Colonial Marines Developers Should Own Up to Screwing Up

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Colonial Marines Developers Should Own Up to Screwing Up

It doesn't help the industry improve when its developers start blaming each other when a game crashes and burns.

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Eh, I still think that the share option is an awesome idea. But then again I'm an extremely lonely person that would take any excuse to spend more time with my friends who I see once every week due to them living in another town.

Also Colonial Marines and the PS4...don't really see the connection there. Probably should've saved the PS4 for a different article Yahtzee.

We, as gamers, are a lucrative market. Advertising is not going to decrease - it is going to become more and more pervasive until it becomes so ubiquitous that we mostly stop noticing it, as it has in other mediums. Complaining about the share button seems a bit pointless to me when we have entire games that consist of nothing more than being rewarded for recognising brands. It's consumerism gamified.

The share button is the future. Not one we may like, but not one we can really do anything about either. The marketers have woken up and seen video gaming as a legitimate way to sell products, and you can bet your bollocks they're going to try everything they can think of to do so.

In soviet russia, games play you!

THERE, I SAID IT ALRIGHT
YOU ARE ALL FREE NOW

OT: I didn't know the PS4 allowed you to take control away from a player. I suppose that this is if the player and the spectator agree on doing it, otherwise it's trollin' gold and a lulz river waiting to happen.

Also, I really don't get the appeal of having a dedicated "Share" button. After all, it's only a glorified pause button, since you could just do this: Pause-> Menu-> Sharing options. There. Having that option saves you the small feat of selecting an option and pressing a button.

erttheking:

Also Colonial Marines and the PS4...don't really see the connection there. Probably should've saved the PS4 for a different article Yahtzee.

That would be operating on the assumption he doesn't deal in non-sequieturs. A notion both misguided, and rather funny.

Anyhow, share button. This is one of these things that certainly caters to an existing demand, but is still going to be annoying - just because people are idiots.
The breed of people posting pictures about their wholly unremarkable lunches, napping cats, and pooping sessions will make this feature a slam dunk - and I will be out there telling people to start contacting me by snail mail.
If it's not important enough to take the time for that, don't bother.

Oh but Yahtzee, you might say. You can use the "Share" button to post videos of your gameplay. That's pretty much the same as those Let's Play videos you love so much, and indeed occasionally create for your Youtube channel. Perhaps, but the vital aspect of an LP is that the creator has no vested interest in making the game look good. LPs are, at heart, a point-by-point criticism, ideally, and all Sony want this feature to be is free marketing.

You know thats not a valid criticism right? If someone introduces something useful by mistake when they really wanted something else, that doesn't actually effect the person using that feature.

Also I've had friends help me out with parts of a game and I've gone round friends houses to help them with parts of a game. But it's only fun if you're talking and hanging out at the same time, so they better push mike support better this time

Grach:

Also, I really don't get the appeal of having a dedicated "Share" button. After all, it's only a glorified pause button, since you could just do this: Pause-> Menu-> Sharing options. There. Having that option saves you the small feat of selecting an option and pressing a button.

^This. I think the share functionality and features are probably neat and will be cool for some people (especially if it lets you record mike audio) and having a processor so it can do stuff like that and background download games without using up hardware power for games isn't bad. But what was wrong with menus? It's not like it's going to be so popular and used so often people will feel pained by having to press the start button

doesnt suprise me in the slightest they are pushing the social gaming aspect so strongly. they have realised the WOW effect where people come back to wow not because of the game but because they have social ties there. so if they can build that social network with a console rather than a single game you will have a captive audience for each console generation.

its also i suspect why EA are pushing so hard the mmo aspects of the new sim city to try and grab the wow effect for a city builder. a genre they abandoned a decade ago. they have a hell of a lot of catch up to do especially with other companies already dominating the market, they are counting on the brand name to bring people in and the wow effect to keep them

There isn't a single company in the history of the world that has made any money off of assigning blame.

Honestly the share button doesn't even bother me unless they removed something else to make room for it. And I'm pretty sure they didn't.

I've found a share button to be VERY useful on the escapist.
Except here it's labeled "Post"

Yahtzee Croshaw:
It doesn't help the industry improve when its developers start blaming each other when a game crashes and burns.

In your day people stood by their games because these were actually their games, not a Licence that publishers passed between developers for the sake of convenience.

