The Jimquisition: Star Wars Battlefront Made Me Realize I’m A Cynical Prick

I watched the Star Wars Battlefront trailer like everybody else, and my not-so-excited reaction to it made me realize just how jaded and skeptical I’ve truly become. I mean, I’ve always known that, but this made me face up to it.

It’s not a nice way to be, and I’d love to hop on the hype train time and again. Will I accept any responsibility for being such a Doubting Thomas though? HELL NO!

ElektroDragon
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ElektroDragon

You’re not a cynical prick. EA are the cynical pricks. No singleplayer?! Why the hell couldn’t they have just rebooted the last last gen Battlefront games?

ElektroDragon
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ElektroDragon

Although….. ” The Jimquisition, brought to you by Cynical Prick Productions” has a nice ring to it!!

ldub
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ldub

Unless said cynical pricks tell you achievements don’t matter, or are you finally over that? 😉

ElektroDragon
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ElektroDragon

Stalker in disguise!!!

ldub
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ldub

You’d be surprised how often I get asked to come back. Mainly retired now and more a gamer than commenter but imgur has been amusing lately and Jimbo here has always ran a tight ship full of logic, brass, and the truth so I don’t mind throwing my 2 cents in every once in a while. You’re welcome to add me on steam if you ever come around to joining the master race.

Goat Stealer
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Goat Stealer
I think we’re forgetting one important thing that adds the icing to this dog shit and arsenic cake, that being that the Battlefronts that we know and love were produced by Pandemic, the very same Pandemic that EA consumed and ultimately destroyed like the Unicron that it is, and now it’s going to take something that helped make Pandemic’s name and run it into the ground for a quick buck. It’s the equivalent of murderer desecrating the grave of one of his victims so he can fuck the corpse. I think now I truly understand how Jim felt when he… Read more »
Chris
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I agree with your criticisms. There’s something even more insidious, more horrible about these types of trailers to me. There were some recent Playstation ads that also did it – these flippant, “everyman” “gamers” depicted in the ads who are in the game, in real life, like it’s virtual reality. The actors always have this strange “I’m having such a blast right now” vibe mixed with a “this is ok I guess just another day in the life of a cool dude like me” vibe. Depicting a game as some kind of virtual reality experience for the everyman just shows… Read more »
Chris
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Wow. Sorry for the rant. I didn’t realize how long 🙂 There’s a good point in there somewhere.

Ravenwild
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Ravenwild

Naw, it was just long enough, and well said.

ldub
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ldub

Cynicism is a learned behavior.

kimiyoribaka
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kimiyoribaka

Was there ever a time when game companies actually did have good ads for their games? I feel like they went from the stupid but hilariously irrelevant attempts to be cool in the 90’s to having bizarre analogies in the 2000’s and then eventually to just pre-rendered failures as movie trailers in the modern age. Looking back, they’ve really always just been trying to imitate commercials for other products.

James
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James
I’m the same. My trust has been completely destroyed in the AAA market. I want to fucking love the fact that we have a new Star Wars Battlefront, the original two were some of my favourite games of the sixth generation. I really want to get excited for it. I really, really do… but I can’t. I just don’t trust EA. And it’s the same with any AAA publisher. They have all destroyed any excitement I could have possibly had in their products. There was a time when I would get excited for this, but that time passed long ago.… Read more »
Enuo
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Enuo

I had the exact same reaction to the trailer.
Although, I cant help but realize that I approached the CG trailer for Bloodborne last year with unabashed optimism.

