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User information for William Usher

Real Name William Usher   
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Signed On November 24, 2011
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Total Comments 55 (Suspect)
User ID 57243
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News Comments > etc.

19. Re: etc. Nov 21, 2017, 18:06 William Usher
jdreyer wrote on Nov 21, 2017, 15:38:
Games are also orders of magnitude more expensive to make. In 1995 the gaming press was astounded by the cost of making Wing Commander IV: $10M. Today, AAA games are much more expensive: a Call of Duty costs around $100-150M to make, Knights of the Old Republic cost $200M, Battlefield 4 cost $100M, etc. And none of those numbers includes marketing, which typically double the cost.

Not necessarily true. Some games are more expensive to make now than before. Other games are far cheaper. Shiness was made for under $200,000 while Final Fantasy VII was made for $45 million and both of them are large-scale RPGs. Shiness had a tiny team and managed to make a fairly impressive looking game.

Tech has gotten way cheaper, licensing has gotten cheaper, distribution has gotten cheaper. Thanks to advancements like photogrammetry and 3D scanning you can create photorealistic graphics with a few tools and a small team, as evident with games like Obduction and Hellblade (the latter of which only had to sell around 50,000 to break even).

Also, Call of Duty's $100 million budget isn't all in the game production. Activision spends between $50 and $100 million to market the game. Same thing with EA and Battlefield. Back in 2011 both companies spent upwards of $100 million to market Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. There's a Forbes article that breaks down the financials.

Most mid-budget games that are still magnitudes bigger and better looking than games made back in the 1990s can be made for anywhere between $1 million and $10 million. A lot of games reaching up into the $50 million+ territory are oftentimes leveraged by Hollywood talent, expansive marketing budgets or pure mismanagement like in the case of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
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News Comments > Morning Interviews

15. Re: Nope Sep 23, 2016, 18:54 William Usher
EndoSkull wrote on Sep 23, 2016, 15:11:

I don't think she should have gotten the hate - what she should have got was nothing at all and left alone to vanish with her ignorance - instead the childish behavior of the internet made her popular and continue to do so.

And by the way - if you harass her - congratulations you made her.

Except the hate she received isn't what she says it is. I don't think Blues posted it, but Crash Override Network kept data on various individuals -- they were being bankrolled (I guess they still are) by Sarkeesian. It turned out that they had no data whatsoever showing that groups like #GamerGate ever harassed her. In fact, they showed no active harassment under her Trello card.

The only known harassers -- actively harassing her -- was that Brazilian guy and Kevin Dobson. Dobson's account was quickly deleted minutes after making the threats.

I know there are plenty of people defending her for one reason or another, but purely looking over the available facts, I can't seem to find the active harassment that she claims she gets. This is not to say that it doesn't happen, but there just isn't enough evidence to support the claims.
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News Comments > Op Ed

5. Re: Op Ed Nov 14, 2014, 19:26 William Usher
Beamer wrote on Nov 13, 2014, 19:40:
Journalists let you know games are in the works, tell you release dates, serve you trailers, write you previews, and ultimately tell you whether or not to buy the game.

What percentage of gamers do you think hang out on messageboards like this? GTAV sold, what, 22 million copies? Kotaku, a standard games journalist, has 17 million unique visitors per month. Blues has, what, a few hundred regular posters?

We're the minority.

I actually agree with you, Beamer, about the importance of games media.

From announcement to release, how much influence does the hype train have on games -- from indies to AAA -- that turn into pre-orders and day-one buys?

The games journalism debate always keeps going back to "but teh reviews", but it's so much more than just the pre/post-release review; it's everything that leads up to it.

The question is: would a game like No Man's Sky be able to sell without any coverage from the media at all? And would a game like Payday 2 been able to manage a million or so sales without all the positive press leading up to release?

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News Comments > Evening Interviews

6. Re: Evening Interviews Oct 23, 2014, 20:03 William Usher
jdreyer wrote on Oct 23, 2014, 19:55:

Good for EA doesn't mean good for gamers. Look at all the shit that has happened in the industry, arguably under EA's (his) tutelage since they're the leader:
- Season Passes and (day one) DLC that should have been included
- Removal of ability to mod games
- Online DRM for single player games
- Overpriced "digital deluxe" versions
- Multiplayer forced into singleplayer games for no reason
- Much more bullshit

Almost all of these are perceived as naked money grabs over producing a superior product, and gamers are understandably pissed. And just like the president, the CEO of the leading company in the games industry gets the lion's share of the blame when things go south, and too much credit when things work out. In his case, things went south.

