Friday Filler – Da Mouse Don’t Run Dis House… A Frog Do!

Thank Grog It’s Firday!

I don’t know about you, but the weather has been amazing in Eugene, Oregon (and the same in the REAL Springfield a few miles away).  I admittedly have not been following the comments on a daily basis, as I have been distracted by trying to get some form of my golf game back, after two and a half years of wedding planning, a new grandson, and a huge fund-raising event for my local Rotary Club.  My golf game is still struggling, but not nearly as much as TSTO.

But, when I do read the comments, I am perplexed by the fact that so many readers apparently don’t read what Alissa and others post, regarding Disney’s role in “The Great Lull of 2019.”

But, to put things in perspective…I will attempt to put this issue to bed…once and for all. Maybe. Hopefully. 

Everyone wants to blame Disney. I accept my role in this, as I postulated that there could be some connection between Disney taking over FOX Entertainment back in late November, and placing The Simpsons on their corporate site masthead, while announcing the acquisition of a mobile game design company. It was all speculation…and a bit of fun, preying on rampant player paranoia.

From the looks of the masthead…Disney is now the ruler of all things Simpsons…and by proxy, should also be calling the shots in TSTO.

Except…they aren’t.

The deal that Fox had with EA, which Disney owns by proxy, is a LICENSING DEAL.  They are simply giving the rights to EA, to produce the game, using the materials and intellectual property of “The Simpsons.”  But, in no way, do they have any control, say, or for that matter opinion about the day-to-day.  They just collect the check from EA.  That’s it.

Could they at some point do their own Simpson’s game?  Possible. But, not likely until TSTO is done. Which it isn’t. 

The real questions about the “Life of EA coming to an end” have more to do with defining the word “Life,” as well as the ongoing role of the “Parent” that gave it life…EA (Electronic Arts).

When everyone whines that “we aren’t getting anything back from EA!  Why don’t they write? We deserve to know!” I get it. But, when I think about the place TSTO holds in the vast holdings of both Disney and EA, I am reminded of a funny camp song we used to sing with the girls when they were little, called Hole in the Bottom of the Sea.

We used to sing a version that made the final verse so long, with repetition, that it would often take us miles and miles during a  car trip. to complete.

There’s a speck in they eye of a flea on the wing of a fly on the leg of the frog on the bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea… (repeat three times with the final refrain), “There’s a hole, there’s a hole, there’s a hole in the bottom of the sea!”

This song is a weird little ditty that teaches the meaning of every element of life. It starts with “there’s a hole in the bottom of the sea, there’s a hole in the bottom of the sea, there’s a hole, there’s a hole, there’s a hole in the bottom of the sea!” 

What could be more strangely insignificant than a hole, in something as vast and expansive as the ocean??  It takes a bunch of time to figure out…but, way, way, way down the hole is the “speck in the eye of the flea.”  And that, my dear TSTO friends, is about where we stand on the “flow chart of importance” with EA.

This has nothing to do with Disney…and everything to do with EA and their issues with keeping their company’s gaming offerings vital and earning money.  And, when you look at the number of games that EA currently has up and running, TSTO again seems like the speck, or at best the fly.

EA currently supports more than 350 games…of which TSTO is one of 21 that are Mobile/Freemium games.

How important is TSTO to EA?

In the most recent Q4/Fiscal Year report to shareholders, here are the projected earnings for EA…These Numbers are in MILLIONS… so, the projected Net Income before expenses, is $5.3 Billion.  That’s Billion…with a B.

By all estimates…TSTO has brought in a bit more than $130 Million since its launch in 2012. That’s million…with an M…over almost 7 years. Like I said. We MIGHT be a flea, but are most likely a speck.  I am guessing that any “pressure” to keep the game alive, and producing content, comes from the “labor of love” that is done by the writers on the Simpson’s staff.

We recently saw that Matt Selman, promised that the “game isn’t over.”  But, then we get into the semantics of deciding what “over” means.

As long as the servers are on…and we can play…it isn’t over. As long as players are able to earn currency, including donuts which give us premium content, the game isn’t over. As long as we are able to design, and acquire new/old content from the Year Book, while grinding for free donuts through farming…the game isn’t over.

