Massively OP Podcast Episode 337: Desperation is a good look on you

    
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On this week’s show, Bree and Justin talk about Guild Wars 2’s fall plans, World of Warcraft’s next big patch, more on the Blizzard scandal, Gamescom 2021 news, TitanReach’s suspended development, a new time travel MMO, and Daybreak’s new leadership.

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 question to the show, use this link or call in to our voicemail at (734) 221-3973.

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Jack Pipsam

They’ve never existed in the MMO space before, but Focus Home Entertainment is quite a big player in the AA scene (probably second behind THQ Nordic) and big part of the affectionately named Eurojank genre of games, being games with mid-sized budgets that have many great ideas but are often just a little bit off, mostly developed in Europe.
I’m a massive fan of these kinds of games as they’ve made with a kind of soul you won’t find in a Ubisoft or EA title, also they disprove the idea that interesting single-player games can’t be profitable, they normally can get at least million copies sold and that’s enough to be profitable for them per game (unlike the virgin Square Enix who said that Tomb Raider’s 4 million copies sold was ‘disappointing’ 🙄).
In particular I’m extremely fond of the Ukrainian developed Sherlock Holmes games which Focus Home Entertainment had published for well over a decade (until the developers broke away because Focus was mistreating the relationship).

A big couple hits from Focus recently were Greedfall & A Plague Tale: Innocence , the latter was AAA standard of polish in my books and will have a sequel released next year called Requiem which will be an instant day-one purchase for me.

When you look at the kind of game Aliens: Fireteam Elite is I think it actually makes the most perfect of sense for them to team up with a AA publisher, they’re not going to be considered a disappointment like a AAA publisher would (just look what happened to poor ol’ Evolve).

I have no idea what’s going on them and Daybreak though, it’s still possible I suppose Cold Iron still owned by Daybreak but Daybreak has no skill or ability to publish a game like Aliens: Fireteam.
Aliens is getting a physical release, a global physical release. I just looked up the physical Aus listing here and Focus is right on the box while it isn’t if I go to the Xbox Digital store page as that’s listed simply as Cold Iron as publisher. It could be that Focus and Daybreak can’t both co-publish the game due to some agreement so for this kind of game Focus had to take over.

It’s worth remembering that Daybreak has never released a brand new game, even H1Z1 began while still being owned by Sony in the SOE days.
The closest they got was PlanetSide Arena and that got canned, plus that would have been digital only. The idea that Daybreak could suddenly run a global physical publishing version when they can’t even release their own internal games was always unlikely.

Then again, the flip-side is that EnadGlobal7 would still be singing about Aliens: Fireteam from the rooftop, which they’re not. Also the US physical release doesn’t have Focus on the box at all, so perhaps another indie publisher is providing the back-end release there. But if Cold Iron was now independent surely they’d say something? But then again Standing Stone never told anyone they were owned by Daybreak all along, so it’s just a puzzle within a puzzle within a puzzle.

But there is one clue that might help, if you go onto the Focus Home investor page, the made the announcement back in June for this partnership for the European release, if you download the document it’s in French, but you can translate it simply by uploading it onto Google Drive, opening it in Google Docs then hit translate document.
The quote from Cold Iron is

Craig Zinkievich, Head of Cold Iron Studios says, “ We are very excited to partner with Focus Home Interactive on Aliens: Fireteam. We respect and admire Focus’s work and commitment to their titles, and we are proud to be part of their rich and varied catalog. “

Daybreak or Enad Global 7 isn’t mentioned once in the entire release, only 20th Century Games & Cold Iron.

So Bree might be right, Cold Iron may have never come along for the ride and instead maybe wiggled their way back to independence again without so much as a peep.

a-plague-tale-requiem-cover.jpg
Turing fail
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Turing fail

I admire your research, analysis, and reporting skills- very nicely done.

Turing fail
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Turing fail

IMO, Blizzard’s conciliatory offerings are tactical vs. long-term, strategic, cultural changes. So long as Bobby the Tick runs the show, the real corporate culture will be what it always has been: hubris and greed.

On a related note, I’m curious what the implications of the recall effort against California’s governor- a Democrat- to the CA lawsuit against ActiBlizz will be if a Republican takes over? Bobby K. gives money to Republicans as well as hiring former government officials from that party. Wonder how active Bobby’s been in this recall…