Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day of Lolz

Let's start two tales about what it means NOT to piss off your shareholders, never mind if you should say stupid things and eat your pants to cater to their whims.

  • This one is gold. I may have not told you so, but I really miss the days of Ken Kutaragi. I really think his memorable pompous, posh and full of hot air claims about Sony's consoles is what actually helped them trample competitors in the battle for media coverage and audience mind bludgeoning.
    Now, when Kaz Hirai tries to walk Kutaragi's path, it's just horrible to watch.

    "This is not meant in terms of numbers, or who's got the biggest install base*, or who's selling most in any particular week or month, but I'd like to think that we continue official leadership in this industry," Hirai told Official PlayStation Magazine.

    * or penis/post count.
    Just to sum up: you're not a leader on a market if your product is only going to be doing what it's been advertised for in about five years in the future, while competitors are thriving now.

    "And with the Xbox - again, I can't come up with one word to fit. You need a word that describes something that lacks longevity," he added with a laugh.

    RROD? Oh wait, he meant the Xbox 360 will be old in ten years? Assuming Microsoft will stick with the 360 all that long, of course...
    Maybe things would go better for the PS3 if it didn't look like you needed a Ph.D in Arcane Hardwares.
    Put simply, there's nothing wrong in planning to have your diesel console work well on the long term, if you have something cooking up that's fit for that, but this "Plan", however superior it may be on the paper, does not measure well to what is happening right now, and does not make such a product the defacto official leader of the industry. Geez...

  • Next on the list, 2K Games' Christoph Hartmann does his best to convince the guys behind the curtains (the real audience) that the industry is recession proof, with the obvious implied message that sales of AAA titles won't suffer.

    Traditionally, when the economy does badly, the entertainment market grows... [...]
    The recession is coming, but it’s not only about the sad situation of people worrying if they can pay their mortgage – it’s people wondering if they can still afford to spend £500 to go crazy in Ibiza twice a year. [...]
    Cost-wise for a decent amount of hours of entertainment, it’s cheap. Brutally cheap. The recession shouldn’t have too much of an impact.

    Safe that when recession will strike, people won't think in terms of ratios and nuts, and will certainly not aim for expensive entertainment, which 2K Games' titles typically are. Instead, they'll look for the cheapest stuff. So while people will continue to play games, even those AAA, what will bloom is illegal file-sharing.

  • Moving on to a different topic, we learn that 250 K users have already registered on Football SuperStars, the new face of MMOs. While it was clearly obvious that worldwide sports were an obvious market waiting to be exploited (Pok√©mon is on the list), this one can have far reaching consequences which we may laugh about now, but ponder more seriously in two or three years from now.
    Can't wait to see families split even more as the male faction spends hours before the football match, watches the match, and then spends more hours after the match.
    That and all the intoxicating effects we know about MMOs and how expensive they are, and how they turn out to be a tax on kids without having them working for something real and good.

  • And once again, be you a pseudo pirate or not, Canada's ISPs do not like filesharers (regardless of what they share actually), and have slowed down P2P traffic, as revealed by a CRTC investigation. Bell, Cogeco, Rogers, Eastlink and much likely Shaw have capped such flux in their own ways.
    I just wonder now if this is already happening elsewhere. I admit, I don't have the means of keeping an eye on this, not even the will.

  • Maybe it's me, but I'm almost translating the following bit:

    "It's a sad fact that in 2007, two of the highest-selling videogames were also two of the lowest-rated. So that's one of the things we're trying to get across to students - that it's better to be a play-tester at Epic than it is a lead artist at a terribly naff studio that's focused purely on getting something out in time."

    ... as "Epic, you make shit."
    AN: Huh, after a second thought, I'd say it's more like it's gratifying to work as a mob at Epic than quiver at the prospect of being a lead on a production which won't let you truly assume your rank. Sounds better that way.

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