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Penny Arcade - Comic - The Emerald Eye

DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
edited January 2022 in The Penny Arcade Hub
imagePenny Arcade - Comic - The Emerald Eye

Videogaming-related online strip by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. Includes news and commentary.

Read the full story here

Unknown User on
FiendishrabbitAndy JoeCommander ZoomArmsForPeace84TofystedethH3Knuckles
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Posts

  • LazyDogJumperLazyDogJumper Registered User regular
    I feel the controversy going around has a big part of this, in that it would not have sold for ONLY $70 billion and Microsoft would not have scooped it up like that. That being said, Microsoft just dropping a deal like that really does show what stunts they can pull. Just saying, I don't really think it was "on a whim".

  • LttlefootLttlefoot Registered User regular
    edited January 2022
    They bought Activision Blizzard huh? Does this mean Heroes of the Storm will get good again? (probably not)

    I think if they tried to buy Sony, some lawyers would sue them for having a monopoly (while conveniently ignoring the existence of Nintendo, Valve, Tencent etc)

    Doesn't Microsoft own Minecraft as well? They could make all sorts of cool crossovers now, like a diablo-type game set in the world of minecraft

    Lttlefoot on
  • MaryAmeliaMaryAmelia Registered User regular
    Can someone explain why this is bad for us (individual gamers)? There's a big fuss about this but to me it's just one big company buying another...

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    MaryAmelia wrote: »
    Can someone explain why this is bad for us (individual gamers)? There's a big fuss about this but to me it's just one big company buying another...

    If you're a PS or Nintendo owner only, it could mean the end of anything from ActBliz.

    Also it's not great with all the terrible assault reports coming from that company. Kotek and the other awful people will benefit from this.

    H3Knuckles
  • DettonDetton Registered User new member
    @MaryAmelia Honestly, Activision has been just such a garbage fire, that I'm actually happy to see it.

    I don't have any illusions about Microsoft being a "good guy" or anything like that -- they're still sleezy, but it's in the corporate suit-wearing-weasel sort of way, rather than the frat club kind ABK was.

    This is going to make the Game Pass absolutely massive value, when it already was one of the best subscriptions you can have.

    On an individual basis? I think it's probably good (or neutral-good at least) for us as customers and gamers. As an industry, I think the worry is about having one company with such a large control over gaming and entertainment.

    It's a meta-level analysis that doesn't really affect us common folk. The gaming industry has been more than capable of being trash all by itself WITHOUT being part of a megacorp.

    Chiselphane
  • DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited January 2022
    Monopolies are bad, but honestly, as far as I'm concerned, ActBliz could have disappeared 20 years ago and the only thing I'd have lost is Overwatch.

    Djiem on
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    MaryAmelia wrote: »
    Can someone explain why this is bad for us (individual gamers)? There's a big fuss about this but to me it's just one big company buying another...

    In a very simple way: a board of directors now owns an absolute massive pile of IPs and they are going to decide which of these go in the freezer. Instead of 3 WWII shooters released at the same time with publishers trying to move as many copies as they can, one company will just look at their portfolio, appoint one IP to one studio and all the other IPs are left in the freezer. It stifles creativity.

    Thankfully there is a vibrant indie scene, I hope everyone knows where to find it.

    dennisMan in the MistsH3Knuckles
  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    edited January 2022
    1zfmuk51wyng.png

    I feel like Tycho is attending a... specific type of puppet show.

    dennis on
    Hahnsoo1Rhesus PositiveBloodySlothPyrian
  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    MaryAmelia wrote: »
    Can someone explain why this is bad for us (individual gamers)? There's a big fuss about this but to me it's just one big company buying another...

    To add on to Aldo's excellent summary with an example:

    Imagine Company A and Company B competing in the marketplace. There is 10 million dollars worth of market for a Big Game of a certain type. Let's say Company A and Company B each made equally compelling games and wound up splitting the money and each making 5 million dollars.

    However, Company A might buy Company B, with the hopes that they could just release one game instead of two. They realize that this game might only appeal to enough people to make 8 million dollars, but that's more they were making before so that other 20% of the market can just go fuck themselves because it's a better profit than before.

    (Yes, this is an incredibly simple example and ignores a lot of factors. But that's the general gist of why it might be bad for consumers when companies conglomerate and reduce competition and choices.)

