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I think Activision is a pretty cool guy, eh kills fangames and doesnt afraid of anything.
March 2, 2010 10:36 AM   Subscribe

Activision: evil vidgame publisher or evilest vidgame publisher?
posted by juv3nal (109 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'd say the blogosphere has already pretty much hashed this one out, but to summarize - Infinity Ward didn't want to spend the next decade making CoD/MW sequels, and Activision wanted them to milk exactly that cash cow.

I have to admit, though (and perhaps someone can explain this relationship to me) - IW exists as a separate entity from Activision, correct? So how can Activision do or threaten anything beyond giving the contract to another code factory / studio?
posted by pla at 10:44 AM on March 2, 2010


you earn a favorite for this thread title.
posted by shmegegge at 10:49 AM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Turbo snark knife attack! snickt snickt snikt!
posted by Artw at 10:50 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd say the blogosphere has already pretty much hashed this one out, but to summarize - Infinity Ward didn't want to spend the next decade making CoD/MW sequels, and Activision wanted them to milk exactly that cash cow.

there's really nothing that's very clear right now. rumors are spreading quickly and all over the place claiming a number of different problems, including the possibility that IW has received zero royalties on MW2, and whether or not that was in their contract in the first place, etc...
posted by shmegegge at 10:50 AM on March 2, 2010


Wow, I have to say that even in the world of videogames development, in which fucked up things happening is certainly not strange, this all sounds unusually weird.
posted by Artw at 10:54 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I know the first link is the higher profile thing, but the tldr; on the second link: the Silver Lining developers had a deal with Sierra/Vivendi which would let them go ahead with making the game. Activision chose not to honor that agreement when the game (8 years in development) was due to be released this year.
posted by juv3nal at 10:56 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


IW exists as a separate entity from Activision, correct?

Nope. It's an internal studio owned by Activision.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:56 AM on March 2, 2010


I'm gonna go with evilist, for the record.
posted by dortmunder at 10:58 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


They appear to have a fuck-off big gun to the cash-cows head. It's questionable how smart this is.
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ramirez! Take out that fan collective!
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 11:01 AM on March 2, 2010 [14 favorites]


"vidgame". Is this a thing that's said by people? My head wants to pronounce it "vijaim".
posted by gurple at 11:02 AM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Money quote: "Getting mad at Activision for this kind of thing is like getting mad at an ape for throwing feces," said Schafer. "It's just how the beast communicates."

posted by mullingitover at 11:03 AM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Activision chose not to honor that agreement when the game (8 years in development) was due to be released this year.

What I don't get about fan games is why they don't release the game as a generic clone with identical game mechanics (which is generally completely legal) and then in parallel release an "unofficial" patch that changes key parts of the art and dialog to make it a fan game. That way if they got hit with C&Ds from the IP owners, they could just officially publish the generic game and let the patch circulate through the usual methods.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:04 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


And these are the people that own World of Warcraft now?

The next expansion of which is called Cataclysm, by the way. Talk about your potential eponysteria...
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:05 AM on March 2, 2010


burnmp3s: "
What I don't get about fan games is why they don't release the game as a generic clone with identical game mechanics
"

Because fan games depend in large part on community and participation, and it gets people excited when their favorite series is continuing. Same reason people would rather read fanfic about Mulder and Scully than two random people.
posted by graventy at 11:08 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Lots of rumors abound about this possibly being another ARG, simply because of the utter lack of public information about this. And they were getting really close to announcing DLC information this week, so this could be hype for that.

I don't really buy that; Activision has done too many evil things lately.
posted by graventy at 11:10 AM on March 2, 2010


"vidgame". Is this a thing that's said by people? My head wants to pronounce it "vijaim".

Vidjagame.


And these are the people that own World of Warcraft now?

I believe that the terms of the purchase stipulate that Activision isn't allowed anywhere near Blizzard in terms of creative control.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:11 AM on March 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is this something I'd need to play Pitfall to understand?
posted by anthom at 11:11 AM on March 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


And these are the people that own World of Warcraft now?

Sort of.

"Activision and Blizzard Entertainment still exist as separate entities. The holding company does not publish games under its central name and instead uses its subsidiaries to publish games, similar to how Vivendi Games operated before the merger. The merger makes Activision parent company of Vivendi Games former divisions.

While Blizzard retained its autonomy and corporate leadership, other Vivendi Games divisions were not so fortunate. An example of this is the long-time label Sierra (which had been around as long as Activision) which ceased operation."
posted by shen1138 at 11:11 AM on March 2, 2010


Ah, crappy corporate politics and policies! Will you ever cease to provide lulz and wtf to those who watch from the outside???

("vidgame"??? seriously? when you bothered to actually type "videogame" as the tag? Talk to Pat Sajak and replenish your supply of vowels before posting next time.)
posted by hippybear at 11:13 AM on March 2, 2010


Poor EA. Activision merges with Blizzard and has a couple of hits and corresponding scandals with Call of Duty and suddenly no one remembers the years and years of work EA has put into being the biggest, shittiest game publisher around. Activision just swooped in and made being evil look easy, and now EA is left standing out in the cold, with no one paying attention to their badness. It's tragic, really.
posted by Caduceus at 11:14 AM on March 2, 2010 [30 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell : Nope. It's an internal studio owned by Activision.

Ah! Okay, that makes more sense then. I know a few guys who work as game devs, and thought it a similar situation (They don't actually work directly for any company you've likely heard of, even though many in this discussion will have played games they worked on).

In that case... Still dumb to kill the golden goose, but when the boss tells you to work on project-X, not many choices other than "do it or see ya".
posted by pla at 11:18 AM on March 2, 2010


Sierra/Vivendi made a deal with Phoenix Online Studios to allow them to make their King’s Quest tribute game, The Silver Lining. [...] It is no more. Because now Activision – current owners of Sierra/Vivendi IP – have issued a new Cease & Desist to the amateur developers, shutting the project down completely.

