The Candy-Assed Saga
Every once in a while, I’ll wake up in the morning, ask my girlfriend to make me some tea, and then sit down and think about the things that I want to get done that day. Perhaps, on this particular day of days, I’m feeling rather hopeful. I’m feeling like ‘ya know what, maybe I AM good at what I do!’ and am feeling confident in my art and my writing, and overall, in myself. And maybe I’ll even dress nice and get out of pajamas and sometimes make a list of the things I want to get done around the house too. Laundry, do the dishes, normal shit like that. I’ll put on some nice music, and I’ll hear the birds sing outside in the gorgeous sunlit world we live in and I’ll even say out loud, “Today is gonna be good. Today…I’m gonna do something worthwhile!”
And then I read a headline like this.
Activision acquires Candy Crush for 6 billion
And then I shut off my music, I dump my tea out, I get back into pajamas and I go back to bed, having accomplished nothing except getting my self esteem squashed. I’ve written in defense many times about mobile gaming. I’ve written in defense many times about games that harken back to old school gaming days where it’s about endurance and not graphics or story. I’m fine with all this. I like Doodlejump, I like Fruit Ninja, I like these sorts of time wasting things. I’m sorry if this sounds cruel, but seriously, Activision? Honestly? 6 billion? 6 BILLION? Lucasfilm sold to Disney for 4 billion only a few years ago! Think about this for a second, ok? Lucasfilm, the company that produced Jim Henson movies like Dark Crystal, and the company that is solely responsible for bringing Star Wars to the world (the original anyway), sold for 4 billion to Disney. At the time, I thought “Wow, Disney really got a deal!” because, yes, Lucasfilm SHOULD’VE been worth more. But then you read something like this candy crush news (fuck it, I’m not even gonna capitalize it anymore) and you think, “Wow. What have I been doing with my life?”
I’m not saying that work doesn’t go into creating mobile games. I’m not saying that it doesn’t take some level of talent or skill to make mobile games, but I AM saying perhaps there’s a better way to spend 6 billion dollars! Perhaps ways that don’t involve purchasing a goddamned Bejeweled knockoff! I was reading an article on the whole debacle, and I love the fact that this was in it.
No, it wasn’t enough to know that they spent 6 billion on it, they also wanted us to know that probably because of this acquirement, Activision’s stock went up 3.02%. Now you have TWO reasons to feel terrible about completing college, getting two PHDs and STILL not making enough to live on your own and instead working at a fucking Kinkos for the next 8 years. Things such as this just really put into perspective how minuscule your achievements in life are. Oh, you lost those 6 pounds? God that’s fantastic! KING JUST MADE 6 BILLION DOLLARS FOR CANDY CRUSH. Really? Timmy just graduated with his masters and is finally done with medical school, making him a qualified neurosurgeon? That’s great! KING JUST MADE 6 BILLION DOLLARS FOR CANDY CRUSH. But the article makes a good statement. Both King and Zynga have made 1 hit game. Both companies were acquired for a massive amount. Activision states that the deal wasn’t necessarily about Candy Crush, but about gaining access to King’s massive userbase. IE; the people who play Candy Crush because King, like Zynga, has failed to return another hit game of the Candy Crush or Farmville stature. Go onto either company’s iTunes pages or whatever and look at the backlog of games they’ve released. Compare the ratings for everything else they’ve released to the rating of their number one hit, and tell me I’m wrong. So instead of spending 6 billion dollars buying another company, why didn’t Activision simply just take even half that money (probably not even need half of it) and go to their development team and say, “Come up with something original for a mobile game”. The problem with most major publishers-EA, Activision, Sega for the sake or argument-is that they attempt to put their hit games on mobile, but because phones aren’t consoles they aren’t equipped for that level of gaming, so these mobile versions are watered down pieces of crap, basically, that only disappoint gamers. So instead of spending 6 billion, why not take a small amount of that and spend it on creating a wholly original game that they then own outright from the start and then get the profit completely?
I don’t know, the whole thing seems like a wreck to me. It seems like Activision doesn’t want to put the time and effort into making the move onto mobile platforms, because they know their hardcore audience is console or PC gamers, and yet they want the cut of the pie. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, ok? Either go all in, do it yourself, and get a nice chunk of change from mobile gaming, or avoid it completely and stick to what you know your company is good at.
If anyone needs me, I’ll be in my backyard, burning my high school diploma and worshipping Satan.
Maggie Rose is a 26 y/o transgirl. She currently lives with her girlfriend and their dog. Together they fight crime, put an end to injustice and sometimes do laundry. She is a writer because she has no other skills or applicable talents useable for monetary gain.