The Cost of Doing Business

All I really need to say:


In canceling Milo’s book contract, Simon & Schuster made a business decision the same way they made a business decision when they decided to publish that man in the first place. When his comments about pedophilia/pederasty came to light, Simon & Schuster realized it would cost them more money to do business with Milo than he could earn for them. They did not finally “do the right thing” and now we know where their threshold, pun intended, lies. They were fine with his racist and xenophobic and sexist ideologies. They were fine with his transphobia, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. They were fine with how he encourages his followers to harass women and people of color and transgender people online. Let me assure you, as someone who endured a bit of that harassment, it is breathtaking in its scope, intensity, and cruelty but hey, we must protect the freedom of speech. Certainly, Simon & Schuster was not alone in what they were willing to tolerate. A great many people were perfectly comfortable with the targets of Milo’s hateful attention until that attention hit too close to home.

Because I’ve been asked, I will not be publishing my book with Simon & Schuster now that they have dropped Milo. After I pulled my book, they changed the release date of Dangerous from March to June 13, the day my next book, Hunger, comes out. I said nothing because I was neither threatened nor concerned but it did reinforce for me that this was not a company I wanted to do business with. My protest stands. Simon & Schuster should have never enabled Milo in the first place. I see what they are willing to tolerate and I stand against all of it. Also, I’ve received far better offers for How to Be Heard from other publishers.

There are some who will spin the cancellation of this book contract as a failure of the freedom of speech but such is not the case. This is yet another example of how we are afforded the freedom of speech but there is no freedom from the consequences of what we say.

anonymous asked:

Why do console makers charge for online multiplayer? Do developers benefit at all from this? Or do only Sony and Microsoft benefit? How is pc able to be free multiplayer when I am constantly told servers cost money to run? Hoping you could shed some light on this. Thank you for your time.

Why do console makers charge for online multiplayer?

The general reason is because people are willing to pay for it. Microsoft tried it way back with the original Xbox and it turned out very well for them. Sony followed suit in the PS3 generation and players paid for it there too. People have gotten used to paying for it now, but it isn’t just for online multiplayer either. Players who pay for the service also get other kickbacks - free games, access to demo content, access to certain additional features, and so on.

Do developers benefit at all from this? Or do only Sony and Microsoft benefit?

We (devs) have benefited historically from paid online services (if a bit indirectly). A lot of the online features we’ve come to expect today were pioneered on the paid platforms like XBL and PSN - chat rooms, friends lists, achievements, DLC sales and distribution, and so on and so forth. Features like achievements were built by engineers on the platform side; the game devs were then supplied with a SDK full of new tools to use on our projects. Having that kind of support, especially in the 2004-2008 era was really helpful. Those features didn’t migrate to Steam until later.

That said, it’s practically impossible to take just the online platform as a discrete, self-contained thing because we really can’t. Part of any dev studio or publisher’s relationship with console manufacturers is via the certification process, and their online services are deeply intertwined with it. The online platform isn’t so much its own thing as it is an extension of the total console package.

How is pc able to be free multiplayer when I am constantly told servers cost money to run?

It’s mostly because the biggest service set up on the PC (Steam) is free, and everybody who followed couldn’t sustain a critical mass of customers while switching to a paid service. It’s really very similar to how Microsoft managed to establish the paid service early on.

The maintenance, development, and hardware costs for online play are always being shouldered by somebody. On Steam, it’s paid for by the publishers and devs who sell games on the platform. Steam takes roughly 30% of every sale, and some of that goes to paying for the service and any other endeavors Valve is taking (Steam Box, VR stuff, etc.). On the consoles, it’s paid for partially by the publishers, and partially by the user fees. Consoles also take around 30%, but that isn’t just for online services and game development. It  also pays for console manufacturing costs, R&D, administrative costs, continued development of the platform software, and so on. 

The business stuff can get really complicated really fast due to all of the different parts that can change. It could be possible that Microsoft decided to make XBL free, but that would result in a reshuffling of the overall allocation of funds. Microsoft could make up for the loss of subscription fees by raising the cost of publisher certification, or scaling back XBL development to be less expensive. If they raised the cost to the publishers, it could drive publishers to competing platforms, or it could mean that game budgets get adjusted down to defray the higher costs. If that were the case, it could mean that new games would ship with smaller scope or with more bugs, or any number of things. There’s no one single result from a change like this, but many possibilities depending on what each involved party decides is in their own respective best interest.


