Tag Archives: 2020

My Time on Twitch in 2020

I thought I might be done with “2020 in Review” by this point, but then Twitch threw an email at me with a summary of my time spent on their service.  Hey, I love that sort of thing, so I am going to post about that.  (Also, showing up on January 15th means it probably includes all of 2020 and doesn’t cut off at December 1st like some other year in review items I could mention.)

Twitch is Twitch

I was actually a bit surprised as I don’t stream or anything, but apparently being a Twitch user… and an Amazon Prime user I’m going to guess… was enough for them to want to collect some stats for me.

The first item they covered was which video categories I watch the most.

My Top 3

EVE Online being on top is no surprise.  I am not sure I watch anything else on Twitch.  Music, in second place, is pretty much related to EVE Online since I will listen to the Mind1 stream during Saturday Night Swarm, even if I am not logged into the game.

Assassin’s Creed II however… I have to think I left an EVE Online stream up in the background and it then swapped over to that, as I have no recollection of ever watching any Assassin’s Creed streams.

The channels I frequent

I had to consider that one for a moment because, while I probably watch INN more than any other channel, that seemed like a lot.  The Meta Show is the only thing I watch regularly there, and I watch maybe half of those tops.  But then I realized that in big fights I often have INN open in the background to listen to Brisc tell me what I am seeing on grid… or not… sometimes I have it on with the sound off if things are happening.  But there were a lot of hours of that as part of World War Bee, so it seems legit.

And then they gave me a little recap graphic.

My 2020 Twitch Recap

I don’t even know what channel points are, but I apparently earned about 25K of them.  Also, those are my most used emotes, which seems about right.  I support the side now and then in chat by throwing in some Imperium eagles, usually with Frank in the middle.

So it goes.  You can see what I do on Twitch for what it is worth.

SuperData Reviews 2020 Digital Game Revenue

SuperData Research has put out their 2020 year in review summary.  It is available for free over on their site for the moment.  You have to fill out a form in order to get access to it… they have to have an email address and a physical address to harvest for their efforts now, this whole thing being mostly an ad for their services… but I have many addresses in my head, so I grabbed a copy of the report.

This has become an annual tradition and you can find posts here covering their report for the past three years.

SuperData only tracks the digital market, so the disruption of the old school retail channels that came with the pandemic did not cause much of a hiccup for them.  And, as they have been saying for most of the year, digital revenue was up over 2019.

SuperData 2020 Digital Gaming Revenues

You can compare that with the same data points from 2019 and see that all segments were up.

SuperData 2019 Digital Gaming Revenues

Unlike their monthly chart, SuperData once again dices up their data into different categories, save for the mobile market, so we can get a little more insight into what is booming.

  • Mobile – $73.8 billion (+9.4 billion)
  • Free-to-play PC – $22.7 billion (+1.6 billion)
  • Premium Console – $17.8 billion (+4 billion)
  • Premium PC – $6.7 billion (+1.5 billion)
  • Pay-to-play PC – $3.7 billion (+400 million)
  • Free-to-play Console – $1.8 billion (+200 million)

While all segments were up, mobile remains the biggest market world wide.  Also, free to play dominated revenue world wide, with premium mostly being a thing in the US and EU.  Per the report:

  • Free-to-play games earned 78% of digital revenue in 2020, but premium title revenue grew faster, rising 28% vs. 9%.  North America and Europe together accounted for 84% of all premium games revenue.  Since COVID-19 impacted these regions severely, spending on premium content jumped as COVID-19 shut down other leisure activities like watching professional sports, visiting movie theaters and traveling.

After that we get a little red meat, some actual revenue numbers for some titles, though they are broken out by free to play and premium and all platforms are lumped together, which has the effect of emphasizing some titles over others.

SuperData Free to Play titles 2020

There are a lot of the same titles on that list as there were in 2019, which ought to be expected.  One conspicuous absence is Fortnite, which was in the top slot last year.  I wonder if the petulant Tim Sweeney, who was angry about SuperData’s reporting last year, has been declining to share sales data since the Epic Store is the main source for the game now, it having been locked out of the Apple and Google ecosystems.

Familiar titles from the monthly mobile chart make up a good chunk of the list.  Honour of Kings, Peacekeeper Elite, Free Fire, Pokemon Go, AFK Arena, and Gardenscapes are all big mobile titles, with the top three being primarily in China.

League of Legends and Dungeon Fighter Online represent the PC exclusive side of the house.  LoL was up over last year, but DFO was down.

And then there is Roblox, which popped up in different charts during 2020 and which happens to be available on PC, mobile, and console.  That is pretty much all the representation the console market is going to get here.

Then there is premium.

SuperData Premium titles 2020

As I noted last year, this list is dominated by titles that are on both PC and console.  And according to the notes for the chart, Call or Duty: Modern Warfare gets to claim the Call of Duty: Warzone revenue due to it being part of the same install client.

In fact, glancing down that chart, the only title that is NOT on both PC and console is Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.  That is a testament to how popular the game was during the pandemic I suppose.

But even the top premium title would only land in sixth place on the free to play chart, and second place wouldn’t even make the cut.  And this divide leaves me wondering, once again, where World of Warcraft would land.  It straddles premium and pay-to-play PC and had a very good year according to SuperData.  They quoted Bobby Kotick as saying it was a billion dollar annual franchise.  I guess you have to pay SuperData for that sort of information.

And, of course, the titles that make this list are the crazy rich outliers in the industry.  As we see from things like Steam’s annual stats and data from companies like Pearl Abyss and Enad Global 7, there are a lot of games out there chugging along and making decent money.

On other topics, SuperData is following the industry trend and talking about XR now rather than VR, as that lets them include AR titles in the mix.  They did say that sales of VR headsets were down in 2020, though revenue was up, which SuperData attributes largely to Half-Life: Alyx and the hunger for people to have something new to play with their expensive peripheral.

There is more to the report, including looks deeper into certain segments, but those are the high level bits that track from year to year.  They sum up with the expectation that revenues will continue to rise, but more slowly in 2021.  No doubt if the vaccines are successful people will be keen to go outside and do something.

My Games Played for 2020 and Looking Forward into 2021

I am a little behind on my usual end of year posts with this.  Generally I have a wrap up and a looking forward post at some point in late December… but then I found a bunch of other things to write about.  I was only reminded of it when Belghast posted his charts.

2020 banner by my daughter

There is a history here, as there is with so much on this blog.  It started with something akin to goals, a list of games I wanted to play, often very specific games.  Then it became games I was likely to play.  Then it turned into something like a long term weather forecast with some easy calls (it will be warm in the summer) and some possibilities.

