Forum: Service Plays - Investwithsports.com

Gauging interest for a custom tipping competition app

Hi all,
I like betting myself (mostly on tennis) and was recently playing with an idea of creating a web app where users could create their custom tipping competitions. It would work similarly to the competitions on Bettingexpert or the UK betting forum, with the important distinction that users could start and manage their own private competitions.
So let's say you and a group of your mates all like betting on Premier League and want to start a tournament where everyone throws in 50 pounds at the beginning of the season, starts with the same amount of play money, places play bets on PL matches (using odds from a real bookmaker which the app would regularly update). The top 3 players who end up with most play money at the end of the PL season share the money pot. The app would handle all tournament bets, custom rules (e.g. restricting max bet amounts so that the participants don't go bust too early) and calculate standings after each event. In theory, such tournaments could be rolled out for any sports competition (NHL/NBA regular season/playoffs, football leagues/Champions League, tennis grand slams etc.)
Is this a service you can imagine yourself using? Does the idea of a relatively low-risk gambling round where you measure your success not by absolute profit&loss but rather comparatively to the other people's/friends'/colleagues' performance sound exciting to you? Can you think of features that would make such tournaments more interesting to you?
Grateful for any feedback on the idea.
submitted by kuklachert to SoccerBetting [link] [comments]

Let's talk about predatory practices in the videogame industry and what we can do as consumers.

Videogames hold a very dear place in my heart. They allow me a reprieve from the daily problems of my life. They give me a space to share with friends I wouldn’t have otherwise. Every so often, a videogame will say something that touches me deeply. I’ve cried at least a couple times at the end of Metal Gear Solid 4. Maybe your experience with videogames is not quite the same, but I bet what I say rings somewhat true for anyone who’s picked up the hobby.
I’d argue that, as a piece of media, they’re works of art. They connect us and allow us to express ourselves. I’ve met some very special people to me, just by playing games online. And I’ve been able to play with them, in sandboxes and zombie infested lands and truly bonded over the time we’ve shared.
But games are also the product of hard work. They still are a piece of media to be distributed. At the end of the day, a game must be sold to keep the lights on: there’s developers to be paid, assets to be invested in, and stakeholders to answer to. So game companies adopt DRM policies, to thwart piracy and defend their product. They research new ways to reach broader audiences, and to hold their attention over the competition.
But I fear that, throughout the years, we’ve gotten it twisted. Game companies don’t talk in terms of “fun” but engagement nowadays. They don’t even call games as such anymore: platforms, live services – games as a service. But a service to who? I brought this question to a buddy who goes by the nickname EndlesNights, he replied with this:

“It's clear they only care about their bottom lines… For instance, how can we be in a time with simultaneously both record setting high profits and yet people are being let go from these corporations?”
“You can go into further details about the negative implications and implementations of always online DRM. For instance on launch day & during big events, the severs are almost always overstrained which prevents everyone from accessing the server. It creates an arbitrary expiry date for the game, where the severs will no longer be cost effective to maintain and no one will be able to launch the game anymore. It provides no benefits to the end users, and the general ficklety of the services has only turned potential customers away to acquire pirated & cracked copies.”

A lot of these AAA companies CEOs don’t really care for the games they make. To them, it’s just another product. Bobby Kotick is infamous for many things. Among these, one that has stuck to the back of my mind was his belief that videogames should be sold like detergent. Back in 2005 he hired a couple of Proctor & Gambler ex-employees for his publishing division. When interviewed, this was his reply:

"Processes that have worked well in packaged goods industry -- bringing goods to market, the process of market research and internalizing the business -- have all added the most value to our company…"Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/activision-adds-publishing-execs-with-pg-experience

Fast-forward a bit: it’s 2009, and Activison just merged with Blizzard. A bunch of their IPs were dropped, and amongst these was Brutal Legend, which seemed like it would never be published under Activision. So Double Fine negotiated with EA, who would end up publishing the game. So, of course, Activison sues EA trying to block the release of the game.Source: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2009-jun-05-fi-ct-lawsuit5-story.html
This is what Tim Schafer (Founder of Double Fine Productions) had to say regarding Mr. Kotick, after Double Fine got sued by Activision over the release of Brutal Legend by EA, back in 2010:

"His obligation is to his shareholders… Well, he doesn't have to be as much of a dick about it, does he? I think there is a way he can do it without being a total prick… He [Kotick] makes a big deal about not liking games, and I just don't think that attitude is good for games in general. I just don't think we're an industry of widgets...”
"We can approach it like we approach bars of soap, where you're just trying to make the cheapest bar of soap. He definitely has that that kind of widget-maker attitude. I don't think he's great for the industry, overall. You can't just latch onto something when it's popular and then squeeze the life out of it and then move on to the next one. You have to at some point create something, build something… Hopefully he'll go back to another industry soon.”Source: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/schafer-calls-bobby-kotick-a-total-prick

The lawsuit was settled outside of court, btw. But the judge said he was “… strongly inclined to rule against Activision’s motion to stop the game’s release.” You draw your own conclusions.Source: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2009-aug-07-fi-activision7-story.html
So, it’s pretty clear that, at least for Activision’s CEO, games don’t hold value beyond the revenue they can bring into the company. The outcome? After the success of CoD 4, Modern Warfare, CoD became a franchise that released games yearly. The games weren’t that different from each other, and each came with it’s own new monetization scheme: microtransactions, map-packs, lootboxes, etc. This is bad. And what’s worse, the quality of the games isn’t always up to par. It can’t be, if you’re expected to pump out a product year after year, using a cookie cutter formula. And CoD isn’t the worst example of this kind of thing, it’s just the most popular and polished.
The lead up question is, are we getting the short end of the stick as consumers? And I’m hoping to build a solid case of proof and evidence to say “Yes, we are!” This attitude is not localized to Activision, but widespread across the industry. It’s not the exception, is the rule. And, somehow throughout the years, we’ve just accepted this as the way things are.
I feel that we, as gamers, make tons of excuses for game companies when they mess up in the pursuit of money, out of misplaced loyalty. Because the games they put out mean more to us than just entertainment. But AAA game companies abuse our demand for games. They wring us for all our worth with a smile and then heckle us in subtle, and not so subtle ways (Yes, I have a phone Blizzard, your game is still a free PoS for the Chinese market.)
So, the real question is, what can we do about it?
All we can do is try to rally together and vote with our wallets: the only language they understand.
I'm here to tell you the current state of the market isn't fine. We’ve gotten to this point, not because games started out as 60 dollar products with a real cost of upwards 100 dollars and spendings on the side - we let it get to this point. I’m here to put forward the motion that, sometimes, we just have to let games we love die and move on. Another one will come to take it's place. It won't be the same, but it always does anyways. It is something regrettable, but when game companies predate on consumers this hard.
Below, I’ve put together a list of companies I'm personally boycotting, along with videos and articles that back up the reasons I have for this boycott. IDK if anyone will care to go through this, I certainly hope at least one other person takes me seriously and at least reads through it, just to be informed. That’s all I can ask for.

EA

  1. Lays off 350 people, while hiring a new CEO and giving him multimillion dollar bonus
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RZ1zfEe0W8
    2. Article: https://www.businessinsider.com/electronic-arts-laying-off-350-employees-2019-3
  2. FIFA 2020 was basically a copy paste of FIFA 2019 with no Quality Assurance. This is the best example of what yearly franchises actually are. You can tell here since it's unpolished: they just forces gamers to reset their progress to 0 and spend more money trying to play catch up with their last year's progress, all the while including very minor updates to the game itself.
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9duLp9PZtWM
    2. Article: https://www.imore.com/why-you-shouldnt-buy-fifa-20-nintendo-switch
  3. List of dead studios at the hands of EA (They ran the companies and their IPs to the ground)
    1. Maxis Studios
    2. Westwood Studios
    3. Visceral Games
    4. Many more (List)... https://heavy.com/games/2017/10/studios-ea-has-killed-visceral-games/
  4. They introduced microtransactions into a single player game, allowing you to prepurchase this, along with some day 1 dlc. Maybe it's to be expected now, and they’d done it before with Mass Effect 3 (And Ubisoft did it with Assassin’s Creed), but they did it with reckless abandon.
  5. Dead Space 3 will have microtransactions, to massive public uproar:
    1. Video: https://youtu.be/6Myy5Khm12A?t=161
    2. Article: https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-01-22-dead-space-3-includes-micro-transactions-for-buying-better-weapons
  6. Oh and then they used that as a platform to shove microtransactions into EVERY GAME
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ra113_O9R4E
  7. Always online DRM for a Single Player game! (Simcity 2013) This was one of the building blocks for games as a service, as this form of DRM is widely tolerated nowadays. They argued it was needed back then. They wouldn’t really say why.
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=maU7vPrNRDI
    2. Article: https://kotaku.com/simcity-is-online-only-but-it-promises-not-to-repeat-d-5915377
  8. Then they backed down on that once it flopped, because they couldn’t sustain it:
    1. Article: https://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/01/13/simcity_offline_turnaround/
  9. Did I talk about the Sims online and how they only care about PR? Here's a BOOK on MMOs (just read the abstract), Second Life, and how messed up Sims online was: they never policed it, banned users if they gave them negative PR, not if they were hacking scumbags.
    1. Book: https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/second-life-herald
  10. How can we forget Battlefront 2 lootboxes, gating characters and skills behind "randomized", definitely overpriced, booster packs.
    1. Lootboxes, a rundown of the issue Article: https://mashable.com/2017/11/13/star-wars-battlefront-2-loot-box-controversy/
    2. Lootboxes get noticed (Yongyea): Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ndi8D2eRu4
    3. Lootboxes get noticed (Jim Sterling) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUfkGSbabSo
    4. EA's reply Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qfo1Bv91ws
    5. The turning point (Belgium defines lootboxes as gambling): Video:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28K6GkkaTik
    6. Some dood flexing his lootboxes online. This is what it all amounts to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bj9xrUolKb4
  11. NEVER FORGET FIFA LOOTBOXES AND HOW EA REFUSES TO TAKE RESPONSIBLITY
    1. Kid empties parent's bank account trying to get a FIFA player card Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHy7XueW6dc
    2. Article: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/football/9475199/kids-parents-bank-messi-fifa-19/
    3. The addictive cost of Predatory Videogame Monetization (The Jimquisition) Video: https://youtu.be/7S-DGTBZU14
    4. Full UK parliament hearing Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPkyERMbKU8

Bioware

  1. Bioware devs getting overworked to the point of breaking down (Stress Casualities!). This came out in an article by Kotaku’s Jason Schreier about Anthem.
    1. Bioware working staff to tears and calling it "Magic" Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN1uV57hE_w
    2. What went wrong with anthem? (Story by Kotaku's Jason Schreier) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYDJNf4LyBsArticle: https://kotaku.com/how-biowares-anthem-went-wrong-1833731964
  2. Mass Effect Andromeda was a rushed piece of crap, just riding the popularity of Mass Effect 3
    1. Mass Effect Andromeda Troubled development history Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYDJNf4LyBs
  3. Bug makes Anthem more FUN. Bioware fixes regardless of playerbase's protests
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYDJNf4LyBs
    2. Article: https://www.polygon.com/2019/3/11/18260057/anthem-loot-update-bug-boycott

