TSM Episode 106: Customer Satisfaction

Actually, a very unsatisfactory experience is just about the only possibility that was realised.
One of the ‘endless possibilities’ is ‘a very unsatisfactory experience’.

Download: Produced 2013.06.30

Caspius, Imitanis, and SiliconNooB welcome renowned Minster of EA Fineness Chris ‘Sabin’ Privitere to rule upon the latest corporate double-speak put forth by the embattled software giant. Meanwhile, Microsoft solemnly swears that it is up to no good.


  1. Chris, I have been reading CatFancy since before forever and listen to every FancyCast. I’ve even written in before too; coincidentally, when Caspius made a guest appearance.

    Every reader should be donating. These guys do a lot of work for our entertainment and maintaining a webspace where we feel comfortable commenting and such. If you can buy a $1 MP3, why not do that for a podcast that you enjoy a lot?

  2. @Matt: That just goes to show how diligent Sabin is about remembering his readers. Don’t you worry, Matt Dance, the staff of Caspius.com will never forget you.

    If every reader donated $1-5 a week for the podcast (or hell, even once a month), we could afford to give away a free $60 game on every episode and have money left over in superfluity. The figure I hear from radio is that 4% of listeners donate. But for an internet podcast, that number is significantly below 1%. That’s the nature of the industry, I’m afraid–and one to which we have resigned ourselves.

    As such we don’t expect donations, and when they do arrive (often from people who have donated in the past, thank you!) they help to offset the costs of server fees, domain registration, software, hardware, prizes, and other operating expenses. The site actually loses money every year, so every donation does help. That said, we would keep operating even if we received no donations at all. It’s just less of a financial hardship if we do receive donations (and that means, potentially, more giveaways).

  3. Who the hell is this Matt Dance character? Why have I never seen him before?

  4. “Tags: EA Fineness Minister, EA Fineness State, EA Origin, Electronic Arts, Final Fantasy XV,”

    It’s gonna be a fun podcast.

  5. [TRUTH FACT]: Denis Dyack has never stated that he is not in fact a pedophile.

  6. I am also not a pedophile.

    The ball is in your court, Dyack!

  7. Now we all have to say it or we will be pedophiles of omission.

    I am not a pedophile. I am also not a pedophile cabinet.

  8. This time around, everything will definitely be made on PCs and then downgraded to work on the consoles. I believe Square-Enix even said that they would be doing it in this way with Final Fantasy XV. I think developers will want the games to look as good and play as well as they possibly can. So they probably will go ahead and make the games slightly different for each console.

    No way in hell FFXV is going to be the end of Final Fantasy. I think it will be BETTER than everyone expects because Nomura has a very grand vision and the company seems to want to grant his wishes.

    Magic 2014 sounds like fun. I am, of course, concerned about not being able to start over.

  9. I think developers will want the games to look as good and play as well as they possibly can. So they probably will go ahead and make the games slightly different for each console.”

    Only Chris Privitere could argue against both precedent and common sense.

    But don’t expect third party games to exhibit any really noticible differences until they stop making games for the PS3 and 360.

  10. “my 125 step program”

    Sounds like a perpetual disappointment.

  11. If Origin does indeed switch from anal to oral service, I will perhaps by a few EA games. Constant blow jobs while playing Mass Effect would probably make me enjoy that game more.

  12. @Lusi: Look at what it does for Ethan and Oliver’s love for Green Day.

  13. It may make you enjoy Mass Effect more, but it is also guaranteed to make you enjoy blow jobs less.

  14. Welcome to Caspius.com. Where if you don’t come out with a thick skin, you’ll come out dead.

  15. Yeah, Dean! Everybody’s an asshole here. Especially me. You better watch out, man!

  16. @DSK: We comprehensively addressed your question. Stop complaining!

    @TLZ: You are confusing ‘asshole’ with ‘Hufflepuff’ again.


  17. @Lusi: Only Jafar is a Hufflepuff. I am a Slytherin that was misplaced into Ravenclaw.

