Jimquisition: Companies Exist To Make Money

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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.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

themilo504:
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.

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:

image

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 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.

Companies Exist To Make Money

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

Watch Video

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.

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

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.

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

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?"

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.

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.

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 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

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 ^^?

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.

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.

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.

DVS BSTrD:
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.

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:
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:

image

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.

WanderingFool:

DVS BSTrD:
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.

This reminds me of one of my favorite jokes:

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.

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.

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.

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.

......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.

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.

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.

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.

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