The primary argument for the game remaining in this state of “suspended hospice mode,” is that it costs EA next to nothing to keep it “alive.”  If development teams have been reallocated to other games which bring in more money (even just up the ladder to “fly” status), but the servers are left on (but without patching, and updates, which can cause the strings of disconnection issues we experience), this could go on for a very, very, very long time.

But, that brings us to the “Quality of Life-vs-Quantity of Life” argument.  “Being on life support” is technically being alive…but is it living a life of quality?

As those of us who are well past “Middle Age” have to question, “do I want to be on life support if the quality of life is so depleted as to be more of a bother than a reward?”  For me the answer is no. But since my NDE in the mid-1990s, I have always had a more pragmatic view of the “end of this life.” People will do their best to survive, even in the worst physical conditions possible. It’s natural to not believe “the end” is actually upon oneself for most, until it is indeed the final breath.

WHOA…LIGHTEN UP!!…It’s WAY TOO EARLY TO PRONOUNCE THE PATIENT DEAD!

If you want my real guess at this point…I was more confident of the “prognosis” a couple of weeks ago.  But, no updates…for weeks on end…is pretty much an indicator of where we stand in pecking order of the hole in the bottom of the sea that is EA.

I do think we will get more updates. But, they could very well be quarterly…which means we are DUE. Four big ones a year would be fine with me. Hope spring eternal…even from the viewpoint of a flea.

However… I DO have hope that we will finish our Fundraiser for the Summer Term for Books and Supplies for our school in Uganda. We are getting REALLY CLOSE... Please consider supporting this important TSTO Addicts Sanctioned Cause. And as I promised…I won’t bug you again for at least a YEAR!  (how’s that for optimism?).

DONATE HERE

A Final Thought…
As has been stated, and restated, over and over again…we can’t know how long any individual life is going to be. We can only determine the QUALITY of that life.  For me...the community we have here, and playing TSTO as long as it is still available, adds to that quality.

By all indications…we will be around as long as you are around. I can’t promise that. I’m old. But, I can promise that we will keep this community alive, as long as people keep showing up.  There’s still life in this here old flea! 

 

 

 

 

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39 responses to “Friday Filler – Da Mouse Don’t Run Dis House… A Frog Do!

  1. You are entitled to bug us as often as much as you want! On a somber note, I’m truly sorry about Terri. Her painting of you and your dad is beyond priceless, may it give you comfort and peace for many, many years.

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  2. Used to love that song; part of the fun was trying to get through the verse on a single breath. Oh, and we added another level (slightly different list, but the same length)
    There’s a germ on the spec in the eye of the flea on the hair on the wart on the frog on the bump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea….

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  3. Actually… we have no what the status is with regard to Disney’s involvement in Simpsons gaming because we don’t know the specifics of the EA/Fox licensing deals. We know that the original exclusive licensing deal was made in the fall of 2005. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say that deal was for 7 years and was renewed for another 7 years in 2012. This seems like a perfectly reasonable and logical scenario to me.

    So that would mean that the deal is due to either expire or be renewed/renegotiated this fall. Those discussions/negotiations would be in the works now and it may well be that Disney is considering the purchase of Nexon specifically to bring gaming for their increasingly massive library of intellectual property in house. It’s entirely possible that they eventually hope to include gaming in their new Disney+ streaming service.

    EA could simply be unwilling to continue dedicating money/resources to properties whose future with them is uncertain at best. That would explain the “lull” and the Yearbook and the fact that they’ve pretty much cut off our little game’s revenue source. (Why would anyone be motivated to buy donuts with no new content to spend them on? Especially now that we have nothing better to do than redesign while farming for free donuts to spend on Yearbook items.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep…another great, very well written, long comment…to say what is obvious; “Nobody knows…”

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      • We don’t know, but somebody does. However, you’re post is grounded in the premise that Disney is not in charge of TSTO. You could be right about that, but one thing that is abundantly clear these days is that Disney is on the rise and is gathering their various assets under one roof.

        Whether or not that means Simpsons gaming is about to be inside the House of Mouse depends on the status of that contract with EA. One thing that is absolutely certain is that when the contract does end, be it now or in the near future, Disney will definitely be making the decisions moving forward. My comment was simply pointing out that there are plenty of signs that suggest those decisions may well be in the works right now.