I wished that games stopped demonizing communism just once I would like a game to say that even if it didn't work communism had some good ideas and that capitalism isn't perfect either.

I find the idea that a game can't be art if it isn't made with a single artistic vision very stupid so I don't really care if they pass around blame like it's a ball made of lava.

You know what these companies need to do? The need to publicly own up to a games failure and then behind closed doors they can pass out blame if they so desire, but if they do that they need to ensure all that behind closed door stuff stays off people's twitters and facebooks and whatever else; you know in the interest of maintaining the illusion of professionalism.

DVS BSTrD:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
It doesn't help the industry improve when its developers start blaming each other when a game crashes and burns.

In your day people stood by their games because these were actually their games, not a Licence that publishers passed between developers for the sake of convenience.

Spot on, is all this blame game for the consumer or potential future clients?

DVS BSTrD:
Honestly the share button doesn't even bother me unless they removed something else to make room for it. And I'm pretty sure they didn't.

Didn't they take away the dedicated Start & Select buttons?

OT: I really don't get the whole "share" button thing. Hands up, how many people on consoles upload LPs to YouTube? How many of us post on FB/Twitter about what we're currently playing?

Compare that to the install base of consoles. A majority of the people buying a PS4 will be using it to play games, not make videos.

Some features I like, some I don't. I won't have a problem with the share button if it doesn't obstruct gameplay in any real fashion, and I could actually see a use in it if it allowed me to take screenshots or videos as they happened, and not fiddle around with a menu. However, I would also like the option to disable the feature if I find it being used to much by accident. I wouldn't really be using it for social media though, only really for times when I think something awesome happened in game or if I were to document an odd glitch.

As for the possible LP's sort of being an accident...I don't really see what the problem is. Okay, it could be obtrusive and annoying if there's some big Sony watermark in the middle of the screen when not playing through a specific service, but assuming that there isn't something like that then the inclusion is at worst a feature you'll never use. Now, if Sony starts cracking down on people using the record options with legal threats or something like that then we have a problem, but I assume that they included the feature knowing full well it could be used for novice LP's, regardless if that was it's "original" use.

The spectating/helping aspect though is kind of stupid. Neat from a tech perspective if they pull it off, but I really don't see the point. If I'm on my console, I'm not lurking to see if my friends need help; I'm going to be playing the games I want to play. If my friend needed help or I did, I'd rather we do the thing in person, that way we can actually enjoy the fact that we're helping someone else rather than feeling like we're doing someone else's work.

Captcha: lollerskates

Clearly the console that'll win in the next generation is that which comes with a free pair of these.

the antithesis:
There isn't a single company in the history of the world that has made any money off of assigning blame.

Untrue. Here in Canada, Maple Leaf Foods was involved in a listeria outbreak a few years ago. They instituted a voluntary (i.e., not government-mandated) recall of products from the suspected plants, and then their CEO personally apologized to customers, taking responsibility, and said he was ignoring the advice of his lawyers and accountants and would be paying out fair and just settlements to the victims and their families.
While sales initially plummeted in the wake of the outbreak, within a few months they were almost back to normal.

Video games are a different matter, of course. If they're actually art, then Yahtzee's right: someone should have a unified vision for the thing, and that person (or persons) should stand by their art at least until they start their next project.

FFP2:

DVS BSTrD:
Honestly the share button doesn't even bother me unless they removed something else to make room for it. And I'm pretty sure they didn't.

Didn't they take away the dedicated Start & Select buttons?

OT: I really don't get the whole "share" button thing. Hands up, how many people on consoles upload LPs to YouTube? How many of us post on FB/Twitter about what we're currently playing?

Compare that to the install base of consoles. A majority of the people buying a PS4 will be using it to play games, not make videos.


Well you're right about the Start button but I think the Select has been replaced with Options.

Social features aren't bad, per se, in my opinion. What's bad is haphazardly slapping social features (and multi-player) onto every shit-gargling (to use a Yahtzee-ism) game, regardless whether the feature makes sense for the game design and concept. It's like there's no sense of design or craftsmanship in the game industry anymore. Just slap some shit together and hope, by some arbitrary miracle, it sells.

