Tag Archives: GAAS

Aggregating in perpetuity

The mind at times makes a halt. I alerts its owner and gives him hell. This actually happened to me in the last two hours. You might have seen me going on on how some players were not paying attention. Over the last 24 hours I have ben watching this venue again, and my brain stopped me and went “Are you perfectly lame, dopey!” OK, I admit he used moron and a few other names (dopey is me going soft on me). 

You see, there is no chance in hell that this is the only thing they are missing. As such it was not merely me, they aren’t seeing a lot more, but what are they not seeing? We could consider where Google is looking at (nest solutions), we could watch where Amazon is focussing (Amazon shops) and we could offer that Apple is the new player, it is not. It merely looks where Apple is going, which makes sense to some degree. As such these players (as well as Facebook, Microsoft, SAP and a few other players) they are in some weird setting of returning to pre covid settings and as far as I can tell, they are missing a lot left, right and centre. 

So my mind gave a holler and went on a ‘Watch This!’ tour. That is where I have been the last to hours and suddenly the Middle East links make sense. Governments like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a few others are now optionally in the market to extent where THEY can be, that was what my mind worked out in these news clippings in the last 24 hours. It also looked at the UAE and the interests of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Now, be aware this is not a player to be taken lightly. He and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud are no light players and they do not suffer fools, neither do the people in their inner circle. Yet if you make a good case, if you can support YOUR case with data and with facts, you could make a killing. These two players will pay for good ideas, so you are unlikely to get movement with the idea for a new potato peeler, but a setting to enhanced 5G applications and technology solutions that players like Google and Amazon might want, could find equal if not more eager potential in players like these two. Google and Amazon have gotten so used to people coming their way, the fact that these ideas go somewhere else could pay off, in my line it could mean a direct increase of $3,750,000 right off the bat, that more EACH MONTH by selecting another player that can afford your idea. I would like to add a word of caution. With these people you get one shot, thats it. Fumble then and you end with zilch, just a warning and it is up to you to adhere (or not) to those words of warning. I made my first move towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UAE is in Melbourne, not in Sydney. So that idea is out, but where you are, the setting might be slightly different. And face it, there is no statistical chance in hell that the players we used to rely on ONLY missed where I was and what I found. So what else are they not seeing? That is your optional ticket to a new (less burdened) life. If it works you are welcome and you can buy  me a cold beer if you ever get the chance. Up to you, the information is given freely. And they are not the only ones. There is a top ten of Middle Eastern people who are multi billionaires and they are ALWAYS looking for the next pay off, so you might be barking up the wrong tree, you merely need to show and present a larger case and I gave you a few names yesterday. So go and see what you can make of tomorrow. My solution has three arms and an optional stage that goes beyond 50 million subscriptions. Can you equal it? I am not challenging you, I am asking you. You see there is Software as a service (SaaS), gaming as a service (GaaS), cybersecurity as a service (CSaaS), there is FinTech and a few other means and far as I can tell, players like Amazon, Apple, Dell, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, SAP, and several other players are staring in the wide space and missing more and more niches and even more opportunities. A stage that is profitable for you. OK, I will admit that Facebook has an optional excuse, but when does company go soft on itself when $500,000,000 a month passes them by? You tell me, I have actually no idea. So what else are they not noticing and that might be the spark YOU need to make YOUR case and I am welcoming you to make these large blind players suffer a little more. And this is all before you realise that a few more players could be found in Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India  and France. All players that would like a larger slice of whatever the tech players have and that was before the united onesies like Elon Musk come calling. It seems that there are a few more options for all of us, we used to rely on big-tech, but it seems to me that big-tech is broken. In named 8 players and you tell me who would openly ignore $500 million a month. We are looking in the wrong direction for our salvation and it is time we adjusted our views. I personally believe that Microsoft is lost, but the other 7 are in some unintended waiting area, now we can wait until they wake up, or we can offer it to other players and watch the panic when these 8 players suddenly realise that there are players NOW right behind them. I reckon that we can get a really good deal. Consider Netflix and see what happens when a player like CarryMinati extends its YouTube connection by adding whatever you have and adding 10-20 million connections. Google (YouTube) panicked too late when. TikTok came and now there I a contended first player. So what happens when half a dozen players suddenly become contenders in a field they were merely a top tier player? And they all have billionaires behind them hoping and seeking for more and we forgot about that part, at least I did, did you? So when my brain mentally bashed me and called me all things I prefer not to repeat here. My brain opened a door to other players. I was partially on board, but that was due to more factors, but now the playing field is wide open and players like Amazon and Google are now in the lower 5 choices. There are more than 5 more hungry for profit and there is the added profit, they are willing to concede to more whilst they grow their empire and you get a little larger slice, in my case that could amount to $45 million a year more, I’d buy that for a dollar (sorry, Robocop). So how much more could you make? And more important when the US sees that brain drain how large are the waves of panic that come then? 

I will let you work that out for your solution. For me? I am just fine at present, I merely need to wait (something I was never very good at).

Have a great Thursday!