Wilhelm
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Wilhelm

There is actually a petition going on to change all the things that the new battlefront won’t have
https://www.change.org/p/electronic-arts-confirm-star-wars-battlefront-material

GodEmperorofDune
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GodEmperorofDune

Good to see I’m not the only one thinking these thoughts. Sad to see so many people eat this trailer up though. I guess that is who this trailer is for, Star Wars fans unfamiliar with EA’s horrible track record.

syn
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syn
I think you are conflating the absolutely shitty behavior of EA and most of the AAA industry, *which is absolutely vile, and I share your vitriol towards it) with what is, in all honesty, a publicity spot. You say “doctored” as if images from a videogame should only be presented as a screencap, with HUD on, maybe a hitch in the framerate, etcetera. I would argue that what we actually need is a disclaimer of some sorts, when the images are not representative of the final product, and meant for publicity purposes. The witcher II boat assasination trailer was a… Read more »
Doubter
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Doubter

You have to draw the line somewhere. Publicity spots are perfectly fine, but to have the balls to ask people to pre-order based on that alone crosses that line. And the mention that this is pictures from the game engine is hypocrisy and cynicism openly on display. As if this was enough to get a feel for the gameplay, or, even, for what the game actually looks like while playing.

Billy
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Billy
The Battlefront trailer uses the phrase “Early In-Game Footage” because they want people to think that is what the game looks like. More than that, they want people to think the final game will look *better* than that. Of course the video itself is scripted action that looks little to nothing like what players will actually experience playing the game. Titanfall did a promo video of undoctored non-scripted in-game footage, but the entire video was carefully choreographed and practiced. It was “real”, but “fake” at the same time. It was honest to what players could potentially experience, but the odds… Read more »
Corrodias
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Corrodias

The trouble is… we have little legal recourse for truth in advertising. Even if you somehow manage to prove a false advertising claim (which can be gotten around by tricks such as you have mentioned, like showing scripted events or saying it’s “early footage”), you’ll have spent hundreds of thousands of USD on a protracted, courtroom battle, and all the court will do is tell EA to stop using that trailer or what have you. Oh, and maybe you’ll get a refund of, what, up to $60. Almost makes up for what you spent on a lawyer, right?

Ben
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Ben
Well, whatever Jim’s allergy might be, I think we can rest relatively assured that it’s not latex. Yahtzee had that chart at one point illustrating that cynics could be pleasantly surprised when a game turned out to be good, but optimists would get crushed when they were not. Regrettably, that’s only become more true. The agony of the modern video game market, especially in AAA, is that doctored footage, bullshots, and DLC that’s conceived well before the game is even on the market all contribute to a sense that the creators know what we’d *like* the final product to look… Read more »
Dave Dogge
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Dave Dogge

In all fairness you don’t really need to plead for forgiveness for having a negative outlook on this world of product smoke and mirrors. I was a sucker who pre-ordered it for PS4 .. I’m a big Battlefield fan, I have been for years … but an in-game pre-order Han Solo blaster…..? ….. Hhhmmmmmmmmmmm

Archmike
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Archmike

Yeah don’t worry about it mate. My first thought on seeing that trailer was “Yeah very pretty but where’s the gameplay?”

Maybe it’s cos we’re in our 30’s? :'(

Bloody Murder
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Bloody Murder
If you want to be cheerful Jimbo, Postal 2 just got DLC. Yeah, a twelve year old game running on Unreal engine 2 has received DLC in the form of Paradise Lost. And it’s actually good (well if you enjoyed Postal 2 anyway) and selling so well that it’s on Steam’s top seller list. The Postal 2 base game is also on sale for One dollar American too which I find adorable. For all the cynicism the “AAA” industry(which honestly wouldn’t get more than a C if we were to actually grade them), the indie scene seems to be beating… Read more »
Alsojim
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Alsojim

What’s not to like about a Starwars themed Battlefield mod?
I guess we’re gonna find out.

