Clifford, the Court Fool.

I was going to let this slide.

In the wake of Microsoft's reversal of policy regarding anti-consumer DRM, I was feeling pretty cool, and many great bloggers have put up the victory flag better than I could have. While I've still very little intention to get an Xbone in the near future (Last I checked, my username was YukoAsho and not Rhianna), it was good to see MS was finally starting to cave under the enormous pressure gamers had exerted on them. It shows that we have great power when enough of us are angry, and I hope this inspires the gaming community to take to arms when future injustices occur. However, I was glad to bask in the moment of victory in private.

Then Cliff Blezinski graced us with his foul, rancid gurgling on Twitter.

Apparently Mr. Blezinski doesn't like the fact that the consumer won this battle and, much like an old racist decrying all the problms brought about by the civil rights movements, is whining in typical, graceless Cliffy B fashion.

Now I don't follow Mr. Blezinski's twitter, mostly because I like my sanity, so I won't go into every bit of his idiocy on this post, or ever in this blog. However, PlayStation Lifestyle has given us a choice cut of madness that would make Sheogorath proud, and it's topical, so let's look into the gaping maw of insanity by breaking down each of the wonderful tweets PlayStation Lifesyle collated for us.

More studios WILL close and you’ll see more PC and mobile games.

Good. The industry has way, way too much fat, and it desperately needs trimming. However, you know the companies that won't close because of this? Deep Silver, Atlus, Take-Two, Nintendo... Publishers and/or developers, big and small, that are smart and tactical in their spending. I'm almost hoping Ubisoft and EA collapse under their own crushing weight.

I have seen the number of unique gamer tags vs actual sales numbers and it ain’t pretty.

Nintendo has some very helpful advice in that case. Publishers should take it to heart.

At the end of the day many hardcore dislike what was attempted. You can’t do well in that space with many of your core unhappy… Especially when users have a choice. The nature of capitalism encourages competition and Sony played into that.

And good for Sony.

Brace yourselves. More tacked on multiplayer and DLC are coming.

Tacked on is pretty easy to ignore. I've made a point of saying that I've never bought DLC for games previously on this blog, and never felt unsatisfied. Actually, the one time I broke this rule, Halo 4's map packs, I regretted it on a count of losing interest in Halo 4 multiplayer soon after. So yeah, tack on what you want, it won't effect people who are responsible with their money.

You’re also about to see available microtransactions skyrocket. HATS FOR EVERYONE.

This was going to happen anyway. The success of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer microtransactions assured that. Not only that, but cosmetic microtransactions would be great. As Team Fortress 2 and Soul Calibur V show, cosmetic DLC has no effect on gameplay, so it can make money off whales with more money than sense without hurting the rest of us. I would not oppose this at all.

I want *developers* who worked their asses off to see money on every copy of their game that is sold instead of Gamestop. Fuck me, right?

Yes, Mr. Blezinski. Fuck you, you go to hell and you die.

*Sony* forced Microsoft’s hand, not the internet whining.

Let's talk about the inconsistency here. You'll notice in one of the earlier rants, Cliffy said "You can’t do well in that space with many of your core unhappy… Especially when users have a choice." Therefore, the "whining," as Mr Blezinski puts it, established that Sony would basically have a huge legion of new fans after this. More importantly, it spread the news to people who might not have known about it, such as the Army Times and Rachel Maddow. Therefore, the "whining" had a huge effect. Or do you truly believe Sony hadn't considered it?

You’re going to see digital versions of your favorite games with added “features” and content to lure you to digital over disc based.

That's an effective way to get fewer, if any copies, sold in specialty retailers, who tend not to like it when you try to fuck them.

I find it funny how people are saying that I “lost” when I don’t have a job or an allegiance now.

Your allegiance has been clear throughout this whole debacle. You're a naked corporate shill, desperately looking for a new job by throwing your lot against the consumer. The irony? By refusing to stop crying like the babies you accuse us of being, by making Adam Orth look empathetic and respectful in comparison, you've very likely damaged your future prospects.

What I do have is 20 years of experience making games and seeing how the sausage is made.

The consumer cares not one whit how the "sausage" is being made. We give you money, you give us a game. That is the end of the transaction. Consumers tend to refuse when companies try to add our souls to the price of their products and services, as attested by EA's repeated failures to meet sales expectations. If the full-priced market is too competitive for you, if you just can't live with the idea of consumers buying their games instead of renting them, then here's an idea. Go join Crytek. Those graphics engine pushing tools are running away from retail about as fast as their legs can carry them in favor of free-to-play projects like the upcoming Warface. Why not just make free-to-plays?

Oh, that's right. Because even the creatively bankrupt Crytek is better capable of making distinct games than anyone at Epic ever were. All-gray doesn't seem to work as well in free-to-play.

