24

Changing Of The Guard

August 4, 2021 by Tim


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Gurkengelee
Gurkengelee
1 month ago

No King rules forever my son.

Scrysis
Scrysis
1 month ago
Reply to  Gurkengelee

Well played. Take my like.

ReaverRogue
ReaverRogue
1 month ago
Reply to  Gurkengelee

“Father… Is it.. Over?”

“No, my son. You will be killed many, many times before Cataclysm.”

Rollit
Rollit
1 month ago
Reply to  Gurkengelee

Jetzt will ich Gurken.

foducool
foducool
1 month ago

can’t they share?

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  foducool

Nope. But you can bet that, now that there’s competition, EA will be trying to win it back soon!

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago
Reply to  foducool

Only if EA hadn’t done a few good things with their games. I.E. they are starting to let their regular game companies do what they want and not monetize the shit out of their games.

Dodgy
Dodgy
1 month ago

Context?

Vladimir
Vladimir
1 month ago
Reply to  Dodgy

Blizzard has been accused of maintaining a culture of discrimination and harassment, and not doing anything to fix these issues. Stock is down by about 10%, Blizzard president J. Allen Brack resigned.

Last edited 1 month ago by Vladimir
TomB
TomB
1 month ago
Reply to  Vladimir

The reality is most game companies employ artists and devs that are young, often single, and fairly new to the game dev environment. The companies intentionally underestimate budgets and timelines and they under-resource projects. To meet the gap that creates, they terrorize the staff. Lots of guilt tripping if you’re not in working weeknights or weekends or if you want some time off, lots of unhealthy diet, sleep patterns, and a toxic work environment. And that’s just the average. That same sense of power can lead those in power to demand more from female employees (I guess they could do… Read more »

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Dodgy

EA has always been a cesspit of a company, for customer service and general practices, often lauded as the shittest gaming company. Blizzard however, are currently being taken to court over a LOT of sexual harassment cases, and generally having a big “frat boy” style work environment, along with just generally being a bit shit. Activision (who took over/got took over I never remember) Blizzard and make the pair, produce Call of Duty along with others, is like a less bad EA. A publisher that really only cares about the profits, adds as much Mtx as they can to games,… Read more »

LaggyKar
LaggyKar
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Driving an employee to suicide probably gets them the crown.

Killiak
Killiak
1 month ago
Reply to  LaggyKar

For now, maybe.
It depends on what still lies hidden in the cesspool that is EA.

If this lawsuit succeeds against ActiBlizz, I fully expect much more to come from the murky depths of the gaming industry.

Last edited 1 month ago by Killiak
Ssss
Ssss
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

Oh give me a break with the EA hate, they are a profit driven company. You can have this argument about every single company ever. Amazon. Google. EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Bethesda, Microsoft, Facebook. This idea that EA is the worst of the worst when we have Blizzard basically hiding sexual assault and god knows what else? EA has micro transactions. Yeah, and? They gamble! Honestly I have zero idea why 2k hasn’t taken the crown because out of all the companies in the gaming industry, they probably have the worst micro-transaction policy. Gambling. Check. Forced to buy VC so you… Read more »

Bernie Margolis
Bernie Margolis
1 month ago
Reply to  Ssss

Clearly, you don’t follow Blizzard forums or content creators. Players were complaining about Blizzard’s microtransactions and shitty firing practices long before this scandal hit. The Burning Crusade level boost and that the service that lets you copy your character from a 16 year old game to a 14 year old one has been the talk of the Blizzard player community for this entire year. This latest scandal is just the straw that seems to have broken the camel’s back.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bernie Margolis
Doc
Doc
1 month ago

Really? 16 yr to 14 yr old realm matters? I could see a 5 yr to 1 yr old game or something being bad maybe… at some point the curve needs to flatten out so moving between realms makes sense… (5 years down the line can I transfer over to another server that started 6 months after mine?)

