Perfect Ten: Conversations with anthropomorphic MMO studios IV: The Voyage Home

Pay to lose.

I swear before whatever deities you want to name, I cannot get away from this. I’ve done everything I can to avoid these anthropomorphic MMO studios that keep infesting my life. I’ve moved to another city, kept my address secret, even changed my name. (If anyone asks, my official name is Reginald Ashworth, Duke of Snivelton, and you have long known these things to be true and would never contest this fact.) Yet still they come to me, whether I want it or not.

This would be bad enough if it were just the same ones as before, but no, this time around some new ones have come to me. I just want some peace and serenity in my life, but that’s apparently too much to ask for. It wouldn’t be so bad if all of the new arrivals weren’t… well, you know what? You can just read for yourself. I will be using all of this as evidence for why I should be permitted to join the Witness Protection Program.

Off to a bad start.

1. ArenaNet

ArenaNet: So… all right. You know that I went through that whole thing about competitive PvP being the future, and that was a problem.
Me: Uh-huh.
ArenaNet: And after that… well, there’s no reason to pretend otherwise. I started experimenting with substances that I shouldn’t have.
Me: That much was obvious.
ArenaNet: Specifically, I was experimenting with sugar.
Me: All right.
ArenaNet: Uncut sugar packets.
Me: That’s fine, you don’t –
ArenaNet: I was experimenting with eating far too much sugar. That’s what was happening.
Me: Please move on.
ArenaNet: The point is that I’m clean now, and I’m doing better, and I have plans for the future. So… do you think we could be friends again?
Me: Well… I see some impediments to this plan.
ArenaNet: Like what?
Me: Like the fact that it’s three in the morning and you broke into my house and sat on my bed uninvited.
ArenaNet: So… all right. Maybe I haven’t totally stopped being strange.
Me: Nope.


2. Blizzard

Blizzard: You love me.
Me: What? No.
Blizzard: You love me and everything I do is brilliant.
Me: This is highly suspect.
Blizzard: You will absolutely testify that I was not doing anything shady on the night of November 9th.
Me: Wait a second.
Blizzard: You will serve as a character witness.
Me: I am shutting the door. When I open it again, I do not want you in my hallway.
Blizzard: But you love me!
Me: This is harassment.
Blizzard: Shh, we don’t like that word. That’s a bad word.


3. Gamigo

Gamigo: Come work for our restaurant as a greeter! It’s great exposure for getting into the restaurant industry.
Me: I’m not working unless you pay me.
Gamigo: Don’t be like that. Work as a volunteer!
Me: Don’t you have employees now?
Gamigo: Not nearly as many!
Me: Hey, whatever happened to that big menu update you were promising?
Gamigo: Oh, that was never a real thing.


4. Frontier Developments

Frontier: Look, we know that there have been some problems with our latest parties, lots of issues, so we’re officially not going to be hosting parties in the yard and in the house.
Me: That’s… kind of shady, but at least you’re letting people who paid for the yard party into the house, right?
Frontier: Sure! Eventually.
Me: Define “eventually.”
Frontier: Later on! We’ll get to it.
Me: You should have already been on it when you announced this!
Frontier: Jeez, you sound like our mom.


5. Microsoft

Microsoft: So here’s the deal. Blizzard works for us now.
Me: I… huh.
Microsoft: What? Nothing?
Me: I just… are you sure you want Blizzard to work for you?
Microsoft: Give me one reason why not.
Me: Here’s footage from the last time they showed up here off my smart doorbell.
Microsoft: …okay, this is not great, but I’m pretty sure we can deal with this by throwing money at the problem.
Me: Yeah, I don’t think – hey, what the heck?
Microsoft: Was that not enough money?
Me: I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but don’t do that to me.
Microsoft: We can throw more money.

Let it die.

6. Netmarble

Netmarble: Try our new cupcakes!
Me: Oh jeez. No.
Netmarble: Why not?
Me: First of all, it looks like it’s covered in mold. Second of all, it’s on fire. Third of all, you stuck a price tag on it that says $5000.
Netmarble: You can resell it!
Me: Can’t you sell these cupcakes in your own place?
Netmarble: They won’t let me. They must not want cupcakes.
Me: This should be illegal.
Netmarble: But while it isn’t illegal, we can scam you!
Netmarble: Wait, did I say that part out loud or just think it?


7. Square-Enix

Square-Enix: Hey, is it cool if I bring my pet in?
Me: That’s your pet?
Square-Enix: Yeah, this is our little Babylon!
Me: She doesn’t look so good. Like, she really looks like she’s wasting away.
Square-Enix: The important thing is that we promise we’re absolutely not planning to put her down.
Me: What happened to your last pet? Avenger, wasn’t it?
Square-Enix: Uh… we don’t talk about that pet. Like Bruno.
Me: Remind me why I let you know my address.
Square-Enix: Endwalker.
Me: This is why you really want people to think of you as a single monolith instead of tons of different smaller studios, huh?
Square-Enix: Not going to lie, it’s definitely part of it.

Not offline.

8. Daybreak Games

Daybreak: Did somebody say Marvel?
Me: No! Absolutely no one said that, get out, go away, we don’t want you here!
Daybreak: But I’m going to –
Me: Go away!

Less than legendary.

9. Cryptic Studios

Cryptic: It’s just, like… this was the one time I’ve actually had a failure like this, you know?
Me: Ow!
Cryptic: I don’t think that I’m incapable of making bad decisions. I know I am. Everyone is. It’s just a fact of life.
Me: Ow!
Cryptic: But usually I manage to make even my bad decisions work for me. I can mitigate it. I can roll with the punches.
Me: Ow!
Cryptic: Something about losing this one just felt personal, you know? We hadn’t even finished with testing, but we just weren’t going to make it, and that… stings.
Me: Ow!
Cryptic: I just… I feel like maybe there’s something wrong with me, you get me?
Me: This would be much more touching if you were saying all this while not pelting me with lockboxes!
Cryptic: Yeah, but my heart’s not even into pelting you with lockboxes right now.

Bad decisions? We love those!

10. CCP Games

CCP: All right, so we’ve told you about why you should come visit our haunted plague box, but now let me tell you about why you should be interested in our cupcakes.
Me: You will leave my property or you will be made to leave.
CCP: We’re super excited to sell you these cupcakes before they become illegal.
Me: How many of you scam-happy nutbars are there?
CCP: Eh, probably a bunch.

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