Stolen Pixels #111: The Lesser of Two Evils

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Stolen Pixels #111: The Lesser of Two Evils

The Overlord and Gnarl are bested by litigation.

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Yes, they do seem to be quickly dispelling all the feelings of goodwill that existed towards them for "not being EA."

They dumped the project as she was entering the final stages of development.

Didn't they just recently say they were only pre-alpha?

Well, the whole thing just tells me that EA is doing better since 2008 (establishing three new franchises, and financing a fourth - nice one, guys) and Activision take their former place.

One second EA was evil and activision were minding their own business. Now Activision are being a bunch of dickheads and EA is being awesome + releasing Red Alert 3.

I don't know who to hate anymore.

Out all the comics you have done so far this has to be the funniest.

Great job !

I can`t stop laughing.

Don't give up, Master. You can try removing the original voice actors and rerun Futurama with changed... Oh, sorry.

Markness:
One second EA was evil and activision were minding their own business. Now Activision are being a bunch of dickheads and EA is being awesome + releasing Red Alert 3.

I don't know who to hate anymore.

Hate all of them. they are all going to turn into dickheads and asswhipes eventually, so its good to prepare now and not be surprised when they try to whipe thier balls in your face.

Oh, and overlord guy, you could start up some sort of commentary based purely around shock factor from two seconds of otherwise just fine gameplay and demeaning the the intelagence and stability of an entire sub... culture... DAMM IT!

Shamus, I demand ask nicely that you slam Tim Langdell some more in this comic at some point. It WILL be hilarious.

Abedeus:
Don't give up, Master. You can try removing the original voice actors and rerun Futurama with changed... Oh, sorry.

Oh I see what you did there. ;)

Awesome stolen pixels, and I agree, Activision are truly evil. I know Indigo Dingo would've agreed on this one, LOL.

Dear Stolen Pixels (if you read your comments)

I would point out that there is a connection that some people seem to be missing in Activision's desician. Or rather a pattern.

Aside from Ghostbusters (which involves some adult humor) pretty much every title on that list is a dark, fairly adult oriented title with lots of blood, action, and violence and/or involves contreversial people and subject matter. Brutal Legend for example features a lot of apperances by guys from bands like Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne, which of course have reputations for being hated by the establishment. During last year's video game awards the front man from Black Sabbath (if I recall) did a thing with Jack Black, joking that they were going to sacrifice Tim Schaefer in a satanic ritual to ensure the success of the game (a parody of heavy metal fears from back in the day). 50 Cent is anything but family friendly and immune to criticism, and Riddick is about bad people doing bad things to even worse people in a penal colony (and yes it's a remake, but times are differant than when the first game was made. We have more people in power who lined up against things like Hot Coffee than ever before).

We're at a time where the gaming industry simply lacks the guts to stand up for it's right to free expression and produce the games it wants to. When you have Bethesda freaking out briefly over fan-made nudity patches, Hot Coffee, the censorship of Manhunt 2, and the removal of animations a guy giving himself bloody injections in Fallout 3 (among other things), you begin to see a pattern.

The games they kept are all "family friendly" franchises that are more or less immune to persecution and contreversy.

I've had various theories over a period of time, but I think Activision sort of expected the titles they cut loose to die. Out of them Brutal Legend is the one with the most potential to be a competitive threat/franchise because of all the names involved. People are going to buy that game just because people like Ozzy Osbourne are in it, even if they have bit parts. Yet at the same time, they wanted to avoid it because of all the black metal demon stuff, AND the fact that guys like Ozzy Osbourne were going to be in it.

As things stand now we have yet to see what is going to happen with the final game and what kind of criticism it generates. It's also unknown what was removed from the game (if anything) since the time Activision last saw it, and EA picked it up (and EA is not known for battling Censors on the big issues).

Such are my current thoughts, and think about it. Does it not show a pattern?

Right now I think fans and the industry, mostly the latter, need to rally against censorship much like the movie and music industries have done in the past. Otherwise I suspect we're going to see more of the above and an less sex, violence, and intensity in our "M" rated video games than us, the jaded gaming populance demand. :)

At any rate, if things do improve, I recommend looking back at Activision now and forever as the company that ran like a little girl from important issues like censorship, and even felt that Ghostbusters was "too intense" for their lineup.

Rant complete.

Banal, now there's a word I don't see used often.

Therumancer:
Rant

And here I thought the current ordeal was over publishing rights. I completely overlooked how censorship played any part in it.

...

Hehe brilliant, brilliant. Nice comic and great use of the setting. Hope this one is a keeper :D

GamerLuck:

Markness:
One second EA was evil and activision were minding their own business. Now Activision are being a bunch of dickheads and EA is being awesome + releasing Red Alert 3.

