The Daily Grind: Which MMO studio told the biggest fib in 2017?

Lies piss me off. I have had MMO developers look me in the eye and lie right to my face. I have had PR promise something and then intentionally break that promise with a shrug. I have had studios mail me statements that are not just playing loose with the truth but dropping it on the ground and driving their boot heel right into it. I’ve had studios claim they never said a thing right up until I produce the recording where they very clearly did (always save your recordings, folks). I’ve been doing this a long time, but nevertheless, just when I think I’ve seen everything, I’m confronted with even more shenanigans.

You folks see plenty too! Just last year, in the midst of what was apparently a furied license negotiation, layoffs, community team silence, missed patch dates, and sexual harassment scandal – some or all of which ultimately led to the abrupt end of Marvel Heroes – Gazillion reps claimed to us that “the company is functioning normally.” And don’t even start me on the “sense of pride and accomplishment” line.

Which MMO studio told the biggest fib last year, and what was it?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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79 Comments on "The Daily Grind: Which MMO studio told the biggest fib in 2017?"

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Sally Bowls

(always save your recordings, folks).

I know this was meant as humor and politics, but we curmudgeons would like to remind said folks to learn about two-party consent. (IANAL, but it made the news during the Lewinsky kerfuffle when a recording was made in Maryland which is one of the 11 states with 2-part consent. As is California.) So if you record a California dev without their proper consent, then you are subject to criminal and civil prosecution.

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Suikoden

I’m going to say Gazillion, when they said something to the effect that everything was operating as normal one month before the company imploded.

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Hravik

That we should take DBG seriously as a developer still. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Dro Gul

How about The CoE guys? They originally said that SpatialOS was the fabric on which they would build their game., Then as recently as October the lead developer said that it was great and did everything they needed. Now a few days ago they laid people off and switch to homemade solutions and one of the reasons is that SpatialOS apparently didn’t do what they needed.
I don’t think the issue was with SpatialOS but with a Development team out of touch with reality.
They also tried to blame their inability to land a publisher on their unwillingness to add lootboxes. Somehow I doubt that’s the full story.

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Sally Bowls

I certainly agree with the outrage with lies.

But I am annoyed at gamerspeak. When a dev/cm says X will ship on Y, or even feature Y will go in by Z and then that does not happen, that is wrong, that is a mistake you can fault the company for and never play their game again. But those are not lies. CU and SC beta dates are not lies nor fraud; they are spending millions to make it happen. They are just bad at software management (pro tip, not a lot of non-gamer companies are great at that.) Gamers calling “any statement from a dev who goes on to do something I don’t like” a lie cheapens our [IMO justifiable] outrage over lies. E.g. “sense of pride and accomplishment” in no way deserves to be here. “A stupid comment made by stupid people” or “suits misjudging gamers” or any number of other criticisms, but it is not a lie.

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Armsbend

Ehhhh…not so sure. When Microsoft says Windows 12 is coming out it ships on that date. When GM Fall car release is on the 22nd of September – the cars roll out on the 22nd. And so on. What industry besides low end software doesn’t reliably hit dates they put forward?

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Sally Bowls

Microsoft???????????????????
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Vista

Microsoft began work on Windows Vista in May 2001. It was originally expected to ship sometime late in 2003

By 2004, it had become obvious to the Windows team at Microsoft that they were losing sight of what needed to be done to complete the next version of Windows and ship it to customers. Internally, some Microsoft employees were describing the Longhorn project as “another Cairo” or “Cairo.NET”, referring to the Cairo development project that the company embarked on through the first half of the 1990s, which never resulted in a shipping operating system

In a 23 September 2005 front-page article on The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, who had overall responsibility for the development and delivery of Windows, explained how development of Longhorn had been “crashing into the ground” due in large part to the haphazard methods by which features were introduced and integrated into the core of the operating system, without a clear focus on an end-product.

While Microsoft had originally hoped to have the consumer versions of the operating system available worldwide in time for Christmas 2006, it announced in March 2006 that the release date would be pushed back to January 2007

Windows Vista was launched for general customer availability on 30 January 2007.

This was one of the most valuable companies on the planet with thousands of the best developers on the planet (money talks) with virtually unconstrained budget working on their most important project, and they missed not only the EOY ’03 but ’04 and ’05 and ’06 for what was scheduled to be a 1.5 year project.

FYI: Microsoft figured out a way for this to never happen that visibly again. If there is never a Windows 12, it can never be late.

Microsoft says that Windows 10 will be its final release of the iconic operating system that’s installed on over 90% of computers.

