Daily Archives: October 24, 2018

Just Survive Won’t

Maybe.  It is hard to tell.  But I’m running out of pithy three word titles to track its progress.  The next round will be “Shall” and “Shan’t” I guess, then after that I’ll have to figure something else out.

Anyway, Daybreak announced that they would be shutting down Just Survive back in August, giving people two months notice of the event.  I wrote a bit of a eulogy for the game back then.

The night is dark, and some will go quietly into it…

Then, about a week and a half back, Jace Hall said on a live stream that NantG Mobile, the joint venture between Daybreak and NantWorks, was working on a way to bring Just Survive over to be re-integrated into H1Z1… now called Z1 Battle Royale… as a PvE play mode for the game, which would close the circle as the two titles were originally one back when this whole thing started.

Anyway, pending that, Just Survive would remain up, if mostly untended.  The phrase “maintenance mode” was used on the stream, though I remain unsure how that would be different that the previous six month of the game’s life.

Not fully exposed, but not covered either

However, as Massively OP reported yesterday, Jace Hall apparently hadn’t checked things out fully with the Daybreak side of things, as they issued the following statement yesterday at 10:45am.

As we announced back in August, we’ve made the difficult decision to sunset Just Survive on Wednesday, October 24 at 11 a.m. PT. All game servers will be coming offline at that time, and the game will no longer be available for play.

While this chapter for Just Survive has come to an end, we are discussing the possibility of allowing our partner and developer of Z1 Battle Royale, NantG Mobile, to bring Just Survive back online and take over development of the game sometime in the future. Should we have further information to share regarding that matter, we’ll be sure to inform you accordingly.

Thank you again for the countless hours of fun across Pleasant Valley and Badwater Canyon – we appreciate your support and dedication to Just Survive.

Best,

The Just Survive Team at Daybreak Games

The note leaves open the possibility of the game being revived at some future date by NantG Mobile, but it appears that Daybreak isn’t going to leave the servers up until that happens.  And so we say good-bye for now.

This move seems to leave Daybreak with just four games, all from the SOE era, the newest of which is six years old already, while the oldest is going to turn 20 next March:

  • EverQuest (1999)
  • EverQuest II (2004)
  • DC Universe Online (2011)
  • PlanetSide 2 (2012)

Gone from the list are Just Survive and H1Z1, which is now being run by NantG Mobile under the new name Z1 Battle Royale.  Daybreak may be getting some revenue from the latter, but it doesn’t seem to be their game anymore.  Of course, that bring up the whole question as to what is the real, legal relationship between Daybreak and NantG Mobile, but somehow I doubt we’re going to get details on that any time soon.

Fall Movie League – The Old Man and Halloween

Week seven of the Fall Fantasy Movie League went by, setting some records in the process.

The week had the following choices lined up for us.

Halloween FRI            $394
Halloween SAT            $352
Halloween SUN            $217
A Star is Born           $252
Venom                    $218
The Old Man and the Gun  $217
First Man                $148
Goosebumps 2             $143
The Hate U Give          $118
Smallfoot                $80
Bad Times                $48
Night School             $59
The House with a Clock   $28
Free Solo                $14
Beautiful Boy            $12

The big dog for the week was the return of Halloween which, as I noted in last week’s post, was a direct sequel to the original, eschewing past sequels, including past revivals that also had the same plan.

While it was clearly going to dominate, Halloween was divided up into three days, so the question was back to the usual one about which day will be the best.

I have, in the past, run hot and cold on Friday for these sorts of splits.  While it gets the Thursday night previews added in, the pricing often offsets that advantage.  But the previews are a pretty big variable, and FML has underestimated the Friday take dramatically in the past.

This time around I decided Friday felt good.  Halloween seems like a good Friday night movie.  So for my Monday Hot Takes league picks I went with 2x Friday, 2x Night School, and 4x The Old Man and the Gun.

The Old Man and the Gun seemed set to be the best performer.  Robert Redford has that kind of draw with an older demographic.  And Night School filled in the middle to eat up some of the excess budget.

Then as the week went on I was pretty busy at work and getting ready for EVE Vegas, so I didn’t think much about my picks until Thursday evening.  And even then I couldn’t come up with a better lineup.  I tinkered a bit with the new Cineplex Builder Tool that FML offers, dropping in some numbers from a few forecasts, but nothing else struck my fancy.  So I let my picks ride and the league locked as I was sitting at the airport waiting for the flight to Las Vegas.

This turned out to be a decent plan.  For once my Monday picks didn’t outperform my Thursday picks, that is for certain.  Halloween did okay in previews, but stormed on Friday night, making two screens of Friday the anchor to have.  At the other end, The Old Man and the Gun made the best performer mark as I expected.  My only mistake was having two screens of Night School in the middle.

