Phil Spencer Blames Capitalism For Bad Games

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Phil Spencer blames capitalism for bad games
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By Afania 2024-04-01 13:03:45
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RadialArcana said: »
The AAA development companies have the in-house developers make the important characters and monsters, and they have these sweatshops making the secondary side NPC and stuff to save tons of money and that's why the difference is so stark. Square Enix recently said they are going to cut back on this, cause of the quality issues.

However, this is why the industry is laying off so many workers, cause they are outsourcing it to sweatshops.

Why do you keep using the term "sweatshops" to describe external production studios?

To my knowledge the term "sweatshop" is used to describe a factory with unhealthy working condition and below average pay. Not all outsource studios have overtime and not all have below average pay. Some of the art studios that I know of actually pay better than less-profitable game dev and they are harder to get in, due to AAA
clients having bigger budget than less successful game dev struggling to make money.

RadialArcana said: »
However, this is why the industry is laying off so many workers, cause they are outsourcing it to
sweatshops.

It is true that low gdp country workers will have an advantage when they compete with high gdp country workers. But that doesn't mean companies in low gdp countries are "sweatshops". It is not sweatshop if your salary is higher than average. It is only sweatshop if you get paid less than everyone else.

Calling every outsource studios sweatshops just isn't fair.
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By RadialArcana 2024-04-01 13:07:17
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Afania said: »
Why do you keep using the term "sweatshops" to describe external production studios?

They outsource to save money, they lay people off cause they are expensive. A lot of the underling companies they use are located in places in the west on paper, but this is just for tax purposes or PR and if you look into it you'll see they are almost all located in places with cheap labor.

Quote:
If you look into it, you'll see a parent company called Keyword Studios from Ireland. They setup and buy up sweatshop game development companies pretty much everywhere but mainly in the 3rd world, and pay these developers in those countries peanuts to make assets for AAA game companies.

Starfield used them a lot (the games credits is full of these works and companies), but lots of JP companies do it too and that's why you're seeing a lot of ugly *** secondary character models in video games now (everyone knows and has seen them, they are in every AAA game it seems lately from DD2, ff7r, starfield etc - Godfry posted some pics above). The AAA development companies have the in-house developers make the important characters and monsters, and they have these sweatshops making the secondary side NPC and stuff to save tons of money and that's why the difference is so stark. Square Enix recently said they are going to cut back on this, cause of the quality issues.

However, this is why the industry is laying off so many workers, cause they are outsourcing it to sweatshops.

As Phil said, when you can't grow the market you gotta cut costs to keep profits up so investors are happy.

Keyword studios even got in trouble for human trafficking and slavery issues at one point, aka developers don't crunch their staff anymore cause they get in trouble. They outsource the crunch and slave labor to a 3rd company, who then uses underling companies to do it for them.

https://keywordsstudios.com/content/uploads/2023/04/KWS-Prevention-of-Modern-Slavery-Statement-2022-v1.pdf

This is the same reason everything we buy now (that isn't game related) is made in China, cause the companies setup factories there and pay the workers practically nothing, have no unions, no red tape save loads of money.

Nobody cares if a load of workers are abused, work long hours and are paid nothing in china/india. That gets no traction on twitter.

Ironically as workers in the west get more and more rights and higher wages, the companies are setting up factories more and more overseas (the road to hell is paved with good intentions right). Cause our politicians do nothing to stop it, they could easily put import charges on companies doing this if they wanted to protect workers but they don't.
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By Afania 2024-04-01 13:13:01
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RadialArcana said: »
Why do you keep using the term "sweatshops" to describe external production studios?

They outsource to save money, they lay people off cause they are expensive. A lot of the underling companies they use are located in places in the west on paper, but this is just for tax purposes or PR and if you look into it you'll see they are almost all located in places with cheap labor.

Yeah, studios in high gdp countries outsource to save money, that does not make outsource studios sweatshops. You can say Western studios don't care about their employees instead of attacking all outsource studios.

There are hundreds of outsource studios everywhere, whatever
Keyword studios do doesn't represent everyone in art production
industry.