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Resetting contemplated options

There is a time when a person needs to reevaluate the choices he is considering. I am at that stage. I had hoped that the parts I have shown would have enticed Google or Amazon, but they have not (or so it seems). So I have the option of considering two more options. The first play for the third party is now underway. The third party here is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. You see they are intent on getting out of the oil business, or better stated, they do not want to depend on it too much. Here I am offering a gaming stage with well over 50,000,000 subscriptions. The nice part is that they can now consider Google, Amazon or Tencent. I personally do not care (as long as they can keep it close to Amazon Luna quality. You see, for me it cares as part of the deal is that I get 10% of the IP and sales value (plus a starting fee). 10% of 50,000,000 subscriptions could be anything from $25M to $50M and when this takes off, I have no idea where it will end, but even at a mere 1-2 years I could end with $25M to $50M a month in the second year if its running. I reckon that is a good retirement fee. Even at a maximum of 6 months it will be more money than I ever contemplated (or even dreamt of) having I was never greed driven. 

So consider the graph below.

The main event is the idea I concocted. The Master Choice is a set of old CBM64 and Amiga games now set to the latest in game streaming. Games that you all forgot about (Younger players are exempt from this). The CBM64, Atari ST and Amiga had created so much awesome IP and most are left unattended, left as garbage. Something these master pieces never deserved. I wrote about them in the past. And as I stated this is merely the start. Then there are the remasters. New games now made to fit this platform. There will be interest, the moment this solution surpasses 10,000,000 subscriptions, others come calling like junkies at a free cocaine feast. It is not good News for Bethesda or Blizzard, they decided to become Microsoft solutions. And when this takes off, Microsoft will fall flat. Yes, they will have their mobile options, but the larger stage will be lost to them. I have nothing against Bethesda or Blizzard, I loved their games and I still do, but there is a consequence of choice and if I get this done, they face hard choices. Then there is a part I cannot tell yet. The new IP. This needs to be catered so that independent developers can grow and can facilitate to, because any GAAS solution will need that. I have close to a dozen options for the start, but after that it will be time to hand over the reigns to the next generation, I will have proven I was right, I will be entitled to my retirement and months of skiing every year. Time for the next generation to make a mark and now there would be a new player. A Saudi group of programmers giving us a new stage of gaming, a stage no one ever considered, no one ever contemplated. But if a small nation like the Netherlands can give us Horizon Zero Dawn and Horizon Forbidden West, what can a nations like Saudi Arabia achieve? You forgot about the small parts, did you not? Minecraft was Swedish (as was ABBA), and that is merely when we look at two of the most visible houses at present.
So I want to open the field to others, I want to entice new options and a new era of gaming, because evolution of gaming is important. Nintendo will remain, Sony will remain. They always considered the gamer number one, it is not that I am telling that they remain, the gamers have decided that they remain and some will still side with Microsoft, that is fair. But the Microsoft field will tighten in gaming as it will in two other directions and I will hopefully be there to see it happen (health issues). Yet until recently I never considered Saudi Arabia as the new Mecca for gaming. It was an article in some magazine that dropped the coin. Saud Arabia was always in the back of my mind, but I expected that my IP would have gone to Google or Amazon. Now there is every chance that I will win a lot. A setting that sets the owner on par with Nintendo and Sony is not to be ignored, and even as Microsoft would still be number three for a little while, the humiliation of them getting surpassed by a new player will tong, it will sting a lot. It will show in the first that I was right, it will show in the second that their path was wrong all along. Yes they will make serious money with mobile games. But to lose one niche in technology to this effect will hurt, it will make everyone wonder what Xbox was and why it no longer matters. But for me it is about a new era for gamers, a stage that puts them in the pole position. The front person in a technology that depends on enticing their senses with creativity and inspiring them to become creators. And it has every chance of happening soon. How soon? I have no idea. I am still dependant on the selectors and the choice makers, in this I am a small fish, but a fish dangling 50 million subscriptions in looked at and my blog speaks for itself. Almost 2500 articles on all kinds of matter, many of them games and a lot of them showing ‘evidence’ that I was right long before others knew what was happening. It might be my delusional side and that is a fair observation for others to make, but if the sale happens they will suddenly state “Why did you not come to us?” At which time it will be too late and they don’t need to look at me, their superiors (or shareholders) will look at them asking them why they missed out, these people have no sense of humour. But I do, I will be on the sidelines giggling, enjoying a hot cocoa with rum and watching the snow fall and the slopes prepare for winter fun. And the one thought I will have is that I made ti the end of the rat-race maze, in a way I never contemplated 30, 20, or 10 years ago and I wonder what I will do next, because the creative mind only stops when it is dead, that lesson I learned through many sleepless nights (and three bundles of IP).

73 minutes until breakfast, whatever will I do now?

