The Jimquisition: On Publishers Controlling Game Reviews

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As Bethesda proudly announces it will no longer provide review copies until the day before a game launches, The Jimquisition decides to deliver some hefty side-eyeing.

This news came just as your very own Jim Sterling found out EA considers him a “wild card” who isn’t to be trusted with high profile games like Battlefield 1.

Game publishers have been steadily manipulating the review process for years, and when you consider how shitty the “AAA” game world’s become… is it any bloody wonder?

Colin
Guest
Colin

“Pulleys and mirrors”

Thank God for Jim

ATBro
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ATBro
I don’t disagree with any of this, but I think there is more to it. First, this is an example of a corporation seeing something that was successful, and now are trying to recreate that success, when they don’t actually understand why it was successful in the first place. Doom didn’t do well because they held back review copies. Hell, I doubt Doom did better than it would have otherwise. But not every game they make will be as good, or have as much cache as Doom is and does, so when Dishonored comes out and this tactic doesn’t work… Read more »
DeadlyYellow
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DeadlyYellow

A Mom and Pop video game store? Where are you that such a thing still exists?

Corey Halfhill
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Corey Halfhill

I live in Daytona Beach FL and we have a very successful family owned video game store called Blue Dragon. There are bunch of others in Orlando. A friend showed me some of them while I was visiting. Most, specialize in having retro games and hardware, however, all the ones I’ve seen still sell the latest games and do pre orders.

Gareth
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Gareth

All separate stores owned by different people? As ultimately if it has expanded to the point where it can buy and safely operate several other shops it isn’t a Mom & Pop store anymore.

Max Whiteley
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Max Whiteley
I totally agree that this is bad for the consumer… But….I have to say…. I can’t blame the publishers for every little shitty thing they do. when your audience consistently shows that it wants the publishers to treat them with the disrespect that they have been doing, then why shouldn’t the publishers? I mean, how long has a big part of the community being saying don’t pre order, yet people keep pre ordering. Don’t buy micro transactions because we need to show them there not acceptable when we have already payed for the game, then blizzard show how much overwatch… Read more »
ATBro
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ATBro

The thing about all of what you said, is that while it may feel like it’s a large portion of the gaming community saying, “don’t pre-order games,” it is actually a VERY small group of people. This group may be the most well informed, and rapt portion of the audience, but the overwhelming majority of gamers just don’t give a shit about this stuff because it has no effect on them. Until the number of well informed gamers gets large enough to matter, which will probably be never, this is how things will be.

Max Whiteley
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Max Whiteley

Let’s hope we become the majority then.

Bren Niel
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Bren Niel

There are good games and good game companies.

Just keep supporting them.

Eventually, someday, these lousy people will get what they deserve.

Do you think Destiny 2 will sell as well as Destiny?

I doubt it will, regardless of what you read about how great Destiny 2 is going to be… we will remember that Destiny was a friggin shell of the game it was supposed to be.

There is a zero percent chance I am buying Destiny 2.

But am I Pre-ordering the next naughty dog or CDPR game?

You better believe it.

Gaealiege
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Gaealiege

It seems to me that most people simply don’t have impulse control.

“But, I wanna play with the cool kids in Brodudes Duty of Warfield 2016 now!”

Janio
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Janio

If they are kids they probably need figure out in recess which game on which machine they should try get from there parents. Or play a free one like CS:GO /Warframe.

Unnoticing Senpai
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Unnoticing Senpai

CS:GO isn’t free, it just has all the microtransactions of a free game.

Gaealiege
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Gaealiege

I suppose.

I’m mainly aiming my criticism at “adults”. People who refuse to avoid pre-ordering, DLC, or microtransactions because it’s the current cool kid game, so they want it immediately.

OctopussGrift
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OctopussGrift

Jim you should add “Wild Card” to your opening credits.

James Glass
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James Glass

I just don’t understand what they think they have to gain from this? Or they think this keeps them from losing something?