Activision-Blizzard

  1. Record revenue of the quarter after massive layoffs (770 people)
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmK43DV_wVY
    2. Article: https://kotaku.com/activision-blizzard-begins-massive-layoffs-1832571288
  2. Made Diablo 3 online only, added auction house while reducing drop rates to non-existence. On a loot-based dungeon crawler. They didn't even prepare for the amount of players who wanted to play their game at launch! They also backpedalled the AH by the expansion, upping the drop rates, prohibiting trading "because it's not in the spirit" (BTW they just wanted to stop players selling items on the side), but THE PROFIT by then. And we praised 'em for "fixing” the game after years. Ugh.
    1. Error 37, couldn't login at launch: A light read: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/error-37
    2. Article about Action house: https://blog.hoard.exchange/diablo-iiis-failed-auction-house-why-true-ownership-won-t-save-your-game-c6d692b9de1
  3. Bans player for freedom of speech. Players are on uproar. Congress gets in on the action. Blizzard backpedals publicly with the most NOTHING apology I've ever seen. Player (Blitzchung) is still banned.
    1. Article Talking about issue and the ensued apology: https://www.businessinsider.com/blizzard-apology-blizzcon-blitzchung-hong-kong-china-2019-11
    2. Video explaining issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdCNGszoP0U
    3. Blizzard CEO emits “nothing” apology at Blizzcon, play by play Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T2_PU8rHtk
    4. Break down, of nothing apology, if you had doubts:Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDAcrhfQDqI
  4. COD opening lootboxes in front of other players gives watcher rewards to pressure them into buying lootboxes
    1. Short 1-minute video showing this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nra1UG4_1c
    2. Video explaining (By Yongyea): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkkpHVjVyFQ
  5. COD Modern Warfare Remastered did not include map-pack, then resold as dlc at a HIGHER price than the original game
    1. Article: https://kotaku.com/for-some-reason-modern-warfare-remastereds-map-pack-is-1794563753
    2. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gY9vBu0z8NQNotice how the guy, almost by reflex, makes a disclaimer to defend his PoV after pointing out this clearly predatory practice (which it is, if you think of what a remaster should be and the actual cost in production compared to the OG release, but I digress). This is what we do to each other by defending the companies. We attack each other to see who’s right and wrong, instead of just letting people voice their opinion freely (likewise you could voice support in the company’s social media “keep doing you” and the such, but it takes all kinds. Again, I digress).
  6. COD Black Ops 4 sneaks lootboxes into the game
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJYjvFsF-U8
    2. Article: https://www.destructoid.com/loot-boxes-sneak-into-call-of-duty-black-ops-4-under-a-new-name-543584.phtml

EPIC Games

  1. Cornering the Market via Exclusivity Deals, instead of making a good storefront. Here's some games that signed an exclusivity deal with EPIC Games:
    1. Metro Exodus
    2. Borderlands 3
    3. Outer Worlds
    4. Detroit: Become Human
    5. Many more! Full List: https://www.gamewatcher.com/news/Epic-games-store-exclusives
  2. Spyware, stealing your Steam Data
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8xi69sBbwo
    2. Apologist Article (So you can read both Sides): https://www.usgamer.net/articles/the-epic-games-store-is-spyware-how-a-toxic-accusation-was-started-by-anti-chinese-sentiment
    3. Reddit Thread that fired the controversy: https://www.reddit.com/PhoenixPoint/comments/b0rxdq/epic_game_store_spyware_tracking_and_you/
  3. Introduced Battle Passes cuz, who cares as long as "cosmetics only"
    1. Forbes Article – The Psychology of Fortnite’s Battle Pass: Explains how Battle Passes hook players by making them work for their reward. The sucky bit is that they also charge an entry fee, so to speak, to unlock your hard earned rewards. https://www.forbes.com/sites/jamiemadigan/2019/07/06/the-psychology-of-fortnites-battle-pass/#7f7f45015e61
    2. Cosmetics matter: Video by Jim Sterling exemplifying why, and how games as a service are killing videogames. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyUutk1xDew
    3. Here’s an example of a good game with cosmetic customization.Code Vein Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUtLrzHctKU
    4. Honestly, maybe I'm a dinasour that's been around for a while but I remember when cosmetics were unlockables and not DLC (as late as 2009, just look at Resident Evil 5, and that game GOT chopped up into DLC). Remember the uproar surrounding Oblivion Horse armor?Video about Horse Armor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uopSzlYo7sg

Bethesda

  1. Fallout 76 promising "No game-affecting dlc" and "no Season pass"
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kR28-3lPcZA
  2. Breaks promise repeatedly
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otT6w0-jGI0
    2. Article: Added Repair Kits https://www.criticalhit.net/gaming/bethesda-breaks-promise-on-cosmetics-only-atom-store-adds-repair-kits/
    3. News Post: Bethesda justifies adding non-cosmetics to store by saying, “We’ve looked at all the data” - platforms off that to break promise further https://fallout.bethesda.net/en/article/6eNqXDms6VbtrHubE26y4new-wastelanders-release-date-private-worlds-the-atomic-shop-and-more?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app
  3. Fallout 1st and private server bugs (Stash disappearing, private worlds not private)
    1. Announcement Video: https://youtu.be/CMF5wSmQkDY
    2. Service is broken (SURPRISE) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMF5wSmQkDY
    3. Article: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/10/bethesda-pledges-to-fix-early-fallout-1st-bugs-and-complaints/
  4. Reportedly Banning a user for reporting a bug
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPabZ3vcqmc
    2. Article: https://boundingintocomics.com/2019/11/12/bethesda-reportedly-bans-creator-of-fallout-76-interactive-map-for-finding-and-reporting-an-exploit/
  5. Canvas bag debacle (buyers got a crappy nylon one, then after months of complains, actually got promised bags)
    1. Video with a nice parody song intro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvGdhzDMy4I
    2. Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/bethesda-is-finally-gonna-ship-those-damn-fallout-76-canvas-bags/
  6. One of the special edition helmets turned MOULDY and became a health hazard
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhA1NmRJPDQ
    2. Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/fallout-76-collectable-helmets-are-being-recalled-due-to-mould-risk/
  7. Nuka Rum (Terrible rum, horrible material for bottle, overpriced as all hell)
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9naBulH2e9s
    2. Article: https://theradlands.com/2018/09/10/nuka-dark-rum-is-insulting/
  8. Stupid overpriced jacket for game they are not fixing
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cReHb8xwmsI
    2. Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/twitter-reacts-to-dollar276-fallout-76-jacket-with-a-bunch-of-bag-jokes/
  9. Refuses to refund 76, forced by Australian government, but even that had caveats.
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw3fl3wsyJ4
    2. Forum thread discussing refunds: https://www.giantbomb.com/fallout-76/3030-68742/forums/bethesda-refusing-refunds-for-fallout-76-1859009/ (This is bad. The consumer itself is going “you can’t demand a refund just because the end-product is bad) MY DUDE.
  10. Elder Scrolls Blades being a piece of crap.
    1. (Chest unlock timers in my RPG are awful)Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJHjtFx_STI
  11. Horse armor! (First time cosmetic DLCs were introduced by anyone! It was Bethesda and it was Horse Armor! We laughed at this back in the day.)
    1. It’s even a meme!: https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/horse-armor
  12. Rereleased Doom on the Switch with new DRM for the 20 year old titles!
    1. Article: https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/26/8932026/doom-library-switch-drm-log-in-online-connection-bethesda-quakecon
    2. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh7nZ9t2eJA (DISCLAIMER) They removed the DRM after uproar. They even fixed the buggy music.

Ubisoft

  1. Most egregious example of greedy microtransactions, with their "Time savers"
    1. Ghost Reckon Breakpoint time savers include skill points and more: Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM9JLr5KZJs
    2. Article: https://www.polygon.com/2019/10/4/20899162/ghost-recon-breakpoint-microtransactions-ubisoft-time-savers-ps4-xbox-one-pc
  2. Then they backpedalled on it and acted like those getting into the storefront in the first place Was a mistake
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIPUILFl0eo
    2. Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/ubisoft-removes-ghost-recon-breakpoints-booster-and-skill-point-microtransactions/

Warner Brothers

  1. Lootboxes in Shadow of War (which has some multiplayer, and is mostly single player, making it P2W on top of scummy. Double Scummy.)
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TXWdyrqFP8
  2. Removes Shadow of War lootboxes over half a year later. Backpedals like it's their sudden realization. What about all the players that already paid for lootboxes? What about the people that were upset about this for months?
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_XEMAVTxqE
    2. Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/middle-earth-shadow-of-war-is-ditching-loot-boxes/
  3. MKX Devs Burnout after getting worked up to 100 hours a week.
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_f_qe1-75w
    2. Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/former-devs-speak-out-about-severe-crunch-at-mortal-kombat-studio/

Telltale (It's dead now, but it's getting "revived" so worth remembering)

  1. Massive layoffs, got sued even after closing down.
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq6iX1htl28
    2. Article: https://www.polygon.com/2018/9/25/17901106/telltale-layoffs-lawsuit-warn-act
  2. Getting bought out by another company and "revived"
    1. Article: https://www.polygon.com/2019/8/28/20835854/telltale-games-return-walking-dead-lcg-entertainment

2K

  1. NBA 2K20 promoting gambling to children LIKE IT'S FINE
    1. Article: https://www.pcgamesn.com/nba-2k20/microtransactions (Video in Article has been taken down, here’s some more vids).
    2. MyTeam actual trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwN4VYzD02g
    3. Yongyea analyzes trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-junD46e9Iw
    4. PEGI defends NBA2k Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roddqD3Xqs0

Gearbox

  1. Randy Pitchford assaults employees and denies due revenue.
    1. Article: https://www.pcgamer.com/former-claptrap-voice-actor-details-randy-pitchford-assault-allegations/
    2. Video by Yongyea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7bEjCG_D8s
    3. Video by Jim Sterling: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhXXpGFU2-s
  2. Alien Colonial Marines was a lie. The Demo didn't match the final product.
    1. NSFW Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG1q3X3HxeA
    2. Photos for Comparison in this Article: https://www.ign.com/articles/2013/02/14/did-aliens-colonial-marines-screenshots-lie-to-you
    3. Article: Sega outs Gearbox for lying: https://www.destructoid.com/sega-outs-gearbox-for-lying-in-aliens-colonial-marines-case-280655.phtml

Capcom

  1. BIG day 1 dlc offender. They chopped up some characters OFF their fighting game, then added them later as DLC. The reason how we know the characters were ready at launch is because the character's data CAME WITH THE DISC and the DLC just unlocked them. They sold you a full 60 dollar game and then wanted some more, by hiding the actual cost of the FULL game through sketchy means.
    1. Article: https://www.cinemablend.com/games/Capcom-Gets-Busted-Disc-DLC-Discovered-Street-Fighter-X-Tekken-40114.html

Konami

  1. Killed P.T.
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRTwUShPFN0
  2. Full disclosure, personal grudge: Messed up MGS5. Had a fallout with Kojima, fired him, tried to remove him from the credits like he never was a part of it.
    1. Article: https://www.polygon.com/2015/3/19/8257283/metal-gear-solid-konami-branding
    2. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYLC0rLBCtI
  3. Most messed up, internal, corporate policies I've EVER seen or heard of.
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okNtRgMGNmc
  4. Konami blacklisting ex-employee, messing with their health insurance and future employment opportunities
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJawlLSkj7E
  5. Game franchise PACHINKO (Turning beloved franchises into gambling machines)
    1. Silent hill pachinko trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ht4dbyPIcM
    2. Metal gear Pachinko trailer (LOOK AT THOSE GRAPHICS GODDAMNIT) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVSRjJL1bv8
    3. Castlevania Pachinko trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN0Te7uTi7o

Nintendo’s Mobile Division

  1. Pads out Mario Kart Mobile with bots, WHILE not being upfront about it.
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiOCyTsg-yoIt makes you believe you’re playing with real players
  2. Animal Crossing Pocket Camp has 2 subscription models
    1. Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDaGQ-vQC8k
    2. Article: https://www.polygon.com/2019/11/20/20974027/animal-crossing-pocket-camp-subscription-plans-price-features-nintendoAnd of course the game gets crippled to incentivize you to pay for a sub.
Conclusion:
If it wasn't clear by now, the companies that come out with the game's ratings, like ESRB and PEGI, that should be watching out for consumers, just cover corporate interests! Parent’s get the short end of the stick and companies just reply with empty PR statements, like “You can check the Parental Controls for your system,” which is corporate lingo for “you’re not getting your money back, we don’t care, sorry not sorry.”
Most of the money doesn't even go to the devs, if that wasn't obvious by now. They get overworked (sometimes forced to do up to 100 hours a week!), then they get laid off anyways. The money goes to executives and stakeholders, who give each other multi-million dollar bonuses and shares. These execs act like they are nice and care about the consumer, and they even do self-deprecating jokes like they are self-aware. It's just a facade to placate us, to stay on our good side while they suck more money away from us.
Game companies don’t validate their users’ grievances. They act like nothing is wrong, shut up complainers until the noise gets too loud (which not always happens) and then just do the thing they’ve been told to do for months while pretending they came up with on their own, or act like it’s some sudden realization and they’ve always had our best interests in mind...
If that isn't obvious scumbag behavior IDK what is.
I believe it is time that we as consumers put our foot down. Not because everyone else is gonna do it too and we’re gonna enforce some major change, but just because we, as individuals, refuse to be abused so. It’s up to each of us. And if enough people follow suit the market WILL change. Even if it doesn’t, that’s not a good enough reason to keep meekly paying the abusive corporations.
So, this is a list of practices I believe should be stopped, by not supporting games that enforce them:

  1. Always online DRM.
  2. Microtransactions on full 60 dollar games.
  3. Microtransactions on exclusively Singleplayer games.
  4. Time saving microtransactions. (If you have to save my time on a game I played for entertainment, then you’re crippling it by design, instead of focusing on making it fun… just so I have to spend money to MAKE it fun. Just give me back cheat codes.)
  5. Pre-ordering (stop throwing your money at incomplete products and empty promises out of hype and misplaced loyalty).
  6. Season passes
  7. Justifying gating all good cosmetics behind microtransactions “because they don’t affect gameplay anyway”.I want to touch on this one.Cosmetics affect my gameplay experience. Growing up, a favorite part of a bunch of games was customizing my character, making it feel my own. It matters, that’s why game companies charge 10 dollars for a bunch of pixels; because enough players pay for those. Just look to Minecraft and Terraria and all those sandboxes, for crying out loud, and tell me it would be the same without the creative freedom to mod in your own skins. Why are we defending them taking that away and gating it behind MORE money? I’m not saying “DLC that comes afterwards should be free”. I’m saying, when I pay for a full priced game, I expect the full content they got, not a maimed version of it. I’m not buying a game in installments, that’s what episodic games are for.Seriously, there’s even a sense of elitism between paying players and “base skin” players in many games (Fortnite comes to mind prominently). Here, check out this talk that explains the psychology behind it in brutally honest terms by the very corporate execs that don’t really care about their consumers. Infamous Video - Let’s go whaling: Tricks for monetizing mobile game players with free-to-play: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNjI03CGkb4
  8. With that said, Battle Passes also get on the list. On top of wanting you to spend money on cosmetics, they make you grind for them. You’re no longer buying the cosmetic, you’re buying the option to get the cosmetic by investing ungodly amount of hours on their product, on top of whatever price the Battle Pass has. This is just psychological manipulation on top of unfair content gating.
  9. Gambling in video games: from lootboxes, to NBA’s predatory attempt on children. All of it. Gambling in videogames should receive an “Adult Only” rating, but if you can’t trust the ratings companies, why would you even risk being exposed to this BS?
Why support any of this anymore?
Disclaimer:
This is my take on the matter. I’ve tried to be impartial and back-up my arguments and provide as much info as I can. Truth be told, I’m quite bitter, and I’m aware. This list hurts me. I'd rather not support companies that make their living off the blood and sweat of hardworking people, and then spit in their faces. Who abuse the consumer and e-sport players and then try to take it back with lies. Who apologize like a manipulator trying to keep you nice and subdued, but do nothing about it.
We get a choice of which business practices we support and which we don't. It's up to each of us. I don’t fully expect many people to actively boycott these companies: they do provide us with valued entertainment. But I urge anyone who reads this to not be so quick to forgive, and to never forget what it used to be like, how we got here today, and what it’s cost us.
I leave you with this: These videos are a more in-depth look behind these scummy practices, and break it down pretty neatly, top to bottom.
CAAApitalism: The Successful Failure of Videogames (The Jimquisition).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmW0GhdDOvw
The Trouble with the Video Game Industry | Philosphy Tube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYkLVU5UGM8
submitted by IMightHaveBeenHacked to Games [link] [comments]