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Abbreviations

We all see them, we all use them and we all think we use the same ones. Yet when we take a look at ‘Games as a Service (GaaS) Market to See Huge Growth by 2028 | Netflix, Microsoft, Sony’ (at https://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/games-as-a-service-gaas-market-to-see-huge-growth-by-2028-netflix-microsoft-sony) we see a decent story and it all seems to fit, yet when we see the list “The study includes market share analysis and profiles of players such as Blizzard Entertainment, RIOT, Netflix, Microsoft, Sony, Tencent, Activision Blizzard, Sega, Electronic Arts & Ubisoft” with the optional ‘attached sample PDF’ did you think you were getting the goods, or did you think you were catered to with “If you are a Games as a Service (GaaS) manufacturer” and at every turn you are seeing the mention of ‘digital journal’. So what gives? Well in the first instance this Games as a Service ploy is that, a ploy (for now) and it sets the largest upheave long before 2028. The largest settings will come to blow in 2024/2025. And the entire station of market share sets a longer approach. You see, there is still no way to see where Netflix is going at present. Their ‘stated’ indications are nice, but when you also hear sounds like “Research firm Ampere isn’t convinced that subscription services like Game Pass are taking over gaming.” We need to realise we are hearing merely one voice, and I get it, but it is the setting of what some call ‘dog eat dog’ that matters. Microsoft, Ubisoft, Netflix and EA will head for a fight, a fight for population and subscribers. Some have advantages, some have potential overzealous fans and some have merely hope. The issue is that these players will fight EACH OTHER for market share. And yes some of the mentioned players are all Microsoft, but that does not make Microsoft the larger player, it makes for a splintered one and in the end they all fight for ones self. Sony and Tencent have their own worries. They are both a lot stronger, but there is a station that polarisation will happen by 2025 and these two will have the numbers and the share. The second issue is not merely the setting here.

Consider the following names Games as a Service, Games as a System, Software as a Service, Systems as a Service, and all this before we consider Function as a Service (FaaS), Container as a Service (CaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS) and it is more than some ‘hyped’ and quick mention of names towards a category. The larger stage becomes when the players start mixing the terms to get the audience to ‘flip’ in space to be part of such a community. It sounds nice, but it is not, it merely makes the water muddy. Tencent and Sony are not part of this because they have a setup, they have the setup, the hardware and the population, more important they are not in each others way. You see Ubisoft is on its way out, that much has been visible for almost two years. When Ubisoft did not deliver on quality they were going for their GamePass approach and they are coming up short, now that they are all over Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and the consoles they are merely running a steeplechase of patch after patch and they are coming up short per game and per system and it is taking it toll. To get ahead of the game they need near flawless games. Three at the least and they need them before 2023 and that is not in the cards, so they are merely one bad release away from death. EA has its own following and it is a decent following, but their games have issues, larger issues, not deadly ones, but serious ones. The problems for EA is to manage service levels to a higher standard and they seem to come up short (for now), their largest issue is clear communication and to FOCUS on games, one at a time to make them all better, more stable and less ‘issue prone’ that part is hard but doable. If their board does not fold under pressure from the other dogs they could be in a good place by 2024. By that time EA and Microsoft will be contemplating what to do with Ubisoft, because it is too far behind. At that same time Tencent and Sony will have the advantage and neither will have a clue where Nintendo will be, because if Games as a Service becomes a thing, Nintendo will be the quiet one gathering population with a strong system. Microsoft might want to trivialise them away but the rest will not. They lack the larger station that Sony and Tencent has, but Nintendo is creeping up on them and this article has no mention of Nintendo, do they? Yet by 2025 Nintendo will be a powerhouse and Netflix is nowhere near ready to take on the large three players. Microsoft is about buying whatever is out there, but from the 90’s onwards that approach has been devastating on all who attempted it. Yes, it makes for headlines but it lacks results and that is what we have been seeing for a little too long with Microsoft. It cannot maintain its posture in the current setting and when it starts its GamePass as collateral for population, we are more than likely get to see the downturn of it all and it does reflect my position of ‘dog eat dog’.

And these are the players vying for the attention of the gamers, all whilst they cannot decide who is the better provider or what gamers actually want and there too the big three (Sony, Tencent and Nintendo) will have the advantage. The problem I see is that a lot of this will be decided long before 2028 and in all this Amazon is not mentioned either. They too have a stake and could become on of the big four leaving Microsoft in fifth place at best and that is if everything goes their way, which so far has not be the case. And whilst most of them are hiding behind abbreviations the big four (Tencent, Sony, Nintendo and Amazon) will grow its population and cater to the one element that was central in all this, the gamer, not the process.

That is my issue with this article, that was my issue with some of the players. They stopped catering to the GAMER and started to cater to the image of SELF. I will let you make up your mind. There is time, this does not need to polarise in any one brain for at least a year. The largest game in all this are the players and the game they play, not the games they produce that too is an advantage the big three have over the other players at present. 