    H3Knuckles
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited January 2022
    dennis wrote: »
    1zfmuk51wyng.png

    I feel like Tycho is attending a... specific type of puppet show.

    Only the sauciest of puppets are allowed.

    MichaelLC on
    dennis
  • BropocalypseBropocalypse Registered User regular
    Actiblizz stock has been in the toilet lately, right? These IPs are valuable, it was only a matter of time before someone struck. MS, EA, Ubisoft...
    Well, the silver lining is that it seems like Kotick will be gone.

  • BropocalypseBropocalypse Registered User regular
    Also, WONDERFUL Jack Kirby-esque art in this strip, Mike. Love it.

    HandkorYoungFreyCommander ZoomtastydonutsH3KnucklesBloodySloth
  • LttlefootLttlefoot Registered User regular
    I feel like there is a middle ground between indie and microsoft, and these medium sized devs/publishers would be happy to make you a ww2 game if microsoft stopped making cod for some reason, but I get what you mean

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Do those exist anymore? Like maybe Supergiant? They're 20 people but pretty big player.

    Seems like most of the middle players are either gone or part of a big studio. Some operating more independent than others for sure.

    dennis
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray Registered User regular
    "indie" only has meaning as a word when I divide the whole industry in two sectors: megacorps and Everything Else. Obviously reality is more nuanced than this, but it kind of works as a simplification.

    dennisTofystedethMoridin889V1m
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    MaryAmelia wrote: »
    Can someone explain why this is bad for us (individual gamers)? There's a big fuss about this but to me it's just one big company buying another...

    To add on to Aldo's excellent summary with an example:

    Imagine Company A and Company B competing in the marketplace. There is 10 million dollars worth of market for a Big Game of a certain type. Let's say Company A and Company B each made equally compelling games and wound up splitting the money and each making 5 million dollars.

    However, Company A might buy Company B, with the hopes that they could just release one game instead of two. They realize that this game might only appeal to enough people to make 8 million dollars, but that's more they were making before so that other 20% of the market can just go fuck themselves because it's a better profit than before.

    (Yes, this is an incredibly simple example and ignores a lot of factors. But that's the general gist of why it might be bad for consumers when companies conglomerate and reduce competition and choices.)

    Adam Conover gives an actual live example of the gutting of truTV:

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
    dennisAldoH3KnucklesSorceDjiem
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    I, like, get why is bad, but having Bobby around is still worse. So.

    mRahmani
  • GrendusGrendus Registered User regular
    edited January 2022
    MaryAmelia wrote: »
    Can someone explain why this is bad for us (individual gamers)? There's a big fuss about this but to me it's just one big company buying another...

    Competition is good. Microsoft is now the third largest games publisher in the world, and owns two platforms (though Valve does most of the games sales on PC, but since Microsoft's plan is focused on Gamepass they don't really care).

    It's also concerning because this is Microsoft throwing their Windows and Azure and Office money around to buy their way into a dominant position in the gaming market. XBox is not nearly profitable enough to justify buying both ZeniMax and Activision, this is part of a longer term strategy. And that bully position, and them being willing to use it, is bad news for other publishers and platform holders. It's not enough that Sony and Nintendo can produce good games in-house, they make most of their money from the publisher cut on third party games and microtransactions through their store. If Microsoft buys up all the AAA studios and those games are only available on PC and XBox, they can starve out their competitors and have a de facto monopoly.

    Grendus on
    H3Knuckles
  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Clippy. Clippy never changes.

    Ringo
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    I don't really see that'll change all that much with the acquistion. Like I doubt CoD goes exclusive, so it'll just be like what playstation has now with early access on xbox instead of playstation which was how 360 was. Blizzard is primarily a pc dev and microsoft loves PC so that won't change. Shit this might actually be better because maybe they'll have blizzard games on steam.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
  • BropocalypseBropocalypse Registered User regular
    The thing is that there's no reason for their properties to BECOME exclusive. The consoles are just landing craft, the real battles are won through game sales. Minecraft didn't become a console exclusive, why should anything else? The real money isn't in selling electronics(especially right now, jesus christ) but in exchanging a few gigabytes of data for dozens of dollars.
    Hell, if they cornered enough of the publishing market, Microsoft might even stop making consoles altogether. Why bother with that when you can control Sony and Nintendo's markets from the inside?

