Protestors in Hong Kong waved American Flags and Sang the American National Anthem while standing up to the tyranny of the CCP and the corrupt Hong Kong Police force. Meanwhile actual Americans are sitting around taking their freedom for granted and doing nothing to support their brothers and sisters in Hong Kong. The people of Hong Kong are fighting for their rights and the global community is doing nothing. No sanctions, no denouncements, nothing. The world is sitting back and watching because they’re too scared to do anything, and to make matters worse companies are actively censoring anyone brave enough to speak out because they’re too afraid to lose the profits they earn from dealing with the oppressive Chinese regime. This isn’t right. Someone with the Authority and power to make a difference has to do something before it’s too late. I refuse to sit back and watch tyranny win.
The Chad Satoru Iwata: Takes a 50% pay cut while Nintendo isn’t doing well financially instead of laying off employees.
The Virgin Bobby Kotick: Fires 8% of Activision Blizzard’s workforce despite their 2018 financial results being “the best in [the company’s] history”, specifically to increase the size of his own paycheck.
Reasons why you should NOT boycott Spyro Reignited Trilogy because of the digital downloads
1. The back of the box image that got leaked says that the update for Spyro 2 and 3 together would be around 50Gb. A blu-ray disc can only hold 50Gb of data, therefore it is in fact impossible for them to have all 3 games on one disk. Yes, they could have made 3 separate disks, but that would have cost way more money to produce. If they had done that, the game wouldn’t be released for the incredibly cheap cost of $40. Think about it, we’re essentially getting 3 games for $40. It is a fair compromise to have 2 of the games require digital downloads for that price.
2. Toys for Bob have worked so hard on Reignited. Its obvious that so much love and care was put into remastering and improving upon the original games. Remember that the Reignited Trilogy has been in production for even longer than Crash’s N. Sane Trilogy. So much time and effort has been put into making a simply jaw droppingly gorgeous product, and boycotting it because of the digital download thing is only going to spit in the face of all of that hard work.
3. People seem to think that boycotting a game is going to make a company like Activision think twice before messing with consumers. I’m gonna shoot that dream down right now. Activision will not lose a wink of sleep if you boycott this game. Activision is a multi-billion dollar video game giant, one of the oldest gaming companies in the market. Even a 10% drop of sales on one of their games, especially one that isn’t one of their front running titles like Call of Duty or any of Blizzard’s games, isn’t going to make that much of a difference, and they’re not going to change their ways as a result. All that will happen as a result is they’ll pull any future development of the Spyro franchise. Which brings me to my last point…
4. This game needs to be a success so that hopefully more Spyro games like the original trilogy can be made. Original Spyro fans like me have been wanting this for a long time. Many have been wanting to see a continuation of the original series ever since the PS2 days (ignoring Enter the Dragonfly…) It seems very likely that the success of the N. Sane Trilogy and the originally designed DLC level Vicarious Visions made might lead to a new Crash game in the future, and Spyro fans are hoping so hard that the same could happen here. But it won’t if this game doesn’t sell as well as it should have. Boycotting this game isn’t going to effect Activision at all, it’s not going to make them stop being a shitty company, it’s only going to hurt Toys for Bob and the fan’s hope that we might see more Spyro games in the future.
Does it suck that it’s happening? Absolutely. Is it shitty that they’ve been so hush-hush and not upfront about all of this? You betcha. But looking at the grand scale of things, this is still an amazing deal for an outstanding product. It’s being sold a fair price for the compromise we have to take with having to download some of it digitally. I feel for people who don’t have access to the internet, but sadly that’s just the way the industry is these days. We’ve been moving away from physical copies of games for years now, and it’s going to die eventually anyway whether we like it or not. Don’t let this be the end of one of the most beloved characters and franchises in video game history. Don’t kill OG Spyro before he’s even had a chance to make a comeback. Don’t listen to idiots on youtube/twitter who think that boycotting a game is going to in any way at all have a meaningful impact on a mega-corporation like Activision. Don’t ruin Spyro for people who have wanted this for decades. Don’t boycott this game.
As a game design major, it absolutely SICKENS me to see Activision lay off almost 900 employees.
Why? Well, as much as Activision wants to complain about how none of their games beyond FIFA didn’t have successful sale rates, they had a record breaking year in sales.
But they why are they complaining? Because the shareholders weren’t happy. They’ll claim Battlefront selling 7 million copies is a ‘failure’, they view Destiny 2 Forsaken (which fixed many complaints about the base game) as a let down and promise to double down on microtransactions. They out of the blue canceled competitive Heroes of the Storm, leaving commentators and teams unemployed.
