This post was supposed to be a monster 6,000 word critique of EA CEO Andrew Wilson’s anti-management over the years. Normally I’d take something that big and divide it up into three posts that would appear over the course of three weeks.
But then I realized that the structure didn’t allow for that sort of division. Each section built on the previous one. Also, you REALLY don’t want to post an assertion and then have all of the supporting arguments appear a week later. That’s a good way to lose your mind by fielding dozens of objections. I’d end up posting the same reply over and over again, “Yes, I know this doesn’t make sense now. But next week you’ll see what I’m talking about.” That’s not fun for either of us.
Yes, you can fix this by making sure a point is never separated from it’s supporting arguments, but then you’re trapped by the length of those points. I wouldn’t want to public a three-part series that took the form of 4,000 words, 500 words, 1,500 words. That’s just silly.
While I was puzzling over how to partition the article, I realized that this shouldn’t be a column at all. It should be a video. It’s actually a natural follow-up to my previous video on executive salaries.
But a 6,000 word video? That’s going to end up being half an hour to forty minutes in length. That’s about double the size of my usual video.
Anyway, now I need to figure out what I’m going to do with this thing. This last-minute realization left me without content for today.
So… here’s a bunch of crap from my “This might make a good article someday” list:
Publisher Nacon purchased and downloaded the indie / mid-market game The Sinking City, and uploaded it for sale on Steam, under their own account. They also did a hilariously bad job of covering their tracks, so the developers were able to find out where the pirated game was purchased, how Nacon (attempted to) cover up the crime, and even the individual that hacked the game to strip out all of the developer’s logos.
GTA V is infamous for its excruciating loading screen for Online mode. It can take over SIX MINUTES of your precious human life to get into the game proper. Oddly enough, getting better hardware doesn’t help nearly as much as you’d think it would.
Someone going by the handle t0st looked into it and discovered that the delay is the result of horrendously amateurish code that locks the entire application to a single core and then reads a massive 10MB JSON file in the most inefficient way possible. t0st created a workaround to fix this, and loading times fell by 70%.
This is one of the most profitable games in history. It’s been out for 8 years. The game has been patched countless times to add more crap for people to buy with Rockstar’s obnoxious microtransaction-powered currency. But it never occurred to them to spend an afternoon to investigate this long-running and vexing problem?
I wonder how many human lifetimes worth of time have been wasted on this this needless loading screen?
Oh, but I’m sure this is just more of Rockstar’s special brand of satire. See, they’re not incompetent, they’re just satirically making fun of the avarice and sloth of all those other videogame publishers. Good one, Rockstar. You had me laughing so hard. And you kept up the joke for eight whole years.
Andrew Spinks is the developer behind the hit Terraria. A month ago, Google hit him with a full-spectrum Google Services ban that locked out of his gmail account of 15 years, locked him out of all the Google Play stuff he’d purchased, and locked him out of his YouTube account. This would also lock you out of Google Docs, Google Sheets, and your Google drive. Depending on what you do for a living and what tools you’re using, this sort of thing could be life-changing.
Worse, they never gave him a reason for the ban. No warning beforehand. No notification afterwards. They never responded to his pleas for support.
Finally he announced he was canceling his plans to bring Terraria to Google Stadia. He posted all of this on Twitter where his 70,000 fans saw it. The story caught on in the press. Everyone wanted to know, “Hey Google, why did you ban Andrew Spinks?!” I’m sure various Google accounts were flooded with requests and outrage.
But Google remained silent. Apparently they weren’t even willing to answer one of their own development partners.
Google did this to YouTube superstar CGP Grey. Grey got it sorted out, but what chance would a small-fry like me have?
I’ve been using Google Docs for years. I’ve got over a decade of articles in there. What would I do if they cut me off while I was 20,000 words into my 30,000 word retrospective on the Shoot Guy series?
Worse, I don’t know where else to take my business. I need something not tied to my domain, and large enough that I can count on it still being around for years. Where else can I go if I don’t want to do business with a scary unaccountable monolith? That’s all that’s left these days. Facebook? Microsoft? Huawei? Yahoo? Those monoliths all have the same privacy and reliability concerns as Google, and are generally much lower quality.
I don’t know what the answer is here, but it’s nice to have something new to worry about.
So what happened? Who messed up? Why was Google silent for so long after getting called out by a reasonably famous business partner? How did Spinks fix this?
ARG. This entire story boils down to one of those Stack Overflow threads that ends with, “Nevermind, I figured it out myself.”
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