And so it was that I wrote a post way back when about what I might play in 2020.

The list was broken up into several categories:

The Sure Things

  • WoW Classic
  • EVE Online
  • EverQuest II

The Likely Candidates

  • WoW Shadowlands
  • RimWorld

Possibilities

  • Civilization V
  • Stellaris
  • World of Tanks
  • Minecraft
  • The Witcher

The Long Shots

  • Lord of the Rings Online
  • EverQuest
  • Diablo III
  • Elite: Dangerous
  • New World

I Should Make Time

  • Project: Gorgon
  • Grim Dawn

So, now that the year has gone by, what did I actually play?  ManicTime has some numbers for me.  I am only listing the top ten because after that the times drop down to mere minutes played.

  1. WoW Classic – 33.33%
  2. EVE Online – 32.69%
  3. World of Warcraft – 14.02%
  4. EverQuest II – 6.03%
  5. Minecraft – 5.25%
  6. EverQuest – 2.16%
  7. RimWorld – 2.08%
  8. Diablo II – 2.02%
  9. Pokemon Sword – 1.24%
  10. Minecraft Dungeons – 0.75%

At the top is a close race between WoW Classic and EVE Online, with a gap smaller than ten hours played total between them.  I guess Azeroth wins over New Eden overall, since retail WoW is in third place.  Everything else shakes out from there.

As has become the custom of the neighborhood, I have a chart.

2020 games timeline

At the top are WoW Classic and EVE Online, both of which I played throughout the year.  I also put Pokemon Go on the chart.  It isn’t tracked by ManicTime, being on my phone, but I played every day in 2020.

Technically, looking at my times, I also played retail WoW every month, but there were months where that did not represent a significant investment.  I have made those months where I pretty much just did Darkmoon Faire and some pet battles as a narrow streak.  And once the level squish came and then the Shadowlands expansion launched, I spent quite a bit of time there.

EverQuest II and Minecraft had their runs.  The former was me finishing up the Blood of Luclin expansion to the extent I felt I needed to, and Minecraft was a bit of a pandemic diversion setup by Skonk.  I played a bit of EverQuest after the anniversary gave us another heroic character boost, though I ended up mostly tinkering with the Overseer feature.

RimWorld had an update that I wanted to try out.  That was good for a bit of a run, though like so many build and conquer games, it suffers from the mid-game malaise once you get your base setup well enough.

I had a great run through Diablo II to celebrate its 20 years.  The game still lives up to its legend, though I would like it to run at a resolution higher than 800×600.

I received a Nintendo Switch Lite for my birthday with a copy of Pokemon Sword, which I played for a stretch.  I just wasn’t that into it.  For a Pokemon game to grab me I have to be in the right mood and have a real goal.  I couldn’t quite get either this time around.

And then there was Minecraft Dungeons, which is a serviceable and solid but shallow ARPG whose main attraction is being set in the Minecraft IP.  I played through the story, but it doesn’t have a lot of replay value save to boost up stats so you can face harder monsters that drop gear that let you boost up your stats further.

So that was 2020.  What of 2021?

As with last year, there are some sure things this year, games I am actively playing right now so that has already been decided.  They are:

  • WoW Classic
  • EVE Online
  • Retail WoW

And, given the news, we can add one slight variation to that list:

  • WoW The Burning Crusade Classic

After that, however, the future is a bit fuzzy, and part of the problem is hardware related.

As I wrote about last year, I have a 34″ 3440 x 1440 wide screen monitor now, and I love playing games on it full screen.  But not every game I have plays nice with it.  The three titles I am playing now all happen to work great with it, but others struggle and have issues or won’t run at all.  I actually tried to play Grim Dawn, which was on my “should make time” list for 2020, but it was not having it at all.  It would not even launch correctly with the new monitor hooked up.

And there is a further constraint, which is my video card.  I currently have a EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB card and, given the price of college and my wife being somewhat under-employed for the last year, spending a few hundred bucks on a new one is way down the priority list right now.  So whatever I play needs to work on the big screen with that video card.  WoW Classic and retail WoW both manage very well, with a few settings dialed back a bit, and EVE Online works like a champ, all settings maxed out, save for fights where the ships on grid get past the 2,500 mark.

But most newer games require a lot more horsepower to drive all those pixels.  There is no way I am getting something like Cyberpunk 2077 or Red Dead Redemption II or Black Desert Online or anything like that to run well.

Meanwhile, a lot of older stuff is a bit shaky.  As I wrote back when I got the monitor, EverQuest, EverQuest II, and LOTRO all sort of work, but have some issues, while Minecraft gives me motion sickness on the wide screen unless I dial back the field of view so far that I might as well just play it on my phone.

First world problems, I know.

Another angle is strategy games.  Things like RimWorld not only run fine, but the large screen improves the experience.  Maybe it is time for a bit of Civilzation V again. (I’m, betting Civ VI has too much going on visually to work with my video card at that resolution.  It is the way.)  Maybe I’ll pick up World of Tanks again when I need something fresh.

Of course, the lack of desire for something fresh is part of the problem as well.  I’ve been kind of okay playing the same stuff all year.  We shall see how I feel in 2021.

The End of the Steam Winter Sale with 2020 Stats and Awards

The Steam Winter Sale wrapped up earlier today.

Done for 2020

As far as the sale went, I have nothing to report as I did not purchase a single thing.  Given that 2020 was a year of boosted video game sales as we all stayed home, I fell short on my part, at least when it came to Steam, so nothing to write about on that front.  Fortunately, Steam also ends the Winter Sale with some awards and lists.  Those I can go on about.

First, there were the 2020 Steam Awards, which are nominated by and voted for by Steam users.  There were ten categories.

2020 Award Winners

You might not be able to read the actual winners, so here they are listed out:

Not only have I not played a single game on that list, not one of the games I nominated were picked to vote on nor did any game I voted for become the winner.  If I complain about blogging being dead you might remind me that I am so far from what is popular these days that it might just be me.

Anyway, that is all opinion based.  Steam also puts out their lists of best selling and most played titles.  There is a blog post that describes all the categories and what they mean, but only two interest me.  They are:

The Platinum Bracket

There are no numbers here, just a stack ranking so, if you compare with last year’s list, you don’t know if GTA V players spent a lot more or if Warframe players, the 2019 top of the list, spent a lot less.  But the lists are not stack ranked by bracket, so you only know that something in the Platinum category made more than something in the Gold and Silver categories.