Got a burning question you want answered?

oceanicspectre  asked:

(1) A man was driving along a highway when he saw a sign reading: Sisters of St. Mary's Brothel, next exit. Intrigued, he took that next exit and came upon an old church. He went inside, and found an ancient nun sitting behind a desk. "Is this the Sisters of St. Mary's Brothel?" He asked. The old nun nodded. "Can I... Uh... Do some business with you?" He asked. "The cost is one hundred dollars." The old nun said. "Go though the door on the left. He did, and found himself back in he parking lot

(2) And in the parking lot, was a sign reading: “You have just been screwed by the Sisters of St. Mary’s.”


holy shit

medium.com
The topic every game dev is talking about behind closed doors : The cost of doing business
Content warning : I’ve embedded some tweets to various developers that show the sorts of comments that they receive every day.
By Morgan Jaffit

A follower sent in this link with commentary: “ I’m submitting this way in case the mods want to share the link, but I read an absolutely disheartening article written by a game developer who is tired of the normalization of abuse. He shows several examples of gamers tweeting vile and hateful things at game developers. The reason I found the article is because Patrick Weekes replied to it and agreed. As a one-time professional game reviewer, a lifelong gamer, and someone who would dearly love to write for a game, I’m sick at the idea that there are people who not only treat the devs this way, but think it’s perfectly right and proper that they do so. These people make things that we love and even if we don’t agree with all their choices, they have a claim to our respect and politeness at the very least. We as fans need to do better. “

tw on the link for homophobia, r-word, gendered slurs, just all round awful abuse from fans.

anonymous asked:

After the news of EA shutting down Visceral & turning the Star Wars game they were developing to a Destiny type of game, does the demand for single player games rising or why everyone thinks every game needs mandatory online features?

The first thing you said is true. The second thing you said is speculation. The reason they cancelled the game wasn’t because it was single player only, or that they are making a Destiny type game. The reason they cancelled the game was [because it was a mess]. Their goal is to publish a game that will be profitable, and it looked like the intersection of circumstances made that impossible for Ragtag. [Sounds similar to a hypothetical situation I wrote about recently], doesn’t it?

But you asked about single player games and mandatory online features, so let’s talk about that. Honestly, games don’t need mandatory online features. Games need to make money and the number one key performance indicator for financial success is how much time people spend playing the game. This is referred to as “engagement” - the more days, weeks, months players spend playing the game, the more money it’s going to make. Players who keep playing a game will encourage others to get into it. They will buy DLC and microtransactions. Publishers care about making games with good engagement numbers, because they directly correlate to increased revenue. 

Multiplayer is the go-to method of engagement, because multiplayer turns other players into content. You don’t keep playing Overwatch because you really love escorting payloads from point A to point B or capturing map points more than anything, you play Overwatch because playing with people against other people is a lot of fun. This is extremely development-efficient, because we devs can create content that can drive a huge amount of player engagement. It’s generally far better than single-player content for this purpose, because most players don’t like repeating the same content over and over again unless there’s something significantly different each time… like teams, players, and outcomes.

That’s the main issue with single player games. Good single player games are great for an engagement spike, but (outside of a few exceptions) usually lack the sort of long lifespan as good multiplayer titles unless they are sandbox type games. Much of this comes down to the efficiency of content development - months of development time will only translate to hours of player engagement. Multiplayer content often translates to weeks of player engagement instead. That’s much more efficient for us to spend time on. Certain types of content encourages longer engagement times - systems or expansions that fundamentally alter how the game is played from start to finish, for example, drive engagement far more than a self-contained one-and-done dungeon. It is for this reason that single player sandbox games tend to have better engagement numbers than other types of single player games. Making quality content of any kind takes a lot of people a long time. Making it in a way that it is only consumed once instead of repeatedly is hard to justify unless it somehow brings in many times the revenue. That’s extremely difficult given how price-sensitive players are.

