Tag Archives: blizzard

Are We Seeing The End Of Good Game Franchises?

Battlefield V got a massive amount of blowback when a combination of historical inaccuracies, outrage from both extreme left and right-wing groups, and terrible PR responses after the initial negative reaction to the game’s first trailer.

Then Diablo Immortals got a ton of blowback after a long-running PC-exclusive franchise suddenly went the mobile route. It was featured as the star attraction of a convention showcase where the fanbase was expecting something larger. Naturally, like EA/DICE with Battlefield V, the response from Activision Blizzard was, shall we say, less than stellar. And yes, we do have phones.

Now Bethesda is taking a turn with Fallout 76, a game that was created for a trendy genre several years too late to that party and was release as a broken, buggy and lifeless mess. Couple that with the recent outrage over a nylon bag in the $200 special edition where a refund of $5 of in-game currency (which is jack squat), and fans are also extremely pissed off.

This is just three recent cases of major franchises making a massive mistake (or several) and generating losses (or in Diablo’s case, potential losses) for franchises that before these controversies, were guaranteed to make tons of money in profits before even counting microtransactions, DLC and more. But there’s plenty of other franchises that developers and publishers alike have been slowly pissing away all the good will they’ve had over years and years, game after game.

Final Fantasy. Without counting the surprising success FFXIV: A Realm Reborn has had, single-player Final Fantasy games haven’t had a real hit since Final Fantasy X on the PlayStation 2. FFXII went well under the radar, FFXIII was a trilogy no one outside of Japan asked for, and FFXV showed promise, but was a mess from the beginning of its pre-production and could not have been saved.

Mass Effect. Not just a trilogy, but THE trilogy from the past console generation. Despite the controversial ending of the final installment, the series was one of the most well-respected franchises in gaming. Cue Mass Effect: Andromeda, a game that was released in a poor state, made by a studio that had never made a game of that scale before, and was such a disaster, no single-player DLC came out for it and the series has been put on hold, potentially forever.

Star Wars. One of the few licensed franchises to have legitimately good games and then EA decided to get its hands all over it and do what EA does best. Cancel potentially interesting titles (Star Wars 1313, the game Visceral was going to make, etc.), refuse to remake or continue promising games within the license (KOTOR, Republic Commando, Rogue Squadron, etc.) and release only Star Wars titles of the most poor quality and rifled with microtransactions and create one of the largest video game controversies in history (Star Wars Battlefront II).

There’s six franchises right there. We could talk about Konami ruining Metal Gear Solid, SEGA constantly saving Sonic the Hedgehog and then screwing up all over again, and so much more, there’s just so many examples out there, some I’ve forgotten or aren’t even aware of. It’s not an anomaly anymore, it is a yearly, if not quarterly occasion now for long-time consistently great franchises in gaming to get either destroyed or severely damaged.

With Fallout 76 being the current offender, while not striking a lethal blow on the Fallout franchise, there is now considerable worry and disdain from fans of the series because of the game that many are calling an absolute disaster, a broken mess, a failure of failures. Couple the bad game with a terrible PR response to the aforementioned nylon bag in the $200 edition and it’s clear that Bethesda is going a similar route that a lot of the major publishers and developers are going. They’re simply using the good will of their franchises’ names and making games that cost less and rake more profits in through overpricing the base game, microtransactions, and other nefarious means.

Let’s not kid ourselves here. We’re in a very important time in this generation of gaming. Thankfully, we’re responding in the way that we should, however we’re also failing as well. Sure, we may be giving companies hell for failing miserably and insulting our intelligence, whether it’s making garbage games, poor PR relations with their consumer base, or just plain ol’ not listening to what their customers want, but in the end, way too many of us are just buying or even worse, pre-ordering their games just on brand recognition alone.

I’m sorry folks, but I have no sympathy for people dropping hundreds of dollars on games that “might” be good. It’s your job as a consumer to not look at things through a rose-coloured lens, rather than just pre-ordering a game, assuming it’ll be just as good as the last one. I made that mistake with Andromeda, and I will beat myself up for that one for years to come. The signs were all there, the game didn’t look that great, what little of it was shown. The concept was all I had to go on and that should’ve been a red flag. Fallout fans, you knew this game was not going to be a traditional Fallout game. Hell, we knew it wasn’t even going to be just “Fallout Online”, it was going to be something more akin to Rust or ARK: Survival Evolved. As someone who really enjoyed Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, but not Fallout 4, just the idea of getting a Fallout game that looked a lot like a copy/paste of the latest edition in the franchise, but one that would be more devoid of life as most of these survival games are, I was immediately not psyched. Boy am I glad I steered clear of this one.

