Coffee Talk #25: Entertainment vs. Principles

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, the awesomeness of Oddworld’s Lorne Lanning, Cotto vs. Pacquiao 24/7, or the brilliance of Eddie Izzard, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

A lot of gamers have been bad mouthing Activision for its penchant for churning out sequels and licensed games as fast as a nine-year old churns out Nike’s in China. People have said that Activision is a circle of hell and CEO Bobby Kotick rules it with a pitchfork. Yet a lot of the gamers that denounce the company happily snatched up Modern Warfare 2 on day one.

Dragon Age Shale

It’s an interesting predicament. Do you buy MW2, simply because it will provide you with excellent entertainment? Or do you boycott Activision because you believe the company is bad for the business? Taking a stand, one way or the other, is fine, but too many gamers say one thing and do another. I can picture Chris Jericho telling all the ATVI haters that bought MW2 that they’re “parasites and hypocrites”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be all holier than thou. I fully admit that I’m part of the problem. For example, I think that releasing paid downloadable content in conjunction with a game’s release is a bad practice. It’s a disturbing trend that’s surely going to become more prevalent in the next year. I don’t want to encourage it, yet I bought the Dragon Age: Origins DLC because I love the company’s games and I knew it would enrich my DA experience. I shouldn’t have bought it…but but but…it’s BioWare!

I wanted to see where you stand on the “entertainment vs. principles” matter. Do you just buy whatever games you want because you’ll enjoy them? Do you pass on titles you’d like to play because you want to take a stand? Or do you make exceptions (and wince on the inside when you do) for your favorite developers or series?

Author: RPadTV

43 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #25: Entertainment vs. Principles”

  1. It depends really. Some games I won't touch out of principle. See: Madden.

    I buy some games to play online or with friends: See MW2

    I buy no game that has Day 1 DLC. End of story. If you can sell me DLC that will make the narrative better on Day 1, then it should have been on the disc. If for time restraints or tech you couldn't fit it on the disc, then release it for free.

    This really screws people who buy these RPGs like DA:O who don't have an internet connection because of the unavailability. I know when I lived in the sticks and only had my iphone to see the outside world with, I solely purchased titles that would give me tons of offline fun. Knowing what I know about DA:O, I would not have purchased it.

  2. well, i dont own an xbox, thats where i draw the line

    pay to play, overcharge for hard drives and peripherals, 58 percent fail rate

    i may be dumb but im not completely stoopid

  3. seriously, microsoft is many times worse than activision

    i will never own a microsoft console

    not trying to flame, its just how i feel

    killzone feb 27




  4. Not knowing much about the DA:O DLC, I don't necessarilly think it was needed to make the story better. I think it was an added part, but the people who couldn't get it weren't missing out on a whole lot.

    I am a firm believer in the "Publisher is not the programmer" or the "Just cause I work on the Death Star doesn't make me evil" or the "Dante Hicks approach." Activision is a distributor, a monetary backer, no the designer. If it's a game I want to play, I am going to play it regardless of the distributor to support the game and it's designers. Companies learn by money spent, so in my mind, I vote for what I want based off of what I buy.

    Case in point: Activision is Activision Blizzard. I will buy anything, and I am pretty confident that I do mean anything, that Blizzard makes. If they sold me a stick and said when I hold it, that means I am playing Diablo 3, I would buy the stick. Warcraft, Diablo, Starcraft, these are titles that have not only defined a generation, they define a country (I'm looking at you Korea!). Will I not buy Diablo 3 because Activision is involved? Are you insane?

    That being said, my house is a fan of the guitar hero's, so unfortuently I feed the beast that is Activision that way as well, because my roommate and wife have to have every iteration of rhythm game that comes out. But w/e.

    It's friday. I have no coherent thoughts. Thank you. Where's my pie?

  5. Random thought: does anyone else think it's weird that Nintendo is run by a guy named Reggie?

  6. 2nd Random thought due to Coffee Talk primer: Guns don't kill people, People kill people, and Monkeys do too [if they have a gun]

  7. @smartguy – that's quite a stance you take. I don't think they left anything out of DA origins. I mean, a lot of the content is weapons and armor. sure there are some side quests you can download but it's not part of the main story. I understand if you want to boycott the DLC but boycott the game? I don't get it.

    I think the fact that I own a 360 is point enough that I'm not taking stands against anything. I won't be missing out on exclusive games like Mass Effect, Crackdown, and Splinter Cell just because MS is a S#!@$ company.

    Someone else had a point that I thought was good. just because you don't like Activision does that mean you should take it out on Infinity Ward? I think EA is pretty crap in many respects (I.E. Madden) but I'll never punish Bioware for it.

    I just want good games. I leave the politics at the door

  8. (Ricky)Bobby Kotick is doing a fine job of losing money on his own. He doesn't need our help with that and you can't punish a developer because their bills are paid by a evil overlord. The only Activition games I intend to buy this year and next year are MW2, Wolfenstein, and Singularity. All of their other games will flop and cost Activition more money than they made off of those three good games. As for DLC, the easiest solution is to not buy DLC on day one. Wait until you feel the DLC should have been released and then buy it. You get the DLC you want and send a message to the publisher/developer that it is wrong to release that content either so soon or not contained on the disc.