It is fun that Among Us made the cut.  It is just $4.99 to buy, though it has some cosmetics for purchase as well.  But that was enough to get it in the pack.

The Steam blog post about this says that 2020 saw such a boost over 2019 that they had to change the brackets.  Last year the brackets were 100K, 50K, 25K, and 50K, but for 2020 they had to boost them to 200K, 100K, 50K, and 30K,.

Steam 2020 – The 200K Bracket

Not a lot of surprised at the top, and certainly some overlap with the revenue chart, while the 100K chart digs up some more familiar titles.

Steam 2020 – The 200K Bracket

For those interested, there is also:

That is a good one if you want to filter out people who are still playing GTA V and Warframe.

Half-Life: Alyx and Beat Sabre are in the top bracket of course, but so is VR Kanojo.  I suppose it says something that one of the highest grossing VR game involves hanging out with a Japanese school girl.

This one is always a bit of an eye-roll for me.  Titles I recognize, like Factorio, made the cut, but then I wonder how long they’ve been hanging out in early access status while still selling.

And then there is the category from which I am totally divorced.  I mean, I have a controller around here somewhere, stuffed in a drawer, but I couldn’t tell you the last time I used it.

Anyway, that is Steam reporting on 2020.  I am almost done with blog posts about that year… almost.

Looking Back at 2020 and Trying for Highs

2020.  What a year.

Every year I try to distill a bit of the world I focus on into highs and lows.  There is a history of posts here.

Sometimes I include a “middling” category, but usually not.  This year though I have had enough lows.  This year I am going to make a list of highs.  And I am going to try… though I make no guarantees… not to include sarcastic highs that are back handed jabs to highlight actual lows.  Your mileage may vary.

Video Games Overall

  • 2020 has been a banner year for video games.  SuperData Research has reported every month since the pandemic began in earnest that sales have been up over last year by double digits.  Lots of new releases, lots of good games, lots of revenue to keep the industry going.

Blizzard

  • The Shadowlands pre-patch events went well.
  • Shadowlands launched to big numbers.
  • WoW Classic remains strong despite the pull of the retail expansion.
  • The instance group’s return to WoW via WoW Classic has kept on rolling throughout the year.
  • Bobby Kotick says WoW is a billion dollar a year franchise.
  • Shadowlands and WoW Classic combined have revived the fortunes of WoW… though the pandemic helped some too.
  • The retail WoW level squish clearly did not drive too many people away and made getting into the latest content less of a chore.
  • It seems likely we’ll at least get some news about a classic The Burning Crusade server.
  • Had a fun run through Diablo II, which still plays pretty well 20 years down the line.
  • Blizz has been quietly fixing Warcraft III Reforged after its bad launch.
  • We got some scraps of information about Diablo IV.

Daybreak Game Company (now including Standing Stone Games)

  • The games are set to be run by EG7, a company optimistic about being in games.
  • The company actually makes money.
  • The games they still have all actually make money too… well, maybe not H1Z1, but most of them.
  • The mystery of who really owns Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online was finally revealed.
  • EverQuest and EverQuest II both got updates and expansions this year.
  • EverQuest was able to play the special server card successfully yet again.
  • We learned that DC Universe Online has what would have been considered a huge player base in the pre-WoW era.
  • LOTRO got a 64-bit client.

CCP

  • The EVE Online franchise is a resilient part of the Pearl Abyss portfolio.
  • EVE Echoes, the mobile version of the game, has grabbed a lot of new players, and took less time to get out than Diablo Immortal.
  • The pandemic helped boost the PCU over 40K for the first time in a couple of years.
  • Hilmar said at the Youil Fireside that 1.9 million new people logged into EVE Online this year, more than the past three years combined.
  • World War Bee got enough players together organically to set two Guinness World Records.
  • Andrew Groen delivered Empires of EVE Vol. II, another great installment in the history of the game.
  • That Triglavian event wrapped up with an epic finale that tore systems out of New Eden to create a new Triglavian region.
  • CCP seems really, really serious about fixing the in-game economy.
  • PLEX for Good ran for both the Australian wild fires and pandemic relief.
  • Tech II salvage drones.  At least one person got their Christmas wish.
  • CCP finally rolled out the replacement for the old fansite program.  I did not make the cut, but a lot of streamers now how free accounts and extra PLEX to spend.
  • CCP still has hopes for an EVE Online based shooter game.
  • The CSM15 election saw a peaceful transition of power and nobody has been kicked off the council… yet.  Seriously, it is a rare CSM when somebody doesn’t get voted off the island.

Pokemon

  • Pokemon Sword & Shield launched at just the right time before the pandemic to become a staple of play.
  • The new Pokemon model on the Switch is expansions after the main game drops, and Pokemon Sword & Shield had The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra this year, which helped keep the game a hot property.
  • Pokemon Home showed up to provide a link to bring Pokemon forward from the DS era and transfer them in from Pokemon Go.
  • Niantic changed up Pokemon Go to adapt to the pandemic, giving us things like remote raid passes to keep us playing when we had to stay home.
  • Niantic also raised the level cap on Pokemon Go in a way that didn’t toss your accumulated xp by tying levels 41-50 in with both xp and special tasks.

Other Areas of the Video Game Industry

  • TorilMUD carries on for another year, making it a total of 27… and even added a new class this year.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons landed just in time to give many a shared virtual experience as we stayed home for the pandemic.
  • Minecraft got a big update to make the nether a more interesting place to explore.
  • Minecraft Dungeons launched, and was a nice, if somewhat simple, clicky ARPG.
  • EA managed to ship another decent Star Wars title, Star Wars: Squadrons, which is supposed to be quite good in VR.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator had an excellent launch.  Again, another title that was supposed to be good in VR.
  • There was a Half-Life game.  That almost never happens.  And, one more time, Half-Life: Alyx was good for VR.
  • Crusader Kings III gave people the medieval royal soap opera simulator that they didn’t know they needed.
  • GuildWars 2 has an expansion coming.
  • A two year old game, Among Us, suddenly exploded onto the scene thanks to streamers.
  • New consoles!  The Xbox Series X/Series S and PlayStation 5 came out!