I hope that AGD's amazing, non-commercial remakes of Sierra's Quest for Glory 2 and King's Quest 1 & 2 are not next, or anywhere, on their list.
posted by kid ichorous at 11:21 AM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Vidgame is one of the kind of "Too hip for the room" buzzwords that made me hate everything about the hobby.

For example, if you want me to stab you, just use the word "SHMUP."
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:21 AM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Because fan games depend in large part on community and participation, and it gets people excited when their favorite series is continuing. Same reason people would rather read fanfic about Mulder and Scully than two random people.

In my experience fan games and non-commercial programming projects in general mainly depend on a handful of people willing to put in the work, rather than the community as a whole. And even considering the community aspect, it seems like it would be just as easy to drum up support for a clone game + fan patch as it would be to get support for a fan game. If the choice is no fanfic because whoever owns the rights to the X-Files won't allow it, versus generic fanfic about Dulmer and Luscly with a greasemonkey script to change all of the proper nouns to the correct ones, the latter seems like a reasonable albeit clunky choice.
posted by burnmp3s at 11:22 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Vidgame is one of the kind of "Too hip for the room" buzzwords that made me hate everything about the hobby.
posted by Dr-Baa


Um, too hip for the room? Usually buzzwords or the like that are exclusionary are less obvious than "vidgame" which is pretty much impossible not to parse.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:24 AM on March 2, 2010


Still dumb to kill the golden goose

Well, you have to define "dumb" and "kill" and "golden goose."

All of Infinity Ward's expertise and technology didn't magically go away, although morale is obviously taking a big hit. The Call of Duty brand didn't go away. And most of the money that could be made from Modern Warfare 2 has already been made.

From the outside, it sounds like a high-level disagreement happened over "what's next," and that happens at every business every day. I'm sure this isn't playing out as Activision wanted, but it's not like someone strapped all the employees and all the source-control servers to a bomb.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:27 AM on March 2, 2010


Activision sucks. They've managed to ruin Guitar Hero, Tony Hawk, and now they are doing their best to ruin Call of Duty. I would be surprised if they don't have a hand in managing to ruin Blizzard products as well.

They are indeed the new EA, especially with EA's recent trend of taking chances on new IP's and not just cranking out the annual sequel for every title.

Not sure if it's mentioned in the articles, but it's worth noting that Battlefield Bad Company 2 is due out very soon and I've heard it said that Activision wanted IW to be releasing DLC for MW2 to try and steal some of the BC2 sales, but it wasn't ready and that's why IW heads have rolled.

vidgame... doesn't work. Unacceptable.

Video games. Vidya games. Vids. Games. All acceptable.

posted by utsutsu at 11:29 AM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I wouldn't call Activision evil for the Silver Lining decision, so much as idiotic. If there were a smarter bunch in charge, they could have leveraged it as advertising, bonus material for a future game, good will, or even bought the damn thing for cheap and released it themselves. It's embarrassing to see such idiots in charge of some of our cultural awesome reserves.
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:29 AM on March 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Well, sure, but low morale = high turnover, and you don't want to break up winning teams. Getting a team of programmers, designers, modelers, and artists that really work well together and produce outstanding results is probably the single hardest problem in managing a game company. Nearly everyone fails, but when they get it right, magic happens.

The claims of 'breach of contract' make me think Infinity Ward isn't getting paid what they think they're entitled to. If that's the actual dispute, from what I've seen of Kotick, I'd bet nickels to dollars that IW is in the right, and is getting thoroughly screwed.
posted by Malor at 11:35 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


burnmp3s: "And even considering the community aspect, it seems like it would be just as easy to drum up support for a clone game + fan patch as it would be to get support for a fan game. "

How would you do that though? Any reference to the original would attract the evil developer's attention, and those references are how you collect interest and gain support. Kotaku's not going to cover your "Quest for Glory"-like game. They will cover your unofficial sequel. There's no way to get widespread coverage and also keep a secret fan patch that makes it a true sequel.
posted by graventy at 11:36 AM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cool Papa Bell: "From the outside, it sounds like a high-level disagreement happened over "what's next," and that happens at every business every day. I'm sure this isn't playing out as Activision wanted, but it's not like someone strapped all the employees and all the source-control servers to a bomb."

I'll put you down for "evil."
posted by Rhaomi at 11:41 AM on March 2, 2010


I'll put you down for "evil."

Get in line.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:42 AM on March 2, 2010


For those with a short memory - Infinity Ward was founded on the ashes of the original Medal of Honor team over at 2015, who got fucked over pretty hard after MoH's release.

Part of me wants to lament that these guys can't catch a break, but considering how many units they've shipped that's a ridiculous sentiment. It's more that they can't seem to dodge clueless execs who don't understand that while sequels get you MOAR CASH, new IP can get you *multiple* sources of MOAR CASH.
posted by Ryvar at 11:43 AM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Next week is going to be fun, I get to go to the GDC in San Fransisco and talk to these people. Should I bring garlic?
posted by hellojed at 11:45 AM on March 2, 2010


Can we sue this "Activision" company for using the name of the AWESOME VIDEO GAME COMPANY that made River Raid for the Atari 2600? Because these are clearly not the same people.
posted by bondcliff at 11:47 AM on March 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


Part of me wants to lament that these guys can't catch a break, but considering how many units they've shipped that's a ridiculous sentiment. It's more that they can't seem to dodge clueless execs who don't understand that while sequels get you MOAR CASH, new IP can get you *multiple* sources of MOAR CASH.