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Microsoft, for cold laundry

Yes, there is a need to go there. You see there is the setting that we kick Microsoft as a civic duty, but how long do you need to kick them for it to be regarded as for personal pleasure? Yes, that is the question and it is more to the point than you think it is. Two days ago I wrote ‘What we hope for’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2022/03/07/what-we-hope-for/) there I gave the setting that Microsoft is in more trouble than we think they are. They are losing the gaming niche, the ‘tablet’ niche, the cloud niche, the SaaS niche and optionally the office niche as well. That is a lot of terrain to lose. I also stated there ““Microsoft is in talks to acquire cybersecurity research and incident response company Mandiant, according to people familiar with the discussions, a deal that would bolster efforts to protect customers from hacks and breaches”, you see, it is not merely “bolster efforts to protect customers”, it is about preventing and protecting the customers you have and as we are seeing several Microsoft issues”, a few hours ago I learned that they do not even have that. ArabNews gives us ‘Google buys Mandiant for $5.4 billion’, the article (at https://www.arabnews.com/node/2038611/business-economy) “Google is fortifying its cloud services with a $5.4 billion acquisition of the cybersecurity firm Mandiant, the companies announced Tuesday”, as such the clouds around Microsoft seem increasingly less secure soon enough. Microsoft will find someone (I think) and they need to find someone and set the stage to a stronger Microsoft. Yet as I see it they lose gaming to Amazon (I was happy to help Amazon do that), their Surface thingamajig will lose to the Apple iPad more and more, and the Mac Air book takes what is left and the cloud is increasingly less and less secure, as such they are losing market share to all the other cloud providers. The SaaS niche is different, it relies on the cloud, lose one and you tend to lose the other as well to some degree. So now the last straw for Microsoft is their good old Office backbone. It is firm (for now) but the cyber issues will affect their mail system and it already has had a few issues. But the big push could come from a very different angle. Adobe will be the largest player in several ways. There is additional consideration that when business aligns for Meta, Adobe will get a fair share of that business and should they push for the an ‘office setting’ they could clearly clean house. The last setting is pure speculation. There is no educated guess in play. They need their version of Excel, Word, Powerpoint and Mail versions to impact Microsoft even larger, but that is not outside of their abilities to do so and moreover, as Meta will go in 2024 Adobe will feel forced to go there. If only to cater to the millions of GoPro users who will see new business ventures in a Hybrid setting of the Web, Web3.0 and Meta. I think that Google lacks more elements than Adobe does so Adobe is in a good place. No matter how we think it will go, I feel more and more certain that Microsoft is about to lose a hell of a lot more than they bargained for. I wonder if they ever saw that part coming as they increasingly believed the spin they put out there as well. Consider their 2018 setting: ‘The most powerful console in the world’, it was surpassed by the weakest (Nintendo Switch), it will optionally also be surpassed by the Amazon Luna (if I get it my way, ha ha ha). At that point, what did $68.7 billion get them (as well as the $7.5 billion for Bethesda)? Seventy five billion to end up in 4th position in gaming? Google buying what they need for Cyber security? One could argue that soon the buzzards will circle Microsoft, but that might be a little too negative. 

I saw Microsoft grow from nothing to the behemoth that decided what we wanted. Now it is turning out that too many are eager to find someone else, in too many IT fields. There will be Microsoft lovers out there, eager to state that I am wrong. I could be, I freely admit it, but when you put the facts together, when you collect the information out there and the weaknesses that they show gives a larger rise to my version (which has speculative sides) and the largest setting is the one we do not have. What will Adobe do in 2023/2024. It will impact several players a lot.

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What we hope for

IP is a tricky thing, it is usually where we hope the people will be when it is ready, some are continuation of ideas and some are a wishful thinking approach to what might be, or become.

I understand this part. You cannot sell if people are never going to go into that direction. It is wishful thinking that they will get there. In all this, I am no different. I expect the world to evolve (or become extinct) towards the 5G stage that Neom city stages it to be. It might merely be Neom at first, but it will throw the bough of marketing into a different heading and my IP will be ready when they do. It was not rocket science. It was always going to change. There was no other way and no matter how many marketeers catch up, or try to turn the dial to THEIR advantage. It was always going to happen and the marketeers that were not ready for the shift, they merely seize to be. The market was always going to reroute because scammers, spammers and criminals stopped the current direction, 5G is enabling them more and more and we see this Wild West corral approach to ‘cyber safety’, doing whatever they can, the reality is that there will be no real relief until 2025, and that sets the stage even more to my advantage (yay me). Yet it is not about me, or my IP. It is about the stage that I set in motion. I am merely in the right place as will a few others. I foresaw a massive crash of Microsoft. Spin only get you so far, but they are so driven to Azure, Spin and ‘their’ great innovations, all whilst iteration is the best they can get. It opens up a drive in a few directions. As I personally see it Microsoft is about to lose the gaming platform to Sony, Nintendo and Amazon. They are losing more and more tablet grounds to Apple and Adobe could set the sails to take a huge chunk out of the Office market. All that and a global Azure outage. The last one might be really bad luck, but to go out globally is rattling the cages of too many and there lies the rub. GaaS and SaaS are setting a larger stage, a stage where people look to what they can TRUST, and there is my open IP connecting to a lot of it. (Yay me). Instead of looking for spin, looking for hype, the offices of GaaS and SaaS required updating and stabilising. So in this Microsoft is in a bad place. Even as we were given 3 weeks ago “Microsoft is in talks to acquire cybersecurity research and incident response company Mandiant, according to people familiar with the discussions, a deal that would bolster efforts to protect customers from hacks and breaches”, you see, it is not merely “bolster efforts to protect customers”, it is about preventing and protecting the customers you have and as we are seeing several Microsoft issues and close to none from the Amazon, IBM and Google area, Microsoft could lose this side as well making them a loser three times over, but no fear. They paid $68.7 billion for Blizzard and it will not be enough. Me (and my sense of humour) attacked that deal by handing out IP and gaming ideas as freeware for Sony and Amazon developers. It is my ‘subtle’ way of telling Microsoft to wake the fuck up. And that is merely the beginning. When my IP comes through to certain parties Amazon and Google will cut Microsoft game revenue in slices, not all mind you, but well over 30% and that is before I show them a new direction they ignored for a decade and they will lose acquiring more. I reckon that it is in the air where the SaaS will go, but IBM, Amazon and Google have equal chances. OK, Google has a better chance. But as I wrote earlier, not reality but a dream, I saw adobe evolve and take a massive chunk out of the Microsoft office population and that would hurt the most. And the Office issues in the last two years were not the greatest for Microsoft, so that field could open up and some are on the Apple trail, some prefer the Google trail and yet it is not enough, a player with the proven track record of Adobe in SaaS could overtake and shoot Microsoft to rubble. It sounds violent, but that is the SaaS field. And Microsoft has had too many issues in too many places at the same time and trying to hide behind Mandiant might not be enough this time around. I admit that I could be wrong, but I can wait to be proven right and those believing the Microsoft spin will end up with a larger mess than they are ready for, but that was the choice they made. With gaming and 5G IP I will hopefully be in a place to step in and at some point either Google or Amazon will have to reconsider the station of selling 50,000,000 consoles to a population that could be a lot more, could open a lot more and that bill fits Amazon better then Google, but Google needs to make choices at some point, with the SaaS and GaaS in such a volatile setting Google might not have a choice and losing more ground to Amazon is not in their best interest. 

