New York finance sector, well respected; plus he cares about the people, the devs, the ones that make up a company. He could have asked a million questions but he wanted to make sure the Respawn guys weren’t being overworked and that they had all the time and resources necessary to maintain their standard work schedule and operate their side project, Apex Legends. It was implied maybe they might need more on the dev team, or a different team should be brought in (like the Vancouver team that specializes in the ongoing service of live games) to maintain Apex to give Respawn a break. These people aren’t evil or giant corporate mouthpieces – its a common misconception I’d love to see shattered.
Some analysts do ask semi-stupid questions, like Jeffrey Cohen (from Stephens, Inc.) wanted to know why/when/if The Sims would ever debut on the Switch. EA had to politely explain that the Switch control scheme is not a great fit for The Sims, and from EA’s research they know most Switch owners also own a PC or another console and would prefer to play The Sims on a platform better suited to it. It wasn’t totally stupid though, as I happen to know Jeff and he has a young daughter that probably also owns a Switch…and Jeff knows Nintendo has always been a very kid-friendly company/platform. So in his mind, he’s asking “if my kid wants to play The Sims on the Switch, wouldn’t a bunch of kids?”
So these are regular Joes (and Jeffs, and Stephens, and Todds) asking questions and they themselves often play games. Lest we forget, the average gamer age has crept up to 35 and most of my analyst/senior analyst peers are often near that age group. I am myself 34, and I love games, movies, books, art, music, etc. so maybe I’m the naive idiot that doesn’t know anything?
Also, every analyst asked about engagement, monetization, and player sentiment, or some combo of the 3. They know $EA often butts heads with gamers, and that shoving microtransactions down our throats tends to piss us gamers off. So they want to know how EA is going to fix those problems, how to improve player sentiment, how to increase engagement, how to extend the longevity/shelf life of quality games without it becoming just a “content grind” as new expansions just add more stuff. They know all the tricks EA has pulled in the past, and they want to see how they will handle the future, or they just aren’t worth staying invested with.
Just trying to fix your stereotypes! Us finance guys aren’t all bad!
P.S. Full disclosure: I have been an investor and financial analyst for 17 years, albeit never for $EA. I am not a fan of Andrew Wilson, and I think he is a scumbag. I am (in general) not a fan of EA’s business practices, mostly because Wilson their CEO has led them down a very messed up path that lost their focus on the gamers and their users. But that is one guy. EA is made up of many good people. My kneejerk reaction online is usually to chime in with more “fuck EA” rhetoric, but you forced my hand to write a long post, complete with links and sources to defend them.
How is what yr doing here affecting EA in any way? Go tell EA how bad they are.
We all know about EA and Epic and Hello Games already…
As is Ubisoft , Activision Blizzard and 2K for example BUT i could get under your arguments if EA would be the only company doing that … nah , they all do it And yeah , a lot of passionate people work there but that doesnt change the fact of how these publishers behave as a whole. And they do not behave very well do they?
EA is evil shit , people there might as well be okay but EA as a entitiy is terrible
And that applies to all of them.
And that’s really the end of that in my eyes . Maybe Jon or Josh ( lets say that’s the names of two random EA shareholders ) did grow up playing video games , and they still do play them but that doesnt change much because they still opt to suck every single penny out of every single person they can.
Whenever there’s a public outcry about game companies’ wrong doings there’s always a whole bunch of people saying things like “oh well boycotting wont fix anything anyway, so why even bother, gamers have too short memories”. Well I’m not letting you forget. Me making a post is obviously not going to directly harm EA, not imagining Bobby Kotic seething in his office cursing my name for bringing their failures up yet again.
I am but a contributor to keeping things in the public consciousness, not letting it drift off to be forgotten and ignored. Yes you know about it but if it wasn’t for people like me then in 3-6 months you might well have pushed it out of your mind. Maybe that’s why you’re pushing back at me so often, because you want to forget, because you are, if even a tiny bit, feeling a little self conscious about your buying habits in the face of my reminders. I’m hoping by bringing their behavior up periodically that someone, anyone, makes a purchase decision with these behaviors fresh in mind.
Does it work? I don’t know. Is it worth trying? For sure.
Edit: Bobby is ACtiBlizz, Andrew Wilson is CEO of EA now fuck both of them. Don’t know if @shalandir have any personal charming stories about what great guys they both are in person, but as acting heads of companies they’re pretty bad.
We all do kind of vote with our wallets dont we? Not buying their shit is what really harms them.
yeah, no, sorry, that’s really not the case. I’m well aware and well informed of what all these companies are doing (I check gaming news as well as regular news every single day, as my browser opens my regular start-up pages, which include these as well as other things I need daily, this forum being one of them), but it simply does not and will not affect my decision to buy a game or not. Whether I buy a game or not is purely dictated by how much I want to play it and how that stacks up versus its price, available time, backlog, etc.
