News: Disservicing the Customer

EA and DICE Wave White Flag On October Release

DICE really fucked up with Battlefield V. When a company is sitting upon a mega franchise like Battlefield, then they quickly find that the audience can be pushed quite a ways before they reach breaking point. That being said, DICE has no pretext for feigning ignorance for the audience’s line in the sand. The audience has spoken with crystal clear clarity that they want realism from their military shooters. DICE themselves were able to capitalise on this preference quite handsomely when the audience turned against Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in their droves for being too futuristic. Infinite Warfare sales were down 50% from 2015’s Black Ops III, and Activision’s rationale for this failure was that the game failed to resonate with genre fans – this should have been a red flag to EA and DICE!

Fighting the fanbase is a losing proposition.

[PICTURED]: Just your typical WWII frontline soldier.

British women covered in neon blue face paint with mechanical arms fighting on the frontlines during the Second World War is not something that would ever resonate with the audience. It is the very last thing that would ever appeal to them. Two weeks ago TDT brought you the news that pre-orders for Battlefield V were trailing Black Ops 4 by 85%, now this week the other penny has dropped and Battlefield V has retreated into November!

Battlefield V will now release on November 20. This really does not look good for EA, DICE, or Battlefield as a brand. In a ridiculous attempt to save face DICE general manager Oskar Gabrielson lied about the company’s reason for delaying the game. Gabrielson claimed that the decision to postpone the game was for some last minute polish, but this is EA we are talking about. EA would just ship the game, and maybe work on a patch.

With the Open Beta just around the corner, we are excited about the millions of you who will join us and experience the game. And we fully expect to see even more feedback coming our way.

And that’s why we’re moving our launch date. We’re going to take the time to continue to make some final adjustments to core gameplay, and to ensure we really deliver on the potential of Tides of War.

It would have been better to just cop to the fact that the game is being postponed to avoid October’s big game releases. Failing that, it would have been better to just present the change of release date without comment. Moving Battlefield V into November because you no longer have faith in it to stand against Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption certainly constitutes a big loss of face, but a surefire way for a company to appear ten times more pathetic is to tell obvious lies because the truth hurts their corporate pride. This bologna is not fooling anyone, and it shows onlookers exactly how much they care about this. If an artist were to depict the mood of the company right now, then they would likely come away with something resembling a crying Wojack meme.

It will be interesting to see whether postponing Battlefield V by month will have a positive effect on sales. On one hand it moves the game outside of the direct vicinity of Call of Duty and Red Dead Redemption, but on the other hand this is a show of weakness, and multiplayer gamers will still be enjoying Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption at the time of its release. It will be very easy for gamers to sit this one out, especially after Patrick Soderlund told everyone to not buy the game. That said, EA are not going to just let the game fail, especially after Battlefront II tanked at the end of last year. There is a rumour going around that if Battlefield V‘s launch sales are not strong, then EA will make the game’s ‘battle royale’ mode free to play.

Jiggle Physics Added Back Into Dead Or Alive 6*

In an almost identical move to the DICE / EA debacle, the director of Dead or Alive 6 decided to take a shit all over the preferences of his audience by stripping all of the fan service out of the game. In a genre crowded with titans like Tekken, Street Fighter, and Soul Calibur, Dead or Alive has always made itself stand out through its liberal usage of fan service in the form of skimpy outfits, generous cleavage, and bouncy boob physics.

This isn't what people want from Dead or Alive.

DOA6’s director has aimed for gritty realism.

The fan service was fine while Sensei Itagaki helmed the series, but when he was replaced by Yohei Shimbori the series ran into trouble. For whatever reason Shimbori is convinced that he cannot make a serious fighting game if it contains fan service, and he seems to want to make a serious fighting game more than anything – obviously he has found the Western gaming media to be a more than willing accomplice in this pursuit.Dead Or Alive 6 is not the first time that Shimbori has tried to get out from under the series’ fan service legacy. He stripped much of the fan service out of Dead Or Alive 5, but that hurt the game’s reception so his bosses forced him to put the fan service back into the game through DLC and ultimate version re-releases. For Dead Or Alive 6 he went one better, and ditched the Dead Or Alive Soft Engine in favour of the Dynasty Warriors IX engine under the pretext that he wanted to use that engine’s physically based materials lighting engine. It has been suggested that the real reason for doing this was to make it more difficult for his superiors to compel him to add the fan service back in, as it would have been easier to add a new lighting module to the soft engine than for Dead Or Alive‘s required physics and animation libraries to be added to the Dynasty Warriors IX engine, which is not well suited for the task.