Publishers don’t actually hate single player games. Almost everybody on the publishing side I’ve ever met love games of all kinds, single-player included. But the biggest problem with making single player games is that they don’t have the sort of engagement numbers that multiplayer games do and that makes it really really hard to recoup AAA investment in them (especially for a super expensive licensed titles like Star Wars). It’s also the reason why big tentpole single-player titles like Uncharted has had a strong multiplayer component in every game since Uncharted 2. The problem isn’t single player games in general, but figuring out how to make them engaging for the longer term. If we can’t get as much player engagement out of them, maybe we can get more sales in a shorter amount of time by growing the audience. Maybe we can get more revenue by cutting costs. Maybe we can come up with some sort of other business model that works with single-player games. Maybe we can figure something else out design-wise to raise engagement numbers with single player content. Anything is possible. But until we figure out how to make all games in such a way to be profitable and efficient, it’s far harder to justify any sort of game investment that doesn’t aim for sufficiently-profitable player engagement numbers.


Got a burning question you want answered?

The Cost of Decency

Dear Capitalist Society,

Stop trying to put a market value on my civil rights. Stop telling me that I’ll achieve equality in society once the means of my equality become cost-effective. 

My rights are not a commodity. My inherent value as a human being is not a currency to be weighed against the cost of doing business. 

anonymous asked:

Hello! What would you consider actually bad business practices by a publisher? A lot of critics talk about it, but I want to hear it from the horse's mouth what an objectively poor decision actually is. Are there any particular ones you could list? OH! Can we have a game dev story time about a bad choice you may have had to deal with?? Thanks! c:

I think cloning a game without actually improving or making it your own is bad. I think some of the social engineering aspects of mobile and freemium games can be bad, like those who specifically target “whales” or people who are recovering gambling addicts. There’s a bad practice that was really popular in China for a while where a publisher would launch a new mobile title, ride the initial popularity wave until the whales stopped fighting for the leaderboards, and then dump the game servers to make room for the cycle to begin again. I think publishers pushing for unrealistic schedules and micromanaging projects can be a bad practice. I think that dev studios that lowball their estimates for publishers is a bad practice. I think that seeking crowdfunding and not scoping stretch goals properly is a bad business practice. I think that using crowdfunding to gauge interest instead of actually fund the game’s development is a bad practice, specifically because it sets unrealistic expectations on projects that actually need crowd funding and don’t already have publisher backing.

There’s also poor business decisions (which is a bit different from business practices) that I’ve seen. One example is a publisher that cancelled a game that had reached the alpha state just because it wasn’t “big” enough. It had a smaller team and a smaller budget, but forecasts said it would be profitable. Our internal revenue forecasts matched the publisher’s - they thought it would be profitable too, after calculating in marketing and everything. But they pulled the plug anyway, because the executives were leaning more into a “big” ticket strategy, where they wanted their projects to have big budgets and big revenues. 

Finally… a game dev story about a bad choice I had to deal with… Once upon a time, when I was working on a MMOG, a large part of the dev team was working on the upcoming expansion to the game. I was working on stuff scheduled to ship after that, so I was only tangentially aware of what was going on with the expansion’s development. From what I learned afterward, there was a pretty massive crunch involved in order to get everything in, and it was really bad for the project. Specifically, in order to make the deadlines, several engineers were told by the producers to sign off on the usually-rigorous code reviews for one of the new systems coming in. They had objections to the system’s implementation (because it was very bad), but the producers overruled them… so they did it. The system was one of those things held together by bubble gum and shoe string. It broke all the time, in very public-facing ways. Then they gave it to me and asked me to fix it. It did not end well - I tried to reinforce it and improve it, and I did succeed… kind of… but it was so broken that I wasn’t able to fix everything broken within the time I was given, and it broke again (in another way that I hadn’t anticipated) soon after. It’s certainly not one of my best performances, and I’ve got all sorts of things I learned from trying to fix that system. And… that happens sometimes. Sometimes, you try to do something and it just doesn’t work out. The best we can do in those situations is to learn as much as we can so that we don’t make those mistakes in the future.


Got a burning question you want answered?

Acceptable Losses

So here is a fun fact. Compared to most major corporations, the government run welfare agencies actually have similar or even lesser amounts of fraud and corruption. It’s actually quite amazing how well they mitigate malevolent morons taking advantage of the system. As time passes they are able to reduce losses more and more. People assume the government is always full of incompetence. But it seems the private sector isn’t doing much better. To quote this wonderful article about welfare fraud misconceptions (which you should totally read)…

“The problem with fraud isn’t government programs or beneficiaries. It’s that fraud losses are a cost of doing business in just about everything.”

