Hottest Mess Disappointed Me This Year

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#1 Edited by UnrealDP (1310 posts) -

(Spoilers for hottest mess below)

It really bothered me to see the GB crew put Fallout 76 over the exploitative labor practices of Rockstar, ArenaNet kowtowing to a mob's harassment of a developer and then firing the developers that tried to stand up for her, the cultural sexism of riot (and what ever else happened there this year), the overnight laying off of the entirety of Telltale due to mismanagement, and whatever myriad of other "questionable workplace practices & culture" that were in the games industry this year (presumably like Quantic Dream's toxic studio culture even though I don't remember it being directly mentioned). Having an impassioned discussion about how people should respect developers over their products (talking about The Walking Dead specifically) then followed by them putting a game over much of the mistreatment of developers this year didn't seem thoughtful, to put it mildly. To have such a generalized, all-encompassing hot mess that covers so many of the abuses of the people working in this industry and then put the poor launch of a Bethesda game over it just seems to malign developers to me, even if it doesn't quite fit in the category as neatly as Fallout does. I think either it shouldn't have been in the category to begin with or it should have won, and anything else inbetween comes across as egregiously disrespectful. Jeff also had a point about being unable to 100% guarantee the veracity of these stories (I may be overgeneralizing a bit), but I think then putting Fallout 76 over them either says that the site doesn't believe them, or believes that Fallout 76 was worse than the mistreatment of developers, otherwise it should have just been avoided entirely. I may be off base on that point, please tell me if I am.

I don't like to get mad about these year end deliberations and lists because they're just video games, but that falls apart here where it's about the people very directly. I know this is supposed to be "for funsies" but I can't help but be let down by the editorial staff acknowledging and then maligning this year's abuses of the people within the industry. I know there was no ill-will in doing this, but it disappointed me none the less. I really respect GB, like hell, I listened to something like 15 hours to get to that discussion and didn't really have a complaint, but this just seemed so ill-conceived and frustrating.

I haven't seen anyone else responding this way, so if I'm ignoring or missing something, or being thoughtless then please tell me. And sorry if this is a bit scattered I just needed to get this out of my head.

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#2 Posted by cubist2 (12 posts) -

Completely agree. When they were discussing the exploitation in the industry near the beginning of the topic I was thinking it would be a lock for #1. To put Fallout 76 above it because it was buggy and some people didn't get the right kind of bag with their deluxe editions (?) just seems tone deaf. I think you are right that if it wasn't going to win the category, it should not have been included at all. I was really surprised that Jeff's assertion that Fallout should win was met with NO pushback. Pretty disappointing.

On the plus side, I am glad they spoke about the problems with labour relations in the industry in a serious way, which I guess is the more important thing.

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#3 Edited by UnrealDP (1310 posts) -

I'm also glad they spoke about it! It's important that they talked about labor and the larger problems facing the industry, but the dismount of then putting Fallout 76 above it as in some way being more problematic or "hot" or "messy" just bothered me to no end. I hope we hear them acknowledge these larger problems more going forward, in fact I'm certain we will, but man that all just left a bitter taste in my mouth. I really think GB should be more thoughtful than this.

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#4 Posted by Assirra (517 posts) -

Sorry for the off topic question but is the only way to get these lists is listening to hours of podcasts?

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#5 Posted by UnrealDP (1310 posts) -


I think this is what you're looking for.

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#6 Posted by Assirra (517 posts) -

@unrealdp said:


I think this is what you're looking for.

Thank you, i completely missed that.

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#7 Posted by UnrealDP (1310 posts) -
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#8 Edited by SethMode (2062 posts) -

100% agreed. It felt really off for them, especially after their very recent reaction to Riot (although that particular segment obviously took place after GOTY was recorded). Like, no joke, it's really hard for me to give two shits about a crappy game and a cheap swag controversy in light of ALL THAT other bullshit.

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#9 Posted by fnrslvr (579 posts) -

My vague recollection is that they noted that labor practices in the games industry is always a hot mess, and that at least now the issue seems to be gaining traction, whereas Fallout 76 is a fresh hot mess.

