The Diablo Immortal Controversy Is Everything That Is Wrong With Fandom!

Blizzard teased that something big would be happening with the Diablo franchise at this year’s BlizzCon, and of course fans jumped to the conclusion that Diablo 4 was going to be announced, or at the very least info on a new expansion, but that of course was not the case.  What was announced instead was a new free to play (F2P) mobile game being done by an outside studio.   The game is called Diablo Immortal.

This sounded great to me.  Diablo on the go?  Why not.  As long as the F2P stuff is optional.  I mean Pokémon Go, PUBG, and Fortnite have all shown that games can be F2P on phones and still be fun.  Hardcore Diablo fans on the other hand raged.  Don’t go anywhere near Blizzard on twitter or any of the Blizzard franchise Reddit pages.  It is just hundreds of angry gamers lashing out at anyone who works at Blizzard/Activision with toxic vitriol, and what is sad, is that this isn’t surprising.

Lately whenever a developer or any other media company does something fans don’t like, fans feel it is their duty to lash out, to get things changed, or to get the people responsible fired.  Look it is okay to be disappointed.  To have a large stage show in front of the most hardcore of hardcore fans that paid hundreds of dollars to be there live and fifty bucks to watch virtually then announce a mobile game was not a smart move on Blizzard’s part, but while it is okay to be disappointed.  To out and out rage is not.

Blizzard has several F2P games, and I am sure they thought one based on one of the their biggest franchises would big news.  It was, but not for the reasons they were hoping, and the fact this rage has lasted all weekend long with no signs of slowing down is saddening.  We as fans need to be better about this.  If you don’t like the game, don’t play it (though everyone is going to).  Also, I am not saying not to voice your displeasure.  Please do, but be respectful.  It is much different to say, “Blizzard is a bunch of greedy a$$h0!es!” versus, “Man I am bummed we didn’t get any new mainline Diablo content.”, or “Why use BlizzCon to announce a mobile game?”.  Two of those statements get our points across, and might even get read by Blizzard employees.  One makes us look like a bunch of jerks.  I will let you decide which is which.

We should all be true to our feelings, but taking them out on the people that make our games and movies is not helpful.  It is upsetting that so many fans feel like this is okay.  It makes it hard to call myself a gamer knowing that so many of us act like entitled brats about little things that don’t matter.  What’s worse is that we all know Diablo 4 will come out sooner or later, Diablo fans are just mad they feel they were bait and switched, and even if they were to some small extent, this is not how it should be dealt with.  We should all take deep breaths and be grateful for all the great content we have and that is continuing to be made.  Not pitting ourselves against the people that are making it.

Steam Tears Down The Wall And Replaces It With A Papier-Mâché Fence!

Valve for years has pushed back on content that it deemed too offensive for its digital storefront Steam.  However, as time has passed the line for what gets let in and what gets banned has turned in to more of a sine curve that developers have had to try and calculate in order to sell their wares on gaming’s biggest digital store.  Then after doing all that “math” some developers got notices that their games were going to be dropped from the store anyway.  Which is a problem if Steam accounts for 80% of your sales.  After a few weeks of silence Valve brushed it all off as a misunderstanding.  The devs, as you can imagine, were not pleased, so to make everyone “happy” Steam’s forthcoming policy is that everything is permitted, and it is up to the users to build their own walls for what they see with tools that are forthcoming.

Here is the thing, those tools have got to be really effective and easy to use otherwise people are going to start seeing a lot of crap they don’t want to.  It is like going to a video store in the 90’s and just pretending there was nothing behind the beaded curtain.  Of course in that case at least the store put the curtain up.  It wasn’t up to the perspective renters to hang the rod and decide the bead density.  Valve should have just said they were creating an “opt-in” policy, and then let people check the boxes for what they want to see.  That way everything stays beyond the wall until you say to open the gates.  If someone searches for something beyond that wall, it could let them know that it exists, but that they would need to update their settings.  Now however, it is going to be a free-for-all until you get your barrier setup correctly.

Then on top of that Steam has the audacity to say that even though they are letting every kind of game in that doesn’t mean they agree with the game in question’s content.  Oh, well I am glad you don’t agree with what you are going to try and make a bundle of money off of.  It is a like a nun working the front desk at a brothel, “It is a sin to step inside my child, but I will need $50 up front to enter the bar.”  What?!  Even more insane is that Valve will still ban games that are illegal and that are “outright trolling”.  Illegal I get, but trolling?  According to who?  Why get rid of an arbitrary line to just add a worse arbitrary line?