Thank you for this.

Never forgive. Never forget.

EA had a chance to do the right thing and failed at every turn. Turning the entire thing into a milk-factory instead of focusing on quality products.

Their rep is now in the gutter and it'll take a miracle to get it out. They really can't afford to screw up with Hardline.

As for Riccitiello and Unity -- I really like Unity, I love what they've done for the indie scene and budding development studios. I really hope Riccitiello doesn't come in and step on all of that, because I would be really pissed if he did.

A lot of future indie studios kind of depend on tools like Unity to get a jumpstart in the industry.
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News Comments > etc.

10. Re: etc. Oct 16, 2014, 14:30 William Usher
sdgundamx wrote on Oct 16, 2014, 13:19:
I find your summary meshes quite well with what I've been researching about the topic. I feel bad for the GG people who are genuinely trying to push the message about gaming journalism and detach themselves from the leeches that have co-opted the movement for their own agendas. And I feel bad for the GG supporters who are getting threatened but not having it reported in the major gaming news sites (although I'm curious if that's because there isn't nearly as much evidence for them or that it's not happening to as high-profile people).

There's plenty of evidenced of Pro-GGers being harassed, doxxed, etc.

I have a folder saved dedicated to it, and there are a number of people receiving death threats from people who have the address of certain members of GamerGate, including Boogie2988.

If people really want to know what GG is about, look up the GameJournoPros on Google and tell me why none of the major news outlets want to take a look into that?

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News Comments > Saturday Interviews

4. Re: Saturday Interviews Oct 11, 2014, 15:00 William Usher
Beamer wrote on Oct 11, 2014, 14:40:
And, its worth pointing out, that list of devs interviewed was culled from 4chan and includes a guy that wrote an article defending rape and a fit that was in chat rooms encouraging ways to get Zoe Quinn to commit suicide.

But it's about ethics!

Why are you always bringing her up?
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News Comments > Game Reviews

6. Re: Game Reviews Oct 4, 2014, 15:11 William Usher
Aero wrote on Oct 4, 2014, 14:42:
If, for instance, you lose the willing suspension of disbelief that allows you to play as though the alien is 'stalking' you through the ship, rather than just spawning in somewhere as a result of a algorithm (even if its very clever), that could take a lot away from the experience.

Of course, I haven't played it, but I can very easily see this game either being terrible or brilliant, entirely depending on who is playing it.

Is that what it does? It has set spawns throughout the ship? Hmm. I didn't know that... but it sort of explains how it gets around the ship so quickly. I mean, I know it would take up a bit more memory and processing to actually have it path-find its way through the ship via actual nodes, but yeah... I can see how the set spawn points could be disappointing for some people. Interesting.
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News Comments > Morning Legal Briefs

3. Re: Morning Legal Briefs Sep 16, 2014, 10:23 William Usher
That Ars article... I'm curious (I haven't clicked yet) but I wonder if they mention anything about this...

The hilariousness of it all... it's reaching heights beyond the absurd.

EDIT: Nevermind, it looks like it was just a straight-through interview.

This comment was edited on Sep 16, 2014, 11:41.
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News Comments > Gatherings & Competitions

2. Re: Gatherings & Competitions Sep 14, 2014, 13:48 William Usher
Sadly, the more I find out, the more likely I become to avoid a game that has "won" these indie awards. Sad, really...

Same here. It starts to make you think. It makes you paranoid. I really hope there's a full investigation on this thing because a lot of good indie games could end up being skipped over as the cronies take charge.

This kind of corruption is really taking its toll on the gaming industry.
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News Comments > Evening Interviews

8. Re: Evening Interviews Sep 10, 2014, 03:57 William Usher
Squirmer wrote on Sep 10, 2014, 03:19:
In fairness, I do think the situation would be helped by more acknowledgement and understanding of why a lot of men feel they are being personally accused. (Also applies to gamergate.)