But yeah, I think Telltale alone takes this category, let alone bundled together with all the other bullshit. Maybe industry labor practices should just take hottest mess every year until it's finally addressed properly.

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#10 Posted by SilverSaint (98 posts) -

I think it makes sense. The labor practices and such occurs every single year and they noted this was the driving reason for it not being #1. While this was bigger then most there seems to be a pretty large fatigue as its been like a yearly thing a decade straight.

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#11 Edited by Brackstone (943 posts) -

I think the thing is that the labor practices aren't new. They've been hearing stories like this for ages that aren't necessarily as well known to those outside the industry. It sucks, yes, but they aren't new messes. The telltale stuff is bad, but as Jeff said, he's he's heard of just as bad if not worse happening back in the day, and the Telltale stuff was years in the making. It's definitely the most upsetting mess, but it's also a familiar one. They are grave injustices, but not all that shocking to those paying attention to the industry.

And honestly, these issues aren't just confined to video games either, numerous other industries face the exact same kind of labour issues. The closure of telltale matches up really closely to the closure of numerous special effects studios in the film industry, for example.

Fallout is truly an outlier, it's a mess in a multitude of ways that could have easily been prevented. Also, the degree to which a data leak can be bad for people should not be underestimated. That Bethesda's bumbling steadily escalated from just making a bad game to potentially endangering some of their biggest fans is a unique mess for the world of video games.

Keep in mind last year they gave it to Battlefront 2 over the closure of Visceral, for example. Again, the closure of Visceral really sucks and actively harms people's livelihoods, but it's not really all that exceptional. Battlefront 2, however, was an entirely unique mess of a situation. So I'd say they are pretty consistent and their logic is sound.

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#12 Posted by JJWeatherman (15101 posts) -

I think they explained their reasoning well enough. To me, I understand and agree with their choice. That said, I can't say I'm completely up on all of the recent gaming industry labor issues. The industry issues are obviously the more important problems that came to light this year, I don't think anyone's questioning that. Fallout's situation is most certainly trivial by comparison, but in terms of being the actively hottest, most on fire, most heaping-burning-exploding-pile-of-trash situation, Fallout takes that. I can understand the feeling that Giant Bomb, as a site with a far-reaching voice, is missing the opportunity to send a meaningful message, though.

If the category were, say, "worst trend," things would have gone the other way, I think.

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#13 Posted by gunflame88 (395 posts) -

Fallout 76 is the poster boy for AAA publishers'/developers' disregard for the quality of their product nowadays. I'm sorry, but as someone who immensely enjoys video games as a hobby, this has way more relevance to me than some dirty laundry within individual companies.

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#14 Posted by deactivated-5d1d502761653 (305 posts) -
@unrealdp said:

(Spoilers for hottest mess below)

It really bothered me to see the GB crew put Fallout 76 over the exploitative labor practices of Rockstar, ArenaNet kowtowing to a mob's harassment of a developer and then firing the developers that tried to stand up for her,

That's not what happened in the ArenaNet incident though.

You had a developer going mental on Twitter for no reason. Beyond that neither you nor me know what options been discussed between her employer and herself that lead to her firing at the end.

Don't get me wrong I genuinely hate sexism but not every case of a woman losing her job is driven by that.

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#15 Posted by CreepingDeath0 (421 posts) -

I think anything other than Fallout 76 would just not be right. It's easily the BIGGEST hot mess this year. Since before release it's just been constant fuckups surrounding the game and I fully expect that to continue into the new year st this rate. Are there more important messes? Sure, but they came and went and that's not the category. Has anything been as BIG as 76? Nothing as close.

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#17 Edited by Fear_the_Booboo (1091 posts) -

@wolfstein_3d: You say you genuinely hate sexism but then paint her as a dev going "mental"... like come on dude.

And two devs got fired, her and another dev defending her. OP got it right, meaning that even if you disagree with how the devs acted, ArenaNet followed the mob instead of standing up for their devs.

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#18 Edited by deactivated-5d1d502761653 (305 posts) -

@fear_the_booboo said:

@wolfstein_3d: You say you genuinely hate sexism but then paint her as a dev going "mental"... like come on dude.

If you go on a rant on twitter I assess your behavior by itself, independent of your gender.

