The Epic Brutality Of Unchecked Capitalism (The Jimquisition)

lashman

Member
Oct 25, 2017
155

Epic Games has not slowed down its sniping of PC games, acquiring an almost ridiculous number of exclusive releases. It threatens to starve the PC digital distribution market with remarkable aggression.

At the same time, the company has been accused of abusing its own workers, with people coming forward to speak of horrendously coerced overtime.

Epic is showing an ugly side lately, even as it provides a genuinely good deal to game studios. An under CAAApitalism, it's all perfectly allowable.
 

Calibro

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,267
Belarus
Galyonkin on his own podcast (paraphrasing): "Oh hell yeah Jason, this is awesome journalism!" (talking about Anthem / Bioware crunch)

Galyonkin about Epic abusing their own workers: "..."
 

Nightbird

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
2,401
Germany
So basically, fuck epic and fuck the environment that lead epic to run as rampant as they do.


Yeah, I can get behind that
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
Where is that Mortal Kombat video you promised Jim???

Will give this a watch.
Which video are you talking about? Jim posted a video about MK11's stupid MTXs but got a few details wrong, so he took it down and was in the process of re-editing it when he heard about NetherRealm's employees getting abused via 100 hour work weeks so he decided to make a video about that instead. If you're wondering whether or not Jim is going to do a Jimpressions video on the game, well don't get your hopes up as Jim has been very vocal about the fact that he's not very good at fighting games. He always got Laura Kate Dale to review fighting games like Street Fighter V, For Honor, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite and Tekken 6 on his website.
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
I'm not one of those people who is going to boycott any publisher that chooses to side with Epic, especially since i'm more of a console gamer anyways.
I'm concerned about Disney as well, one of the things they did that pisses me off is their bullshit extension of the public domain law. That said I am still likely going to get Disney Plus, fingers crossed that all of Disney's animated shows will be available(i've been wanting an official release of Disney's Doug for ages).
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,718
Racoon City
Shame nothing in the US will change at all. Not until way shit has broken down completely. Then we'll get checks against capitalism reintroduced and over the coming decades they'll slowly be weathered down again
 

nynt9

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,335
It seems dissonant to praise epic giving “a good deal” to game studios while criticizing their practices. Those practices are the reason why they are able to give that deal. They give a low cut because they supplant the store revenue by fortnite, which is popular due to extreme crunch. The good deal doesn't come in a vacuum.
 
Dec 30, 2018
1,317
It seems dissonant to praise epic giving “a good deal” to game studios while criticizing their practices. Those practices are the reason why they are able to give that deal. They give a low cut because they supplant the store revenue by fortnite, which is popular due to extreme crunch. The good deal doesn't come in a vacuum.
Also that "good deal" only extends to developers within their subjective curation policy (in other words, most indies will be screwed.)

Nothing about what Epic is doing is good, I am however glad this is finally being covered by Jim though, long overdue, will give this a watch later to see if this is genuine criticism of Epic or if it comes with the caveat of how this is good for "competition" and that Steam need to respond without providing any examples of how they should outside of "better curation" or "Steam is a monopoly"
 
Last edited:

ASaiyan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,870
Unchecked capitalism is indeed the thing to criticize. It might be the best economic system we've come up with so far, but it's far from perfect, and a purely laissez faire approach to it merely results in plutocrats displaying their full capacity for immorality.

"Regulation" is a dirty word in the States, but we are clearly in need of more of it to stop workers from being abused like this. The fact that this is happening to high-skill, professional programmers shows we are in a strange scenario where "white collar" labor law has not quite caught up to "blue collar" labor law - probably because people had the arrogant thought that professionals couldn't be abused. In particular, it should not be legal to force salaried workers to put in 60 hours of unpaid overtime, each and every week. That is just madness. I don't know how you'd have to word the ruling to fix this (since the management camp will be keen to make sure it doesn't outlaw those who freely choose to work 100 hour weeks - whoever such hypothetical madmen are), but it needs to be done, ASAP. This bullshit was supposed to be consigned to the Upton Sinclair era.
 
Dec 30, 2018
1,317
Unchecked capitalism is indeed the thing to criticize. It might be the best economic system we've come up with so far, but it's far from perfect, and a purely laissez faire approach to it merely results in plutocrats displaying their full capacity for immorality.

