Bobby Kotick might be our last, best hope.

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Unless you've been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you know that November 2nd might just be doomsday for video games as we know them. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the State of California in their case against the industry, gaming will be denied the rights of free speech that protect every other entertainment medium. Blah blah, yada yada, we know this already.

But consider who stands to gain the most from keeping games legitimized. That's right, it's guys like Bobby Kotick, John Riccitiello, Strauss Zellnick, the Ubisoft guys...all those evil CEOs we've decried over the years for shoveling dreck that oh by the way happens to drive our love of this hobby to the point where we're passionate about defending it...and for the DRM that makes even decent people think "it'd be better if I just pirated this because pirates get a better version for free."

Kotick and friends would see their own personal fortunes and perhaps their jobs evaporate if gaming's growth is stifled (and make no mistake, effectively outlawing M-rated and possibly even some T-rated games would be the worst thing to happen to games financially since 1983). They have a dog in this fight; their very livelihoods are at stake and you can bet that all those companies will be putting up good money to make sure the industry's lawyers are the best that money can buy.

For discussion: Did you ever think you'd see the day where you thought "Thank the gods for Bobby Kotick, he's the best hope we've got"?

Help us Obi Wan Kotick! You're our only hope!

......

*Dies a little inside*

No i didn't. It saddens me a little to start cheering for this man.

Bobby Kotick is a level 20 Fallout 3 good character?
...
...
Ok I know it's not funny. But still, I had to say it. Anyway, I think the Supreme Court will rule against California. Or at least I hope. Just thinking if they don't...*sniffle*
EDIT: To add more about him, I will say that he may be evil, but even he has a heart to help save gaming.

Yeah cause lots of people with too much time on their hands and bored out of their mind are not a powerful force either.

Well... I can honestly say I never had that thought. I wonder how people will feel about him if when he wins this. Sure he might just be trying to save his own hide, but... I think I'll dislike him significantly less. Quite close to neutral.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend, regardless if hes a huge douchebag.

This rock is very heavy. Someone please help me get out from under it.

I suppose we must side with the lesser of the two evils. Good to have you on the team Kotick.

He is the lesser of two evils....he is.....

Bobby Kotick! BK!

We are counting on you.......it's up...to......you....

Spread our codes to the stars, you must rescue us all!

I'm a bit confused here. I searched for information on the law in question, and all it seems to be is a "can't sell M rated games to minors" law, which I'm not for, but it's not too bad, a similar law here in Michigan hasn't stopped me from playing M rated games since I was like 10.

The argument against it seems to be that it's poorly written and leaves room for freedom of speech violations. Can anybody give me more information on that?

http://gamerant.com/mature-video-game-law-california-supreme-court-ag-37027/

But nonetheless, these laws are absolutely unconstitutional. Let's hope for the best.

As I've said from the beginning, Kotick is not evil.

Yes, there are major studios. They churn out dreck like Action Movie 46, Generic Summer Blockbuster 57, and Romantic Comedy 12 every summer. But there are hundreds, THOUSANDS of independent films released. A lot of them suck. Some are good. Being "indy" does not a good film automatically make.

The same is true with games. Sure, Activision releases crap. But we buy it. It's our fault. Our fault alone. Because what happens when people don't support something?

They cancel the Jinx James Bond spin-off. They cancel a third Charlie's Angel's. They cancel the remake of Revenge of the Nerds. Because they won't be profitable.

And then we proclaim "WE LOVE SCOTT PILGRIM!" and it tanks, and it surprises you when they release dreck?

We bitch about Kotick, "He's the devil!" we say. And then we go and buy Rock Band 72, while ignoring the little guys. How many people here actually put down cash money for World of Goo? For Braid?

The industry cannot survive on hip little things alone. We're proven that we "hardcores" are perhaps the worst audience to cater to, ever. We bitch and complain, and when we are handed exactly what we want, we ignore it. No wonder.

Kotick may be one of the best bets, because he is a BUSINESS MAN. He does what he does for MONEY. That is why he exists, and if that makes him evil, then everyone needs to shut up, quit their jobs, and give away all their worldly possessions. It is absolutely in Kotick's best interest to keep the gaming industry as alive and vibrant as possible, because it ensures that there is a future in his career, and ensures that the money keeps rolling in.