If this is the second time this is happening to them, it makes me question whether or not these guys take negotiating their contracts seriously enough. It's not that Activision is evil; it's that Activision is evil, so when you're considering entering an agreement with them, you go in knowing you're dealing with the devil.
posted by fatbird at 11:49 AM on March 2, 2010


so when you're considering entering an agreement with them, you go in knowing you're dealing with the devil.
posted by fatbird


I knew there was a reason Fiddle Hero got cancelled!
posted by haveanicesummer at 11:58 AM on March 2, 2010 [16 favorites]


When three franchises result in 98% of revenue, you better believe Activision wants to keep that cash cow rolling.
posted by AloneOssifer at 11:58 AM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


68%, Alone. The 98% figure is WoW's proportion of Blizzard's revenue, which should come as no surprise being as it's the only game they've released in the last eight years.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:01 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been an Activision shareholder for about a year now. I'm currently down 9%. At every turn, they do something to tarnish the brand or negatively impact the stock (with a very recent exception of actually giving a dividend for the first time ever). I was sick of it before they made this move and I'm even more sick of it now. I do expect to recover my 9%, and when that happens, I will be bailing out. They might have a great investment future, but I don't like the way (pun intended) they play the game.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 12:06 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


What I don't get about fan games is why they don't release the game as a generic clone with identical game mechanics (which is generally completely legal) and then in parallel release an "unofficial" patch that changes key parts of the art and dialog to make it a fan game. That way if they got hit with C&Ds from the IP owners, they could just officially publish the generic game and let the patch circulate through the usual methods.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:04 PM on March 2


I have never understood this from fan communities, and in this regard, I totally support Activision.

If you really, really love a property, that's great. Having dedicated, die-hard fans is amazing and priceless. I can't overstate how happy things like fan fiction and fan art make people.

But if you're going to band together and make something (semi-) professional, you're going to be treated like professionals. And bean counters deal with all professionals similarly. It doesn't matter that you're releasing it free. It doesn't matter that it's transformative. You will get a cease and desist, period. Lawyers try to keep things in black and white, especially when things involve them making money. So to them, fans making a new game based on a current (if unused for a while) IP is no different than if Fox made a movie called Toy Story 5, and released it for free. Shit, they know they can scare off DA_WEED_SEPHIR0TH89 and his group of friends with a single letter most times.

If you and other fans of something really, really love a particular set of characters, there are so many ways to get a project out there. Like burnmp3 sez, just release a generic clone, and a patch. Or, if you really care about it and aren't just trying to get attention, stop making forums and wikis and endless related demo videos. Just make the damn thing, release it as a torrent. Voilà! You've managed to avoid the crushing grip of corporate IP.

Or, even better: make your own story. Don't waste thousands of man hours of volunteers to make a remake of SNES Zelda in 3D. Don't spend years doing a shot by shot remake of Hugo's House of Horrors with hand-drawn sprites. Take what you loved so much about the original property, the intangible themes, the tones, the art direction, and make something entirely new.

(Addendum: None of this is me saying, legally or ethically, what is "right." I'm just describing what will happen, always, forever.)

(Second addendum: But in regard to the other thing with infinity ward, fuck Activision)
posted by Damn That Television at 12:11 PM on March 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


Irony of ironies: Activision was formed by a handful of disgruntled Atari programmers. Their chief complaint? That Atari wouldn't include the developer's name on the game.

True fact: the totally awesome game River Raid was programmed by one of the few women in the entire game industry at the time.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:14 PM on March 2, 2010 [7 favorites]


Activison might seem tough when they sic their crocodiles on you, but just stand on their eyeballs and they're completely helpless!
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:16 PM on March 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


You know what we used to call "IP?"

A "series."
posted by lumensimus at 12:17 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, River Raid was truly great. It's a shame about the sequel.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:18 PM on March 2, 2010


bondcliff : Because these are clearly not the same people.

Actually, you have that correct - Very much not the same company. The Activision our generation remembers fondly as pro-dev, pro-gamer, anti-corporate-behemoth (Atari at the time) died in 1986 when Levy stepped down. Since then, it has gone steadily toward the dark side.


Malor : Well, sure, but low morale = high turnover, and you don't want to break up winning teams.

This - Pretty much what I meant by "golden goose", Cool Papa Bell.

Companies like to treat all their employees as interchangeable cogs - And most of the time that works out for them, since most jobs don't need the difference between "adequate" and "superstar". It doesn't matter of your AR person can do their month's work in three hours or three weeks, as long as you get statements out by the end of the month. It doesn't matter if your janitor keeps the brass sparkling or barely gets the vacuuming done, as long as you don't have vermin eating rotting food in the kitchenettes. And it doesn't (usually) matter if your programmers can come up with code so elegant it reads like poetry, or a thousand lines of barely functional hackery, as long as their code works and you ship reasonably close to on-time.

For a field like game development, however, you not only need some decent star-power, but you need several stars that can actually work together (pretty close to an oxymoron in that field). The IP doesn't matter if you can't do anything with it (DNF, for example).
posted by pla at 12:22 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Evil vidgame publisher:" redundant term, or most redundant term?
posted by koeselitz at 12:35 PM on March 2, 2010



"Evil vidgame publisher:" redundant term, or most redundant term?

I dunno, Stardock seem like alright folks.
posted by juv3nal at 12:39 PM on March 2, 2010


"Wow, really nice painting, Da Vinci. Now make The Last Supper 2. NO do not ARGUE with me YOU ARE FIRED I KNOW MORE ABOUT WHAT YOU SHOULD PAINT THAN YOU DO. I have an MBA and no I do not know anything but painting but YOU dont know anything about business, the true art. Whats that? Lol. "Mona Lisa" yeah right who would want to see a painting called mona lisa tahts the kind of painting a gay person would paint. Your not gay are you? Your fired" - President of Activision (George Bush)
posted by Damn That Television at 12:40 PM on March 2, 2010 [13 favorites]


juv3nal: “I dunno, Stardock seem like alright folks.”

Yes, but they publish video games. I'm sure they're very nice people otherwise. Doesn't make publishing video games a good thing to do.
posted by koeselitz at 12:51 PM on March 2, 2010


For example, if you want me to stab you, just use the word "SHMUP."

I take it you're not a fan of the MeTa Shmoopy?

But I'm with you, why would anyone refer to a shoot-em-up as a "shmoop"?
posted by explosion at 1:15 PM on March 2, 2010


>When three franchises result in 98% of revenue, you better believe Activision wants to keep that cash cow rolling.

