Dyack Returns. Again.
It is true that shit always floats back up to the surface, and thus it would seem that last year’s dissolution of Precursor Games after their second failed attempt at crowd-funding Shadow of the Eternals was not enough of a flush to jettison Denis Dyack from the industry for good. Twice Denis brought Shadow of the Eternals before the gaming community in order to beg alms, and twice the gaming community loudly proclaimed their lack of interest in the project, declaring it DOA. Well, it seems oddly fitting that this is the week of Halloween, seeing as Denis Dyack has this week once again dredged Shadow of the Eternals from the depths of the abyss. With Precursor Games now long gone, the project is being developed by Dyack’s new start-up company, QE2 – like the fucking boat!
QE2 stands for Quantum Entanglement Entertainment, and Dyack is not just focusing on software development this time around, but film and television production too:
“QE2 was established on the belief that all three media are converging and that their independent status is a thing of the past.”
Readers may be wondering why this ‘all in one’ entertainment concept sounds so familiar, but one must profess to not having the foggiest. Nonetheless, one is sure that it is a concept destined for naught but success, as it is bound to establish a cross-media Kinnection with the intended audience. As for the business itself, one might well wonder how a deadbeat such as Dyack is able to launch a new commercial enterprise so soon after his last endeavour went belly up, and that is answered by looking at the partners that Denis has managed to gather on board to found the company. Denis Dyack will serve as chief creative officer, so no surprises there. Jonathan M. Soon-Shiong is on board as CEO, and comes from a background as a television executive. Finally, Paul Rapovski is serving as chief operating officer, and comes from a background where he has served as stunt director for several Hollywood films as well as the producer on the Canadian television programs Lost Girl and Darknet, both names of which sound like they came directly from folders on Dyack’s hard drive.
It once again bears mentioning that Caspius.com is not privy to any special information which suggests that Denis Dyack is in fact a pedophile. We merely note that he has been known to consort with convicted pedophiles, and when pressed on the matter by Caspius.com journalists Dyack has tended to clam up and maintain his silence. By the same token Caspius.com has absolutely no evidence that Dyack’s new partners are in fact part of his pedophile network, yet it seems a tad convenient that he has people willing to step in and fund his passion project with his current track record of mismanagement.
Microsoft’s Chickens Come Home to Roost
Microsoft has much to answer for during the previous console generation. Up to this point they have been miserly to a fault when it comes to investing in internal software development, and their predilection towards chequebook exclusivity has left several dark marks on the industry. The most immediate malign effect they had on the gaming landscape was to muddy the traditional JRPG market by quickly snapping up exclusivity of games that were ultimately unable to sell well on the Xbox 360 platform. The second deleterious effect that Microsoft’s particular brand of chequebook exclusivity has had upon the industry neatly dovetails with an abomination not of Microsoft’s making – namely: DLC. DLC has been an unambiguously awful invention for any number of reasons, but in this particular instance it is specifically the practice of paying for DLC exclusivity which has turned around to bite Microsoft in the arse.
With the massive inflation of game budgets at the beginning of the seventh console generation it became increasingly difficult for Sony and Microsoft to purchase the exclusivity of third party games outright, and so the purchase of exclusive DLC became a much more affordable carrot with which to woo gamers. Naturally, the price of DLC exclusivity still did not come cheap, and so it was much easier for the leading console with the highest attach rate [Microsoft’s Xbox 360] to secure exclusive DLC, as special treatment for that audience made a lot of financial sense. The net result of this is that Xbox 360 owners received a lot of DLC which did not make its way to the PS3 for up to a year. Xbots became very accustomed to this special treatment during the Xbox 360’s time at the top, and now that they all own Xbones they do not understand why they no longer receive special treatment. This is something that has confused and angered them, leading to fullblown consumer mutiny as they attempt to defraud Microsoft and Bungie.
Bungie’s disappointing open world borefest, Destiny, is a game that practically begs to be taken back to the store the next day for a refund. So much about its product pitch was grossly misleading, and the product as a whole by all accounts suffered from a huge lack of content, making it perfectly acceptable for an individual to wish to return it. However, what is absolutely not acceptable is for an individual to have owned the game for weeks, beating it to completion, and then deciding that they would like to receive a refund from Microsoft because part of the upcoming DLC is exclusive to PS4 for a year. Xbots created their own ‘how to’ Reddit threads aimed at helping Xbone owners to scam a refund from Microsoft, and now those very same threads are being used by Microsoft in order to ban the accounts of people engaging in fraud. In part it is satisfying to see the last-gen DLC habits that Microsoft pioneered return to bite them in the arse, but it is even more cathartic to see the entitlement of Xbots punished by way of losing access to their entire digital libraries. If they wanted privileged DLC access so badly then they should have bought a PS4.
PS4 Takes Wing as Sony Continues to Falter
The reason that Sony’s PS4 gets the privileged access to exclusive DLC that Microsoft’s 360 used to have is because it is absolutely killing it right now in terms of sales. Most weeks the PS4 outsells the Xbone by a ratio of 2:1 or greater, and the lead that it has amassed in the span of a year is greater than the 360’s lead ever was over the PS3. In fact, in terms of systems shipped to stores [not sold to consumers] the PS4 has had the best first year of any home console ever, having shipped a cumulative 13.5 million consoles to retail compared to the Wii’s 13.17 million and the PS2’s 10.61 million.
Sony has revealed that they have shipped 3.3 million PS4s and 800,000 PS3s to retail in the July to September quarter, apparently indicating that gamer’s appetite for the PS4 is not slowing, a fact that is also reflected in third party cumulative console sales figures. VG Chartz currently has PS4 sales at 12.3 million units [47.6% of the market] to the Xbone’s 6.1 million units [23.6% of the market], indicating that nothing Microsoft has done thus far has mitigated their market position one whit. The PS4’s fortunes have seen the Game and Network Services division go from a 2013 loss to a 2014 profit of 195.5 million dollars, as well as sales on the whole for the company surging by 7.2% compared to 2013. Unfortunately this was not enough to stop the company from posting another substantial loss of 1.247 billion dollars.