  9. I don't like Activision's practices either, yet I bought MW2 anyway. I refuse to buy Guitar Hero though, I play Rock Band instead. As for Madden, I hate EA for snatching up the NFL rights but I love football and it's the only NFL football game on the market so what's a football lover and video game lover to to? The NFL 2K series would be a much better game than Madden.

  10. and here target

    not really impressed

    the computer deals are good though, but still not better than tigerdirect!

  11. @RROD – We have both Rockband and Guitar Hero. I prefer the Guitar Hero drums over Rockband's, but the Rockband interface and career mode are far better then the GH counterparts. I have to say that my favorite so far is GH:Metallica though. Playing drums for those songs are prehaps the most satisfying for me, especially since I can do the majority on Hard. My kick pedal foot is quite up to Expert yet, but one day… one day.

  12. @Black-Friday – Holy Lord! Best Buy is selling a PS3 pack with LBP and Ratchet and Clank for basically free. 299 for the whole thing. So two awesome games for nothing. Wow. Some good deals here.

  13. I buy games not based on developers not on their EVIL publishers. That's why I buy anything by BioWare. IW will eventually pull away from Activison similarly to how Bungee pulled away from Microsoft Gaming Studios. Then I will not have to give more money to Satan…erh…Bobby Kotick.

  14. I just can't see how Blizzard can allow that man to run their company. Does he give them a get out of jail free pass and only torture Activition's devs?

  15. From my understanding of the deal, While Activision is used as a resource for distribution and publishing, they have little to no say over what Blizzard does. They can not dictate content or release dates, and they have little to do with WoW, outside of collecting a hefty check every month.

  16. That's why I stick to the website and not the channel lol. Though what he says about Olivia Munn is pretty spot on. Easy on the eyes but makes my ears bleed when she talks. Though I could both look and listen to Abbie Heppe all day.

    *best Ron Burgandy impression* I… wanttobeonyou

  17. @LarcenousLaugh

    I have the biggest crush on Abbie Heppe. There is something sexy about a chick that can beat me at both Rock Band and MW:2. *swoon*

  18. i have a few activision games of my own, almost every guitar hero made for the 360, wolfenstein, call of duty 2. i have some EA games too, a lot of the maddens, and i love the Skate series.

    By principle I hate bobby kotick, but i dont really have too much against EA. I don't like how EA has been in the past, and seem to be going back to. But i also understand business. Activision and bobby kotick are where i draw the line on understanding business practices. However that has not stopped me from getting the games that i find to be more entertaining. The gameplay of Guitar hero is better than rock band i think, and i am a die hard fan of id software, so wolfenstein is a must.

    Other than that i try to avoid buying anything activision, but there are some games i just cant bring myself to pass up (no way i am going to pass up Wolfenstein)

  19. @bsukenyan

    I have good news for you then, Bethesda will be publishing id software games for now on. Now you don't have to pay (Ricky)Bobby as much anymore.

  20. @Shockwave562 The Dragon Age DLC is a requirement for RPG fans. The storage chest in Soldier's Peak is way too useful. Shale is also a hilarious and useful character. I couldn't imagine the game without either of these things.

    @Sandrock323 Thanks very much!!! As for Bobby and Blizzard, what can he really say to them? Blizzard is so successful on its own that they're not tinkered with.

  21. @Sandrock323 I don't think he'd be so foolish as to mess with Blizzard. Sure, the company works on their schedule, but they deliver top-notch products and millions of people anxiously await them.

  22. That is a damn good question, Mr. Padilla. I'm sure that you've noticed that a lot of people bad mouth companies, but end up buying their products anyway. Products like Modern Warfare 2, Guitar Hero, and Left 4 Dead 2 (well, I'm predicting that a lot of people will be buying L4D2, anyway.)

    For me, I've found a quick and easy solution to this problem; Buy used games. Yes, that's right. If you buy a used game (or even a new game bought by another individual), you are not giving the money directly to the publisher/developer, yet you are still able to play the game. Remember kids, game companies only benefit from that first sale, and you know there will be at least a few people that buy the game, beat it and sell it. All you have to do is find those people (on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, etc.) and buy the game from them. That way, you have the satisfaction of not giving your money to the company you dislike and being able to play that game you've been dying to play.


  23. @Iceman

    Except that, then you are giving those people more money so they can give that money to more companies you don't want that money going to.

  24. @Sandrock323 Certainly his ego is huge, as one would expect from any CEO, but the man's not stupid. I don't think he'd be dumb enough to mess around with Blizzard's successful formula.

    @Iceman Buying used games that are published by publishers you don't like is actually a pretty reasonable solution. I might have to write an article on that. Ha!

  25. I don't usually give a damn lol. If I think a game is gonna be interesting, I do a little homework until I'm satisfied enough to purchase it.

  26. @Ray: I just looked through my collection and the only Activision game that I bought outright was Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 and I was pretty disappointed with it. Lesson learned.

    Other than that, every other Activision game that I own was bought through the Gamefly "Keep it" option, which is essentially a used game sale.

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