Nice theory, but how does that jibe with what happened with Infinity Ward? It's nice that there's some sort of Great Wall between Blizzard and Activision, but given that WoW's growth is stagnant, I can imagine some clever Dick at Activision trying to convince the Vivendi bosses to do a little exploratory surgery on the goose that lays the golden eggs, just to, you know, make sure things are OK in there.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:32 PM on March 2, 2010


update.
A source familiar with the studio told Kotaku that Infinity Ward has long bristled at the notion of any studio other than IW making a Call of Duty game. The studio heads' renewed 2009 contract with Activision affirmed that only Infinity Ward would be allowed to make Call of Duty games set in the modern era, according to the source.

Infinity Ward's two most recent games were 2007's Call of Duty IV: Modern Warfare and 2009's Modern Warfdare 2. In between, Activision-owned Treyarch developed Call of Duty: World At War and is expected to making 2010's Call of Duty, keeping with Activision's annual Call of Duty cycle. Infinity Ward, according to conversations Kotaku has had with employees at the studio in the past, is a one-game studio and one committed to two-year cycles. For IW, making a Call of Duty annually would not have been consistent with the studio's current structure. (Tensions between the studios flared up in public online close to the release of World at War.)

Kotaku has continued to hear from sources that Infinity Ward wanted to make either a new intellectual property or a game set in the future — the two projects might be one and the same — but that Activision resisted that.
posted by shmegegge at 1:45 PM on March 2, 2010


Halloween Jack: "It's nice that there's some sort of Great Wall between Blizzard and Activision, but given that WoW's growth is stagnant, I can imagine some clever Dick at Activision trying to convince the Vivendi bosses to do a little exploratory surgery on the goose that lays the golden eggs, just to, you know, make sure things are OK in there."

Yeah, but stagnation with an MMO means Blizzard still rakes in billions a year in monthly fees. Plus, they're developing other known solid properties. Honestly there's nothing Activision likes more than a sequel.
posted by graventy at 1:51 PM on March 2, 2010


From Gamasutra
Numerous sources with knowledge of the situation have speculated to Gamasutra that the contract dictates only Infinity Ward may make games in the Modern Warfare arm of the Call of Duty franchise. Other studios, like fellow Activision subsidiary Treyarch, may continue develop other Call of Duty-branded titles.

Sources say one development candidate would be newly-founded Sledgehammer Games, but Activision can't put another studio to work on the third Modern Warfare installment any more than it can force Infinity Ward to work on it now.
...

Another source with knowledge of the situation tells Gamasutra that although Infinity Ward is only about 75 developers strong, Activision brass demanded layoffs at the studio anticipating a refusal -- which they received, potentially opening the door for Activision to use that refusal as a way to launch a breach suit that would help it escape its contract.
posted by Tenuki at 2:03 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


For those not up to speed with gaming blogs and such, Bobby Kotick, the guy running Activision is responsible for this lovely quote:
The goal that I had ... about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games
and replace it with
skepticism, pessimism, and fear

The guy is like a cartoon villian. For reals. You can just picture him reading off the revenue figures for MW2 and saying "One Billeeyun Dollars" in his best Dr. Evil voice.
posted by juv3nal at 2:07 PM on March 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Another source with knowledge of the situation tells Gamasutra that although Infinity Ward is only about 75 developers strong, Activision brass demanded layoffs at the studio anticipating a refusal -- which they received, potentially opening the door for Activision to use that refusal as a way to launch a breach suit that would help it escape its contract.

I know there's somewhat of a cyclical nature to games development, developers fatten up making a game, release a game, then thin back down. But IW just released the best selling game ever. Why would any shareholder see Activision cut people from IW and be happy?
posted by graventy at 2:09 PM on March 2, 2010


I really feel bad for the Infinity Ward guys but can't help but be pleased that Activision is unapologetically making itself out to be the bad guy; now when I tell people I work at EA, they don't immediately hiss and make a cross with their fingers.
posted by slimepuppy at 2:14 PM on March 2, 2010


But IW just released the best selling game ever. Why would any shareholder see Activision cut people from IW and be happy?

Because IW wasn't going to start working on a sequel to the best selling game ever for at least two years and if IW's contract stood Activision couldn't have a new developer start working on Modern Warfare 3.
posted by Tenuki at 2:17 PM on March 2, 2010


From a recent update:

"It plans to expand the Call of Duty brand "with the same focus seen in its Blizzard Entertainment business unit" placing a focus on "high-margin digital online content and further the brand as the leading action entertainment franchise in new geographies, new genres and with new digital business models."


Activision has been hinting at an online subscription model for COD for some time now and I think in light of recent developments we're probably only a few iterations away from seeing that happen.
posted by Sandor Clegane at 2:17 PM on March 2, 2010


You know what I would like to see in the video game world? Less emphasis on multiplayer. I'm getting really tired of it. I thoroughly enjoyed MW2 for the, I don't know, three and a half hours I was able to play it on my own. I'm getting Bad Company 2 even though I hear the single player campaign is even shorter. But all I read these days is reviews where "it's the multiplayer that really shines!" Well, I don't care. I haven't the time to invest in finding a game with some decent pings that isn't packed with fuckchains who don't want to play properly, and anyway I'm not paying for Xbox Live Gold. I just want to pick up the game and blast some faces off, which is why the new DLC for Borderlands is kickass. I was digging Bayonetta, Dante's Inferno and Darksiders too, up to the point where they became annoying/impossible/breathtakingly frustrating. I don't know what I'm saying really except if you're bringing out a game that's only 20% single player, then I only want to pay 20% of the price. If I want multiplayer later I'll fork over the rest. It's galling enough having to legitimately pay $90 for a computer game because I am unable to ruthlessly pirate it like I do everything else, but to be paying that $90 for a six hour campaign - when similarly-priced offerings from nearly twenty years ago would keep me going for weeks and weeks - is just cockbuggery.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:24 PM on March 2, 2010 [10 favorites]


For example, if you want me to stab you, just use the word "SHMUP."

I'll take a stab for "SHMUP" given the huge number of awesome games I've found only because I was able to Google that unique genre-identifying term.

In fact, I'll take a stab just for Kenta Cho's SHMUPS all by themselves.