I am glad that developers will now be able to make the kinds of games they want to make and host them on Steam, but Valve should still have a major hand in trying protect its users from the terrible stuff those devs are going to make.  The wall should still exist, just make a gate and post some guards warning of what lies beyond, “There be adult content, gruesome violence and nudity past this point fair traveler!”  Let it be a user decision, not a platform decision, and “trolling”?  That should be more detailed, like no games replicating racist acts or school shootings, you know, an actual policy.  Steam will soon be the Wild West, and I am not sure its users will apricate the change.

Microsoft Just Bought GitHub For Some Reason…

It must be nice having tons of money to throw around.  Microsoft just made its first major purchase of Satya Nadella era, GitHub.  You know, that site where all the open-source nerds host all their projects.  For free.  Well it turns out that Microsoft is hosting a bunch of their stuff there too since they closed down CodePlex in 2017.  I mean sure, it is a cool site, so I can kind of see the appeal, but they bought it for $7.5 Billion!  That is like buying a nice little bungalow by the beach for a couple of tons of gold bullion.  A slight overspend there.

Here is the thing, while there is a massive amount of data on GitHub, Git is an open-source version control system, and there is nothing, I mean nothing stopping people from making a new GitHub-esque site somewhere else.  Not to mention GitHub was only bringing in about $140 Million a year in revenue, so it will add next to nothing to Microsoft’s already massive bottom line.  This is nothing more than a vanity purchase.  Microsoft wanted to prove that they are down with open-source, so they bought where it is all stored (for the time being).

I just don’t understand it.  Hosting a bunch of projects on GitHub already sent the message Microsoft was trying to make, and if it is a code ownership thing, Microsoft could have made their own Git site in the blink of an eye, but so can all those aforementioned open-source nerds, so now it is just a count down until GitHub becomes an empty wasteland as the multitude of anti-Microsoft code jockeys leave to self made geekier pastures.

Why PUBG, Why?

Yesterday PUBG Corp did something very dumb, they sued Epic Games for copyright infringement.  While I get why they are angry, PUBG pays Epic to license their engine, and then Epic turns around uses that money to create a Battle Royal variant for their game Fortnite.  Which at first played very similar to PUBG.  It must be hard watching a bunch of players leave to a similar game made by the people you pay to help you with your game, but this is just a bad look.

PUBG should have responded to Fortnite: Battle Royal by doubling down on making their game better.  To be fair it has gotten better on both Xbox and PC, but it is still poorly optimized, and it doesn’t have the best aesthetic.  Not to mention its loot system is pretty lame.  Though despite all that I like PUBG more.  The moment to moment tension in PUBG is better than the arcade-y thrill of Fortnite.

Which is another problem for PUBG’s lawsuit, while Fortnite started out very similar to PUBG, they are vastly different games now.  I am not sure how copyright works in Korea, but they would have a hard time making people think they are the same game here in the states.  Especially since the game industry is full of clones of one another, and a lot of them are far more egregious than Fortnite.

Look, it was bad form for Epic to literally say, “we like PUBG so much we are going to make our own Battle Royal game”, but suing people for bad form is not good business practice, and it makes all the gamers out there dislike PUBG for its epic case of sour grapes.  If PUBG wants to get its gamers back it needs to buckle down and make its game better, not sue Epic for bogus copyright infringement.  That will do the opposite.

Star Wars Most Overrated Character Is Still Getting A Movie…

Rumors have it that James Mangold (Logan) is creating a Boba Fett movie.  WHY?!  I am sorry internet, but Boba Fett is lame.  He is a man with a jetpack that got killed by being knocked off a hover cart by a blind man.  The only thing he is proven to be good at is hiding his space ship in trash.  That is a skill that pays the bills for sure.  He looks cool, I will give him that, but he is terrible.  The best thing he ever did was ride a pink dinosaur in the Star Wars Christmas Special.

From all accounts Solo is a fine movie, but Disney needs to start creating original Star Wars movies not just creating random character prequels.  We don’t need an Obi-Wan movie, we don’t need this Boba Fett movie, or any other random original character movie.  That being said, I will accept a Pokins movie.  His origins need to be explored.  What I am saying is I would love James Mangold to make a Star Wars movie, but I would like to see him explore something new, instead of dredging up the past.