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Activision Blizzard but politics
#1
I didn't want to have to do this, I didn't, but Blizzard made themselves political, so I have no choice.

Activision Blizzard supports oppressive regimes it seems, or at least China.



So.... they can go to hell.  I'm done with them.  That's it.  I may still go back and play their old games from time to time, but well, it's not a hard decision here.  I can live without a few games more easily than I can live without freedom.
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#2
But hey, how can you make value for your shareholders if you don't do what is necessary to do business in China? Bobby Kotick isn't the longest-term CEO in the tech industry (he's been in charge of Activision since 1991!) for no reason, after all... it's because he is good at business, and in this case that means not caring about silly little things like "human rights" or "freedom" and throwing anyone in the way under the bus if China demands it.

After all, look at what's happening to the NBA right now, with China cancelling NGA TV games because of their commissioner saying that people in their league can say what they want. Activision doesn't want that to happen to them, they make far too much money there...

So yeah, I get it, but I also entirely agree that it's unconscionably horrible for Actiblizz to do what they are doing. The current Chinese government is really horrible, and we should not just be ignoring that just in the name of (in this case a lot of) money.
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#3
Damn shame that they caved. Hopefully people will boycott Activision. Seems like they're firmly entrenched in the games business (forgive my ignorance, it's been a good couple decades since I followed the industry), so I'm sure they can weather any storm of short attention spans until the next... umm... installment of whatever series Activision is known for.
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#4
Activition is know for World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, and Overwatch.

They might even be known for games Blizzard didn't make.
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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#5
Call of Duty would be their biggest franchise. I'm sure everybody has heard of it quite a lot, it's one of the biggest in gaming.

Anyway, Blizzard decided to fix the problem with half-measure.s. So, the ban for the player BlitzChung and the commentators (who did nothing at all!) have been cut from a year to six months, and his previously won winnings will now be paid, instead of rescinded. They also issued a lie-filled statement about how this was "not about Hong Kong", but instead was just a part of their ban on any political speech during official tournaments. I, like many, would call this a blatant lie because I think the chances of anyone in this country who did something similar -- say someone says some MAGA thing at the end of a tournament, or an extreme anti-Trump thing, or whatever -- the chances of them being given a punishment even REMOTELY resembling this one are pretty much zero! No, they'd get a warning, maybe a short suspension at most, but never a full year and more. No, this was solely done because Blizzard is more scared of losing business in China than they are of supporting any kind of democratic values, which is sad and awful, but can't be considered surprising for a corporation; they do make a lot of money there after all, and capitalism is all about making money...

So yeah, they backed down slightly but not nearly enough. But the problem is, if they actually back down enough, they probably DO lose a lot of business in China -- look at the NBA, suspended now there because the NBA commissioner decided that making a statement supporting free speech was worthwhile, regardless of the business impact. Activision-Blizzard clearly cares more about the money than principle or values, sadly. Unsurprising but awful.
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#6
So now Blizzard seems to think that the problem will go away if they ignore it.

I hope it does not.

(In other Blizzard news, the Switch version of Overwatch released, and apparently it looks and runs quite poorly. I won't be buying it anytime soon, but that does not sound great.)
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#7
Overwatch is one of those games I've heard of a thousand times, watched videos of gameplay, and I still don't remember anything about it. FPS, IIRC? I have the same issue with Fortnite and Borderlands. Guess it's hard to grab my attention Dunno
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#8
Overwatch is a pretty fantastic FPS. It's an online-only game with no campaign -- it's just about online multiplayer. It's mostly focused on team-versus-team gameplay, though there are also solo modes most of the time. The key feature that makes it stand out is its hero system -- there are a lot of characters, each with their own weapon and abilities. The game is really fun and is fairly well balanced (though Blizzard is constantly changing things, which can be annoying at times...), and is playable for most any skill level -- it's not one of those FPSes where if you're bad at shooters you're hopelessly useless, which is good for someone like me who has never been very good at shooters. Sure, there is a high skill ceiling, but it's approachable. The characters each play pretty differently, so there should be someone for most anyone. I'm not good at precise aiming, so I like the characters like D.Va and the hamster guy who have a good amount of health and weapons that have some range but you don't need to be super precise with. It's fantastic stuff, one of the best first or third person shooters in a long time -- for me, this gen, it's Splatoon and Overwatch that I like, as far as multiplayer online shooters go. (And the most recent Unreal Tournament I guess, though sadly that game was abandoned far from completion... too bad.)

However, the game has a big problem -- no, not Blizzard's support for China, I mean in the game. No, it's the monetization and progression system. So, this is an online game, and there's no way to actually win, you just keep playing for... loot boxes. Overwatch is all about keeping you playing to get more loot boxes, and it's loaded with things to get you to not just get the free ones you get as you play, but to pay for more. For instance, there are regular seasonal events with time-limited sets of costumes, sprays (sticker things you can place in the levels), and such, and you want them, well, you almost certainly won't be getting them without shelling out a bunch of cash. You cannot just directly buy money to get any specific item you want with; no, you can only buy loot boxes. As great as the game is to play, the whole lootbox thing is so obnoxious that it's a big part of why I stopped playing the game after a few months (after I bought it in '17), and have only sporadicly gone back. It's great... but that whole loot box thing really holds it back. It's frustrating.

And yes, I wish there was a single player campaign too. There is a story, but it's only told outside of the actual game, in web videos and such; there is no plot in the actual gameplay, it's just the Overwatch heroes fighting eachother for whatever reason. Even if the multiplayer was the vast majority of the experience, I wish there was some kind of campaign... oh well.
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#9
Yes, Overwatch kind of kicked off this whole thing, together with Team Fortress 2's move to a "free to pay" economy.

The poor performance on the Switch is disappointing, especially considering that Witcher 3 and Doom 4 seem to run very well on that hardware.
"On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], 'Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?' I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question." ~ Charles Babbage (1791-1871)
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