Bernie Margolis
Bernie Margolis
1 month ago
Reply to  Doc

Yeah… it’s clear that you have no familiarity whatsoever with the situation. The realms for the “Classic Vanilla” version of the game are only a couple of years old. The “Classic TBC” realms are only a couple of months old. The issue is that players are given three choices: Play on the Classic Vanilla server forever Permanently move their character over to the Classic TBC server Pay money to copy their character to the Classic TBC server while keeping the original on the Classic Vanilla server This is done on a per-character basis. So if you’re an altoholic who happened… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Bernie Margolis
Lomedae
Lomedae
1 month ago

>the talk of the Blizzard player community for this entire year. Oh come one, that’s just needless hyperbole. Most players already did the old content when it was relevant and are not interested in Classic or TBC. So what they do to gauge those nostalgia-addled suckers is really none of the concern of the community at large. Yes, there is a vocal group of about 50 ex players monopolizing the MMO-champ boards, but only a fool would use them to take the temperature of the player base. As always, most players are ok with WOW, having fun playing it and… Read more »

Bernie Margolis
Bernie Margolis
1 month ago
Reply to  Lomedae

Yeah. That’s why Blizzard’s reported MAUs are an all time low as of yesterday — just one quarter after a new expansion release. That’s why Blizzard MAUs were at an all time low prior to spiking thanks to the release of Classic Vanilla. The publicly reported investor data does not support your perception in any way whatsoever.

Rolan7
Rolan7
1 month ago
Reply to  Ssss

You’ve got a good point: People often act like EA is uniquely guilty of these exploitative profit-chasing practices, when it’s really more of an industry norm. Dissing EA is well and good but ignores the larger issues.

Meye
Meye
1 month ago
Reply to  Ssss

The force is WEAK this this lil fella

Kaogen
Kaogen
1 month ago
Reply to  Ssss

The process of making Inquisition (and I believe, as a result of Inquisition doing well, Andromeda too) they literally overworked the devs so hard they were driven under their desks to have mental breakdowns.
Yeah, EA ain’t much better.
They get the hate they fucking deserve.

Last edited 1 month ago by Kaogen
TomB
TomB
1 month ago
Reply to  Kaogen

When a small startup imploded because of the Mouse Company, a bunch of the team (everyone who wasn’t a shareholder) lost their job. Several went to Ubisoft. Their horror stories line up with every bad thing I’ve heard about EA/Activision/Blizzard/etc. They figured with a big company, they’d get more structure and normal workdays… well… that was anything but what happened. I’ve now worked on 3 game related software projects and every one was a burner on the dev staff because the powers-that-be never wanted to budget the actual amount it takes to do these things nor did they want to… Read more »

Michael
Michael
1 month ago
Reply to  Ssss

For around 10 years or more, EA’s profits have been razor-thin. They’re a pathetic failure in profits-first, mainly due to an addiction to business models that drive customers away.

Sandysacks
Sandysacks
1 month ago
Reply to  Ssss

Guys they did a capitalism so shitty inhuman behavior is ok! This guy sucks the whole sausage.

Epsilon
Epsilon
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

See that’s exactly my fear. EA already treats their employees like drones. How deep does that rabbit hole go?
The shit going on at Blizzard has been happening for YEARS and this is the first we are hearing about it, because talking about sexual harrassment and sexual assault is so stigmatized most victims never come forward.
So your point stands, but investigations need to be launched into EA, and honestly all major game publishers, because this shit is there, we just don’t know about it.

Toke Ivø
Toke Ivø
1 month ago
Reply to  LaggyKar

Depends on your moral view.
Money is essentially a measurement of human time. Is it better to make many kids addicted to gambling (money spending on loot boxes) for the rest of their lives, rather than completely destroying one life?
I mean, at how much better is it to own a person, than to kill them? What’s the slave-to-murder ratio?

Not sure which is worse, or how prevalent gambling addiction actually is, but both are horrible.

Lily
Lily
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

I have to say that stuff like sexually harassing people is definitely worse than something like micro transactions or promising a fun game then suddenly canceling it or making it into a shell of what it should of been. To gamers EA is probably more annoying but we are talking actual crimes here, so it isn’t the same thing.

