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.
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?).
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!