Nathan Aldana
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Nathan Aldana

the fact it hasnt hurt them yet, and that businesses these days prioritize money now over sustained money later.

Nathan Stapleton
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Nathan Stapleton

I’m beginning to think every head of game companies that do things like this have the same thing as that guy from Memento. The literally forget everything they do but unlike Leonard they don’t think to write things down to remind themselves. The event causing the memory lose was a massive coke binge after (insert “game that made obscene amounts of money that started a franchise that later went on to metaphorically shit the bed repeatedly” here).

RuRiK_87
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RuRiK_87

The ones that blacklist reviewers will gain cash since the said reviewers will most likely purchase the games themselves.

ChaostheDude
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ChaostheDude

Not much in comparison to if they just let the critics just have a copy, the only time I’ve spent stupid on a game was when multiplayer was involved… EVERY single player experience I plan to own is obtained after the second or third price drop…

qorl123
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qorl123

A company of bethesda’s size couldn’t care less about the money they would gain from a pitiful couple hundred copies.

Bilateralrope
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Bilateralrope

Reviewers won’t be able to warn people when a game sucks. So more day 1 sales.

Gareth
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Gareth

That’s what they hope will occur but it will make people cautious as they don’t know regarding the quality of the game.

Artemiy
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Artemiy

“Stop preordering videogames” has been a message for YEARS now. “Aliens: Colonial Marines” was released in 2013. Every year we see at least one game that crumbles under its hype.
Yet people continue to hype and preorder.

Gareth
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Gareth

Kotaku recently did an article on Western films after the announcement of the new Red Dead. Someone commented on this citing another Kotaku article criticising hype culture pointing out if you’re critical of it why are you writing a hype piece for a game which is a year away.

Nathan Aldana
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Nathan Aldana

Hah. hahahahahahahaha HAH

qorl123
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qorl123

Insurance against any negative press and they want to control the message. Watch totalbiscuit’s video.

Janio
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Janio

Being farther removed from becoming a headline on news network like BBC or CNN, when game struggles to run well and flops in sales. Most small news outlets and radio-shows copy past the news.

Maybe the question should be how will it take for there to be two kind of reviewers. Those with early access and those how need buy at pre-order or launch.

I wonder how Jim will handle missing the pre-release days he had with review copies ?

Bashtarle
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Bashtarle

It would be really nice if people would collectively grow a spine and stop pre-ordering AAA tripe. It’s not going to be scarce there is not guarantee it’s going to be decent and the only way this behavior changes is to talk with your wallets. Cause they only speak money.

Makes you wonder how many broken games people will pre-order, lament and declare “this is my last pre-order ever” before they actually stop pre-ordering every AAA game under the sun.

Weasel Biggs
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Weasel Biggs
While I agree, the video does address the fact that there are circumstances in which preordering can be seen as an acceptable solution. If you’re in a foreign market, for instance, and your only chance to have a copy delivered is to hop onto some preorder scheme, you’ll probably do it. If you have faith in a product or a vested interest in a studio’s continued existence, you’ll probably do it. That said, most people preorder because they can’t abide the idea of not being able to play their hot new vidya on Hour One of its retail availability. That,… Read more »
Billy Bissette
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Billy Bissette
I bounce back and forth on pre-ordering, because in a way it isn’t quite as clear cut as it seems. Look at the people who say not to pre-order. Now look at how often those same people have an “except in the case of…” caveat. It feels like everyone has some exceptions that they make in their “don’t pre-order” policy, and different people have different exceptions. In the end, it comes down to what you expect. If you think Nintendo games are always a sound bet and that there is no point in waiting, then you pre-order Nintendo games. If… Read more »
Gaealiege
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Gaealiege

I don’t pre-order period. Even if the glowing god of video games himself knocks at the door and advises me.

Anyone that has a caveat is just the typical, intellectually dishonest gamer. Integrity doesn’t have caveats.

ATBro
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ATBro

You’re not better in any way because you don’t pre-order games. Get off your high horse.

