Jimquisition: Companies Exist To Make Money

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Paradoxrifts:

Fiairflair:

Akalabeth:
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.

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.

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:
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.

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.

Delcast:
[.

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.

sadmac:
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:
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:
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?

Therumancer:

... 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:

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.

cerebus23:
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?

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.

Delcast:

Therumancer:

... 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:

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.

The Deadpool:

sadmac:
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:
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:
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.

Fiairflair:

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".

Brad Gardner:
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?

jklinders:
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:
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.

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.

The Deadpool:

jklinders:
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:
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.

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?

jklinders:
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:
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:
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.

Arnoxthe1:
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.

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.

The Deadpool:

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.

Therumancer:

...

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.

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.

Ethics? Morals? Pssh. I need money.

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.

Delcast:

Therumancer:

...

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.

The Deadpool:

sadmac:
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.

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.

carnex:
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.

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.

xPixelatedx:
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.

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.

Blue Ranger:

carnex:
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.

xPixelatedx:
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.

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.

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