SHMUPS! SHMUPS! SHMUPS! SHMUPS! SHMUPS! (R.I.P. Shoot The Core)
posted by straight at 2:33 PM on March 2, 2010


turgid dahlia: "It's galling enough having to legitimately pay $90 for a computer game "

Seriously, you guys get screwed. Get it gifted from an American through Steam, and paypal them the cash. Happens really often in the SomethingAwful thread, but I'd bet MeFightClub does similar things as well. That way you also get the versions with violence and stuff that you fragile Aussies can't handle.
posted by graventy at 2:37 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or, even better: make your own story. Don't waste thousands of man hours of volunteers to make a remake of SNES Zelda in 3D. Don't spend years doing a shot by shot remake of Hugo's House of Horrors with hand-drawn sprites. Take what you loved so much about the original property, the intangible themes, the tones, the art direction, and make something entirely new.

There is just one problem with that: the process of making a good video game is, incredibly, less obscure than the process of writing a good story and making characters worth caring about.

Take Nintendo. They employ some of the best game designers in the world, yes, but it's not like there aren't other companies that, given the chance, could equal them. Atari had better designers back in the day.

But Nintendo didn't just design games, they coupled them with engaging characters and storytelling. I am not one of these people who thinks storytelling is, or should be, the be-and-end all of game development. Storytelling may not even be the right word for what I'm talking about. What am I talking about? Look at the original Legend of Zelda. The whole story is summed up in that one page of badly-translated intro text.

But that isn't the whole story. The story is in the incidental elements that come together and make the scenario a lot richer than just the words the characters say. Your hero is a little kid who is kick-ass with a sword. He dresses like half Peter Pan, half forest ranger. Your enemies are land octopuses and evil bulldog men. You have a huge land to explore, and very little about how to survive and prosper in it is handed to you on a plate. The process of playing the game is a huge task through which you slowly build your arsenal and stamina. Six whole screens of the overworld are a graveyard. These things are evocative. Game storytelling these days is too much about telling the player how badass he is, and less about showing him this wonderful place to explore.

No one is trying to evoke anything these days.
posted by JHarris at 2:39 PM on March 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


The company I work for got kind of screwed over by Activision as well. Basically, we'd been helping run the Hoyle games website (owned by Vivendi Universal/Sierra) for a while, and eventually our agreement to do that ran out, but we never got told to stop. As many users on our main site still liked using the Hoyle games site, it made business sense for us to keep doing what we'd been doing.

Eventually, the Hoyle brand name got sold to Encore. Encore's lawyers contacted us and told us to shut the site down, because they were making their own Hoyle site (with payment required). This would have made many users of our main site unhappy for various reasons, so we entered into negotiations with them for ways that we could keep the old site open. We came to an agreement with them that seemed to make both companies (as well as most of the customers) happy, and had spent a few months of programmer time making this happen.

Enter Activision. It turns out that although Encore owned the rights to use the Hoyle brand name online, they didn't acquire the rights to use the code at the old game site that we wanted to keep open. Those rights were owned by Activision. They refused to deal with us about this, and told us to shut everything down, making those few months of programmer time completely wasted.

So, yeah. This didn't particularly surprise me much to read.
posted by Katrel at 2:44 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


turgid dahlia...

That's mostly because these games really aren't single player games. The single player is an after thought, thrown in to please the few folks that want a solid single player experience out of an online shooter. There are other games that are skewed in the exact opposite way, of course. The games you mentioned and many more that are single player only, or where the multiplayer is tacked on and an afterthought.

It's extremely tough to do a game that works at the highest levels in both modes. Any game development cycle is a project and something has to give... you just can't do everything and if you try, everything won't be done well.

I think there's a good balance of single player focused and multiplayer focused games out there, and it's unfortunate when you really wish a specific game was something that it's just not.
posted by utsutsu at 2:44 PM on March 2, 2010


No one is trying to evoke anything these days.

except apparently for David Cage.

rant on! David Cage, who hates video games but loves movies, but no one will let him make a movie. so he just builds these huge sprawling noir detective stories and marries them to awful Simon style interfaces and tells you to love it because he is a genius. but he sure as hell is trying to evoke feelings in his audience, so kudos for that. more of that please, without the 80s throwback toy game mechanics.

and yes, I still haven't played Heavy Rain and I want to so this is totally sour grapes.

posted by shmegegge at 2:47 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Blizzard's next MMO is, appropriately, a new IP. It's been under development for several years now, as they know well enough that WoW will only live so long, and WoW2 is a bad idea (see EQ2). MMO sequels do not make sense as you become your own competition. There is no reason why they cannot release a new, very different MMO and continue to support WoW, as a stagnant WoW is still a cash cow.

An online subscription model for CoD would fail miserably, given that IW cannot even support MW2 sufficiently to prevent rampant exploiting. While it sells well, it's a game that is fun for a couple months in small doses; it is not an MMO and I can't name a single non-MMO game that has had any success with a subscription model. Now, if they wanted to license dedicated servers....
posted by mek at 2:47 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


if nothing else, this debacle has given me cockbuggery, which is my new favorite word.

Still, MW2 wasn't a great game, but there was the absurd cliffhanger. Even after the ridiculousness of the story, I still want to know what happened next. What are the odds that this completely enfuckalates MW3? I'd imagine pretty high, especially if a different studio ends up releasing it.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:49 PM on March 2, 2010


Seriously, you guys get screwed. Get it gifted from an American through Steam

No can do friendo, I only have a 360. I'm happy to pay $90 for a game like Fallout 3 because it's easily got $90 worth of gameplay in it. But at the same time I like to check out the newest and funkiest which is when I go :-/ at stuff like Bad Company 2.

That way you also get the versions with violence and stuff that you fragile Aussies can't handle

I once saw a ten year old become spontaneously bipolar when he started playing the shareware episode of Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold. It's no laughing matter.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:49 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think there's a good balance of single player focused and multiplayer focused games out there, and it's unfortunate when you really wish a specific game was something that it's just not.