Blogging and the Like

  • Hey, the blog is still here!  Both of my blogs.
  • This blog is also experiencing a bit of a revival… or a dead cat bounce… as traffic has been up a lot over last year.  It is still a far cry from the heady peaks of 2012, but I guess the pandemic didn’t just boost video games.
  • I wrote a lot of posts in 2020.  This post number 403 for the year.
  • I actually got close to 800 followers on Twitter… and then they purged a bunch of bots and I fell back down.  Also I strayed into the political with the election and no doubt scared some people off.
  • We had a double event year with Blapril and Blaugust.
  • Lots and lots of plumbing related spam comments this month… like tens of thousands. If your comment got stuck in the spam filter I probably never saw it due to that.  Hrmm, that wasn’t a high, was it?

Television, Books, and the Media

  • I watched a LOT of television this past year.  There is probably another post on that coming, though I have done those Pandemic Binge Watching posts along the way.  While not everything was great, there were a lot of good shows available.
  • My reading routine was disrupted by the changes the pandemic brought.  I have to find a regular time in my schedule for that or it won’t happen.  But still I managed to read a lot of books in 2020.
  • I spent a lot more time reading the news… and I do not shirk on that front on a normal year.  No doubt this is some attempt to foster a feeling of control in the world, but I suppose I learned a lot.
  • Podcasts and YouTube content kept me going at times, with new faces popping up like Julie Nolke and Sarah Cooper.

Personal Life

  • We’re in the back half of December and I still have a job and haven’t caught COVID-19.
  • I have somewhat adapted to my new life where I spend 23 hours a day, seven days a week inside at home.  Nothing tests your introvert status than forced isolation from the world I suppose.
  • Daughter made it through her first semester of college living on campus and came out with both good grades and good health still.
  • I bought an exercise bicycle for home and have been very good about using it regularly… except over the holidays when my now weak grasp of time fell completely apart and I only know what day it is when I open up the blog.
  • I started depositing checks via my phone.  This was largely because my credit union finally added that feature to their mobile app.
  • Let me reiterate; family still healthy and safe.

This ended up being a somewhat shorter list than past years.  In part that is because the scope of my game knowledge has been funneled down to a few titles of late.  But mostly it is because I am better at writing negative entries I bet.  The post would be more than double in length if I let go on that front.  But we’ll let sleeping dogs lie, for now at least.  There will be plenty of time for that in 2021.

But if you’re dying for some 2020 sick burns, Honest Trailers has you covered.

Take that 2020!

My Year in EVE Online 2020

As CCP did last year, they setup a way that you can generate a video summarizing what you did in EVE Online.  You may have recieved a promotional email about it.  Otherwise, there is a dev blog post.  There are a couple of changes since last time though.

Me in New Eden in 2020

In 2019 they grouped up your characters and made the video four you.  My video for Wilhelm Arcturus included data for him and 9 alts.  That probably explains why the “skill points earned” value was so high.

This time around it is only for Omega accounts and you can pick the character you want to be featured in the video.  It does appear that you can only make one video per account, so do your main first.  My secondary account has two characters active in different spheres and I could only make a video for one of them.

You can also choose what aspects of the game you wish the video to feature.

Select which categories interest you

I was at a bit of a loss after picking PVP Kills and Most Valuable Kill Mail.  Since you need to pick five, I added in Market, Wealth Generation, and Planetary Production.

As with last year, they allow you to download your video, as it will disappear in a month or so.  I grabbed mine and uploaded it to YouTube.

For those who don’t want to watch it, or if it goes away some day, I took screen shots of some of the key metrics it reports.

Skill points

Everybody gets the skill points screen.  I gained 14,746,215 skill points.  I think I spent some time training an alt on my main account, so that is probably not completely optimal, but still pretty good.

Travel Stats

Everybody also gets the travel stats.  Those numbers are down considerably from last year.  On the other hand, they aren’t the sum total of nine different characters, so it is hard to tell if I traveled more or less in 2020.

Favorite somethings…

There is also a favorites listing.  I don’t spend as much time just sitting in station as some I suppose, though that still seems like a high percentage of my time online.  That I play in null sec makes the security area no surprise.  The Guardian is the logi ship I flew a lot in the first half of the year.

Pee vee pee

For the PvP category… well, I got on a lot of kill mails.  That is ~80% of what zKillboard claims I did for 2020, but most everybody seems to be finding issues with these stats.  I guess if we’re all being measured using the same flawed system then the rankings are okay.

As for getting on that many kill mails, I am going to credit a few ECM burst ops for a lot of that, since I am otherwise in a logi ship most of the time.  ECM bursts are a quick way to pad your kill board.  The pod kills are most certainly victims of ECM bursts.  When it comes to value destroyed I have been shorted some due to the fact that none of the four Keepstars in NPC Delve that we blew up generated kill mails.  I should have been on two of them for sure, while would have been at least a couple hundred billion more ISK.  Oh well.

Most valuable kill mail

My most valuable kill was a Nyx we shot in Tenal back in February of 2020.  I think we were up there to help Guardians of the Galaxy/Dead Coalition when PandaFam was rolling over them.  We were almost all in bombers, so it was likely a hot drop.

Market stats

On the market I had 513 transactions.  I sold 3.3 billion ISK worth of something, but I cannot remember what.  That balanced out the 2.6 billion in ISK I spent I suppose.

Where the money comes and goes

I ended up spending a billion more ISK than I made.  That isn’t a big enough deficit for me to go into government work or run a Silicon Valley start up, but I’m still losing money.  Aside from the 3.3 billion ISK I made on market sales I don’t remember, the rest is probably from Alliance SRP payments and some ISK transfers from my high sec PvE alts.

Planetary Inaction

My Planetary Interaction stats are poor.  This is because I haven’t bothered to get more than three planets running and I constantly forget to restart extractions.  Somebody suggested putting them on a four day timer when I started back doing PI, but I had to move that out to a seven day timer… and can still go for a couple of weeks before I remember to check.  Oh well.

So that is my year in EVE Online I guess.

I also uploaded the video for my primary alt, who did some ratting at one point this year.

Given how little of that he did, he still ranks okay.

You can check out videos from others as CCP is encouraging people to post them with the #MyEVE2020 hash tag on Twitter.  And if you click on the video links that go to the CCP site, you will see that this is also being used as a marketing scheme to get people to try the game.  If you sign up from the video page you will get a bonus 1 million skill points for your new character.

Addendum: CCP posted a dev blog about the video data.  One key item is that the data collected is from Dec. 1, 2019 through to Dec. 1, 2020.

Reflections on a Year of Binge Watching

I can be a bit of a luddite when it comes to television.  There are times when I miss the warmth of the cathode ray tube and the warmth of its colors… and its ability to render black and white shows and movies correctly.  I am certainly in no hurry most days to jump on whatever the latest trend is.