Stop randomly attack people everywhere for your problems with video games...

RadialArcana said: »
Nobody cares if a load of workers are abused, work long hours and are paid nothing in china/india. That gets no traction on twitter.

What do you mean by people get paid nothing in China and India? Which company? Name them and give me evidences. I'll report those company if evidence is provided.

If you can't name the company that actually hire people but don't
pay, don't make *** blanket statements like this.

What do you mean by that gets no traction on Twitter? If one company don't pay (or even pay way less than average) everyone will witch Hunt before you even know.
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By RadialArcana 2024-04-01 13:15:36
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I'm not attacking anything, I'm having a discussion on a forum.

Calm yourself.
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By Afania 2024-04-01 13:21:29
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RadialArcana said: »
I'm not attacking anything, I'm having a discussion on a forum.

Calm yourself.

You accuse certain outsource company in China and India pay nothing. And I am asking for the details and evidence.
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By RadialArcana 2024-04-01 13:27:27
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Afania said: »
And I am asking for the details and evidence.

I posted above, also look in the credits of the games.
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By Afania 2024-04-01 13:57:56
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RadialArcana said: »
I posted above, also look in the credits of the games.

Wait what? The statement that I had issue with was "outsource studios pay nothing", not "game studios outsource their works"....

Pretty sure credits in a game doesn't have bank statements of those poor workers in India....
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By RadialArcana 2024-04-01 13:59:44
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I'm not gonna reply to you anymore unless you have something sensible to say, not gonna just bicker forever.
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By Bahamut.Celebrindal 2024-04-01 14:00:37
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dang who came back from the past with all the vim and vigor of olde....feisty today, are we?
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 Asura.Saevel
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By Asura.Saevel 2024-04-01 14:22:47
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RadialArcana said: »
I'm not gonna reply to you anymore unless you have something sensible to say, not gonna just bicker forever.

Yeah it's weird seeing him. This is a very standard practice across the entire IT industry, including game development. Games maybe part of the "entertainment" industry but much of the mechanics of building them is solidly in the IT category.

Here is a personal example. We are in the process of re-platforming our loan processing system, this is a system were the average loan is over 1.5 million USD. Re-platforming requires a ton of work as you need to redesign / rebuild every connector and data transfer system, lots of glue work involved. Did we suddenly expand our development staff by 500%? No, we went with an outside "talent firm" to bring in a bunch of "developers" because it was cheaper. And guess what, almost every last one of them speaks with an Indian accent and can't code for ***. If it's not built into Spring Boot they can't figure it out. Out of that entire group there is maybe one or two guys who are half decent and those are H1B's who are stateside and working on citizenship status.

This is how bad it was, the overpaid guy responsible for architecting the dataflow only knows Microsoft technology and did the entire design for a .NET system. The primary language for our platforms is java (don't laugh) and the OS is RHEL. These "developers" wrote a bunch of code that moved files using UNC naming then had an emergency meeting when it completely exploded inside dev. Core issue is RHEL don't understand UNC, that's a Microsoft thing. Overpaid data dude quietly faded away and went missing while the contracted java devs just went in circles on how they were going to do this. A week later, I got tired of having to deal with them, so took 10 minutes to write java class using JSCH that transferred a file using SFTP. Setup OpenSSH on the destination Windows server they were trying to get it to work on and demonstrated how to do it.

That is how low the quality out of the Indian body shops is, but companies are willing to pay because it's cheaper on paper.
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 Carbuncle.Nynja
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By Carbuncle.Nynja 2024-04-01 14:26:47
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Modern day gamers have been infected by live service games to the extent that they dont understand the concept of a single player game reaching completion.

https://gamerant.com/cyberpunk-2077-hogwarts-legacy-no-more-major-updates/


Thread somewhat related, so I put it here.

We see the same ***when people talkin about how Palworld fell off cuz no ones talking about it anymore. We saw the same comments about FF16 and theyre starting to creep through with Rebirth.