ADDENDUM: I should better constrain my above criticism to be directed at the Triple-A game industry, rather than the game industry as a whole, because once you go outside the Triple-A regime, things really do seem much better, in almost every regard. It's just the Triple-A segment that's become broken and dysfunctional, in my opinion, and I think that's an inherit consequence of the non-sustainability of the Triple-A business-model as the primary model for a game developer. Triple-A games are too expensive (in terms of total resources, including time) and too risky to sustain in a rapid-cycle, continuous fashion. Seems like there needs to be a good mix of smaller releases to give everyone time to recover from the release of such a game (the developers need time to rest and get some sleep, and gamers need time to find more money).

Falseprophet:

the antithesis:
There isn't a single company in the history of the world that has made any money off of assigning blame.

Untrue. Here in Canada, Maple Leaf Foods was involved in a listeria outbreak a few years ago. They instituted a voluntary (i.e., not government-mandated) recall of products from the suspected plants, and then their CEO personally apologized to customers, taking responsibility, and said he was ignoring the advice of his lawyers and accountants and would be paying out fair and just settlements to the victims and their families.
While sales initially plummeted in the wake of the outbreak, within a few months they were almost back to normal.

That's different from what the antithesis is talking about. Your example is when a company does the responsible thing and owns up to its goof. Their customers respect their honesty and contrition and are much more likely to return once things have settled down.

the antithesis is talking about quite the opposite - trying to blame another entity for a goof you were involved in. It sounds the same as someone grabbing for excuses when they get caught doing something wrong - it sounds desperate, and that they have learned nothing from the incident. In the case of Gearbox and all the other related companies, the complete lack of self-criticism does not provide confidence that the same thing isn't going to happen again.

Well, that's the corperate mentality in action. A system by which things are done collectively by a self-perpetuating bureaucracy so that no one person or group of people can be singled out as being responsible. Passing the buck happens until people get tired of paying attention to the game, and then things fade away. In the best cases you might get some sacrificial lamb staked out by the big wigs, someone who usually didn't have much of anything to do with anything other than to be around as a potential scapegoat.

The problem here of course is that everyone involved in the system probably believes they are genuinely blameless. The guys technically at the top of the food chain probably having no direct control or interaction with the project itself. In many cases the problem is probably some guy early on in the process getting lazy and dialing it in, leading to people working off of that work having their own stuff compromised by default, but by the time it gets so bad that it's destroying the project it's hard to find who the initial culprit was, and by that point it probably doesn't matter anymore anyway since there is no way to fix it without starting over again.

That said, it's also just as likely that the Devs did exactly jack until the last minute and then rushed. Going back years I read a number of rather damning exposes on the entire process, and how it works, which continue to piss people off today when I relay them. One big point of this being that it's wrong to always demonize the publishers for not having a "hands off" approach because left to their own devices Devs are as likely as not to spend all the money,
living off of it, and produce very little. The money going to development going towards human resources and paychecks without much guarantee of what the people are doing with it or even working. A couple of situations where you might notice this trend are with Duke Nukem Forever, where like 30 million dollars was paid to the developers over a period of years with nothing but demos and concept art being produced, and nothing left of the money being used to pay the developers that "worked" on it to be recouped. EA Louse had similar accusations about "The Old Republic Online" (the accuracy of which was a mixed bag) where despite millions upon millions of dollars being sent to the project Bioware actually did very little, being most proud of their "sound design" and needing to have other people rushed in at the 11th hour to try and build an actual game, where ToR-tanic went after that is a matter of record at this point and the list of problems could fill numerous threads with fights and arguements.

The point of course being one where pointing fingers at any paticular person or recouping losses from a bureaucracy is nearly impossible.

To also throw in a Yahtzee-type analogy, let's say your a disgruntled employee who has been fired without cause from a large company. Try and find the person who is responsible for firing you... it might not be as easy as you might think (though sometimes it can be). Your supervisor or manager might have gotten it passed down from upper management, who got it on human resources letterhead, going back to another whole department with it's own network of pencil pushers, and it might very well come down to something being rubber stamped based on a computer algorithim based on wanting to fire everyone with X amount of time and benefits withotu a perfect record so they can bring in shared labour from foreign work exchange programs in shifts to fill your job. It might not, but it could be. So let's say your unpacking your guns to go and avenge the end of your life (losing your house, not having had enough to eat for two weeks, etc...) and take out the person who ruined your life. Who do you shoot? Your supervisor? He just got a memo and was following orders. His boss (management) he just passed the memo, Human resources? The secretaries got their orders up above. The President or Vice President of HR? You might be shocked to learn he doesn't even has any idea who the hell you are since he hangs out playing golf all day with the other prsidents and VPs. Viewed that way you can sort of see why your typical disgruntled employee at a big company decides to hold everyone equally responsible and ops for bombs, or to take out anyone with the most general involvement from executives, to ratty former-co workers, to secretaries who might have pushed the paperwork.