Ana Decker
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Ana Decker
Frankly, there are only a handful of games I’d even consider buying on day 1 these days, not to mention preorder. My backlog is so massive and my free unstructured time so limited that I don’t lack entertainment and I think I’m more the rule than the exception. It seriously baffles me how so many people still fall for preorders in this oversaturated and untrustworthy market when it’s better in every single way to just wait it out. Better prices, reviews, patches, mods, you name it. Not that I mind paying full price on day 1, I just did that… Read more »
Unnoticing Senpai
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Unnoticing Senpai

You know, this is also what bugs me about games which are exclusively multiplayer. Even if you did want to play them down the line, what if everybody had already moved on to the next best thing?
You have to buy in early.

ChaostheDude
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ChaostheDude
Hence why I’m getting Titanfall 2 day one, I used the preorder to break down the amount into payments so I could be there wrecking those who did not participate in the tech test… Titanfall depressed me cause it was an Xbone(/PC?) exclusive… No season pass AND the DD version just unlocks cosmetics? Sweet, sorry you aren’t getting 80 buckskins off my broke ass but at least you have sold me on solid combat… And my friends are all set to [Insert evil sounding but motivational speech here with maniacal laugh] with me… @Jimsterling Have you review Titanfall 2 yet?… Read more »
Gareth
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Gareth

Isn’t that exactly how the situation should be? There shouldn’t be any season pass and deluxe version doesn’t provide anything actually beneficial to the players who buy that version over those who didn’t.

Janio
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Janio

There are like two groups of season passes . One like Battlefront you do not have it and you can hardly play online after half a year
Or C.O.D. franchise where there are plenty of matches and wait time is pleasant .

ATBro
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ATBro

But, just like you are informed enough about it to know that it isn’t worth it, the information is out there for people. If they don’t take the time to figure that out, then… well, you know what they say about a fool and their money.

ChaostheDude
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ChaostheDude
I agree, buying the base game should include EVERYTHING across gameplay specifically, Battleborn’s season pass granted easier access to upcoming characters (I didn’t have to do this because you could get them through the regular in-game currency) and an emblem or two, I placed a preorder on that cause Gamestop had a set of figurines, I even got the one I wanted… In Titanfall 2, I hope they follow Destiny’s example, a new expansion adding to the maps and campaign… If only CoD had that idea, I might still be a part of that crowd if there wasn’t a reset… Read more »
CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

If everyone moved on, then it probably wasn’t that good in the first place…

Unnoticing Senpai
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Unnoticing Senpai

Eh, that’s not exactly true.
I mean, to use an example of a game I really disliked to avoid sounding biased, Titanfall was considered the best shooter n years and barely lasted months. On the flipside, nobody liked Destiny (at launch) but people just wouldn’t stop playing the darn thing.

CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

Alright, but Titanfall was doomed for its lack of content, failure to live up to the hype and XB1/Origin exclusivity. Although saying “lasted months” is a misstatement, as hundreds of people were still playing the darn thing this year (it will probably actually die soon with the release of Titanfall 2).

Unnoticing Senpai
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Unnoticing Senpai

I think those people were playing the game in anticipation of Titanfall 2. The last time I logged in there were only over a hundred people. On a weekend.

Janio
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Janio

It’s quite stunning to see how a multiplayer game can just drop from the 10.000 ‘s playing it to just 100’s in weeks.

Also the near insta Que-popping for Tank and healers compared to the 30 minute plus wait in MMO is so hard get my head around.

Hopefully Jim will address the multiplayer player-base drop-off curve in a video one day. Would like to hear his view on it.