"Regulation" is a dirty word in the States, but we are clearly in need of more of it to stop workers from being abused like this. The fact that this is happening to high-skill, professional programmers shows we are in a strange scenario where "white collar" labor law has not quite caught up to "blue collar" labor law - probably because people had the arrogant thought that professionals couldn't be abused. In particular, it should not be legal to force salaried workers to put in 60 hours of unpaid overtime, each and every week. That is just madness. I don't know how you'd have to word the ruling to fix this (since the management camp will be keen to make sure it doesn't outlaw those who freely choose to work 100 hour weeks - whoever such hypothetical madmen are), but it needs to be done, ASAP.
I admit, I thought capitalism was regulated in the states, I am quite shocked it isn't, coming from the EU it seems almost completely outdated to have a free market without regulation.

Someone said to me that a free market is not a free market with regulation but I disagree with that principle even if it defies the name itself, this is why we need to change how things operate to prevent monopolies from existing.
 

Temascos

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,257
I didn't realise the internet market was so throttled with you guys over in the US, damn it looks terrible. We have monopolies of our own (UK) involving train services that are privately owned that certainly hasn't improved quality all that much but we get priced out of buying tickets to Birmingham, crammed in carriages while the first class carriages are almost completely empty. It isn't right.

Back onto vidya, I think next-gen or the gen after might be the breaking point for this style of crunch development, and we'll hit a crash of some kind. Gaming will certainly survive but there will be radical changes to how games are developed, what kind of changes will be made is up for grabs but I hope it's better than what's happening now.
 
Nov 14, 2017
779
He was so close this time, but he fell back into the old habit of complaining about Valve and how it isn't doing anything but collecting Steam money (please ignore Proton and Input and the library UI overhaul) and how they should compete with Epic (instead of ignoring them until the Fortnite money runs out).
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
994
Didn't watch the video yet, but I object to the qualifier "unchecked". Any "check" on the tendencies of capitalism are temporary at best. The best checks we have: labor unions and state regulation are under constant assault by the capitalist class. The system constantly and disproportionately enriches the owners of businesses, it gives them near-total discretion in how they allocate the profits generated by their worker's production. This is fundamental to the system.

A strong movement of working class people can occasionally impose meaningful restrictions on capitalism's excesses, but as soon as profits are pinched, those restrictions will be eroded by the wealth power of capitalists.

We have to replace the system, not "tame it" or "save it from itself" as we sometimes hear in liberal discourse. The fundamental dynamics of capitalism make these efforts impossible.
 

Richter1887

Member
Oct 27, 2017
14,218
Which video are you talking about? Jim posted a video about MK11's stupid MTXs but got a few details wrong, so he took it down and was in the process of re-editing it when he heard about NetherRealm's employees getting abused via 100 hour work weeks so he decided to make a video about that instead. If you're wondering whether or not Jim is going to do a Jimpressions video on the game, well don't get your hopes up as Jim has been very vocal about the fact that he's not very good at fighting games. He always got Laura Kate Dale to review fighting games like Street Fighter V, For Honor, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite and Tekken 6 on his website.
He did one already for the crunch talk. is that what you mean?
I think I missed it. Will be sure to watch it.

Thanks.
 

ShinUltramanJ

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,449
I’ll have to watch this later, but fuck Epic. Can’t stand them and wish they never came back to PC gaming.
 

ASaiyan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,870
I admit, I thought capitalism was regulated in the states, I am quite shocked it isn't, coming from the EU it seems almost completely outdated to have a free market without regulation.

Someone said to me that a free market is not a free market with regulation but I disagree with that principle even if it defies the name itself, this is why we need to change how things operate to prevent monopolies from existing.
The markets are regulated here, but not nearly enough in many areas. And every right-wing government takes it upon themselves to dismantle more and more of the existing regulation, willfully blind to the fact that, when implemented properly, regulation is for the benefit of everyone in the market. This issue is compounded by a court system stacked with right-wing appointees, who back corporate excesses 9 times out of 10.

It's a really unfortunate and frustrating state of affairs. And it has even led some disaffected commentators to declare that "capitalism is irredeemable". When in truth, what is really irredeemable, is some of the people we elect to run it...
 

Demacabre

Member
Nov 20, 2017
1,799
Took him fucking long enough, Good show Jim. And proud he owned up to his previous videos on this topic lacking the complete story. I am tepidly back on board with him.