Yes, it is all based on what we (read: I) hope for, but it also sets the choices we see now, the choices that some reporting channels ‘trivialise’ and that some ‘minimise’. The consumer at some point catches on and as such Microsoft is in a not so good place on several channels where they boast good times. Reality does not give them that pleasure and it will take more from them soon enough.

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Chook chook thinking

Why? Because train of thought reads too boring, thats why! So this all happened, or better stated started happening a few hours ago. Someone stated that IBM Z Mainframes are in 96% of all mainframe places. Now, I have no problem with this, I moved out of mainframes 30 years ago, and I still respect what these things can do (they are just too big for my desk). Yet in this, my first question was, what do the other 4% use? A simple question. I got all kinds of answers, yet none of them answered my question ‘What do the other 4% use, in this it does not matter if it is known, but it is essential to look at.

Why?
Well, in this IBM has a luxury problem, they basically own 96% of that market, but the 4% can become 8% then 16%, at that point the message from IBM becomes 4 out of 5 use our mainframe. When the 96% is 120,000 mainframes it is one thing, when it is based on 960 mainframes it is a whole different story. The numbers matter, that has always been the case (even if Microsoft is in denial now they are shedding market share). 

Reasons
There can be a simple reason. For one epidemiology, if it is about real time numbers, the market is slim, massively slim, compared to that market a size zero model is a mere chunky blobernaut. Cray is one of the few players in that setting and it makes sense that a Cray is there where an IBM is optionally not. Still, I would want to know.

You see, in strategic thinking we have two elements we ALWAYS need to keep one eye on. One is threat the other is weakness. In this example real-time data management is a weakness. Now we need to understand that this market is set to billions and those who desperately need it, that number is not an issue, yet for IBM investing that much for 4% is tactically not sound, not until that marketshare is a lot larger. That makes perfect sense and let’s face it no one owns 100% of a market, if that ever happens we will have a lot more problems than we could possibly understand. 

Why do I care?
Well, for the most I do not, but at present I am not to involved with any SWOT analyses, and the ones I did lately was done for wannabe managers who seemingly only understand bulletpoint memo’s. The idea of any strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analyses that is related to business competition, project planning and capability planning is more important than most people realise. We see it in intelligence, business intelligence and market intelligence. And now we see two new real markets emerging where it is important too. Gaming and SAAS/GAAS. Even as GAAS is still some time away, the need to actively SWOT in all three is there and I believe the players are not too finicky about that and they need to be. As the cloud is oversold and the dangers are underestimated their board of directors need to hold up a mirror where they can tell themselves that it doesn’t matter, and when we understand how completely those people are lying to themselves, at that point you might get the idea that there is a problem. The SWOT has more sides, it tests your capability, your software (Strengths and opportunities) but that needs to be levelled by weaknesses and strength. 

800 years ago
To understand this we need to go back to the good old days (Ghengis Khan). It was he who stated “It is not enough for me to win, my opponents must all fail”. Yes, I admit it is a massively loose translation but it applies to the now. When we stumble over sales people and their unnatural large ego’s, we tend to listen because they make the loudest claims, yet are they valid? Consider Solarwinds and what they enabled criminals to do, when you consider the news last week when we were given ‘SolarWinds hackers stole US sanctions policy data, Microsoft confirms’, it was a weakness and a threat, so when we how long the hack was active and that we now see that policy data is online and open for anyone to look into, what other sides are not yet known? It is not enough for SAAS vendors to look at SWOT, their customers need to do the same thing. So when I considered the 4% is was not because I need to know everything (which at times is still nice as a high executive CIA decision maker has a girlfriend that has size 6 lingerie, his wife is size 11), so who needed to do the SWOT, someone at the CIA or me? One could say both as I am his threat and he is my opportunity. 