Weasel Biggs
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Weasel Biggs
In Destiny’s defense, it’s improved mechanically and structurally over the years. The Year One content still sticks out like a sore thumb, though, especially if it’s compared with The Taken King’s tighter grasp on narrative delivery. Rise of Iron is a mixed bag, overall. It marks a continued mechanical improvement, but its narrative is miles beneath what The Taken King offered. Once you’re made an Iron Lord, the game more or less tosses you out onto the same old mobs and the same old multiplayer modes – with a tiny bit of a fresh coat of paint. I’m hoping that… Read more »
Unnoticing Senpai
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Unnoticing Senpai

True, but my point being is that for the longest time Destiny was hated by pretty much everybody, but the numbers didn’t dwindle in the slightest.

ATBro
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ATBro
Here’s the thing about all of that, It feels like it’s true, but you’re mistaking the narrative of gaming websites with reality. In the lead up to Titanfall’s release, there was a shitload of hype around it. Everyone jumped on the train and found something that was initially fun, but it lacked any longevity, so everyone got off shortly there after. By that point no one was writing about Titanfall anymore, and it just faded away, and the narrative was set. Titanfall came out and peple liked it. Again, Destiny had all the hype and came out to gangbusters sales,… Read more »
Unnoticing Senpai
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Unnoticing Senpai

I’ve actually any praise in the comments sections of such Destiny articles, actually. Nearly all of them tended to agree.

DeadlyYellow
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DeadlyYellow

Heck, going by modern standards it’s likely the only time to play before the artificial competitive edge sets in or before general meta just makes it pointless to start in the first place.

zeeby
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zeeby

I absolutely hate it when companies lie to me. It’s a insult. If you don’t want early reviews – fine. But to bullshit me that it’s so ‘everyone can enjoy it the same time’ is a slap in the face and an offense to my (admittedly limited) intelligence. Corporate spin makes my skin crawl.

ZeGuy
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ZeGuy

“Slap in the face” There we have it.

ATBro
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ATBro

And yet time after time, he lines up for that slap. Some people actually do love their abuser.

thegreatpumpkinking
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thegreatpumpkinking

I for one have no issue waiting to hear for reviewers opinions on a game before buying something. i don’t need to get it on day one.

tom
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tom
Of course it’s not corporate “right” to withhold, Jim. Informed decision making is essential to not only democracy, it’s crucial to consumer rights. The idea that corporate greed has some validity over consumer rights is so wrong so hard. There is zero legitimate basis for with holding information from consumers. That’s a violation of consumer rights that can never be counted by the ‘argument’ of greed or secrecy. – NMS case has nothing to do with expectations and everything to do with misleading lies. – Oh, and we are way past not buying games in a preorder. We are way… Read more »
zeeby
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zeeby

In what alternate dimension do corporations respect democracy? Heck they spend untold amounts trying to undermine or dismantle it.

CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

” NMS case has nothing to do with expectations and everything to do with misleading lies.”

It was a combination of both. Whenever vague descriptions were mentioned, people filled the blanks with their own imagination.

En0ugh
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En0ugh

There’s no law that a corporation must provide details on a product before it becomes available to purchase. The only consumer law they’re bound by pre-release is false advertising (which we all hope NMS gets hit with), but prior to putting the product on the market, they ‘owe’ us nothing. It’s definitely stupid for a company to go full blackout until they release their product, but if they want to, it’s perfectly legal for them to do so.

Gareth
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Gareth

Is that the case with all industries? With certain industries lack of testing, lack of information regarding a product can actually lead to people dying because of that lack of information. If that is the case then that’s exceptionally shortsighted.

En0ugh
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En0ugh
I was talking about sales/marketing and what information they owe the consumer before the product becomes available to purchase. Depending on the industry they might need to provide information on their product to varying industry or governmental agencies (pharmaceuticals, firearms, etc.), and in a lot of cases consumers can find some of that information if they’re looking for it (this is why a lot of gamers look for copyright filings and other business related information those companies have to report to the government). Even in those cases though they don’t have to directly tell the consumer anything about their product… Read more »
Billy Bissette
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Billy Bissette
It is a corporate right to withhold advance releases of a product. Movie studios have done it for decades. Games publishers have done it. Book publishers have done it. The consumer rights issue isn’t that publishers are able to choose not to give out advance copies for review purposes. The consumer rights issue is that there just isn’t much in the way of real consumer protection. There isn’t much in the way of reasonable defense against being sold a faulty game, or being mislead by false advertising. It is often up to the store and/or publisher to actually choose to… Read more »
CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