I think part of the problem is that many players, when they complete some single player thing and it was totally badass, want to expand on that "shit, I am a total badass" feeling. and online multiplayer serves that need, because it gives you essentially unlimited opportunity to continue the badassery against other people. but often enough that badass feeling was loaded into the context of the single player story, and that is missing. conversely, when the badass feeling is from manipulating the core gameplay mechanic (perhaps simply shooting well) multiplayer gives you the best opportunity to really get your thrills doing that whenever you want, and single player stops doing it for you.

balancing the game mechanics to satisfy the multiplayer need and to still allow the context sensitive storyline style badassery is supremely difficult. as a for instance, Uncharted 2 is - in single player mode - practically nothing but perfectly executed badass story moments. the multiplayer is meh by comparison. halo, on the other hand, is meh in single player but gives hardcore standard shooter junkies hours upon hours of multiplayer badassery if they're good and enjoy that gameplay. mw2 creates an interesting mix of both, but the story is just so short because of how hard it is to make a story out of those multiplayer game mechanics that still fits well with story based context.
posted by shmegegge at 2:53 PM on March 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's mostly because these games really aren't single player games...

Yeah, I know, but that's exactly the problem. I know I've waffled about this before, but here I go again.

I have an Xbox 360. It's the first console I've ever owned and I got it the year after it came out. I did this because I was getting really tired of the constant upgrade cycle inherent in PC gaming. A gig of RAM here, a new GPU there, it adds up, significantly.

With a console, any console, that console is always going to play games designed for that console. A PS3 is always going to play PS3 games, Xbox likewise, and so on.

Now, yeah, I could just find better things to do with my time but I happen to enjoy playing games the same way other people enjoy doing whatever it is that's better than playing games, like knitting beanies or talking to their partners. I'm not interested. So anyway I got a 360, let's pretend that's $500. We'll assume I already had a TV to plug it into. Neat, good to go. Fun times. But then you remember all the other fun times you had with Battlefield 1942 on the PC, so you figure you'll try out multiplayer. You've got your modem and your internet connection and this is the 21st century so it should be plug and play, right?

Well, to an extent. You plug the console in and you get online (after a LOT of fucking around) and suddenly there's this notification that you've only got Xbox Live Silver and do you want to upgrade to Xbox Live Gold? Unlike any other thing in the world, ever? Even the notorious ripoff that was the PS3 (it's a much more attractive item now) didn't force you to pay to get online.

Normally this wouldn't be a problem, paying for Gold to get some multiplayer action happening. But the trick is, I've just paid the same price for the 360 version of a game as I would have for the PS3 version, and more than I would have for the PC version, and now I'm being asked for extra money to utilise a feature built-in to the game, and that is in fact, as you say, pretty much the sole reason for that game existing? I'm sorry but that's just shit and it's why I drink. Yeah, my fault for buying a Microsoft product, I should use Ubuntu, whatever, it's still annoying.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:02 PM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


In the 80s and 90s, Activision made great games and was generally well respected. Nintendo made awesome games and fought in a battle to the death with Sega, while Sony produced Walkman's. EA was evil and cranking out mindless sports games in a numerical sequence year after year. LucasArts made great adventure games.

Today, Activision is evil. Nintendo makes half-arsed casual games and has crushed all its competition, including Sony. Meanwhile their old nemesis Sega is developing games on Nintendo's console. EA is starting to claw back respect in the industry by taking chances on games that aren't sports-related and LucasArts is cranking out half-arsed Star Wars game after half-arsed Star Wars game.

The world has gone topsy-fucking-turvy.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:02 PM on March 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


What are the odds that this completely enfuckalates MW3?

I saw some storyboards for MW3 the other day. One of the levels sees your character thrown into a massive industrial rock-shaking machine, and through a narrow aperture you must take out a running man two miles away with your pistol.

Level after that you are on a maulfunctioning carousel. THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS. STOP IT BEFORE IT EXPLODES.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:06 PM on March 2, 2010


Sources say one development candidate would be newly-founded Sledgehammer Games, but Activision can't put another studio to work on the third Modern Warfare installment any more than it can force Infinity Ward to work on it now.

There have been rumors about this in the Silicon Valley game dev community since Sledgehammer was founded, just under a year ago. I have a lot of friends at Sledgehammer.

What you're seeing isn't an earthquake, it's a chess game.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 3:07 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


turgid dahlia, I understand your pain. The subscription aspect of Xbox Live kept me far away from Xbox (that, and the PS3 being bilingual. In Japan, buy an Xbox? It's in Japanese, and will only play games sold in Japan), but there have been rumblings that Sony will start charging for PSN sometime soon. They claim that current things will still be free, that the charges will only be for 'premium content,' but it's Sony, whose evil makes tiny wretches like Activision pale in comparison. You know, the folks who brought you rootkits on cds and ATRAC among other things?

And your description of MW3 storyboards makes me realize that my anticipation was misplaced. It'll be crap no matter who makes it...
posted by Ghidorah at 3:16 PM on March 2, 2010


turgid dahlia: "I did this because I was getting really tired of the constant upgrade cycle inherent in PC gaming."

It's probably worth mentioning that PC gaming isn't advancing by the leaps and bounds it did five years ago. In fact, the computer I made 4-5 years ago handled Dragon Age just fine, on mid to high settings.

I don't like that they charge for Xbox Live, but on sale it's only about 30 bucks a year. And totally worth it for 1vs100.
posted by graventy at 3:17 PM on March 2, 2010


Activision press release.
posted by graventy at 3:26 PM on March 2, 2010


It's all about the "high-margin digital online content." Micro payments for guns, ammo or body armor?
posted by Tenuki at 3:35 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The future!
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


The future! (link to evony)

YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH!
posted by shmegegge at 3:45 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the advantage of gaming focusing on consoles is that they have to scale for an xbox 360 which has caused a welcome stagnation in the hardware push for PC's. I upgraded my graphics card last year for GTA4 but other than that I'm still able to run any game that's also released on an xbox/ps3 at high settings on a 3 year old PC.
posted by Silentgoldfish at 3:54 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


But if you're going to band together and make something (semi-) professional, you're going to be treated like professionals. And bean counters deal with all professionals similarly. It doesn't matter that you're releasing it free. It doesn't matter that it's transformative. You will get a cease and desist, period.

