MMO Week in Review: The week when EA looked like the good guy

    
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Activision-Blizzard had a rough week of its own making, as it announced record-high revenue for the year and in the same moment began laying off around 800 employees. Outrage across the gaming industry was fierce enough to provoke the anger of not just the video game unionization group but the AFL-CIO too, the former of which demanded Bobby Kotick’s resignation and the latter of which urged game developers to unionize.

Piggybacking on the bad news, or maybe hiding in its shadow, was Daybreak, which delayed the launch of PlanetSide Arena again, this time into summer 2019, and it topped that off by refunding everyone who’d preordered the game.

At least somebody’s having a good week. That somebody is EA, thanks almost entirely to Apex Legends, though Anthem’s been no slouch either.

In more meta news, we introduced another new column in time for our birthday. Read on to catch up with the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions today as every Sunday in Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

THIS WEEK’S TOP STORIES

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THIS WEEK’S CASTS & STREAMS

AND FROM OUR FRIENDS AT BLIZZARD WATCH

Enjoy your classic WoW with a side of classic Thottbot
Alliance finally gets a mount that’s not a horse in WoW 8.1.5
The Activision Blizzard layoffs show us why game workers should unionize

Every week, get caught up on the MMO genre’s latest news and Massively OP’s best content in our MMO Week in Review! Want more roundups of content? Try Friday’s Betawatch for MMO testing highlights, Saturday’s Make My MMO for MMO crowdfunding updates, and Sunday’s The MOP Up, which mops up all the bits of news we didn’t cover anywhere else.

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IronSalamander8 .

EA and Activision were good guys back in the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64 days but neither are anymore. I hate to just dogpile on either of them but they really do deserve ire for their practices.

You can be capitalist and make money and yet still not be a complete bounder about it. I believe Jim Sterling has pointed out that it’s not that they want to make lots of money, they want to make ALL the money.

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

That title leaves a lot to be desired. Activision being horrible does not equate to EA looking like a good guy. Apex legend doing well does not equate to EA looking like a good guy.

Inherently, A=B =/= C=D and E=F =/= C=D. There needs to be more links to draw that conclusion regardless of which the inference was about.

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Bruno Brito

Why does having a hit means EA is a “good guy”? They just released something worth a damn in a sea of irrelevant crap.

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3dom

EA is about to turn back into villain again as Anthem’s gameplay user reviews starting to flood Reddit. Outside of graphics and animations they aren’t compatible with a $60 game. And that’s actually good considering how I’m waiting for a sale to get it (not because I want to save $30, but to show EA I don’t endorse their rushed releases).

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Armsbend

You are going to punish them by eventually buying their game. Good job, Che.

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3dom

Yup, buying below (imaginable) development cost. If only average gamer was a bit smarter than a first grader then there wouldn’t be $60 product with predicted 5-6M sales – which require another year to make it actually fun, after release.

And perhaps you should read history of US railroads when one transportation company forced bankruptcy of their direct competitor by transporting goods on their carts – below actual cost (during Wyoming cattle boom I believe).

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Vincent Clark

Yeah, but…you’re still giving them money, so…

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Vincent Clark

EA is not the “good guy”. Yeah, Apex Legends is a hit and it’s probably forced Daybreak (ugh) to re-think their entire strategy, but have you seen how items are priced on the Apex store? I mean, kudos to Apex for being up front and honest about their game monetization, but…

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Chosenxeno .

Here’s the problem I have with Apex and Fortnite MTX HATE. I am not pro MTX in the least. I don’t get how people can play a game for free for thousands of hours(like, they are both legit free too) and then scoff and maybe rewarding them with 10 dollars for a skin. 10 dollars for 1000s of hours of gameplay seems like(ACTUALLY IT IS) a great deal.

Before you respond just know that I am only in favor of MTX when the game has proven itself to be LEGIT F2P. I love Anthem(I know it’s cool to hate it because of EA) but I won’t be buying any skins in it. They got their $60(well eventually they will. I’m using premiere ATM).