Hating on him now would be like hating Bill Gates for trying to prevent the government from forcing everyone to use paper instead of computers. Yes, he's evil. Yes, he's serving his own purposes.

But his purposes also benefit us, so let's just shut up about the devil Kotick for a while.

Benmonkey7:
EDIT: To add more about him, I will say that he may be evil, but even he has a heart to help save gaming.

I wouldn't say he has a heart, but he certainly does has intrest in saving the gaming industry, even if i's just for financial gain.

Aerodynamic:
The enemy of my enemy is my friend, regardless if hes a huge douchebag.

Just to nitpick, in this case "the enemy of my enemy is my ally" would be more appropriate. Kotick isn't really intrested in "innovation" or in treating his customers fairly - but if this law passes, the gaming market would be destroyed. And as any self-respecting evil overlord, Kotick will help in saving the world he wants to conquer from being destroyed.

WanderFreak:
We bitch about Kotick, "He's the devil!" we say. And then we go and buy Rock Band 72, while ignoring the little guys. How many people here actually put down cash money for World of Goo? For Braid?

Well, i did. I've also ignored Modern Warfare 2. No accusing me of hypocrisy, har har!

Sorry, i just couldn't resist answering a rethorical question. I never can.

HG131:
Basically, Even Evil Has Standards.

No, basically Pragmatic Villainy. Kotick isn't the devil or a card-carrying villain - he's just a greedy exploitative fuck.

Kollega:
Well, i did. I've also ignored Modern Warfare 2. No accusing me of hypocrisy, har har!

Sorry, i just couldn't resist answering a rethorical question. I never can.

And YOU sir have earned the right to criticize hypocritical gamers by not being one yourself.

You are a rare breed indeed.

Try to take my video games away from me.

I've got a meat cleaver under my mattress and I've watched "Gangs of New York" four times.

Fucking try it, Supreme Court.

I think our best hope is that people in power have common sense. Kotick was the monster who ran 4Kids and brought pokeymanns to the states before he ran Activision, and he can always find a new thing to be evil with.
image

Don't fuck with Blizzard-Activision's, EA's, Ubisoft's or Nintendo's lawyers. Wouldn't surprise me if they destroyed the state of California for shits and giggles.

I always knew there was a reason we put unpleasant bastards on the figurative throne.

WanderFreak:
Yes, there are major studios. They churn out dreck like Action Movie 46, Generic Summer Blockbuster 57, and Romantic Comedy 12 every summer. But there are hundreds, THOUSANDS of independent films released. A lot of them suck. Some are good. Being "indy" does not a good film automatically make.

The same is true with games. Sure, Activision releases crap. But we buy it. It's our fault. Our fault alone. Because what happens when people don't support something?

They cancel the Jinx James Bond spin-off. They cancel a third Charlie's Angel's. They cancel the remake of Revenge of the Nerds. Because they won't be profitable.

And then we proclaim "WE LOVE SCOTT PILGRIM!" and it tanks, and it surprises you when they release dreck?

We bitch about Kotick, "He's the devil!" we say. And then we go and buy Rock Band 72, while ignoring the little guys. How many people here actually put down cash money for World of Goo? For Braid?

I actually put down money for both of them, as well as about 20 other indie titles. The reason that indie is better than your bigtime developers is that, for the most part, indie is about the actual game; the medium. Big developers are almost all motivated by money and so will take that profit-based approach that gives us absolute dreck. An indie developer wouldn't see if their fans will buy it, they'll see if it'll be good or not.

That's how I see it.

And this won't be affecting games as a whole. Just Americans playing them, so I personally have nothing to fear.

Blue_vision:
And this won't be affecting games as a whole. Just Americans playing them, so I personally have nothing to fear.

Except for the part about game studios getting a large chunk of their revenue from American gamers; they're not going to continue to make games they can't sell here just for sale in Europe and Australia. Maybe Japan, but even then, translations out of the original Japanese won't fly very far.

Tagball:
He is the lesser of two evils....he is.....

Bobby Kotick! BK!

We are counting on you.......it's up...to......you....

Spread our codes to the stars, you must rescue us all!

Your avatar couldn't be any better. It really couldn't.

WanderFreak:
We bitch about Kotick, "He's the devil!" we say. And then we go and buy Rock Band 72, while ignoring the little guys. How many people here actually put down cash money for World of Goo? For Braid?