The stage of what is what could be remains forever in motion. 

So where from here?
That remains open. For players like Amazon, the enabling of GAAS becomes more and more important, especially when you see the blunders that players like Ubisoft makes, they need to be aware of where their customers are, especially when Netflix becomes active in gaming too. They will have an advantage, but Amazon can counter it, yet there are sides that remain unknown for now and they should not be (not on that level) and there is the rub. Too many rely on external solutions when that solution needs to be in-house. And we can disperse with all the marketing BS that some give like “We are a better company now”, when you drop the ball to that degree there was a massive space for improvement and you merely are on par for not being where you should have been a year ago. An old IBM Statistics wisdom was “You’ll know when you measure”. This sounds corny but it is true, you cannot anticipate and adjust when there is no data and in all this any SWOT analyses would have been usable data. So where was the 4%? I do not know and the poster seemingly did not know either. It might be fair enough, yet when that 4% becomes 8%, when should you have known? It is a question with a subjective answer. Yet in gaming it is less so, especially as I am becoming aware (unproven at present) that Microsoft has one nice trick up their sleeve. There is partial evidence out there that Skyrim will be on PS5 in digital formal only. Several shops now have a ‘DO NOT USE’ for any physical PS5 format of Skyrim. Now, there might be an easy answer for this after all these lockdowns, but it is only 4 weeks away now, so you tell me. Is Microsoft playing its ‘bully’ card? Are they trying to push people to Xbox? It is a fair approach, they did pay 8 billion and change for it, but consider that their actions are set to a larger stage. A stage of millions of angry fans. I solved it for them by creating public domain gaming ideas for any Sony exclusive RPG game. I am not Bethesda, I am a mere IP creator, but when software makers are given a free ride towards Sony exclusives and even if one game hits the mark, the Bethesda market share dwindles to a lower number. Now consider what happens when that happens on Amazon Luna too? I might be a mere 1% factor, but if another one joins me I grow 100% whilst Microsoft dwindles more. For Microsoft Amazon is becoming a real threat and a weakness, for Amazon Netflix is optionally a threat and a weakness whilst Google Stadia is optionally the opportunity for Amazon. 

All SWOT settings that could have been seen from afar from the beginning. It is not everyones train of thought, yet in this day and age, I think it needs to be, the markets and our lives are changing in all kinds of ways too quickly and too large, we need to think head and having a clear grasp on how to apply SWOT in our lives might become essential. 

The difference?
That is a much harder line to follow. It comes down to the word ‘Insight’ and it is a dangerous, a very dangerous word. Because depending on the person this can be Insight, speculated insight, expected insight, and adjusted insight and more than once they are all on one pile making the data less reliable. Insight is also subjective, we all see it differently and that does not mean that I am right and everyone else has a wrong station. No, it is all subjective and most CAN be correct, but as the insight is disturbed by speculated, adjusted and expected versions, the numbers alter slightly. And now we see that 4% was not 4%, is was 7% and 5%, 5% because there were other IBM mainframes in play (adjusted) and 4% was the speculated number and 7% was the expected number. Now we have a very different station, the expected moves us from 96% use our product, towards 9 out of 10 are our customers, which is now a mere step towards 4 out of 5 use IBM. So would you like to bring that conversation to any board of directors? 
They’ll serve your balls for dinner (see image). 

Still feel certain that you do not want to know? In reality most SWOT analyses are seemingly pointless and often amazingly boring, yet in this day and age they are an essential part of business and gaming at $130 billion a year is facing that side as well. So when you consider what I gave you also consider the impact that some shops have ‘DO NOT USE’ for Skyrim preorders, 4 weeks before release, lockdown or not, it beckons all kinds of questions. And to be fair, there could be a simple explanation for all of it, but that too is the consequence of trying to create hypes via YouTube without clearly informing the audience. It is a weakness Microsoft has shown a few times (Bethesda was never completely innocent, but equally never this guilty). 

So what has a game in common with a business setting? It is simple, they both need to manage expectations and that too is a side of SWOT, even as marketing often merely focusses on opportunity, there is a weakness and a threat. The lack of clarity and misinformation are both a weakness (angry customers) and a threat (churning customers) and in the world of gaming the churners are the real danger, they can get the flocking population of angry gamers to come with them and really make numbers spiral downward. In this day and age SWOT is an additional essential way to go, in nearly all walks of life. We simply can not avoid being that naive anymore, not with spiralling energy prices and more and more articles that can at present no longer be found in any supermarket, all whilst plenty of people are in a holding pattern for their incomes. 

It is a train of thought and it is up to you to decide if you want to do it or not, because that was always your right, the right to ignore, but it must be said that it will be at your own peril. 