On the other hand, I do eventually catch up and have been at times in the vanguard.  We had a DVR from ReplayTV back before Tivo came and went as a generic term for the device.  With streaming channels we were able to start off with Netflix and Amazon on our PlayStation 3 when they launched.

But a combination of events pushed us into streaming as the default television mode at our house, and the first of those events was Baby Yoda.  Or Grogu, as we now know his name.

My wife wanted to watch The Madalorian, which was only available on the newly launched Disney+ service.  However, as the PS3 was days from going out of support Disney declined to build an app for it, so we needed another device.  I got a recommendation from a friend who works over at Roku and we picked up one of their Roku Stick devices in order to stream.

Then, or course, came the pandemic.  That meant we were home a lot more watching TV.  But sports were cancelled… my wife watches ice hockey… so we were looking for something to fill the void on that front.

And then there was Comcast/XFinity, which implemented a new compression algorithm which makes their HD channels look as grainy and dull as standard definition.  In comparison content streamed through the Roku look sharp and clear.

So from some point in February forward we have pretty much watched only stream on demand video content.  The only ads we have seen are the previews for other titles that sometimes get padded into the front end of shows on demand.  We have watched when we wanted to, often as many episodes in a row as we have wanted to, all from the comfort of our couch.

Based on that, I have the following thoughts.

  • No commercials is pretty nice

I would have underestimated this, but then we went to watch 60 Minutes live on cable to see the presidential candidate interviews and the commercials were interminable.  Even when we record things on the DVR I have to fast forward and skip back to get past them… and the cable channels are wise to this and have deliberately started injecting quick scenes from the show your watching into the middle of five minute commercial blocks to make you stop and check to see if you’ve missed something.  Not dealing with that at all… and not watching any commercials… has changed my tolerance level for them.

  • I still won’t buy pay-per-View

I like a service where you pay a monthly fee and can watch all you want from their selection.  And since that is readily available in the form of Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and even HBO, the value proposition of spending $6-$20 on a single showing of show or a movie when there are so many other options is a non-starter for me.  If it is special enough that I need to see it now, I’ll go see it in the theater… back when they re-open.  And the idea of “owning” digital content that the provider can take away from you later is ludicrous.  Comcast has literally screwed me on that with the one thing I bought from them.

  • There are too damn many streaming services

I mean, we knew this already.  But when you go to the Roku channel store and see the multitude of services available, you start to get a feeling of how big the eventual culling will be.  And even the big channels are eyeing some consolidation.  Hulu has had all of the FX stuff folded into it and it feels like Hulu and Disney+ might eventually co-join.

  • Finding things is hard

The most difficult part of coming to the end of a show is that you now how to find something new to watch.  My wife and I spend time comparing notes with friends and reading online articles about the ten best things to watch on this service or that.  And it is a multi layer problem.  The UI on any given service is quickly overloaded by too much choice.  There are multiple services and some content swaps between them.  And when you can find things, then figuring out what is worth the effort and investment can lead to decision paralysis.

  • I am torn on weekly versus all at once content

I complained in one of my binge watching posts about services that still dole out episodes once a week rather than just giving us the whole series to consume at once, the way Netflix does.  But for a popular show, where everybody watches on the same day lest they be beset by spoilers, or when everybody in our house is invested in the show, the once a week schedule still works out and becomes a point in time when we all get together on the couch.

  • We have been biased towards shows versus movies

For whatever reason our pandemic binge watching has been heavily biased towards series.  When we sit down in the evening a two hour movie is a commitment, but a show that is 22-60 minutes per episode is something you can take in pieces.  The irony here is that we almost inevitably watch two hours or more when we settle in after dinner, but we have this idea that a movie is too much.  Well, that and movie selection can be odd.  There is still a very old school, HBO monthly selection situation going on where movies come and go and are on this service then that for short stints.  So even finding a movie you want to watch on a service to which you are currently subscribed can be even more of a chore than finding shows.

  • I could cut the cord were it not for sports

Seriously, I could turn my back on the cable company… well, except for the fact that they are also the internet company.  But my wife likes to watch hockey and texts back and forth with her pals about the game and, while I can get the games on a stream, they are inevitably 30-60 seconds behind what is on cable and my wife hates hearing that one side or the other has score before it happens on our screen.

  • It really sucks when the internet goes down

The cable company is also the internet company… that is our only high speed internet option and we live in the middle of Silicon Fucking Valley… so when they go down or are doing maintenance, you get a quick and hard accounting of just how much you depend on that pipe for your entertainment.

  • It does not replace the theater experience

I know a bunch of people who are not at all sad that movie theaters are in trouble and that many may not open back up when the pandemic passes.  I still value the theater experience though, and miss it.  Seeing something on the big screen, like a James Bond or a Star Wars film, is not something that can be at all replicated in our living room, no matter how big of a TV we purchase.  Of course, most everything I would have gone to see on the big screen has been delayed due to the pandemic, so if there are theaters this summer I hope to return.

  • I still cannot watch exactly what I want on demand

I wrote a few years back that the most cost effective way to watch exactly what you want is to get an old fashioned, disks through the mail, Netflix subscription and get things that way.  That remains true today.  I saw that Geoffrey Palmer had passed away and wondered if I could watch some of the early things he was in, like The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.

Nope.  Not available.  I could get it on DVD from Netflix through the mail, but even the niche British TV streaming services like BritBox, GranadaVision, BoB, and Acorn, don’t have it.  There isn’t even a pay per view option, not that I would use it.

Others on this topic:

My Five Books of 2020

Once again into a review post for the year 2020.  This time I am back with the books I read in 2020 and my attempt to pick the top five.

Here again the Goodreads site was there to help me remember what I read, because some of it seems so long ago.  That is the 2020 effect.  The joke going around is that in the future there will be historians who will focus just on specific weeks of the year, or even single days, as their entire field of study.

It was a tough year for reading mostly because 2020 broke all my routines.  The kid was home from school, my wife was pretty much out of work, I was working from home every day, there was no going out to dinner or movies or much in the way of out of the house recreation.

I feel like I mostly watched television, enough that I have multiple blog posts on that topic.

But going to my profile page over at Goodreads shows I did read some books, and the summary they put up shows I read about the normal number of titles… 31… though the page count was a bit shy of past year.  You can see the summary here.

Mu summary, not as fun as last year’s

And the page count is a lie.  There were a number of books in there that I stopped reading before I was finished.  There were too many interruptions and too much going on for me to focus on a book at times.  2020 was the year of doom scrolling Twitter for the latest bad news.

