Author Topic: "...a realignment of company focus"  (Read 88405 times)

Turjan

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 270
  • You cannot kill a dream
"...a realignment of company focus"
« on: October 05, 2012, 07:04:54 PM »
That's what the initial press release about our beloved game's closure said - "In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios."

As I was reading TonyV's "Response to NCSoft" thread, and his post about a change of tactics and emphasis on PR, it got me to thinking again about that initial press release statement, and how it might come back to haunt NCSoft...

There's a thread at the CoH forum about Fox News. Buried within it are some interesting perceptions of positive and negative PR, but alas the whole thread has degenerated into political mudslinging, so it's hard to pick through it. Nevertheless, with the idea of "a realignment of company focus" still in my head, I added a post...which has already started to become buried under more political mud  :roll:

Anyway, the gist of what I said was that if the OP of that thread wanted to avoid any of the "gamer" stereotypes a media group like Fox may try to spin, they'd have to spin the story themselves first.
And the angle that occurred to me was a simple one :-

NCSoft want to replace this -



- with this -



As I said in my post there, I don't need to explain how Fox would probably react to the notion of closing a wholesome, family-friendly game about patriotic superheroes and replacing it with a game they'd probably regard as little more than softcore pornography... ;)

I've captioned a couple of ingame graphic images to further emphasise the point :-





Needless to say, this...is negative PR :o

Even with only the quoted captions on, and the observations at the bottom (no pun intended...) removed from these images, the association remains. Because it's true - NCSoft are closing one game and launching another in its place. All these pictures are doing is showing an example of the former contrasted with the latter.

Is that spin?
Well I really couldn't say - I'm an artist not a journalist ;)

Knightslayer

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 477
    • Monster Game!
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2012, 07:09:53 PM »
...What were we talking about again...?
Sorry! It had to be done! And yes, I could see that being negative PR too.

SithRose

  • Plan Z: Lore Lead
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,981
  • The Phoenix is coming.
    • Missing Worlds Media - Plan Z: The Phoenix Project
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2012, 07:11:51 PM »
That is a *fascinating* approach to take.

It's also one that COULD be effective if taken in the right direction.

It could also backfire, badly. Bear in mind that COH also has COV, which encourages people to go out and actively be mean, nasty, evil bad guys. And has all kinds of "Bizarre evil cults which will corrupt our children!" in it. (Circle of Thorns, Banished Pantheon...Freakshow...ALL of Dark Astoria...)

I'm not certain that I'd trust Fox News not to just throw a negative spin on all of it. Bear in mind that I'm extremely cynical when it comes to dealing with right wing wacko fundamentalists, which happens to coincide with a not-insignificant portion of Fox's viewers. It's something that does have potential with a carefully chosen audience, though.
Lore Lead for Plan Z: The Phoenix Project
Secretary of Missing Worlds Media, Inc.

Knightslayer

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 477
    • Monster Game!
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2012, 07:16:42 PM »
And there is also the fact that you can find some scantly clad ladies in CoH too.
Swan anyone?
Though there is obviously a difference between one signature character and err... pretty much all of the B&S girls I guess?

Golden Girl

  • One Liners and Winky Faces
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,242
    • Heroes and Villains
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2012, 07:28:04 PM »
Someone posted screenshots on the offoicial forums of characters from BS that seemed to be designed to appeal to the Clockwork King types - that could be a good angle to focus on.
"Heroes and Villains" website - http://www.heroes-and-villains.com
"Heroes and Villains" on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/HeroesAndVillainsMMORPG
"Heroes and Villains" on Twitter - https://twitter.com/Plan_Z_Studios
"Heroes and Villains" teaser trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnjKqNPfFv8
Artwork - http://goldengirlcoh.deviantart.com

NecrotechMaster

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 388
  • is there a badge for that?
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 07:30:29 PM »
That is a *fascinating* approach to take.

It's also one that COULD be effective if taken in the right direction.

It could also backfire, badly. Bear in mind that COH also has COV, which encourages people to go out and actively be mean, nasty, evil bad guys. And has all kinds of "Bizarre evil cults which will corrupt our children!" in it. (Circle of Thorns, Banished Pantheon...Freakshow...ALL of Dark Astoria...)

I'm not certain that I'd trust Fox News not to just throw a negative spin on all of it. Bear in mind that I'm extremely cynical when it comes to dealing with right wing wacko fundamentalists, which happens to coincide with a not-insignificant portion of Fox's viewers. It's something that does have potential with a carefully chosen audience, though.

while the villain side of things did have you go out and beat stuff up, it really didnt feel much different from the heroside of the game except for visuals of the rogue islands

heroside you are still beating up all of those cult type enemy groups that you mention

Turjan

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 270
  • You cannot kill a dream
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 08:41:54 PM »
True indeed, both red and blue side you have cults and the potential for female characters to wear skimpy togs. You also have Mayhem missions redside, robbing banks etc etc. But blueside you have Old Glory (as I believe them yankee types call their flag ;) ) flying atop of Paragon City Hall and endless stories of sacrifice and heroism in the fight against evil - including the game's iconic representation of American heroes, Statesman himself.