        I certainly don’t blame Disney for the current state of TSTO, but there’s no question about the fact that The Simpsons now belongs to them and the future of this game is theirs to decide.

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        • It also depends on Disney having a gaming division. (Something I wrote about weeks ago) Which at the moment they do not. And on their last earnings call Iger reaffirmed that they have no plans of resurrecting their gaming division.
          They (meaning Disney) also signed long term contracts for both EA and Jam City to produce games for Disney. (And on the same call also reaffirmed their confidence in EA)
          By your same logic Simpsons will be pulled from Universal Studios and every company licensing Simpsons merch will no longer do so.

          We dont know what’s going on. But we’re also not completely in the dark. Having a relationship with FOX in the past (specifically as it relates to TSTO and TQFS) has allowed us to have a firmer understanding of how this whole process works between studio and gaming house.

          And please enough about it. I’m so sick of hearing Disney this and Disney that. I’ve heard more about Disney in the month+ that they’ve taken over FOX than I have about FOX in 6 years of doing this. I’m going to start deleting comments that speculate on Disney…

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  4. Ultimately no one outside of a few Disney and EA folks know what is going on and what impact anything is having on the game..we are all just outsiders that can speculate but that’s it. As much respect as I have for this site it has to be remembered that the users and contributors are not privy to any information that can definitively tell us either way what the future holds.

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  5. Tracy-1ltwoody920

    Interesting.
    I purchased the second to last land square (the last is surrounded by Training walls – DON’T BUY!! Insurance)
    I received a message congratulating me on buying all my land (??!) and informing me that I could now start earning at a premium rate from my GGR.
    I’m still earning land tokens. But again, I’ve still one open square.

    Like

    • Let’s just assume that there is all sorts of old code logic sitting around. They aren’t watching kill date commands when they bring something back.

      But…as I recall…that message also shows up when you have enough land tiles to buy all of the land…whether you buy it or not.

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  6. How important is TSTO to EA? Obviously not enough to communicate with those who downloaded the Game Apps and play 🤷🏼‍♀️

    It’s Friday, finally managed to log in once (one too many Bart Screen of Death experiences) and that means a weekend away from TSTO is next. Zero expectations, so I know I’m not missing anything (except more time to redo my Springfield). 🤓

    Any predictions? If TSTO is so vital to EA, then EA will bring new content (zero expectations tells me not to expect anything in 2019)🤷🏼‍♀️

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  7. I’m still not sure, sorry, Disney didn’t just bought The Simpsons, unlike the rest of the Fox assets they put it under the « Disney » brand, in front of their Disney+ offer, and they are control freaks about their brand, so they could juste block everything Simpson for the time being, every licensing (like their are doing around the world with everything Disney in view of the international launch of their streaming service), and like you say that licensing with EA is peanuts, part of a bigger contract, that could be in renegociation, so very easy to freeze for now….

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    • That is not remotely close to reality. Again… Disney’s deal is for licensing. They have no control over the game.

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      • It’s not a question of control over the game, it’s over the brand “The Simpsons”, and what they want to do with it going forward, but yeah whatever you say…

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        • Dude…….. the agreement is already in place. All bets are off after the next negotiating period…which is two years away. But, at this point…and how it effects the updates in this game…you are incorrect.

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          • But you are acting like the game and the show are 2 different things, when we saw again and again, with the Tie-in events for exemple, that they are connected more than any game, they work together on the writing too, so they can be regrouping on a different strategy, since the big boss changed, and pointed out the Simpsons as a big part of their next billion dollars service. That’s all I’m saying, take it or leave it, but don’t act like you know better lol

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            • Simpsons is a part of streaming service not a big part. Let’s be real. They purchased FOX for the movie and various television show rights. The movie catalog of FOX alone was what Disney was really after.
              Disney is far more concerned with Mickey Mouse than Bart Simpson..

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              • Yes, but a lot of those films and shows do not go with the family friendly “Disney brand”, that’s why appart for the kid friendly and Avatar type a lot of them will end up on Hulu, but during the presentation of Disney+, at the end, after presenting all the Disney/Marvel/StarWar/NatGeo (no “Fox” sub category on the site) they play the Apple card: “and one more thing, the full Simpsons will be exclusively on Disney+”, they singled out that asset, which by the way represent billions in branding/licensing rights around the world, plus attractions for their parks, so it seems a bit more than juste an other show.