Finally
Finally
1 month ago
Reply to  Lily

As an actual gamer, I still hate Activision-“Blizzard” far more than EA. I use quotes around “Blizzard” because the modern “Blizzard” is a forgery, Blizzard in name only. It’s a shambling horror who murdered your friend, then devoured their insides and started wearing their skin. And so many people have been fine saying “Hey friend, looking good! Still love you!” somehow, despite the monster’s resemblance to their old friend being superficial at best. Since Activision took over Blizzard, it has been Activision. Activision just sticks “Blizzard” after their name for better brand recognition. All the classic Blizzard games have been… Read more »

Dodgy
Dodgy
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

Thank you for taking the time to explain!

Kasaix
Kasaix
1 month ago
Reply to  Dodgy

EA is hated for making greedy decisions like MTX in their sports games, Here’s a link for some more details.
https://www.quora.com/Why-do-people-hate-Electronic-Arts-EA-so-much

Activision Blizzard is at the center of a huge scandal where it came out that a lot of their upper staff have been harassing female staff members. Ubi is in the same boat, so I think they need to share.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Kasaix

It’s not like Acti-Blizz’s monetization of games (and business practices et. all) are un-controvercial either.

ArgenCR
ArgenCR
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

RIght Blizzard is also very Greedy, but people were more tolerant for them because a lot of people grew up playing Diablo and Warcraft. If you remove the nostalgia glasses you can see that their business practices have been pretty bad from a long time as well ($60 game with Lootboxes for example)

Brown
Brown
1 month ago
Reply to  ArgenCR

Not to defend lootboxes, but at least those lootboxes, both in Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, were full of cosmetics. Nothing needed to play the game in the slightest. And earning them isn’t an agonising grind, they came reasonably quick compared to most games. Buying them was an option. An option that exploits stupid people that just gotta look pretty in their games, but still an option nonetheless. At the very least the people that bought them essentially funded all the actual new content that came to make it free for everyone… Hearthstone kinda does ‘lootboxes’ too, but… I… Read more »

John Swift
John Swift
1 month ago
Reply to  Dodgy

Also they have done a kinda crappy but greedy handeling of WoW classic. Their systems and choice to maintain way too many servers from launch causes them to die forcing players to either quit playing or pay $25 per character to xfer. My server died 3 weeks ago and we had to pay to move to a new home. They could eaisly offer this for free once a server falls below the point of no recovery or just merge servers and xfer all players to a larger server without any restrictions but they have never done that (afaik). So now… Read more »

Rollit
Rollit
1 month ago
Reply to  Dodgy

Have you been living under a rock?

Killiak
Killiak
1 month ago

Nah. EA is the undisputed champion still. Don’t worry.

Anon A Mouse
Anon A Mouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

Gonna have to disagree. EA has done a ton of shitty things but it has been almost entirely financial. Sure, people have been hurt but it’s been primarily financially. What’s happening at Blizzard is both psychological AND physical abuse. There has been at least one suicide over this.

Rolan7
Rolan7
1 month ago
Reply to  Anon A Mouse

What’s going on at Blizzard should never be downplayed, at all. I’ll just add that EA has been abusing its employees also, as have many other companies, and it all comes down to money and exploitation in the end. None of it is okay.

Helldemon
Helldemon
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

How? EA is just shitty because they want to make lots of money, AB is litterally imhumane towards people(driving one to suicide) in addition to being scumbags because they want to make lots of money.

wnstnchng
wnstnchng
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

EA didn’t break any laws…

Merendel
Merendel
1 month ago
Reply to  Killiak

No no no, I think it should be disputed. Let both fight it out to the death for the title of shittiest and then drop the building on the winner. Everyone wins that way.

DahrAmahr
DahrAmahr
1 month ago

My son… what are you doing?
Succeeding you… Father

Also nice touch there with the Blizzard rep NOT being J.A.Brack.

Urainkhali
Urainkhali
1 month ago

What practice of EA enabled EA to give away the championship, as opposed to, you know, sharing it?