So the question remains, are we in for a long period of time, perhaps permanently, where long-time franchises are doomed to failure? Are we soon to expect other franchises like Street Fighter, HALO, Legend of Zelda, The Witcher, Hitman and many more, follow the same trend and royally piss off their consumer base, just to make a quick buck off the brand value? Hell, even though I like what I’ve seen from Kingdom Hearts III, I’m not discounting the possibility that this game could be an absolute pile of shit and completely drive the franchise into the ground, just like Square Enix has been doing with Final Fantasy.

But in the end, I remain optimistic. I think it really depends on who’s running the show. If it’s EA, there’s no hope. Activision Blizzard? Hahahaha, we know we’re screwed now. Bethesda is new to the game, maybe they’ll learn from Fallout 76. Ubisoft has learned their lesson several times, just take a look at Rainbow Six: Siege, Tom Clancy’s The Division, the Assassin’s Creed games. They’ve improved. Nintendo should be fine, they generally put real effort into what they make. It’s honestly a 50/50 chance that your favourite franchise could take a hit when they release their next game.

So have a coin handy the next time a big reveal trailer drops for a series you love and adore. Heads, you pre-order. Tails, you don’t. It’ll help you make a call so you don’t have to take those rose-coloured glasses off.

Let’s Talk About Diablo Immortal

Full disclosure here. I am not a “fan” of the Diablo series. I don’t have a feeling either way towards the series as I only played Diablo III on PS4 for about an hour and then moved onto something else. I fully recognize what the series is, one that’s been treasured for decades now and has had a real resurgence since Diablo III came out and has continued to be relevant since. I’ve got friends who still play it religiously and I’m glad to see an old series is still capable of being that good in the eyes of those who stand behind it.

However, it appears that Blizzard has decided to really test their fanbase on this series with the new mobile version of the game, Diablo Immortal. Now at first glance, I thought it was a cool idea. After all, Diablo seems like a great game to translate into mobile form, allowing fans of the series to be able to take the game on the go with them and also open the series up to new fans. Business-wise, it makes sense and in terms of the player base, it sounds like it should work.

But it hasn’t.

In fact, the reaction has been mostly negative it would appear. And thus we’ve started another war between gamers and games journalists, with several articles coming out post-BlizzCon calling fans of Diablo “entitled gamers”, “whiny, spoiled brats” and much more. On the flip side, the social media outrage, the endless stream of memes and angry rant videos, they keep pouring in from the gamers’ side.

So to me, a non-fan who’s on the outside looking in, after taking in these first few days of reaction, what are my thoughts?

Well for starters, once again I’m absolutely appalled by the flood of non-critical outrage from both sides. Again, games journalists are slapping their audience in the face, calling them children, spoiled, entitled, whatever else they like throwing around. Hell, I’ve seen articles somehow attributing this outrage to toxic masculinity, sexism and misogyny. Cause y’know, that’s still the flavour of the day with those folks. I don’t know why we have to keep explaining this, but to any games journalist worth their salt, how can you so easily bash your own viewership constantly like this? It’s pathetic and appalling.

On the flip side though, there’s the other morons. Dear moronic gamers: HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO TELL YOU TO STOP SENDING DEATH THREATS?!!!

I mean seriously, what the fuck?! I get it, Blizzard is trying to hop on the microtransaction train and use your favourite series to do so. It’s shitty and they shouldn’t have used the main stage of BlizzCon (which let’s be honest, it’s not a convention, it’s a marketing event) to crush your hopes of Diablo IV and instead pump out a not-so inspired looking Diablo game that apparently according to some is a blatant copy/paste of Chinese mobile game, Crusaders of Light, which was made by the same company who is developing Diablo Immortal. Take that as you will.

But let’s be honest, folks. Is this worth getting so upset that we need to be sending death threats over it? If you said anything other than “Uh, the correct answer is there’s no reason to send death threats to people…”, YOU’RE WRONG!!!

In the end, as someone who doesn’t have a horse in the Diablo race, I’m okay with the game existing. What I’m not okay with, is the backlash Blizzard and journalists are sending towards gamers who are being critical about the game and who are, quite honestly, disappointed that the new Diablo isn’t another grand adventure like the previous games have been, it’s just an uninspired mobile game that will be rifled with microtransactions.

And as a gamer, no one should be happy with that result. Period.

Blizzard: Overwatch Porn, BAD!!!

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*sigh* Really, Blizzard?

With Overwatch now officially released and the general public being exposed to the beta in early May, it’s no surprise that a lot of people who enjoy drawing and creating pornographic material, especially the ones who use Source Filmmaker for these sorts of things, have been going crazy with producing tons and tons of Overwatch-related pornography and just releasing it onto the Internet for free. It’s been so crazy that Pornhub discovered that since the open beta went live on May 5th, searches on their site for Overwatch-related porn went up a massive (pun intended) 817%! That is an incredible amount to increase by in such a short period of time! However, Blizzard Activision doesn’t seem to enjoy this particular increase in attention.

