The Honey Pot

A honey bee will search up to 5 miles for food, which is about 4.9 miles longer than I'm willing to look.

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Feeling radical, man

15th October 2023

In the last blog post I mentioned that the Microsoft-Activision deal has been approved and it really annoys me. Have you seen the list of studios Microsoft now owns? Too many for me to list in full here, so here are the big hitters:

  • Arkane Studios (Dishonored)
  • Bethesda Game Studios (Elder Scrolls, Fallout)
  • Double Fine Productions (Psychonauts)
  • id Software (Doom 2016, Rage)
  • Infinity Ward (Call of Duty)
  • Mojang Studios (Minecraft)
  • Obsidian (The Outer Worlds)
  • Toys for Bob (Spyro, Crash Bandicoot)
  • ZeniMax Online (Elder Scrolls Online)

Some of those are owned by others which are in turn owned by others so the waters are already really fucking murky. It is disgusting that one company could own such a significant percent of modern games studios. Even if you play on Xbox or PC, this is bad news. At the moment Microsoft claim they will not make everything exclusive to their platforms, and you know I do believe them there - That's because the majority of the money they make doesn't come from the game itself but from the microtransactions, so expect a fuck-tonne more of those. Expect quality to drop, because who is there to compete against? Another Microsoft-owned studio? It's still a win for Microsoft. We're the losers here.

Outside of gaming it's old news that the simplicity and cost effectiveness of streaming is dead. That's been true for years as everyone eagerly rubbed their hands together, abandoned Netflix and made their own platform. Now not only do you need three or four different subscriptions they're raising prices too. Fuck that. I was fine up until now but Netflix's recent price-hike pissed me off in the TV & Movie sphere as well. If I thought the creators were at least getting a fair share, then maybe I could grit my teeth and tolerate it. But that isn't true either! Justified writers strikes in TV & film plus all the fucking horrid things that have come out of games studios over the past couple of years makes it clear that there is no upside. No reason to play along. Everybody has been taken for a fool. I'm probably a little late hitting this realisation, but I am glad I hit it.

I'm getting tired of not owning anything either. So many shows I'd get half-way through only for it to get ripped off the streaming platform and who knows when it'll come back, if ever. What happened to actually owning things you paid for? It's almost enough to drive a person to piracy. Now I say almost, I do not endorse illegal activity. Do remember that piracy is illegal and if you partake in it without using a VPN like Proton or Mullvad then your activity could be detected and reported to your ISP.

Let's at least end on a positive. I didn't want this blog to become a negative place but I've just been feeling very negative. However, there are thankfully a boundless amount of exceptionally talented indie games developers that deserve your hard-earned cash because they put their heart and soul into making a game and they don't ask for all that much in return. I'm going to be checking out a lot more than I used to. I even have an idea of my own and will be looking into RPGMaker but I make no promises yet, I am very lazy.

In addition to that, let's actually start owning media again. Charity shops in the UK have a huge selection of blu-rays and DVDs that are super cheap. Not only do you get to actually own the media, but you support a good cause at the same time. I'm certainly going to start building up a collection.

~ Honey