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The problem (which was discussed earlier today over in the MCU thread) is that while voting with your wallet is easy, protesting with your wallet is something else altogether, and usually just ends up confusing the company as to what went wrong. If people successfully boycott Borderlands 3, the company isn't going to get the message "Randy is a dick and we should fire him," they're going to get the message "no one bought Borderlands 3, let's pull the plug." This may or may not screw over Randy, but there's a lot of collateral damage.
I don't know what the solution is here. It's just that I don't really think a boycott is it.
Edited by Discar on Aug 28th 2019 at 4:30:25 AM
Protesting with your wallet is also punishing all the innocent employees who actually do things we like. And probably hurting them significantly more than it hurts Randy.
Like, if the company starts losing money, the people on the bottom lose their jobs while Randy pays himself another huge check. That's how it works.
Edited by Clarste on Aug 28th 2019 at 5:46:44 AM
TBF, we can't really know that will be the case. Because videogame "boycotts" pretty much never become a thing. We have no actual data about how it turns out and who gets hurt.
All the people using a "Boycott Borderlands 3" hashtag? They'll be getting the game anyway if they haven't already pre-ordered.
Gamers are terrible at boycotts.
This is actually why I don't think a boycott will be the solution. Because they will never happen. You might as well wait for a genie to appear and grant a wish for Randy Pitchford to stop being an asshole.
Edited by M84 on Aug 28th 2019 at 9:44:18 PM
That's how all companies work. If they start losing money the people at the bottom suffer while the people at the top jump ship with all the money. That's capitalism, baby.
What a boycott does when handled correctly is make it known to a company that you as a consumer are not happy with what they are doing. And that you're actually willing to do something about it.
And seriously, how often is a boycott actually responsible for massive layoffs anyway?
Shit, it's sometimes the other way around. A massive round of layoffs may actually trigger a boycott by irate customers who aren't happy about it.
All this kind of seems like an excuse to keep buying stuff even when companies do shitty things. Which is part of why a lot of AAA game companies (and a lot of other corporations) are what they are.
Edited by M84 on Aug 28th 2019 at 9:51:29 PM
My take on buying BL 3 is that I can live with Pitchford getting paid as long as all of the employees that worked on the game get paid too. It helps that the game defies modern trends like loot boxes and Game-as-a-Service (the problems with the first are obvious, the second makes it nearly impossible to tell actual stories).
I half expect a round of layoffs to occur in the future regardless of how well the game does, with people blaming the "boycott" even though the layoffs were likely already planned anyway.
Admittedly, Gearbox is better on this front than most other game companies. Not great, but better. So it's less likely.
Gearbox is one of the better game companies to work at...as long as you're not anywhere near Randy Pitchford.
Edited by M84 on Aug 28th 2019 at 10:20:04 PM
Sadly there's no way to make the higher ups not above the law, or whatever the equivalent is in this context.
Pitchford ain,t getting paid until Steam release as far as I'm concerned.
Also low-level employees don't even get paid with how well the game does anyway.
Edited by Resileafs on Aug 28th 2019 at 10:39:15 AM
Yeah, it's not like they're getting bonuses if the game does well. Their reward is basically "you don't get laid off. Maybe."
Keep in mind Gearbox is one of the better companies on this front. At the very least, you don't hear horror stories about employees breaking down due to stressful crunch times or massive layoffs even after profitable quarters.
Edited by M84 on Aug 28th 2019 at 10:40:53 PM
Same. I'll be patient. If there's such things as miracles, Randy Pitchford will have suffered meaningful consequences by then.
Edited by RainingMetal on Aug 28th 2019 at 7:40:24 AM
At least Gearbox isn't as bad as, say, CD Projekt Red. Which by all accounts is a horrible place to work.
Only a couple weeks left.
For those who play on console or are insane enough to go through the Epic Store. For the rest of us, it'll be an additional half-year.
Only a couple weeks left/half a year.
Edited by slimcoder on Aug 28th 2019 at 7:50:26 AM
Epic Store seems to be doing everything it can to discourage people from buying stuff from it. It's just that poorly made.