Okay, well that's kind of disturbing to even spell out (and goes beyond Yahtzee in most cases) but the point here is that yeah... I can kind of see how it might be true that Gearbox and company might not have any idea WHO is responsible for a lot of differant reasons. Welcome to corperate America.

Saying that there should be a clear guy in charge who is responsible sounds good, but understand that if your going to work for a job like this with a ton of variables, the first thing your going to want is job security and protection from things like this (honestly, you would, no matter what you say right now) and a big part of this is that protection and a degree of autonomy goes with any kind of desician making position right now. Also on the "darker" bit I mentioned that kind of scenario is also why those who are upper management and wind up making a lot of desicians about employees try and make sure they are as far away and as detached as possible from those employees as possible, perhaps even operating from offices intentionally kept well away from the site of their business.

t's in everyone's best interests for videogames to adopt the notion that one auteur is in charge.
-

Disagree, because this is NOT the case to an amazingly relevant degree this will only create credit stealers and scape goats without increasing the fidelity and effectiveness of rewarding or punishing decent performance.

Personally I think the eagerness that games journalism taking here is sort of personal thing. Due to a large number of carefully planned events and clause backed matters the journalists up until days before launch aided and abidded in the deception even if they knew better they were by contract forbidden from calling it so. That's not even an acussation because the real fault here is the conduct of everyone. Colonial Marines did everything it could to make itself look like a good game at gaming events game journalists flocked to like flies to a rotting carcass. And so its personal. Not that it was a bad game but that it was a bad game that was made to look good at their deception/expense.

the result is that I think its less Gearbox and our entire system that needs a look at. Gearbox just cut really really redeeming trailers to a dud. I am not going to fault them for using their advertising to promote their product. But games journalism as a whole abettedthis because that's where the bulk was. They've gone from giving us the inside track to being the face that shills for the studio's products.

Not because "bribes" or "oppressive NDAs" but because we just aren't looking or caring to look. And none of the after the fact condemnation will cover for the fact the PR played you like a harp.

I use game journalism to be informed and educated on products and the complacency to that quality based on arbitrary insider events I'm not privy to has let this happen. And so Its made me re-evaluate what is the purpose of games journalism in my life especially as more and more print magazines fail, more electronic magazines consolidate and more and more places seem to quote neogaf chatter. No amount of stockade march is going to fix the real problem of Colonial Marines being a bad game that it utterly smoked a bunch of pros until the last second and even then they couldn't do a thing about it.

DVS BSTrD:

FFP2:

DVS BSTrD:
Honestly the share button doesn't even bother me unless they removed something else to make room for it. And I'm pretty sure they didn't.

Didn't they take away the dedicated Start & Select buttons?

OT: I really don't get the whole "share" button thing. Hands up, how many people on consoles upload LPs to YouTube? How many of us post on FB/Twitter about what we're currently playing?

Compare that to the install base of consoles. A majority of the people buying a PS4 will be using it to play games, not make videos.


Well you're right about the Start button but I think the Select has been replaced with Options.

Holy shit, they took away the START button? Is SHARE or OPTIONS the new Pause now?
By the sounds of it, this share feature sounds like something thrown in for the sake of doing something different for its own sake, not really thinking about what it should be used for.

captcha: pool boy
I think that's the next job for many of Colonial Marines' devs, but with their rep, I doubt they'll get laid for it.

canadamus_prime:
You know what these companies need to do? The need to publicly own up to a games failure and then behind closed doors they can pass out blame if they so desire, but if they do that they need to ensure all that behind closed door stuff stays off people's twitters and facebooks and whatever else; you know in the interest of maintaining the illusion of professionalism.