Super Bunnyhop recently made a video about misleading advertising. The FCC indicates these false advertisements are illegal only if they mislead “reasonable consumers”. Nowadays that’s Catch-22. How to prove that people who fell for it weren’t being just unreasonable when lots of people saw no reason to get hyped in the first place? (and that’s without counting the people who got from NMS exactly what they were expecting).

Unnoticing Senpai
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Unnoticing Senpai

I’m assuming if the number people complaining is more than half of the total purchases.

Billy Bissette
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Billy Bissette
The FCC has had some really bad periods for decisions. I can only assume that this judgement was made during one of those bad periods. If the practices weren’t seen as effective, then publishers wouldn’t increasingly lean upon them. That means a reasonable amount of consumers are being fooled to some degree regardless of whether those consumers are considered “reasonable consumers”. That is arguably enough reason to step in and do at least a bit of policing. Instead, the FCC pretty much stood back and said that anything was fair game. You can lie, manipulate, and deceive as much as… Read more »
Фролов Денис
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Фролов Денис

Bethesda out of all companies. Publisher that reliably delivers games if not good, then at least decent. Publisher that doesn’t spam its games with preorder bonuses. Publisher that delivers pretty good DLCs. Just… why? Why have they decided it’s a good idea?

ZeGuy
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ZeGuy

Good dlc? Lol. How about armored horses?

Unnoticing Senpai
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Unnoticing Senpai

#NeverForget.
But seriously, that was only one example amidst dozens of quality ones.

ZeGuy
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ZeGuy

Dunno. I didn’t forget the paid mods desaster (it will come again).

I think they’re more and more going the mainstream route. More hit and miss in Skyrim and mostly cash grab in Fallout 4 (crappy workshop dlc). Far Harbor was okay, Nuka World not special.

I personally consider Bethesda as extremely poor at writing and lore expanding. I buy the dlcs because of the world expansion and above all modding.

Shui Gor
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Shui Gor

“Pulleys and mirrors”…..whelp, there goes my lunch….

Benj
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Benj

Other entertainment media don’t seem to have this problem to anywhere near the degree that games do and I’m willing to blame it mostly on the existence of pre-orders.

Nobody's Fanboy
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Nobody's Fanboy
Really makes me hang my head…I have to disagree that it benefits publishers. Maybe in the short term financial sense, but long-term in any sense it’s going to bite them and hard. Ultimately tightening and intensifying their echo chambers does nobody any favors, adds energy to the mentality that criticism is radicals and outliers and “bad guys” with “an agenda”, since this broad swath really loves it and all the yes men at the company love it and literally nobody has told us these things so far (because we’ve carefully cultivated a collection of sycophants who wouldn’t dare tell us… Read more »
LamontRaymond
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LamontRaymond

Excellent analysis. But instead of just saying that this practice “only helps the publisher” (of course corporations are going to do things which often only help themselves), you should further emphasize that these are anti-consumer practices. It actually hurts buyers to not have the added education going into a purchase. Not a good thing.

FlannelKoSasquatchWald⁴ Ditto
Guest
FlannelKoSasquatchWald⁴ Ditto

Also addressing the opening, the biggest mistake you made for me was saying Fallout 4 was polyamours friendly which it turned out it wasn’t at all.

This was something I learned the hard way when I was dating Cait and Piper and found out Piper was having Vic spying on me for being unloyal.

I wish you would correct that because while it was an accident, it still disappointed a lot of people I know and feels like praising a game that didn’t deserve it.

ckmondavi
Guest
ckmondavi

And for me it was when Jim monologued about having a gay options in Mass effect 3. You can’t be Gay with Garrrus, and I find that unacceptable! I had to re-role as a fem shep just romance the best character in the series! Just goes to show you even in game’s life is unfair! also if your all curious this out rage is coming from a white straight cis male!