In closing, Mr. Blezinski needs to go away. Come back when you get a new job, sir, so I know what games to immediately dismiss in protest.

59 Comments
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Edited by FunkasaurasRex

I don't have a lot to say about this, but

@yukoasho said:

Brace yourselves. More tacked on multiplayer and DLC are coming.

You’re also about to see available microtransactions skyrocket. HATS FOR EVERYONE.

Yeah, because Microsoft's all-digital future was going to save us from shitty downloadable content. Whatever you say, Cliffy.

Posted by mrfluke

i agree with your opinion of cliff lately . but you gotta know half of what we says is specifically to fuck with people.

Edited by csl316

Oh, Cliff...

He's an attention whore. He even posted that his tweets are just to get a response and rile people up. Some truth, but his butt plug talk on the E3 after hours show made me shake my head.

In short, there are other industry people that are more interesting to listen to.

Edited by Fredchuckdave

Posted by Jimbo

Well, you don't get any hats on Steam after all.

Posted by YukoAsho

OK, that's funny. Now I'm seeing a foul-mouthed, inbred children's mascot in my head.

@mrfluke said:

i agree with your opinion of cliff lately . but you gotta know half of what we says is specifically to fuck with people.

I don't care. Stupid by accident or stupid on purpose? It's still stupid.

@csl316 said:

Oh, Cliff...

He's an attention whore. He even posted that his tweets are just to get a response and rile people up. Some truth, but his butt plug talk on the E3 after hours show made me shake my head.

In short, there are other industry people that are more interesting to listen to.

Yeah. You know someone's a troll when he makes Michael Pachter sound like a well-reasoned individual.

Posted by bigjeffrey

I liked Gears Of War

Posted by csl316

Although Unreal Tournament was cool, Gears 1 was amazing at the time, and Horde mode was fun.

Edited by Hailinel

@mrfluke: In this case, Cliff's ravings don't sound like fucking with people. He comes across as legitimately bitter and resentful, not to mention out of touch.

Posted by Ezakael

@yukoasho said:

You’re going to see digital versions of your favorite games with added “features” and content to lure you to digital over disc based.

That's an effective way to get fewer, if any copies, sold in specialty retailers, who tend not to like it when you try to fuck them.


Oh man if this actually happens I'd literally have to give up gaming, at least modern gaming. I'd have to go back to the ps2 and gamecube fully. I'm one of the very few people that can't go digital at all right now.

Posted by Wampa1

@fredchuckdave: The fuck do you know about games? You're just a giant red dog, you can't even hold the controller!

Edited by HerpDerp

Cliffy B. can make some good games, that's really all I care about. Regardless of his opinions, it's not likely these 'ramblings' of his will have any effect other then pissing people off.

Edit: Besides, as far as I know Cliff's not currently making anything, and doesn't really hold any say in Epic anymore, so the future effects on the industry he's predicting are completely nonsense speculation.

Posted by Video_Game_King

@yukoasho said:

(Last I checked, my username was YukoAsho and not Rhianna)

I'm not sure how this affects your purchase decision. Valis has been a dead series for a while, even though I imagine you could get a cool 3D action game out of it.

Posted by Kidavenger

I think the consumer was wrong on this one.

The DRM play was all about money, for Microsoft to push something so hard against so much opposition, it must have been pretty important.

With all the studios and publishers that died this gen, I think it's pretty clear that profits in the industry are razor thin for all but the most successful.

I can't help but see the price of games going up over the course of the next generation, if I had the choice between the two, I would have picked the DRM because realistically it had no ill effect on me.

Posted by Fredchuckdave

@wampa1: Bahahaha, well done sir.

Edited by Ezakael

@kidavenger: Except for the fact that once they shut down the servers hundreds of dollars worth of games are useless.

Posted by YukoAsho

@yukoasho said:

(Last I checked, my username was YukoAsho and not Rhianna)

I'm not sure how this affects your purchase decision. Valis has been a dead series for a while, even though I imagine you could get a cool 3D action game out of it.

I think you missed the reference I was making to Rhianna taking back that woman-beating piece of trash Chris Brown.

Posted by Video_Game_King
Edited by YukoAsho

I think the consumer was wrong on this one.

The DRM play was all about money, for Microsoft to push something so hard against so much opposition, it must have been pretty important.

With all the studios and publishers that died this gen, I think it's pretty clear that profits in the industry are razor thin for all but the most successful.

I can't help but see the price of games going up over the course of the next generation, if I had the choice between the two, I would have picked the DRM because realistically it had no ill effect on me.

That any industry will make foolish moves out of greed is to be expected.

However, when an industry relies on the consumer to forsake all ownership rights in order to survive, that is the sign of a failed industry. If gaming cannot persist without consumers bending over the way Microsoft wanted us to, then gaming does not deserve to persist at all.