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Vincent Clark

I agree that Apex is pure f2p and I realize, as a result, they need revenue. I also agree that that skins/cosmetics is the better of 2 evils in regards as to what to sell. I just wish that we, as consumers, would stop feeding the f2p genre as a whole.

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Chosenxeno .

Or we just need them to be more legit like Apex and Fortnite. I especially hate when MMORPGs make the claim to be free to play. The Content demand is far too high for a MMORPG to ever be legit free to play. I would say ATM only AQ3D is close to legit Free To Play MMORPG but it’s kinda bare bones. They really only sell cosmetics but they do have loot boxes(these need to go away 100%). However, every piece of loot can be used as a Costume so you can still put together a cool look without spending.

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Vincent Clark

Agreed–loot-boxes absolutely, unequivocally need to go away. Forever.

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Armsbend

Path of Exile mtx is really expansive but you’ll rarely get people complaining.

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Bryan Correll

You do see some bitching about extra stash tabs (especially the specialized ones) being “required” to play. But my opinion is that if you’re playing enough for that to be an issue then you’re playing enough to pony up some cash.

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Armsbend

I’d hope GGG doesn’t listen to anything the people bitching have to say. I wouldn’t consider their pleas for half a second – much less do anything about it.

Krippian played on a private league with no stash and the only drops were whites – no magic or rares. The last I looked at it they were in the mid to high 70s. 6 free tabs is easy by comparison.

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rafael12104

How sad is it that the good news of the week is that EA didn’t do anything bad. Lol!

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Armsbend

EA looked like the good guy for not firing people? Or because they had a hit?

Okay.

In other news > since we were (me included) all bagging on capitalism following the Activision mass firing I wanted to add a little something.

It seems being a publicly traded company doesn’t automatically make you evil. It odesn’t even force you to give all of your success to your shareholders and none to your employees. Here is transportation giant Delta (DAL) giving a 14% base salary post-Christmas bonus because…they really are good guys – unlike the good for nothings at EA who have never done anything good in their entire existence – besides make a surprise hit game I guess. I’m sure the employees are on their hands and knees hoping they don’t get laid off now that the game is mostly completed.
Good Guy Electronic Arts for sure.

https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/delta-just-paid-employees-10-times-bonus-american-airlines-did-and-that-wasnt-all.html

Being bad and being a company are not synonymous. Just in the gaming sector it is apparently.

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Utakata

The elephant in the room though is that capitalist structure enables whether the company is good or bad is entirely based on what floats their bottom line. As long as it cuts a profit, right? So there seems little incentive how well they treat their employees outside of altruism.

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Robert Mann

That’s what we currently have, but that’s based off government and business being in cahoots rather than government serving public interest equally.

Of course, the Plutocracy of the world cares little if the people are unhappy, until they are tossed into the stocks waiting their turn.

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Schmidt.Capela

A small history reminder, power has been this concentrated before multiple times in history; it usually takes a revolution, and heads rolling — sometimes in the literal sense — to… not exactly fix it, but make it somewhat better.

Let’s hope this time western civilization is able to solve the issue in a more civilized, less bloody way.

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Mallus

There’s no chance of solving it now, there’s just way to much debt & assets are grossly overinflated. Look at France and the Yellow Vest protests, it’s already catching on in other countries as well.

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Mallus

You’re correct it’s called Crony Capitalism

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Utakata

I never said anything about government. Rather I can agree that government climbing into bed with business is rarely a good thing. Where the realms of self-interest and public interest get blurred in doing so…

But this is entirely another matter. I am more interested here what makes businesses floats and why they can get away with doing awful things for this thread. As the system is such that it is only accountable to themselves.

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Robert Mann

Na. EA doesn’t look like the good guys. They just look like they haven’t been in the sewer for a week or two. Because other schmucks had the sewers all for their own rolling around pleasure…