Now negative fan feedback has once again compelled Shimbori to add jiggle physics back into the game, which means recreating character models again from scratch along with creating a new physics engine to support mammary deformation. Here is the thing though – the fruits of Dead Or Alive 6‘s re-implementation of jiggle physics were in evidence at Gamescom, and they were almost imperceptible. Dead Or Alive 6‘s female characters have had their busts shrunken and their costumes designed to be more conservative, and so when that is combined with an extremely modest breast physics system the result is almost unnoticeable unless one watches the footage in slow motion.

Working against the interests of your audience is almost never a good idea. Tekken 7 was released last year, and Soul Calibur 6 will be releasing shortly. This author is unsure how this most half hearted of about-faces is being received in Japan, but it does not look to have curbed the discontent of Western fans one iota. When people order a hamburger they expect to be given a hamburger – if they are served something that is not a hamburger then there is likely to be some pushback, even if the dish they are served is delicious. People want what they want, and they will not appreciate being confounded just because the chef has adopted airs of being a gourmand.

Star Trek Sued for Plagiarising Indy Game

There are many things that may be excused through appeals to coincidence. A bearded Middle Eastern man, his blond boyfriend, a red haired woman, a black woman – it would be noteworthy for this particular arrangement of characters to occur in two different entertainment products within close proximity to one another, but it is not inconceivable for it to have been naturally occurring. Some coincidences can be truly freakish.

Hopefully CBS will get what's coming to them!

Star Trek stole Tardigrade teleportation from a small indy developer.

This author was close to dismissing this new lawsuit against Star Trek: STD as being frivolous until it came to the CBS program’s method of teleportation. In the video game Tardigrades teleportation is achieved through the use of giant blue Tardigrades. In Star Trek: STD teleportation is achieved through the use of giant blue Tardigrades. Tardigrades are actually microscopic and brown. This was no coincidence, and Tardigrades was on Steam Greenlight a year before Star Trek: STD was unveiled.

The lawsuit has not been filed until recently on account of the game’s creator Anas Abdin’s attempts to resolve the issue with CBS:

The last 10 months were so hard on me and the development of the project. I tried every possible way to have a respectful and reasonable discussion with CBS but they treated me in disrespect and just dangled me around with postponing meetings due to their vacations and being busy. The first conversation turned into the last one. I gave them a lot of time to make things right. Unfortunately, I found myself at a dead end with them, and so I had to enforce my rights by filing a lawsuit to treat me seriously.

Apparently plagiarism and playing funny buggers to exhaust your victim’s patience appears to be standard operating procedure at CBS. As if Star Trek: STD needs any more hate than it currently receives. The show was an epic disappointment to series fans, and Netflix was allegedly furious at overspending for a Star Trek series that Star Trek fans did not want to watch. Now we find out that the writers have freely pilfered the hard work of a small time indy developer! This is not how a company should go about rebooting a franchise.

5 comments on “News: Disservicing the Customer”

  1. The company that came up with the slogan “The Customer is always right” has been shut down for years. It is because the customer is usually wrong.

  2. The Star Trek story has been a hot talking point in several ST communities of which I am a part. General consensus is that CBS are THIEVES–and this is from people who are fans of Discovery. So there may well be something to it.

  3. I’ve never played Dead Or Alive, but lately I have been playing through a lot of the Fatal Fury and King Of Fighters games as Mai Shiranui, so I definitely choose the fan side of that discussion. For the Battlefield thing, if it goes down in flames, nothing of value would be lost. That said, I might be interested playing a game about a gal with a mechinical arm. Maybe like a Bionic Commando reboot, or like in a hypothetical Igarashi game that was in a more futuristic Metroidish setting than Castlevania, but definitely not a AAA WWII FPS.

  4. Fans of Dead or Alive want their boob jiggles. It’s the same as Japanese companies removing Japanese elements from games to appeal to a wider audience, many of the core audience will not stand for it.

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