Posted by csl316

Cliff's starting to sound like Dave Mustaine from Megadeth. Put out some classic stuff, but the more he talks now the more it damages his legacy.

Edited by mrfluke

@hailinel said:

@mrfluke: In this case, Cliff's ravings don't sound like fucking with people. He comes across as legitimately bitter and resentful, not to mention out of touch.

well i mean he was doing the developer thing for 20 years. i kind of dont blame him on his stance

do i agree with him? absolutely not, at the end of the day the consumer should not care to have sympathy for the devs, they should only care if the game is good.

Posted by YukoAsho

@csl316 said:

Cliff's starting to sound like Dave Mustaine from Megadeth. Put out some classic stuff, but the more he talks now the more it damages his legacy.

Not a bad comparison, that. As much as I hate how controlled celebs are with their image nowadays, some celebs desperately need to be controlled in such a manner, lest they bring down those around them.

Posted by mlarrabee

Well, at least you're presenting your counter-argument with plenty of vitriol. We could all use more of that in our lives.

Posted by Kidavenger

@yukoasho said:

@kidavenger said:

I think the consumer was wrong on this one.

The DRM play was all about money, for Microsoft to push something so hard against so much opposition, it must have been pretty important.

With all the studios and publishers that died this gen, I think it's pretty clear that profits in the industry are razor thin for all but the most successful.

I can't help but see the price of games going up over the course of the next generation, if I had the choice between the two, I would have picked the DRM because realistically it had no ill effect on me.

That any industry will make foolish moves out of greed is to be expected.

However, when an industry relies on the consumer to forsake all ownership rights in order to survive, that is the sign of a failed industry. If gaming cannot persist without consumers bending over the way Microsoft wanted us to, then gaming does not deserve to persist at all.

Not really, prices go up in ever other industry, gaming is an anomaly in that regard, the price of games is just going to go up, it's as simple as that.

Microsoft was doing what they could to prevent that because it's not a very good solution either as it will just lead to more used sales and piracy and probably won't help them very much.

Now that the path is set for the next 5 years, it'll be interesting to see what the results of this are.

Edited by Boom_goes_the_dynamite

I don't think Cliff is off base with his thoughts, at least from a publisher's or developer's perspective; however, digital rights ownership is so strange and I have a feeling eventually there will be some form of battle over who really owns what, when it comes to digital purchases. In some ways I was kinda hoping Microsoft would keep with their DRM stance just so we could see the battle come sooner rather than later.

Posted by Carryboy

I honestly believe we just have to find a happy medium what we've ended up here is the consumer "winning" and whilst I can see why Cliffs opinions might not go down well hes pretty spot on with a lot of what he says.

As for the overall tone of your post and hoping companies you dislike for whatever reason go bankrupt all I would say is grow up.

Edited by BD_Mr_Bubbles

I liked Gears Of War

So did I, lost any respect I had for its creator though.

Online
Edited by CommanderGermanShepard

Posted by MooseyMcMan

I'm on Clifford's side.

Posted by Veektarius

I find your opinions more offensive in presentation than Blezinksi's, irrespective of content.

Posted by YukoAsho

Microsoft was doing what they could to prevent that because it's not a very good solution either as it will just lead to more used sales and piracy and probably won't help them very much.

Now that the path is set for the next 5 years, it'll be interesting to see what the results of this are.

Again, you're implying that the consumer is to blame, and in that implication also hinting that the consumer deserves to be punished. The continued success Nintendo, Deep Silver and other responsible studios shows that a smart company can still make great games with reasonable budgets.

At the end of the day, no consumer should feel compelled to pay in rights for the mistakes of EA, Ubisoft and their wasteful cohorts.

I'm sorry, but no matter how you phrase it, I refuse to accept the blame for the gaming industry's apparent inability to rein in its own excess.

Posted by Benny

This thread is exactly what he hopes to achieve from his posts on twitter, you look just as bad by addressing him.

Posted by SunBroZak

..so, what's David Jaffe doing these days?

Posted by tourgen

I agree with most of what you had to say.

Cliffy was entertaining on the E3 after hours show though.

And I bought a 360 so I could play Gears of War.

Edited by YukoAsho

..so, what's David Jaffe doing these days?

Considering he's nearly as toxic as Clifford, I imagine he's not going to be welcome at many established publishers.

Hey, that's actually an idea! Clifford should try his hand at being an indie dev! Then he can learn to love Microsoft as we do!

Posted by ArbitraryWater

What do you expect from someone who has formally been in the games industry since he was 17? Of course he's going to side with developers and publishers over the consumer. Personally, I agree with you that most of the stuff he's railing against would've happened anyways, but the best course of action is to stop pretending like he has anything insightful to say (because he really doesn't) and not respond at all.