I would have found it as silly if it would have been a male developer reacting like that on "slight disagreement" raised by one twitter follower with one of the points raised by said developer.

I don't give that behavior a pass just because it was a woman acting out.

Firing her for that was obviously wrong.

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#19 Posted by gunflame88 (395 posts) -

@fear_the_booboo: She displayed a flippant and disrespectful attitude towards a customer with no provocation. The decision was sensible, mob or no mob.

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#20 Posted by Efesell (4571 posts) -

I thought it all kicked off with an attempt to explain her job to her.

Which is a pretty Fuck Customers moment to me.

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#21 Posted by SethMode (2062 posts) -

@efesell: Yeah, and the continued disregard for what females in industry in general, let alone the game industry, experience constantly and how that feeds what has to be an almost neverending sense of frustration and likely anger, just serves to show how much further we have to go with regards to sexism. The fact that people still side with ArenaNet on this issue blows my mind. But thats really all I have to say, as I don't want to derail the thread too much.

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#22 Posted by deactivated-5d1d502761653 (305 posts) -

That's not what happened - she argued that in an mmo you can't really create personal stories because people come from different angles and it's inherit limitation of the genre.

The person who responded did so in a very respectful manner (he was actually an outspoken fan of the developers work on the game). He simply argued it might not be the genre but the systems in place in the particular game that constrain storytelling (here's the original response).

If you think this justifies her calling people out the way she did, well that's up to you. I think we simply have different standards then.

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#23 Edited by SethMode (2062 posts) -

@wolfstein_3d: I mean, respectful or not, that's absolutely him telling her she's wrong/how to do her job.

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#24 Posted by Efesell (4571 posts) -

I mean..I will grant that he tried to very polite about how he explained their own work to them but in the end..

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#25 Posted by gunflame88 (395 posts) -

He clearly just debates one approach to storytelling and then presents his own idea. How is this "explaining own job"? By that logic, anyone ever criticizing or debating any creator about something they made are just explaining them their own job.

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#26 Edited by SethMode (2062 posts) -

@gunflame88: Unsolicited it's never going to be a good thing in my eyes, especially from someone that isn't even a game dev. And I think that there is a wide gulf between criticizing a product as a whole, constructively, and directly contradicting a single dev without being asked for your input. The dynamic of male to female is also important within this industry, whether one wants it to be or not. Again, I think about how often she must get shit like that, and how frustrating that must be. Further, her reaction was pretty tepid, honestly. Saying something like "If one more asshat tries to tell me how to do my job, they're getting blocked," isn't the devastating, customer hating comment it is made out to be.

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#27 Posted by Efesell (4571 posts) -

I'm just sayin' I can see why even that can trigger a twitter moment.

I can't imagine it's a vacuum, it's not this one guy and this one comment. More like just "If one more fuckin' rando on twitter/reddit...."

Which regardless of any of that it doesn't change any of the actual situation. If there had to be discipline for any of it it should have been internal and not obviously kowtowing to angry people on the internet.

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#28 Posted by tp0p (101 posts) -

I would think that these bad business practices should fit more into the "please stop!" category. Do they still have that category? I haven't checked the categories for a bunch of years. "Hottest mess" seems more reserved for a specific game.

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#29 Posted by Carryboy (1098 posts) -

@sethmode: Putting something out on twitter and getting a response is not unsolicited

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#30 Posted by Efesell (4571 posts) -

@carryboy: Unless you're asking twitter for response then yeah it still totally is.

Twitter might be a public space but there's no other public space where it's okay to walk up on someone randomly and hit them with a Well Actually.

