As Halloween has arrived and the Winter season is rapidly approaching, it seemed that today would be an ideal day to record my thoughts prior to the "next big thing" ™ that is certain to announced during BlizzCon 2019. At this point it would be very surprising if the "big thing" was not Overwatch 2. I would like to be excited, leaks notwithstanding, if it was not for the lingering burning sensation around my kiester that can only be attributed to Fallout 76.
I recently had the good fortune to stumble upon The Fall of 76 by The Internet Historian (above) that gave a rather cohesive summary of the unbelievable ways that Bethesda set about taking rough and repeated advantage of its player-base, to the point that the game Fallout 76 can probably be considered a failure meme (although it would better serve as a cautionary example for other major game publishers). Even at my most optimistic, I cannot yet see a future in the video game industry where history fails to repeat itself. It falls upon the consumer to take responsibility and avoid such pitfalls (in other words, stop paying for or preordering unfinished games).
For some reason I still had Fallout 76 installed on my computer even though I had stopped playing it after giving it a second dry-run and coming to the same conclusions about how it is indeed rather boring, and the glitches and bugs are still irritating even after multiple patches and updates. Interestingly, the above video also served to point out the many flaws of older games by Bethesda, including Fallout 3 and 4, which became impossible for me to un-see. Consequently those three games (and also Skyrim) are now uninstalled, and will probably remain that way for a long time. I somehow doubt I will be jumping into any new games by Bethesda anytime in the foreseeable future - in other words, they have quite successfully lost me as a customer.
This is particularly huge because playing Fallout through the month of November has turned into a bit of a tradition for me. The tradition exists because my introduction to the series was by picking up an on-sale copy of Fallout 3 - Game of the Year Edition during a Steam sale on Thanksgiving morning almost four years ago. We will just have to wait and see whether tradition is enough to overcome my annoyance with Bethesda.
Getting back to Blizzard, based on some minimal due diligence in the form of 4chan leaks from a former Blizzard employee caught up in the mass layoffs earlier this year, things don't look so good for Overwatch 2, or any of Blizzard's other intellectual properties. Of course you cannot trust anything that comes from 4chan, nor should you necessarily trust the words of a disgruntled former employee who no longer has any reason to be loyal to his former employer, but still...there is something to be said for being especially honest when there is nothing left to lose. The source of the problem (Activision) is not difficult to see. After all, they have a history of mistreating their employees in the video game industry stretching all the way back to development of games for the Atari console.
Because of this, I think the safest approach is to take the "wait and see" approach toward any and all announcements during this year's BlizzCon. I also know the following advice will fall upon deaf ears, but whatever you do, do not preorder any of their games. Let them release, wait for the reactions of journalists and players who could not resist the preorder let us know whether the game is any good before we all jump on the bandwagon. I honestly hope my misgivings are wrong and Overwatch 2 turns out to be great story combined with excellent RPG-like game play.
In the meantime, my current game roster is as follows:
- The Long Dark
A secondary tier includes:
- Sunless Sea
There are also a few titles I have queued up to play but I have not yet dug back into them:
- Expeditions: Viking
- ATOM RPG: Post-apocalyptic indie game
- Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice
Wyrdsmyth signing off.