I call bullshit. Valve doesn't sick the lawyers every time someone does something awesome with Valve IP, and they have a rabid fan base to show how well not shooting yourself in the foot works.
posted by ryoshu at 4:08 PM on March 2, 2010


Roberta Williams was Sierra's co-founder and King's Quest was her spiritual child. Years afterward, Sierra got sold to CUC, which merged with another company. The new company's execs cooked their books and soon Sierra got sold to Havas. Many of its sub-studios closed, canceling sequels to some of its flagship series like Leisure Suit Larry and King's Quest (incidentally, a recently-published FPS called Half Life turned out to be quite profitable).

Among the victims of the "reorganizing" was Northwest Synergistic Software, a studio which had developed the expansion to Diablo, Hellfire, as well as a rather innovative game, Birthright, that combined map-oriented turn-based strategy, real time battles and RPG dungeon romps. All of these were optional, allowing the player to choose their preferred style, Birthright was based on AD&D's setting with the same name and there were plans to develop two more games based on the setting, introducing new features like naval battle. Incidentally it's my favorite low-profile game, but who cares about innovation anyway? Surely not the people in charge of the reorganization.

Sierra then became part of Vivendi Games, a Vivendi Universal subsidiary. Somewhere along the line, Impressions, a studio that had produced successful games such as Caesar, Pharaoh and Lords of the Realm, closed shop. A change in management was forced onto them while their last game, Lords of the Realm III, was being developed.

Finally, Vivendi Games merged with Activision. These folks are so far removed from the original creation of King's Quest, they hardly know how to handle their IP. Did I mention KQ VIII only got released at Roberta William's insistence against her former company, which didn't want to release it? That happened 12 years ago. The remakes of KQ I-III are the only thing that has happened since then.

I should stop now before I'm reminded of EA and Origin Systems.

You have a huge land to explore, and very little about how to survive and prosper in it is handed to you on a plate.

I so guessed that was you when I read that part, JHarris.

posted by ersatz at 5:48 PM on March 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Vidgame is one of the kind of "Too hip for the room" buzzwords that made me hate everything about the hobby.

I've been running Metafilter's gaming offshoot community Mefight Club for going on its third year, and I just did a quick search: with about 85,000 comments so far, 'vidgame' has been used precisely zero times.

So you can feel free to stop hating Mefites who play games, at least.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:43 PM on March 2, 2010


ersatz: "Did I mention KQ VIII only got released at Roberta William's insistence against her former company, which didn't want to release it?

Roberta was totally wrong here, that game is incredibly awful.

Dr-Baa: "For example, if you want me to stab you, just use the word "SHMUP.""

So I guess you don't celebrate Intergalactic Shmuppreciation Month, huh. Shame.
posted by graventy at 6:48 PM on March 2, 2010


It's probably worth mentioning that PC gaming isn't advancing by the leaps and bounds it did five years ago. In fact, the computer I made 4-5 years ago handled Dragon Age just fine, on mid to high settings.

Part of that is the cycle of major licensed game engines. The Unreal Engine 3 (crossplatform on PC/Xbox/PS3), which has powered a very large number of recent triple-A games (though not Dragon Age, if I recall) is a few years old now, as are its main competitors.

The next generation, in a year or two, which will presumably come around the same time as the next generation of consoles, will spike hardware demands in the same way the last generation did a few years back, and then the curve will smooth back out again. Punctuated evolution.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:50 PM on March 2, 2010


When I saw the Infinity Ward story break yesterday I was so sure that it was a dumb PR stunt.
posted by danb at 7:27 PM on March 2, 2010


The next generation, in a year or two, which will presumably come around the same time as the next generation of consoles, will spike hardware demands in the same way the last generation did a few years back, and then the curve will smooth back out again.

The good news I hope is that that generation should hopefully only have to purchase a video card to cope with the upgrade, and you can get capable cards for sub $200 these days. (example: I can play crisis on my current machine with settings at highest on a sub $200 card.) with PCI being a standard for card interfaces that doesn't seem to be going anywhere, and SLI and Crossfire making leaps and bounds in performance boosts (plus the processor having less and less to do with game performance), it really is starting to look like pcs will finally be approaching a reasonably priced, console-comparable upgrade cycle. whether this has anything to do with the rising costs of consoles at launch remains to be seen.

nothing could possibly compare to the advent of the PCI slot for graphics cards, though. Suddenly everyone who wanted to game on their computer needed to buy an entirely new one. everything from the motherboard to the RAM, powersupply and cpu had to be scrapped. if you were still using ide optical drives and hard drives, there was a chance you'd scrap those too for SATA drives, though it is thankfully still easy enough to get IDE capable mobos with optional SATA. the cost of upgrading to PCI graphics was so prohibitive that I couldn't even do it myself until a couple of months ago.
posted by shmegegge at 9:09 PM on March 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


SLI? My god, we've come full circle. Next up: math coprocessor or Overdrive chip - which is for you?
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:15 PM on March 2, 2010


Your hero is a little kid who is kick-ass with a sword. He dresses like half Peter Pan, half forest ranger. Your enemies are land octopuses and evil bulldog men. You have a huge land to explore, and very little about how to survive and prosper in it is handed to you on a plate. The process of playing the game is a huge task through which you slowly build your arsenal and stamina. Six whole screens of the overworld are a graveyard.

that is the weirdest description of Paperboy I've ever heard.
posted by shmegegge at 9:25 PM on March 2, 2010 [8 favorites]


Roberta was totally wrong here, that game is incredibly awful.