But when you compare CoH to a great many "goddamn video games that corrupt kids!" like the GTA series, you see comicbook differences - cars never knock anyone down for instance, and heroes never kill anyone, they "defeat" them or "arrest" them, and the bad guys always return by the next issue. Anyone who culturally sneers at CoH is also sneering at all comicbook heroes, from Superman through to Captain America.

And while it's true that women have had a...chequered history in comicbooks (e.g. Wonder Woman with her whip and penchant for being tied up all the time), there's simply no comparison between western comicbooks and the near-grotesque objectification of women typically seen in Korean games like Blade and Soul.

Yes, there's no absolute way to determine how any given media entity will choose to spin a story, but in the modern fast paced world of hi-tech, a picture does indeed speak a thousand words, and superficial visual processing is the order of the day.

CoH has Heroes and it has  Villains, but the heroes do always win the day, and the villains do always say "Curse you, I'll be back!". It's oldschool, it's traditional...and it doesn't feature bizarrely sexualised children wandering around giggling and flashing their panties.

There is a risk that contasting the one against the other might not work - but the graphics do rather speak quite loudly I'd say.

sultrysiren

  • Underling
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 09:01:45 PM »



<snip>




The purely phallic imagery in the first photo (the rocks beside her face, the waterfall from the rocks pointed right at her, etc) and the sexualization of both characters is ridiculously over the top and frankly borders on pornographic. My eldest daughter has her own CoH account (she always plays supervised tyvm) and my other children are getting to the point where I would allow them limited access, but I will not let either of my daughters or my son anywhere near these two games.

With the rampant problems we seem to have in the world right now of people over-sexualizing and exploiting children, I refuse to let my own children participate in a game where the company has "re-aligned it's focus" to include overtly exploitative images of very young women that border on pedophilia.

Sajaana

  • Boss
  • ****
  • Posts: 105
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2012, 09:02:48 PM »
I say it's brilliant.

Segev

  • Plan Z: Interim Producer
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,573
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2012, 09:18:35 PM »
This is a good direction to take things. And SithRose, as one of those "right-wing fundamentalist wackos," I assure you that we're really not anything more than patriotic, wholesome-values-loving people with a great respect and love for our fellow man.

More to the point, Fox News had more viewership than any other major network during the debates. If we're GOING to get the word out, we can't be picky about who hears it. I am as willing to trust Fox News as I am MSNBC to take a story handed to them about a community getting together to save their game and tell it in a feel-good wholesome manner. (MSNBC, I expect it to be "little guys who play the game v. evil megacorp," while Fox I expect would take a more "look at this wholesome community and all the good they do; is there nothing that can be done to preserve their game?" approach.)

Turjan

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 270
  • You cannot kill a dream
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2012, 09:54:17 PM »
The purely phallic imagery in the first photo (the rocks beside her face, the waterfall from the rocks pointed right at her, etc) and the sexualization of both characters is ridiculously over the top and frankly borders on pornographic.

Good grief...you know what? I hadn't even noticed the phallic imagery! I think my eyes had already been put out by the more...overt features there. Now you mention the waterfall and rock outcrop though, it makes the whole image far, far worse...gross in fact.

As I understand it, while Blade and Soul's ESRB/PEGI rating is still in the "pending" category, NCSoft have tweaked their marketing videos to add body paint/leotards to cover some of the acres of skin on display - however, their official western site also says this :-

Quote from: bladeandsoulonline.com, Sept 23rd
Due to PEGI guidelines, however, our marketing material must abide by a different set of considerations than the final product. This is why Blade & Soul‘s rating is listed as “pending.” It is NCsoft West’s intention to accurately depict the game in its original, unaltered form, with only minor adjustments for gameplay considerations.

In short: We are not planning to censor or alter the actual in-game content you have come to expect from an artist such as Hyung-Tae Kim and a studio such as Team Bloodlust. Rest assured that we love Blade & Soul as much as you do, and any modifications to the marketing material are not indicative of our plans for the final content.

...so eividently they're perfectly happy to have phallic rocks, gushing waterfalls, and mammaries the size of mountains in the final western product.

Vulpy

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 285
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2012, 09:55:52 PM »
Really, it'd only take one slow news day and the right person to see a picture of Statesman with the appropriate context...

Good grief...you know what? I hadn't even noticed the phallic imagery!

