CAAApitalism: The Successful Failure Of Videogames (The Jimquisition)

Oct 27, 2017
733
#51
Iwata really was a treasure
He really was. Not only in how he handled things from the business end of things, (like an actual human being), but also on the game development end of things too. He seemed to be a genuinely good person, which is a hell of a lot more than you can say about the scumbags referred to in this video.
 
Oct 27, 2017
5,647
#52
Yeah traditional AAA has turned into a monster. I realized this way back during the HD era when it appeared every game had to have 200-300 staff and budget in the tens of millions.

There is a grain of truth to the fact that due to the increased development costs, companies need to diversity their income outside of a single $60 purchase, but corporations will try and get away with as much as they can, so you now have $60 games with season passes AND lootboxes. EA in partricular has been doing it and getting away with it on their sports games for a long time before the BFII fiasco.
 
Feb 7, 2019
50
#57
Color me very surprised that Jim Sterling was the major videogame youtuber to go full late capitalism critique, but maybe I'll appreciate him a bit more now.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,197
#58
do i... do i want jim to go on chapo?

Color me very surprised that Jim Sterling was the major videogame youtuber to go full late capitalism critique, but maybe I'll appreciate him a bit more now.
I don't pay close attention but he's been hinting at this for a while I think
 
Oct 27, 2017
810
#60
Well, Jim isn't wrong. We know that without capitalism there wouldn't be a game industry, or pretty much any entertainment industry in the shape it is today, but how it works is the problem, one that sadly doesn't seem like ending anytime soon. It is awesome to see more people pointing out, but I have no idea who much time this bubble is gonna keep growing before it bursts in everyone faces and the repercusions of it. Maybe decades.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,156
Canada
#61
That's the problem, he doesn't. He is literally using elementary school verbatim to try to understand investor and business language. Someone saying their income is down from last year, doesn't mean they are saying they aren't rich or that they are struggling. And investor selling a stock has nothing to do with greed, and selling stocks normally has no real affect on the health of a business. He also doesn't understand that alot of the things he is criticizing...are regulations to control capitalism! Like...you have to be honest about your numbers and they language you present them with...it's actually law. EA isn't going to say "well this game turned a profit, that's all you need to know".
He mentions the need for constant growth, that is essentially the core of capitalism, is the constant need to increase, well...capital.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,243
#66
Don't get me started on his comments on a CFO getting paid...like what does that have to do with anything, one doesn't affect the other. And then praises Apex, which has lootboxes and other stuff.
You don't think it's messed up that a company claiming to be going through financial troubles would sooner lay off a bunch of low-level employees than cut the multi-million dollar salaries of execs (CEO, CTOs)?

Also Apex Legends is a free-to-play game, it's understandable at that point that there would be MTX. The problem is when you're charging $60+ upfront for a product while also offering a bunch of intrusive MTXs.

The industry is broken because of unsustainable profit targets and the complete shirking of responsibility from the top brass. Stories of MTX predatory practices, intentionally confusing editions of games, and unethical work conditions for devs have all come out and point to the exec's obsessive need to be making much more money than they did last quarter. It's unsustainable and fucking broken.
 
Nov 21, 2018
536
#67
What endgame? Capitalism has by definition no endgame.
It's an ever changing and evolving market with failures and crashes being a normal and necessary part of it.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,705
#68
I wonder what goes through the mind of an alt-right gamer while watching this video criticize publishers for being greedy while claiming that's the whole point of capitalism at the same time.
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,170
NYC
#69
He mentions the need for constant growth, that is essentially the core of capitalism, is the constant need to increase, well...capital.
No, he is saying that investors are dropping these stocks at the first sign of a drop in sales and profit and that's not remotely the case. And again, the need for constant growth is a capitalistic element in all businesses. Business that don't grow are replaced by other business or die because the product they are selling is obsolete, or because consumers pick a better business for that service.

This concept that, as soon as a stock drops...the people that sell that stock, are doing it because they don't believe that business will have constant growth, or that the business will fail, or they are selling because they know something else will have better growth...is a totally falsehood that no one operates under. Not to mention, like, THE VAST MAJORITY of EA stockholders kept their stock! Also, for a variety of different reasons.