Last edited 1 month ago by Urainkhali
Mastacheata
Mastacheata
1 month ago
Reply to  Urainkhali

It’s not about EA changing their practices, but about them stagnating and not getting even shittier, I guess.

HappyWyvern
HappyWyvern
1 month ago
Reply to  Mastacheata

Your getting a +1 for me just for the laugh that in this case stagnation is actually a good thing as it prevented them from getting even worse :D…

Lily
Lily
1 month ago
Reply to  Urainkhali

Well apparently EA lost the award because as shitty as they may be, they are not committing outright crimes.

LaggyKar
LaggyKar
1 month ago

What about Ubisoft?

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 month ago
Reply to  LaggyKar

Agreed, it should have been Ubisoft passing it on as they took the “crown” from EA last year.

Although having this long to do something about it, and still having a culture of abuse… Maybe Ubisoft and ActiBlizz are tied for first place right now.

Mordred
Mordred
1 month ago

I had already given Activision the title, based on how Blizzard handled the “Free Hong Kong” fiasco.

MasterofBalance
MasterofBalance
1 month ago

A nee one? Gasp!

HappyWyvern
HappyWyvern
1 month ago

Oh EA dont be sad! Its not because you got better, its just they found a way to be worse! Your still the monsters who flood your full price games games with gambling mechanics and then lie about them to government panels (Surprise Mechanics!). You still devour studios and digest them to steal their IP like a somehow even worse Unicron. And who knows, if it turns out you company in fact has a hidden culture of harassment and sexual abuse you could win it all back! The futures bright EA! Now if people would excuse me im just going… Read more »

Twilight Faze
1 month ago

As far as I’m concerned, EA is still king. They not only know WHY they were shitty, they even relished in it with no intentions of changing.

Activision Blizzard done goofed hard and became their own WoW killer. But at least they recognize this and are (at least) planning to regain trust. Whether they will or not depends on what happens in the future.

EA, though? Nah, man. They are the cold embodiment of selfishness and proud of it. Activision Blizzard has the silver and EA has the gold.

Anon A Mouse
Anon A Mouse
1 month ago
Reply to  Twilight Faze

Blizzard recognized it when they got dragged through the mud. If no one had spoken up about how they had “done goofed” they would not have stopped. They were shamed into recognizing it, obviously against their own wishes. This does not foster a significant amount of trust.

Me-me
Me-me
1 month ago
Reply to  Anon A Mouse

The counterargument would be, I think, that EA has been shamed for their skeezy business practices, and yet still won’t change. Nobody’s taken them to court over it like this, though..

Matt
Matt
1 month ago
Reply to  Me-me

Counter counter argument, AB were shamed, told to do something about it, decided to, by using a known union-busting, anti worker law firm they already use and are friends with. (my original comment RE EA being worst still was pre-discovery of that, I’m leaning further against AB atm).

no thanks nintendo
no thanks nintendo
1 month ago
Reply to  Twilight Faze

What’s it like living under a rock? This has nothing to do with WoW, and everything to do with the sexual abuse lawsuit.

Aramena
Aramena
1 month ago
Reply to  Twilight Faze

Did you just seriously refer to blatant and continued sexual harassment, psychological warfare, and its resultant suicide as “done goofed”? As opposed to the evil of EA’s microtransactions and financial policies?

If you are putting the value of human lives below the value of currency then you need to rethink your priorities.

iago
iago
1 month ago

I miss Westwood and Activision of old.

Ashi
Ashi
1 month ago

Still waiting for people to go off on Riot ALSO being sued by CA over sexual harassment and sex discrimination. Oh wait, apparently that’s okay because it’s gone under the radar.

Dave
Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Ashi

I didn’t see as much coverafge of it… so I could be wrong… but I dont’ remember seeing anything as bad as driving a woman to commit suicide, or a “Cosby Suite” in Riots accusations.
There’s also the thing that ActiBlizz is much bigger and therefore affects more people both directly and indirectly.

Cyrad
Cyrad
1 month ago

When the only companies worse than you have been caught trying to cover up sexual assault of its employees.

Anon200
Anon200
1 month ago

wouldn’t be surprised if EA are hiding the same shit.