Mockingbird X.0

Imagine if there was one desk that all stories could cross so that, at 4am, a media plan could be decided upon and disseminated where all news outlets coordinated to set the goalposts of debate and hyper focused on specific issues to drive a narrative to control how you vote and how you spend money; where Internet shills were given marching orders in tandem to what was shown on television, printed in newspapers and spread throughout articles on the World Wide Web.
https://i.imgur.com/Elnci0M.png
In the past, we had Operation Mockingbird, where the program was supremely confident that it could control stories around the world, even in instructions to cover up any story about a possible “Yeti” sighting, should it turn out they were real.
https://i.imgur.com/121LXqy.png
If, in 1959, the government was confident in its ability to control a story about a Yeti, then what is their level of confidence in controlling stories, today?
https://i.imgur.com/jQFVYew.png
https://i.imgur.com/ZKMYGJj.png
In fact, we have a recent example of a situation similar to the Yeti. When Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch met on the TARMAC to spike the Hillary email investigation, the FBI was so confident it wasn’t them, that their entire focus was finding the leaker, starting with searching within the local PD. We have documentation that demonstrates the state of mind of the confidence the upper levels of the FBI have when dealing with the media.
https://i.imgur.com/IbjDOkI.png
https://i.imgur.com/NH86ozU.png
The marriage between mainstream media and government is a literal one and this arrangement is perfectly legal.
https://i.imgur.com/OAd4vpf.png
But, this problem extends far beyond politics; the private sector, the scientific community, even advice forums are shilled heavily. People are paid to cause anxiety, recommend people break up and otherwise sow depression and nervousness. This is due to a correlating force that employs “systems psychodynamics”, focusing on “tension centered” strategies to create “organizational paradoxes” by targeting people’s basic assumptions about the world around them to create division and provide distraction.
https://i.imgur.com/6OEWYFN.png
https://i.imgur.com/iG4sdD4.png
https://i.imgur.com/e89Rx6B.png
https://i.imgur.com/uotm9Cg.png
https://i.imgur.com/74wt9tD.png
In this day and age, it is even easier to manage these concepts and push a controlled narrative from a central figure than it has ever been. Allen & Co is a “boutique investment firm” that managed the merger between Disney and Fox and operates as an overseeing force for nearly all media and Internet shill armies, while having it’s fingers in sports, social media, video games, health insurance, etc.
https://i.imgur.com/zlpBh3c.png
https://i.imgur.com/e5ZvFFJ.png
Former director of the CIA and Paul Brennan’s former superior George Tenet, holds the reigns of Allen & Co. The cast of characters involves a lot of the usual suspects.
https://i.imgur.com/3OlrX7G.png
In 1973, Allen & Company bought a stake in Columbia Pictures. When the business was sold in 1982 to Coca-Cola, it netted a significant profit. Since then, Herbert Allen, Jr. has had a place on Coca-Cola's board of directors.
Since its founding in 1982, the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference has regularly drawn high-profile attendees such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller, Michael Eisner, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Johnson, Andy Grove, Richard Parsons, and Donald Keough.
Allen & Co. was one of ten underwriters for the Google initial public offering in 2004. In 2007, Allen was sole advisor to Activision in its $18 billion merger with Vivendi Games. In 2011, the New York Mets hired Allen & Co. to sell a minority stake of the team. That deal later fell apart. In November 2013, Allen & Co. was one of seven underwriters on the initial public offering of Twitter. Allen & Co. was the adviser of Facebook in its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in February 2014.
In 2015, Allen & Co. was the advisor to Time Warner in its $80 billion 2015 merger with Charter Communications, AOL in its acquisition by Verizon, Centene Corporation in its $6.8 billion acquisition of Health Net, and eBay in its separation from PayPal.
In 2016, Allen & Co was the lead advisor to Time Warner in its $108 billion acquisition by AT&T, LinkedIn for its merger talks with Microsoft, Walmart in its $3.3 billion purchase of Jet.com, and Verizon in its $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo!. In 2017, Allen & Co. was the advisor to Chewy.com in PetSmart’s $3.35 billion purchase of the online retailer.
Allen & Co throws the Sun Valley Conference every year where you get a glimpse of who sows up. Harvey Weinstein, though a past visitor, was not invited last year.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_%26_Company_Sun_Valley_Conference
Previous conference guests have included Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren and Susan Buffett, Tony Blair, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Allen alumnus and former Philippine Senator Mar Roxas, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, Quicken Loans Founder & Chairman Dan Gilbert, Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang, financier George Soros, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Media Mogul Rupert Murdoch, eBay CEO Meg Whitman, BET founder Robert Johnson, Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons, Nike founder and chairman Phil Knight, Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell, NBA player LeBron James, Professor and Entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun, Governor Chris Christie, entertainer Dan Chandler, Katharine Graham of The Washington Post, Diane Sawyer, InterActiveCorp Chairman Barry Diller, Linkedin co-founder Reid Hoffman, entrepreneur Wences Casares, EXOR and FCA Chairman John Elkann, Sandro Salsano from Salsano Group, and Washington Post CEO Donald E. Graham, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and Oprah Winfrey.
https://i.imgur.com/VZ0OtFa.png
George Tenet, with the reigns of Allen & Co in his hands, is able to single-handedly steer the entire Mockingbird apparatus from cable television to video games to Internet shills from a singular location determining the spectrum of allowable debate. Not only are they able to target people’s conscious psychology, they can target people’s endocrine systems with food and pornography; where people are unaware, on a conscious level, of how their moods and behavior are being manipulated.
https://i.imgur.com/mA3MzTB.png
"The problem with George Tenet is that he doesn't seem to care to get his facts straight. He is not meticulous. He is willing to make up stories that suit his purposes and to suppress information that does not."
"Sadly but fittingly, 'At the Center of the Storm' is likely to remind us that sometimes what lies at the center of a storm is a deafening silence."
https://i.imgur.com/YHMJnnP.png
Tenet joined President-elect Bill Clinton's national security transition team in November 1992. Clinton appointed Tenet Senior Director for Intelligence Programs at the National Security Council, where he served from 1993 to 1995. Tenet was appointed Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. Tenet held the position as the DCI from July 1997 to July 2004. Citing "personal reasons," Tenet submitted his resignation to President Bush on June 3, 2004. Tenet said his resignation "was a personal decision and had only one basis—in fact, the well-being of my wonderful family—nothing more and nothing less. In February 2008, he became a managing director at investment bank Allen & Company.
https://i.imgur.com/JnGHqOS.png
We have the documentation that demonstrates what these people could possibly be doing with all of these tools of manipulation at their fingertips.
The term for it is “covert political action” for which all media put before your eyes is used to serve as a veneer… a reality TV show facade of a darker modus operandum.
https://i.imgur.com/vZC4D29.png
https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol36no3/html/v36i3a05p_0001.htm
It is now clear that we are facing an implacable enemy whose avowed objective is world domination by whatever means and at whatever costs. There are no rules in such a game. Hitherto acceptable norms of human conduct do not apply. If the US is to survive, longstanding American concepts of "fair play" must be reconsidered. We must develop effective espionage and counterespionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated means than those used against us. It may become necessary that the American people be made acquainted with, understand and support this fundamentally repugnant philosophy.
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3340677/t/cia-operatives-shadowy-war-force/
Intelligence historian Jeffrey T. Richelson says the S.A. has covered a variety of missions. The group, which recently was reorganized, has had about 200 officers, divided among several groups: the Special Operations Group; the Foreign Training Group, which trains foreign police and intelligence officers; the Propaganda and Political Action Group, which handles disinformation; the Computer Operations Group, which handles information warfare; and the Proprietary Management Staff, which manages whatever companies the CIA sets up as covers for the S.A.
Scientology as a CIA Political Action Group – “It is a continuing arrangement…”: https://mikemcclaughry.wordpress.com/2015/08/25/scientology-as-a-cia-political-action-group-it-is-a-continuing-arrangement/
…Those operations we inaugurated in the years 1955-7 are still secret, but, for present purposes, I can say all that’s worth saying about them in a few sentences – after, that is, I offer these few words of wisdom. The ‘perfect’ political action operation is, by definition, uneventful. Nothing ‘happens’ in it. It is a continuing arrangement, neither a process nor a series of actions proceeding at a starting point and ending with a conclusion.
CIA FBI NSA Personnel Active in Scientology: https://i.imgur.com/acu2Eti.png
When you consider the number of forces that can be contained within a single “political action group” in the form on a “boutique investment firm,” where all sides of political arguments are predetermined by a selected group of actors who have been planted, compromised or leveraged in some way in order to control the way they spin their message.
https://i.imgur.com/tU4MD4S.png
The evidence of this coordinated effort is overwhelming and the “consensus” that you see on TV, in sports, in Hollywood, in the news and on the Internet is fabricated.
Under the guise of a fake account a posting is made which looks legitimate and is towards the truth is made - but the critical point is that it has a VERY WEAK PREMISE without substantive proof to back the posting. Once this is done then under alternative fake accounts a very strong position in your favour is slowly introduced over the life of the posting. It is IMPERATIVE that both sides are initially presented, so the uninformed reader cannot determine which side is the truth. As postings and replies are made the stronger 'evidence' or disinformation in your favour is slowly 'seeded in.'
Thus the uninformed reader will most likely develop the same position as you, and if their position is against you their opposition to your posting will be most likely dropped. However in some cases where the forum members are highly educated and can counter your disinformation with real facts and linked postings, you can then 'abort' the consensus cracking by initiating a 'forum slide.'
When you find yourself feeling like common sense and common courtesy aren’t as common as they ought to be, it is because there is a massive psychological operation controlled from the top down to ensure that as many people as possible are caught in a “tension based” mental loop that is inflicted on them by people acting with purpose to achieve goals that are not in the interest of the general population, but a method of operating in secret and corrupt manner without consequences.
Notice that Jeffrey Katzenberg, of Disney, who is intertwined with Allen & Co funds the Young Turks. He is the perfect example of the relationship between media and politics.
Katzenberg has also been involved in politics. With his active support of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, he was called "one of Hollywood's premier political kingmakers and one of the Democratic Party's top national fundraisers."
With cash from Jeffrey Katzenberg, The Young Turks looks to grow paid subscribers:
https://digiday.com/media/with-cash-from-katzenberg-the-young-turks-look-to-grow-paid-subscribers/
Last week, former DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new mobile entertainment company WndrCo was part of a $20 million funding round in TYT Network, which oversees 30 news and commentary shows covering politics, pop culture, sports and more. This includes the flagship “The Young Turks” program that streams live on YouTube every day. Other investors in the round included venture capital firms Greycroft Partners, E.ventures and 3L Capital, which led the round. This brings total funding for Young Turks to $24 million.
How Hollywood's Political Donors Are Changing Strategies for the Trump Era:
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/hollywood-political-donors-are-changing-strategy-post-trump-1150545
Hollywood activism long has been depicted as a club controlled by a handful of powerful white men: Katzenberg, Spielberg, Lear, David Geffen, Haim Saban and Bob Iger are the names most often mentioned. But a new generation of power brokers is ascendant, including J.J. Abrams and his wife, Katie McGrath, cited for their personal donations and bundling skills; Shonda Rhimes, who held a get-out-the-vote rally at USC's Galen Center on Sept. 28 that drew 10,000 people; CAA's Darnell Strom, who has hosted events for Nevada congresswoman Jacky Rosen and Arizona congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema; and former Spotify executive Troy Carter, who held three fundraisers for Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous (Carter also was a fundraiser for President Obama).
Soros Group Buys Viacom's DreamWorks Film Library:
https://www.forbes.com/2006/03/17/soros-viacom-dreamworks-cx_gl_0317autofacescan11.html#541a895f1f22
Viacom, after splitting off from Les Moonves Les Moonves ' CBS , still holds Paramount Pictures, and that movie studio in December agreed to acquire DreamWorks SKG, the creative shop founded by the Hollywood triumvirate of Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg (a former exec at The Walt Disney Co.). DreamWorks Animation had been spun off into a separate company.
Now it's time for Freston to make back some money--and who better to do a little business with than George Soros? The billionaire financier leads a consortium of Soros Strategic Partners LP and Dune Entertainment II LLC, which together are buying the DreamWorks library--a collection of 59 flicks, including Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, and American Beauty.
The money you spend on media and junk food and in taxes goes to these groups who then decide how best to market at you so that they decide how you vote by creating a fake consensus to trick into thinking that you want something other than what is best for you; but will inevitably result in more money being funneled to the top, creating further separation between the super rich and the average person. The goal will be to assert creeping authoritarianism by generating outrage against policies and issues they hate. Part of manipulating your basic assumptions is also to use schadenfreude (think canned laughter on TV) against characters who support the cause that might actually do you the most good (which reaffirms and strengthens your confirmation biased along predetermined political lines).
https://i.imgur.com/PW1cRtj.png
We have a population being taught to hate socialism and love capitalism when the truth is no country is practicing either. These terms are merely disguises for political oligarchies where the collection of wealth is less about getting themselves rich and more about keeping everyone else poor.
What can you guess about the world around you if it turned out that every consensus that was forced on you was fake?
How much money would it take to make it look like 51% of the Internet believed in completely idiotic ideas? Combine shill operations with automation and AI’s, and the cost becomes a good investment relative to the return when measured in political power.
Even the people who are well intentioned and very vocal do not have to consciously be aware that they are working for a political action group. A covert political group will always prefer an unwitting tool to help push their agenda, so that they can remain in the shadows.
FDA Admonishes Drug Maker Over Kim Kardashian Instagram Endorsement https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidkroll/2015/08/11/fda-spanks-drug-maker-over-kim-kardashian-instagram-endorsement/#25174a29587b
The OSS files offer details about other agents than famous chef, Julia Child; including Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, major league catcher Moe Berg, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., and actor Sterling Hayden. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/26186498/ns/us_news-security/t/julia-child-cooked-double-life-spy/
USA Today: Businesses and organizations may refer to it as a tool for competitive advantage and marketing; but make no mistake http://archive.is/37tK3
Shareblue accounts caught in /politics posting links to Shareblue without disclosing their affiliation http://archive.is/7HAkr
Psy Group developed elaborate information operations for commercial clients and political candidates around the world http://archive.is/BBblQ
Top mod of /Mechanical_Gifs tries to sell subreddit on ebay for 999.00 dollars. http://archive.is/kU1Ly
Shill posts picture of a dog in a hammock with the brand clearly visible without indicating that it's an ad in the title of the post http://archive.is/Mfdk9
Arstechnica: GCHQs menu of tools spreads disinformation across Internet- “Effects capabilities” allow analysts to twist truth subtly or spam relentlessly. http://arstechnica.com/security/2014/07/ghcqs-chinese-menu-of-tools-spread-disinformation-across-internet/
Samsung Electronics Fined for Fake Online Comments http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/24/samsung-electronics-fined-for-fake-online-comments/?_r=0
Discover Magazine: Researchers Uncover Twitter Bot Army That’s 350 http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2017/01/20/twitter-bot-army/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20DiscoverTechnology%20%28Discover%20Technology%29#.WIMl-oiLTnA
Times of Israel - The internet: Israel’s new PR battlefield http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/the-rise-of-digital-diplomacy-could-be-changing-israels-media-image/
Time: Social Media Manipulation? When “Indie” Bloggers and Businesses Get Cozy http://business.time.com/2013/04/22/social-media-manipulation-when-indie-bloggers-and-businesses-get-cozy/
Content-Driven Detection of Campaigns in Social Media [PDF] http://faculty.cs.tamu.edu/caverlee/pubs/lee11cikm.pdf
the law preventing them from using this in America was repealed http://foreignpolicy.com/2013/07/14/u-s-repeals-propaganda-ban-spreads-government-made-news-to-americans/
Redditor who works for a potato mailing company admits to being a shill. He shows off his 27 thousand dollars he made in /pics
http://i.imgur.com/CcTHwdS.png
Screenshot of post since it was removed. http://i.imgur.com/k9g0WF8.png
Just thought I'd contribute to this thread http://imgur.com/OpSos4u
CNN: A PR firm has revealed that it is behind two blogs that previously appeared to be created by independent supporters of Wal-Mart. The blogs Working Families for Wal-mart and subsidiary site Paid Critics are written by 3 employees of PR firm Edelman http://money.cnn.com/2006/10/20/news/companies/walmart_blogs/index.htm
Vice: Your Government Wants to Militarize Social Media to Influence Your Beliefs http://motherboard.vice.com/read/your-government-wants-to-militarize-social-media-to-influence-your-beliefs
BBC News: China's Internet spin doctors http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7783640.stm
BBC News: US plans to 'fight the net' revealed http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4655196.stm
Wall Street Journal: Turkey's Government Forms 6 http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887323527004579079151479634742?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424127887323527004579079151479634742.html
Fake product reviews may be pervasive http://phys.org/news/2013-07-fake-product-pervasive.html#nRlv
USA Today: The co-owner of a major Pentagon propaganda contractor publicly admitted that he was behind a series of websites used in an attempt to discredit two USA TODAY journalists who had reported on the contractor. http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/military/story/2012-05-24/Leonie-usa-today-propaganda-pentagon/55190450/1
ADWEEK: Marketing on Reddit Is Scary http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/marketing-reddit-scary-these-success-stories-show-big-potential-168278
BBC- How online chatbots are already tricking you- Intelligent machines that can pass for humans have long been dreamed of http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140609-how-online-bots-are-tricking-you
BBC news: Amazon targets 1 http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-34565631
BBC: More than four times as many tweets were made by automated accounts in favour of Donald Trump around the first US presidential debate as by those backing Hillary Clinton http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-37684418
Fake five-star reviews being bought and sold online - Fake online reviews are being openly traded on the internet
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43907695
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-20982985
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-20982985
Bloomberg: How to Hack an Election [and influence voters with fake social media accounts] http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-how-to-hack-an-election/
"Internet Reputation Management http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2008-04-30/do-reputation-management-services-work-businessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice
Buzzfeed: Documents Show How Russia’s Troll Army Hit America http://www.buzzfeed.com/maxseddon/documents-show-how-russias-troll-army-hit-america#.ki8Mz97ly
The Rise of Social Bots http://www.cacm.acm.org/magazines/2016/7/204021-the-rise-of-social-bots/fulltext
CBC News- Canadian government monitors online forums http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/bureaucrats-monitor-online-forums-1.906351
Chicago Tribune: Nutrition for sale: How Kellogg worked with 'independent experts' to tout cereal http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-kellogg-independent-experts-cereal-20161121-story.html
DailyKos: HBGary: Automated social media management http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/16/945768/-UPDATED-The-HB-Gary-Email-That-Should-Concern-Us-All
Meme Warfare Center http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tfulltext/u2/a507172.pdf
Shilling on Reddit is openly admitted to in this Forbes article http://www.forbes.com/sites/julesschroede2016/03/10/the-magic-formula-behind-going-viral-on-reddit/#1d2485b05271
Forbes: From Tinder Bots To 'Cuban Twitter' http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2014/04/17/from-tinder-bots-to-covert-social-networks-welcome-to-cognitive-hacking/#4b78e2d92a7d
Hivemind http://www.hivemind.cc/rank/shills
Huffington Post- Exposing Cyber Shills and Social Media's Underworld http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sam-fiorella/cyber-shills_b_2803801.html
The Independent: Massive British PR firm caught on video: "We've got all sorts of dark arts...The ambition is to drown that negative content and make sure that you have positive content online." They discuss techniques for managing reputations online and creating/maintaining 3rd-party blogs that seem independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/caught-on-camera-top-lobbyists-boasting-how-they-influence-the-pm-6272760.html
New York Times: Lifestyle Lift http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/15/technology/internet/15lift.html?_r=1&emc=eta1
New York Times: Give Yourself 5 Stars? Online http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/technology/give-yourself-4-stars-online-it-might-cost-you.html?src=me&ref=general
NY Times- From a nondescript office building in St. Petersburg http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/07/magazine/the-agency.html?_r=1
NY Times: Effort to Expose Russia’s ‘Troll Army’ Draws Vicious Retaliation http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/31/world/europe/russia-finland-nato-trolls.html?_r=1
PBS Frontline Documentary - Generation Like http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/generation-like/
Gamers promote gaming-gambling site on youtube by pretending to hit jackpot without disclosing that they own the site. They tried to retroactively write a disclosure covering their tracks http://www.pcgamer.com/csgo-lotto-investigation-uncovers-colossal-conflict-of-interest/
Raw Story: CENTCOM engages bloggers http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/Raw_obtains_CENTCOM_email_to_bloggers_1016.html
Raw Story: Air Force ordered software to manage army of fake virtual people http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/02/18/revealed-air-force-ordered-software-to-manage-army-of-fake-virtual-people/
Redective http://www.redective.com/?r=e&a=search&s=subreddit&t=redective&q=shills
Salon: Why Reddit moderators are censoring Glenn Greenwald’s latest news story on shills http://www.salon.com/2014/02/28/why_reddit_moderators_are_censoring_glenn_greenwalds_latest_bombshell_partne
The Atlantic: Kim Kardashian was paid to post a selfie on Instagram and Twitter advertising a pharmaceutical product. Sent to 42 million followers on Instagram and 32 million on Twitter http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/09/fda-drug-promotion-social-media/404563/
WAR.COM: THE INTERNET AND PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS http://www.theblackvault.com/documents/ADA389269.pdf
The Guardian: Internet Astroturfing http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/dec/13/astroturf-libertarians-internet-democracy
The Guardian: Israel ups the stakes in the propaganda war http://www.theguardian.com/media/2006/nov/20/mondaymediasection.israel
Operation Earnest Voice http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2011/ma17/us-spy-operation-social-networks
The Guardian: British army creates team of Facebook warriors http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/31/british-army-facebook-warriors-77th-brigade
The Guardian: US military studied how to influence Twitter [and Reddit] users in Darpa-funded research [2014] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/darpa-social-networks-research-twitter-influence-studies
The Guardian: Chinese officials flood the Chinese internet with positive social media posts to distract their population http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/20/chinese-officials-create-488m-social-media-posts-a-year-study-finds
Times of Israel: Israeli government paying bilingual students to spread propaganda online primarily to international communities without having to identify themselves as working for the government. "The [student] union will operate computer rooms for the project...it was decided to establish a permanent structure of activity on the Internet through the students at academic institutions in the country." http://www.timesofisrael.com/pmo-stealthily-recruiting-students-for-online-advocacy/
USA Today: Lord & Taylor settles FTC charges over paid Instagram posts http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2016/03/15/lord--taylor-settles-ftc-charges-over-paid-instagram-posts/81801972/
Researcher's algorithm weeds out people using multiple online accounts to spread propaganda - Based on word choice http://www.utsa.edu/today/2016/10/astroturfing.html
http://www.webinknow.com/2008/12/the-us-air-force-armed-with-social-media.html
Wired: Powered by rapid advances in artificial intelligence http://www.wired.co.uk/magazine/archive/2015/06/wired-world-2015/robot-propaganda
Wired: Clinton Staff and Volunteers Busted for Astroturfing [in 2007] http://www.wired.com/2007/12/clinton-staff-a/
Wired: Pro-Government Twitter Bots Try to Hush Mexican Activists http://www.wired.com/2015/08/pro-government-twitter-bots-try-hush-mexican-activists/
Wired: Microsoft http://www.wired.com/2015/09/ftc-machinima-microsoft-youtube/
Wired: Military Report: Secretly ‘Recruit or Hire Bloggers’ http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2008/03/report-recruit/
Wired: Air Force Releases ‘Counter-Blog’ Marching Orders http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2009/01/usaf-blog-respo/
Reddit Secrets https://archive.fo/NAwBx
Reddit Secrets https://archive.fo/SCWN7
Boostupvotes.com https://archive.fo/WdbYQ
"Once we isolate key people https://archive.is/PoUMo
GCHQ has their own internet shilling program https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Threat_Research_Intelligence_Group
Russia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State-sponsored_Internet_sockpuppetry
US also operates in conjunction with the UK to collect and share intelligence data https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UKUSA_Agreement
Glenn Greenwald: How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/02/24/jtrig-manipulation/
Glenn Greenwald: Hacking Online Polls and Other Ways British Spies Seek to Control the Internet https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/07/14/manipulating-online-polls-ways-british-spies-seek-control-internet/
Here is a direct link to your image for the benefit of mobile users https://imgur.com/OpSos4u.jpg
Reddit for iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/reddit-the-official-app/id1064216828?mt=8
Why Satoshi Nakamoto Has Gone https://medium.com/@ducktatosatoshi-nakamoto-has-gone-4cef923d7acd
What I learned selling my Reddit accounts https://medium.com/@Rob79/what-i-learned-selling-my-reddit-accounts-c5e9f6348005#.u5zt0mti3
Artificial intelligence chatbots will overwhelm human speech online; the rise of MADCOMs https://medium.com/artificial-intelligence-policy-laws-and-ethics/artificial-intelligence-chatbots-will-overwhelm-human-speech-online-the-rise-of-madcoms-e007818f31a1
How Reddit Got Huge: Tons of Fake Accounts - According to Reddit cofounder Steve Huffman https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/how-reddit-got-huge-tons-of-fake-accounts--2
Whistleblower and subsequent investigation: Paid trolls on /Bitcoin https://np.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/34m7yn/professional_bitcoin_trolls_exist/cqwjdlw
Confession of Hillary Shill from /SandersForPresident https://np.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/3rncq9/confession_of_hillary_shill_from/
Why do I exist? https://np.reddit.com/DirectImageLinkerBot/wiki/index
Already a direct link? https://np.reddit.com/DirectImageLinkerBot/wiki/res_links
Here's the thread. https://np.reddit.com/HailCorporate/comments/3gl8zi/that_potato_mailing_company_is_at_it_again/
/netsec talks about gaming reddit via sockpuppets and how online discourse is (easily) manipulated. https://np.reddit.com/netsec/comments/38wl43/we_used_sock_puppets_in_rnetsec_last_year_and_are
Redditor comes clean about being paid to chat on Reddit. They work to promote a politician https://np.reddit.com/offmychest/comments/3gk56y/i_get_paid_to_chat_on_reddit/
Shill whistleblower https://np.reddit.com/politics/comments/rtr6b/a_very_interesting_insight_into_how_certain/
Russian bots were active on Reddit last year https://np.reddit.com/RussiaLago/comments/76cq4d/exclusive_we_can_now_definitively_state_that/?st=j8s7535j&sh=36805d5d
The Bush and Gore campaigns of 2000 used methods similar to the Chinese government for conducting “guided discussions” in chatrooms designed to influence citizens https://np.reddit.com/shills/comments/3xhoq8/til_the_advent_of_social_media_offers_new_routes/?st=j0o5xr9c&sh=3662f0dc
source paper. https://np.reddit.com/shills/comments/4d3l3s/government_agents_and_their_allies_might_ente
or Click Here. https://np.reddit.com/shills/comments/4kdq7n/astroturfing_information_megathread_revision_8/?st=iwlbcoon&sh=9e44591e Alleged paid shill leaks details of organization and actions.
https://np.reddit.com/shills/comments/4wl19alleged_paid_shill_leaks_details_of_organization/?st=irktcssh&sh=8713f4be
Shill Confessions and Additional Information https://np.reddit.com/shills/comments/5pzcnx/shill_confessions_and_additional_information/?st=izz0ga8r&sh=43621acd
Corporate and governmental manipulation of Wikipedia articles https://np.reddit.com/shills/comments/5sb7pi/new_york_times_corporate_editing_of_wikipedia/?st=iyteny9b&sh=b488263f
Ex -MMA fighter and ex-police officer exposes corrupt police practices https://np.reddit.com/shills/comments/6jn27s/ex_mma_fighter_and_expolice_officer_exposes/
User pushes InfoWars links on Reddit https://np.reddit.com/shills/comments/6uau99/chemicals_in_reddit_are_turning_memes_gay_take/?st=j6r0g2om&sh=96f3dbf4
Some websites use shill accounts to spam their competitor's articles https://np.reddit.com/TheoryOfReddit/comments/1ja4nf/lets_talk_about_those_playing_reddit_with/?st=iunay35w&sh=d841095d
User posts video using GoPro https://np.reddit.com/videos/comments/2ejpbb/yes_it_is_true_i_boiled_my_gopro_to_get_you_this/ck0btnb/?context=3&st=j0qt0xnf&sh=ef13ba81
Fracking shill whistleblower spills the beans on Fracking Internet PR https://np.reddit.com/worldnews/comments/31wo57/the_chevron_tapes_video_shows_oil_giant_allegedly/cq5uhse?context=3
https://i.imgur.com/Q3gjFg9.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/q2uFIV0.jpg
TOP SECRET SPECIAL HANDLING NOFORN
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY
Directorate of Operations
October 16, 1964
MEMORANDUM FOR THE DIRECTOR OF THE CIA
Subject: After action report of
Operation CUCKOO (TS)
INTRODUCTION