It’s much harder to commit welfare fraud than most people assume. I mean, the process to qualify for disability is insane. It was one of the most stressful times of my life. You would have to be very dedicated to fraudulently claim disability without them catching you. It is no joke.

But most folks never focus on this issue in that way.

It’s always, “OMG fraud! That’s terrible!”

Instead of, “OMG they handle fraud decently and work hard at reducing losses.”

We’ve all heard the stories. People using SNAP cards to buy steak and lobster. People on welfare buying Escalades and expensive sneakers. And god forbid a poor person own a smartphone. (Despite it almost being a necessity these days.) These tales of rampant welfare spending are almost always myths, misunderstandings, outright lies, or people who haven’t run out of credit yet. You might be surprised how little of it is fraud or criminals taking advantage.

First of all, you can’t buy lobster with a SNAP card. In fact, there is a quite restrictive list of items you can buy. Some folks can buy various meats, but considering SNAP benefits are not actually the windfall people believe, it would be very unwise for a poor person to use up their allowance on expensive food. (Though it is not a crime to treat yourself on occasion with a nice cut of meat.) I’ve seen some people complain that folks are buying junk food, soda, and sub sandwiches from the deli. I’m not sure that is “abuse” of the system. Making poor dietary choices is not a crime. And it still keeps you from going hungry. I think anyone who complains should subject their shopping carts to judgement as well. 

Second, you don’t know how recently a person has run into financial troubles. Maybe a month ago they thought they had job security and didn’t think buying nice shoes was a big deal. Maybe a relative bought them as a gift. Or maybe they never learned the dangers of credit cards because our school system does not think basic life skills are important to include in a curriculum. This could also explain people leasing nice cars they probably can’t afford. You might see folks driving them, but I doubt you’ll see the repossession a week later.  

The truth is, (and I say this from experience) it is very very very challenging living off welfare and food stamps. I don’t have a car. I don’t have a phone. I pay very little for rent and internet. I still barely get by each month. This Welfare Queen concept is a myth. Millions of people are legitimately struggling. The safety net is not quite as safe as the GOP would have you believe. Anecdotal stories on Fox News do not reflect the reality of living on welfare. Not even close. The reason people see examples of folks abusing the system is because it’s obvious when it happens. The scammers are easy to spot. People tell stories. Stories turn into legends. Legends become full-on myths. And that one example convinces slews of gullible Hannity fans that this happens all the time.

Don’t you find it a little suspect that every mythical welfare story ends with people getting into an Escalade? And why are they following people to the parking lot to see what kind of car they drive? And why is the vehicle always something notoriously favored by black folks? (If you’re going to lie, make it a racist lie!)

Whereas the millions of folks who use the system legitimately are often ashamed. The stigma can be crushing and they will do whatever they can to hide the fact they are accepting help. You don’t see them because they try very hard not to be seen. These are the same people who are working hard to get off welfare and pay their own way. These are the people who will work two jobs if necessary. These are the silent majority that no one tells stories of. Because their stories are not as juicy as the mythical Welfare Queen. There is no intrigue.

“Hey man, you’ll never believe what I saw at the grocery store today. This guy was buying inexpensive canned goods to help feed his two kids. He tried to slip his SNAP card to the checkout person on the sly, but I totally saw it! And since I enjoy stalking poor people, I followed him into the parking lot. He took his moderately priced bag of groceries and loaded them into… get this… a 1997 Toyota Corolla! His rims were insane too! I’m pretty sure they were the factory standard hubcaps! Crazy, right?”

Fraud does happen. People abuse the system. Some deviants buy deli subs. *gasp* Criminals who make most of their money off the books will apply for benefits too. People will try to fake or exaggerate injuries and illness to get disability. Others might receive unemployment without earnestly looking for new work. And that sucks. I am not saying these people don’t exist. I am saying they are more rare than Fox News would have you believe. They are a small percentage of the sum total of people getting benefits. In fact, the percentage of fraud in the entire food stamp program has been reduced to a whopping 1%.