And picking five books out of those 31… not easy, or very easy, depending on how I look at it.  I was able to pull four from the list very quickly, but then there was a multi-dimensional tie for fifth place.  A lot of titles on the list were the reading version of comfort food in hard times, but something in my brain feels the need to put one of the tougher reads on the list.  I mean, my picks from last year were so very serious, as was the list from the year before.  Also, William Gibson made both of those lists.

Anyway, I came up with five.  I’ll let you figure out which one was the final addition to the list.

the 2020 five

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Clearly in the comfort category, I went back to the first three titles in the Douglas Adams classic series at the beginning of the year, back when the fires in Australia seemed like the biggest problem the world might face.

What to say about these books?  If you are of my generation you probably love them or don’t care for them at all.  I actually read the initial book when it was first released in the US because my grandmother was a high school librarian… back when you needed a masters degree in library science for the position, had to teach classes, run the library, and be an expert in all the odd-ball media formats that were there to supplement the books… used to hand me titles to read before she put them into general circulation.  I was the litmus test for approval somehow.  (Same story for Fast Times at Ridgemont High.)  I read it and gave it my thumbs up, and so it ended up on the shelves.

Anyway, I have the unabridged, unedited (that initial US version had a few omissions) audiobook versions read by Douglas Adams that I sat and listened to at the start of the year and enjoyed the hell out of.

The 2020 Commission Report

Or, to give you the full title, The 2020 Commission Report on the North Korean Nuclear Attacks Against the United States: A Speculative Novel.  Written by Jeffrey Lewis, a nuclear proliferation researcher whose Arms Control Wonk podcast I listen to regularly, and published back in 2018, the book charts a chaotic and self-serving set of policies and responses by Donald Trump in the midst of a nuclear crisis. Some felt the books representation of Trump was implausibly and ludicrously overblown at the time.  And then, of course, 2020 came and the administration actually faced a real test and failed tragically.  Even now Trump is trying to undermine the electoral process to support his ego, even as his own appointees in the administration and judiciary oppose him.  In hindsight, the book was probably too kind to him.

The Battle of Arnhem

Back to Anthony Beevor, who writes military history that is both incredible in its depth and its accessibility.  He has tackled topics where I felt I have read it all before and make them feel fresh, as he transitions very well between overall objectives and the stories of individuals in the fight.  As with his books around the battles at Stalingrad, Berlin, and Normandy, you may have read about them before, seen the movies, and watched the documentaries, yet you will find something fresh and new in his recounting.   The only exception is his book on the Spanish Civil war, but that was an early work of his and covers a tedious and depressing topic. Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia is really all I need on that front.

The Cold War: A New History

One of the tenets of writing history is that it can’t really be done until those whose names an reputations are tied up with events have passed away.  We are just starting to get there when it comes to the Cold War, or at least the start of it, set in the post-war era as it was.  This book feels like a fresh telling of that era and the policies, goals, and ambitions that drove it.  I very much went into my reading daring it to tell me something I didn’t already know and found that the author was able to assemble things I did know into a more unified narrative that I would have considered.

The Fellowship of the Ring

Chicken soup for the soul here.  I used to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings every three or four years starting in the early 80s.  That stopped somewhere in the late 90s and I think perhaps I have been getting my fill of Tolkien via movies and Lord of the Rings Online since then.  But here, in the dark days at the end of 2020, with the pandemic surging out of control and Trump trying to destroy democracy to assuage his bruised ego, aided by many willing enablers, going back into Tolkien’s words was like sitting down in a favorite armchair on a comfortable Sunday afternoon and relishing the luxury and ease of the day.  My main concern is that I burned through this book so fast, leaving the only the remaining two… and the third book is so short, padded by the vast appendices.  I suppose I shall just have to dig through those once more, or pick up The Silmarillion, though that have never been half as satisfying.  I may have to write a follow up post once I am done.

And so it went in 2020, where the list of titles I read wavered between current events and dystopian themes and old standbys that I could hide in away from the world for a bit.

Honorable Mention:

A People’s History of the United States

What to say about this book?  It is something of a contrarian look at US history, which I can see a reason for, since the teaching of US history through high school… you get US history every other year in some form… can be lacking.  Also, every other year you have to unlearn something you were previously taught because the earlier teacher was dumbing something down to your grade level.  This book is the dark side of US history and actually had some things I did not know or only knew about very superficially.

The issue is that the author, like many who feel they are revealing truth to deceived, drives forward with a sense of superiority and a need to throw mud at everything at times.  This only became irksome for me when he spent half a chapter going after Lincoln because his priority list had “preserve the union” one spot above “abolish slavery.”  I mean, if the union fell apart he couldn’t really end slavery in the slave states that left, now could he?  And, in the end, he did end slavery, so he got there, though the road was neither easy nor straight.  But somebody is salty that his motives were not pure enough.

Still, it is a very American book.

Reviewing my 2020 Predictions

It is that time of year where I go back to my post from the first of the year where I have generally thrown out some rash ideas as to what might come to pass over the next twelve months.

2020 banner by my daughter

There is a long history of this around here:

I am generally wrong on most of my predictions, though I usually excuse/rationalize those predictions as just a thought experiment as to what might happen.

This year however, I ended up being more wrong than usual, and that is in part because I failed to predict the global pandemic.  COVID 19, the Cornavirus, has done me in, figuratively if not yet literally.

Anyway, it is still that time of year, so I’ll go through the predictions and see if I managed to score any hits at all and where I was thwarted by the ‘rona.

Each prediction is worth 10 points if correct, unless otherwise noted, and partial credit is available.

1 – Daybreak Up

When your predictions don’t come to pass… well, maybe you were just ahead of your time.  So I am going to recycle this one.  By the end of the year Daybreak Games won’t exist in its current form.  New owners, new acquisitions, new partners, or just spun out into a couple smaller studios built on geographical locations (San Diego and Austin being the basis), there will be drastic changes.

Not so much.  I mean sure, they did their little internal studio division thing, and tried to declare them “indies,” so now we have Darkpaw, Rogue Planet, and Dimensional Ink “studios,” but they’re all effectively the same company.  Daybreak even acquired another studio this year.  No parts were sold off… individually at least.  We’ll get to the who shebang later.  But otherwise they seemed to hang on.  Did they even have a layoff in 2020?   If not I suspect that was due to the ‘rona boom in video games.  0 points.