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          • Where does that “two years away” timeline come from? My understanding was that no one knew the details of EA’s contract with Fox. I have searched and searched and haven’t been able to find any such details anywhere.

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  8. Keith1Roon991

    Great post and agree it makes me cringe at some of the comments on alissa post in which they haven’t read her post properly and the answer is there right in front of them 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♂️ lol and hope you are right with a quarterly update sounds good to me, good luck with the fundraiser, will donate later on today, great cause. Have a good weekend all and happy golfing lol ⛳🏌️🏌️‍♀️🏌️‍♂️

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  9. Great post! I don’t know why people can’t understand it has nothing to do with Disney, even Mat himself said it.

    I’ve been a customer of EA for more than half of my life with The Sims franchise and other games, and if I’ve learned anything about them it’s that they are greedy and have disappointed me more times than I can count. Customer satisfaction is a lot lower on their goals list than making money is, and they’ve learned they can still make money on their games and do the minimal amount of work. So I’m not surprised they’ve just left TSTO as is. However, I don’t think it’s completely dead (i.e. no more updates). As long as they can still make money from it they’ll most likely updates at us occasionally to keep us satisfied and still playing (I also wouldn’t mind quarterly updates at least), but I personally think the days of updates for every single holiday plus a bunch of other themed ones is a thing of the past.

    Not even counting the money I’ve put into this game, but the time (been tapping since the beginning), it’s unfortunate that it can’t be as active as it’s always been. I know it’s just a ‘stupid phone game’ to others (*gasp* how could you waste money on something that’s not even tangible?!), but to me it’s been an immeasurable amount of fun and a huge distraction from a life with chronic pain. So as long as it’s still here I will continue to play even without updates because just tapping/designing my town is something that’s come to be a part of everyday life, and I am a loyal Simpsons fan to the death. But I do wish EA would think of customer loyalty and give/take equally, maybe they’ll prove me wrong and surprise us after this lull with regular updates. *fingers crossed*

    P.S. Is no one able to access TSTO today? I’ve been experiencing server issues all day, haven’t been able to even enter the game, just constant “retry” screens.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. “speck in the eye of the flea.” And that, my dear TSTO friends, is about where we stand on the “flow chart of importance” with EA.

    Wow that is a seriously depressing viewpoint Pat. Causes a lot of reflection! To that point they could have given us useless specks of dirt a statement. Like why no updates and possible future speculation etc.

    Why bother if we don’t matter.. starting to sink in. REM everybody hurts added to my playlist..

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  11. Great, now I’ve got an earworm, thanks Patric! LOL😁
    ~MIB👤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tracy-1ltwoody920

    Another perspective…
    $130 million in 7 years
    ~$20 million per year.
    Cost to the licensing corporation may be ~$10,000 per year, perhaps twice that, may be? After Accounting costs, high end lawyer costs to track the income, legal agreements. Perhaps? May be?
    Cost Accounting 🧾 is FILLED with finger pointing.

    Great return on investment. Why stop the positive cash flow?
    Still……

    I’ve seen idiocy….thirty years ago as a junior member, in my last year, I generated $4million net (annually henceforth) ($120 million to date) from a single project — and still they eliminated my entire department.
    Two weeks before Merry Christmas.

    🎶🎶 Life can be a dream 🎶🎶

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  13. Rusty Shackleford

    Surprised by the small amount tsto has brought in. I would have guessed more. So with summer coming, I suspect they will bring us a summer event…and maybe close the yearbook for the summer.

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  14. I have lost the ability to visit neighbours, they are all still listed with an origin account but not as neighbours and I cannot visit. Stats that show when they last played are also blank. Is this new or just me being slow

    Like

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Same here. It’s part of the server issues. I’m getting tons of disconnects today, especially when first signing in to the game.

      Like

  15. I personally think that there are major overhaul efforts happening at EA. There have been articles mentioning outages,,server issues. I prefer to think they are trying to improve their games. At least,,that’s what I’m hoping for.

    Liked by 2 people

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