I repeat: all these stock reports come out at the same time, for every company in the world! There are a ton of reasons that I person sells stock in one company to buy in another. Stocks fluctuate all the time.

Under Jim's logic, you should never sell stock in a company that turns a profit, until it doesn't. I don't have to explain how dumb a concept that is.

I also think people confuse capitalism vs. communism vs. socialism...three things that have some overlap in certain areas. But that's another subject.
 
Oct 25, 2017
550
#71
the proportion of embarrassing replies in virtually every thread in this subforum discussing stock prices should lead everyone to the conclusion that most people on Era have no idea about how anything in business works
 
Nov 2, 2017
2,710
#72
I find my opinions on this subject differ greatly from many in this forum including the mods...and will probably get banned once again for engaging you guys....

....but here I go trying to fix the internet....

What does the gaming industry look like without competition and capitalism?

Who draws the line in the sand in regards to “good enough” in regards to competitors or profits?

People should demand more employee and consumer protections when they vote but you’re confusing issues. Governents aren’t ever going to fund gaming when they barely want want to fund art class for Elementary School kids. People in free markets around the world have been brainwashed into thinking consumer and employee protection is anti capitalism and that they have to choose. Nothing is more bullshit. People following Jim’s narrative are falling for that bullshit.

The Activision layoffs following the year in which corporations got their biggest tax break in a long time and where they’re still making billions in the black show what bullshit supply side economics and deregulation is for the middle class. Then we end up with one side fighting for the end of capitalism while the other calls them communists. We just need more protections for the working class and consumers within capitalism.
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,170
NYC
#73
You don't think it's messed up that a company claiming to be going through financial troubles would sooner lay off a bunch of low-level employees than cut the multi-million dollar salaries of execs (CEO, CTOs)?
Again...find any evidence that anyone from Activision Blizzard claimed the company was going through financial problems. Find any evidence that Activision has never had a hiring freeze, or hasn't frozen salaries, or hasn't cut salaries. Why, because it wasn't in a press release? Like...he brought up one example from Nintendo (whose structure isn't even close to Activision's), which was doing historically bad at the time. The life cycle of a studio has nothing to do with the budget of what HR sets salaries at...especially if you don't know what the prior execs made? That's not remotely how it works...every time a game flops or is canceled, Activision needs to put out a press release on how people that had nothing to do with that's game's/studio's failure have to fall on the sword?

The CFO and CEO of Activision aren't involved with game development, and their jobs have little to do with gaming. They aren't active with development like Nintendo's leadership is.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,284
#74
What endgame? Capitalism has by definition no endgame.
It's an ever changing and evolving market with failures and crashes being a normal and necessary part of it.
Yeah but this is one of those "house rules" that everyone *knows* about but companies don't operate with in mind. Companies operate with the assumption they will have continued unending growth in spite of quality of product, or the safety of the staff.

How does it make sense we exist in a market system that is designed to fail, thus creating a volatile environment for workers? This doesn't even go into how incredibly corrupt the system is where the people at the top - who are directly responsible and to blame when things fail are the ones rewarded time after time while the people at the bottom get grinded down harder and harder.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,240
#75
He's done it. The man's finally done it! He's flat out criticized capitalism as a whole.

WELCOME COMRADE!!!!

also lol:
It's convenient that Jim gets to leave politics out of this whole thing. The recently-passed tax bill in the USA has allowed some companies to perform layoffs without inducing the higher costs, whether they were really planning to lay off people or not. And as Jim brings up climate destruction near the end of the video, recent executive orders and environmental cabinet positions have set the USA back some climate-wise.

Also, he basically brought up Buzzfeed ultimately to complain about business advice that the owner of his patron-infrastructure company gave Buzzfeed.

