I spend a lot of time dragging Publishers like EA, Activision, Ubisoft, and others. As warranted and deserved as it is, we can’t become too dreamy-eyed even in the cases of our favorite faces in gaming. So with this post, I wanted to take a rock to the stained glass windows of your favorite companies and some of mine. In the words of Run the Jewels “Kill your masters”.
Creation Club is one of the biggest issues beyond the more notorious faults of the infamous Bethesda. Creation Club is paid mods. I don’t care what Pete Hines says, when you pay money to modify the game it’s paid fucking mods dude. This is a direct encroachment on one of the best and most pure aspects of PC gaming. Modding turns games into different experiencing, fixes the bugs that a lot of their games ship with and never get fixed because it’s “part of the charm” or “just works”. Which brings me to my next point: Bethesda is the only studio in gaming that gets away with this every single time. Ubisoft put out AC Unity and was grilled for months after release about facial texture issues and whatnot. Everyone gets railed while Bethesda gets a pass every time. Also, can we talk about how one year ago from this E3 Bethesda was waving the single player flag as high and hard as they can? Only to bring out Fallout76 and it’s an online shared world game. I have no problem with doing things differently or moving in a different direction for a non-main title game. Perhaps maybe you should’ve held off on this for another year or two? Made it less of a surprise? I think a lot of fans will come around to this title but the sharp pivot is understandably jarring and Bethesda maybe should’ve anticipated that. Alongside the mighty shitty practice of pre-ordering for a beta code….what the fuck kind of “money now” bullshit is that. That literally defeats the purpose of a beta for a lot of people. Getting to test out this wildly different experience is important to people that care about the franchise but just aren’t willing to pay for something they aren’t sure they’re going to enjoy. A reasoning that is perfectly understandable in my opinion. I love Bethesda but holy god do they get away with murder without so much as a strange look from the majority of people.
I’ll get the obvious issue of console exclusives out of the way. This is straight up disgraceful the way they do the loyal fans of Xbox. Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, Forza Motorsport 7, Halo Wars 2, and Cuphead. Remove Cuphead from that list and it’s a little pathetic especially considering some big name exclusives they had for the 360 (Saints Row, DoA4, Fable 2, Lost Odyssey, N3). The Xbox One’s initial reveal and release state were woefully tone deaf. A sad attempt to pander to gimmicks that shouldn’t be the focus of a console: motion sensors and television streamlining. Yes, they eventually corrected that mistake but to even consider such a poor decision was clearly a poor attempt to reach everyone but gamers. This entire generation was a bit of a misstep, unfortunately, outside of the impressively powerful Xbox One X there is next to nothing for Microsoft to actually boast about outside of the new console benchmark. What games have they contributed to their fanbase and loyal customers? This aspect isn’t so much shady as it is dumb. From the release of the One X with no games. To the games they backed so fervently only for them to flop hard. It’s clear they’re working on it given the recent studio acquisitions and the shift in focus some studios are going to be making. Why they had to forsake an entire generation for this to happen is simply beyond me.
Between their online service and the interesting terms/ conditions of said service. The shitty pre-orders they offer for said internet service which is one of the most insane requests of a company I’ve ever heard of. Can we talk about the vice grip on their content/IPs? Ever notice you don’t see much Nintendo content on YouTube? Seriously look up anything Nintendo and the new games many videos don’t feature unique gameplay. I’m not saying there aren’t any videos but it’s known that Nintendo can and will take down any video they see fit. Yes, it’s well within their rights as a company to do so. However, when Nintendo is doing it to fans, people who are trying to celebrate and appreciate what they’ve done, it comes across as wildly ungrateful. Especially when ya know, they wouldn’t be anything without the wildly enthusiastic customer base. Prime example: a YouTuber recreated the Bomb-omb Battlefield stage in Unity. It was nostalgic, beautiful, and kind of funny. What did Nintendo do? They order a DMC Takedown on the video. A harmless recreation video this wasn’t even any kind of playable game and wasn’t going to be. What was the point of this? Who benefits? They could’ve capitalized and got to work on a remake, tell me that wouldn’t sell. Instead, they insist on hurting fans for what boils down to free advertisement. I think Nintendo is so focused on being Nintendo that they’ve lost what it means to be…Nintendo. If that makes sense.
Sony has been hacked so many times I genuinely think Paul Blart runs their cyber security department. Sony needs to get their shit together in this area of their service ya know the cornerstone of the console in the modern era. Alongside that, Sony is very pressed on keeping their system and IP, and everything about it very isolated. Xbox and Nintendo are down for cross-play and Sony is sitting in the corner arms crossed not wanting to join in. When they know damn well that’s where all this is going anyway. Not to mention their strange aversion to modding on titles that lead to strangled communities in games like Skyrim and Fallout4. I’ve also already talked about PSNow v GamePass and how much better GamePass is despite it coming out years after PSNow. Yes this section is short but the problems are very big and potentially damaging to Sony and their reputation. They need to get on the ball or find themselves in Microsoft’s position come the next generation.
Take-Two Interactive (Rockstar and 2k)
TTI as a publisher is deceptively devious. They lay low and in the background unlike EA making sure everyone knows when a subsidiary works on a game that it’s also theirs. Take-Two owns two very prominent developers in the industry (2k and Rockstar) and they know it because at every turn they are monetizing them. GTA 5 is amazing, GTA online is a pay to win crapshoot. Planes costing an upwards of 20 to 40 real-world dollars. The in-game currency is difficult to earn in massive quantities required to pay such exuberant price tags. The shark cards were so well implemented it made GTA the most lucrative entertainment franchise of all time. They were so successful that games like NBA 2k and Red Dead Redemption 2 will feature them. Games that do not need them at all and only make the games a lifeless money hole. RDD2 isn’t out but the publisher already stated that monetization was going to be a focus on their games from here on out.