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Microsoft seeemingly likes making xbox consoles, they want it to become a media hub in every household and honestly it is for me? Like it's how I watch prime, disney+ and my blurays on top of playing games and such. In a world where not everyone uses a PC to game, you want to keep that option open for consumers.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
  • BropocalypseBropocalypse Registered User regular
    edited January 2022
    Preacher wrote: »
    Microsoft seeemingly likes making xbox consoles, they want it to become a media hub in every household and honestly it is for me? Like it's how I watch prime, disney+ and my blurays on top of playing games and such. In a world where not everyone uses a PC to game, you want to keep that option open for consumers.

    I mean, consumers want to keep that option open for consumers. Microsoft's certainly not above axing projects if they don't make money, even if they're good for consumers. Remember Mixer?

    Bropocalypse on
    dennisMan in the Mists
  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    Mixer was bleeding money and not making any headway. Xbox has had what 5 or 6 iterations? Like I don't see them suddenly going "fuck you no xbox" especially after buying more gaming companies. Like gamepass is the product, and the xbox is a big part of that delivery system and hoping your competitors carry your rival service on their product is a bad call.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    MichaelLC wrote: »
    dennis wrote: »
    1zfmuk51wyng.png

    I feel like Tycho is attending a... specific type of puppet show.

    Only the sauciest of puppets are allowed.
    The giraffe puppets with long, slender necks.

    CSPOhhO.png
    MichaelLC
  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    Preacher wrote: »
    Mixer was bleeding money and not making any headway. Xbox has had what 5 or 6 iterations? Like I don't see them suddenly going "fuck you no xbox" especially after buying more gaming companies. Like gamepass is the product, and the xbox is a big part of that delivery system and hoping your competitors carry your rival service on their product is a bad call.

    You've just kind of proved the point. Mixer was bleeding money and eventually was shut down. This is because the thing Microsoft mainly cares about is money, not about pleasing customers who didn't like existing products. Yes, some products they're willing to allow to bleed for a while if they can make the long term case of market domination. Mixer wasn't one of those.

    But Mixer also proves the point of why it sucks to go up against big companies that just keep buying up their big competition. Those companies will be able to out-compete you for plenty of reasons that don't have to do with the awesomeness of your product. They'll be able to out-advertise you and out-network you. They can get their product all kinds of places you just won't have the reach. You better run a lean company and stay inside your lane, because if you try to play in the Big Leagues they grind you to a paste. And then throw away the paste.

  • PreacherPreacher Registered User regular
    I don't think because microsoft killed mixer means the xbox is on the way out. Like this is seriously the same line of thought of Nintendo switching over to games only no consoles. We've seen no indication of that and in fact the opposite of that with again several generations of xbox.

    I would like some money because these are artisanal nuggets of wisdom philistine.

    pleasepaypreacher.net
  • UshioUshio Registered User regular
    I feel the controversy going around has a big part of this, in that it would not have sold for ONLY $70 billion and Microsoft would not have scooped it up like that. That being said, Microsoft just dropping a deal like that really does show what stunts they can pull. Just saying, I don't really think it was "on a whim".

    Activision had a market cap of only $35 billion at the beginning of 2019 while the controversy only lowered the market cap to $45 billion and it had already recovered to $52 billion before the sale was announced.

    I don't think the controversy has anything to do with this especially as the only reason Activision saw such a huge share price spike is because of the pandemic and it's causing of the government to flood the market with cash.


    Lttlefoot wrote: »
    They bought Activision Blizzard huh? Does this mean Heroes of the Storm will get good again? (probably not)

    I think if they tried to buy Sony, some lawyers would sue them for having a monopoly (while conveniently ignoring the existence of Nintendo, Valve, Tencent etc)

    Doesn't Microsoft own Minecraft as well? They could make all sorts of cool crossovers now, like a diablo-type game set in the world of minecraft


    Buying Sony would reduce global console makers from 3 to 2 which would be a much bigger deal. Tencent and Valve are basically irrelevant outside of China and a niche audience respectively.


    MaryAmelia wrote: »
    Can someone explain why this is bad for us (individual gamers)? There's a big fuss about this but to me it's just one big company buying another...

    It's going to kill Sony, I get that the gamer audience on Penny Arcade, Reddit etc don't really care about CoD games but they make up a huge amount of games sold per PlayStation console and now they will probably go Xbox exclusive.