  18. OMG, first the Precursor Pedophile scandal and now this!!! LMFAO!!!!!

  19. @Gyme – And I’m a Ravenclaw misplaced into Gryffindor

  20. If I’d known my comment would be read on the podcast I’d have attempted at least a modicum of wit. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to do better next time. Oh wait, this is next time… shit.

  21. @Gyme and Ethos: I just clicked a bunch of random stuff so I could finish the application but it doesn’t matter because Caspius just said that we are all Hufflepuffs.

    @Wolfe: thanks for not leaving and thanks for that article. I’m not quite as opposed it Kickstarter as the rest of the company but what Double Fine is doing is definitely not fine! They get eight times their goal and suddenly have tons of awesome ideas to make the game way “bigger.” That is either a horrible business decision or a big fat lie. I am inclined to believe the latter. They had a campaign countdown celebration which could only mean, ,Yay! We have tons of money and our game will be a success.” It does not mean Yay! Now we have nowhere near enough money to finish this game because of all the extra stuff we’re gonna add! Have they finished any of their previously crowd-funded games?

  22. They didn’t even have a name for their game before going to Kickstarter, much less a design document. Kickstarter encourages laziness and gross irresponsibility – and that is precisely what we are seeing.

    I think that a set-up like Kickstarter can be good and beneficial when it is used to fund unknown three-man bedroom developers who require 10-20k in order to polish up their projects before release – but until Kickstarter bans the participation of established studios and celebrity developers then the little guys are going to continue being starved of oxygen.

  23. So… Caspius.com likes Nintendo now? That’s cool, I like Nintendo, but geez that was sudden.

  24. I hope you don’t do a 180 on the Xbone. I like your Xbone “news”.

  25. @Epyon: We like the system, in general. But, we do not like:

    1) Nintendo’s software policies (insane)
    2) The Price (about $100! too high)
    3) The piss-poor battery life of the game pad (2hrs!?)

    So, I wouldn’t say that we like Nintendo. We like their system (with some significant reservations), but we think it is being HORRIBLY SQUANDERED by a bunch of idiots in suits who seem entirely disconnected from the realities of their predicament.

    Nintendo stands to offer the best ‘alternative’ to the ‘hardcore’ box offered by Sony. As in this generation, Microsoft does not offer an *alternative* to Sony (no matter what a bunch of fucktards on the internet may parrot about ‘Xbox being viable is a choice, and choice is good for the consumer hurrrrr!’). Sony v. Microsoft is not a ‘choice’. The systems get effectively the same games and effectively the same presentation.

    With Nintendo, however, consumers actually do get different games–both in the most basic terms (there are first-party games on the Wii U which are not anything found anywhere else), and in terms of the design approach (there are approaches used on the Wii U which are not anywhere else). And THAT kind of choice is good for gamers and for developers. What is a shame is the way that the Wii U isn’t being handled in any sensible way, which effectively destroys the viability of the system, and leaves gamers with a handful of could-have-beens and should-have-beens, but little else.

  26. I like the Wii U tablet controller for playing the few measly virtual console games that Nintendo has seen fit to release. Mario U is also pretty good.

    Miiverse is perhaps the best thing going for it.

    Other than that, there really isn’t much to recommend the console other than it is comfortable to play.

  27. @Epyon: You’ll find that most, if not all, of the staff on this site grew up with Nintendo being the console of choice. We want Nintendo to succeed because it is what we know from our childhood. While the N64 and Gamecube failed to live up to the awesomeness that is the SNES, they were still solid systems. Then the Wii happened, and it is well documented how Nintendo pissed all over our loyalty in an attempt to please the casual gamer. Nintendo went into the Wii U thinking that just saying they were catering to core gamers would be enough to sell an overpriced console. Unfortunately, it appears they didn’t have a plan “B” and have no idea what to do now that the console that hasn’t even sold a million units six months into 2013.