1) Operation CUCKOO was part of the overall operation CLEANSWEEP, aimed at eliminating domestic opposition to activities undertaken by the Central Intelligence Agency's special activities division, in main regard to operation GUILLOTINE.

2) Operation CUCKOO was approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Department of Defense and the office of The President of the United States as a covert domestic action to be under taken within the limits of Washington D.C as outlined by Secret Executive Order 37.

3) Following the publishing of the Warren Commission, former special agent Mary Pinchot Meyer (Operation MOCKINGBIRD, Operation SIREN) also was married to Cord Meyer (Operation MOCKINGBIRD, Operation GUILLOTINE) threatened to disclose the details of several Special Activities Divisions' operations, including but not limited to, Operation SIREN and GUILLOTENE.
​1
TOP SECRET SPECIAL HANDLING NOFORN
4) It was deemed necessary by senior Directorate of Operations members to initiate Operation CUCKOO as an extension of Operation CLEANSWEEP on November 30th. After Mary Pinchot Meyer threatened to report her knowledge of Operation GUILLOTENE and the details of her work in Operation SIREN from her affair with the former President.

5) Special Activities Division was given the green light after briefing president Johnson on the situation. The situation report was forwarded to the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of staff, who both approved of the parameters of the operation, as outlined under article C of secret executive order 37 (see attached copy of article).
​PLANNING STAGES
6) 8 members of the special activities division handpicked by operation lead William King Harvey began planning for the operation on October 3rd, with planned execution before October 16th.

7) The (?) of the operation was set as the neighborhood of Georgetown along the Potomac river, where the operators would observe, take note on routines, and eventually carry the operation.

8) After nothing Meyer's routines, Edward "Eddy" Reid was picked as the operation point man who would intersect Meyer on her walk on October 12th, with lead William King Harvey providing long range support if necessary from across the Chesapeake and Ohio canal (see illustration A for detailed map).

9) Edward Reid was planned to be dressed in the manner of a homeless black man, due to his resemblances to local trash collector (later found out to be Raymond Crump) who inhabits the AO and the path that Reid was planned to intersect Meyer.
2
TOP SECRET SPECIAL HANDLING NOFORN
submitted by The_Web_Of_Slime to Intelligence [link] [comments]