You can be critical as fuck of Valve but see Epic for the atrocious crunch culture, habitually lying in their pr, and not good for the consumer at all. From Epic's own actions in the past couple months, they don't care about their own devs and up and coming, barely scraping by indie devs They care about big Publishers and proven indies with hits under their belt. Many that would benefit the most don't make the cut from their heavy curation.
 
Last edited:

Joshii

Member
May 27, 2018
414
There's something to be said about paying large publishers like Ubisoft, 2K etc a large sum of money that will only go to the higher ups anyway while mistreating your own employees who will never see that sort of money in their lifetime.
 

Euler.L.

Member
Mar 29, 2019
554
How do you want regulate exclusive store titles? You can't force a company to supply all stores with their products.

Worker rights is another topic but this is a result of the working culture in the USA.
 

trashtabby

Member
Oct 25, 2017
544
He was so close this time, but he fell back into the old habit of complaining about Valve and how it isn't doing anything but collecting Steam money (please ignore Proton and Input and the library UI overhaul) and how they should compete with Epic (instead of ignoring them until the Fortnite money runs out).
Not that those features aren't good, but most of what Valve's been doing doesn't remedy any of the many criticisms Jim has had of Steam. It's like saying Epic doesn't deserve criticism for their questionable practices and terrible working conditions because Unreal Engine is great and they give grants to developers who use Unreal Engine.
 

tulpa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,089
Didn't watch the video yet, but I object to the qualifier "unchecked". Any "check" on the tendencies of capitalism are temporary at best. The best checks we have: labor unions and state regulation are under constant assault by the capitalist class. The system constantly and disproportionately enriches the owners of businesses, it gives them near-total discretion in how they allocate the profits generated by their worker's production. This is fundamental to the system.

A strong movement of working class people can occasionally impose meaningful restrictions on capitalism's excesses, but as soon as profits are pinched, those restrictions will be eroded by the wealth power of capitalists.

We have to replace the system, not "tame it" or "save it from itself" as we sometimes hear in liberal discourse. The fundamental dynamics of capitalism make these efforts impossible.
good post
 

muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
6,228
a sunken pirate ship
So, he's changed his mind? He was pro EGS weeks ago.
I don't think "Epic is maybe the only company who will be able to give Steam the kick in the pants necessary to actually take their store seriously" and "Epic is also crap" and "This sort of competition is exactly what you get under capitalistic economies / the commodification of creative work, so if you don't like it we need to take on the capitalistic beast" are ideas that are in tension with each other. Epic being a bad company is not indicative of a judgement on Valve/Steam.
 

Ge0force

Self-requested ban.
Banned
Oct 28, 2017
5,265
Belgium
It's about time that the media starts admitting that Epic's strategy isn't what pc gaming needs after all. Steam needs competition, but not like this.
 

Lashley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,302
I don't think "Epic is maybe the only company who will be able to give Steam the kick in the pants necessary to actually take their store seriously" and "Epic is also crap" and "This sort of competition is exactly what you get under capitalistic economies / the commodification of creative work, so if you don't like it we need to take on the capitalistic beast" are ideas that are in tension with each other. Epic being a bad company is not indicative of a judgement on Valve/Steam.
I don't think he was necessarily "pro EGS", and more pro Steam getting serious competition.
Ya'll probably right
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
He was so close this time, but he fell back into the old habit of complaining about Valve and how it isn't doing anything but collecting Steam money (please ignore Proton and Input and the library UI overhaul) and how they should compete with Epic (instead of ignoring them until the Fortnite money runs out).
Well it's not like Valve isn't worth complaining about, and some habits are worth keeping. Epic wouldn't be in such a position to do this in the first place if Valve hadn't gotten lazy with Steam for the past 7 years.

Valve is largely sitting on it's ass and collecting, the vast majority of people don't give a fuck about Proton and Input and whatnot, Jim is specifically talking about Valve in terms of games anyways, not functionality.

Steam can't afford to ignore Epic and it might be years before Fortnite stops printing money, if Valve waits til then they could go bankrupt.
 