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago

Now Kiss

Henchman Twenty1
Henchman Twenty1
1 month ago

So sad when a Blizzard turns into a Shitstorm. I remember when Blizzard was still all shiny and new and exciting, yet still raw, but in a mostly fun sort of way. Founded and run by gamers like us, they treated us like one of them. But they got too good for their own good. The curse of success I guess. Taken over by corporate suite zombies without souls who don’t understand the meaning of fun. One of my biggest issues with them was how their early games had so much wonderful player created content which you could freely download… Read more »

Kaitensatsuma
Kaitensatsuma
1 month ago

In retrospect the former explains a lot about what happened, and the latter just explains the business trajectory of a company that hasn’t, like, done anything in almost a decade other than pump out expansions.

I used to think Everquest had a lot of expansions.

Detton
Detton
1 month ago

Ubisoft has been covering up it’s scandals for longer. At this point, if you’re following any of the ‘old guard’ companies, they all have skeletons in their closet. And not tastfully aged ones like a respectable necromancer has, where they wear fancy hats and dance and stuff. Not to dissuade from the disgust people are feeling for Activision-Blizzard right now – it’s justified and warranted – but trying to choose which of these companies is worse is like trying to find the nastiest pile in a single, large garbage dump. Boycotting / leaving one in favor of the other only… Read more »

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago
Reply to  Detton

It might be true, but it’s a problem to just say, “Oh, all gaming companies are terrible, and trying to point out which is worst is impossible.” That promotes a culture of just accepting it as part of business, rather than something that needs to be changed.

Because at the end of the day, we all love video games, and humans will happily overlook something terrible that causes human suffering if it makes them happy and seems like “the norm.” I mean, after all, we all have cell phones, don’t we? They don’t just grow on farms.

Last edited 1 month ago by Eldest Gruff
Dave
Dave
1 month ago

I can not emphasize enough that EA isn’t any better than they were before.

This is %100 about Acti-Blizz being terrible.

Mastacheata
Mastacheata
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

As in any competition, if you don’t improve, you’ll loose your titles

Crestlinger
Crestlinger
1 month ago

For those interested in the details, all articles are up on https://www.wowhead.com/ over the first page or two.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
1 month ago

While no gaming company is clean, OR great, it makes me feel happy to support the companies that are less bad than others.

I don’t really follow Activision-Blizzard all that much; their favorite IP for me is probably The Lost Vikings. Which… yeah, doesn’t get a lot of love these days.

Phaet
Phaet
1 month ago

Why?

chargersfan
chargersfan
1 month ago

I’ll always hate EA the most for what they did to the Madden franchise. Not just the game itself, but convincing the NFL to sign, and later renew an exclusivity deal to lock their competition out of the space. This gave them the green light to make their product more and more terrible with each passing year. The last good Madden was Madden 2005, and for me it was completely unplayable by 2013.

But damn, Activision Blizzard. That’s a real sh*tstorm you got there!

ravenofpoe
ravenofpoe
1 month ago
Reply to  chargersfan

EA bought westwood and produced a couple half decent Command and Conquer titles… Then they killed the whole series with Command and Conquer 4. They will never be forgiven.

James Rye
James Rye
1 month ago

If only this was left to Videogames but sadly, GW is also on the shittiest game company list. Their zero tolerance policy is killing the creativity of the fan community. All those amazing animations, stories and ideas just….. dead.
It sucks, man, it really really sucks…

he who rages
he who rages
1 month ago

When I said Activision would ruin Blizzard when they bought them in 2013, no one believed me. Sure, there were already a culture starting, but Activision had full control and could stamp this out way earlier. What I also feel is quite abhorrent is the fact that current employees, staging walk-outs etc. did absolutely nothing during those years to call out such behavior. Let’s face it, if you have a buddy that does questionable things to women, wouldn’t you call him out on his BS? Or would you just let him continue his harassments? Anyway, the day Blizzard sold, was… Read more »

Dizrupt
Dizrupt
1 month ago
Reply to  he who rages

They did call it out though, and it was promptly covered up by HR as that is HR’s job, protect the company. The fact that they have been silencing and/or dissuading employees from coming forward with this stuff for over a decade is a major part of the lawsuit.