***like this likely ties in to why games are less profitable: theyre continuing to pump money into a game that is all patched up and finished (actual DLC content not withstanding).
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By Afania 2024-04-01 14:40:14
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Asura.Saevel said: »
This is a very standard practice across the entire IT industry,

Literally no one was questioning if outsource was used though....The question was are they getting acceptable wages compare with everyone else in the same country.

Outsource codes and system is also drastically harder than outsource art assets, due to the nature of codes works differently from art. They can't be directly compared like that.
 Asura.Eiryl
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By Asura.Eiryl 2024-04-01 14:57:47
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If you ain't got 15 minutes, watch literally the first minute.
YouTube Video Placeholder
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 Asura.Vyre
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By Asura.Vyre 2024-04-01 15:03:46
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Don't get too fiery, gentlemen. I love to see discussion. I don't like quelling it.
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By Afania 2024-04-01 15:24:17
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Asura.Eiryl said: »
watch literally the first minute.


I watched the first 2 min, and I thought the video was made by Radial lol.

The basic pattern was that they all noticed a legit "problem" from some games, such as Ubisoft and their empty open world games being made over and over. But instead of discussing exactly what is wrong with Ubisoft internally, and the process that leads to such decisions, all they did was made a "it is capitalism's fault!!!!!" statement. (Or change the term capitalism to woke here)

A little too simple to identify a complicated business problem with 1 simple statement, isn't it?

Quote:

Q: Hey, my company don't make money, I am losing my job. How did that happen? Why did that happen? How can I fix it?

A: It is all capitalism's fault!
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By Godfry 2024-04-01 15:40:37
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Afania said: »
Asura.Eiryl said: »
watch literally the first minute.


I watched the first 2 min, and I thought the video was made by Radial lol.

The basic pattern was that they all noticed a legit "problem" from some games, such as Ubisoft and their empty open world games being made over and over. But instead of discussing exactly what is wrong with Ubisoft internally, and the process that leads to such decisions, all they did was made a "it is capitalism's fault!!!!!" statement. (Or change the term capitalism to woke here)

A little too simple to identify a complicated business problem with 1 simple statement, isn't it?

Quote:

Q: Hey, my company don't make money, I am losing my job. How did that happen? Why did that happen? How can I fix it?

A: It is all capitalism's fault!

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 Asura.Eiryl
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By Asura.Eiryl 2024-04-01 15:42:11
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It's a complicated problem, but it's not summed up in a statement.

It's summed up in a single word.

Money

All the problems, all the solutions, the everything, caused by and solved by. money. Pursuit of it. Need of it. Desire of it. Money.

Do "___" to get... money. From an investor. From a customer. From the gov. All roads lead to money.
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By Afania 2024-04-01 16:04:54
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Asura.Eiryl said: »
It's a complicated problem, but it's not summed up in a statement.

It's summed up in a single word.

Money

All the problems, all the solutions, the everything, caused by and solved by. money. Pursuit of it. Need of it. Desire of it. Money.

Q: My company is losing money, what can I do?
A: Money.

Q: I am getting blackmail in my company.
A: Money.

Q: Our IT system was hacked and all data stolen.
A: Money.

Q: This outsource company has Indian accent that I don't understand and they suck at coding, what can I do?
A: Money.

Q: My newest live service game has low retention rate.
A: Money.

Q: My newest game is getting negative review bombed on Steam.
A: Money.

Q: My employee is sexually harassing another employee.
A: Money.

Q: My manager doesn't like me.
A: Money.
 Asura.Eiryl
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By Asura.Eiryl 2024-04-01 16:16:56
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Spend on marketing.
Pay them.
Pay them.
Didn't pay enough, pay a better company.
Didn't spend enough on marketing, spend more.
Didn't spend enough on marketing, spend more.
Pay them.
Win them over with presents.
(Threaten them with loss of money, or be threatened by loss of money works too, for most of them)

Always money.
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By Afania 2024-04-01 16:23:06
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Asura.Eiryl said: »
Spend on marketing.
Pay them.
Pay them.
Didn't pay enough, pay a better company.
Didn't spend enough on marketing, spend more.
Didn't spend enough on marketing, spend more.
Pay them.
Win them over with presents.