I think republicans need to learn the term “acceptable losses.” There is absolutely no way to create a fraud-free institution that involves millions of people. It is literally impossible. Just as it’s impossible to have a fraud-free business once it reaches a certain size. You cannot avoid human nature.

They only way to eliminate 100% of fraud from welfare programs is to shut them down completely.

So we have a choice to make.

Screw millions of people. Let them starve. Let them lose their homes. Let them get sick without proper healthcare. Let their children starve. Let their children go without seeing a doctor.

Maybe even let them die.

Or we can allow for acceptable losses.

We can acknowledge that some people are going to take advantage. We can do as much as we can to stop the fraud without creating a huge inconvenience for the honest folks using these programs. We can choose to help millions of people and swallow the fact that assholes exist. Or we just shut it all down.

I choose to help people.

The GOP and Trump seem to think any kind of fraud is unacceptable. They want to cut these programs. They want to perpetuate the myth that your tax dollars are being wasted to an extraordinary degree. They will keep pedaling anecdotal evidence of lobsters. They will keep saying immigrants are getting benefits that they’re not actually eligible for.

And they will come up with idiotic ideas like a fucking food box for poor people.

That’s right. They want to create the shittiest Blue Apron in existence because Fox & Friends ran a story about people selling food stamps for cash. Despite the overwhelming majority of SNAP participants using their cards legitimately, Trump wants to give people boxes of shitty food because he can’t stand the thought of a few assholes taking advantage.

It’s hard to describe just how bad of an idea this is.

Tons of people have diet restrictions. I can’t have sugar. Others can’t have gluten. Some are allergic to various things. A nut allergy can be deadly. What about people with digestion issues? Will these boxes magically provide food that doesn’t trigger stomach problems? Will there be dairy items? Ever heard of lactose intolerance? And are we saying poor people can’t be vegan now? “Screw your ideals and eat this can of Spam.” What if people don’t like the food in the box? Are you going to say, “You’re poor. Stop being picky?” There are foods I find so disgusting that if I try to force myself to eat them, they just come right back up. There is no logistical way to account for every person’s needs. That’s why we have people buy their own friggin’ food!

Answer me this Mr. Trump. How are you going to deliver all these boxes? Will people have to pick them up at a warehouse? What if they don’t drive? What if they are elderly and can’t lift your dumbass boxes? What about people who live in rural areas? Do they have to drive into the city to get their food? Is the government going to spend extra money to deliver to hard to reach areas? Are you absolutely sure that buying, packing, and delivering all this food is cheaper than SNAP? How fucking cheap is this food?

In order for this idea to be cheaper than letting people get food at their local grocery store, I imagine this food is going to be pretty terrible. Is that supposed to be some sick incentive for people to “stop being so poor already!”? Why not just put MREs in a box and call it a day. Any soldier would say that’s cruel and unusual, but I guess they deserve it because they had the nerve to get poor.

It’s all pretty hypocritical if you ask me. Trump has been doing fraudulent things for decades. He literally stole from a charity that helped kids with cancer. He’s applauded himself for getting out of paying taxes. Many of his friends (and family) are experts when it comes to corporate fraud. Trump doesn’t seem to mind rich folks being corrupt. But when poor folks commit a little fraud, that’s where he draws the line.

Can’t have those poors mooching off the tax dollars that he’s never paid.

6

Tangled Web

(as always, art by @aatkaw, boring story stuff by @fell-dragon-domain)

For one of the most powerful people in the United Republic, Councilor Bolin is almost constantly in one tenuous position or another. With organized crime so rampant in Republic City, he can’t afford not to take a hard line against it…in his press releases, at least. The actual anti-triad and anti-Equalist initiatives that Lieutenant Beifong brings to the Council for funding always seem to die a slow, bureaucratic death, facing delay after delay and having so many unpopular riders attached to them that the public is invariably happy to see the measures defeated in narrow votes. Of course, the good Councilor can’t actually move against his brother, or one of his biggest donors. Still, Mako doesn’t make it easy to ignore the triad’s stranglehold on commerce, and neither does Asami have any qualms about holding up or going over budget on the construction contracts that Future Industries has with the city when Bolin leans a little too hard on the Equalists.