Like he says in the video, "no lessons will be learned here". Video after video of constantly yelling at me that "you're getting hooked" when I'm not at all, isn't effective. And "This happens in every business". Well, no it doesn't. He, too, will ultimately need some new topics to talk about, some new ways to bring in more/new viewers, and thus new revenue. It's standard business advice, actually, no matter if your goal is to make "all the money" or not.
 
Jan 8, 2019
115
#76
I find my opinions on this subject differ greatly from many in this forum including the mods...and will probably get banned once again for engaging you guys....

....but here I go trying to fix the internet....

What does the gaming industry look like without competition and capitalism?

Who draws the line in the sand in regards to “good enough” in regards to competitors or profits?

People should demand more employee and consumer protections when they vote but you’re confusing issues. Governents aren’t ever going to fund gaming when they barely want want to fund art class for Elementary School kids. People in free markets around the world have been brainwashed into thinking consumer and employee protection is anti capitalism and that they have to choose. Nothing is more bullshit. People following Jim’s narrative are falling for that bullshit.

The Activision layoffs following the year in which corporations got their biggest tax break in a long time and where they’re still making billions in the black show what bullshit supply side economics and deregulation is for the middle class. Then we end up with one side fighting for the end of capitalism while the other calls them communists. We just need more protections for the working class and consumers within capitalism.
Devs need to unionize is what it really comes down to. It's largely a contract/freelance industry from my understanding.

And I agree (if I understand your last point correctly) social labels on political opinions are just toxic to actual constructive conversation creating echo chambers instead of actual constructive talk.

(Side Note: I believe some countries have sponsered game development, I beleive Canada helped in producing The Long Dark)
 
Nov 11, 2017
2,035
DMV Area, USA
#77
Companies see how much games can potentially make like GTA V and use that as a standard rather than an anomaly. Because of this, most game publishers see some of their products as failures, despite how profitable they are.
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,170
NYC
#78
the proportion of embarrassing replies in virtually every thread in this subforum discussing stock prices should lead everyone to the conclusion that most people on Era have no idea about how anything in business works
People don't want to say they are wholly ignorant about almost every basic concept of business because they want to be emotional about mean stockbrokers making their favorite company fail because of a 6% stock drop on the day of an quarterly investment report...but hey...I guess anything besides constant growth is irrelevant to investors.
Who draws the line in the sand in regards to “good enough” in regards to competitors or profits?
People with no access to any numbers or facts to backup pure emotion. In another thread I had to explain why it is impossible to abolish billionaires, as a recent NYT Opinion articles suggested. You could see heads spin.

I also loved the rest of your post. People really believe that if we didn't have capitalism, that governments would have the money to even afford to pay for game development lol...

The ability to buy worthless junk like game consoles and such is a direct benefit of capitalism. The power of selling junk even broke Communist China's will against free markets.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,243
#79
I didn't know we had people ride for capitalism this hard on Era, whew lawd.
Like, I understand pushing back against complete condemnation, but some of y'all are really concerned that people think there are glaring issues with capitalism.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,378
#80
There is nothing wrong with making money, but when good people at the sharp end are getting shafted because the company isn't making all the money, then that's an issue.

But it's an issue in big corporations in every industry.

And anyone calling anyone a 'commie' for calling it out is, at best, completely ignorant, and more likely just a fucking idiot.
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,170
NYC
#81
I didn't know we had people ride for capitalism this hard on Era, whew lawd.
Like, I understand pushing back against complete condemnation, but some of y'all are really concerned that people think there are glaring issues with capitalism.
What glaring issue did he discuss? That's the point! Literally nothing in that video has anything to do with capitalism. It's just scary because I think people should be educated as much as possible, and I really don't understand how you can own a business or be successful at anything but the most entry-level job interview with some of the hot takes I'm seeing.

Capitalism definitely needs to be criticized...but making up things about it is just a bad as claiming it is perfect.

Companies see how much games can potentially make like GTA V and use that as a standard rather than an anomaly. Because of this, most game publishers see some of their products as failures, despite how profitable they are.
But this is where Jim is lying. There has never been a profitable product, that the company thinks is a failure. It literally has never happened in the history of the world.
 
