News: All Hail Nodick

"Gensokyo just fuckin' watched."

Black Ops > Modern Warfare?

While not revealing exactly how much they have spent on it, Supreme Monarch Kotick said during the Activision Blizzard Q2 earnings call that Call of Duty Black Ops represents the publisher’s biggest investment ever in a single game. Blizzard’s boss Mike Morhaime is even calling Black Ops “one of the best products we’ve ever created.” And the COO Thomas Tippl said in a conference call that of the more than five-thousand applications received for positions that will work on COD, they have hired sixty people, with the intention of investing even more resources into the series following the release of Black Ops. Why all this hoopla regarding the upcoming Treyarch production? It might have something to do with the staggering number of pre-orders for the game, and while they have not revealed exactly how many that is, their community manager Josh Olin has stated that it is “out-pacing all other COD pre-orders to date.” The Exalted Ruler Kotick went on to ensure that he gets money from all sides, stating that “the product has incredibly broad appeal, but it also has a whole host of functions that will be unique to the core consumer.” Tippl adds in that the game will be released on more platforms than ever before, and in late July it was announced that North American markets will be seeing two different editions of the game. So whether Black Ops lives up to the hype is yet to be seen, but one thing is assured: Activision will make their money from casual gamers and fan whores alike.

What do you mean 'picture is unrelated?'

Much Opening His Mouth

This week was definitely the week of Kotick blabbering on and on. At the same Q2 earnings call that he spoke of Call of Duty, he also spoke on behalf of the Blizzard side of the company. While COD may be the biggest investment they have made, an undetailed new IP in also going to be an “enormous” investment. The Blizzard IP is indeed going to be an MMO, but with the recent release of StarCraft II, the rumors of a StarCraft MMO have been mostly dispelled, leaving everyone scratching their heads as to what Blizzard is planning. It was originally announced in 2007, but as Kotick put it “we haven’t given a lot of visibility” to this game. Ignoring his inability to haz teh English, he goes on to cockblock the curious masses by stating that it will take “long amounts of time” and “lots of capable talent,” meaning that the fledgling development needs to be able to stave off the effects of delays and the all-too-common layoffs. He likened the game to the announcement made a few weeks ago about another very large, very nondescript Bungie IP, which is also going to take lots of time and money, but the two will be “very good examples [of] from the ground up original ideas.”

Girls playing games with girl characters while having the girls out.

Too Much Open Mouth, Reflexive Foot Noms

In his life’s mission to amass as much wealth as possible through the most selfish means imaginable, Bobby Kotick has said a lot of stupid things. This week, his company has invoked the wrath of estrogen in an interview with former Activision employees that stated they were told to “lose the chick” from several games that featured female protagonists because they “don’t sell.” The game True Crime: Hong Kong was originally titled Black Lotus and followed an Asian female assassin, which the unidentified source says was based on Lucy Liu’s characters played in Charlie’s Angels and Kill Bill. But when pitched to the higher-ups, they pulled the plug on the original concept and reformed it with a male lead and the True Crime name. A look at Activision’s productions shows that the only games they have featuring a female lead are the branded characters like Barbie or Dora the Explorer. Of course, the company vehemently denies any sexism, stating that they use “market research in order to better understand [what] gamers are looking for” and that they are no worse than other corporations that do the same kinds of research. The internet’s predictable reaction was to write many disheartening articles about “how to get your girlfriend to game,” presumably hoping that they would then read of Activision’s treachery and use their ovarian superpowers to create another Boing-Boing Bayonetta game for when said girlfriend is not around.

The picture we all masturbated furiously to back in 1998.

Wait, Where Did Bobby Go?!

Just when you thought everyone else was quietly submitting to the will of Kotick, the internet is rocked by the arrival of Square-Enix director Tetsuya Nomura to the wild world of Twats. After joining Twitter on Wednesday at the order of his superiors, Nomura begrudgingly posted about how, at 5:00 AM, he was still awake from the previous night. The Twat promises that a new trailer for The 3rd Birthday will be posted on the official site some time this month, and in a strange twist, Nomura decided to take a picture of the script and post it up. While it is rather vague, the page of the script details a scene presumably towards the beginning of the game, with heroine Aya Brea in some kind of jail cell while a man named Hyde offers her a different room, advising her to value her life more. While this may be vague and frustrating to die-hard fans (like me) who have been anticipating this game for the past ten years, Nomura decided to be a miserable cocktease even further. While he would confirm nothing, he does say that if there is to be another addition to the series, fans will not have to wait a decade for it, and that this theoretical game would be an HD version. But what if you cannot wait any longer for your mitochondrial fix? Nomura also states on his Twat that in anticipation of The 3rd Birthday, he is pushing for a re-release of Parasite Eve 1 and 2 on PSN, so with any luck, you can soon relive your days of masturbation and pseudo-science.