Like I've said before, it'd be like if one supermarket chain bought exclusive rights to a soda brand or something, but didn't bother to provide shopping charts.
Edited by M84 on Aug 28th 2019 at 10:55:08 PM
I can't even find a damn wishlist. Either it's buried somewhere stupid or it just plain doesn't exist. Either way, I'm not gonna bother. I'll wait until it comes out on Steam. I've got a million things to do already anyway.
the problem with getting rid of Randy is he;s the majority stakeholder in the company.
as for the EGS, its basically entirely designed around the idea that if they spend enough money depriving all other stores of products they can win without having to bother with being a satisfying customer experience
Edited by Midgetsnowman on Aug 29th 2019 at 8:35:39 AM
Yeah, the people that work on Borderlands seem genuinely nice, David Eddins even encouraged people to still buy the game because of them.
And the problem with a boycott in this scenario doesn't hurt the ones on top, just the workers.
Edited by Cortez on Aug 29th 2019 at 1:48:10 PM
A boycott wouldn't hurt the workers either though. Not really.
Everyone says boycotts hurt workers...but how often has that actually been the case? I mean, the Starbucks boycott didn't stop Starbucks from continuing with their plans to hire more workers.
It just seems like an excuse to not do boycotts at all.
Edited by M84 on Aug 30th 2019 at 1:53:19 AM
It hurts the workers in the sense that whenever a corporation starts losing money for any reason (or makes less money than it expected) it cuts cost by harming the workers. I don't know the exact details of the Starbucks situation, but doesn't looking for more workers mean that they lost a bunch of workers recently? Typically that means they're firing the more senior employees (who can demand higher wages) and looking for new recruits that they can get away with paying minimum wage. And when those new employees are sick of that, they get tossed out too.
They call it "Human Resources" for a reason. Employees are like disposable cups: if it's cheaper to throw them away and buy fresh ones than to take care of them, then that's what a corporation will do. The game industry in particular is "subsidized by passion" in that the workers tend to think that making video games is their dream job and will tolerate intolerable conditions to keep it. Until they can't, but there's always another dreamer waiting for their chance.
Will not doing a boycott let those employees keep their jobs? Well, maybe not, but if the employees themselves are asking for it I'd take their word over anyone else's.
Edited by Clarste on Aug 29th 2019 at 11:10:24 AM
No, they were looking to expand operations anyway.
The point of a boycott isn't just to hurt sales. They usually don't hurt them enough even when the boycotters actually stick to their guns (which gamers never do). The point is to make the issue more real to everyone else.
Edited by M84 on Aug 30th 2019 at 2:12:30 AM
I understand, the point is to "put your money where your mouth is" and let them know that your complaints aren't just empty words. I understand that.
But it's still a fact that anything that hurts the bottom line is always borne by the people at the bottom, not the people at the top.
I mean, by your logic, the Montgomery Bus Boycott should never have happened because it might have cost bus drivers their jobs.
If you want to change an industry, boycotts can be an effective way to do it. If you stick to your guns.
That's actually my reason for thinking "Boycott Borderlands 3" won't go anywhere. Because gamers are notoriously bad at the whole "not buying the games" part of boycotting. I would not be remotely surprised if nearly everyone who is helping the boycott hashtag trend ends up buying the game anyway.
Back to my previous point...
I am weary of people trotting out the "But what about the workers?" line whenever boycotts are brought up. When you do that, you are falling for the industry's trick. They are using their workers as a metaphorical human shield to keep you as the consumer from employing one of the few ways you can hold the industry accountable.
Edited by M84 on Aug 30th 2019 at 2:18:14 AM
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was for a more important cause than "this one guy is an asshole." The question there wasn't "will it cost bus drivers jobs?" it was "is this worth costing bus drivers jobs?" And the answer was yes. Some things are more important than losing jobs. I mean, that's also kind of the logic behind a strike: some things are fundamentally worth losing jobs over.
I suppose you could argue that this is broader than "this one guy is an asshole" and that this is about "we won't tolerate this kind of behavior in the game industry" but in that case I think it'd more effective it was a broader movement looking at multiple companies who have tolerated this sort of behavior in the past. Like, Riot Games or whatever.
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