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Full Disclosure and Corporate Logic


BinduBodhi

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I feel like I understand all the perspectives that constitute this situation, and I have to say that I think ultimately there was a failure to communicate properly on Bioware's end that can be sighted as the source of this issue.

 

Now before I go any further let me clarify what I mean when I say "Bioware." I think we have three or maybe four distinct groups in play here. One is the "player base." Two is the game developers. Three is the Corporate Entity "EA," and its upper-management. And I'm going to throw out a four defined as "The Doctors."

 

Let me get The Doctors out of the way first. I dunno where they stand in relation to some of the decisions that seem to be upsetting everyone (not just today's limited access) but they both seem really cool to me, and they're ultimately responsible for some of my all time favorites games. So, "The Doctors" get a pass in my book. You guys are alright. :cool:

 

Now, the developers, I think, are a central concern in this issue, in that they are in no way responsible for what's going on, and, simply put, the players need to back off in regard to these individuals. I have nothing but respect for the people who have poured their heart and soul into this game. They obviously love what they do, and I think they love the community, though I really have to wonder if the community reciprocates that at all. These individuals are doing a job, and the bottom line is they're not in charge. I personally think that if Stephen Reid could have been more forth-coming, he would have been. But the man wants to keep his job, so he did what he was instructed to do, which was be all but silent on any details about how launch was going to proceed. ;)

 

Now, let me apologize right here and right now, because from here on what I say is going to be much more polemic and much less objective. I hate corporations and I hate narcissism, therefore it's incredibly difficult for me to be reasonable in my reactions toward those things. Yet my perspective is valid, and I hope that some tolerance and communication might come out of this, so I shall press on. :D

 

The third group in question is The Corporate Entity "EA," and its upper-management. Let me start off by saying that on my more tolerant days I would describe corporations as "a cancerous blight on modern society." However, I'm not without some nuance to my opinion on that subject. We need to understand that there's a difference between capitalism (which is a good thing) and corporations (which is a tainted manifestation of capitalism and thus a very bad thing). I digress from that particular point, in favor of something more directly relevant. Although the situation was unavoidable considering the general state of the industry, I will personally always resent EA for absorbing Bioware. Fellow players, I tell you right now, enjoy these last vestiges of a once beautiful company we knew as Bioware. EA has already plastered the brand Bioware all over the place. There's a "Bioware" studio creating games for social networks now...neat huh? There's some "Bioware" studio or other trying to resurrect EA's steaming pile known as Command and Conquer. (Man, were those VGA awards a farce or what? Really Corporate America, the "gaming community" isn't just a bunch of whiny idiots, I promise. Some of us may be whiny. Some of us may be idiots. A lot of us are both whiny and idiots. But there is a gradient to these demographics.) If RTS fans are lucky (and I say RTS fans because that has nothing to do with Bioware's player base. Miss that nuance EA, or just don't care?) some of Bioware's talent will be involved in the project and it might turn out alright. But wheeling and dealing in Bioware talent is a limited time offer. You can't smear a thing's Spirit around like it's frakking mayo and expect it to hold it's constitution...

 

Anyway, my point here is all the perceived problems we've had with SW:TOR is ultimately the result of the decisions made by EA's upper-management. I personally think they suffer from a particular pathological delusion wherein they are unaware that their "bottom-line" (read: PROFIT) doesn't always translate real well into "the situation on the ground." But hey, that's what their money is for, to shelter them from those aspects of reality. Again, I digress. I find it incredibly difficult to say anything constructive about that particular subject, because I'm so filled with rage about it. :mad:

 

The last group that really needs to be addressed is the player base. This post is addressed to you guys, because you have the most freedom and flexibility among the constituent parties. We have really gotta just back off. Our role in this is, ultimately, that of "a poor player, that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more; it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Yeah, I went there. I think that quote (besides being totally awesome) is appropriate because we really have very little power in this situation, without some form of mass organization. And I don't think we're committed enough to the game (as a whole) to form a union. So, it's simply best to understand what our options are and move on with our lives. With that said, I'll move on to my conclusion.

 

In short, we the community need to stop giving the developers a hard time. I think it's safe to say "they're on our side."

 

Developers, I would ask you to take it upon yourselves to make EA's upper-management aware of how much hostility, resentment, and confusion they are creating with their closed door policies.

 

Doctors, nice tat.

 

EA, you may not care, but realize this does effect your long term profit margins, at least some. I personally hope a lot. I think one of the most important factors involved in a consumer market is loyalty. That no longer exists in any substantial way! A lot of times corporations will try and create the illusion of it, but it never has any substance. So here's your warning EA: There are other games out there. Now granted you're creating those too, but that's beside the point. That might sound pretty hollow, because really it is, but I'm just saying don't expect any loyalty if you don't earn it. Granted, people are overly sentimental, but believe me that's way different. Look at what's going on with WoW. IMO, that game, in terms of game-play, has another solid five years. Blizzard hasn't really done much to foster people's loyalty, other than pay lip-service. That's why they're going to loose such a sizable portion of their population (of otherwise "loyal" fans) to SW:TOR.

 

tl:dr -

 

I think that if anyone takes what I have to say seriously (which you really shouldn't) there's probably lots of justifications that will come up. Do us all a favor and just don't. Yes Developers, we understand that there would be a certain amount of back-lash if you gave us some kind of projection and didn't follow through. Do you really think that would be worse than the back-lash from not communicating at all? Besides, it's just much more logical to communicate. If certain player demographics can't handle the truth, then it can be a growing experience for them. They're going to complain one way or the other. Don't try to justify it players, you're whining, period. I include myself in this. I just happen to be much more righteous than everyone else, so naturally I'm somewhat of an exception.

 

Now, on a personal note, and as a testimonial (to my own narcissism) as to why it would be way better for the players if we knew what was going on, here's my day, in a nut-shell. Woke up super-early, over-caffeinated to stay coherent, refreshed email frequently, checked fan and official sites frequently, pinged the launcher frequently, got frustrated with lack of consistent updates, proceeded to watch my twitter feed for six hours, finally found out (about half an hour after the fact) that the last wave had been sent out, and Bioware had stopped somewhere around 100,000 players. So, I wasted my entire day basically, and was rather bitter about it for several hours after that. I could have not cared so much, sure. I am excited though, and I feel like I was basically punished for that enthusiasm along with all the other kids. I worked through (most of) my narcissism, players, I encourage you to do the same thing, and stop giving personal responses, on a line by line basis, to Stephen Reid's forum posts...

 

Anyway, I suggest we all just try to get along with the understanding that, hey, this is ultimately just a diversion from real life, and we're all actually really spoiled, given that our biggest concern for today was whether or not we got early access to SW:TOR. I'm quite grateful to have that problem!

 

I'll see you all on the other side...hopefully tomorrow...:confused:

Edited by BinduBodhi
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