Well, I don't have MW2 OR any Rock Bands, and I shelled out $20 for World of Goo and $15 for Braid.

And ironically, I don't hate Bobby Kotick. I get the feeling I'm the only one in this circumstance.

Blue_vision:
And this won't be affecting games as a whole. Just Americans playing them, so I personally have nothing to fear.

No... you misunderstand how much sway American gamers have. If no American gamers can buy it, it won't get made. Period. End of story.

As a Canadian, this makes me very sad indeed. It should make Europeans and Aussies sad as well.

I'd like to think that this won't affect me here in Canada, but I'm kidding myself if I think any decent games will come out without the giant budgets made possible by huge American sales

Oh wait, Minecraft

You raise a good point. One I'm not too happy to admit, but you are absolutely right. Let's all root for Kotick. *shudders*

SimuLord:

Blue_vision:
And this won't be affecting games as a whole. Just Americans playing them, so I personally have nothing to fear.

Except for the part about game studios getting a large chunk of their revenue from American gamers; they're not going to continue to make games they can't sell here just for sale in Europe and Australia. Maybe Japan, but even then, translations out of the original Japanese won't fly very far.

Good point raised, but when you're talking about maybe (a very modifiable) 50% of games from at the very most 25% of the video games market, I don't see it as something that couldn't be overcome.

But it's a really stupid issue in the first place. The real thing I'll be keeping my eye on is how American politics handles through this if it gets bigger, not video games.

TheLaofKazi:
I'm a bit confused here. I searched for information on the law in question, and all it seems to be is a "can't sell M rated games to minors" law, which I'm not for, but it's not too bad, a similar law here in Michigan hasn't stopped me from playing M rated games since I was like 10.

The argument against it seems to be that it's poorly written and leaves room for freedom of speech violations. Can anybody give me more information on that?

http://gamerant.com/mature-video-game-law-california-supreme-court-ag-37027/

But nonetheless, these laws are absolutely unconstitutional. Let's hope for the best.

The banning of M-rated sales to minors isn't the concern. The problem with the law is that it sets a precedent, that video games have to be regulated in a way no other form of entertainment is. This invites abuse, and will ultimately lead to censorship of the medium. Once the law is put into place, retailers will simply stop selling M-rated games, out of fear of litigation. It's good business sense to do so, but it will essentially stop the growth of games as an artistic medium. It's all very dumb.

I especially like the part of California's argument that outright calls minors in California too stupid to make their own decisions.

God I hate the government.

lacktheknack:

Blue_vision:
And this won't be affecting games as a whole. Just Americans playing them, so I personally have nothing to fear.

No... you misunderstand how much sway American gamers have. If no American gamers can buy it, it won't get made. Period. End of story.

As a Canadian, this makes me very sad indeed. It should make Europeans and Aussies sad as well.

How is this going to make no American gamers buy it? Is it actually going to outlaw M-rated games in the country?

I do doubt that the american market is the say all end all in the 1 billion strong western demographic, but that previous question still stands. What's being debated is quite vague to me.

Blue_vision:

lacktheknack:

Blue_vision:
And this won't be affecting games as a whole. Just Americans playing them, so I personally have nothing to fear.

No... you misunderstand how much sway American gamers have. If no American gamers can buy it, it won't get made. Period. End of story.

As a Canadian, this makes me very sad indeed. It should make Europeans and Aussies sad as well.

How is this going to make no American gamers buy it? Is it actually going to outlaw M-rated games in the country?

I do doubt that the american market is the say all end all in the 1 billion strong western demographic, but that previous question still stands. What's being debated is quite vague to me.

Basically, "family-oriented outlets" (ie. Wal-Mart, BestBuy, Future Shop, EBGames, etc.) will no longer carry M-rated games, and even some T-rated games (if predictions are correct). Tell me that wouldn't be a problem.

Blue_vision:

lacktheknack:

Blue_vision:
And this won't be affecting games as a whole. Just Americans playing them, so I personally have nothing to fear.

No... you misunderstand how much sway American gamers have. If no American gamers can buy it, it won't get made. Period. End of story.

As a Canadian, this makes me very sad indeed. It should make Europeans and Aussies sad as well.