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It is more than a ban

It has not been an easy rise for game makers, now that Microsoft has shown its initial hand, now it is time for some of the game makers to show theirs. It starts with “Apple and Google both removed the hit game from their app stores after Epic Games bypassed their payment systems, to avoid giving them a cut of sales”, I get the sentiment, and the BBC article ‘Fortnite: Epic Games sues Google and Apple over app store bans’ (at https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53777379) gives part of it. We got some of the other side in the GamesRadar article that I discussed in ‘the Silent reason’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2020/08/13/the-silent-reason/) where I gave “Xbox Game Pass is the next generation of Microsoft gaming, not Xbox Series X”, in this we see the start of the big players to set a new generation of GaaS, Games as a Service is the next thing and it allows Microsoft to set another revenue bar, it is the one realisation on top of the other ones that made me give up on Microsoft and now the larger players are using GaaS to gain revenue. In this, I have nothing against the approach that Epic is making, even as I am not a Fortnite fan, it is a free game and as such it has every right to make this approach, yet Google and  Apple will not be left out of any revenue loop. Gpay and Apple Pay are their own devices and they have a stage and it requires their view or perhaps the stage is their vision on the services offered. I  am not sure how to react, in favour or against the ban laid on Epic, but both the Google store and the Apple store have their own rules and the idea that Epic circumvents the stores might be seen as optionally cheaper to the player, but the downside is that as third parties get their own direct access, their store access becomes available to come under fire and that is not a good thing. 

The article gives us “Fortnite’s latest update offered all players a 20% discount on its in-game currency V-bucks – but only if they paid Epic Games directly rather than using Apple or Google’s payment systems. This broke rules applied by both stores”, The danger of a third party is something neither Google or Apple find appealing and I feel certain that their fees avoided is equally unappealing to them. And lets be clear, as GaaS evolves over the next 2 years, we will see the players exposed to all kinds of ‘direct from the source’ deals, because it allows the gathering of data and data is more revenue for whomever has it. The problem as I see it is not the fact that there is GaaS, the fact is that the stage will be overwhelmingly younger players. Even as 63% of Fortnite is 18-24, there is a stage where there are supposed to be 12-18 year old players and there are supposed to be a large following of them too, yet the toppling charts I saw does not reflect them properly, in light of 350,000,000 players I wonder how large that 12-18 group is and even as it is not their credit card, someone is paying that bill (most likely their mommy), yet that stage also gives Google and Apple a larger concern and I reckon that they are programming the stores to raise all kinds of red flags before they fall in a trap that is not unlike the one Electronic Arts is facing with their loot boxes. In all this there is a lull in the life of the lawmakers, GaaS is new, so new that most laws are riddled with holes and that is not a good thing. A lot needs to happen to bind and limit financial institutions from allowing gamers to be used and exploited. Now let me be clear I do not believe that loot boxes are gambling, in that same stage I believe that Epic Games has done nothing wrong, but consider other games that pushes for additional movements and choices that come at a price, whilst their algorithm is set to always set the bar at your effort +1% (speaking figuratively), so how is that fair? I reckon that Google and Apple are set against that stage (whilst getting their own grains of revenue) and that is perhaps not the worst idea, yet I see the other side too, especially as Fortnite is free to play, to gain the upper hand you can buy V-bucks to buy loot boxes and skins. It is one way to get the income, it is of course a risk, but knowing you have 350 million fans, the stage is set in a decent way and when you consider that they made $1.9 billion in 2019 gives rise to the GaaS platform. It is a platform that does allow for more than one game to be part of it and that is what players like Microsoft are hoping for, I reckon that Apple and Google are on that same train. And it is there that we see the balancing act that both Google and Apple face. It is appealing to lock the door to players like Epic Games, but they are not alone and over time, other options will become available, of that I am absolutely certain

 

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Comprehension amok

We get it, some games are flawed, and some games go for the image of coolness and fail. We heard it well over 12,324 times, through articles and YouTube videos. Anthem, a game that is not bad is a failure. Some have a deeper idea, was this due to EA, or to Bioware? The issue is that the makers were no beginners. Bioware, the people behind the Mass Effect series, Dragon Age and a few more had a great track record. Even now, Mass Effect 2 is still one of the very best games to make it to any console ever, which is some achievement, and it remains a factor, even today.

Some give the decent feedback ‘a cool looking game that is not bad, but it is not getting us where we want to be‘. I can get along with it. Then I got a hold of a slide which is more important than you might ever realise. Another quote that matters is: ‘Anthem is an example of EA’s monetisation plans in action‘, we now have two settings that can easily make a game go from acceptable to really really bad. This matters when it is not merely a game you buy, but when it becomes Gaming As A Service. The issue is not how much you pump into it; it is how right you need to get it the first time over. They dropped one optional solution to it (not part of this conversation) and focussed on the artificially created Hype called Anthem.

I had seen issues with Destiny, so I was giving this game a wide birth until the game had proven itself and within 24 hours, the massive amount of complaints starting to hit the internet in close to every way possible. I was actually decently amazed how neutral and how considerate some reviewers were. the AngryJoeShow was its usual self, but for mere entertainment watching it is still the first step to consider, I do to see where haters come from, and he does not disappoint (a https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AJsKyh0x7w). When we see the statement (supported by evidence of sorts) that the loading of the game took longer than the actual gameplay, we see just how far Bioware had fallen of the wagon, or was that EA? Angry Joe gives a list that does not screw around. This does not merely indicate that there is a core issue, there are other parts linked to the core that give strong indication that EA failed on too many levels, optionally Bioware also failed on several levels, yet in all this we need to take a look at a screenshot.