Delusibeta

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,100
It's kinda hard to understate how badly the outro undermines the main body of the video. Rolling out ye olde "Valve does nothing" shitpost does come across as a complete endorsement of Epic's tactics that he had just spent 15 minutes criticising.
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
User banned (5 days): Trolling, "lazy dev" rhetoric over a series of posts
Took him fucking long enough, Good show Jim. And proud he owned up to his previous videos on this topic lacking the complete story. I am tepidly back on board with him.

You can be critical as fuck of Valve but see Epic for the atrocious crunch culture, habitually lying in their pr, and not good for the consumer at all. From Epic's own actions in the past couple months, they don't care about their own devs and up and coming, barely scraping by indie devs They care about big Publishers and proven indies with hits under their belt. Many that would benefit the most don't make the cut from their heavy curation.
I don't think his previous videos were wrong in any way, it is largely Valve's own fault it's even come to this, had they not gotten lazy with making games they likely wouldn't be facing such a threat from Epic to begin with. I hope this wakes them up and we finally get Half Life 3 as a result.
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
Sterling took his time but he eventually came to his senses about the EGS issue.
I don't think he was ever really wrong about it as he never outright came out as being pro-Epic, just that Steam needed competition and like it or not, they wouldn't be in this mess in the first place if they hadn't gotten lazy for so long.
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
Also that "good deal" only extends to developers within their subjective curation policy (in other words, most indies will be screwed.)

Nothing about what Epic is doing is good, I am however glad this is finally being covered by Jim though, long overdue, will give this a watch later to see if this is genuine criticism of Epic or if it comes with the caveat of how this is good for "competition" and that Steam need to respond without providing any examples of how they should outside of "better curation" or "Steam is a monopoly"
It does mention that and Jim points out that Valve has something Epic does not have-original IP and that Valve should capitalize on that instead of just sitting on it's ass and collecting money like it's been doing for the past 7 years.

It also mentions how a company that takes advantage of unchecked capitalism like Tencent is the only real way anyone can compete with Valve(but it does mention Tencent's shady business dealings and Epic's exploitation of it's employees)
 

Lothars

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,860
I don't think he was necessarily "pro EGS", and more pro Steam getting serious competition.
I don't know about that, he's been pretending the egs has been a good thing for a while now. I don't believe it's just because of more competition for steam.

It does mention that and Jim points out that Valve has something Epic does not have-original IP and that Valve should capitalize on that instead of just sitting on it's ass and collecting money like it's been doing for the past 7 years.

It also mentions how a company that takes advantage of unchecked capitalism like Tencent is the only real way anyone can compete with Valve(but it does mention Tencent's shady business dealings and Epic's exploitation of it's employees)
Valve hasn't been sitting on it's ass, It's been adding features constantly through that time.
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
It seems dissonant to praise epic giving “a good deal” to game studios while criticizing their practices. Those practices are the reason why they are able to give that deal. They give a low cut because they supplant the store revenue by fortnite, which is popular due to extreme crunch. The good deal doesn't come in a vacuum.
I disagree, both things can be true at the same time.
 
EGS topic guidelines

Morrigan

Armoring
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
10,216
Official Staff Communication
Given the volatility in recent Epic Game Store related threads we have decided that some clearer guidelines are required to cultivate healthier discussion.
  • Do not enter these threads in bad faith. If we conclude that your goal is to misrepresent the concerns of other users or rile people up, you will be moderated. Intent matters here. Honest questions or commentary about the differences and similarities between the Epic Games Store and other storefronts are fine. Deliberately and dismissively attempting to troll concerned members on those topics is not okay. These discussions must be held in good faith and in a civil manner.
  • As a reminder, antagonizing or engaging in personal attacks on other members is still against the rules. We have a large community with a wide range of preferences and personal priorities. Not everyone will feel the same way as you do on any given topic. If you feel a post is breaking a rule please report it and do not respond with hostility. If you choose to engage do so politely. We always check to see which users have a history of trouble in this area.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to want to wait for a game to be released on the storefront of your preference (ex: "I'll just wait for the Steam release.") It is not acceptable to troll threads because of storefront exclusivity timed or otherwise (ex: "So the real PC release is going to be a year later.") The latter is needlessly inflammatory and distracts from discussion. We will be scrutinizing these posts more closely going forward.
  • Do not advocate, defend, or admit to piracy under any circumstances. This is explicitly against our Terms of Service. There are no justifications that will make this acceptable.
Addendum: It's fine and often healthy to be critical of media coverage (ex: "I don't think this article is good and here's why"), but please avoid going down any rabbit holes with excessive vitriol and conspiracy theories (ex: "This outlet is clearly paid off because I don't agree with their coverage"). We've long had a general policy against hyperbolical vilification of the media and that rule has not been suspended.
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
I don't know about that, he's been pretending the egs has been a good thing for a while now. I don't believe it's just because of more competition for steam.
He wasn't "pretending" anything, he never outright said it was a good thing, just that you can't blame devs for taking the better deal.
 