2 – Norrath Forever

Pessimism about the company overall aside, I expect the EverQuest franchise, fresh off a couple of big anniversaries, to continue humming along as before no matter where it lands.  There will be the usual content updates mid-cycle, a special server launch for each, and then the standard end-of-year expansions for each game.  You don’t mess with things that are working.

This one on the other hand pretty much came to pass.  I guess I covered myself both ways, but I have to have a gimme or two so I don’t completely zero out.  10 points.

3 – Struggling Royales

H1Z1 and PlanetSide Arena will both be toast on the PC platform.  I wrote this before we got the word on PSA.  I won’t take half credit up front.  The burden will just be on H1Z1 or Z1 Battle Royale or whatever it is called now, to prove me wrong.

How is H1Z1 still alive?  I guess it is still rolling okay on PS4, but I can’t even take some partial credit for the PC side getting shut down.  More ‘rona bonus?  0 points.

4 – PlanestSide Promises

Daybreak has been telling people they will have a big PlanetSide 2 related announcements in the new year.  But no matter what they announce, it will fall flat.  Daybreak has another game in decline and cannot figure out what to do about it.  I guess when your only answers in your bag are “battle royale” and “retro server,” you are kind of stuck.  What else do they have?  PlanetSide 2 on the Switch?  Expect little and you won’t be disappointed.

PlanetSide 2 seems to be rolling along under the Rogue Planet banner.  It got some updates over the year.  I don’t think there was anything that qualified as a big announcement. I mean, they were hinting that PlanetSide Arena would lead to PlanetSide 3 and we’re nowhere close to that.  Do outfit wars and shattered warp gates get there?  I think the biggest surprise was how many people actually play the game… and how few pay.  I’m giving myself 5 points here as it was just business as usual.

5 – Unexpected Party

Standing Stone Games will take a page from their… well… we still aren’t sure how Daybreak and SSG are connected so lets just say “partners” for now… partners in San Diego and roll out a new special rules Lord of the Rings Online server.  Like Blizz, SSG needs something splashy for LOTRO for its non-expansion years and the 2018 LOTRO Legendary server went pretty well for them.  However, rather than just replaying the nostalgia card once more they will make up a much more convoluted rule set for this new server.  It will go badly.

Nope.  SSG just goes on and on telling people that they can’t make a real retro server while they let the current one languish.  Instead they wrapped a game update and a quest pack with a $99 bow and called it an expansion.  0 points for me, though we do know how they are connected to Daybreak now.

6 – Avatar’s Shroud

Lord British has washed his hands of the whole thing and the new company (Catnip Games, no doubt because you’d have to be on drugs to think things are going well) has already reneged on more promises, a sign that times are bad for this strange, very much not for everyone title.  I expect that online play will be shut down before the end of the year, leaving backers with local single player as their only option.

Once again I see the hand of the ‘rona here saving another title that seems to be slipping into oblivion.  Lord British is still long gone, but the servers still seem to be up.  This will probably be the last time I ever mention this game in a post, unless it falls over dead.  0 points.

7 – Shadowlands Forseen

I am calling an August 18th launch for the next WoW expansion, Shadowlands.  That month has become the Blizz sweet spot for WoW launches.  Not a lot else tends to launch in August, there is the summer for pre-expansion events, and things tend to settle down by BlizzCon when the company likes to start talking about the next thing.  2 points lost for every week I am off the date.

Not even freaking close.  Who knew back in January that Blizz would decide to break the “time between expansions” record for the franchise?  Not me.  I can’t even blame the ‘rona for this… much.  I guess work from home might have slowed down progress.  Still, 0 points.

8 – BlizzCon Announcements

Read my lips: No new games.  Just reworks, remasters, and expansions of the current games and franchises.  Maybe a mobile version of something… a tablet version of StarCraft or a watered down phone game with a Warcraft theme… but nothing new.  Need more pylons.

No BlizzCon, no BlizzCon announcements.  My cynicism was wasted as the ‘rona did for this event.  0 points.

9 – Diablo Before

At BlizzCon there will talk about Diablo IV, along with some art and a bit of game play video.  What there won’t be is a release date announced in 2020.

Again, no BlizzCon, 0 points.

10 – Wait of Immortals

For reasons that will not be disclosed, Diablo Immortal will fail to ship again in 2020.

Hah!  Cynicism pays off this year at last!  10 points.  Booyah!

11 – Classic Future

At BlizzCon, and not one minute before, Blizzard will announce a very conservative, no dates given save for maybe with a hint towards summer of 2021, plan for a classic server based on The Burning Crusade.

No BlizzCon… have I said this enough already?  0 points.

12 – Activision Encroachment

By the end of the year the Battle.net launcher will feature the Activision logo more prominently as it becomes the Activision-Blizzard launcher.  No need for the team in Santa Monica to roll out their own launcher when the team in Irvine already has one.

No logo change yet… but there are FOUR freakin’ Call of Duty titles on the launcher.  I’m giving myself 2 points for that.

13 – New Eden in Decline

As mentioned before, CCP has gone into a very tactical phase of development with EVE Online.  That isn’t a bad thing.  The game needs it.  But there is no vision for the game, no future path being sketched out, and space nerds require optimism and forward motion.  Retaining another percent or two of new players won’t help much if the old guard can’t pass on enthusiasm to them.  I expect the 2020 PCU and MER numbers to show a slow, consistent decline.

It was looking this way… and then came the ‘rona surge and the PCU popped through the 40K mark for the first time since 2017.  0 pointsEVE is dying, but not any time soon.

14 – The Eternal POS

CCP will fail to remove the storied Player Owned Starbase from New Eden yet again.  They are growing exceedingly rare, but they are still out there.

I’ll be going on POS shoots until I retire it seems.  With the war on they aren’t even all that rare.  10 points.

15 – CSM XV

The usual round of CSM election nonsense will carry on.  In the end, it will be eight null sec representatives dominating the council again, with any null sec incumbent that runs getting returned.

Well, seven null sec representatives dominating the council in any case, and one incumbent, Sort Dragon, didn’t make the cut, though he was an alternate and only got on after Killah Bee dropped out.  3 points for being somewhat close.  I don’t think the ‘rona had any influence here, except for increasing voter turnout.

16 – HyperNet Relay End Point

CCP will shut down its HyperNet Relay within a  year of it launch due to issues related to local gambling regulations, which will be spurred by the situation in the next prediction.  It is always a risk to chain predictions together, but I’ll go there yet again.