  28. It’s like WoW on the Comadore 64 or something…

  29. @Zoltan: Thanks friend. I would’ve missed quite a bit around here, including your endless good will. Seriously, whatever keeps you so enthusiastic and upbeat, I need some of.
    What’s happened in this case with Kickstarter is pretty much the scenario a lot of people suspected was inevitable. Gross mismanagement of funding from someone with no clear plan for using that funding. Kickstarter is at best when it’s funding a few people who don’t otherwise have the means to succeed. It should not be the common man’s job to fund those who already have ties to publishers and/or their own healthy bank account. Big business doesn’t belong on Kickstarter.

  30. Another good episode. Not just because Caspius more than properly elaborates what is right, wrong, and oh so wrong with the gaming industry.

    Though, I have reiterate the primary problem that I have had with Final Fantasy VII onward (with the exception of 9). And it all stems from two words:

    Tetsuya Nomura.

    The man and his incessant belt buckle fetish has taken the series in a direction I was not sure I liked at first and nowadays, I can state easily that I do not like it in the least. The problem I have seems that he’s trying to make it cool and stylish (Evidenced by, in my opinion, the worst iteration of the series; VIII. Look at Squall Leonhart and you’ll see my point.).

    However, in his rush to try and make it ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’, he seems to keep leaving out such vital aspects of a good game like a good story (I’m looking at you, Kingdom Hearts!) and likable characters. Cloud’s a wanker that’s just… there. (Why they decided to give Lightning his costume as preorder DLC for FFXIII-3 is beyond me.) Squall, along with the rest of the primary cast, has all the personality of a rock. Were it not for Laguna’s storyline, I’d have not bothered to finish it at all. And I will barely give Tidus a pass because as much as an insufferable twerp he was, at least he had a personality that you could actively dislike.

    As much as I would hope they’d simply fire Nomura and get someone that knows that fashion is not vital to a good game, I’m not holding my breath.

    Anyway, I certainly hope Tim Schafer’s and Double Fine’s apparent inability to hold to a budget does not ruin the Kickstarter movement. It’d been a long held opinion of mine that we need to move past the need for ‘publishers’, since they seem to be more and more of a nuisance with each generation, attempting to maintain an archaic business model when technology has easily rendered that and them as obsolete. And with other methods of funding for development appearing, it can only get better, so long as the publishers stop trying to delay their (hopefully) inevitable demise.

  31. Oh yes, I almost forgot; I still like Chris Privitere whenever he appears. He’s like the adorable puppy that you need to keep disciplining with a rolled up newspaper because he erroneously believes that leaving his business on your carpet is what he thinks you want.

    Also, I made this post because the previous post had a typo that was not intentional and makes me wish this comment section had edit buttons.

  32. We give you comments that you don’t have to sign up for an account to use, and YOU DEMAND STILL MORE!? What do you think this is!?

  33. @Lusi: Well you ran Disqus for about a day a while back, but I forget why you abandoned it.

  34. @Mel: It didn’t import most of our old comments, it was slower than our on-site comments, and it didn’t allow us to easily archive our site (comments inclusive). On the whole, it sucked, so we junked it.

  35. @Iliya – Yup. Hence why I’m really excited for FFXV’s gameplay and visuals, but am as close as I can be to convinced that the dialogue will be garbage. VII and IX worked because they could laugh at themselves. The drama was more dramatic because it wasn’t melodrama. I expect XV to be just as indulgent as FFXIII.

  36. XV may ultimately turn out flawed, but I’d contend that it has far more narrative potential than XIII – Daisuke Watanabe + Motomu Toriyama = the biggest creative nadir of the Japanese game industry.

    Daisuke Watanabe has never been lead writer on a script that wasn’t insipid.

    Nomura can be a bit of a worry, but when he’s working with Hajime Tabata as co-director (Crisis Core, Type-0) and Kazushige Nojima as scenarist (FFVII, FFVIII, FFX, KH2, Crisis Core), then I have a little more confidence.

    I’m sure that certain lines will still come across as tone-deaf because this is Square Enix we are talking about, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the dialogue will be of a much higher standard that XIII – if not from a stand point of elegance, then certainly from the standpoint of substance.

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