Episode 30: Good Graces & Punchable Faces

Episode 30: Good Graces & Punchable Faces

Sleep deprivation and a little holiday spirit make this episode something special! Trav and Jake discuss the impressions of the last big game releases of the year and the games that have shuffled into and out of their backlogs. The discussion looks at how game companies attempt to get back into the good graces of consumers and gamers after gigantic gaffes.

Episode 30

On our Radar

  • Trav -

    • Early Dec

      • Dead Rising 4 (X,PC) Dec 6

      • Last Guardian (PS4) Dec 6

  • Jake

    • Early Dec

  • Big release reaction

    • Final Fistasy 15

    • Pokemon Sun/Moon


Additions to the backlawgs included Super Mario RPG, Toad’s Treasure Tracker, and Advance Wars for Trav.  Jake took full advantage of Black Friday deals and came away with the Metro series, Pokemon Moon, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst and others.  In an odd turn of events, Trav didn’t beat squat while Jake completed three whole games including the much loved TitanFall 2.  Skyrim is once again relevant and Gears of War 4 is still getting played.  Game companies no one talks about but make stellar games was the TAWPIC OFFF DISCCCUSSHSH.

Added to BL:

  • Trav -  Paper Mario (n64), God of War (chains of olympus)

  • Jake -    0        


  • Trav - Super Mario RPG, Toad Treasure Tracker (wiiU), Mystcal Ninja Starring Goemon (n64), Fallout 4 (xb1), TMNT III: Manhattan Project (nes)

  • Jake - DOOM (2016) Vaginia

  • Ad Read

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The Long Play

Games that we are spending time with in our backlog.

  • Trav- Gears of War 4

  • Jake - Dishonored 2


  • Trav - Paper Mario, God of War: Chains of Olympus (psp), Geist

  • Jake-  Mirror’s Edge, Skyrim




Getting back into good graces

What are some examples and how did they work out?

  • (Trav) EA

    • Voted worst company in america multiple times from consumer affairs blogs

      • Essentially a popularity contest

      • EA was not inducing slave labor - simply had some unpopular practices with pay-to-play models

    • EA’s critics said

      • Games lacked innovation

      • Selling additional content for a fee

      • Tried to compete with Zynga - cheap or free games on facebook and phones

      • Mass Effect 3  - somehow - was big deal to people

    • The wakeup call    

      • EA was forced to rethink their practices

      • Regardless of whether actually “worse” than someone as shady as Comcast, winning the vote TWICE did not help image

      • EA’s sales declined due to the vote - forced to act

    • Turning the tide

      • Installed “Great Game Guarantee” - offered gamers a full refund for any reason within 24 hours of playing, or 7 days of purchase

      • Did away with DRM draconian measure of typing a code into a used game to fight piracy

      • Andrew Wilson - a higher up at EA - talks at E3

        • Rounded up 146 of company’s top leaders

        • Made them answer calls about their games from frustrated gamers and go through troubleshooting steps with them

      • Started delaying games to improve experiences

    • Has it paid off?

  • (Jake) Hello Games?

  • (Trav) Microsoft

    • E3 2013 was a nightmare    

      • As were leaks leading up that the console would have strict DRM issues

      • Online check-in (always on) and game policies

      • No indie support

      • Sports, sports, spots

      • Xbox debuted at $499

      • Don Mattrick’s punchable face

        • “We have a product for people are aren’t able to get some form of connectivity: it’s called Xbox 360”

      • They named it the fucking XBOX ONE

    • Sony’s response dealt death blow

      • Sony had more games

      • Poked fun at DRM with commercial shot in back of Staples Center

      • Debuted at $399

      • Jack Tretton was on fire that night

      • Mic drop mic drop mic drop

    • Two weeks later - Xbox 180

      • Reneged on always on(line) and trade-in restrictions

    • Two weeks after that

      • Don Mattrick leaves for Zynga

      • Phil Spencer takes over a year later

    • Phil Spencer and Larry Hryb

      • New faces and voices of Xbox

      • Focused on gamers

      • Games first

      • Do not come off as corporate stiffs - important to hardcore gamers and those in “the know”

      • Casual fans follow the games and the hardware

  • Smaller examples

    • Overkill - implemented unfair microtransactions and random game boosts

      • Fans hated it

      • Starbreeze bought Overkill and acquired full rights to Payday from 505 Games

      • Removed all microstransactions and promised 18 more months of content (from May 2016)


Close it out

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Episode 31: Hindsight is 2016

Episode 31: Hindsight is 2016

Episode 29: Respected Development

Episode 29: Respected Development