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#31 Edited by UnrealDP (1310 posts) -

@brackstone: The labor and cultural practices aren't new, but this is the first year that GB had something that encompassed almost literally all of them with how general "Questionable Workplace Practices & Culture In The Game Industry." Like with the Visceral stuff, that was a single mess and not the entirety of the industries "questionable" culture and practices. There are also things I would argue about Visceral being less severe than Telltale with many of the developers retaining jobs in other EA studios and having typical benefits, and also Battlefront literally had governments stepping in to stop the situation and regulate loot boxes while Fallout is just a game with some bad customer support that at least hasn't threatened sweeping regulation or ruined an entire business model, but I don't think it matters with how many industry abuses are being covered by this year's mess. Also I should have touched on this, I honestly forgot they made this point, but I don't think the history of labor and cultural abuses in the industry is a justifier for hand-waving them this year. "People get laid off all of the time" isn't a way to justify the 250 who lost their jobs at Telltale overnight without severance or protections or "There's a history of gender discrimination in the industry" isn't a way to ignore the women who suffered at Riot. Using the history of these problems to ignore them in a year that was particularly egregious with them doesn't look good to me. They should have talked about them individually and then owned up to how any of these abuses are somehow not as bad as Fallout, or made the abuses win, or not talked about them at all. I think anything inbetween, particularly where they ended up just sucks and they should do better.

@creepingdeath0: I really disagree honestly. Is the entirety of Telltale disappearing overnight with everyone losing their jobs without notice not as "hot" or "messy" as Fallout? And then add in any of the other things that fall under questionable this year in the industry and you get something that is 100% hotter than the launch of a Bethesda game. Even if there was some technicality related to the spirit of the category or what editorial was looking for, I think this is a real bad look for them. Fallout was a mess, but jesus christ, they compared it to a catch-all for those who really suffered in the industry this year. Trying to quantify the launch of a game with a wide range of very literal, very real human suffering is just... it's not the look, GB does better, they should do better.

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#32 Posted by SloppyDetective (1618 posts) -

@cubist2: People's personal information leaked too. So it wasnt just because "oopsies wrong baggie"

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#33 Posted by SloppyDetective (1618 posts) -

Welp I guess you'll just have to not buy any of those games the next time you go to Walmart or shop on Amazon since GB didn't solve the problem with their own version of this toothless posturing.

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#34 Posted by SethMode (2062 posts) -

@sloppydetective: Well, this is unnecessary. Hope you're saving all this righteous posturing for people way more upset about an arbitrary best games list all over the internet. I think having a discussion about this in a constructive way is totally fine and doesn't warrant your reaction.

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#35 Posted by Brackstone (943 posts) -

@unrealdp: But they didn't hand wave it all away, they talked about them extensively, and they've covered it throughout the year. You're acting like they brought it up briefly and brushed it aside immediately. They didn't, they acknowledged how bad an issue it is, but also acknowledged that it's less of a mess and ore just business as usual. Which sucks, it really, really does. But don't act like they don't care or that they "should do better" just by ranking one thing higher than another on an largely arbitrary list in a category called "hottest mess". Their decision is entirely consistent with past years. Saying the stories are muddy isn't them saying they don't believe them, it's saying that it's impossible to say how bad each incident really is because conflicting information is out there.

And saying that people get laid off all the time isn't justification for any of this and it's not ignoring it at all. It was not an egregious year for labour practices in video games, these things happen all the time, they usually just don't get this kind of publicity, and as I said, these are issues that exist outside of videogames. The video game part of these labour abuses is somewhat tangential to the larger workplace injustices that are common across the world. There are even bigger labour injustices out there, and it doesn't take much to find how they too tangentially connect to video games.

It's a huge issue that needs to get better, but acting like 2018 is the year where abuses in the workplace started mattering or were at their most severe is really myopic. The discourse regarding it changed for the better, but the actual abuses are the same as they've always been.

Finally, regarding Fallout, a company leaked people's personal info. Names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, credit card types and partial credit card numbers. The potential for abuse here is massive. Bethesda still might be fined heavily in the EU for failing to live up to GDPR regulations. Again, Jeff noted that Fallout 76 only makes the list because of being a bad videogame, the PR disaster that culminates in actually endangering some of their biggest fans is what makes it win. That's exceptional.

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#36 Edited by SloppyDetective (1618 posts) -

@sethmode: I don't think this conversation is constructive - even devoid of my comments. This conversation isn't going to lead to anything other than people saying whether or not the crew made the right choice in an all-in-all pretty meaningless award. It's just another example of people having the need to talk about their own character in a public space rather than live it. Yes, my comment was rather rude but I'm sick of seeing people decrying how horrible David Cage is while talking about how they spent money on Detroit and it is one of their top ten games of the year. I don't care to hear Bakalar deride Dan for shopping at Walmart when he's then going to talk about his Amazon purchases. I don't think civilly having a conversation about a conversation about poor business practices leads to anything at all really. It just seems to be a way to get out emotions without actually doing anything constructive.