No. Watching the meltdown is the only enjoyment I have gotten from buying the game.

squid5580:

canadamus_prime:
You know what these companies need to do? The need to publicly own up to a games failure and then behind closed doors they can pass out blame if they so desire, but if they do that they need to ensure all that behind closed door stuff stays off people's twitters and facebooks and whatever else; you know in the interest of maintaining the illusion of professionalism.

No. Watching the meltdown is the only enjoyment I have gotten from buying the game.

Well it's a little late for that with Colonial Marines anyway now isn't it?

canadamus_prime:

squid5580:

canadamus_prime:
You know what these companies need to do? The need to publicly own up to a games failure and then behind closed doors they can pass out blame if they so desire, but if they do that they need to ensure all that behind closed door stuff stays off people's twitters and facebooks and whatever else; you know in the interest of maintaining the illusion of professionalism.

No. Watching the meltdown is the only enjoyment I have gotten from buying the game.

Well it's a little late for that with Colonial Marines anyway now isn't it?

Not really. I was one of the suckers who pre ordered it based on the E3 demo. But reading the fallout over the weeks following sure was far more entertaining

I have less friends on my PSN then Yahtzee. I feel fulfilled.

Amusingly, try reading the ending of this article and then immediately watch the Jimquisition episode "Friends."

Falseprophet:

the antithesis:
There isn't a single company in the history of the world that has made any money off of assigning blame.

Untrue. Here in Canada, Maple Leaf Foods was involved in a listeria outbreak a few years ago. They instituted a voluntary (i.e., not government-mandated) recall of products from the suspected plants, and then their CEO personally apologized to customers, taking responsibility, and said he was ignoring the advice of his lawyers and accountants and would be paying out fair and just settlements to the victims and their families.
While sales initially plummeted in the wake of the outbreak, within a few months they were almost back to normal.

Video games are a different matter, of course. If they're actually art, then Yahtzee's right: someone should have a unified vision for the thing, and that person (or persons) should stand by their art at least until they start their next project.

You're talking accepting blame, not assigning it. Assigning it essentially means "passing the buck" and that is accurate because it at best shows you just don't care enough apart from ducking for cover. Right now both Gearbox and Timegate are hurting and it's more because they won't fess up and instead point fingers at everyone but themselves than the bad game.

Fuck you for making me remember Katyusha:
Расцветали яблони и груши,
Поплыли туманы над рекой;
Выходила на берег Катюша,
На высокий берег, на крутой. (etc)

All valid points though.

squid5580:

canadamus_prime:

squid5580:

No. Watching the meltdown is the only enjoyment I have gotten from buying the game.

Well it's a little late for that with Colonial Marines anyway now isn't it?

Not really. I was one of the suckers who pre ordered it based on the E3 demo. But reading the fallout over the weeks following sure was far more entertaining

Sure it is. They've already started playing the blame game. Any hope of saving face and maintaining any sense of professionalism has long since gone out the window.

It's not just the Colonial Marines developers who should own up to screwing up. It's also the publisher. In fact, it's more firmly the publisher than it is any of the developers. We can argue all day about if it's Gearbox's fault or TimeGate's fault or whatever, but there's one thing we can say without any debate: SEGA got handed this piece of shit final product and decided to put it on store shelves. You can't tell me that they had absolutely no idea about the quality of what they got handed until after it came out and reviewers and gamers started slamming it. You can't tell me that they didn't know Gearbox had been screwing them over for six years and that they should probably consider taking Gearbox to court. SEGA should have taken one look at what Gearbox gave them and immediately canceled the game and started looking into legal options. Instead, they released this piece of shit and took our money for it. Completely unacceptable.

And the thing that really gets me in this is that people are going around the internet talking about SEGA as if they were the victims in this story. They aren't. We, the hard working consumers who wasted our money on this trash, are the victims here. SEGA chose to screw us over in the pursuit of the almighty dollar. Don't feel sorry for SEGA. Be pissed at SEGA. Had they done their job as a publisher, Aliens Colonial Marines either never would have existed as something we could play or would have actually been good. They should have been making sure that Gearbox was actually making the game, not ignoring it to work on Borderlands and Duke Nukem or passing off their responsibilities to other studios. A lot of the so-called Gearbox employees posting their inside stories claim that Gearbox had to rush it out in this sorry state because SEGA was going to deny any more delays and take legal action. SEGA should have taken legal action long before this game ever reached the "I can't believe I wasted $60 on this shit!" phase. Instead they kept handing Gearbox more time and money, then turned around and destroyed consumer's trust in them as a company (or rather, that's what it should have done, but instead people treat SEGA like a fellow victim because people are idiots).