Well, in trying to cope with the plunge of the adventure market, turning the game towards rpg tropes wasn't such a bad idea. Quest For Glory had already treaded that path after all. It's hard to break into another genre though, especially when you have to fight tooth and nail to release the game all the while. Most rpgs of that era sucked, anyway (I remember a magazine feature with 50-80 rpgs that were under development and at least half of them were Diablo clones. The last, honorary position belonged to a promising game called Baldur's Gate).
posted by ersatz at 2:35 AM on March 3, 2010


turgid dahlia, you've made me question why I re-up my Gold membership every year. It's reached the point I can't play online in random multiplayers anymore - I just can't stand the kids. That unedited video featuring Xbox Live Mod 'The Pro' dealing with some kid boasting how he could fuck his grandma out a window pretty much sums up my experience in random multiplay.

I can't understand why Microsoft or Sony or publishers don't try to cater to old farts like me. I consider a game a worthy investment if I can get 12 hours of play out of it. This is based on how much it used to cost for an hour of AOL back in the day; I decided that 5 bucks an hour was an appropriate rate for fun. It's applied to movies, booze, and any other hobby I might try to pick up ("stainless steel fermenter is 300 bucks? Will I get 60 hours of fun out of it? No? Pass.")

I'll play my 12 hours, feel sated, and look for another game. Many of the FPS kids will, on the other hand, play their game for 300 hours before moving on to the next title. Even if I only have a tenth of the free time as my younger peers, I'll still end up buying more games. Even better, because I have disposable income, I'll buy them new and won't go for trade ins.

I know the pool of 30+ year old gamers is not as big as the 13-21 year olds, but we're here, and given the number of comments I've seen saying that people would pay extra if they could be assured of avoiding screeching, trash-talking kids entirely, there's definitely some money to be made off us.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:02 AM on March 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


ersatz: "Well, in trying to cope with the plunge of the adventure market, turning the game towards rpg tropes wasn't such a bad idea."

In theory, absolutely. I've never actually played the final two King's Quests, but I've been watching their slide past mediocrity into awfulness through a couple of LPs here and here. KQ7's biggest problem was awful nonsensical puzzles, like a lot of late Sierra games.

KQ8, though, is almost entirely awful. It is only nominally a King's Quest game, with few connections to the others at all. It is early 3D, and seems to ape Tomb Raider more than anything else, with a Diablo "click to attack" system. Only with much worse controls. I mean, I can see why the other people at the company would not want to have released it.

And it sold more than twice what Grim Fandango did.
posted by graventy at 7:49 AM on March 3, 2010


The world has gone topsy-fucking-turvy.

Even worse, Codemasters took the word "simulator" off their simulator games!

/faints
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:05 AM on March 3, 2010


Three Reasons Activision Won't Even Have To Pause
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:10 AM on March 3, 2010


I call bullshit. Valve doesn't sick the lawyers every time someone does something awesome with Valve IP, and they have a rabid fan base to show how well not shooting yourself in the foot works.
posted by ryoshu at 7:08 PM on March 2

You can call bullshit all you want, Valve is obviously the exception. I was just describing how almost every major company works, a fact that is pretty un-call-bullshitable when you consider the fact that we're even having this discussion to begin with.

If every major media company acted like Valve, we'd live in a goddamn media paradise.
posted by Damn That Television at 10:52 AM on March 3, 2010


Blizzard works similarly, too. They built WC3 as a virtually open platform for custom games, allowed the DOTA people to make an entirely new game inside of their product, and then commercialize it. We can hope SC2 will be equally supportive of modding.
posted by mek at 1:18 PM on March 3, 2010


they've already announced that SCII is being built as a modder's paradise. they demoed a 3rd person Ghost-inspired shooter and some other interesting stuff made in-engine.
posted by shmegegge at 1:33 PM on March 3, 2010


...pay extra if they could be assured of avoiding screeching, trash-talking kids entirely, there's definitely some money to be made off us.

Yup, age verification for access to certain play zones and instabans for shrill primple-voiced trashtalkers. The way of the future! Now if only all of Australia didn't have to share the one ADSL line we'd be in business.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:08 PM on March 3, 2010


In theory, absolutely. I've never actually played the final two King's Quests, but I've been watching their slide past mediocrity into awfulness through a couple of LPs here and here. KQ7's biggest problem was awful nonsensical puzzles, like a lot of late Sierra games.

Ah, I haven't watched the game since then, but I have my doubts that it's aged well. It was a flawed game even back then, but consider also the state of 3d games of the era: Donkey Kong 64 (1999) was a thing of beauty when it came out and nowadays you can't look at the textures without laughing; Tomb Raider 2 is so pixelly I have the urge to play Doom.


With regard to WC3, there was an rpg-style map that was roughly based on Wizardry quests, which ended by going to the Dark Savants tower and kicking his ass leveling up some more before taking him down. I can't remember what it was called to save my life, but there was plenty of fun to be had with WC3 mods.
posted by ersatz at 3:39 PM on March 3, 2010


Three Reasons Activision Won't Even Have To Pause

This article is completely self-contradictory. The author acknowledges that there's something about the Infinity Ward-produced CoD titles that makes them better than the Treyarch ones, yet he concludes by saying "the creative process involved making a Call of Duty game doesn't seem to be rocket science". Is his point supposed to be that Treyarch's games sell just as well and therefore IW's better quality is superfluous? Cause the article reads to me like any other internet-jackass "that doesn't look so hard to me, I wrote a Slashdot/Reddit clone over the weekend".
posted by breath at 5:47 PM on March 3, 2010


Ousted Infinity Ward founders file suit against Activision
posted by danb at 9:36 PM on March 3, 2010


Another article about the lawsuit:
Legal Warfare Breaks Out Over Modern Warfare 2
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:25 AM on March 4, 2010


It's unbelievable and sickening that they aren't being paid any MW2 royalties.
posted by mek at 1:23 PM on March 4, 2010


Another article about the lawsuit:
Legal Warfare Breaks Out Over Modern Warfare 2


Kotaku has scans of the complaint.

Page 10, if any of it is true, is nuts.
posted by juv3nal at 1:45 PM on March 4, 2010


Objection! Refusing to tell someone what they have or have not done on the basis that they must already have a clear understanding of it is clearly Kafkaesque, not Orwellian.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on March 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rumour: Sources tell Kotaku that Activision continues to delay royalties to other employees in order to keep them at the company.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:44 AM on March 12, 2010


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