Lieutenant Kuvira Beifong’s organized crime control unit is all but security theater, thanks to the Council’s consistent failure to grant them any dedicated funding. The Council chair, Bolin, always seems to say the right things about stamping out the triads and Equalists, but she doesn’t have any time for their Council politics or silly notions of constitutionality when the public’s safety is at stake. While her unit can secure funding to operate as an autonomous detachment of her adoptive mother’s main metalbending force, she rarely manages to produce the kind of results that would dissuade the rumors of nepotism surrounding her position. The Equalists almost never lack countermeasures to their equipment, even the cutting-edge supplies the Future Industries CEO agreed to sell her under the table, and the triad safe houses she raids always seem to lack any substantial evidence of their operations or key personnel. She counts herself lucky that her boyfriend Mako is always there to help soothe her frustrations, though.


Taking a tri-colored mitsudomoe for the symbol of the Triple Threats, Mako has all but the most heavily-policed sections of Republic City under his control to one degree or another. Outside of the monolithic Future Industries and their subsidiaries, the one remaining triad casts its shadow over every sector of commerce, from the docks at the harbor to the quarries at the base of the mountains northeast of the city. Their overtures at subtlety notwithstanding, Bolin or Kuvira occasionally have to be given an easy win over them—the cost of doing business, Mako tells himself. And it is a business, rather than the old barely legal rackets that left messes in their wakes, and one that can be very generous to those willing to prove their loyalty. Anyone who falls behind on their numbers or becomes a problem, though, finds themselves scooped up by Lieutenant Beifong’s Seventh Metalbending Detachment or facing down Equalists with their strange spirit vine-powered weapons. As irksome as the Equalists usually are for their operations, Mako knows what a unifying force a good adversary can be. Well, that, and the fact that their own legitimate front corporations often end up as subcontractors for the legal half of the Equalists: Future Industries.


There aren’t enough hours in the day to manage both Future Industries and the Equalists, in Asami’s opinion. Between submitting bids for city contracts and quietly selling experimental weapons to increasingly desperate elements of the police force, she rarely gets a full night’s sleep, to say nothing of her outright illegal activities. But she has to find time for them, and absent the ability to permanently remove someone’s bending, the Equalists have to become that much more dedicated under her leadership. The triads are choking the life out of her city, the police force looks askance at any nonbender out at night, and the government has no interest in following through on their promises of legal protections for nonbenders. If the authorities won’t move toward making a more equitable society for everyone, then she will. If a little blood—cops or triads—has to run for the sake of that society, then so be it.


And of course, the Avatar and the Red Lotus couldn’t care less about the petty squabbles between this faction and that faction…

anonymous asked:

I saw a video called "How American Game Companies Avoid Paying Income Tax" and read the linked article about taxshelters in Holland and was wondering if you have any insights to bolster/disprove Super Bunnyhops (the videomaker) conclusion that tax haven-money earns big companies a major portion of their earnings while the portion of their budget actually spent on game development shrinks... or is that kinda number-magic way outside your "jurisdiction", so to speak?

This is a pretty normal example of correlation not actually being causation, and the tendency to attribute sinister intent when there really isn’t any reason to. So let’s break this down. For those who are curious about the video itself, you can find it [linked here]. Here’s a general summary of the issue:

International law is a somewhat finicky thing, but there’s a generally agreed-upon rule when it comes to running companies and paying taxes - as long as your company pays taxes to some country, then other countries won’t try to tax them too. This is because nobody likes being taxed twice for the same thing. Now… there are a number of countries out there like the Netherlands, Ireland, Bermuda, Panama, the Cayman Islands, etc. really want to encourage corporations to invest and build there, so they have much lower corporate tax rates than countries like the USA. This means that large multinational corporations like Pfizer, Apple, and Activision-Blizzard can undertake a move called a “Tax Inversion” or “Corporate Inversion” where they legally change the country in which they are based to take advantage of those tax laws. Instead of paying the 35% corporate tax rate in the US, they can pay the cheaper 12.5% corporate tax rate in Ireland instead.

Doing so is entirely legal (as the video maker said), but he also implied that it was a greedy, malicious move. In actuality, it’s a lot like moving to a new apartment that charges lower rent. From a certain perspective (like the landlord the tenant is leaving), the move is greedy… but at the same time, you can’t blame a company or individual for trying to save money when they have a legal and legitimate option to do so. These companies still pay taxes on the things like the salaries of their employees and on the properties they own in the country. They don’t pay the 35% corporate tax rate in the USA, they pay the 12.5% rate in Ireland. In this case, Ireland is happy, the company is happy, and the USA is sad.