  1. Right … so … Black Ops is costing more than Diablo III and Star Craft 2? That doesn’t sound right …

  2. I didn’t even think of Diablo III, but with StarCraft II having just come out, I did think it was a rather stupid idea to almost immediately afterwards say “We’re spending even more on this,” especially with all the fan outcry about it being a half-finished game. But then again, when has Activision ever cared about saying stupid things?

  3. I don’t even see how they could conceivably spend more money on Black Ops’ two year development cycle, than on Diablo IIIs open ended development or on however long it took to develop Star Craft 2. They would need a team in excess of 1000 to burn through that much capital, IMO this was just Nodick lying to snatch a few headlines/minimize the harm done to CoD through the razing of IW.

  4. Is that you and Ginia playing video games together in the third picture? How sweet. What was it, strip Soul Caliber? You should play better.

    Also, pay no attention to the endless whining of Blizzard fans. Some fans would complain if the game were released with anything other than giving them unlimited resources and godlike powers so they could “pwn” all the noobs and feel better about their small penises. The other half would complain that the game was released and let mages/brood/whatever do just that. The Blizzard player reaction should be gauged in the following manner: despite complaints, who keeps logging in to play over and over again? The answer is, lots of us. I’m as burnt out as burnt out can be on Wrath of the Lich King, having killed every boss in just about every way imaginable, having my Warrior in nearly the best gear I can get outside of spending hours trying for a single boss kill, but I spent 4 hours last night running around helping guildmates and wondering to myself, “is SC2 calling my name yet?”

    Blizzard will never please the fans; but Blizzard keeps us all crawling back day in, day out to play their games. Either we’re masochists, or Blizzard’s half-finished games beat the shit out of other company’s releases, or Blizzard fans just like to bitch because it’s demonstrable that Blizzard actually listens to bitching occasionally (see: mages).

  5. I haven’t played a Blizzard game since Diablo II. I don’t think their games necessarily beat the shit out of other releases, though they have certainly perfected the art of gamer addiction (‘mongst people who don’t mind wasting their entire lives on a single gaming property).

  6. I don’t think Blizzard games are any better either; I think that’s merely one of the possible excuses for their continued popularity in light of fan reactions. The reaction I think is best is that Blizzard’s willingness to listen to the fans has engendered a sense of entitlement, and there will always be whiny little asshats willing to abuse that gift by bitching, no matter how good/bad the game.

    Still, I have often pondered the “addiction” part of the game, particularly in reference to World of Warcraft. Before WoW, the addiction scapegoat was Everquest, which had a much different, less casual-friendly model than WoW. I think there are various drives which can push one to “addiction” to a particular game. As I said before, lots of people play games to be “the best,” which in WoW can be a top arena rating, achievement rating, or being the best in gear and topping the DPS/HPS charts on World of Logs. It can be being a part of a large, internationally-known raiding guild, or getting lots of server firsts. Those people will consequently spend more time in-game trying to hit these achievements.

    What I can’t say is that I think that’s necessarily addictive behavior. If people do that with their work, we call them “driven and ambitious.” If it’s done with sports we call them “professional athletes.” The same goes for musicians or writers or even humble bloggers.

    What Blizzard has perfected is the reward to time expenditure ratio. I spent 3 hours in game last night, and did three short raids and earned a lot of points toward better gear on my second character, a character I have in moderately good gear (certainly better than everyone except raiders in the best guilds). I spend far less time with this single character than I do with my main, yet I feel an enormous sense of achievement with this character for a relatively low time-budget. The fact that I can get a second character in progression-capable shape with minimal (I’m talking less than a week of actual in-game time) effort encourages me to keep playing. If I get bored with this character, I can spend a few weeks getting another character to the same spot. Or I can drop one character from PVE play and start PVP play with a lower barrier to entry because of the gear I can easily obtain. There’s never a moment where I have to say, “Gee, that sounds like fun, but I don’t really want to go through all of that again!” Hence, if I have a choice between a daunting new challenge in a similar game, or a less-daunting yet equally fun road in WoW, I ain’t budging.

