3.1 The Division

“Why don’t you stream on Gamerville?” asked Jenny11, on the stream chat.  “That’s where all the gamers are.” she wrote.

Alice repeated the question out loud, and still hadn’t thought of a good response. “Well,” she pondered, “do my subscribers feel the same way?  Please let me know in the chat, please.”

The five people in the chat were discussing the latest episode of Attack on Titan and didn’t respond.

Alice breathed in deeply and continued the match.  It was some noob, so she could continue multitasking at high capacity.  She commentated and predicted the opponent’s pattern well, beat the shit out of them, then returned to the question: “I have to wonder if there’s a point to moving though.  Do I even get anything out of it? I’ve spent a while building up my audience here on 3Vid.  I went to Gamerville once and my stream was… dead.”  She went silent for effect and stared at the lobby.

“You’d be affiliate, ez pz” wrote Eren2010.

“Yeah, get that e$port$ ca$h!!!” posted another.

“Gamerville sux, 3Vid works better”

“I don’t like the chat there, toxic males all over.”

“Sftu simp”

The chat erupted into a heated discussion about trans rights and safe places to talk.  This time, Alice stayed out of it, trying to play her match and trying to figure out which would make money.  She knew Gamerville would give her the chance to monetize her channel in the same way as 3Vid, but her 3Vid had way more views due to the vlogs and random memes she had uploaded before.  Gamerville also required her to stream regularly. 3Vid just wanted her to have a minimum of followers.  Right now, she could meet neither requirement, and she was still figuring out how to get paid without involving her parents.  Parent, she corrected herself.  Ah, she thought. Maybe he could actually count as a parent here and actually be useful.  Hmmm.

What the fuck now, thought Hideki, as Charles pointed to the slide, which showed some high numbers next to Steam and similar numbers next to Playstation, and Xbox.

“So, as you can see, we had similar numbers of players across all the platforms.”

“No shit, Sherlock,” said Hideki (using an equivalent expression in Japanese).  “Get to the point.”

Looking at the floor, Charles put a closed hand to his mouth and cleared his throat, even though his throat was cancer-free and clear.

“The numbers show publishing Fighter Freedom 19 across platforms was a success. It seems like a clear follow up would be to release Fighter Freedom 2X in the same fashion.”

Hideki extended his index finger, pointed forward and then pressed into the table, as if Charles were directly underneath.  

“Fighter Freedom 2X is a much older game.  It’s been nearly two decades.  The player base will be much older now, with less time to play.  I assume you’ve done your research?”  Hideki twisted his finger into this blameless spot on the desk, as if extinguishing a cigarette.

“Yes, Sir. Our market research shows these players don’t have time to play and don’t have fast PCs and have a console next to the TV that they just want to quickly play from time to time.” Charles held back the desire to shit himself. “They also don’t like the continual updates on Steam.”

“Then why are you recommending releasing on all platforms?”  Hideki was on the brink of bending the top of his finger beyond its folding point.

“Because, the players that bought Fighter Freedom 19, are actually mostly new players, younger players with new PCs with higher spec, still living with parents, students etc.”

Hideki paused. “So there’s still a risk, but essentially our three markets are shifting with their different needs.”  He pulled back his finger and clasped his hands together, up to chin. “And of course, if we let this younger segment get bored, they will move on to other games, so, now… if we time this correctly…”

Charles took a risk here to chime in. “We can bring in more income” he said, gripping his pen, “to cover our Fighter 20 interim development costs and reduce our loan debt.”

“Exactly. Good.” said Hideki.

Before Charles could celebrate, Hideki darted another finger to the desk with an almost metallic clang.  

“However,” he said, elongating the last vowel. “What does the latest data say about the segmented release dates? Was one year too late to release the game on PC?  Did we get more data on how many players moved to PC?”

“That wasn’t easy to identify.  We got an approximation of 25% of PS4 players moved to PC and bought another copy”

“25% isn’t great.  And are we sure they even bought a copy?  Did they pirate it?  Or wait for a sale?”

“The last sale did relatively well, it did sell 10k.”

“10k?  That’s all?  At 12,000 yen a pop?”

“Yes,” replied Charles, not mentioning how that number included free copies and giveaways.

“So, after deductions that will leave us with 100M yen.  What are we supposed to do with that?  How do we pay all our employees?  That would last maybe three months?  How are you going to pay your rent and feed your kids, Charles?”

“We are relying on them to buy DLC, which is not on sale, of course.”

“We need more contingency plans.  Yes, a PC port would be good timing now.  Alright, send me this data to look over and I’ll make a decision by the end of this week.”  Hideki looked up, “Good work Charles. Let’s keep it up.”

Charles smiled and nodded. He was used to Hideki staring at him as if he had trodden on his foot, but this time he was sure there was an actual commendation.  His sphincter relaxed, for now.  The devs would have some work ahead of them, if this plan went ahead, but the players would be sated, until the next drama.

“Can they please release the fucking game on PS4 for fuck’s sake mannnnnnn,” posted Coach, “after all that bullshit with Steam that happened with FF19, we just need to stay on one platform, it just makes common sense.”

“Wtf are you talking about?  I’m on Steam lol PC master race ftw” replied Mboy

“Listen m’ boy,” replied Coach, proud of his punning, “I bought the game on each fucking platform, and one month after each release, the online activity was just freaking dead the same way.”

“Yeah but the PC release was one year late” said Mboy, adding “lolll”, although he wasn’t laughing nor was there anything remotely funny in the post, “GAFY messed this right up, what were they thinking?”

“Should have put it on Switch” interjected Goku26, who everyone assumed was a prepubescent troll, and was duly ignored, even though Goku26 was being deadly serious as he howled into the void about how he definitely would have bought it. He certainly would have; all he wanted was all his favourite games on one device, whatever that happened to be, as it changed every five years.

“It doesn’t matter what platform they put it on,” posted JojoS1best#BLM#transrights “it’ll be dead without rollback netcode.”

Coach was finally intrigued.  What’s this now?  Rollback? Unlike the average idiot, he went off to do some research before responding. Now this, was all very intriguing.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *