Vidyagamgams #3: Epic Business Takeovers

Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin

In March 2018, I attempted to do a video game show, but was not able to follow it up. Having a regular show cuts into other content creation efforts when you’re doing everything alone, not to mention daily life itself. Therefore, whatever I do come up with to fill that void, it can’t strictly be a news show. But for now, I’m just fishing topics from online media sources and message boards as I try to figure out what I can do with this.

Maybe I can go for something like The Jimquisition, wherein I talk about one gaming topic at large per episode. However, I wouldn’t be able to leave enough alone tackling just one topic. Therefore, what I’ve come up with is a cross between that and something like Linus Tech Tips’ The WAN Show. It’s a tried-and-tested format and I should be able to learn how to be efficient with editing each episode.

Meanwhile, as I wrestle with what I want to do with the other shows I’m now struggling with, especially People Beating the Shit Out of Each Other (which is in a great need for rebranding), I’ll do my best in coming up with a weekly episode for this one.

Topics Discussed

Dirty Bomb Goes Fully Free, Gets Rid of Microtransactions

Once upon a time, there was an online first-person shooter called Blacklight Retribution. It had potential, it looked good, and had a sizeable player community. It was then handled by Perfect World Entertainment, famous for… the MMO title Perfect World.

That game would then face a slow but steady decline due to the publisher’s neglect. This is not what happened to Dirty Bomb, but it nonetheless shared the same fate. Becoming free-to-play after years of development in the hopes of being able to turn in a profit is quite sad, but that’s the fate of titles in the now-crowded online multiplayer first-person landscape.

The silver lining here is that Splash Damage, the developers of Dirty Bomb, did a pretty good job in developing the game, so it’s actually quite playable with few to no bugs.

Valve CCG Artifact Player Base Down 94% from Launch

While I had heard of Artifact and thought of its three-table system to be rather interesting, I didn’t pay much heed due to having been somewhat burned out by card games at that point. I played a bit of Hearthstone back in 2013 and tried to really get into it, but it never really stuck with me.

Perhaps the same is happening with most of Artifact’s now-former player base. But in this case, the stakes of gameplay is way too much for most people, and those who thrive are the only ones who are fine with them.

Epic Games Gets F Rating from Better Business Bureau

Never mind this Better Business Bureau thing. Sharp-looking name, but their legitimacy is still up for debate due to how their means are mostly questionable.

While Epic Games is not the long-awaited savior that shall deliver us from the great evil of Valve Entertainment and Steam, its tool of capitalistic destruction, them getting an F rating from that organization doesn’t really mean as much as the actual gaffes that got them there. Don’t just take their word for it.

With another AAA publisher seemingly solid behind them, perhaps they’ll be able to compete somehow at this stage. Their more recent moves are also making them more endeared by the public. But it’s not just about them, but Tencent in general who is running the show.

Activision New CFO Dennis Durkin Given $15 Million to Sweeten the Deal

My recent piece on Overwatch and its recent controversies may have overstated how fucked the game is since I’m still quite enjoying it. I wrote it out of concern for it showing relatively the same patterns as I saw with post-2012 StarCraft II. But now, that game has been experiencing a sort of mini-renaissance, so perhaps I was not entirely right.

Just remember that Activision Blizzard is under media giant Vivendi. That company is low-key trying to take over in fairly big ways. It seems like not a lot of people know about their attempted hostile takeover of Ubisoft. As if Activision Blizzard isn’t enough yet of a cash cow, they then tried to get the company behind Assassin’s Creed under their wing.

Take note that it’s not any particular company that elicits this type of all-conquering mentality. That is just the nature of big business, and it’s not entirely a bad thing as it provides countless people their livelihoods. However, when big business is done at the expense of the rank and file, that’s when it’s no longer right to just stand back and watch.

Let’s not mince words for our very lives depend upon truth. Blizzard underwent a takeover with this new administration. While it may be composed of mostly company veterans, they’re at the beck and call of Vivendi and their shareholders. They’re in panic mode at the moment—just look at their current stock market situation.

They will put out all the stops to right the boat as soon as possible instead of taking their time, even if it means throwing cargo and passengers overboard.

The Hong Kong Massacre Out for PC and PS4 on January 23

As of this writing, I’ve started to play it. I chose to buy this game over the Resident Evil 2 remake upon release due to it being my type of game and not having as much disposable income at the moment due to all the upgrades I bought back in the Holidays.

I’ll finish my first playthrough of The Hong Kong Massacre live on stream. Stay tuned.