Toronto City Guide

If you like this post message me to join the mastermind, we have a 24 hour promotion going on.
Hey guys,
As some of you know I’ve never been to Toronto. However, I do have friends who have been there. Overall, from what I gather Toronto is hard for Game. Since the girls tend to be the more liberal/hippie/feminist type who is difficult to hook up with, the city is very multicultural so you’ll have much more competition tons of guys who work there at IT and there’s a lot of guy who know about game/pua(it is where Mystery and other classic PUA’s are from, so you get an idea). At the same time, don’t be discouraged, a lot of guys live there and they have managed to make something out of it, therefore, so can YOU.
Here’s a compilation post of multiple hardcore PUA’s who have lived or visited Toronto. I’m only sharing the best posts that I found, I’ve hand- picked every post to deliver for you the best and most clear quality posts.
Edit 1: I'm editing out any content that is offensive, since we are an optimistic forum.
Hardcore PUA 1:
Night game in Toronto is not easy.I could list hot bars and clubs, but it doesn't mean you are going to get lucky. The place could be wall to wall chicks and you still could strike out.The city is also very strange, I have been to spots that were simply off the hook. A week later I return to the same spot and I was like WTF happened.Every weekend is very hit and miss, so you have to move around a lot and hope you hit one of those magical nights.
Word of advice - get out early and pre drink before the PMS crowd gets on the scene.
Are you ready to battle the club scene?Moma in one of our podcasts, talked about how he went 0 for 30 in a bar one night.How many rejections are you willing to take before you call it a night?How late are you willing to grind it out at night?Some of my best pulls have been in the early morning, either on the street or a chinese restaurant on Spadina. Sadly, a lot of these chicks love poutine and pizza. So you might have better luck in those spots.
We can all agree that getting numbers isn't a good night.So when you meet Ms down-for-the-night, where are you going to take her?
Having a pad downtown close to the nightlife is the number one thing that will help you pull girls. Location, location, location is what they teach guys selling real estate. Look at the prices for rent on King St W and you will see why.
I was downtown in Yorkville yesterday, having lunch with a fellow RVFer. The talent wasn't great, in fact I saw more white jiggling cellulite thighs than I care to see. For an area that is suppose to be rich, elite, posh etc, it was very sad. My local suburban mall would have killed it with eye candy.
Which leads me to this, are you guys in good shape?There are many gyms in this city, so you have no excuse to not be in shape.Go to a LA fitness and you will see girls in there killing it, like their life depended on being in shape.If I were new to a city, I would join a gym right away. The nicer the gym the more girls it will attract.Girls love Crossfit gyms, girls love gyms that have yoga.I know some girls who have more than one membership at a gym.With LA fitness you can visit other gyms, I don't work out at LA fitness. lol
Drake Hotel - I never liked this spot, my friends go there quite a bit. For me it is too crammed and the talent isn't that great. It has always been a place that had a lot of dudes.
Madison - As soon as I read a Toronto report that lists this pub/bar, I know straight away the guy is trolling. This spot use to be a RSD/PUA hangout a few years back and had horrible ratios then.
Rebel NightClub/Cabana - both of these places are in the same location.I have heard Rebel is the hot club now, I have not been and quite frankly don't really care to go. They do have some good acts performing there, so I will "try" to make the effort to check one of them out. Future the rapper was there a few months ago, the place was crawling with chicks.
Cabana - is a Miami wannabe day club.Do not go there unless you can pull up in your boat, afford the crazy bottle service prices and have girls you can bring with you or if you have a great physique and can draw girls with it.If you are curious, I would suggest going when they have a world renowned EDM DJ performing, I believe Carl Cox was there this weekend.Girls love EDM in Toronto, so if you can handle the noise and the beats per minute then this could work for you.I have seen girls at these spots solo.
It has been discussed before but worth mentioning again.How is your fashion?You better have a decent wardrobe or one killer outfit that you can wear on a night out.Guys here still dress for crap and yes Montreal guys know how to dress. This isn't an excuse, make sure you have an outfit that is on point.I see Chinese dudes in Starbucks now, wearing Prada/Common Projects/Louboutin sneakers and $2K in clothing.I am not saying you have to be a label whore, but if you can afford it then go for it.
Hardcore PUA 2
Toronto is an extremely attractive city, and even as I travel to some of the likes of Eastern Europe, it's never a complete let down to get back home. There's a catch. Most Toronto guys have no game, and the women here know it. Luckily, if you aren't from Toronto that doesn't apply. I normally let them know I am from the USA very early on in the conversations.
Since you have a 1/2 chance of meeting a non-Canadian, it helps to have traveled a bit so you can talk to the many foreigners that live here about their countries. You'll meet lots of French and Germans, as well as Australians, Brits, Ukrainians, and Russians. A lot of them are here on Visas, and you don't get nearly the amount of weekend tourists as the other big North American cities. I find it crazy how many people going to Niagara Falls but not Toronto.
I don't think game is too complicated in Toronto. The main thing is to talk to the women before you are incredibly drunk. The typical Canadian guy will wait til 1am to make an approach, and by that time he's normally pretty sloppy and it quickly becomes a shootout for the girls who aren't paired off by then.
**Where to live/stay:**I would suggest the following corridor: West of Bathurst, South of Bloor, East of Jarvis. The best place for quality of women is going to be either Liberty Villiage or City Place. Rent will set you back about $1,600 for a one bedroom, or $2,300 for a 2 bedroom, as the buildings in these neighbourhoods are all relatively new with good amenities. There are older buildings in the above corridor which you can rent for around $1,100 for a one bedroom. The cheapest you'll be able to find would be $400-$500 for a crappy shared apartment. Girls are used to going home in ubecabs here, so as long as you are in that relative area, you probably won't have any logistics issues.
If you are here for a weekend, best bet is to use AirBnb. There are 2 hostels downtown worth staying at if you are on a budget- The Planet Traveler -kensington market with an awesome rooftop, and the HI on Jarvis- Good location with a bar under it.
Bars I like, by neighbourhood:
Kensington Market- Eclectic Hipstery Neighbourhood
Cold Tea- This is a speakeasy in Kensington Market that makes a perfect date spot. Expensive, but expertly made cocktails in an intimate setting. In the summer they throw Sunday-Fundays that can't be beat. They have a DJ, rotating restaurants supplying food each week, and a normally at capacity outdoor patio. It can be a hipster crowd, but there is always talent to be had there and I've seen some weird stuff go down.
The Boat- Fun, open dance venue. Great place to grab some drinks on the weekend, can be hit or miss but when it's good it's a fun night out.
Sneaky Dee's- Legendary place in Toronto known for cheap drinks and massive food plates. Downstairs can be tough to pick up since it is all seating, but upstairs is wide open. Busy on the weekends, but they also do karaoke nights, trivia nights, and host live bands.
Queen/King St West
Crocodile Rock- Cougar bar by weekend, but probably your best bet on a Wednesday night in Toronto. Cheap drinks, and lots of drunk students. The downstairs is probably the better of the 2 floors to pick up, but both can be alright. Gotta make your move early, it's a shit show by 12:30am.
Queen Street Warehouse- If you are a looking for party on an off night, this is going to be your last chance venue. It's a very hipster bar, but you can get the non hipster girls in her occasionally, sometimes those in the industry. Always fun music, girls dancing on bars, and generous bartenders. $5 food for everything on the menu.
Rockin' Horse Saloon - One of 2 country bars in Toronto. The talent here is always good, busy Thur-Sat. The mechanical bull and line dancing make for a fun vibe.
The Porch (summer only)- Amazing rooftop patio with a view of the CN tower. Expensive drinks and food, but great place to meet beautiful women and enjoy your summer nights.
Gracie O'Malley's - Irish pub with cheap drinks and a great student crowd. Really easy place to pick up and good looking 19-21 y/o sorority type girls. Live band alternating into a dj on the breaks. Student night on Thursday is a gold mine. I've gone here in a blazer after events before and it definitely helps with that crowd.
The Cameron House- Amazing date spot, live music every night of the week and never cover for the main room. Tough place to pull, but it can happen if you get lucky. If you aren't looking to pull but just want to have a fun night listening to live music, give this place a go.
Wide Open- Probably the cheapest place for drinks in Toronto. Small, skinny dive bar. Best bet here is to pop in for a drink to pregame at the beginning of the night. Sometimes there will be a couple girls to chat up. If not, the bartenders are normally good looking so enjoy that and move on.
Bar 244- This cheap club has $3 drinks on Saturday nights. Bar is typically really busy, 2 floors and lots of girls. Definitely worth a look.
The Drake- 3 level venue with 2 dance floors and a rooftop. Quality girls, good music. If you have some dance floor game this place can be really good. I do better meeting the girls outside of here, then walking back in with them.
Dog and Bear- I've done really well here in the past. If you don't get here early enough, you'll be stuck in line for a while. The women are typically good looking and the set up of the venue makes approaches easy. A lot of times we will got to The Ossington bar early, get a stamp, then head here until the Ossington gets busy.
Bier Markt-A beer menu that goes for ages, and live bands on the weekend. Great place to pick up, once again, normally a good crowd of girls but a lack of men hitting on them.
The Addisons- Not on King West, but close, this venue is set up to resemble a house party. The outdoor patio will have all sorts of games to play, and inside looks like a big house party, to the extent that they bring in free pizza for everyone throughout the night. Beautiful women, approachable, and easy to pull.
Oasis Rooftop (summer only)- This place brings out the best Toronto has to offer. Expensive drinks, but a fantastic place to have some Coronitas on a hot summer day. Good place to meet girls before heading somewhere else with them later in the night.
Bar Hop- Another great date spot. Awesome beer menu, intimate bar.
Underground Garage-[/i] If you want to go hard on a Monday, this is your best place. There will be some talent for sure, but you'll have to work for it. Weekends can be good too. Half bar, half dance floor, sketchy decorations.
UG3- A newish venue in Toronto, great for picking up. Here you get the King West girls that aren't slutting it up at the Clubs. It's a live music venue that's entirely open and easy to meet people. Good looking girls, fun music, and PBR tallboys on special. What more could you ask for?
Thompson Rooftop- You'll need to dress well for here, and sometimes the face control can be a bit strict. Top tier talent, and a pretty approachable venue with nice views of the city.
If you struck out on King Street West, don't give up yet. Thursdays outside Gracies you can easily pick up last minute on the street. Friday and Saturday Walk between Bathurst and John anywhere from 2-3am and you'll have an alright chance. Also, if you head to Smoke's Poutinery or Burrito Boyz, there will be a bunch of drunk people ordering food and waiting for their orders. Can't count the amount of times I have pulled from the above tactics.
Yorkville- Fanciest neighbourhoodThis neighborhood is where you will find the celebrities hanging out in Toronto. There are ok bars- Hemingways, Proof, but I don't normally go out of my way to go out here.
Day by Day Recommendations:Sunday- Cold Tea (summer)Monday- Baby Hueys, Underground GarageTuesday- Queen Street WarehouseWednesday- Crocodile Rock, FictionThursday- Any, but for students- Gracey O'Mallies and Madison PubFriday- AnySaturday- Any
Hardcore PUA 3:
Let's get something straight......night gaming in Toronto is unlike any other city in Canada. Maybe I shouldn't speak as a know all about elsewhere as I've only visited Montreal twice for 2 nights each stay in terms of seeing other cities here.
Being the best looking guy can count for Jack shit here at some venues. At some places you can be dressed in Gucci or whatever the hot fashion trend is......and at the same venue a guy can walk in the club in jogging pants and running shoes and pull the baddest broad while you are fortunate to get even a IG or whatsapp. Guys are spending a TON more than what you spend at venues in other cities here.
In Montreal or other cities in Canada you don't have professional athletes and their entourages from 3 major sports franchises ( the Argos don't count,lol) often coming out and getting first dibs on the hottest broads.
I think the Raptors coming here was THE worst thing ever to happen to night gaming in Toronto. These guys and their entourages dress like shit......but promoters know they're going to spend a TON on bottles. And they roll like 10 deep. Then you have visiting nba teams' players during the season and coming here in the offseason to party.
This city used to fly under the radar. Just last night I ran into a New Yorker that said he loves Toronto....asked him what he is here for.....he was a friend of some rapper or athlete I think it was.
Hardcore PUA 4:
Toronto: I know that many hate this city, I found Toronto be a good city (not the best) to game girls. in Toronto there is options for every single human. This city is the warmest between the 3 , way more events , nightlife is amaziiiing >>>> MTL >> Ottawa. you can party every night from Wednesdayto sunday EVEN in winter .Toronto is super super expensive and stressful though. Even though i found womens to be easy if you hit the right spots, but stressful life made me focus in other staff more than the womens
pros : ( my favorite city between the 3)- Nightlife !! many many options, girls can be as bitchy in some places and down to earth in others ( in Montreal almost in every place Girls are bitchy)-So diverse, this city offers many options and a variety of girls from all the world, so for sure one girl the country "X" will like you.- Your race won't matter, Toronto girls don't care where do you come from , as long as they like you.
Conclusion :
This guide was from back in the day, writen by a bunch of hardcore PUA's. I will create my own guide in the future. Note, offensive content will not be accepted.
submitted by Kratz177 to Crimsonpill [link] [comments]

An Insight into Paragon, Epic, Tencent & the Games Industry.

I'd like to share a probable explanation someone wrote (not me, so I may not be able to answer your questions) after EPIC's announcement on the game's future. It's been written in another community as comments over time, and I tried my best to modify it as paper.
TLDR:
This means that a more risk-avoiding/forgiving/casual MOBA experience is tailored toward Chinese audiences because they are the biggest market on the global stage.
A more risk-taking/punishing/competitive MOBA experience is tailored toward American audiences because that is where the game first originated! AOE, DOTA, DOTA: Allstars & DOTA2 were all built by and for the core MOBA player base of the genre.
 

INTRO

Just in case you're wondering: WHY?!
I want everyone to see this.
 
