Hong Kong

I sold my tiny bit of Activision-Blizzard stock.

So… I have some thoughts.

Blizz’s basic defense here is that the guy went off topic, the blizz official stream is for discussing and hyping the game that’s being played, not for anything else. That may be enough or people who’ve never seen an official Starcraft cast or a Classical Liberal shudder.

If that’s their reasoning, why didn’t they suspend Nick Plott when he when he talked over the first 10 minutes of a Starcraft game about Artosis’s enjoyment of microwaved pizza at a blizcon?

Why didn’t they suspend Dan Stemkovski when he talked about latency issues between the Korean and American servers again on the blizzard official stream?

If it’s really just about staying on topic this is the only time I’ve ever seen this rule

“in violation of rules he acknowledged and understood”

enforced. Nah bro, if that was 100k they got massively ripped off. It doesn’t pass the barest sniff test. If you’ve ever seen a blizcon cast, you know it’s BS from a mile away.

And the following tweet, “Games should be shorter and cost more”

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HOHOHOHOHOHO

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There is a strong indication this was from fear of specific expected protests.

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This means it’s working right? They’re being denied promotion which means lost dollars.

They’ll make more money in China through Tencent than they ever will in the US.

They won’t lose dollars. They’ll just lose the American audience.

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I suppose the question then is whether or not the bazillion Chinabux are enough for them to forsake the US audience completely.

BlizzCon will be an interesting turning point on just how much the public sentiment can be seen to impact their business prospects or at least the perception thereof (stock price).

I think we both know the answer to that question.

Tencent could buy them whole if they wanted to. It wouldn’t even be a dent in their profits. They already own Riot, and they probably plan to wholly consume Activision Blizzard.

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Sadly yes. We really are entering the dark age of games.

Time to just play more smaller indie games and less big China owned publisher titles.

They’re publicly traded. Call into their earnings call and say the magic words?

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I’m…okay with this, if it’s true. I have a backlog of games a hundred titles long. Having a long dry spell will just let me go back and play them at some point.

People on the Internet are suggesting that LeBron James should take some advice from LeBron James.

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“Even the high-end jeweler Tiffany & Co. pulled an ad in which a model had one hand over her cheek and one over her eye—if you squinted and had a truly wild imagination, and perhaps weren’t fully sober, you might have just managed to imagine that the ad harked back to a flash point in the Hong Kong protests, which occurred when a medic lost her vision in one eye after being shot with a beanbag.”

From the article’s conclusion:

Is China an integrated part of the global failure and corruption of elites, failing in its own way due to shortsightedness and incompetence? Or is it a confident new superpower that is just beginning to throw its weight around?

I think one reason doesn’t preclude the other. I think the craven response is a sign that when it comes down to it, the only thing that matters to the global financial system is money. It’s not that the elites are failing, it’s that the corruption, shortsightedness, and self-dealing are just considered tools in how the game is played.

Because they aren’t actually losing anything. They’ve cheated, pushed the boundaries for so long without blowback that naked power-moves are simply “how business is done.”

But I’m also a nihilist that thinks we’re committing suicide as a species, so I might not have the clearest view.

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Something else to keep in mind about LeBron James:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/16/real-reason-lebron-james-has-betrayed-his-values/?fbclid=IwAR2YQPkYjhCiCUcTgvlOkjZjq_bjc4PlwMoLUkiizZZOnBf2Tzsn9SP0gMA

" ‘Republicans buy sneakers too,’ the line attributed to Michael Jordan about why he refused to get into partisan politics during his playing days, may be apocryphal. But James might as well be saying the same thing about the Chinese marketplace right now. More importantly than sneakers? They buy movie tickets — nearly $9 billion worth last year.

And that strikes me as the real reason that James wants everyone to just shut up and dribble when it comes to horrifying human rights abuses by his business partners in the East. James doesn’t just want to be the greatest baller of all time. He also wants to be a movie mogul. And his SpringHill Entertainment is currently working on a movie that, all of a sudden, touches a whole mess of live wires at once: He is producing and set to star in “Space Jam 2,” which is aiming for a 2021 launch date.

China, of course, keeps very strict control over which foreign movies can even be shown in China, when they’re released and for how long. And if you want access to that sweet, sweet yuan, you better not do anything to upset the people in charge."

Expect to see a lot more of this in the future, especially from the movie industry.