I don't know who to hate anymore.

Hate all of them. they are all going to turn into dickheads and asswhipes eventually, so its good to prepare now and not be surprised when they try to whipe thier balls in your face.

Oh, and overlord guy, you could start up some sort of commentary based purely around shock factor from two seconds of otherwise just fine gameplay and demeaning the the intelagence and stability of an entire sub... culture... DAMM IT!

The intelligence of the subculture doesn't need any deameaning from outside sources when it can't even spell "intelligence" intelligently.

DeadlyYellow:
Banal, now there's a word I don't see used often.

Therumancer:
Rant

And here I thought the current ordeal was over publishing rights. I completely overlooked how censorship played any part in it.

...

Well as I said at the very beginning it seems to be a pattern more than something that I can say "I know this for sure".

Consider that Activision let the property go, they obviously had a reason. To begin with I thought it might be because the game was turning out to be of sub-par quality or something. Then as I said I noticed what other games they were letting go, most of which turned out to be at least decent. For example while I would expect 50 Cent to be a disaster, apparently it was a pretty good game for those who like that kind of thing/subculture.

Now all of a sudden Activision is concerned about publishing rights, why? Could be it be what seems to be at least a dozen "names" in Heavy Metal being attached to the project? Could it be that there was no major outcry over the other games they let go? Or maybe they made concessions later on about content that they wouldn't make for Activision (I hope not).

This is simply my opinion and observations. It seems to me like they cut all their M rated titles due to fear of censorship, and then decided they at least didn't want to compete with what is arguably the biggest one. 50 Cent and Vin Diesel don't have the pull of the combined cast of Brutal Legend.

why is it everytime something great and funny happens i am also reminded that brutal legend is being delayed... thats the third time in a month... damnit!

Blackbird71:

GamerLuck:

Markness:
One second EA was evil and activision were minding their own business. Now Activision are being a bunch of dickheads and EA is being awesome + releasing Red Alert 3.

I don't know who to hate anymore.

Hate all of them. they are all going to turn into dickheads and asswhipes eventually, so its good to prepare now and not be surprised when they try to whipe thier balls in your face.

Oh, and overlord guy, you could start up some sort of commentary based purely around shock factor from two seconds of otherwise just fine gameplay and demeaning the the intelagence and stability of an entire sub... culture... DAMM IT!

The intelligence of the subculture doesn't need any deameaning from outside sources when it can't even spell "intelligence" intelligently.

Pardon me for some minor dislexia (pretty sure i spelt that wrong too...)

long story short, so long as i get brutal legends come rocktober activision can have all the iceages and magic flying purple dragons they want. my theory is alot more simplistic and crude then the well structured argument above.
seems like all this stuff came about at E3 when brutal legend gameplay was shown, as were new cast members/bit parts etc. i'm guessing the A-team saw a game they let go become one of the most anticiapiated of 2009, gathering a cult following and more fans every time a new video came out, can't really blame them for being a little bitter...

Quite funny.

Interesting theory Therumancer but the last two Call of Duty games were M-Rated and Modern Warfare 2 will most likely be as well. I believe this, as always, comes down to money. The rumour is Atari payed-off Activision and when EA refused to do the same, lawsuit happened.

shamus, i just did a spittake

bravo good sir

hehe, not even the Overlord can be as evil as the employees at Activision!

...they drink goat's blood you know...

Sadly true! Although good one on the Overlord for coming up with something nearly original.

Gladion:

They dumped the project as she was entering the final stages of development.

Didn't they just recently say they were only pre-alpha?

Well, the whole thing just tells me that EA is doing better since 2008 (establishing three new franchises, and financing a fourth - nice one, guys) and Activision take their former place.

Brutal Legend, Mirror's Edge, Dead Space... which one am I missing?

HardRockSamurai:

...they drink goat's blood you know...

To join Activison, you have to sacrifice a puppy! But you get these cool Initiates robes.

Clashero:

Gladion:

They dumped the project as she was entering the final stages of development.

Didn't they just recently say they were only pre-alpha?

Well, the whole thing just tells me that EA is doing better since 2008 (establishing three new franchises, and financing a fourth - nice one, guys) and Activision take their former place.

Brutal Legend, Mirror's Edge, Dead Space... which one am I missing?

Army of Two :P

So true!!! Hahahaha

Therumancer:
Mroe talk

Wasn't Brutal Legend originally passed because it was not "sequel material?" I also fail to see why the addition of big names in the music industry add in, aside from speculated potential competition to Activision's Instrument Hero series. I find it hard to swallow that they would try so hard to shut it down because it has an M rating. If it is the case, then I can't wait to see how they tone down Diablo 3 and the outrage that ensues over that.