What has been confirmed is that Steve Superville (the original creative director) was working on a new way of traversing Legacy to replace travel mode. Since he failed to finish it in time, Epic basically agreed to go ahead with Monolith and told him that if he didn't like that, he could leave. At that point he was forced to abandon his lead role and became more of an idea person. Just prior to V42 he chose to walk out the door because the game wasn't going the direction he had envisioned. We all know that Cam Winston has been the one to take over Steve's position since he's been gone and that most of his decisions to date have been the result of looking at "data". Well, Steve is happily working as creative director for a budding dev studio and this is their behind-the-scenes video. He's featured in the video (bandana, dreads), but he's also the one in the middle of the staff picture on their homepage. It's safe to say that in his short timeframe there, he holds a pretty strong position in the company. I want to get in touch and get his thoughts on the game of Paragon (outside of Epic's role) and how things transpired. Anyway... I believe this video is a subliminal message to the Epic community.
 
Listen closely:
"One of the great things about the product team here at Big Huge Games is that they're always digging in to anything and everything that our players are doing. However, they work very closely with our design team to actually determine what the best approach is to solve the problem that the data has identified. Which often times means that our design team can come up with creative solutions or often times things you wouldn't think of as a way of solving a specific problem if you're only looking at the data."
 
I'm pretty sure he wrote this... but regardless, I wish him all the best.
I'll look him up in the future if the project goes independent.
 

OBSERVATION, THOUGHTS, AND DISCUSSION

You know, I realized, Steve did things like I'm doing it. Top down. He said lets do as much as we can, then keep what we want. On account of the difficulties with travel mode I think a lot of the team decided it was time to start taking things away... but they drastically took them all. I'm going to start again conceptually and let the players decide what should be kept. I'm using every single person's idea that voices an opinion. The future of our GAME depends on it.
 
I think this sums it up well. They didn't give up, they had... complications. The original creative director of the game parted ways with Epic and his position was filled by someone else. What happened was the visionary of the game was given infinite possibility by the owners of Epic. What he did was manage to talk them into spending 2 years on creating the framework for a high poly MOBA (like no other). When the beta launched there were slight issues with the map (that I don't have to repeat again here). These issues culminated in the ultimate problem that fast travel was. After launching the beta the marketing plan would have been to ready the game for launch. However, the original creator of the game (who knew he couldn't compromise on travel mode) was given a deadline to find a solution for his vision. This may have been reasonable, but what was unreasonable was that after he failed to meet the deadline he was overlooked as the creative lead. Epic decided to go with a smaller project that was on the table (Monolith probably used to be a 3v3 mode) and other people were creating ideas. Eventually the original creative director told the board at Epic that he felt his original vision was being restricted by a game that wasn't "ours" (he might have asked for a longer period of time, but with investors like TENCENT looking at the game for launch in China it was clear that they couldn't afford any more setbacks) and they parted ways... just like that.
 
In the words of a Turkish fan on the forums who couldn't speak English: Love is gone...
 
So in a way, I don't blame the new creative director or any of the team because I know that it was just volatile market pressures and "data" that made them make decisions. These decisions, but mostly the Epic corporation's decision, to not treat this game like the Enigma that it is, not only within their studio, but the world, was the issue. They're getting bucked up to the moon with FNBG, but that bull ride will NOT last.
 
The original philosophy was "let's put as much into this as we can -then get rid of what we don't need". So don't think that Epic can't make an even better game than they originally did with Legacy, they are the BEST of the BEST. The problem was that they already passed the right time to get rid of the unnecessary and so they took SO much off, they got rid of the necessary!
 
Monolith was a half-baked emergency plan that I actually still spent time on, just to see where it would go! They can make a better game... but trying again to pull Paragon off when you would have to abandon all business models and self-invest, is quite a risky embarrassment Mr. Sweeny doesn't want to take. In my opinion, they should DEFINITELY do it. Tell Tencent, sorry, here's the money back for your stock if you don't like it, we believe in our games and community!
 
BUT real life doesn't work like that.
 
Everyone loves this game, it's clear, but with the original creative director on to (cellular) pastures it looks like no one has the creative leadership to get it there. Right now at least, I'm skeptical about and most concerned with the future of the GAME.
 
I think Epic has the tools, but not the faculties and resources to put this game together and I think they need their community right now more than any other company out. We have the heart for the GAME to step it up. I don't know about you, but I'm going to be trying to get this game developed with or without Epic and I want so desperately for it to work out between the core Paragon players (vision keepers, I like to call us) and the amazingly talented studio at Epic, but I fear it's the business that will do us all in. Honestly, if Epic doesn't go balls to -ALL- the walls with this they will have nothing in a few years time and they can kiss that sweet transition into the big times goodbye. This is a make or break moment for them.
 
In all honestly I'm more worried about Epic than the GAME... -because the GAME will last on. Someone will make a game like this one day, I just WISH epic would see the people posting and reach out to some of us to spark the conversation and do so. Here is a related Reddit post of the timeline of "the fall of Paragon"

TENCENT BACKGROUND

Ok, hold on to your socks for some more insight everyone.
As everyone knows, Tencent owns 48% of Epic Games and therefore Paragon.
What you might not know is... Tencent Holdings Limited is a Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate.
 
Tencent is the world's biggest investment corporation, one of the largest Internet and technology companies, as well as the largest and most valuable gaming and social media company in the world.
 
As of January 2018, the company has a market value of US$578 billion and is Asia's most valuable company, with continued revenue growth, massive user base and investments into new areas. It maintained an exceedingly high buy rating of 98% from stock watchers, credited to its bullish outlook. It is the first Asian company to cross the US$500 billion valuation mark, while surpassing Facebook in market value on 20 November 2017, and became the world's most valuable social media company.
 
Tencent has remained the largest video game publisher in the world by revenue for years and had a recent market capitalization of around $475 billion. Tencent announced the company's results exceeded optimistic expectations with skyrocketing sales, net income and gaming revenue.
 
It is one of the most active investment corporations in the world, with recent focus on start-ups within Asia’s burgeoning tech scene. The company employs more than 7000 active Chinese Communist Party members, 60 percent of which in leading technical positions throughout the firm, accounting for roughly 23 percent of its total work force.... That's not my point though.
 
Tencent Games is an international video game company and a division of Tencent. As of 2017, it is the largest gaming company in the world by revenue.
 
Tencent's first game was QQ Tang in 2004. This was soon followed QQ YinSu in 2006 and QQ SanGuo in 2007. In 2008, Tencent acquired 22.34% of the equity interest in Riot Games, developer of the popular MOBA game League of Legends. In 2011, Tencent started hosting the game League of Legends. On February 18, 2011, Tencent acquired a majority equity interest (92.78%) in 2011, and finished the full acquisition on the 16th December 2015. Starting in 2016, Tencent developed a video gaming console dubbed TGP (Tencent Gaming Platform) Box. The TGP BOX is called the Blade. It is an Intel- powered console running Windows 10 and a TGP Box mode. So far, the TGP console has imported many Tencent games, such as League of Legends, FIFA Online 3, NBA 2K, Monster Hunter, Need for Speed, etc. Tencent even hopes to bring on third-party developed games (Paragon???).
 
Tencent acquired a 40% minority stake in Epic Games, developer of franchises like Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade, Fortnite in June 2012, after Epic Games realized that the video game industry was heavily developing towards the games as a service/software on demand model (free-to-play).
 
Around 2012, Epic Games observed that the video game industry was shifting to a games as a service model. Lacking experience, they made an agreement with the Chinese company Tencent Holdings, who had several games under their banner (including Riot Games' League of Legends) operating successfully as games as a service.
 
In exchange for Tencent's help, Tencent acquired approximately 48.4% of Epic then issued share capital, equating to 40 percent of total Epic — inclusive of both stock and employee stock options, for $330 million in June 2012. Tencent Holdings has the right to nominate directors to the board of Epic Games and thus counts as an associate of the Group. A number of high-profile staff left the company months after the deal was announced. In October 2012, Cliff Bleszinski, then the design director, announced he was leaving Epic Games after 20 years with the company. His official reason was "It's time for a much needed break". Later in December 2012, Epic Games president Mike Capps announced his retirement and cited the reasons as the arrival of a baby boy he was having with his wife and his plans to be a stay-at-home dad. He subsequently announced his departure of his advisory role as well as his affiliation with the company March 2013.
 

THE THEORY ON MARKETS

IN LIGHT OF ALL THAT INFORMATION...
It is my informed opinion that Tencent is specifically developing MOBAs for the largest video game market in the world, which just happens to be the majority users of their software... Chinese gamers. When Paragon was announced for release sometime in late 2016/early 2017 Tencent set up their market in China for it's drop. THAT'S the reason why they couldn't delay the game any longer under Steve Superville and THAT'S the reason why they are developing toward a more casual... feminine player base. (I'm not a racist.)
This is a study done that explains the motivations people have for getting into MOBAs (leading factors include egoism, sense of power, standing out, domination, competition) and illustrates how as people enter the game wanting to bring down others they must learn quickly that ironically it's working together, cooperation and teamwork that accomplish this goal; MOBAs are a learning and teaching process that efficiently solve the problems that are presented in the social dynamics of modern society
... and here is a study done showing the apparently clear-cut differences between the play styles of top rated professional MOBA players of America and China
 
I'm waiting on the full-text document, but...
"The result indicates some cultural differences in online games between two countries’ teams as following. Chinese teams are risk-avoiding while American teams are risk-taking. In addition, American teams show potential stronger masculinity than Chinese teams."
 
This means that a more risk-avoiding/forgiving/casual MOBA experience is tailored toward Chinese audiences because they are the biggest market on the global stage.
A more risk-taking/punishing/competitive MOBA experience is tailored toward American audiences because that is where the game first originated!!! AOE, DOTA, DOTA: Allstars & DOTA2 were all built by and for the core MOBA player base of the genre.
 
I predicted that this tailoring would occur before they announced continuing Paragon in China.
 
Unfortunately, those who prefer the original play style aren't getting what they want out of newer larger games because they are being tailored for the larger market.
This is for two reasons:
 
On one hand... I can't blame Epic, they're recent worldwide success with Gears of War that sent them skyrocketing to the moon is now over, they're resting on the laurels of they're Unreal Engine (Guiness World Record's most successful video game engine... ever) and riding the deplorable coattails of they're Fortnite Battle Royale abomination (the developers of PUBG could do the genre so much better if they had Epic's clout!), so for them to bend the knee so to speak and have Tencent influence the development of the game is a real no-brainer. Epic even has a "Epic Launcher" that they were trying to compete with Valve and Steam through (like honestly? dumb move) and with Tencent's WeGame launcher taking over the globe they will most likely merge with them.
 
Tim Sweeny himself has stated: "Tencent is not our publisher here [in America] but our investor... and our publisher in China." The future of Paragon and Epic looks pretty bleak.
But you should never bet against Epic...
 
I'm telling you though, I work independently as a consultant and I KNOW markets...
If Epic had any balls, they would buy back they're stocks from Tencent with cold hard cash, if they had to, in order to bet on the American audiences. For two reasons:
 
For instance, on another topic, Asian markets are just recently being introduced to the NBA (or being marketed to by them rather) and it's solely because of the efforts of the stand-up guy of a current director of the NBA that he is, which is socially inclusive of all nations. He aims to engage untapped markets with the sport, which is so great, but my point is that, it's not until those markets spend a few years in the competitive sports scene that they will be truly ready for any sort of professional video game league. This is because of the competitive nature that it instills, which I already touched on.
 
My point is that investing in the American market in the long term is the smart thing to do for these companies and for that, you need a professional game that is sophisticated enough to last.... DOTA2 will continue to evolve for years to come and may even be considered to have skill at the level of regular sports on a national level. The only downside to DOTA2's outlook is that it is not cross-platform and even though the PC gamer market currently makes up the majority of the competitive scene, it doesn't even compare to the console market. Herein lies the key; revolutionizing the future of NA competitive gaming and elevating it to the level of physical sports on an international level -and it can only start here.
 
As an ASIA dominated game, LOL will fade away into the history of video games from those nations that were respected by, strictly, gamers in those nations.
Paragon has the possibility to tap into so much more.
 
If Paragon is to succeed in the future, it must be tailored toward the hidden markets. That means the level of sophistication (uniqueness or novelty/unawareness/challenge) that Paragon presents will be it's defining factor in it's success or failure.
 
Hence... my reason for the complete overhaul I've redesigned from the community. Please help contribute, the GAME can only be made by YOU the player.
 
