Friday, September 8, 2017
Monetization of the Dead
In case you don't know, WB has a fairly tarnished reputation - loot crate driven microtransactions in a full-priced games, attempts to manipulate media coverage, and the abandonment of the bug-riddled PC version of Batman: Arkham Knight. There's more, but for the sake of brevity their poor industry practices have brought the publisher down to level Ubisoft and Konami. In other words, WB is some of the worst the industry has to offer. Not helping matters is their handling of Monolith. In a backhanded attempt to improve PR, the aforementioned tribute character is being offered as paid DLC through Steam. After Valve takes their cut the remaining proceeds go to the family of the deceased. It's not a great arrangement, but I could get behind it if it weren't for the fine print. Specifically, purchases made in six states in the USA along with anywhere else in the world don't actually go to any charitable cause whatsoever.
In essence, WB is trying to make a little extra money off the death of a cancer victim. It is, in my opinion, disgusting. It also underlines how cluelessly greedy WB really is. They could have simply said for every sale of this particular DLC they will donate the full amount to the family or, barring that, a reputable cancer charity. Alternatively, the DLC could have been free; honoring the dead man in the same way a statue in a park or a bust in a university does. Of course if that's too much work then a simple "In loving memory of..." at the end of the closing credits would have sufficed. However you slice it though the current setup at WB is a mix of avarice and ineptitude of the lowest order. One wonders if anybody calling the shots over at WB has even read any of J.R.R. Tolkien's works. If they had they probably would have noticed the similarities between themselves and certain villainous characters that appear in the stories.
So the question is (metaphorically speaking), will WB perish by their own folly like Ungoliant, at the hands of a hero like Smaug, or will they redeem themselves after a fashion like Thorin Oakenshield? Sadly, I don't have access to Galadriel's Mirror so we'll just have to wait and see what comes to pass. Personally, I'd be happy with any of the above...