I feel these companies are entitled to do what they want as long as they follow the laws of their country, and customers are entitled to either buy the game or not buy them.
I actually do not try to impose my own convictions upon others at all. I’m completely against gambling for example, and I believe paid loot boxes constitute gambling 100%. That means I have never opened a cs go crate or a rocket league case with a paid key. I’m quite consistent with staying true to my convictions. But will I condemn them for doing it? No, that is their prerogative and their freedom, just like the customer is entitled to either open those or not. I believe they shouldn’t, but I’m not going to bother them about it. I might mention it once or twice that it constitutes gambling and that gambling is bad, but then that’s it.
I believe these companies are entitled to do what they want, and I believe their customers are allowed to do what they want. I also believe they will all be judged about what they did later on, and that will be a whole other matter. But in the meant time, it’s their choice, their freedom.
One is free to do as they please, but one must also accept the consequences.
as an entity? a force? The Oxford definition of entity would be “a thing with distinct and independent existence” or “existence; being”…
You completely missed my point that a company is the people that make it up. If you want to call Andrew Wilson evil, sure, that’d make sense. I’d disagree (evil is a pretty high bar), but that I can understand your frustration with his personal actions. And sure, there are other leadership that help Wilson squeeze blood from the stone that is the plethora of studios and IP that Electronic Arts has acquired over the years.
But “EA” as a company, they have no power, they aren’t an independent entity, and the company can only do what it’s leadership and employees steer it to do. And CEOs do a lot of steering. We sometimes call a company an entity to over simplify a situation, but technically we are EA too - we are gamers that choose to play (or not play) EA games and that’s a vote with our time, our eyeballs, our downloads and bandwidth and storage.
To give you an example: EA had a rather rocky Anthem launch, mostly because they didn’t listen to us after we BETA TESTED THEIR GAME FOR FREE THIS SPRING. That hurt their predicted profits, it hurt their margins, and analysts + investors were concerned that the misstep launching a new IP would become a trend. The investment world lost faith, and instantly sold off a pretty significant chunk of their stock. This resulted in the market value of the company being worth nearly $3 bil less, even though they were never going to sell $3 bil worth of Anthem copies at launch. That was the market’s way of slapping EA and telling them this is wrong, what you did to the game, to the gamers. But guess what happened when they announced they would continue to provide support, fix, and update the game, and they have, and some of the Anthem players (that enjoy that style) say the game has progressively gotten better. And $EA has committed to the longterm development of Anthem’s IP, even if this first game didn’t do well. They established a cool world and story, and want to come back to it. That’s a small good point for them, not completely abandoning it like other titles they’ve ruined in the past (Command and Conquer, Mass Effect, etc.).
True. But words do hurt. Campaigns matter. Public perception matters. It’s not just money anymore, engagement is key in this 21st century hyper-connected world we live in. And I think EA is slowly learning that. If I was a betting man, I would bet the board of directors ousts Andrew Wilson within the next 2 years (forced retirement or firing, doesn’t matter). However, somehow Activision has become worse and I don’t see them improving. The latest appeasement to mainland Communist China sickens me, and the banning of a pro player over a free speech comment/action is the absolute worst thing they could have done – and for clarity, Activision-Blizzard has done some really stupid things in the last 18 months.
Thankfully TTWO is finally bringing RDR2 to PC, so I still have them
Well I believe they should be judged for their behavior concurrently. If my post have no bearing on your life and you have no desire to object to anyone’s behavior then why are you so consistently questioning my intents and actions?
Old news They abandoned it again.
Cant argue with that.
Yes, they are not good people, not good CEOs, and shortsighted businessmen. I do not know them personally, but I agree, they are pretty bad. Blizzard desperately needs to decouple themselves from Activision or force a change in leadership.
You, sir, are the shortsighted one. I’m not talking about 1 game. Of course Anthem is dead(ish). I’m talking about the IP. They have greenlit at least 3 other “Anthem”-themed games in various stages of development all the way out to 2027 on their Future Roadmap that take place in the world created by the writers on the Anthem project.
Say what you will about Anthem’s mechanics, loot drops, or boss fights, the worldbuilding (visually and thematically) is just plain awesome. That was the best part of the game, just being a freaking Tony Stark Ironman for hours flying around.
ANYWAY. You can twist and turn things to the point there customers will be bad and EA just innocent sheeplings ( people get paid to do that ) but let’s not , huh ?