Posted by firecracker22

I think Cliff had a point, though.

In theory, if the publishers were as worried as they infact seem to be about used game sales...to the point where they are pressuring Sony and Microsoft to "handle" it, then when they consider that matter handled then they could stop with tacked on multiplayer or DLC that should be a part of the game. Alot of those things are supposed to be ways that they can convince consumers to hold on to that copy rather than sell it.

I mean, I disagree with Cliff that Microsoft's previous gameplan was going to save us from these things. But, I can certainly see where Cliff is coming from. Not to mention he's not your everyday consumer. He did mention on the E3 after hours bombcast that if he weren't as well off, he'd probably be on the other side of the fence on this.

Posted by Kidavenger

@yukoasho said:

@kidavenger said:

Microsoft was doing what they could to prevent that because it's not a very good solution either as it will just lead to more used sales and piracy and probably won't help them very much.

Now that the path is set for the next 5 years, it'll be interesting to see what the results of this are.

Again, you're implying that the consumer is to blame, and in that implication also hinting that the consumer deserves to be punished. The continued success Nintendo, Deep Silver and other responsible studios shows that a smart company can still make great games with reasonable budgets.

I didn't say either of those things? Prices go up on everything but games, we're at that point now and it's not anyone's fault, it's just the way of the world.

I'm not sure why you pointed out Nintendo, they aren't very successful right now and they did raise their standard prices for the Wii U from $49.99 to $59.99.

Edited by Mister_Avatar

@shinjin977: That article doesn't know what it's talking about. Here's a fact, since the start of this generation 149 developers and 5 major publishers have shuttered their doors *http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=459131* Companies like Ubisoft are outsourcing once lucrative development jobs to places like China. Until the start of this new generation (XB1 PS4) every bloody article was about the loss of creativity in the industry, with companies like EA and Activation just releasing sequel after sequel of the same stuff they released the year prior. Why did that do that? Because that stuff made money and everything that they tried to break that mold, mirrors edge and games of that ilk, didn't.

You want an interesting insight into the industry try reading this article from Forbes, which shows how pricing cutting and the loss of a used games market can actually lead to a better tomorrow for everyone, (gamers, publishers, developers, and retailers) and then get back to me.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2013/05/30/study-without-used-games-publishers-would-need-to-slash-prices-to-stay-afloat/

Posted by Demoskinos

Did anyone in here actually bother reading his blog post he put up further explaining his tweets? It didn't make me see eye to eye with him but it sure puts his opinions into better context than those tweets did. I would suggest everyone read it. http://dudehugespeaks.tumblr.com/post/53457606850/brutal-honest-thoughts-on-this-whole-debacle

Edited by Hailinel

@kidavenger: Say what you will, but the 3DS hardware and Nintendo's software are successful overall. They're not among the companies screaming about how they lost money by expecting unreasonable sales out of their games.

Edited by shinjin977

@mister_avatar: I appreciate your insight but I work in the industry and no Reaganomics don't actually work. Do you know what happen when used games are gone? Publisher make more money = standing ovation all around? no, publisher continues to make money and there is nothing wrong with that but we will still get studio closure. Why? because this is a business. You try to be as profitable as possible and even if you make truck loads of money if your studio do not make big sellers at SOME point you will be close down. Simple as that. Used games definitely make it harder for publishers to maximize profit, no doubt about that but that doesn't mean if they make more money they will keep under performed studio around.

If we are going to talk about big seller like Tomb Raider selling 3.4 million and being a disappointment then that's not a use game problem. That is a mismanagement of resources and funds (advertising cost). Of cause this is just my view but I have a feeling we will see Dark Soul 2 sell more or as much as Dark Soul 1 and be a big disappointment for Namco. The sole reason for a company to exist is to make money and we can not call something like that greedy or evil. That is why it exist but it must learn to have realistic expectations/goals and adjust itself accordingly. A company will grow and grow and continue to grow but nothing just keep expanding forever. We are going down the path of the Easter Island scenario and it can not be stop because the nature of corporation is what it is but new developers will come, new publishers will arise.

It pains me to say it since I am one but not all developers deserves to exist. This is a business we have to fight to exist.

It is all well and good to want to get rid of used game sales but banning it or blocking it thru DRM is not the way. If sony or microsoft is committed to this, they will put more of a focus on benefits for digital buyers. Price cuts, pre-order pre-load, additional content for digital buyers, etc. Whatever it is all better than taking consumer's rights.

(Excuse my English)

Posted by YukoAsho

The Wii U's had a tough launch, though no tougher than the PS3. However, between the 3DS' utter domination of the handheld market and the billions they have in the bank off the Wii and DS' success, they're more than equipped to weather the storm and fix the Wii U. Why? Because they make great games that don't NEED special restrictions to keep from being traded in.

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