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#37 Edited by BladeOfCreation (1405 posts) -

I'm working my way through Day 4 now, so I haven't gotten to this part yet.

I may change my view after listening. As it stands now...I dunno. For as much arguing and jockeying as they do to get their games to win these categories, I think it would be somewhat--inappropriate? hollow? hypocritical? I don't know--to use one of those stories as Hottest Mess. I feel like that term describes something that's a mess, but in a way that we can laugh or poke fun at. Nominating the conditions in the industry--or at an individual developer--as a hot mess while going on to lavish praise and accolades on that studio's game would come across as incredibly tone deaf. These things are more important than Game of the Year debates, which are fun and ultimately unimportant.

I do believe that the Palmer Luckey situation a couple of years ago was different, because Alex made the point then that the site had him as a guest in videos. The staff clearly felt that the site needed to make a statement. Whether or not GoTY deliberations was the best way to go about that statement is something that people who visit this site will have opinions about for years to come.

If we're being honest, a story about labor conditions would be the hottest mess every single year. And that story, most years, would be tied to one of the biggest game releases...You know what? I think there's merit to that. I don't know if it would change anything, but having a major game site that pulls guests from across the industry at its E3 shows and pulls GoTY lists from people across multiple industries every year make a story about the more fucked up aspects of the industry its Hottest Mess every single year would send one hell of a message, that's for sure.

All of that said, I'm glad that Giant Bomb this year has not shied away from covering these stories as they happen. Giant Bomb does not have to be Waypoint, but I think there was a fear when Austin left that GB might not spend time on these sorts of issues. It feels like they've discussed this stuff more this past year. That may be confirmation bias on my part, I haven't crunched the numbers for minutes spent per podcast talking about any one topic.

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#38 Posted by SethMode (2062 posts) -

@sloppydetective: Well, speaking for myself, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. Or, I can talk about these things on a forum and make real life efforts as well. Maybe a better solution for YOU would be to not visit the forum or comments, rather than grandstand about people you don't even know.

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#39 Edited by UnrealDP (1310 posts) -

@brackstone: Hand-wave was maybe a strong word, but to go from discussing how inappropriate it was for fans to put a product like the Walking Dead above developers to then putting Fallout 76 above the entirety of the industries malpractices against developers this year completely undermines their point and actively denigrates developers in the same way they called out, at least from where I'm standing. And you can't say what they did really, really sucks and then call me out for asking them to do better. I never said they don't care, they very obviously do, I just said they messed up and should do a better job. If what they're also saying by putting it at number 2 is it's impossible to judge the validity of these stories, then they shouldn't be on the list to begin with if for some reason they can't accept these incidents at face value. I think that's a big part of this is they're either saying they don't believe these abuses, at least enough for them to be more egregious than the launch of a video game, or they do and don't find them egregious enough to top Fallout 76. Either way, sucks. They should do better. Like all and all, that's the core of my argument. Even you agreed that they did a bad job, so I think we both agree they should do better. It's an important topic that they paid important lip service to, and then completely disrespected, and again, undermined.

And I'm obviously not saying this is the year that labor and cultural issues began to crop up in the industry, but this is the year GB created the catch-all for it of the industry's "questionable workplace practices & culture." If in 2017 or 2016 they had a hot mess that was literally a bucket term for all of the cultural and labor abuses of that year, then that mess should win because where even is the comparison between these people's livelihoods/lives and the controversy around a video game? Why did they even decide to put that on the list? It's made up of issues that so inherently trump any petty controversy around a video game that its so disappointing to see them then degrade it.