How is this going to make no American gamers buy it? Is it actually going to outlaw M-rated games in the country?

I do doubt that the american market is the say all end all in the 1 billion strong western demographic, but that previous question still stands. What's being debated is quite vague to me.

M-rated games won't be outlawed de jure, but they will be de facto. Retailers will be scared to death to carry M-rated games, or indeed games with any "violent" content at all (since the law doesn't criminalize "M-rated", it criminalizes "violent", which is much more nebulous and hard to pin down, which is why I say even some T-rated games might find themselves under the legalistic microscope.)

This in turn will severely stifle the ability of games as a medium to portray...well, much of anything, since in theory Mega Man is a "violent" game for purposes of this law. It's a major blow against the idea of free speech and it's being pushed as "protecting our children", the ultimate culmination of our bubble-children society.

SimuLord:
Unless you've been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you know that November 2nd might just be doomsday for video games as we know them. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the State of California in their case against the industry, gaming will be denied the rights of free speech that protect every other entertainment medium. Blah blah, yada yada, we know this already.

Im confused, I thought they were JUST making it a crime to sell violent video games to kids? If so, why do we care? Cause all of the people old enoungh to buy the games will be happy there are less 10 year olds screaming into their mics on Xbox Live? There are ratings for a reason.

Its only if they're placing a ban on violent videogames for EVERYONE that it matters.

nofear220:

SimuLord:
Unless you've been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you know that November 2nd might just be doomsday for video games as we know them. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the State of California in their case against the industry, gaming will be denied the rights of free speech that protect every other entertainment medium. Blah blah, yada yada, we know this already.

Im confused, I thought they were JUST making it a crime to sell violent video games to kids? If so, why do we care? Cause all of the people old enoungh to buy the games will be happy there are less 10 year olds screaming into their mics on Xbox Live? There are ratings for a reason.

Its only if they're placing a ban on violent videogames for EVERYONE that it matters.

I'd agree with you except for two small problems.

One, fear of litigation is a powerful demotivator. If you were running Gamestop, would YOU want your minimally-competent front-line employees making decisions where they could slip up and get your store shut down or your company sued...or would you rather just make the executive decision not to carry those games at all? Ditto Wal-Mart or Target or some other place where you don't even have the advantage of your front-line employees being gamers. So the industry won't make the games. They'll have no place to sell them.

Two, "free speech" and "free expression" do not include Helen Lovejoy clauses in the Constitution. We are taking one further step toward making our children and adolescents sheltered, bubble-dwelling, and unable to think for themselves because nobody---parents, teachers, government---ever lets them learn how to make decisions and take responsibility for them. America's economic future is already fucked as our Millennials come of age and get jobs. That experiment failed spectacularly. And we as a country want to codify this into public policy?

lacktheknack:
No... you misunderstand how much sway American gamers have. If no American gamers can buy it, it won't get made. Period. End of story.

As a Canadian, this makes me very sad indeed. It should make Europeans and Aussies sad as well.

The prices of games over here already make us sad. Add this in and it'll move up to crying pitifully in the streets.

On topic: Go forth Dark Lord, go forth and save us all from the clutches of the moronic politicians of California.

SimuLord:
M-rated games won't be outlawed de jure, but they will be de facto. Retailers will be scared to death to carry M-rated games, or indeed games with any "violent" content at all (since the law doesn't criminalize "M-rated", it criminalizes "violent", which is much more nebulous and hard to pin down, which is why I say even some T-rated games might find themselves under the legalistic microscope.)

This in turn will severely stifle the ability of games as a medium to portray...well, much of anything, since in theory Mega Man is a "violent" game for purposes of this law. It's a major blow against the idea of free speech and it's being pushed as "protecting our children", the ultimate culmination of our bubble-children society.

So then what exactly is happening? Is it about sale to minors? Or will it more broadly allow the government to censor questionable material?

Again, you note the political side of this. That's what I'm far, far more interested in here. Special interest groups protesting on an uninformed platform? I'm quite sure that American game culture would adapt to this. But this would signify another turning point in the shifting demographic in american society, where these special interest groups are outright looking to oppose your constitution. Unfortunately, I can see the same problem here in Canada. People are just idiots. My hope in society has dwindled a bit further.

For once I'm actually glad that governments tend to cater to big business.

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