The sword in the second picture draws the eyes so elegantly into the crack of her butt.
@Vulpy
Protector Server

downix

  • Phoenix Project Technical Lead
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,962
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2012, 09:57:00 PM »
Their website lists it as "M".

DrakeGrimm

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 742
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2012, 10:01:01 PM »
Their website lists it as "M".

Question is, did it earn that rating from the violence? Or from the T-n-A so blatantly shoved in our face? I like to look at sexy ladies as much as the next guy, but B&S just...wow. Geez.
We are the crazy ones, the mavericks, the dreamers, the forgotten sons. We color outside the lines for fun. We are the crazy ones! - "The Crazy Ones," Stellar Revival

"We put ourselves in "the attitude of heroes"--and we all became a little more heroic." - VV

Knightslayer

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 477
    • Monster Game!
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2012, 10:12:29 PM »
Question is, did it earn that rating from the violence? Or from the T-n-A so blatantly shoved in our face? I like to look at sexy ladies as much as the next guy, but B&S just...wow. Geez.
Eh, it isn't anything THAT new for an Asian game... did you ever try ArchLord or Sword of the New World (Granada Espada or whatever the alternate name was?).
The graphics obviously weren't as great as B&S' will be, but the female characters had similar curves and outfits.
Oh, and to name an example from NCSoft itself, Lineage 2's Dark Elves - with their almost dominatrix leather outfits. (not sure how they looked in game, as Lineage 2 never held my attention long enough... but oh boy, when it comes to the artwork).
NCSoft isn't really doing anything new here, as for "phallic" symbols - my character is currently standing near those water squirting "pipe" looking fountains inside the Giza... you can find those everywhere as long as you're looking for them.
Judging from some of the tones it sounds like this is more of a personal crusade. (or just plain dislike of NCSoft, now THAT I can understand...)

Turjan

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 270
  • You cannot kill a dream
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #15 on: October 05, 2012, 11:04:26 PM »
NCSoft isn't really doing anything new here, as for "phallic" symbols - my character is currently standing near those water squirting "pipe" looking fountains inside the Giza... you can find those everywhere as long as you're looking for them.
Judging from some of the tones it sounds like this is more of a personal crusade. (or just plain dislike of NCSoft, now THAT I can understand...)

Ah no indeed, there's no crusade - unless you count trying to save CoH as a crusade of course! The motivation behind my thought was one of TIMING - the announcement about "introducing western gamers to asian martial arts fantasy" came out just after the announcement of the closure of CoH. This allows for the obvious connection to be made that the one is replacing the other.

Not 'was intended' to replace the other you'll note - just that the timing of the announcement gives that impression.

Indeed, as you say you can find sexual symbols anywhere if you choose to look...but you must remember that NCSoft chose artist Hyung-Tae Kim specifically for his artistic style which, as you can see, is even more distorted than the usual examples of Korean "manhwa" (sort of Korean manga) we tend to see. While I was reading up on the fellow in question, I came across a rather amusing feminist blogger's article about him from Feb 2011. She describes it as NSFW in the title, but realistically there's nothing that much worse there than you can see in the above 2 illustrations, should you choose to check it out. I particularly liked her use of the phrase LEMON BOOBS  ;D -

>Industry artist fail: Hyung Tae Kim (so VERY VERY nsfw!)

The thing is, in a field where artists are known for exaggerating and distorting the female form, he is known for being at the extreme end of that scale, and NCSoft hired him specifically for that style.

Anyway, all that aside, the purpose here really is about the timing of B&S's western launch announcement. It's just convenient for us that the artwork in Blade and Soul suits our purpose as a contrast with the "heroic" western visual theme of of CoH.

Dasher

  • Minion
  • **
  • Posts: 22
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2012, 11:16:32 PM »
This is a great idea, and I would recommend submitting it, along with our plight, to CBS Sunday Morning. They sometimes do quirky spin pieces. I sent them a suggestion for a story based on CoH shurtting down and its players still putting in an eleventh-hour fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network Hopitals through the Extra Life charity.

We have nothing to lose by trying, except our apathy.

Segev

  • Plan Z: Interim Producer
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,573
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2012, 11:19:39 PM »
Have you got contact info for CBS Sunday Morning? If so, please drop it here!

pandora114

  • Lieutenant
  • ***
  • Posts: 82
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2012, 11:59:12 PM »
T&A err B&S looks horrific.

LEMON BOOBS!

I wonder if lemonade comes out of them after they gestate an infant for 40 weeks instead of milk. >.>

Zolgar

  • Grand Poobah of Plan Z
  • Boss
  • ****
  • Posts: 164
Re: "...a realignment of company focus"
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2012, 12:04:09 AM »
*looks at Blade and Soul pictures*

... I'll be in my bunk...

It may be evil.. but is is sexy evil.