Theoretically, it could be a gimmick so they could market it to more places with less hassle. However, if they pass the rights then it stops being their problem doesn't it? The whole stint reeks of publicity stunt, something they are well aware they can get away with.

DeadlyYellow:

Therumancer:
Mroe talk

Wasn't Brutal Legend originally passed because it was not "sequel material?" I also fail to see why the addition of big names in the music industry add in, aside from speculated potential competition to Activision's Instrument Hero series. I find it hard to swallow that they would try so hard to shut it down because it has an M rating. If it is the case, then I can't wait to see how they tone down Diablo 3 and the outrage that ensues over that.

Theoretically, it could be a gimmick so they could market it to more places with less hassle. However, if they pass the rights then it stops being their problem doesn't it? The whole stint reeks of publicity stunt, something they are well aware they can get away with.

I myself have mentioned the publicity stunt angle.

As far as the big names being involved they present a draw to the title, that will interest people in buying it. Meaning that Activision might again want the product for that reason OR simply not want to compete with it.

The comments on "M" rated games was simply me observing their pattern based on what they decided to keep, and what they didn't. Pretty much everything they got rid of was fairly "adult" or at least action packed. What they kept was pretty kid/family friendly.

As far as Diablo 3 goes, your already seeing an outcry over it and it has been going on for a while. Some of the screenshots have been very cartoony and colorful from what I remember and a lot of people have criticized the game's new direction for not being dark, demonic, and gritty enough. Whether this is still going on or not I have no idea, but it WAS actually an issue now that you mention it. Along with some reveals that they will now be using a health orb system (which magneticallly pull into the characters) as opposed to potions and such.

At least that is what I remember, so umm yeah... if I am remembering correctly (I could be wrong and it's been a while since I checked in on it, since I'm not a massive Diablo fan) they do seem to be kiddifying Diablo. :)

Gladion:

Clashero:

Gladion:

They dumped the project as she was entering the final stages of development.

Didn't they just recently say they were only pre-alpha?

Well, the whole thing just tells me that EA is doing better since 2008 (establishing three new franchises, and financing a fourth - nice one, guys) and Activision take their former place.

Brutal Legend, Mirror's Edge, Dead Space... which one am I missing?

Army of Two :P

Ah, that game, loved that one :)

Awesome comic!

TheEggplant:
Interesting theory Therumancer but the last two Call of Duty games were M-Rated and Modern Warfare 2 will most likely be as well. I believe this, as always, comes down to money. The rumour is Atari payed-off Activision and when EA refused to do the same, lawsuit happened.

If it's true that Activision were looking for some greenmail and its denial precipitated the lawsuit, they have officially joined the dark side. And not the "cool walking around in deep-hooded cloaks with red lightsabres" dark side, either. I'm talking about the "offer a child a kitten only to take it away, and, laughingly, hit it with a hammer" dark side.

Therumancer:
More Talk

Eh, I can't really sympathize with people complaining about the graphics of Diablo 3, likely spawned from a desire to enjoy seeing things. From the previews they still have the gory violence and such, but I'm waiting to see the inexplicably clothed demons and heavily reeled back setting. Diablo was rife with random dismembered corpses, burning religious symbols, and other macabre decor. The music helped tie it together with pieces composed with screams and babies crying. The jump from 2 to 3, almost seems as significant as the jump from 1 to 2.

Anyway, from the initial article of the Vivendi assimilation, it seemed like they were dropping those games more on principle that they were not an established franchise that I would assume were still successful (couldn't say for sure, I haven't followed most of them.)

And most of those cut were picked up by other developers without too much hassle.

Hopefully this will work out for the better. I'd hate to see what would happen should Activision's claim be upheld.

Therumancer:
Dear Stolen Pixels (if you read your comments)

You mean Shamus Young, the person who created this thread AND has Pixel Thief as his rank so therefore must make Stolen Pixels?
OT: Haha, I get it...I still prefer "Let Me Tell You About Evil" in the Overlording series so far.

Remember the days when Activision was a innovative company and considerate to it's customers?

Dusty Pancakes:

Therumancer:
Dear Stolen Pixels (if you read your comments)

You mean Shamus Young, the person who created this thread AND has Pixel Thief as his rank so therefore must make Stolen Pixels?
OT: Haha, I get it...I still prefer "Let Me Tell You About Evil" in the Overlording series so far.

I was responding to the column and trying to do it as a reader to make a slight differance from my typical general rant responses.

Posers, I was hating Actvision before it became popular.

Too bad Activision didn't keep BL, because it could definitely ROOOOOOOOCK AGAAAAAAAAAAIN!!

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