More Podcast and other stuff.

So I was talking about other podcasts last post. Now this weekend I listened to some more, including some dev pod casts (well one).

Bungie. I tried. I really really tried. Your blog is full of interesting information. But for pitys sake, please, can you PLEASE STOP TALKING OVER THE TOP OF EACH OTHER. After 20 mins I just gave up because a) everyone constantly talked over each other (note, a pod cast is NOT a casual conversation, and even if it was, most of what people feel the need to share IMMEDIATELY is just Not That Interesting, certainly not worth destroying someone elses train of thought) and b) no one was ever explained who they are. Who is Joe whatever his name is? What does he do? Why is he being interviewed?

In the end I just gave up.

I also listened to Adam Corrolla, because my friend Jace Hall was on it (The Jace Hall Show). Adam Corrolla, I’m sorry dude but the “I’m a Dude and I like Explosions” thing is a bit 1980′s, and to be clinging on to that is a bit sad.
That said, Jace Hall aquitted himself well I thought. There’s a lot more to Jace Hall than his Web show reveals, and I think it would have been nice to hear a lot more of that than Mr. Slow Talk Adam Corrollas thoughts on 1980′s action heroes.

Next, I tried the Freakanomics podcast, which is new, and quite frankly damn entertaining, as is the Death Ray Comedy thing, although that is an aquired taste I think.

Ok, enough on pod casts.

Lets talk about Activision and the Mass Layoffs.

Isn’t this scary? ATVI is making more money than ever before, but cutting people and studios left right and center. Why? Because they’ve taken a good look at where most of the money is being earned, and decided to cut almost everything but that.

Now this is an interesting strategy. On the surface, it makes sense. They inherited quite a lot of less-than-mega stuff with the Vivendi merge, plus, well they are a power house at strip mining IP that they didn’t create.

However, while it looks good on the surface, there is one problem. The mega money – Guitar Hero, COD and the Blizzard stuff, well, it has a shelf life. By cutting back all the potentially and likely not hits, they also loose development of that which is going to replace all this 5 years now from now.

Activision, though, also realises that most new mega IP doesn’t come from corporately mandated development – EA is struggling with this right now with it’s experiements with Dantes Inferno and Dead Space. They are creating what is, frankly, a much better game than I would have thought possible out of Redwood Shores, but still, nothing that is The New Mega Hotness. Mainly I think because the kinds of risks you need to take is inimical to corporate desires about predictions. You *need* to take 20 risks, just so that 2 will pay off. However, ATVI doesn’t play that way, prefering to buy what the new hotness is.

The trouble with this approach is 2 fold – buying the IP once it’s already hot is expensive, and secondly, you’d better hope that someone else doesn’t get there first.

Eventually ATVI will realize, as EA has, that internally generated IP is the desired and most predicatable success methodology. However I do wonder if they’ll have any more success than EA does? Possibly, because ATVI *can* actually be hands off when it is pushed hard enough, wereas this is pathologically impossible for EA.

NOTE – I am not including Blizzard in this, since Blizzard appears to still be a rule unto itself. However, it had better not stumble because if it does, ATVI will be as much of a dick to them as they are to studios like Raven.

It’s going to be an interesting few years.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>