When I say degrade it, I think what really bothers me is that part where I think they almost literally pivot from Alex ending a filibuster on how we need to respect and care about developers beyond their products and grow up beyond fetishizing games over the people who make them, to them saying "oh but Fallout was such a bigger mess this year, what a train wreck!" and then giving a game more importance than developers. You want me to be hyperbolic and give you something to really try and tear apart: I think that actively perpetuates the exact thing they criticized. Them sensationalizing the launch of a game over the people who make games is -- it's just so disappointing. Giant Bomb should really be more thoughtful and conscientious than that, and hopefully in the future they will be.

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#40 Posted by Rejizzle (1137 posts) -

So, Fallout 76 is a bad game, tarnishes the reputation of a series, lies about their preorder bonus, and (let's face it, probably) has exploitative labour practices. It's a really good contender for the award.

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#41 Posted by Brackstone (943 posts) -

@unrealdp: I perhaps wasn't clear. I wasn't saying what they did sucks, I was saying that it sucks that labour injustices are so common, and it's a shame that the truth of the matter is that these stories aren't remarkable. I think they did a fantastic job with the discussion, and the top 3 were 3 very different messes that all needed acknowledgement. Them saying that it's impossible to judge the validity of these stories is more about being unable to determine the severity of them. If they get multiple stories from the same studio that disagree, they have to consider them all. Where there's smoke, there's fire, but they can't tell how hot the fire really is without being there. So they can't say "oh yeah the situation at Rockstar is really dire" if they're seeing stories that both agree and disagree with it. There's definitely a problem, but is it a problem with a specific team or division at Rockstar, or the whole company? They can't tell.

You still haven't acknowledged the part where Bethesda's incompetence surrounding one game led to them leaking the data of their biggest fans after refusing to provide the product they paid for. I don't know how many times I have to say this, Fallout 76 winning isn't just about a game being bad. As Jeff said, the game being bad is not enough to make it win. They aren't putting a game above developers, because Fallout 76, the game, did not win hottest mess. Bethesda's handling of Fallout 76 is what won it, Bethesda's bizarre incompetence and blatant disregard for consumers is what won it. Much like last year's Battlefront fiasco (which I'll admit was way worse), it's a case study in how big developers are really pushing the limits with disrespecting consumers and trying to suck every last penny they can out of them. They're being sued for false advertising and worse, the EU (and possibly others) could yet fine them heavily for violating consumer protection laws. All because they lied about a canvas shortage in order to save a few bucks.

The reason the labour things were on the list were because there was heightened visibility this year, more scrutiny, but just because more people heard about it this year, doesn't mean it was particularly bad or all that surprising. Yeah, they created the topic because they had to acknowledge it as a big point of conversation, and in reviewing the year it had to come up, but it's not a uniquely 2018 thing, and it's not even a uniquely video game thing, so it makes sense why it's not 2018's hottest video game mess.

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#42 Edited by OMGFather (1061 posts) -

I'm glad Fallout 76 won, just the gift that kept on giving.

This thread is evidence enough why it was best to just highlight those other issues and move on. It just opens up a can of worms and it would suck if GOTY got overshadowed with that. There's not really anything GB can do about those things. It would be too negative. Whereas it's fun to point and laugh at Fallout 76 for the hot mess it was.

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#43 Posted by musclerider (895 posts) -

From the point of view of someone who works in the tech industry:

In an environment where a lot of these companies release consumer products in the form of videogames it's pretty easy to gauge the reception. The first season of the Walking dead has almost 30,000 steam reviews and Guardians of the Galaxy barely breaks 1500.

Yes it's great to work in games but there comes a time where you have to consider your own career and take things into your own hands when the writing is on the wall. I understand wanting to hunker down, wait it out, and hope for the best. I feel like Telltale had been circling the drain ever since Jurassic Park absolutely bombed and they haven't had a big hit since the first Walking Dead. Industry wide this is a sad reality but how do we fix this? It's not just games, it's a lot of companies of this size but it's more noticeable in games because small companies can make games that get noticed by everyone. There's an inherent risk in any business with just a couple of dozen employees, if your product tanks then you might have to close the doors. Telltale made every possible wrong move in terms of mitigating the effects of this. They bit off way more than they could chew and doomed themselves.