Also I dislike Activision and Bobby Kotick as much as the next guy, and they are certainly not innocent in this, but shit like the ‘Cosby Suite’ predates the Vivendi/Activision merger. Alex Afrasiabi has been a creep long before Activision became involved, Blizzard was rotten at the top beforehand.

Last edited 1 month ago by Dizrupt
SBlack
SBlack
1 month ago
Reply to  he who rages

The bosses are very much protect each other. And they get protected by the company/HR. That’s how it works everywhere.

As for employees speaking up. We know that’s very difficult. They have little to no power. And especially in American companies no protection whatsoever. Someone makes too much fuss they get either frozen out of promotions or fired outright.
Also see how Blizzard reacted to workers organizing by hiring a notorious union-busting law firm.

Muppet
Muppet
1 month ago

EA will always keep the crown. While ActiBlizz got alot of dirt (and blood) on their hands, they can still resolve it and come out a better company. But EA’s evil is deeply engrained in the company since inception. It just defines what EA is and there is simply no competition.

David Gibson
1 month ago

Does anyone believe for a even second that sexism and harassment aren’t just as endemic at EA but no one has been brave enough to blow the whistle?
You can bet some more horror stories will begin to spread soon…

ravenofpoe
ravenofpoe
1 month ago

Gods, I remember when I was young there were a handful of game developers that were just a gold standard. I remember I could go to Toys R Us and I could pick a game based on what company made it. I just knew that it would be good because their logo was on it. Rare, Squaresoft, Enix, Konami, Blizzard, there were probably a couple more. I didn’t need a review magazine and it was before the ubiquity of internet and online reviews. I just had the assurance that those companies made great games. Blizzard was the last titan to… Read more »

Jesse
Jesse
1 month ago
Reply to  ravenofpoe

What about Nintendo? I haven’t heard any negative news about how they treat their employees, and their IP like the Mario games continue to be quality entertainment.

ravenofpoe
ravenofpoe
1 month ago
Reply to  Jesse

That’s a fair argument but I’m just not as into Nintendo games as I was when younger. I bought a switch and a few games but it’s the first Nintendo console I’ve owned since the GameCube. I’ll play the next Zelda most likely but but I’m not dying for it either. I also wasn’t just talking about the business practices but the game quality as well. While I can’t specifically fault Nintendo in either category it just doesn’t have that magic anymore and because of that it didn’t even come to mind when I was thinking of companies. That’s more… Read more »

MICHAEL LEWIS
MICHAEL LEWIS
1 month ago

Activision, the terminal illness for games.

Pyre
Pyre
1 month ago

Eh. A lot of EA hatred has always been a result of gamer hysteria/exaggeration (The first year that they were voted worst company in America was the year gamers decided that the Mass Effect 3 ending was worse than a bank that specialized in kicking people out of homes and on to the streets to say nothing of what Monsanto was doing) and inertia. They’ve done unquestionably bad things but they’ve also done good things. As an example, while every other company is now jumping on the bandwagon,EA was winning LGBTQ equality awards before it became cool to do so.… Read more »

william scott
william scott
1 month ago

2022… return of the king!
its really a shame these 2 actually legit fight over being worst now.

Urazz
Urazz
1 month ago

It’s funny, EA is still a shitty company but they are sorta changing their behavior to an extent. They won’t force their regular game companies to go microtransaction heavy and force them to use their engine to save money but they’ll still have their sports games be heavy in the loot boxes. I imagine they’ll only stop that when they can no longer really do it in most of the world and it’s just easier to stop putting them in their games. So I guess we can say EA has taken baby steps away from being the shittiest game company… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Urazz
Arvex
Arvex
1 month ago

They’ve held it for so long, the previous holder’s name was lost to time.

Vedrit
Vedrit
1 month ago

Acti/Bliz won’t be around for very long, anyway, and it’ll go right back to EA.