    5 of the top 20 selling PS4 games are CoD sequels and when you add Fallout 4 that's 6 of the top 20 selling PS4 games future instalments becoming Xbox exclusive.


    Actiblizz stock has been in the toilet lately, right? These IPs are valuable, it was only a matter of time before someone struck. MS, EA, Ubisoft...
    Well, the silver lining is that it seems like Kotick will be gone.


    No it merely lost the insane over valuing caused by the flood of money into the stock market caused by the pandemic it's market cap was still over $15 billion more than it was in early 2019.

    As to EA or Ubisoft buying Activision that's a laugh EA at it's highest never came close to matching Activision's lowest market cap caused by the controversy. While Ubisoft is worth less than Zenimax/Bethesda.

  • Giant SloarGiant Sloar Registered User regular
    The Emergence will be a Tonga sized AI controlled bot that MS fully owns and operates. What happens when this celestial emissary decides that Earth is simply a launchpad for galactic dominion?

  • ArmsForPeace84ArmsForPeace84 Your Partner In Freedom Registered User regular
    "That one. The impudent one. He amuuuses me."

    Nothing personal. It's just business.
  • JusticeforPlutoJusticeforPluto Registered User regular
    Disney ain't going to let MS buy Sony.

    But I am looking forward to the Disney PlayStation

  • TofystedethTofystedeth Registered User regular
    dennis wrote: »
    1zfmuk51wyng.png

    I feel like Tycho is attending a... specific type of puppet show.
    It made me think of this.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UGo5fb9Im1E

    steam_sig.png
    MarcinMNdennis
  • dennisdennis aka bingley Registered User regular
    edited January 2022
    Ushio wrote: »
    Activision had a market cap of only $35 billion at the beginning of 2019 while the controversy only lowered the market cap to $45 billion and it had already recovered to $52 billion before the sale was announced.

    While I agree with most of the rest of what you said, I think your numbers are a bit off and/or cherrypicked:

    y8r2fahd9ssf.png

    dennis on
    H3Knucklesdoompooky
  • ani_game_bumani_game_bum Optimistic, Rule-Breaking Nice Guy The Final World/DestinationRegistered User regular
    So does this pretty much mean we get Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 before the deal is finalized, say by Q1 2023? Most likely those games will be the last big IP titles to go out before the acquisition.

    steam_sig.pngPSN: ani_game_bum Battle.net ID: Anigamebum#1354 Genshin UID: 660694297 Switch FC: SW-2127-8288-6505 Steam Wishlist
  • Radiated RoninRadiated Ronin Registered User regular
    Punch & Judy & Ron Jeremy. Best. Puppetshow. Ever!

  • palidine40palidine40 Registered User regular
    Absolute greed is bad. Diversification of their markets is good. Minecraft got better when it wasn't java anymore. Halo got more popular. Elder scrolls and fallout haven't completely disappeared nor been destroyed. It does suck that they're getting a lot of my favorites though...

  • H3KnucklesH3Knuckles But we decide which is right and which is an illusion.Registered User regular
    Lttlefoot wrote: »
    Doesn't Microsoft own Minecraft as well? They could make all sorts of cool crossovers now, like a diablo-type game set in the world of minecraft

    That already exists. It's called Minecraft Dungeons.

    If you're curious about my icon; it's an update of the early Lego Castle theme's "Black Falcons" faction.
    camo_sig2-400.png
  • MarcinMNMarcinMN Registered User regular
    So does this pretty much mean we get Overwatch 2 and Diablo 4 before the deal is finalized, say by Q1 2023? Most likely those games will be the last big IP titles to go out before the acquisition.

    Are they that far along on Diablo 4? Didn't they have some pretty major changes in their creative team recently?

    "It's just as I've always said. We are being digested by an amoral universe."

    -Tycho Brahe
  • Golden YakGolden Yak Burnished Bovine The sunny beaches of CanadaRegistered User regular
    H3Knuckles wrote: »
    Lttlefoot wrote: »
    Doesn't Microsoft own Minecraft as well? They could make all sorts of cool crossovers now, like a diablo-type game set in the world of minecraft

    That already exists. It's called Minecraft Dungeons.

    But this'll be a different one though.

    H9f4bVe.png
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    And Sony responded with buying Bungie.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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