Feb 6, 2019
61
#85
Just watched this. Jim has been saying this for years, it's only now that game companies are admitting it.

So to all of the people defending publisher greed: no amount of money will ever be enough for them.
Even a broken clock is right two times a day; you give his rants too much credit.
While it's true that big publishers aim to make as much money as possible, that's just how capitalism work; every big company's goal is to make as much money as possible.

I'm not trying to defend exploitative practices, but maybe you should take a better look at who is the one talking: a guy who makes a living out of clickbait videos and outrage culture, masking himself as some kind of justice paladin.
He is obviously trying to exploit people too.
 
Nov 10, 2017
5,810
#87
Expecting game development or any entertainment development, besides some public access stuff or PBS games... not really going to happen while the world is such a mess.

The issue with capitalism is that we may not be able to innovate and expand ourselves out of resource depletion. Sort of the "eat yourself thin" diet problem. The other issue is that quality of life goes down after a certain point when too much of the wealth is held by too few and there's no will to turn this around in the western world, at least no serious will.
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,170
NYC
#90
Then maybe "failure" is the wrong word. I should've said "disappointment" instead.
But even that, the word "disappointment" isn't a bad term. It's weird because we have a similar situation with Nintendo aiming for 20MM units this fiscal year...you had people thinking it's some kind of failure for selling only 16 or 17...it's just a goal based on an educated financial guess. Especially since stocks go up and down all the time.

I really need Jim to explain what is so bad about selling a stock you own.
 
Nov 21, 2018
536
#92
Yeah but this is one of those "house rules" that everyone *knows* about but companies don't operate with in mind. Companies operate with the assumption they will have continued unending growth in spite of quality of product, or the safety of the staff.

How does it make sense we exist in a market system that is designed to fail, thus creating a volatile environment for workers? This doesn't even go into how incredibly corrupt the system is where the people at the top - who are directly responsible and to blame when things fail are the ones rewarded time after time while the people at the bottom get grinded down harder and harder.
The perspective on failure is wrong. It's not something bad. You can learn from it. It's also the only way to make progress. Without established stuff failing, or at least the shortcomings of that being shown and making an impact, there is no positive progress possible.

And this is not only true for the market. It's more like a general life rule on anything.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,696
#93
And this goes for any industry.
It's GROWTH GROWTH GROWTH..
Well the earth is only so big and last year we "used up" that years budget of resources before summer was over.

I work in an industry affected by this and I've seen so many weird decisions made to make those quarterly numbers it's not even funny. Doesn't matter if it's very damaging long term, all that matters is next quarter.
Yep, it's always a focus on the next quarter with more growth, it doesn't matter what kind of sales/profits you get or how it will hurt the company/profitability in the long term by focusing on nonsensical/harmful changes in the short term. Employees who do the main work of the company are also irrelevant (ie, game developers), just churn them out other than CEOs that get to fail upwards for millions more than they are worth. Just think how many more regular employees could be kept, salaries raised, better healthcare, etc if they didn't give out such ridiculous salaries/bonuses to CEOs and others in upper management, plus they get tons of freebies when they can easily afford it (not a game development studio, but tired of hearing friend of family who is a CEO getting freebies like fully paid trips for his family to events like the superbowl, plus obvious stuff like cars/private jet/etc. Some of those prestige events/locations there might be some business going on, but do they really need to pay for all of the family even grandchildren, including extra spending money?).
 
Aug 21, 2018
322
#94
Jim Sterling profitting from the ignorance of the common angry people is the most capitalism thing ever.
Yup, he's kind of right and at the same time profiting from it. And he's attacking capitalism in the easiest way, because if you're going to attack it in its current form you should go a lot deeper than this.
I should hate the way capitalism is destroying art, but at the same time I should hate the fact that the people attacking capitalism, are themselves profiting from that same capitalism.

I'm so ambivalent about things like this these days. :)
 
Oct 28, 2017
521
Already got the scorching hot takes with the "Jim makes money off videos! He's not allowed to criticise capitalism!", remember you're only allowed to criticise capitalism when you're living naked in the woods only eating berries.