Leading up to this, it’s clear that Activision was paying people in customer service and IT to leave with it’s Crossroads program, but this was too far.
You don’t get to pay your executives a total of $82MILLION dollars in one year alongside shoveling out another $15MILLION to your new CFO before he even starts, then turn around and act like your pockets are empty.
Despite my issues with Nintendo, when the Wii U was in a slump, Iwata took a pay cut to keep from laying anyone off. Meanwhile, Activision is rolling in money, but cutting jobs.
Triple A greed is going to kill the industry…I swear…
I got a lot of questions asking for my opinions and explanations about the whole Activision Bungie Destiny thing, so I figured I’d post about it today. So what exactly is going on with Bungie, Destiny, and Activision? Here is some key information about the situation.
1. Bungie is an independent studio
Activision doesn’t own Bungie. Bungie operates on its own, answering only to its owners. They are not publicly traded and thus are not beholden to public shareholders. Bungie entered into a publishing partnership with Activision back in 2010, with Activision pledging to fund development and Bungie pledging to develop games and content on a schedule for Activision.
2. Bungie already owned the rights to the Destiny IP
As part of their contract with Activision back in 2010, Bungie secured the ownership rights of the project IP that Activision and Bungie were collaborating on. This is not the norm - most independent dev studios that work with publishers don’t get this option. What this means is that Bungie can leave Activision and still legally make another game set in the Destiny universe if they want without any interference from Activision. However, up until very recently, Activision did have a say in Destiny and Destiny 2 because they owned the publishing rights. This is what Bungie purchased from Activision.
3. Bungie bought the publishing rights for Destiny from Activision
Even though Bungie owned the Destiny IP, Activision still owned the rights to publish the existing games. Bungie’s leadership wanted to take over all aspects of the Destiny games, and that meant they needed those publishing rights. Thus, Bungie’s executive leadership started stockpiling funds through various means to buy those rights from Activision. It’s also important to note that Activision is happy about this. This separation is on good terms - Activision was paid enough that their leadership is satisfied with the deal.
4. This is a big deal
It’s super rare for a dev studio to buy out publishing rights from their publisher that isn’t going bankrupt. That generally requires access to a level of funding that most developers don’t have access to
- most dev studios aim towards growing into multiple simultaneous game projects in development at once since that directly increases their earning power. Bungie probably had to set aside a significant amount of money from their own earnings (or taken out enormous loans) in order to pay for this, and it likely won’t result in an immediate payday so much as buying a commitment to spend a lot more money on things like infrastructure. However, astute readers will realize that Bungie has done this sort of miracle buy before.
5. Bungie has done the impossible before
Back in 2000, Microsoft purchased Bungie and they developed Halo under the Microsoft umbrella. However, seven years later, Bungie stockpiled enough funding to buy themselves out from Microsoft, going independent once again. This means they had to resume handling all of the business and logistical aspects of running a company again, which can be a pretty huge feat for a company with hundreds of employees.
I can’t think of another studio that has bought itself out from a publisher like this, especially without the publisher being in dire financial straits. It requires a combination of financial success and studio executive leadership that really cares about the long term goals of the studio, all while managing to maintain its own growth and employee happiness. This is a storm of circumstances that I have yet to see another studio manage to circumnavigate.
6. Bungie really believes in Destiny
Bungie wouldn’t spend these tens (or maybe even hundreds) of millions of dollars to buy those publishing rights if they didn’t believe in the product. If they wanted to, they could finish out the contract with Activision and then go start a new project with a new IP elsewhere and be totally free and clear. But Bungie clearly believes in Destiny to the point that they are literally betting their future on it. As their own publisher, they are taking on all of the logistics and costs involved - marketing, customer support, handling financial transactions, distributing patches, database administration, and all of the million other little details that need to be taken care of to run a game service in addition to just building more game. Bungie’s leadership believes in Destiny so much that the control they get from owning the publishing rights is worth more to them than putting up with handling all of those little details.
Bungie is taking a huge risk, but they also have taken an enormous risk like this and succeeded in the past. Moving on into 2019, Destiny players will be able to see Bungie’s sole vision for the game and world, for whatever good or ill that entails. It also means that Bungie probably isn’t going to put out a new game or IP for a long while - they just put all of their eggs into the Destiny basket and is going to ride that train wherever it leads. But it’s very interesting to me as an industry observer because this is the second time that Bungie has pulled an incredibly difficult trick off.
The FANTa Project is currently on hiatus while I am crunching at work too busy.