As far as ArenaNet goes, any company worth their salt has a social media policy. The bigger take away here is that writers are dime-a-dozen. Just like whenever people talk about how many people want to get into the field of "gaming journalism," getting into a steady job for creative writing is incredibly competitive. For a MMO the community is everything since you can't really sell expansions if no one is still playing so when you make the community mad you're bound to get hit.

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#44 Posted by Cusseta (130 posts) -

The category title sums it up. It's not worst industry practice. If it was, there wouldn't be a need for the category because it would obviously be the things you mentioned over Fallout 76. Hottest Mess is something far more incompassing. At least that's my take

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#45 Edited by wjb (2158 posts) -

This almost happened in 2016 (I think) when the unmaking of Palmer Luckey almost didn't win hottest mess. I forget what the other alternatives were, but thank god Alex (I think) steered them into the right choice.

I just think if "bad industry practices" are 1) going to be grouped together 2) dismissed because it happens all the time, then why bother nominating them? What also happens every year? An anticipated, but bad game with a messy launch. Last year was ME: Andromeda. Year before that was No Man Sky.

The Telltale fiasco by itself was a royal mess, and something that doesn't happen that often. Usually studios just shutter or staff is let go after a game launch. I think Fallout 76's non-canvas bag edition would've been a good Please Stop category for pricey editions of games with shitty swag.

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#46 Edited by JmarIV (65 posts) -

Yeah I feel exactly the same way. Either it shouldn’t have been in the category or it should have won. People’s lives were directly affected in a negative way over some of the bullshit that went on this year (and for years past presumably), but fallout was just a bad video game with some other stupid stuff surrounding it.

I’m usually on board with whatever these knuckleheads wanna talk about in GOTY, but this one bothered me. I guess listening to what Austin and the gang over at waypoint have had to say about shitty labor practices this year has also really informed my opinion. Either way, I’m not angry, just disappointed. They had an opportunity to highlight a huge problem in the gaming industry and instead chose to give that “award” to a bad video game that probably won’t result in any major layoffs.

Edit: “This happens every year therefore it shouldn’t win” is a decent argument for not having it on the list at all. By including it on a list of the top three hottest messes of the year, and not winning, they are essentially saying that shitty labor practices aren’t as big a deal as fallout 76 being a bad game.

I get that people don’t want the site to get “political” but it shouldn’t be a political thing to say that businesses should take better care of their employees and that people should be recognized for their work.

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#47 Posted by dudeglove (13780 posts) -

It's their take, so, ahem, take it or leave it. Miucin and Labor Practices were in the top three as well, don't forget.

Bethesda absolutely deserves to be raked over the coals and IIRC at the time of recording the various types of mess they had created were still going so FO76 was still very fresh in staff's minds. In addition, Bethesda has been using the same damn engine for almost DECADES and carrying with it the same buggy-ass baggage that I'm fairly sure Jeff is fed the fuck up with. Bethesda have scraped the barrel so much that it caught fire. In both the context of this year and and a result of its history, Bethesda deserves it.

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#48 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1687 posts) -

I was a bit suprirsed myself but it was a minefield topic to cover in a silly GOTY list like this if they really went into sexual harassment and stuff. I think we all know GB are on the good side as far as labor goes. I do want it to be more of a focus and something people think can actually improve but lets keep in mind how much this GOTY list actually matters (it doesn't).

If you want that coverage, it's out there.

I may change my view after listening. As it stands now...I dunno. For as much arguing and jockeying as they do to get their games to win these categories, I think it would be somewhat--inappropriate? hollow? hypocritical? I don't know--to use one of those stories as Hottest Mess.

I agree with you. It feels belittling. As I say, GB GOTY just isn't made for that topic.

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#49 Posted by trelution (260 posts) -

maybe if they still had please stop. . .

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#50 Posted by vinone (330 posts) -

I think part of the reason is there has been a lot of positive to come out of it. People have been talking about it, strides have been made, articles diving deep into the subject and bringing a lot of it to the surface. If anything the subject of bad labor practices was the opposite of a hot mess. It's been an pretty organized and informative year of the issue. This has been an problem with labor for decades and centuries and the video game industry is still pretty young. The strides made in 2018 to mature the industries working standards and make it safer and better just in general were anything but a hot mess from my perspective.