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#1 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (6354 posts) -

Counterstrike you might guess? Call of Duty? Maybe even Overwatch? No, the popularity of those games are nothing when compared to The Fall.

So I watched an episode of the CBS network television series "Bull" recently, which originally aired about a year ago. It's not a great show, but you could do worse in the courtroom drama genre. Anyhow, this particular episode had a whole MLG type plotline, and I was quite surprised to see the show using Titanfall 2 for its "this is the most popular game in the world, and people can make a fortune playing it" narrative.

They referred to the game as "Titanfall," never Titanfall 2, and they kept calling it "The Fall," I guess in an attempt to sound cool. "I didn't know you played The Fall?" Considering the level of actual success found by Titanfall 2, and all the other stupid things the episode got wrong about both that game and games in general, it was pretty hilarious.

In the opening scene, a professional Titanfall 2 player misses a shot, which causes his team to accuse him of intentionally throwing the game. Later in the episode, you learn that the player in question has missed maybe five shots in his entire pro-gaming career. That's a bit like the idea of a professional tennis player missing only five shots in their whole tennis career. The simple idea of a zero-sum game being played at the highest levels of competition seemed completely lost on these writers.

Apparently, another CBS drama Madame Secretary, also featured Titanfall 2 product placement.

Be honest, you all knew that it was going to be Titanfall 2 that was bigger than the World Series, right?

Yeah. And the mainstream media's limited understanding of video games continues unabated.

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#2 Posted by Nodima (2464 posts) -

To be fair, I doubt that's the "mainstream media's limited understanding" so much as "this is the level of rights to a real game we're willing to pay for" or "this is the game our marketing team came back to us with".

Funny clips though!

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#3 Posted by Mike (17951 posts) -

I've never even heard of this show before.

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#4 Edited by Slag (8108 posts) -

I mean the show is fiction.

Maybe in Bull's universe Titanfall 2 is the most popular game in the world

also, This is also hacking works in NCIS world

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#5 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (6354 posts) -

@nodima said:

To be fair, I doubt that's the "mainstream media's limited understanding" so much as "this is the level of rights to a real game we're willing to pay for" or "this is the game our marketing team came back to us with".

Funny clips though!

To clarify, I was referring more to the "I'm a pro e-sports guy who has only missed five shots in my pro e-sports career" type of limited understanding, rather than Titanfall 2 being popular.

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#6 Edited by conmulligan (1853 posts) -

Eh, at least they used a real game and not some weird ReBoot-looking imitation.

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#7 Posted by pweidman (2799 posts) -

No wonder most people don't watch network tv anymore. That was just god awful.

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#8 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3837 posts) -

You know, at least it's funny to read these kind of threads :)

And it seems like mainstream TV still likes to think about games as this thing that you can completely master. Like this player will never miss a shot. If he does, he's probably doing it intentionally. I guess that conveys to the audience that they're dealing with a person that's the cream of the crop. For him to miss, there must be a crime happening.

In reality, most esports are very much about minimizing the mistakes you make and trying to play as optimally with your resources as possible. I don't think many people have played the perfect Starcraft , League or Dota game. Especially because it's not even clear what a 'perfect' game looks like. Do you want a support player to end up with a 0 deaths score, or would it be better if he tanked some ganks for his team so that the other side of the map is safe for his more valuable teammates? Do all teammates even agree on this matter? Does the audience agree on what a good game looks like for such a player? But yeah, this would not work as well for a TV-show :P

As for Titanfall as choice. I guess it makes sense to go with a shooter. Expected them to go with Call of Duty to be honest. But i guess Titanfall needs brand recognition more than COD, so they turned to TV instead.

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#9 Edited by andythemeZ (371 posts) -

So companies have abandoned the trick where they make a product placement feel like a badge of recognition , like Tarantino picking your song for the soundtrack , and have reverted to just plain advertising.

No need for any "hitting up that kind of rush" explanation, no need for a Zach Snyder Joss Whedon type to hype up why this or that character has a peculiar fan service interest.

I'm afraid to even click on that thumbnail full of Philip Seymore Botchmans that I might see dudes playing Titanfall like it was a fighting game on a six button Genesis controller, fingertips hitting the buttons like keyboard keys while the other hand holds it, tongue sticking out the side of the mouth, tilting the controller like the six axis E3 demo, but it's a GameCube controller "connected" to a TiVo.

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#10 Posted by Ares42 (4087 posts) -

I like how they got gaming personalities to be the commentators, because they really needed that authenticity......

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#11 Edited by Justin258 (15427 posts) -

It seems like most of the time, this stuff is a whirlwind of copyright laws, cheap executives, and writers who just need to get a plotline out, not necessarily a group of people who don't know anything about video games. Games (especially multiplayer shooters) are popular enough these days that, chances are, someone working on this show knew how stupid the video games stuff was and didn't care to correct it because he or she had shit to do.

Also, exaggeration can make for more efficient storytelling. "This is the most popular game in the world!" is an easy shorthand for "basically everyone knows something about this thing" and it's more attention grabbing than a dry sentence like "The Fall is a popular e-sport."

I'm not trying to excuse it, it's still cringe-worthy and if you have to short-hand something that much, you probably shouldn't be writing about it in the first place, but the stuff that network television gets wrong about video games isn't always because of stupidity.

Also, I don't know if this is an unintentional side effect or if CBS intended this, but now several new people in this thread (including me) have heard of "Bull" and one or two of them might watch an episode or two (I won't be one of them).

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#12 Edited by Captain_Insano (3396 posts) -

Do not speak ill of the grand CBS overlords.

Side note: I kind of love the fantastical notion that maybe some CBS writer or executive overheard Jeff talking to Brad or someone in an elevator one day about how awesome Titanfall 2 was, and then this was the end result of that.

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#13 Posted by OurSin_360 (6080 posts) -

Well at least its good to see morgan webb again. Wish they could have got sessler too though.

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#14 Edited by Onemanarmyy (3837 posts) -

Oh shit. Purge is in this as commentator. I have his stream open in the background right now.

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#15 Posted by CJduke (1021 posts) -

Titanfall 2 is the best game of 2016 so makes sense.

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#16 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (7790 posts) -

The Fall is sick brah.

Also, that line at the end of the first clip...

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#17 Posted by xanadu (1904 posts) -

People don't really call Titanfall The Fall do they???