Massively OP Podcast Episode 225: The slash and burn of Amazon Game Studios

    
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On this week’s show, Bree and Justin jaw about Amazon Game Studios restructuring, Black Desert’s PS4 port, Ship of Heroes’ audacious character creation plans, more E3 news, and debate over how long you can hold bad launches over a game’s head.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Jesse Wan

WTB Huggle Royale game… owo

Teviko604
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Teviko604

If I understand the whole free vs sub costume availability question correctly, I believe we already have a working model to reference. While it’s been a while since I’ve played, Champions Online did this exact thing. Free players, such as I, had access to a limited (yet still significant) selection of costumes. Subscribers had access to all. Then there was the third option of paying for specific pieces or sets to give you more options without having to pay a monthly fee. That seemed to work fine for that game, but of course, I have no knowledge of how well it did financially for Perfect World.

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sophiskiai

Justin, if you like puns are you familiar with the work of pun maestro Andy Zaltzman and his infamous “pun runs”?

Possibly his greatest pun (or at least the one that’s stuck deepest in my mind) is a musical themed pun run featuring an anecdote about a female livestock farmer running an A/B trial with her herd which culminated in the phrase “…less miss her A bulls” (Les Miserables).

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Peregrine Falcon

“When should people stop bringing up a bad launch?”

My response: “Why is it ok to sell me a broken product for $60 and then fix it a year later?”

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BalsBigBrother

They shouldn’t in an ideal world but the world in far from ideal. It is even worse if someone does it then and then ignore all the issues.

Everyone makes mistakes or does things that are less than ideal but its how you then respond or what you do to try to make things better that is kind of important, at least in my view. If you take the stance of well everything needs to be perfect first time or its bad then boy is life going to disappoint you.

If Bethesda had just left 76 to rot I would have been in the front lines with the torches and pitchforks too. However that is not what happened and they have worked hard at least on the game side of things to make it better and improve the game.

Its like people saying today I am not playing FFXIV or ESO or whatever because they had a terrible launch. While the games themselves bare little or no resemblance to their launch states so why is that even relevant anymore.

Now I am not saying that 76 today has improved to the same degree as the games I mentioned but it is improving and I think it will continue to do so.

My question was prompted partly out of frustration that folks generally seem to ignore the improvements made to 76 or think that nothing has been changed or added since launch when that is not the case at all.

Anyhow I know I am not convincing anyone but just wanted to expand a little on my point of view and why I asked the question I did.

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Peregrine Falcon

I agree with you, partially. But this is exactly why I never pre-order anything. I always wait at least 2 weeks and watch a ton of reviews.

I’m one of the few gamers online that isn’t mad at something. Because I just don’t buy broken products.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

One, two, Jeffy’s coming for you …

tickle me bezos.gif
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McGuffn

Another issue with the time limit on launch woes is some people either tried the game at launch and checked out, never to return, or looked at the reviews and the state of the game and formed their opinion there. You only have one first chance to make a good impression. If you blow it you’re spending a lot of time playing catch up.

Also Fallout 76 has extraneous issues like the not-so-canvas bag and the support site that lets other people see your personal information which you can’t make up for.

Another thing that came to mind is that if your game is shit and you offer current players rewards, particularly time limited exclusive rewards, you’re just shooting yourself in the foot. When your game finally gits gud players that come onboard then will want that stuff also. If you don’t give it to them you haven’t learned anything.

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Jack Pipsam

The Grand Tour Game is the only thing Amazon Game Studios has released in their new modern era.
I don’t know the sales, but I don’t think it was amazing.

I am somewhat leery of their future, Amazon is the kind of company I reckon which could pull the plug on the whole gaming thing without even blinking. They gave up on their phone pretty much straight away after they would have invested a lot into making it.

But hopefully their interest in using MMOs to promote their cloud services outweighs it and it’ll live a healthy life.

MurderHobo
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MurderHobo

I loved this quote from Bree so much I had to transcribe it.

I feel like there’s a lot of promise, that survival sandboxes are really just MMO sandboxes amped down a little bit, and if we can get them to amp them up into virtual worlds, instead of just, you know, fighting — fight or die and eating berries and grabbing a shield kind of battle simulators which is BORING, then we can get them to make them into, like, “Oh, this is what society in this world would feel like. Let’s build it up and make it extravagant and flourishing instead of just constantly hardscrabble kicking each other’s asses”.

I don’t want to give up on the survival MMO as, like a thing. I know everyone rolls their eyes but there’s still potential there. No one is tapping into it. Nobody. I want to see somebody actually do it.

I could not agree more. It’s frustrating, but at least we’re ‘still flying’. A toast to the dream.

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Arktouros

The common thing people who don’t play FFA PVP sandbox style environments don’t understand is that there’s absolutely nothing preventing people from working together, flourishing and generally making a peaceful world. Like if you flipped the switch and enabled PVP on the MOP ARK server tomorrow it doesn’t mean you would have to all turn on each other like rabid animals.

The issue at play is a lack of strength of character or strength of will. The PvP/PK has the strength and willpower to try force their vision (where they’re in charge) upon the world. So too must the forces who want to see order and a flourishing society be equally vigilant in their strength and will to fight back. Like I know all that sounds like some sort of 1950’s propaganda but it’s actually just how things actually work.

However this behavior/response is extremely rare in most PvP environments. Lets take our MOP server again flipped to PvP mode and insert me onto it as an antagonist. How many people would be like “yea lets get him! 10v1 this is going to be easy woo!” at first and how many will have quit when they experience their first dino loss? How many will quit after they experience a major loss?

Simple fact of the matter is there just isn’t enough people who want to see “society flourish” who equally have the willpower to make it come true.

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

The attraction of gankbox survival games for developers is the theory that the players create the content. The reality is that the audience for non-optional PvP is pretty tiny.

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sophiskiai

Simple fact of the matter is there just isn’t enough people who want to see “society flourish” who equally have the willpower to make it come true.

I’m sure there are plenty of those people, but why would they spend their time in PVP sandbox games? Who would they be creating a flourishing orderly society for, when nobody else in the game wants it?

Especially when the games themselves are designed to incentivise certain styles of gameplay and make it much easier to destroy than to build. There’s a difference between having strength of character and strength of will, and wasting those strengths on Sisyphean tasks.

How many people would be like “yea lets get him! 10v1 this is going to be easy woo!” at first and how many will have quit when they experience their first dino loss?

If people are playing a game the way that they enjoy, and you change the way the game is played to one which they don’t enjoy, even if they could easily fight you and recover from their losses why would they do so if it isn’t something they find fun? That’s nothing to do with strength of character, it’s about what people want to do with their limited leisure time.

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NeoWolf

I’m not going to lie every time I hear Bree says “knee-cro Mancer” I twitch uncomfortably its like someone is mentally dragging thier fingernails down a chalk board for me lol.

Thankfully Justin corrects it every time “Neck-ro Mancer”. (spelt Phonetically to illustrate the point,NOT actual spellings before anyone else gets triggered hehe).

I hereby bestow Justin the title of “Maintainer of NeoWolf’s Mellow” lol

Thank you Justin!

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Is she Canadian?

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McGuffn

The big test is if she also says knee-crosis and knee-crotic tissue. Then it would make sense. More or less.

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NeoWolf

Not sure it would make sense considering she would also be mispronouncing those as well, but it would be consistent at least lol

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sophiskiai

I’ve spoken English all my life, but frankly any language which contains words like yacht and inconsistencies like bow/bough/cough deserves to be mispronounced sometimes :)