When you make a game where jet packs are central in the gameplay, the makers need to consider that some people think outside of the box. So when we are in a cave and we see a large opening, large enough to fly through, so when you try and you get slapped back for no good reason, we see the first larger failing, the tactical side that was not thought through. Levels made on cosmetic states where the state of consideration should only ever have been tactical, so either remove the good looking hole giving you ambient feelings of lighting, or make sure we can use it as an escape cover. The second screenshot was early art work I was able to find. Now, I do not know whether that is in the game, but it seems to me that it is a clear sign of copyright violation and an optionally downright stage of plagiarism.

For some reason the stage reminded me of Alien 1979 and Aliens 1986, but then I might be wrong. If that is set as early concept art, it should have been a huge wake up call for both Bioware and EA, right there is where people had to consider the danger they were walking into.

Yet, for me this is not about those failings, for me there is another side, there are actually two sides. We see that with the GAAS image. The two elements that were there above all others were Player Centric and Lifetime value. Al the indications shown by so many people give us that these two were not merely ignored, they were not comprehended by the people trying to sell the idea, and they added catchwords to sell the money maker, without comprehending the impact it had, that is how I see it.

Player Centric comes from Customer centric. Yet there we see in one place: “Customer centric is a way of doing business with your customer in a way that provides a positive customer experience before and after the sale in order to drive repeat business, customer loyalty and profits. But, a customer-centric company is more than a company that offers good service. A place like Amazon is a prime examples of brands that are customer centric and have spent years creating a culture around the customer and their needs“, and when we consider that part, we see that Anthem would not have passed the Alpha stage at present before August 2019, that alone means that of the 6 elements, one is a 80% failure, making the game 17% less effective right of the bat. The additional testing and reconnaissance of the game in real live server environment would have shown 4 essential elements to be too far below par. The load screens, the loot, the tactical setting of the map(s) and the story-lines, storytelling as well as the interactive parts (those three all count towards the story dimension).

Here we see the failing of the presented Player Centric part. This also impacts the second element, namely ‘Lifetime Value’. The moment the player centric parts were hit, ‘Litetime Value’ was equally hit, but to a much larger extent. It is clear that proper testing would have ousted many of the elements, as such it stands to reason that either the makers BE-A (my optimistic version of this merger) never cared, or did not properly do the essential testing and fixing. All what I have seen (console versions only) indicates that it could have become a nice game when it gets to the beta stage; the game is nowhere near that ready. The graphics look good, but good graphics on a failed core is still a failed game.

Say What?

that is where the issue starts, a game that does not look bad and has potential is in the GAAS (Gaming As A Service) still a failed project when it does not meet certain expectations and Anthem fails a few of them. Even as I was never a fan of this genre, I see issues that I should never have noticed and those are really badly managed issues.

Still we should acknowledge that it is a failed, but not a bad game, which also implies that what went wrong, could optionally be fixed, yet when we get to the loot part, we see just how far the model failed. The loot is mentioned by several to be massively repetitive, in the stage of this game where the weapons are shown we see too much repetition making the loot way too bland, so when we look at this part against ‘High User Engagement‘, over a period of 6 years, we see that the third part fails too, at least when we consider player expectation. In all this when we see that other elements can only be bought, we see the drive towards Recurring Revenue Business, a side that will not be successful as three elements have already failed for too much. At that point the game has gone from 83% to a mere 41% effective as a GAAS experiment, a stage that could have been avoided to a much larger extent if it had only been tested better, stronger and with more diligence.

They did get the graphics right, and it looks cool, but there again we see that a real GAAS solution is so much more and the fact that one of their alleged slides show the failures to this degree, we see that gamers should be upset. A game like this could not be sold in any other way than an open BETA, optionally an open BETA that is for those who have pre-ordered (and pre-paid the game) offering these people unique gear and weapons, for their effort, that might have worked, giving them additional options would have made things even better and it would all have been in support of ‘Recurring Revenue Business‘, as well as ‘Multi-Platform Business‘, gamers love that shit. To be regarded as official beta testers upping the game to such an extent? Gamers would buy the game for the mere notion (as long as it comes with actual unique gear).

So as we see this game and the game maker we see that comprehension went amok on a few levels, in this I would point the finger at EA (for the most) yet the stage of whomever let this game slip towards the ‘approved for release’ that person should never ever be allowed anywhere near the gaming industry ever.

In the end I wonder if they have seen the Single Player GAAS opportunity that Mass Effect Andromeda would enable for. That is if they ever get a visionary to call the shots on that part of the equation, because if they fix up that game, they could have the stage of ‘High User Engagement‘ that surpasses 110%, which would be a legendary achievement to say the least.

If there is one accomplishment that does stand out beyond the graphics then it is the person who decided that hiring Sarah Schachner was a good idea. She created two pieces, AC: Origin and Anthem both soundtracks that make you wonder if they were even made by the same person and she hits the ball straight out of Fenway Park, twice in a row mind you. Two soundtracks that were utterly amazing, yes, the Music of Anthem does exceed all human expectations (merely my view, but I stand by it); as such I expect to see more great work from her in the future. If EA and Bioware can get the rest right, they might have a chance to survive this expensive overpriced, wrongly focussed ordeal called Anthem.

The EA shareholders would definitely be appreciative of that notion.

 

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