Camfry
Guest
Camfry

Is this true? I’m fairly sure they just don’t like you flirting with other people in front of them. I’ve not heard this anywhere else when this has come up. Everyone seems to agree you can romance whoever.

TheGreenerGarden has a Crush
Guest
TheGreenerGarden has a Crush

The game allows to date whoever, but some of the followers do stuff behind your back like this if you do.

FlannelKoSasquatchWald⁴ Ditto
Guest
FlannelKoSasquatchWald⁴ Ditto
This may just be correlation on my part but this could explain something that I first noticed when Polygon noted after the release of the Witcher 3. Most of the reviewers who get early review copies than women and POC, something that was notable after releases like the Witcher 3, Fallout 4 and from what I saw, Deus Ex Mankind Divided. That isn’t to say women don’t get early review copies, people like IGN’s Lucy O’Brien do, but overall nowhere as much as men. Given that POC and we women are more likely to talk about more social issues, the… Read more »
Exley97
Guest
Exley97

Fantastic. So not only are the biggest, most successful game publishers in the business holding back review code/copies until the day before a release, the are withholding review code from “wild cards” because they can’t be predicted to be positive and enthusiastic enough about the title. So in other words, unless you’re a YouTuber who has a fansite and a raging hard-on for a game THAT HASN’T EVEN BEEN RELEASED YET then you don’t get review copies. Have a hard-on for Dishonored 2? You get the game. Fail the boner test? No game for you.

Kev' Bryant
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Kev' Bryant

So, can you trick the “boner test” by thinking about another game?

Exley97
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Exley97

GREAT question. I think we would need a test case. Maybe Jim F’ing Sterling would be up to the task?

TheCreativeWelshman
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TheCreativeWelshman

I’m holding out for a third Jimquistion this week before the Sunday one goes up and only then will I believe in miracles happening. 🎃🐁🐀🐹🐰🐇👺 Sorry no scarecrow emoji.

diamond
Guest
diamond

Jim already confirmed on Podquisition that there would be a JQ on both sunday and monday.

TheCreativeWelshman
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TheCreativeWelshman

I meant Jim releasing a Jimquistion about the performance matters strikes on either Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday before doing the Sunday one and the Halloween special Jimquistion.

Lies That Bind
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Lies That Bind

He already did a performance matters one last year if you haven’t seen that. I personally don’t think you could add more than what Jim’s already brought up or hear anything more from detractors saying the VAs are being entitled.

TheCreativeWelshman
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TheCreativeWelshman

He wanted to do a follow up as stated in one of his more recent jimpressions videos, also he did a follow up VR recently too so who says lightning can’t strike twice.

Arella Jardin
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Arella Jardin
I only preorder from companies that have earned my trust, and make games I enjoy. Bethesda and Bioware are on the short list, and I’m willing to trust individual franchises like Deus Ex or Dishonored. That’s not to say I always preorder those games, either. Out of principle, I tend to wait for reviews and purchase them in the first week. Preorder, for me, is only if the bonuses are too good to pass up, which is rarely the case. Deus Ex Mankind Divided had shitty bonuses, so while I did buy it Day One, I didn’t preorder.
drez
Guest
drez
The preorder problem exists because people preorder. It’s not really necessary to preorder a videogame unless some level of scarcity is involved, in which case I can see justification. Capitalism works a certain way, and by giving publishers money before a transaction has effectively taken place (you still aren’t in receipt of the goods), they are given licence to do as they please in a way that benefits just themselves, while ripping off the customer because the customer is showing that they are willing to be ripped off. It’s up to us to make them work harder for their money.… Read more »
diamond
Guest
diamond

Scarcity does happen if you live in a small town and depend on physical copies of games(and your limited bandwidth makes buying a digital copy totally out of the question)

drez
Guest
drez

The only way to stop the train is to stop thrusting money blindly into the hands of the bad guys. How shitty do things have to get in the gaming industry for sense and reason to kick in for people?