The perfect pick ended up being 2x Friday, 1x Smallfoot, and 5x The Old Man and the Gun.  Still, my choices were good enough to lead the league this week, with the scores shaking out as:

  1. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $92,489,014
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – $87,003,081
  3. grannanj’s Cineplex – $85,141,380
  4. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $84,848,599
  5. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $81,489,202
  6. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $80,126,485
  7. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $76,571,870
  8. Goat Water Picture Palace – $76,571,870
  9. Skar’s Movies and Meat Pies – $76,440,883
  10. I HAS BAD TASTE – $76,289,136

The rankings reflected how much Halloween and The Old Man and the Gun you had in your lineup.  Only SynCaine and Ben bet on something else as an anchor, 5x First Man for both of them, and that hurt their scores.

That left the season scores looking like this:

  1. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – $524,875,233
  2. Goat Water Picture Palace – $493,583,933
  3. Too Orangey For Crows – $489,670,051
  4. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – $487,600,401
  5. I HAS BAD TASTE – $476,696,557
  6. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – $458,888,717
  7. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – $457,446,515
  8. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – $451,672,915
  9. grannanj’s Cineplex – $449,937,791
  10. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – $446,298,878

Darren fell from second place out of the top ten because he forgot to pick, bumping up Goat and Bhagpuss into second and third.  While I have opened up a gap, it isn’t that big and the main pack behind remains pretty tight, even down to fifteenth place.

The alternate scoring looked like this.

  1. Wilhelm’s Kul Tiras Kino – 47
  2. Too Orangey For Crows – 39
  3. Corr’s Carefully Curated Cineplex – 39
  4. Goat Water Picture Palace – 36
  5. I HAS BAD TASTE – 30
  6. Cyanbane’s Neuticles Viewing Party – 28
  7. Darren’s Unwatched Cineplex – 28
  8. Vigo Grimborne’s Medieval Screening Complex – 27
  9. Po Huit’s Sweet Movie Suite – 23
  10. SynCaine’s Dark Room of Delights – 16

A first place finish gave me a nice ten point boost, but the top four positions remain pretty close, with six weeks left to go the ranking could still change radically.

All of which now brings us to the week eight choices.

Halloween                    $666
A Star is Born               $243
Hunter Killer                $202
Venom                        $201
Goosebumps 2                 $128
The Hate U Give              $100
First Man                    $89
Mid 90s                      $88
Smallfoot                    $86
Night School                 $57
Indivisible                  $39
The Old Man and the Gun      $36
Bad Times                    $34
Johnny English Strikes Back  $33
The House with a Clock       $16

Dropping from the list are just Free Solo and Beautiful Boy, along with the alternate days for Halloween.

New on the list are Hunter Killer, Mid 90s, Indivisible, and Johnny English Strikes Back.

Hunter Killer is the tale of a group of US Navy SEALs on a submarine on a mission to save the Russian president from terrorists.  I’m not sure this is a story that really resonates, but it does have Gary Oldman in it… so I might watch it when it comes to cable.  The last long range estimate put its take at about $7 million and falling.

Mid 90s is about a 13 year old boy who gets away from his home life by hanging out with his skater buddies.  That was what we used to do before the internet.  I sure as hell got out of the house to get away from my parents.  It is set in LA, it is retro for a time both past and still in memory, and it has no long range forecast.  But FML pricing puts it mid-pack.

Indivisible is a foreign language film.  They say Italian is close enough to Spanish to get the essence of the other if you speak one, but I don’t speak either.  The story is about a man deployed to Iraq and leaving his wife and kids behind.  The long range forecast was last at $2 million.

And then there is Johnny English Strikes Back.  What to say.  Despite Rowan Atkinson’s protestations, in 2003 the first movie sure felt like an attempt to get in on the popularity of the Austin Powers series.  Only it was awkward and poorly paced rather than vulgar and self-aware.  It certainly wasn’t a Ben Elton level of effort.  It didn’t do well in the US, nor did the first sequel in 2011, which brings us to ask why there is a second sequel now in 2018. I guess it must do well in the UK.  Is this something they show on Boxing Day or what?  Anyway, long range has it at about $3 million, but I wouldn’t touch it.

Which leaves me with my Monday Hot Takes picks.  Fiddling around with the new Cineplex Builder, I ended up with 1x A Star is Born, 1x Venom, and 6x Mid 90s.

I know Halloween will stay at the top, but it does seem expensive at a perhaps too on point price of $666, while Hunter Killer doesn’t thrill me.  We shall see.

I am curious to know who else has played with the Cineplex Builder Tool and what you think about it.