A Chink in the Armor

As I read through the news feed today I could almost hear the words of my grandmother (note I said almost – I am not hearing things)…the bigger they are the harder they fall. This was somehow miraculously followed by the oft quoted words related to me by one of my professors back in my undergraduate days…

Be nice to the people you meet on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way back down.

Truer words were never spoken. In fact I could go on like this for some time, including the following:

A quote from a play called The Kings Ring that ends “even this shall pass away”.

From the movie Blade Runner, “The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.”

And a senior drill sergeant of my onetime acquaintance, “What goes around comes around.”

What caught my eye was the headline from Edge over at Next-Gen by Tom Ivan: “Lawsuit: Activision Created Police State at Infinity Ward “.  By now just about everyone and their brother will have heard about the infamous lawsuit by not only Messers West and Zampella (formerly of Infinity Ward) but also a group of former Infinity Ward employees – even the snail mail magazine that arrives in our mail box will have picked it up by now (that makes it REALLY old news).  So on the face of it, it’s not really that profound hearing that same said group rattling their sabers talking about the “police state” created by Activision as well as withholding bonus payments in attempt to force the development of Modern Warfare 3.

O.K. so what else is new?

Blizzard recently backed down on their Real ID issue.

 Also not news to write home about; after all it’s not that big an issue (providing the proper exceptions were put in place).   Still I can’t help but consider that this is the same company that always said it’s done when it’s done –  the famed Blizzard attitude that prevails while developers in other parts of the industry are busy dancing to the music played by their respective publishers.  For some years what seemed like exponential growth in subscriber numbers where published like Burger King used to announce how many hamburgers they have served.  Blizzard has long seemed the unassailable zombie gorilla that no developer could topple (and any who tried paid for it dearly).   On the face of it, listening to your community is usually (but not always) a good policy. But I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t a case of a widening chink in the Blizzard armor.

Gordon over at We Fly Spitfires has an interesting post on a related issue entitled Will BioWare Be To Blizzard What Blizzard Was To SOE? . Here is an excerpt of the article that is a very interesting read:

Over the next few years SOE made a handful of bad decisions (most notably the NGE for SWG) and suddenly all faith in them was lost. Justly or not, SOE had turned from the Kings of the MMO genre to the butt of every harsh remark about screwing over the fan base and selling out their morals. $OE was their new name and woe was them. – Gordon, We Fly Spitfires


Obviously even Blizzard doesn’t think that their light will never dim or Lead Designer Tom Chilton would not have recently pointed out that there may come a time when World of Warcraft goes free to play. Likely as not this won’t be any time soon – especially not with the Cataclysm expansion on the near horizon. Then again few people expected the recent announcement that Lord of the Rings Online was going free to play either. Between the Activision lawsuits, 25 dollar sparkling ponies (few of which I see in game anymore), and Real ID perhaps the Blizzard Gorilla isn’t as tough as he used to be.

All things considered maybe it’s a good thing that Activision/Blizzard is back to being known as Blizzard.

See you online,

Julie Whitefeather

Say it isn’t so…

This just came across our news feed: Edward Norton will NOT be back as Bruce Banner/The Hulk in the upcoming Avengers movie.  As our regular readers and listeners know, we here at NPNM love our action movies.  When we heard that they were making The Hulk we never thought that anyone could ever fill the shoes of the late Bill Bixby – the man touched our soles with his heart felt, bittersweet performance.  But after we saw Mr. Norton as Bruce banner we were sucked in to everthing he brought to the role. Now we can’t imagine anyone else in the role.

But it seems we will have to.

News has just come to us that Marvel Studios President of Production Kevin Feige made the following announcement:

“We have made the decision to not bring Ed Norton back to portray the title role of Bruce Banner in the Avengers. Our decision is definitely not one based on monetary factors, but instead rooted in the need for an actor who embodies the creativity and collaborative spirit of our other talented cast members. The Avengers demands players who thrive working as part of an ensemble, as evidenced by Robert, Chris H, Chris E, Sam, Scarlett, and all of our talented casts. We are looking to announce a name actor who fulfills these requirements, and is passionate about the iconic role in the coming weeks.” – Kevin Feige

Well friends all I can say, as a long time Marvel and especially Avengers fan color me hopping mad.  It’s one thing to decide you are not going to use Mr. Norton in the role but is it necessary to slam the man on the wayout? Now truth be told you never know what the Edward Norton is like to work with.  Some of the things Mel Gibson has done in the last few years has us both dropping our jaws to the floor and throwing his movies out in the garbage (with the sole exception of the Passion of the Christ of course).

Sad news indeed. Hopefully Mr. Feige will come to his senses.

[posted for Julie Whitefeather by The Webmaster]

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