    Then again, I have been playing Warhammer Online, Runes of Magic, and DDO a little bit more lately while I wait for FFXIV (assuming I can build a new computer to play it) and Cataclysm to come out.

  7. Diablo and Star Craft are also widely regarded as some of the most addictive properties in the industry. With WoW and Diablo I imagine addiction is based on the frequency and desirability of loot drops, in the case of Star Craft I guess it’s just because of the well balanced competitive online.

  8. I never understood why social components of games were considered “addictive.” Like hanging out with your friends is somehow bad. I mean, I like my guildmates better than the people I see on a daily basis. We have things in common. We watch the same TV, the same movies, read the same books, etc. We can talk. My coworkers and I… not so much.

  9. I guess the problem arises when you have friends and acquaintances across different time zones, and you feel obliged to spend time and raid with them when you should be sleeping or working. If you have in-game friends available to you every hour of the day, then it might get a little tricky for some people to set themselves reasonable boundaries.

  10. @Lane: I am disturbed to say that picture actually does bear some resemblance to Ginia and I, other than her winning. Whatever the game on the screen is, its not The Sims, which is the only thing she could beat me at :3

    Also, the people you see on a daily basis are law twats. I can’t go to the SO’s law school without being annoyed by the self-righteous assholes that seem to make up the majority of the student and faculty. They’re snotty and rude and disagree with everything you say because it didn’t come from their lips. So you wanting to hang out with your guildmates over than your real-life people is understandable.

    @SN: Everyone has that one good-for-nothing friend that sits at home in Mommy’s basement doing nothing but playing games all day, with no ambitions to go to school or work or to have any semblance of a social life. If we were to feel obligated to hang out online with that person, then yeah, the social components could cross the boundary from good fun to counterproductive.

    @Lusipurr: We love you and you don’t fit into the above two paragraphs at all <3

  11. -Well that’s precisely the type of person we’re talking about. Obviously there are many WoW players with the discipline to set for themselves reasonable boundaries, but Blizzard games seem to be overrepresented in the gormless recluse addict category.

    The games seem uncannily efficient at attracting and ensnaring this type of person. Now, I’m not actually saying that Blizzard games are the root cause of game addiction (this defect was probably inherent to the addict’s personality to begin with), but I am saying that Blizzard are pros at targeting their games toward this demography.

  12. @Jenifer I guess I’ll beat SN to it: of course the game on screen isn’t the Sims. You said a GAME. The Sims is not a game.

    And Kotick really is just TRYING to make gamers hate him at this point. He’s either a flaming fuckwad or a brilliant troll.

  13. -WoW does have the most addicts. it has the most people. the percentage of addicts to normal players is most likely the same but WoW has millions of players so statistically speaking the majority of MMO addicts will be playin WoW. that’s all it is.

    -… it does look like Jenifer and Ginia…

    @Jenifer – didn’t you already use that first picture? and quote?

  14. Of course not!

    I did but it was for April 1st so you can’t see the original so go suck a cock :D

  15. WTF, it does look like them.

    That’s some fucked up shit right there.

  16. @Jenifer/Lane: The obvious solution is to leave the law profession entirely. I love all my co-workers!

  17. Also, upon further examination of the Jenifer vs. Ginia picture, why is there the end of a coat hanger protruding from Ginia’s midsection and hooking onto Jenifer’s panties? Apparently Ginia is a cyborg.

  18. I love all my coworkers too, but that’s probably because they’re small and furry with very few needs and can’t communicate and thus can’t complain. Shame I have to leave them in a few weeks.

    And yeah, I noticed it too but ignored it. I think the artist intended to draw the blonde with a hook pulling the panties off, but then decided to just draw both her hands on the controller but forgot to remove it? Or Ginia is a cyborg.

  19. Only in Japan! No really, Ginia and I secretly ran away together for Japan and she made her cyborg friends fill in here while we played strip video games.

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