Now we can get into the conclusion that the video maker tries to draw - the company is saving a lot of money it could be paying in taxes, so it should put all this money into developing new games, right? But Activision-Blizzard is actually investing less money overall into their games, which means they are GREEDY and EVIL because they SHOULD be passing on these savings to the customer instead of doing other things with it, like bonuses for employees or sharing them with the shareholders. As you might have noticed, the link between saving money via corporate inversion and the amount of money spent on development is pretty weak. But he’s also glossing over a lot of things that could easily account for lowered development spending, such as:

  1. Green lighting fewer game projects
  2. Reusing/leveraging existing technology/engines/tools for new games
  3. Increased efficiency in the development process
  4. Outsourcing to less expensive studios

For example, one of the things Activision has done since 2009 has been throttling back on their licensed games like movie and television tie-ins, which would definitely reduce the amount spent on development. I know I’m not really lamenting those kind of cuts. Without key information like how many games are in development and what their budgets are, it is impossible to prove that Activision-Blizzard is lowering the budget (and thus quality) of their games out of greed. The real crux of his video seems to be anti-DLC and microtransactions. I get that he doesn’t like them and thinks that such practices are unsustainable, but the customers are voting overwhelmingly with their wallets year after year, and they have been doing so for over a decade. Some folks out there are very vocal about their dislike for paid DLC, but their outcry isn’t having any appreciable effect on earnings. If they were, the publishers would have moved on to something else long ago.


Got a burning question you want answered?

Until she convinces me otherwise, I assume that her emotional reaction to a situation is disproportionate to my opinion of what level of emotional reaction the situation calls for. Basically, if she’s on eight, I assume the situation is really a six.
— 

Men Just Don’t Trust Women – And It’s A Huge Problem

I cannot think of a man with whom I have ever shared negative feelings who did not make it obvious, however hard he might’ve tried to hide it, that he is going through this mental process.

And yes, if you’re a man reading this and thinking, “Oh no, but she’s told me her negative feelings and I’ve responded by asking her questions about why she feels that way, does she mean me???” Yes, I mean you. I mean all of you. I am calling all of you out for this right now. No, I don’t want to have a private conversation about it, because I’m done with that emotional labor. If this describes you and you’re still in my life as a friend or partner, assume that I have accepted this sort of microinvalidation as the cost of doing business. But my acceptance of reality doesn’t make it any more *acceptable*.

PSA

Soo I’ve been seeing alot of discourse in the community but:

If youre sending anon hate, creating drama, being exclusive, or being an overall shitty person to other self shippers/ the self shipping community. Then kindly,

Fuck off

diacrit replied to your link “Ontario to end free prescriptions for kids, young adults with private…”

Alright, let’s take a breathe. While this is obviously a move in the wrong direction, and it’s telling that this is one of the first moves, this isn’t a repeal of OHIP+. It only affects children who are already covered by their parents insurance. It means medical bills will first be charged to their private insurance, and then the remainder will be paid by the government. It won’t affect anyone who doesn’t have private insurance.

I never said the program was ending and neither did the article, which I quoted long enough to ensure that people knew what the PC’s are doing.

Stripping a universal healthcare policy so that it is only universal if you don’t have private insurance is a BAD THING. 

Stripping universality from public programs is the first step in how privatization and defunding of public programs happens. People should not have to depend on private insurance to know whether they are covered or not. The point of a universal system is that everyone is covered no matter what. This is how Canada’s healthcare system is based, and it is how pharmacare should be based.

And what happens if the private insurance providers find a loophole not to pay or worse yet decide to leave Ontario because the added healthcare costs hurt their businesses? Do you really think Doug will just fund everyone if that happens? No he’ll probably try to find a way to defund the whole program.

anonymous asked:

Do u think the way the AAA industry is currently doing things is sustainable? Though u have explained in other posts about why Day One DLC, microtransactions, and other frowned upon practices exist and how they help developers do u think it's good long term? Also what are your thoughts on how the indie scene is doing financially?

Do I think the AAA industry is sustainable?