Exley97
Guest
Exley97

That’s the troubling aspect. I highly doubt Bethesda would have made this move if pre-order numbers for their titles over the last five years were down or even flat. So to me, that suggests Bethesda pre-order numbers are actually UP — which, despite all the positive things you can say about Bethesda, is incredible given the inherent risk that comes with pre-ordering.

drez
Guest
drez

There’s the risk to the consumer, and the message that the consumer is repeatedly sending to the publisher. That brand above quality is what matters to the consumer, which drives down the quality of everything because the developer/publisher no longer have to really strive to earn their money in the same way.

Why would they work hard or strive to make a gamer’s experience better when effectively they already have mass profit guaranteed and qualified?

Kev' Bryant
Guest
Kev' Bryant

I’m sure an aspect pushing pre-orders up are all the game stores. They have real aggressive sales tactics and want the money upfront. An element of that is, I’m sure, passed on from the Publishers.

“Make this many pre-orders nationwide and get a store exclusive for pre-orders of the next game.”

And so on.

Corac42
Guest
Corac42

Unrelated to the topic of the episode, but: does anyone else ever have trouble listening to what Jim is saying because of the video? Doom 2016 gameplay is glorious just to look at, even Jim’s lovely voice can’t hold my attention when he puts that in front of me.

Also, my autocorrect just tried to change “Jim” to “Kim”. Fucking Fleksy.

Otherhand
Guest
Otherhand

I often zone out looking at the gameplay.

Also this time he was saying words with that white wig, and I was thinking, “You were probably going for ‘High Court judge’ with that wig, but unfortunately the red glasses just turn the look into Jimmy Saville and that’s not what you want”.

Jack Trevor
Guest
Jack Trevor

As a man working on his business degree, I can say that this is the single stupidest move that they could’ve done. Like Wells Fargo level of stupid.

The last thing you ever want is a consumer base that is suspicious of your product. And that only opens the door for people to rip it apart, especially if they feel like they’ve been tricked. And you can make the Doom arguement but I can counter it with No Man’s Sky and Batman Arkham Knight (PC).

Arella Jardin
Guest
Arella Jardin
But suspicion of the product didn’t hurt No Man’s Sky, it sold incredibly well (and didn’t lose as much in refunds as initially reported). With Pre-Order culture, video game companies sell a Promise, not a Product, and rely more on hype than legitimate information. Batman AK just flat out didn’t work, and WB actively offered refunds. But it preordered well, tons of people had their broken game Day One. While this might hurt sales of future games from the same developer, they’ve indicated they’d prefer to focus on the console market, anyway, where consumers remember the game running just fine.
TheCreativeWelshman
Guest
TheCreativeWelshman

That’s why I will never get another WB Montreal game ever again because of Arkham Origins running like shit on the PS3 in 2013. I even paid £45 for pos game on launch week.

Well I learnt my lesson now, don’t believe the hype.

Unnoticing Senpai
Guest
Unnoticing Senpai
Jack Trevor
Guest
Jack Trevor
Stupid people will always be stupid. While that is true it doesn’t change the fact that bad news travels quickly. The main underlining currency of this industry is trust. And if you betray consumer trust, good luck trying to get into other markets or getting any hype for your next game (just ask Ubisoft). Especially over in the EU and UK markets where consumer protections are stronger. And it only gives the independent scene for critical reviews that much more power. While they are not uncorruptable, more people are going to go to the “wild cards” to make the decisions… Read more »
CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

It seems the average consumer with pre-ordering/day-one buying habits doesn’t get suspicious so easily. They counter that by fomenting the hype culture. Even now there is people defending NMS.

Gotta love when details about pre-order options get announced and the official release date still isn’t.

Jack Trevor
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Jack Trevor

Yea and you saw how that backfired with 90% of people leaving NMS two weeks later.

CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

The people left. Their money didn’t.