I think this acknowledgement needs to happen as well. However, let's be honest about how a lot of these issues are addressed: it's never about moderately bringing these things out and singling out these circumstances.

Oftentimes there are broad strokes used to paint it as a "rape culture", in which case it means that anyone who isn't actively decrying it is part of it. It's the exact trigger mechanism that all those gaming websites used with the "gamer is dead" assassination attempt.

The thing is, if I read a piece that broadly labels men in certain workplaces as "potential rapists" or "rape apologists" or "rape enablers" because I'm not actively on the side of a specific group, it then makes me feel as if I'm being labeled.

It also gives the impression to everyone else out there that those who aren't "in the group" are "against the group". This is exactly what we're seeing with the #GamerGate thing.

Worse yet is that it begins to influence people outside of that field, medium or subculture.

Someone who doesn't regularly play hardcore games came away from watching a series of Anita's videos on Tropes Vs Women and basically just wanted to argue down that games perpetuate "rape culture" and the industry was a dangerous and misogynistic place for women.

Now a lot of the people who take on the above viewpoint have issues of their own, but consider that these kind of videos and propaganda are creating this kind of result from people who don't know any better. It then means that people like myself either have to try to explain/defend that it isn't "either/or" or just stay silent to avoid being labeled as an enabler for "rape culture", which is mostly what happened to anyone who didn't agree with the notion that "gamers are dead".
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News Comments > Op Ed

49. Re: Op Ed Sep 10, 2014, 02:29 William Usher
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Sep 10, 2014, 01:59:

I am honestly a little disappointed nobody has been compared to Hitler yet. Godwin's Law! It probably happened and I missed it though.

*EDIT* Grammar.

It happened on Twitter.

You'll also find plenty of it here:
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News Comments > Evening Interviews

4. Re: Evening Interviews Sep 10, 2014, 02:25 William Usher
Squirmer wrote on Sep 9, 2014, 23:11:
He says he wants open dialog without any accusations and namecalling and then says

"So, excuse me if I donít buy irrational feminists white and black ideas that men are inherently rapists and women are victims."

Go onto the #GamerGate hashtag and see his quote in action.
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News Comments > Op Ed

35. Re: Op Ed Sep 9, 2014, 15:32 William Usher
harlock wrote on Sep 9, 2014, 14:39:

not sure why you assume people who dont give a shit about participating in all the drama are actually listening to these idiots demands and acquiescing to them

You seemed to have miss the part where developers who don't listen to "these idiots" come under heavy fire. It can sometimes alter what gets promoted and what doesn't (which can be life or death for some studios).

This is not to say that every developer/publisher will fold, but it is to say that these people are actively aiming to influence what makes it into the industry and how it portrays content (which is what that indie dev was talking about in the interview I linked).

We've already seen these individuals affect things like Hotline Miami 2 and Saints Row. It doesn't matter if people think the changes are good or not, it's to simply point out that they do have influence and they want to grow this influence.
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News Comments > Op Ed

31. Re: Op Ed Sep 9, 2014, 13:52 William Usher
Prez wrote on Sep 9, 2014, 13:41:

LOL! Actually I think it's kind of a big deal only because if someone doesn't push back against activism and corruption in a worst case scenario we end up playing only feminist/SJW-approved games, which doesn't sound fun to me.

Thank you for pointing this out.

The indie dev said the same thing: Only thing we end up with are far left-applicable "Games", or whatever is left of the term considering that the folks at Gamasutra seem to want to take "fun" out of gaming, too.

It's turned into a battle for the historical culture of gaming. Some people may not care, some people do. We'll see how it turns out.
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News Comments > Op Ed

28. Re: Op Ed Sep 9, 2014, 13:21 William Usher
PHJF wrote on Sep 9, 2014, 12:45:
Corrupt news media =/= corrupt video game reviews

News media has an obligation to accurately report content and provide context. The Fourth Estate is critical to functional democracy. Knowing whether The Sims 4 is good or not without playing it oneself? Not so much.

Please read this interview first and tell me this has no cultural significance:

Also, for those of you saying you don't like the term "GamerGate", I refer you to the Wiki entry:

Additionally, this has a lot more to do with just "game reviews".

Racketeering (Phil Fish could go to jail), nepotism, cronyism and collusion.