“Right now we’re releasing Windows 10, and because Windows 10 is the last version of Windows, we’re all still working on Windows 10,” said Jerry Nixon, Microsoft’s developer evangelist, at the Ignite tech conference.

Instead of releasing an entirely new and different version of its desktop OS every few years, Microsoft is taking an Apple-like approach to subsequent Windows releases, standardizing on Windows 10 as its Cupertino-based rival has done with OS X. Under this new strategy, Microsoft will deliver regular improvements to Windows through software updates.

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Dro Gul

If you miss your ETA by multiple years you either knew your original date was wrong and pushed it (lied) or you honestly were off in your estimate by years (incompetent). Take your pick. The whole idea that it’s OK because other guys suck too is really tired.

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Sally Bowls

For me, I see a moral dimension to lying versus incompetent. I could see playing a game form a company that ships late. I can not envision having anything to do with a dishonest company.

/SoftwareDevRant
It’s Chinatown Jake
I used to sell project management software. The figure I heard then was about 70% of Software projects were late. The classic example was Microsoft Vista – amongst the largest software dev, with thousands of the worlds most elite programmers who were well paid (thousands were millionaires from the employment). Vista cut several big features and was several years late.

As someone who wrote code (albeit not as well as I thought I did), I can even dispute “late.” If you have a fixed design spec with fixed staffing and a fixed toolset and fixed target environment, then it is mainly a matter of competence as to whether you meet the date. But if all you really have is the name of the game, with features, tools and staffing TBD, then as each of these hundreds of decisions are finalized, then the expected date needs to be adjusted each time. The team could be quite competent and motivated and still have no chance of hitting the date that some suit mentioned before the product was finished being designed. I lack the knowledge (or right, perhaps skill) to judge CU’s progress as competent or not. The only certifiable incompetence is mentioning a date when they did not have a credible plan for that.

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rafael12104

In general, I agree with you. But the “sense of pride and accomplishment” statement does not apply.

It isn’t even spin at all. It is not another point of view. It is a statement so incongruent with the reality that everyone can see the lie. That is why it was the most downvoted Reddit post in the history of Reddit and EA did not defend it.

I don’t think that even the poster of that statement believed it. Nor do I believe that he or she believed what followed after that sentence. I’m sure it was crafted for the rank and file who would be dealing with any blow back. In fact, I would wager legal signed off on the statement, ironically enough. But none of that negates the fact that it is a lie.

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Dug From The Earth

Battlefront 2

“Our game isnt pay 2 win”

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rafael12104

Ok. LOL! I love this topic!

So the most lies, probably Bungie. Yeah, go back to the pre-launch D2 hype and work your way forward, the highlight being when they first claimed they don’t throttle XP. But meh… that is still small potatoes compared to the winner.

The winner? EA. Proof? The most downvoted Reddit post in the history of Reddit. The reason? It was total bullshit. A big fucking lie that everyone saw right through the second it was posted. Here, let’s look at it again, shall we? Why make BF2 a frustrating grind to obtain heros unless you pay to win?

The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.

Total and complete excrement. LOL! A bold face lie of such epic proportions that even if you don’t play BF2 but know EA, you laughed your ass off when you read it.

Oh and there were more after that, but… let’s just stick with that lie as the winner. Really. We don’t have to go further at all, do we?

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Bryan Correll

I honest don’t see how you could beat Gazillion’s “functioning normally” bit. EA’s reactions to the BF2 fecal hurricane were obviously just desperate PR claptrap.

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Greaterdivinity

It’s a tossup, IMO. First option if Gazillion.

“Everything is fine guys!”

Months later they shut down because they hadn’t had a signed contract for months.

The other is Bungie.

“We’re listening and doing!”

They’ve done precisely none of either of those.

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Dug From The Earth

yeah, Gaz is my #1 as well. Fibs dont get much more cut and dry that what happened here.

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Bryan Turner

ANet said they planned on buffing Reaper and power builds in general to help make everything more competitive instead of having a limited Condition damage PVE paradigm that left most Power builds on the sidelines, as a matter of fact I’ve been waiting for Reaper to be competitive in PVE ever since it was released in the previous expansion.

It may take me years of being wronged to catch on but I moved to Elder Scrolls Online. I really appreciateed the recent promotion where subs got free crown crates, especially my drops which included a Flaming Bear Mount, a Baby Leopard pet, a baby Mammoth pet, and 2 Heavy armored Costumes. I was so surprised by the value I bought 8 more crates and got a pile of xp Scrolls, a Frost Wolf Mount, a Black Camel Mount, a Mage Costume, and a halfway decent mask.