Content is King

The battle for content, owning some sliver of backend technology, heated up in recent weeks. Microsoft buying Activision Blizzard for $68.7 Billion; Sony buying Bungie for $3.6 Billion. Nintendo continuing to march to the beat of the Switch drum.

Over in the theme park industry, Cedar Fair is reviewing a takeover bid from SeaWorld. Just to review, Cedar Fair owns Cedar Point, Knott’s Berry Farm, and countless other theme parks. SeaWorld’s takeover of Cedar Fair would be huge! The problem is amount of money that SeaWorld has put on the table for Cedar Fair is considered low ($3.4 Billion).

Where I am going with the above? The COVID thaw is upon us. With companies looking to consolidate, strengthen, and diversify their holdings. I find it fascinating that both Microsoft and Sony made big studio purchases in a week’s time (with rumors they are just getting started). What I find troubling, especially from the viewpoint of someone who plays video games, is what do the buyouts mean? Does it mean that content made by Activision Blizzard is exclusive to Microsoft? So far, Activision Blizzard has said that this will not affect the Call of Duty franchise as far as what platforms the games appear on. But will it given time? I’m not sure.

The winner in all of this is you, the player. You just have to own the device, the portal, made to play/connect with the games of the Big 3 to enjoy. Cedar Fair being bought out by SeaWorld… that’s a whole other can of worms.

Vengeance of Slowness

The other night I was tired, just run down, so I put on True Grit (1969) with John Wayne. Now I have seen the Jeff Bridges version (it was okay), but I had always heard that John Wayne’s version was superior. So I figured, why not.

For those who do not know, True Grit is the story of a daughter looking for vengeance after her father is killed. Mattie Ross travels to Fort Smith to claim her father’s body, she happens to arrive during a hanging. What struck me as odd about the hanging, were the people attending it. I can’t imagine traveling to see someone die; I can’t imagine the party-like atmosphere, including the peanut selling boy, all brought together to witness the hanging. But then again, I’m not working in the field, constantly staring at a horses behind… I mean tail.

True Grit continues past the hanging, showing Mattie claiming her father’s body, and her meetings with the men who will travel with her on her quest for vengeance.

I am vengeance!

The Batman

The movie is slow. Like a train picking up steam, True Grit takes awhile to get going. Or at least I think it does. I turned True Grit off.

Now, before I go any further, I should say that I love the Western genre. I love the tales of men being men, their bloody struggles, and the hope that can be found in the West.

I say the above only to arrive at a simple statement: Red Dead Redemption 2 is slow. I mean, really slow. I’m through with Chapter 1, I have robbed the train and come down the mountain. So far, Red Dead Redemption 2 is really well done. But it is slow.

Kind of like waiting for this next Tuesday (today is Friday) when I have surgery to remove a kidney stone.

Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse Lands (Trailer)

Kingdom Two Crowns rocked my world. I found the melding of the game’s imagery and music to be mesmerizing. Kingdom is one of those games where I would suddenly look up and two hours have passed by. A game hasn’t done that to me since the original Roller Coaster Tycoon. But I have a secret… I am terrible at this game. I have only managed to get off the first island once. To say that Kingdom Two Crowns is hard is an understatement. However, the Norse Lands DLC has me wanting to play the game again. Found out today that the “Two Crowns” in the title equals couch co-op. Mind blown to pieces.

A Drive to GameStop

Last night, Wyatt and I took a drive to GameStop (which we used to do all the time before the pandemic). I got to learn the latest from his adventures with Apex Legends. Specifically:

  • How Wyatt loves using the character Seer.
  • How he might use his Apex Coins to buy Ash.
  • Or maybe he will just get the battle pass.

As talk of Apex Legends died down, Petra whispering quietly on the stereo background, I asked:

“How was school today?”

“It was good.”

And then:

“How are guitar lessons?”

“They are going great.”

We talked a little bit more as I pulled into the GameStop parking lot. Grabbing my copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons to trade in, we went inside the store. A few moments later, we were the proud owners of Metroid Dread.

We spent the next hour passing the controller back and forth. Dying. A lot. But we had fun playing Metroid Dread, learning how to jump (it is an art), and getting our heads around the spastic movements of protagonist Samus Aran. Just as we were finally comfortable with the controls it was time for Wyatt to take a shower and go to bed. Overall though, we had a pretty solid night.