Nope.  The in-game gambling mechanism has turned into an in-game scam machine where the people listing buy most of the tickets, get their item back when they win it, and make some ISK from the few suckers who bought in.  There is nothing EVE players cannot corrupt.  0 points.

17 – Gacha Movement

After predicting no movement on lockboxes and gambling for a few years now, the pot seems to have heated up enough that the frog might be in trouble in 2020.  My assumption up to this point has been that the industry wouldn’t be dumb, that the ESA would promise that the industry would police itself with a few concrete proposals while dumping a lot of contributions on key political players.  But the industry has been greedy and dumb and arrogant and even antagonistic, what with “surprise mechanics” and trying to upstage hearings on the subject by loudly announcing a set of empty promises.  You have to look contrite and helpful in order to give politicians the cover they need to roll over and take your bribes contributions.  Also it is a presidential election year in the US, so politicians will be looking for softball issues to champion, and when the NRA is telling you that video games cause violence…  Anyway, the industry is going to have to actually put up something real to avoid regulation beyond Belguim.  Look at what happened to Juul when politicians decided it was a safe vote getter to jump on vaping.

Turns out politicians have better things to do during a global pandemic that worry about video games.  The ‘rona strikes again.  The world was distracted enough that EA thought it was a good idea to put a lockbox ad in a kids toy catalog.  Way get attention back on the topic.  Still, nothing really changed.  I should have kept betting against Gevlon on this.  0 points.

18 – Guild Wars Decline

With the contractions and departures at ArenaNet, Guild Wars 2 will potter along with small updates, bits of content dressed up as living story seasons, and replays of tried and true things like the Super Adventure Box.  The game won’t be in “maintenance mode” the way Guild Wars is, but it will be clear a year from now that its heyday has passed.

Everything got a boost during the ‘rona, but then Mike O’Brien left to form a new company called Mana Works and… well, I don’t pay close enough attention.  I know the Super Adventure Box came back for another visit.  But there was also that End of Dragons expansion thing, so I guess that was a “no.”  0 points.

19 – City of Villains

NCsoft will finally make a public announcement about the City of Heroes servers out in the wild using the original code.  It will come from a lawyer and will include the words “cease” and “desist.”  NCsoft will attempt to stomp out these servers and will force them to be much lower profile than they have been in 2019.  But they won’t go away.  Software, once freed, is very difficult to contain.

Nope.  Can’t even blame the plague.  0 points.

20 – New World Order

Amazon’s New World will be delayed past May to launch in the fall.  Once launched it will be… fine.  An Ark: Survival Evolved kind of game, probably what Smed wishes H1Z1 had been like at launch.  It won’t break any new ground and after a flash at launch will fade into the crowd, successful but not headline worthy.

I actually thought about starting to write this post back when New World was delayed until fall.  I seemed to be right on the money.  And then the can got kicked down the road again, this time into 2021.  5 points for being right for half the year.

21 – Won’t Ship Yet Again

The following titles won’t go live or otherwise be available to customers in any way that we would agree on was complete.  Early access, open beta, or eternal alpha states do not count.  Two Points per title.

  • Camelot Unchained
  • Crowfall
  • Torchlight Frontiers
  • Dual Universe
  • Anything at all from Chris Roberts

I’ll go negative points on that last one if he ships two things.  But I think we all know that isn’t going to happen.

I could argue that nothing called Torchlight Frontiers shipped, but there is that pesky, and apparently mediocre Torchlight III running around.  Still, the others were not a tough call.  This is sort of me annual “I dare you to ship!” category.  8 points.

22 – GameStopped

The only way GameStop is going to be around a year from now is if they shed enough weight to make it into the Christmas season.  Black Friday might as well be “life or death” Friday for them.  But I don’t think they will make it that far unscathed.  In order to get the freedom of movement required to get that far they are going to have to declare chapter 11 bankruptcy.  That will let them get out of store leases and give them the breathing room to carry on.  But even then they will be a shell of their former selves by the time I write up the results post come December.

I thought this one was a freakin’ shoe-in back in January.  GameStop looked to be on its last legs.  And then the ‘rona hit and video games became essential toward maintaining our sanity.  GameStop, like gun stores, was on the essential businesses list.  And now Microsoft has invested in them.  They live to fight another day.  0 points.

23 – Steam Engine

Life as usual for Steam.  The four usual seasonal sales.  Epic will keep sniping away and trying to get people to pay attention by throwing free games at them while most people will still see Steam as the default source of PC games.  It is the post office of gaming.  Steam will continue to revise their game acceptance policy, but otherwise carry on as always with no big changes in 2020.

I guess.  This gets back to the idea that predictions, like team goals, should be measurable.  Maybe if I paid closer attention I could make a hard call one way or the other, but I am going to just go with the fact that it feels like this happened and give myself half credit.  5 points.

Bonus Prediction – Guild Wars 3 Announced

Sure, why not?  Guild Wars 2 is slowly ebbing, NCsoft needs something to keep fans in that area happy, and I am sure there is a crew around that believes they have learned enough from GW2 to do it RIGHT this time!  They don’t have to ship anything.  At most they have to do some hand waving about another monuments thing for specific achievements, which will get people grinding away again.  Give me 10 bonus points if this comes to pass, though it is so out there that I ought to ask for more.

Ha ha ha ha… no.  0 points.

Super Double Bonus Prediction – PA buys Daybreak

This one came up a couple months back when Daybreak was registering new names for itself and CCP announced that EVE Vegas was going to become EVE San Diego.  The obvious (to me) conclusion was that Pearl Abyss MUST be buying Daybreak and then merging their fan events together.  I left this as a comment and it became a post over at Massively OP.  I figured I ought to codify it here as a prediction.  Have a couple of drinks and say it three times fast and it sounds pretty logical.  And if it comes to pass I want 20 bonus points.

It was a wild conspiracy theory when I made it, but I still had a hope that it might come to pass.  But no, Pearl Abyss did not bit.  But then EG7 came along and bough them!  I am going to give myself 1 Point for at least being right about them being acquired in 2020.

That gives me 59 points out of a total of 230 possible, not counting bonus points against me.  That gives me a 26% correct ratio, which is pretty bad considering how many of those picks I thought were gimmes back in January.

But it is still a tiny bit better than my 2017 picks, so not my worst year ever.

And now to consider what 2021 will bring.

Will the ‘rona boom continue for a while?  What will happen if the vaccines are a success and we can all go back to work, school, travel, and the other activities we’ve been denied over the last year or so?  Are video games going to take a hit when we can all go out to eat and see movies again?  Will there be any theaters operating in 2021?