There's a reason why some sites are buckling down and changing ethical policies ASAP. Heads are expected to roll as more info comes out.

Additionally, the anti-#GG camp doxxed and outed a transgender minor for attempting to edit the #GamerGate entry on Wikipedia. Home address and everything.

This has turned into an actual sociological nightmare. The "Muh gaem revuws" has been left behind a long while ago.

The major problem is that most of you have only heard one side of the story. Speaking of which, I need to submit that Tech Raptor link to Blues, BRB.
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News Comments > Op Ed

5. Re: Op Ed Sep 8, 2014, 21:03 William Usher
Icewind wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 20:45:
Prez wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 20:16:

What they don't acknowledge is the obvious - that the lack of disclosure of these points was calculated and deliberate because they had an agenda. A simple oversight is forgivable; intentionally neglecting to point out very important facts that could serve to weaken your agenda is just slimy.


I really just want all of them to admit they're just liberal politically correct agenda pushers trying to control the community narrative by any means possible.

Places like them, Kotaku and Polygon are why I don't even bother reading game sites anymore. Basically it's Blues, Evil Avatar and maybe Shacknews. The rest are just sh*t rags.

I at least have to give props to Alexander Macris for following through. Really though, Macris pulled through in a HUGE way. He was the one who made Tito make the changes and he's been personally interacting with all the disgruntled gamers in the GamerGate thread.

Escapist isn't perfect but Macris did the one thing none of the other major sites did, and that's listen to the audience. So he has my respect for that.

Will they maintain it? I don't know. We'll see. Some step is better than no step. Like, what is RPS doing? And has Gamasutra made any plans to retract some of the slanderous things they've been printing lately or is that all in the name of the editorial?
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News Comments > Op Ed

62. Re: Op Ed Sep 8, 2014, 17:10 William Usher
Quboid wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 17:00:
All from one single post:

William Usher wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 13:38:
... they drew first blood ... a death knell for them ... Gamers don't die ... drawn into battle ... go away and die ... They already put their stake on the wrong side of the war ...

Ah, you're right. I did state that. Got me red-handed.

When Beamer was talking about our discussion when he responded to me following that post I refrained from bringing up "war" in the context of our discussion (between us), but yes, I did use the word "war" previous to that. Thank you for correcting me.
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News Comments > Op Ed

53. Re: Op Ed Sep 8, 2014, 16:26 William Usher
Beamer wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 15:46:

And sorry, your words define you. You keep referring to this as a war. That makes you an extremist.

My words define me, of course. I've always said that clarity, transparency and even-handedness of the facts would have solved this problem a long while ago (if not here in most of the articles I've written about this subject).

And where have I stated that this is a "war" here on this board? Those are your words not mine.

In fact, I've never mentioned the word "war" in the context of this discussion at all... only you have.

So uh... you need to talk about something Beamer? PTSD or something?
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News Comments > Op Ed

41. Re: Op Ed Sep 8, 2014, 15:38 William Usher
Beamer wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 15:07:
How do you not realize that, with all of your war analogies, you're an extremist? One of the most extreme.

I can't help it if I love game culture; I've always loved it.

If you see me as an extremist then... okay. No one's opinion defines me.

I've never backed away from discussing the matter in a civil way, and if games media had just been honest in their reporting, #GG wouldn't even exist.

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News Comments > Op Ed

35. Re: Op Ed Sep 8, 2014, 14:59 William Usher
Beamer wrote on Sep 8, 2014, 14:38:

Fairly certain that's fewer words than you've written here and lacking the call to arms.

Are you afraid of your own abilities to continue doing your job if you posted the same kinds of thing there that you do here?

Aha, of course. I may represent CB but I'm not CB (if that makes sense).

So my representation there has to be... diplomatic.

If it were up to me? Oh I would have an article up every single day actually reporting every single thing that transpires in the event (from both sides of the fence).

But that would put CB in the absolute center of the controversy and I don't think the higher-ups really want that.

The more controversial stuff goes over at OAG because if anyone has a problem with anything I write there then they have to deal directly with me. No worries about anyone going over my head.

I just hope the momentum of GG stays until a news outlet can get a hold of it and report it to a broad audience (so long as it's not twisted to just represent the agenda of the extremists).
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