BAH!
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BAH!
A friend of mine told me how impressed he was with the trailer before I had seen it, and my reaction to his amazement was pure, soul-crushing cynicism fueled only by past experience. And I’m perfectly OK with that. Frankly, I think consumers need to be more cynical and skeptical about the game industry as a whole. We’ve exactly what lengths publishers will to to guarantee good launch-day sales, and we already know “blatantly lying to the consumer” is their go-to option. So what, exactly, do we lose by telling EA, Ubisoft, Activision, and the rest to fuck off until… Read more »
Summ
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Summ

Hmmm, I can understand you. But what does it say about me that I didn’t even watch the Trailer because I assumed that anythiung showed at this stage can’t be anything but fake?
And btw the DLC bullshit is why I buy every Bioware game after Dragon Age: Origins at least a year after release because I know I want it but I don’t want my previous playthroughts coloured with the disappointment at not haveing the completed product……

Max
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Max

Actually, I skipped the trailer for the same reason. With a few exceptions I rarely find myself watching game trailers nowadays. Just nothing to see in them.

Corrodias
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Corrodias

Well, it’s an EA game; why would I want to see a trailer? I’m not going to buy it, anyway.

Ven
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How can we as consumer not be cynical, with EAS, Ubisofts , pre order bonus, online pass, season pass, online always on DRM, DLC on disc, relase date delayed and delayed, 60 € for the same series of games, every years, and so on and so on, but yet people seams to praise this by making the next AAA title the biggest seller as soon as it comes out, no matter the system you plan on. I wonder if people actually learn anything in all this years, or just eat and eat it is feed to them by the Industry.… Read more »
Chris
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Me too! I would think it will either get worse and sort of destroy itself, or there will be a glorious renaissance movement away from these practices when someone proves the fact that creative, great games sold fairly can make you filthy rich.

Benson
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Benson

it will probably always stay the same. You have to keep in mind that every game out there is a potential first game for someone.

Craig
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Craig

I think we can forgive your cynicism, Jim. I felt much the same way when I saw the trailer as well.

Alex V
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Alex V

The Battlefront 3 was a crappy trailer even if it didn’t spark our cynical side. Regardless, this is the cost of AAA’s careless and continuous abuse of it’s customers, and I, for one, wish to purge this cancer before everything’s completely lost.

SilentPony
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SilentPony

I wonder if after Battlefronts fails miserably, because we all know it will, EA will shut down DICE?
Seems likely to me.

Lasse Andersen
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Lasse Andersen

Where’d you get that from, your f*cking crystal ball?

Corrodias
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Corrodias

History, I would assume. That’s how EA operates.

Except, isn’t DICE instrumental to their main cash cow, Call of Duty? At least, the ones people don’t like as much as the other studio’s ones, but still sell?

Corrodias
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Corrodias

Er… Battlefield, I mean. Not CoD. That was not an intentional mixup. It seems you cannot edit comments, here.

Brent
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Brent
Honestly, Jim, I actually had the exact same two thoughts when I saw the new trailer for Star Wars: Battlefront. I rolled my eyes at yet ANOTHER supposed reveal trailer not showing any actual, undoctored gameplay, and the second I heard that there was no space combat, nor a single-player campaign, I immediately suspected that EA was pulling an Evolve, and primarily exploiting the game as a vector to sell scads of multiplayer DLC. Hopefully that’s not the case, but honestly, that’s what its announcement really felt like. I work as a games journalist myself, for a small Canadian site,… Read more »
David
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David
This is very much the reason my main console is a Wii U, and as a bonus you get to stop worrying about all this bullshit the third parties are all pulling. Like I would LOVE to have a system that could play MKX, but after all that DLC crap? No thanks, I’ll pass. That’s not to say Nintendo doesn’t pull crap from time to time, they do, and those situations shouldn’t be ignored or looked over just because they were made by Nintendo, or because they may have come from a place of ignorance and not out of sheer… Read more »
BAH!
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BAH!
Nintendo has been my favorite game company since I started playing back in the NES days. And while they’ve maintained that status, I’ve been forced to admit that they have some serious faults. It’s true they’ve managed to release DLC without repeating the mistakes of others (though I feel the SSBU content is overpriced), and they continue to create games with passion and sincerity. But those facts make it so much more painful when you see Nintendo do something stupid like the claiming Youtube revenue or using Amiibo to gate off what we would expect to be included content. Hell,… Read more »
Billy
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Billy
Smash Bros clone characters as $4 DLC? Amiibos as overpriced pre-order season pass DLC with intentional scarcity, with no indication of what any future content will be or even if it will exist at all? We’ll see where Nintendo goes with DLC. If you look at what they’ve done so far, they’ve largely been testing the waters, trying to see what works and presumably what makes the most money. Mario Kart and Hyrule Warriors with Season Passes. Hyrule’s season pass had a bonus DLC outfit. Register Hyrule within a month of release for free DLC. Buy Smash on two separate… Read more »
anthony russo
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anthony russo