It has been reported on several different sites now about people getting DMCA claims and copyright infringement claims for any content that has Overwatch characters doing well…things that you wouldn’t see in a video game, at least with its current ESRB rating. It’s also been reported that they’ve likely outsourced a digital content security company in Irdeto USA to seek out such content and get it removed.

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So how do I feel on this issue? About as you’d expect, I think Blizzard’s being extremely ridiculous with something that takes place with every single game released, every single anime, TV show, movie, comic, anything entertainment related, they’re pornographic art of it. Remember Rule 34, “If it exists, there is porn of it – no exceptions.” and that has been proven time and time again by even the most weird and abnormal things being drawn in a pornographic nature. There’s really nothing a company can do to stop it, no matter how hard they try, people will continue to produce it if they A, want to and B, feel there’s an audience for it, the first being the more important one. Regardless of censorship, people will always draw, animate, or dare I say…fantasize and even roleplay it with their significant other?

And really, it’s Blizzard’s own damn fault for this. Y’know why? Because they created an art style and set of characters that are perfect for this kind of pornographic content, in particular the 3D Source Filmmaker animators who create a ton of wonderfully beautiful and sexy content of various games in particular. There’s no way you can look at Overwatch and deny just how beautiful the art style is, it may just be the best art direction in any game this year. And when you couple that together with all the girls in particular, there’s literally nothing keeping any of these animators from creating content, it’s too perfect for them to pass up. And yes, by all the girls, I’m even including Zarya, who generally the majority of stuff she’s in has either had some surgery done or was packing a little something somethin’ the entire time for all the other lovely girls.

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In my opinion however. the biggest factor for why so much pornographic material has been made of Overwatch is likely due to the many people who are apparently “sexist and misogynistic” for enjoying beautiful fictional women still being a little pissed off that Tracer’s “butt pose” was removed and replaced with one that honestly didn’t change the fact Tracer has a fantastic ass. I believe people would’ve created a ton of this content regardless, but I truly do feel that the “censorship” from earlier in the game’s initial beta has caused a lot of people to focus their attention purely on Overwatch and creating pornographic content in spite of Blizzard and the feminists/SJWs that raised a pointless uproar on a reality in life. What’s that reality, you ask? Simple. Women generally speaking have more developed and noticeable butts than men. And when a character wearing a very tight pair of pants, it’s going to be even further defined. Fact.

Regardless of the reasons why, I don’t understand Blizzard’s need to attempt to censor all of this content, in fact they’re actually doing themselves a major disservice by doing so, in my opinion. Look at the amount of attention all this brings, we are a very superficial society, would it not make sense to allow all this content to be developed so more people find it and go “Wow, whatever game this is from, it’s fucking gorgeous!” and possibly look into the game itself. That’s more potential buys, Blizzard, don’t you like money?! And most importantly, content like this as much as some people are probably disgusted at the thought of men and women (you ignorant morons!) masturbating to these characters, it may actually increase the game’s lifespan or at the very least keep it at the forefront when it comes to games being talked about.

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I understand Blizzard, I really do. You and your team went out and created a beautiful game that also plays extremely well and people are really enjoying it thus far. And yes, I understand that after all this hard work, it probably really disgusts, depresses and angers you that people have immediately taken the hard work you’ve done, taken the character models and posed them in various states of undress while participating in vaginal or anal sex, blowjobs, DPs, gangbangs and anything else you can think of (though I don’t recall seeing anyone playing with tentacles just yet, I’m sure someone’s already done it though) that is anything but what you intended them to be used for. But this is a reality of our current technological generation, people do this for every single piece of content that comes out, you can’t expect them, nor force them to not do it, they will no matter how many times you try and stop it.

And lastly, it comes off very childish when you’re trying to censor pornographic content, when it does nothing to negatively impact your game. I challenge you to tell me otherwise. The only people that would get offended by this content would not go and search for this kind of content. If you ignore it, no one has to know it exists except under the Rule 34 idea that we have to assume it exists, we just don’t go looking for it. This is a non-issue, how many other games have had this kind of story come out under the same circumstances? As far as I’ve heard of, zero! You know why? Cause they understand it’s something that can’t be stopped, nor is it something that should be on their radar to begin with.

So Blizzard, take a chill pill, relax, it’s just boobs, butts and dicks. You don’t have to look at it, no one’s sitting you down in a chair, strapping you to it and forcing your eyelids open to make you watch it like it’s some horror film kind of situation going on.

And seriously, what’d you expect to happen when you created such a beautiful game with girls like Tracer, Widowmaker, Mercy, Symmetra, D’va, Pharah, Mei and yes, even Zarya? Did you really think the Internet would ignore that? They can’t ignore furries!

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