I never said i do not object to anyone’s behavior. EA is not attacking ppl who don’t buy their games, for example, while you are rather “outspoken” towards ppl who merely state they bought a game and are enjoying it.
I’m also not questioning yr intents, not at all. The only intent i spoke of was “wanting to change the world”, to which you quoted “good men doing nothing” thus indicating that indeed yr intent is to do something about it, which is indeed what yr arguing for.
All I’m asking is whether it’s rly necessary, whenever someone mentions any of these companies to go through the whole “they are evil, they did this, they did that” thing over and over again, that’s all.
except those for whom I am personally responsible ofc, and also if I feel someone is being unjust to someone else, i tend to speak out, so that freedom i speak of is limited to yrself, not harming others
(and yes, i know the lootboxes things is ofc harming ppl, which makes complete sense, since it’s gambling, but that’s why i mentioned the law, cuz it’s up to the law to prohibit that, and they are, slowly, but regardless they are still not forcing ppl to do it; cigarette companies do far worse than that also)
Hop in the Discord for Chrono -> Voice -> General, lets just chat this out. I can post the transcript here later for others that missed it and want to hear.
as for CEOs of large companies in general
By the way – psychopathic behavior in the general population is about one in a 100. What’s a little disturbing in this study is that not only are 21 percent of corporate executives psychopathic, but so is the same percentage of prison inmates.
lets discuss the study that that Washington Post article is referring to, and it’s methodology – hop on Discord?
I’m going to summarize, but even the author, Nathan Brooks and co-authors, only stated that ~21% of the CEOs exhibited psychopathic tendencies, not full-blown psychopathy, nor were they diagnosed with any mental illness related to ASPD (or ASPD-linked).
Second and third, the study was very limited in scope and breadth to just 261 CEOs in the US, all within the same sector, and was being conducted by an Australian team without accounting for cultural differences. One of the factors they didn’t account for was the subtle cultural differences of what is allowed in one culture and what is perceived to be psychopathic in another culture.
Fourth, this has been one of the most misquoted non-articles in the history of “scientific” papers, as many journalists chose to sensationalize the story when they wrote articles about it. Almost none of these third-party authors were objective, most had agendas, and most spun the story as “corporations = evil”, period.
Fifth, this information has been floating around in scientific literature and talked about for the last 50 years, it’s not new information that’s coming out, and even this study was 5+ years ago with their attempt submitted Aug 2016. News articles keep regurgitating or spinning it in a new negative or hyper-sensational light despite no new studies or info being conducted.
Sixth, and this is a big problem, the findings so far (according to legit research) show that tendencies do not equal full-blown psychopathy, (especially since humans innately have difference characteristics at different times), and no scientist or research facility has been able to draw a causal link between the job leading to psychopathic tendencies, or whether psychos are drawn to the jobs, or whether they are the ones that tend to filter to the top leadership due to some other qualities (or whether it is specifically psychopathic tendencies that contribute to some of them leading massive corporations). Assuming if they really are over-represented in the CEO position. Which is still out for debate.
And finally, seventh, most of my points are great but none beat out the simple fact that the authors themselves retracted their own research due to glaring flaws:
Statement of Retraction We, Taylor & Francis Group and the Editors ofCrime Psychology Review, are retracting the following article: Brooks, N. & Fritzon, K, Psychopathic personality characteristics amongst high function- ing populations. Crime Psychology Review, Vol 2 (1) 2016 (22-44) DOI:10.1080/23744006. 2016.1232537 Following a withdrawal request from the Authors and the Authors’institution, we are retracting the paper. We have been informed in our decision-making by the guidance of COPE guidelines on retractions. The retracted article will remain online to maintain the scholarly record, but it will be digitally watermarked on each page as“Retracted”.
Ultimately, due to Brooks and his researchers reviewing their own paper and realizing they had made multiple, glaring mistakes, failed to account for their own biases, lacked even a single peer-review that had approved or concluded the same findings from similar research, and it would be a disservice to keep trying to publish a broken study. They 100% admitted to going to the press too early, and they had lost control of the narrative, allowing their study to be twisted by the media to say things it didn’t say. There’s at least 3 different podcasts in the last couple years that have interviewed Brooks, he hates the way his work has been interpreted.
I’m currently waiting for a job to hit the job queue hoping to snatch it faster than any of my colleagues who are doing the same, so I’ll pass
it used to be i could afford to play games even, or whatever, and just react to the audio notification of the email informing that something hit the queue and get a decent amount of work doing that, but they suddenly doubled the team in number, and now it’s rly a daily fight/struggle for jobs
it’s a good thing I’ve been playing fps all my life - hitting that “claim” button in a split second