Really, this whole thing just makes me wonder about every time another publisher has canceled a game that I was looking forward to. Is THIS why they canceled it? Because the development team had been fucking around or was making a really shitty game and they knew it was better to cut their loses rather than toss even more money at the game and hope to make some of it back later by tricking consumers into buying a shitty game? Probably not always, but maybe sometimes.

Your game progress is the property of the people, comrade. Now queue up for your loaf of bread.

Well now...that oddly reminds me of a certain video.

OT: If I had to argue ownership over Aliens, I'd call it a toss-up between Scott and Cameron to wrestle it out, with the others more-or-less homage artists.

Falseprophet:

the antithesis:
There isn't a single company in the history of the world that has made any money off of assigning blame.

Untrue. Here in Canada, Maple Leaf Foods was involved in a listeria outbreak a few years ago. They instituted a voluntary (i.e., not government-mandated) recall of products from the suspected plants, and then their CEO personally apologized to customers, taking responsibility, and said he was ignoring the advice of his lawyers and accountants and would be paying out fair and just settlements to the victims and their families.
While sales initially plummeted in the wake of the outbreak, within a few months they were almost back to normal.

Just a future tip for you buddy: If you're going to claim that a statement saying no company made money by assigning blame is untrue, don't follow it up with a story about how a company accepted blame. Your story about Maple Leaf Foods was completely irrelevant and doesn't prove antithesis wrong at all.

canadamus_prime:

squid5580:

canadamus_prime:

Well it's a little late for that with Colonial Marines anyway now isn't it?

Not really. I was one of the suckers who pre ordered it based on the E3 demo. But reading the fallout over the weeks following sure was far more entertaining

Sure it is. They've already started playing the blame game. Any hope of saving face and maintaining any sense of professionalism has long since gone out the window.

Oh my bad I misunderstood what you are saying. I don't think they could have saved face even without the leaks and the blaming. The demo and the TV spots vs the final product screams un-professionalism. It seems to me that the resulting he said/she said is both companies trying to regain consumer confidence they lost by doing this since they know that they showed it to us. And the company we ultimately hold responsible is gonna take a beating on their next game

squid5580:

canadamus_prime:

squid5580:

Not really. I was one of the suckers who pre ordered it based on the E3 demo. But reading the fallout over the weeks following sure was far more entertaining

Sure it is. They've already started playing the blame game. Any hope of saving face and maintaining any sense of professionalism has long since gone out the window.

Oh my bad I misunderstood what you are saying. I don't think they could have saved face even without the leaks and the blaming. The demo and the TV spots vs the final product screams un-professionalism. It seems to me that the resulting he said/she said is both companies trying to regain consumer confidence they lost by doing this since they know that they showed it to us. And the company we ultimately hold responsible is gonna take a beating on their next game

True, but they could've saved some fave by owning up and admitting that they screwed up. I don't know about you but I tend to have more confidence in a company that can own up to it's failings then one that tries to pass them off one someone else.

canadamus_prime:

squid5580:

canadamus_prime:

Sure it is. They've already started playing the blame game. Any hope of saving face and maintaining any sense of professionalism has long since gone out the window.

Oh my bad I misunderstood what you are saying. I don't think they could have saved face even without the leaks and the blaming. The demo and the TV spots vs the final product screams un-professionalism. It seems to me that the resulting he said/she said is both companies trying to regain consumer confidence they lost by doing this since they know that they showed it to us. And the company we ultimately hold responsible is gonna take a beating on their next game

True, but they could've saved some fave by owning up and admitting that they screwed up. I don't know about you but I tend to have more confidence in a company that can own up to it's failings then one that tries to pass them off one someone else.

Oh for sure. If pitchford had tweeted "sorry for the final product not being the same quality as the stuff we showed previously" instead of banning frustrated consumers who feel lied too it would have gone a long ways in my books. But those are my books and I'm not a shareholder so my books don't matter much. Especially now since they already got my money

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