I’d like to defend Smash Bros. for a moment. In the fighting game world, $4 is super cheap for new character’s. Skullgirls and marvel 3 dlc character’s are $5, Blazblue character’s are 8. MKX is charging 5 bucks for Goro (Day 1, I might add), then 4 for $30.

Nintendo’s been pretty fair as far as their normal DLC goes. Their NFC stuff is really dumb, though.

BAH!
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BAH!
Except they’re not “new” characters. Both Mewtwo and Lucas are returning fighters with established models and movesets. Hell, Mewtwo doesn’t even have any alternate moves to customize like the other fighters do. If it were a completely new character, $4 would be the upper end of reasonable. But it’s not, so it’s not. It may not be outrageous like Blazblue, but it’s still an unreasonable amount to ask- especially considering the combo pack is $5! In that case, shouldn’t the individual price be something like $3? And $9.20 for 8 Mii Fighter costumes that are literally nothing but (admittedly pretty… Read more »
Billy
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Billy
Skullgirls characters are released for free. They switch to $5 three months later. If you register them within that free period, then you keep them permanently for free. Right now, you can get Beowulf for free (though for some reason he doesn’t get listed on the Steam store page for Skullgirls, you have to search for his own page). Nintendo is charging $4 *more* per character than Lab Zero, and Nintendo so far has been selling clone characters rather than new creations, unlike Lab Zero. The closer Skullgirls comparison would be Fukua, who appears to be permanently free and now… Read more »
Corrodias
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Corrodias

I guess for a fighting game (which SSB is not really, in the same sense as the others on your list), $5 is slightly less terrible but, from the perspective of an outsider, it’s still quite bad.

fire_drake
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fire_drake

Well, Nintendo was very hated around the GameCube era. People used to think that the GameCube and the controllers looked ‘kiddy’ and that Nintendo wasn’t aiming for their loyal – and grown up – audience anymore but to kids and newcomers. (The Zelda WW game initial reveal reception was… cold to say the least)

But they kept doing their thing and somewhat that’s what makes it stood up from the rest, for better or for worse.

Chris
Guest

I like Nintendo as a company too.
I think what gets me fired up about these things is how close it all seems – its hard to watch these enormous budgets and teams of talented people work on garbage.
Nintendo has some of that with me…. they are fabulous in so many ways – so why not try more new IP? Quit with the marios and zeldas. Just try it fer &$%^’s sake. Always seems like…. so close, no cigar.

Billy
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Billy
Nintendo does want to make money. And they want to play it safe. Safety means sticking with existing known properties, and sticking with successful properties. So Dinosaur Planet, a new IP by Rare, became Star Fox Adventures, a new game in an existing successful Nintendo IP. (Even if the transition fit as well as a square peg in a round hole.) Fluff’s Epic Yarn, a new IP by Rare, became Kirby’s Epic Yarn, a new game in an existing successful HAL IP. It was decided that it would make more money as a Kirby title, (The game still ended up… Read more »
Billy
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Billy

Gah, even after a reread, I missed that I somehow accidentally said Epic Yarn was a Rare idea instead of HAL.

BAH!
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BAH!