At the moment, sure. We’ve seen costs go way up, but we’ve also seen some really large growth in terms of revenue as well. I think that the AAA industry is going to have to evolve and change as time goes on, and I think that there’s definitely going to be some limitations appearing on the big tentpole blockbuster type games, but I also think that publishers are generally savvy enough to change with the times. Those who don’t will die like THQ, Acclaim, and all the others.

Do I think Day 1 DLC, microtransactions, and other “frowned upon” practices are good long term?

Sure. Paid DLC has been a major and consistent source of revenue for as long as iPhones have existed. I view DLC and microtransactions as value proposals. Here is something you might want, and here is a cost to you associated with it. That cost might be “pay $5″, “subscribe to a monthly service”, “preorder and buy this product new from a specific retailer”, “post this to your social media account”, or any of a number of other things. You get to make the choice as to whether the value is worth the cost you pay. If there aren’t enough people willing to pay the costs, then the product fails. The only reason that Day 1 DLC, microtransactions, the season passes, preorder bonuses, etc. are still happening today is because they are still earning money. They exist because there are enough people out there who might not be you are willing to spend their money on these products. I’m cool with other people spending their own money how they see fit. When I work on that kind of stuff, I do my best to make sure that the content they’ll get is worth the money they put in. I recognize that not everybody is going to love it, but almost nothing is universally loved anyway. As long as enough people out there feel like there’s value in paid additional content, I’m cool with it.

What are my thoughts on how the indie scene is doing financially?

I think that the sudden and enormous growth of the indie development scene is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the fantastic availability of tools and technology is empowering people of all stripes to make games and that’s fantastic to me. The more people who try, the more that will succeed, and gamers everywhere will be better for it. We can get more new and fantastic experiences from fresh and innovative designers who aren’t necessarily bogged down by “conventional wisdom”, and I think that’s great for everybody.

Unfortunately, there’s some serious growing pains as well. The biggest issue with such explosive growth is that there really hasn’t been a way to curate and spread the word on most of these new offerings and experiences, which means that millions of players miss out on a hundreds or thousands of possibly great titles. For every Shovel Knight or Darkest Dungeon, there’s hundreds of good to great titles that languish in relative obscurity. I know that we developers would love to believe that our titles managed to succeed entirely (or even mostly) because of our hard work and skill, but the truth of the matter is that a lot of that success stems from being in the right place at the right time to get some lucky promotion somewhere. 

That said, these are good problems to have. It incentivizes the platforms out there to come up with better and more robust solutions for curation, and results in more people getting to find and play more great games. It means that there’s so many great games out there that people are having trouble finding them all. It’s certainly preferable to “indie devs can’t make a living and are dropping like flies.”


Got a burning question you want answered?

nytimes.com
Cash Might Be King, but They Don’t Care
A growing number of New York businesses do not accept U.S. currency, to the consternation of some and the indifference of others.
By Andy Newman

They can dress it up any way they want to, but this trend started with businesses catering to yuppies who do not want your poor people money or your poor people self sullying up the faux-classy environment they’re trying to cultivate.

You go to the hood, and you’re likely to run into many bodegas who don’t accept credit cards, especially for a small purchase, because it eats into their bottom line and they’re trying to serve the community at the lowest price they can feasibly offer and still turn a profit. You go to Midtown, and you’ll run into the Sweetgreens of the marketplace who eschew cash payment and hike the price up to cover the cost of credit card transactions (and doing business in Midtown) with the added benefit of keeping away poor folks who won’t spend $14 on salad.

“Cash transactions take longer” is a cop-out. Yes, we’ve been behind Methuselah counting 76 cents in pennies, but for the average transaction, there’s no real difference in speed. Insert Chip + Wait + Sign takes the same amount of time as Give $20 + Open Register + Hand Over Change. I worked in retail for a whole decade. The only thing we really hated was checks. Even credit cards were obnoxious with That Customer who was too important to read what she’s doing.

“Press to accept the total. Oh no you canceled it you have to swipe again. Ok press for credit or debit. Okay now accept the total. Sign there. Oh you wanted debit, so cancel…” Just give me a $20 and let me get to the next customer Barbara. I don’t have time for your laziness.

Anytime a trend only takes off with a certain kind of business or location or clientele, you have to wonder why exactly that is. You will never see the hood go cashless and that’s all I need to know about this.