Every so often, a man needs to have a conversation with some anthropomorphized concepts. I do that every few years. In the past, I’ve usually focused on more philosophical concepts. I had a great conversation with Insight and really learned a lot about myself in the process, for example, and I can’t stop thinking about my talk with Contemplation. My dinner with Indulgence was fun, too, even if I would up spending far too much money on it; I feel like scheduling a chat with Regret the morning after was a bad idea.
Most recently, though, I decided to have some conversations with studios. Not their representatives, but with the actual studios themselves. Some of those conversations went better than others, though. You don’t need to take my word for it, though; I included the most interesting ones just past the break. I double-checked with Honesty first, so we’re good, it’s all fair.
1. Hi-Rez Studios
Me: Nice to meet you, Hi-Rez. We’ve never really talked before.
Hi-Rez Studios: Hey, it’s a pleasure. I like your shirt.
Me: Thanks, it’s a –
Hi-Rez Studios: Here, try our shirt.
Me: What the heck? That’s my shirt?
Hi-Rez Studios: What are you talking about? We just made a shirt.
Me: That looks… exactly like my shirt but in different colors.
Hi-Rez Studios: Pure coincidence. And look at the stitching? This is quality stitching on our shirt.
Me: But that’s still my shirt. Were you even going to make that shirt until you saw my shirt?
Hi-Rez Studios: Look, man, people are going to need shirts either way. Are you going to complain about the fact that I supposedly copied your shirt, or are you going to try on this super-comfortable new shirt?
Me: …are you guys ever touching Global Agenda again?
Hi-Rez Studios: As soon as that’s half as profitable as shirts, sure. We have made so much money from this shirt.
Daybreak: We’re going to be so good for gamers.
Me: What – who are you?
Daybreak: Here, do you like this window? It’s a terrible window. Let’s smash it and replace it with a better window.
Me: That’s my window. This is my home, you just barged in here and I didn’t want to see you. Where did you come from?
Daybreak: Not enough people really appreciate windows. We’re going to make a better sort of window.
Me: You just smashed my window! I liked that window!
Daybreak: We had to get rid of that window to bring in our new window. This is even better than the old window.
Me: That’s a piece of cellophane held to the wall with duct tape.
Daybreak: See? It’s better!
Me: No, it’s not. I wanted my window.
Daybreak: We’re going to split this new window into two windows, so you can look at two different versions of the same landscape.
Me: I never thought that Smedley would be the one preventing you from self-destruction.
Daybreak: We were real surprised, too.
Me: Hey, Blizz, what’s the – oh, crap, dude, your place is on fire!
Blizzard: Oh hey, what’s up? We’re just chilling, making plans for our next party.
Me: Your house is on fire.
Blizzard: Yeah, it happens.
Me: No, it doesn’t just happen. Your house is on fire now. You can do something about that.
Blizzard: People always leave our parties around this point.
Me: Because you are letting your house catch fire.
Blizzard: There’s nothing we can do about it, really.
Me: The fire. You can put out the fire. You can address the actual very real fire which is burning right now.
Blizzard: They’ll be back.
Me: They wouldn’t have left at all if you would put out the fire. There is a fire, do something about it, how do you live like this?
Blizzard: How would we even start putting out a fire?
Me: You have enough money to install a sprinkler system! You can put fire extinguishers every two feet! What the hell, dude, put out the fire!
Blizzard: There’s nothing that can be done. It’s the circle of life.
5. Carbine Studios
Carbine: Hey… hey, man. What’s up?
Me: Holy crap, Carbine, what happened to you?
Carbine: Lots of stuff. It wasn’t my fault.
Me: Are you… do you live in this flophouse?
Carbine: It’s less that I live here and more that I hide whenever the owners come around.
Me: Dude, you don’t deserve to be living like this.
Carbine: Listen, do you want to maybe… let us stay at your place for a few days? I’ve got a million-dollar idea, I just need to get it off the ground.
Me: Is this million-dollar idea pre-Trammel Ultima Online mixed with a totally different game people would want to play?
Carbine: I mean… that’s part of it…
Carbine: (sobbing) I… look. I need help, man. I need help.
Me: Please stop carrying around those “Most Anticipated” trophies. That is really creepy.
Me: All right, let’s get this over with. Talk about how you’re going to hurt me.
Me: You know, punishing mechanics or bad games or content droughts or something.
Square-Enix: Is… is that what you expect?
Me: Past experiences would indicate it.
Square-Enix: Do you actually like games, or is it some kind of Stockholm syndrome at this point?
Me: I am never going to get over the fact that you now look like the most competent person in the room.
Square-Enix: Hey, do you want another monthly update for our game in maintenance mode?
Me: More than anything.
Funcom: My friend! Remember how you really needed car rides from me but couldn’t stand the shocks on my car?
Me: Ugh, yeah. You’re a good driver, but that thing felt like riding in a paint mixer.
Funcom: Good news! I’m getting the car completely rebuilt from the ground up. Shocks so smooth you won’t feel anything!
Me: Oh, hey, that’s wonderful!
Funcom: And no more roof!
Me: I… wait, is it a convertible?
Funcom: Nope! It just won’t have a roof any more!
Me: But… what happens when it rains?
Funcom: Excuse me?
Me: Car roofs protect you from the weather.
Funcom: It’s really just a moderate fix for our car.
Me: Wait, I’m… so there is going to be a roof?
Funcom: Completely rebuilt from the ground up! No roof, good shocks!
Me: Are you high right now?
8. Blizzard, again
Blizzard: Buddy! Don’t you love e-sports?
Me: The restraining order says fifty feet and it means fifty feet.
Blizzard: But we learned our lesson! This time our game contains no story internally whatsoever!
Me: Get out of my house!
Zenimax: Check out our new cake! We based it on a Thomas Kincaid painting.
Me: Thomas Kincaid is awful, guy.
Zenimax: Don’t be mean. He had a lot of technical skill.
Me: Yes, but his art doesn’t speak to anything. There’s no soul to it. It’s just something you hang in a hotel lobby.
Zenimax: All right, but try the cake.
Me: …dang. You guys made a really good cake.
Zenimax: So, want to see our next Kincaid-inspired cake?
Me: I’m filled with conflicting emotions that lean toward yes.
Zenimax: We also made a great mash-up album of songs you hate!
Me: You know, Square-Enix just lets me feel positive about a friendship. We’d get along better if you stopped adding all of these caveats.
Zenimax: You want to watch a compelling supercut of the Star Wars prequels?
Me: Dude, seriously.
NCsoft: Bad news is that I smashed the heck out of your front door. Here’s the good news: I’m sorry.