@Billy: As much as I hate to think so, I believe you’re right. Really, all the evidence you need is the fact that they haven’t yet released Mother 1 on the VC. It would require a lot of translation, but someone already did it- and offered to donate his work if Nintendo wanted it.

And still nothing. Boo.

CaitSeith
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CaitSeith

It’s such a shame that the rest of their PR is so crappy. With their YouTube video restrictions and awful Wii U commercials. What it’s worse is that it doesn’t offer games that can compete in the genres dominated by consumer unfriendly publishers like EA.

ShuiGor
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ShuiGor

Thanks for another spot-on video, Jim.

I do have to question, Jim: is there any developer and/or publisher you AREN’T cynical about?

Jose
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Jose

I’m going to bet Nintendo.

Snowskeeper
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Snowskeeper

I doubt it. Nintendo’s been getting pretty bad as far as YouTubers are concerned. He might not be cynical about the games, but the company itself might be a different story.

Tensacloud
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Tensacloud

I like Creative Assembly well enough, they make good games, and they do preorder right, by not making a thousand different types of preorder, and most importantly delivering the game whole and complete. Attila Total War did exactly as advertised. I don’t feel like I need to buy their DLC to play the game properly, I can buy it if I think it would be cool. Of course, if they start abusing that I will stop trusting them very quickly, but for now they do it right.

Goran
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Goran

You mean the same CA that was ridiculed and called out for releasing a nigh unplayable buggy mess in Total War: Rome 2?

Good for them, if they actually fixed it, and now delivered a better experience with Attila, but TW:R2 should always be remembered for being exactly the horrible waste of money it was for months after release.

Thrilalia
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Thrilalia

Considering SEGA was screaming at CA all the way through the development cycle of RTW2 CA really can’t be too heavily hated because of it. Publishers control developers. Especially those that they own. CA is 100% owned by Sega, if Sega says “Push X out even if it isn’t ready.” then nothing CA could do will stop it.

Timothy
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Timothy

Devolver Digital is an excellent publisher. They publish only indy games and while a few of their titles are more on the ‘meh’ side, they have several amazing titles, too.

Snowskeeper
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Snowskeeper

Timothy, they’re a publisher. The games they publish are, by definition, not independent. That doesn’t make them bad–in fact, in my opinion, they’re currently one of the best publishers out there–but we need to stop misusing the term.

BAH!
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BAH!

I think the term “indie” is a little more inclusive than “only self-published content and nothing else”. Personally, I think so long as the developer hasn’t accepted any money or other developmental support from the publisher, it’s an indie game. Because technically, Valve is the “publisher” when it comes to Steam Greenlight; but since they provide no funding, the games that make it still qualify as indie titles

I don’t know, just thinking out loud… with my fingers… on a keyboard.

Champagne of error
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Champagne of error

Hmm, but are you cynical enough? The games industry is dominated by shit-eating liars cynically exploiting children of all ages. . . But the practice isn’t limited to the big AAA boys.

The only solution is regulation and consumer protection through legislation, because the companies will clearly continue with their bullshit and the idiot consumer sheep will continue pre-ordering so they can get the game and the lame platinum trophies/achievements “first”, before all their “friends” do. We’re talking about children, and not too smart children at that.

Gunslap
Guest

Unfortunately Jim I think your cynicism is completely justified. There’s a reason I’ve been buying more independent games lately – I don’t like being lied to, nickeled and dimed, or otherwise treated like shit. If the smaller studios are the only ones who get that then that’s where my business will go.

The Spearman
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The Spearman
Except you shouldn’t even trust indies either. Being lied to and knickel and dined exists at all levels of the industry. It’s not exactly a new/steam greenlight only issue. Mount & Blade basically screwed over early adopters by bugfixing and pushing the beta build up the door the moment they were picked up by a publisher. M&B Warband was actually the game that was supposed to be released, but if EA buyers got that game, there wouldn’t be any profit for the publisher. No real negative press coverage regarding that move either, was a far more innocent time. Anyway, at… Read more »
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