Salador
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Salador

But when consumer trust is completely destroyed the execs who made the decisions which sunk the industry will just get jobs as execs in another industry. Meanwhile all the devs who faithfully carried out their edicts will have nothing left.

Jack Trevor
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Jack Trevor
You’re wrong on the basis that consumer trust is damaged that it has no effect. I had to run out the door at the time to go into detail but here are two things to consider: If you want to keep making money, don’t give reasons for people to not give you money. And this new policy is a good way to guarantee that. If this was a move that would kill Bestheda and EA (which I highly doubt), it would be a slow one. At this point they would probably acknowledge that they may have a problem when the… Read more »
Salador
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Salador
I never said consumer trust disappearing would have no effect, and I have no idea how you got that from what I wrote. I know every dooomsayer predicts a second crash, but we have seen what happens when the public loses confidence in video games as a product. So the decisions which erode trust are very harmful indeed. My point was that those making dumb long-term decisions don’t suffer in the long term cos they’re rich, and they can get high paying jobs in other sectors, because of the roundabout fuckery that is corporate hierarchy. Whereas those who actually make… Read more »
diamond
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diamond

This isn’t 1983 though, the industry is in a VERY different place then it was back then, if any industry is likely to crash, it’s the mobile games market, that place is a toxic minefield of apps that barely qualify as games, as they only exist to suck money from your wallet.

Jack Trevor
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Jack Trevor

Who said anything about a crash? Because I didn’t.

diamond
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diamond

I know you didn’t, but i’ve heard lots of other people predicting a doomsday scenario if publishers keep doing this stuff, but in reality I don’t see it happening.

Jack Trevor
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Jack Trevor

I’ve never said anything about doom either. What happening here is bad business decisions.

If anything, we may be seeing signs of gradual decline.

Salador
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Salador

The industry is in a very different place. I don’t think that we’ll get a repeat of 1983 even if it does crash. But the way trust is declining, plus the uncertainty of the products and the monetary policies of publishers, one thing is for sure: things won’t be able to go on as they have been forever.

CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

It’s almost as unlikely for the mobile industry too. Unless the whales wise up or go broke, money sucking apps will continue to proliferate inside that industry.

Jack Trevor
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Jack Trevor
As a working business major, I know they are not going to belly up instantly. In fact, I commonly criticize anybody who propose such theories. But I’ll quote/paraphrase something Jim said years ago, in which this is an industry based on trust. And if a publisher constantly misuses it and/or use it to produce sub-par products, people are going to look elsewhere. As for “security”, it’s hard to be “secure” when you are constantly undermining your own business and becoming complacent. While I don’t see the entire industry crashing down, I do see a change in who the top dog… Read more »
Salador
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Salador
Oh, I’m not saying that the industry will go belly up tomorrow – hence why I described people who think that as ‘doomsayers’. But, the way I see things, the industry is not sustainable. Trust is something in every consumer industry. And, I can’t speak for others, but I no longer trust anyone. I don’t trust trailers, I don’t trust reviews (for precisely the reasons outlined in this episode) I don’t trust early access, I don’t trust kickstarter, I don’t trust Silicon valley trying to sell me the latest unproven device said to revolutionise gaming, I don’t trust user reviews… Read more »
SnookAus
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SnookAus

Well said, this needed to be addressed. I’ve adjusted my behavior this generation to wait for GOTY’s for big budget games. I took my D2 preorder money and bought Witcher 3 which I knew I’d eventually get to anyhow. If D2’s good, I’m happy to play next year…hell Witcher will take me at least that long to complete at my pace.

Lies That Bind
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Lies That Bind

I hope you enjoy your time in the game. Projekt Red made a great game without surrounding itself in the normal toxicities of modern gaming and I think deserve everything they get as a result. (which admittedly has been quite a lot already)

Bashtarle
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Bashtarle

GOTY is the way to go in most cases, especially for multiplayer heavy games that might or might not have a playerbase by the time the GOTY rolls around.