Lothars

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,860
He wasn't "pretending" anything, he never outright said it was a good thing, just that you can't blame devs for taking the better deal.
I've seen him pretend to deny that he was defending egs but his videos and words have shown differently. he's been defending the epic game store because of them being "competition" for valve.
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
But then you wont get Half Life 3.
It would be nice if that happened, but realistically speaking I don't think Valve has the spine to make real games anymore(and not microtransaction fueled garbage like Artifact, which big shocker fell flat on it's face) and I hate how Steam popularized DRM and pretty much killed the used PC game market. So if Epic did replace them, it would just feel like karma to me.
 

darksteel6

Member
Mar 25, 2019
131
I've seen him pretend to deny that he was defending egs but his videos and words have shown differently. he's been defending the epic game store because of them being "competition" for valve.
Like Morrigan said let's not try not to engage in conspiracy theories here, you have no real proof Jim is "pretending" anything. He's not defending Epic as a company, just saying they are the only ones who are in a position to compete with Steam, which is true.
 

Demacabre

Member
Nov 20, 2017
1,799
I don't think his previous videos were wrong in any way, it is largely Valve's own fault it's even come to this, had they not gotten lazy with making games they likely wouldn't be facing such a threat from Epic to begin with. I hope this wakes them up and we finally get Half Life 3 as a result.
I don't quite know the punchline to your posts.

I don't give a fuck about Half Life 3. I don't even consider myself a Steam/Valve fan. I vastly prefer GOG.

I do give a fuck the devs working on Fortnite are coerced into shit working conditions. I do give a fuck that Epic set up a false narrative to present their Pro-Publisher stance as some sort of Robin Hood act while rejecting actual indies lik assault android cactus who would benefit more from this than Ubisoft, Take Two, and others. I do give a fuck when prices have gone up for the consumers and certain countries outright can't buy EGS exclusives.

Yeah... don't care about Half Life 3 or Valve in this discussion.

One discussion is the release of a game and the other discussion is series of toxic Pro business actions at the expense the mental state of their devs and pro consumer competition.

This isn't a false dichotomy where you are either Pro Valve or Pro EGS. I am just "Fuck Epic" in light of the past couple months.

Edit: So where are we taking this? Let's lighten up the scrutiny of EGS and discuss whether Valve has put a latest installment to a franchise?
 
Last edited:

Lothars

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
3,860
It would be nice if that happened, but realistically speaking I don't think Valve has the spine to make real games anymore(and not microtransaction fueled garbage like Artifact, which big shocker fell flat on it's face) and I hate how Steam popularized DRM and pretty much killed the used PC game market. So if Epic did replace them, it would just feel like karma to me.
You seem to have little clue on what your talking about. Valve helped make PC gaming popular again by offering a great service with fair pricing. The used game market dissapearing was something that would have happened anyway with or without valve. The only thing epic has done was run away from pc gaming and now are trying to sleaze there way back in until they run away again because the egs store doesn't do what they want.

Like Morrigan said let's not try not to engage in conspiracy theories here, you have no real proof Jim is "pretending" anything. He's not defending Epic as a company, just saying they are the only ones who are in a position to compete with Steam, which is true.
Nothing I've said is a conspiracy theroist. Jim has actively defended the epic game store just to shit on valve.
 

GhostTrick

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,511
It would be nice if that happened, but realistically speaking I don't think Valve has the spine to make real games anymore(and not microtransaction fueled garbage like Artifact, which big shocker fell flat on it's face) and I hate how Steam popularized DRM and pretty much killed the used PC game market. So if Epic did replace them, it would just feel like karma to me.
"the used PC market"
Ah yes, that used PC market with already redeemed serial keys or not working ones ? Great great.
By the way, if there's even a PC game market as of today, it's because Valve saved it with Steam.
As for "real games", define me real games.