Rundown (2/03-2/09) Natalie Will Never Give Up the Fight

After writing for pleasure for about 7 years now, I have learned a lot, and developed my skills considerably, though even with a plethora of writing experience behind me, I still have some bad writing habits (though I don’t really know what they are), and the act of putting my thoughts into words in a semi-articulate manner still takes me longer than I would like.  While I have gotten good at the college approach of squirting out papers with relative quickness, for a lot of personal pieces that flood this site, I regularly struggle when describing or wording certain things, and have been known to spend several hours rewriting parts of a review. I’m not sure if this is just a deficiency on my end, or if this is due to how I often write whenever I have the time, and not necessarily when I am in the right mindset.  But regardless of the reason, I’m not going to get discouraged and I’ll never give up the fight!

The first story of this week is the announcement and subsequent release of Apex Legends, a free-to-play battle royale game from Respawn Entertainment set in the Titanfall universe, a project that the developer embarked on in lieu of Titanfall 3, presumably due to how enticing the free-to-play battle royale market is, what with Fortnite becoming a household name.  Now, my lack of interest towards shooters and multiplayer games is well documented at this point, so I don’t really have much to say about this title.  It is a game with an appealing fairly colorful art style, a cast of characters with some degree of personality put into their designs, and gameplay centered around a lot of rooting and tooting looting and shooting.  

The game released on Monday for PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and by Thursday it managed to eclipse 10,000,000 players, indicating that it is something of a success.  So I guess that means that Respawn will not be put on the chopping block just yet.  Bioware though? Well, EA just put out a free-to-play online shooter days before their live service online shooter launches, so I guess you could say that I would be surprised if Bioware’s name is not etched on a proverbial tombstone by 2020.  But even if they do stick around in some sense, they will always be a shambling corpse deep down in my heart of hearts.

Over the past year, Microsoft and Nintendo have become increasingly buddy buddy, going so far as to even share adverts.  While Microsoft’s Xbox division has been taking their underdog status well, aiming to promote to underserved markets, and preparing for the next generation, which is set to be a fairly significant one in how it shapes the future of the medium in an increasingly digitally dependent era.  As such, it’s not too surprising to hear how Microsoft is expanding Xbox Live to other platforms.  Personally, I am assuming this has to do with a combination of crossplay and xCloud support, and as such, seeing Xbox Live come to iOS and Android is not too surprising.  Though it coming to Nintendo Switch is, given how the two were, and to a degree are, viewed as competitors. Details about this will not be revealed until GDC in March, but my mind is already racing at the possibility of streaming Xbox games via a Nintendo system.  Because apparently the current timeline is not quite bizarre enough.

To provide a stint of normalcy, Activision Blizzard is being stupid again!  After giving their CFO a $15 million bonus, most comprised of stocks mind you, the company is reportedly organizing a series of massive layoffs, likely partially attributed to the loss of their beloved cash cow live service Destiny 2.  This is honestly not overly surprising, as beyond the upcoming Sekiro and a sprinkling of licensed projects the publisher put out for a few years before questioning the value of licensed games.  For years the company has been following a business pattern where they would get their mitts on a cash cow and proceed to suckle all the juices they could from its firm rump.

With Destiny now gone, and Blizzard not raking it in like they did when Overwatch was quite popular, their revenues will assuredly begin going down, and that requires downsizing, which upper management considers to be an easier and more cost effective approach compared to executive bonuses.  And you know what? With all the tax evasion bullcrap these big game publishers do regularly, I’m sure that the CFO did save Activision a load of money, enough to establish a permanent fund whose interest could fully provide multiple families with enough interest to sustain themselves almost indefinitely.  Take an annual 4% interest rate, which is pretty reasonable, and you’ll get $600,000. Keep the excess in this fund and the insurmountable power of compound interest will stave off the adverse effects of inflation for at least a couple decades. When you got a lot of money, you have infinite money, and that’s the most goldarn American thing in this dark world of gray in black!

Header image is from the anime Kotoura-san.

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