Always money.

I think it creates more bad games like this than solving the problems lol.
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By Bahamut.Negan 2024-04-01 16:31:20
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Afania said: »
I think it creates more bad games like this than solving the problems lol.
It DOES! Theretofore and thusly what Eiryl said, forthwith
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By RadialArcana 2024-04-01 16:51:33
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Mostly this issue I think is mainly just with public companies, but since almost all of them are public now that's not saying much.

I think a major part of the problem is that corporations are no longer afraid of their customers, they know their customers love brands and they know how human psychology works.

If they can layoff thousands of workers, control the narrative and use sweatshop labor they will do it. If they can put loot boxes in the game they will do it. They will do anything if it means more money, and if they think they can weather the backlash they are gonna do it.

This is why companies will happily burn a fanbase to the ground, become hated and still keep on trucking. How is Blizzard still functioning when they are hated and all their games are review bombed into the stoneage? cause they know their customers can't stop playing and buying their games anyway, and once they understood this it was over. They stopped caring what the customers thought and went full money mining mode.

The insatiable hunger for money is probably worse today than it ever has been for corporations, and there are very few limiters as there used to be. In the past you had things in place to stop the insatiable greed of money to a point, those are mostly all gone and money is literally all that matters. These corporations are global now, so they don't even care about the country they are situated in.

Fire thousands of Americans and outsource the work to sweatshops, making worse products?! sounds good to me! Fiduciary responsibility bro, gotta do it!

It's sad but outrage culture has effectively taught all these companies to no longer fear angry customers, cause they have been shown they can withstand it and the customers will still be there when they move on to be angry about something else next week.
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 Carbuncle.Nynja
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By Carbuncle.Nynja 2024-04-01 17:10:36
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RadialArcana said: »
I think a major part of the problem is that corporations are no longer afraid of their customers, they know their customers love brands and they know how human psychology works.
I think more and more people are starting to wake up, albeit aided by a declining economy.
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By Afania 2024-04-01 17:19:57
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RadialArcana said: »
but since almost all of them are public now that's not saying much.

You finally get it?

"Blizzard" doesn't represent all the game dev. Customers don't like their games =/= all games are bad now.

Spider Man 2, Hogwarts Legacy, Alan Wake II....Those are all very recent successful games that has positive rep. And that is only listing newer western AAA games from the recent years. Adding japanese dev or games from a few years ago or indie games the list of good games is actually quite large.

But you can always list one company like "Blizzard" then go one spamming negative doom and gloom posts like every game on the planet are as bad as D4. Geez.


RadialArcana said: »
Fire thousands of Americans and outsource the work to sweatshops, making worse products?! sounds
good to me! Fiduciary responsibility bro, gotta do it!

Japanese dev outsource their works too. FF7 rebirth still scored 90+ on metacritics. Does outsource even matter if games are fun?
 Bahamut.Negan
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By Bahamut.Negan 2024-04-01 17:42:51
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Blizzard is AWESOME. Screw you guys.

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By Carbuncle.Nynja 2024-04-01 17:57:57
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Afania said: »
Spider Man 2, Hogwarts Legacy, Alan Wake II....Those are all very recent successful games that has positive rep.
One of these games is not like the other.

Hogwarts was dragged so hard by the woke mob they literally made a curator list to harass and boycott streamers who were playing it. Multiple streamers were left in tears over the harassment. It ultimately backfired, Streisand effect kicked in and became one of the best selling games of 2023.

Did it become a best selling game because "bigot TERFs with extra disposable income" bought the game to spite the woke mob? Maybe, but thats a LOT of sales from non-gamers made out of spite (and if were gonna talk spite, look at WB's decision to continue with live-service games despite how horrible SS:KtJL is doing). I havent played it, but from what I saw and have heard, its a very well done game.
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 Bismarck.Nickeny
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By Bismarck.Nickeny 2024-04-01 21:34:24
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As a racist Terf Bigot, I played none of those games. But man. Hearing Spider man 2 got my national flag wrong after giving money to blue hair sweet baby inc makes me happy I'm a super racist bigot terf.
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