Here is a study done on the reasons why we start, stay and stop playing MOBAs
"More broadly, previous research has established the value of social connectedness through video game play. Thus, the primary recommendation offered for improving player experience and wellbeing outcomes is to find ways to facilitate new friendships among MOBA players and ultimately, the formation of communities."
If you've read this far... I'm proud for you to be a part of this community. We can make the game we want. It is possible for Epic to help us accomplish this.
Here is the original 7-page GINORMOUS article on the future of Epic. It's as much worth reading as it is long... keep that in mind. Make sure you read all the pages (the arrows are at the bottom). If you care about the future of the game at EPIC, read it.
 

Further Findings and Comments

I just recently realized this.
"Following Tencent's purchase of Epic shares, Epic Games announced it had founded a new studio in Baltimore, saving some Big Huge Games folks from the collapse of 38 Studios to work on Infinity Blade: Dungeons – only for Epic to eventually shutter the studio in February of this year."
This is the reason why Steve Superville now works at Big Huge Games! It's a vendetta!
This is from the Big Huge Games wikipedia page
"On January 15, 2008, THQ acquired the developer.
On March 18, 2009, THQ announced that due to declining economic conditions, it would close Big Huge Games unless an outside buyer could be found in the next 60 days.
On May 27, 2009, 38 Studios announced that they were acquiring Big Huge Games and retaining 70 employees out of approximately 120 who were at THQ.
It was reported on May 24, 2012 that the studio and their parent company 38 Studios had laid off their entire staff (this was the lowest point).
In June 2012, Epic Games announced the opening of a new studio in Baltimore called Epic Baltimore. THE STUDIO CONSISTED OF A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF EX-BIG HUGE DEVELOPERS. It was later renamed Impossible Studios.
Impossible Studios was officially closed on February 8, 2013.
In October 2014, it was revealed that Reynolds and Train (original founders) had acquired the name "Big Huge Games" at auction from the state of Rhode Island, which owned it following the bankruptcy of 38 Studios. This name was given to their new venture founded in 2013, which was formerly known as SecretNewCo."
Epic declined to comment beyond a statement posted on the company's website Feb. 8 by founder Tim Sweeney:
"When former members of Big Huge Games approached Epic last year, we saw the opportunity to help a great group of people while putting them to work on a project that needed a team. It was a bold initiative and the Impossible folks made a gallant effort, but ultimately it wasn’t working out for Epic."
...
"Former Impossible employees declined to comment about the six-month stint with Epic. One said that saying anything about those months would break a separation agreement that included a line about disparaging the company."
 
Paul Meegan, Former LucasArts president and Epic Games China founder, President of Epic Games.
"We play a lot of Paragon. We played many, many months of it before we started public testing and then we had online tests that started in about December and ran through March. Then of course, we began early access. I've played a lot of it and I'm very deeply invested in the game and it is a game where the more you play the more you understand and it really is reaching a point where the ability level of other players in the community is... astonishing... I mean it's far beyond what most of us expected to happen this quickly. That's really exciting to see and we look at this as the very, very beginning for the game. These games grow over many years so we're extremely committed to getting this game right and making it something that lives for a long time, where we have competitive play and a great community. It's super exciting, it's been a great first month."
I will hold you to that Paul.
"It's a constant balance that we have to strike. We talk a lot about when we say no and when we say yes. A big challenge for us is that there's so many cool things happening and so many great ideas that we come across either internally or people bring to us externally and the ability to choose what we do, where we partner and where we might just support people to help them do something on their own is really a challenge because we're curious and we're passionate and we want to do everything that we can... -BUT, we can't. It's something that we have to constantly think about and be vigilant about, so that we don't lose our focus and are still able to do relatively few things really well."
 
"So we did a bunch of pretty crazy things," Sweeney says. "For the first time in Epic's history, we brought in an outside investor, Tencent, who put money into the company and also has provided an enormous amount of useful advice."
In June 2012, Tencent purchased about 48 percent of Epic’s outstanding shares, or roughly 40 percent of the company, for $330 million. Along with a sizable chunk of the company, Tencent also picked up the right to have two representatives on Epic’s seven-person board of directors. But Sweeney says that has no real impact on the games the team makes.
"Epic Games is incorporated and has a board of directors that makes major financial decisions about the company but doesn't involve itself in the design or product development of games," he says. "It made sense at that point in our history after 25 years to do that and we thought that that was the way to really reliably establish Epic in this generation. We realized this would be a big leap. In the past, we had done a publishing deal with Microsoft that had brought in enough funding to operate the company for several years and Tencent's involvement in Epic had a similar effect on our ability to make this massive change and make this huge leap without the immediate of fear of money."
Tencent, Sweeney is quick to point out, is the number one operator of live games in the world, the number one game publisher in China and the number three internet company in the world. "They're not a game developer," he says. "Their expertise is how to operate these games on the large scale and to really appeal to customers, and we found that their values are very similar to ours and that we had a great deal we could learn from them."
 
Found this very intriguing article about Tencent. They don't seem to be a very transparent company.
TENCENT GOING TO PUBLISH PARAGON IN CHINA, CONFIRMED
"For us in the West, it seems Tencent's ambitions are limited to beating Steam in China - at least for now. It's not clear that they have plans to compete in the rest of the world."
...These are communist Chinese we're talking about here.
I just like this quote, (and) I'd like it here:
Sweeney says the game that best represents Epic’s new approach to development is Paragon.
“It’s a clear picture of Epic’s values,” he says. “It’s not like the retail era where a game went from God to Epic to gamers. The team is constantly listening to gamers. This is being developed very much in partnership with them.”
Early reactions, while mostly positive, seem to question how the game will set itself apart in so flooded a genre and whether the game’s system for powering up heroes using cards will work.
 
It's seems even the kids on the Fortnite forums are just as unsatisfied with Epic's newest business practices, looking for someone (in particular) to blame.
 
Just wanted to highlight the struggles that Steve went through... he never got it.
Steve Superville PC Invasion interview
Steve Superville PC Invasion follow-up
 
Watch this video for a summary.
It is the very latest... from some very insightful gamers... who know nothing of paragon.
The intro alone is worth watching. They just released the video earlier a week ago.
"Well, I mean... if that basket is so FUCKIN' huge!"
I just... don't believe in it... Fortnite will die.
... Man that Kallari blade at 7 minutes and 10 seconds made me stand up on my feet! Just watch...
 
Another really great article guys. Rest assured I've already contacted all the authors and journalists covering this story. They're not doing it to get paid, they're doing it because they care to spread the word. ... and because we all want to be heard... well, maybe to get paid too.
 
What REALLY happened to Steve Superville though? He played a game with Tencent. That's actually him in-game (dying that is) lol.
submitted by Lord_Frydae_XIII to paragon [link] [comments]

Dabangg Streaming: HBO Go, DirecTV Premier, Netflix, Hulu Plus, Comcast Xfinity, CBS All Access, NBA League Pass, and more

[ Removed by reddit in response to a copyright notice. ]
submitted by Dabanggjj to hbogoshare [link] [comments]

SportsBookReview.com Shadiness: "The Odds Couple" Show

NOTE: This post is simply an amalgamation of my opinions on "The Odds Couple" show. The motive of SBR is debatable in this situation, however their employed "handicapper" records are accurate, and the noteworthy fraud claims against individuals associated with SBR are all facts.
I have read many of the daily "5Dimes Scam" threads that pop up on this subreddit and it is quite fishy how despite all of the negative experiences with the bookie, and the endless reports to SBR about the fraudulent activity of 5Dimes, SBR still has them ranked #2 on their Rating Guide.
As a result, I am sure many are having a lot of questions regarding the legitimacy of SBR and whether or not they have a partnership with 5Dimes, or even own the sportsbook themselves.. All the threads regarding problems with 5Dimes have been locked, and OP's of the posts are berated and rebuked by MODS of the forums.
As I personally do not use 5Dimes, nor the sportsbookreview website, I really could not vouch for any of the claims against them. However, the one connection that I did have with SBR was on YouTube.
Several months ago - nearing the start of the NBA season, I was browsing YouTube, looking for some sports podcasts and I spotted some interesting videos posted on the SBR channel. I eventually stumbled upon a show called "The Odds Couple", which is around a 10 minute daily show of two guys; Mike Brenner & Peter Loshak discussing college basketball and NBA picks.
I have no clue who these guys are but they do make a pretty interesting show which is why I grew quite attached to the series... Eventually as the NBA season went along, Mike Brenner had a fantastic start, reaching +20 units in just a month of capping the NBA, whilst Peter Loshak on the other hand had under 50% WL record and was hovering around -10 units. In their NCAA BB show both of the cappers, "Mike Brenner" and "Peter Loshak" have been on a downward spiral since the beginning, with Brenner being at -10 units with 248 picks, and Loshak at -41 units (396 picks made). In comparison, in the NBA show, Brenner is at +0.3 units (427 picks), and Loshak is at -59.7 units (324 picks).
Keep in mind, all of their picks are all 1 unit plays.
Now, the shady part is that you have a guy with -100 units in both hoops sports and he is still being employed by SBR as a "betting analyst"... Also Brenner claims to have been a professional handicapper working with eccentric clients in the past, yet can't maintain a positive record in both sports.
In almost all of SBR's shows (including the Odds Couple), there are often "professional handicappers" that make appearances, with really fishy backgrounds. For example on today's show, "Al Mcmordie" from bigal.com was a guest, and it's almost impossible to find any information on these offshore guys. All of the google results are on very spammy handicapping websites he has an awful reputation on ripoffreport http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/sales-people/big-al-mcmordie-spobig-al-mcmordie-sports-handic-384660. Not to mention that there is no record on the website and many of the "Handicappers" on his sidebar list have many negative reports against them, most notoriously "Doc's Sports Picks".
I honestly have no idea how someone with a negative record, and a loss of 100 units could possibly still be employed to give betting predictions. This is one of the most shady things I've seen. I almost want to think that Loshak is purposely making half-assed calls, so that more people will pay for predictions from "SBR's experts" and deposit even more money into 5Dimes, or whatever account they are leading them too.
REMEMBER, NOTHING IS FREE. IT'S VERY RARE TO FIND, GOOD, SOLID, NOTEWORTHY BETTING ADVISE WITHOUT A COST. AND 99.9% OF THE SERVICES SELLING PICKS ARE SCAM ARTISTS.
submitted by dextence to sportsbook [link] [comments]

TEST

I'd like to share a probable explanation someone wrote (not me, so I may not be able to answer your questions) after EPIC's announcement on the game's future. It's been written in a discord group, and I tried my best to modify it as paper.
 

INTRO

Just in case you're wondering: WHY?!
I want everyone to see this.
 
What has been confirmed is that Steve Superville (the original creative director) was working on a new way of traversing Legacy to replace travel mode. Since he failed to finish it in time, Epic basically agreed to go ahead with Monolith and told him that if he didn't like that, he could leave. At that point he was forced to abandon his lead role and became more of an idea person. Just prior to V42 he chose to walk out the door because the game wasn't going the direction he had envisioned. We all know that Cam Winston has been the one to take over Steve's position since he's been gone and that most of his decisions to date have been the result of looking at "data". Well, Steve is happily working as creative director for a budding dev studio and this is their behind-the-scenes video. He's featured in the video (bandana, dreads), but he's also the one in the middle of the staff picture on their homepage. It's safe to say that in his short timeframe there, he holds a pretty strong position in the company. I want to get in touch and get his thoughts on the game of Paragon (outside of Epic's role) and how things transpired. Anyway... I believe this video is a subliminal message to the Epic community.
 
Listen closely:
"One of the great things about the product team here at Big Huge Games is that they're always digging in to anything and everything that our players are doing. However, they work very closely with our design team to actually determine what the best approach is to solve the problem that the data has identified. Which often times means that our design team can come up with creative solutions or often times things you wouldn't think of as a way of solving a specific problem if you're only looking at the data."
 
I'm pretty sure he wrote this... but regardless, I wish him all the best.
I'll look him up in the future if the project goes independent.
 

OBSERVATION, THOUGHTS, AND DISCUSSION

You know, I realized, Steve did things like I'm doing it. Top down. He said lets do as much as we can, then keep what we want. On account of the difficulties with travel mode I think a lot of the team decided it was time to start taking things away... but they drastically took them all. I'm going to start again conceptually and let the players decide what should be kept. I'm using every single person's idea that voices an opinion. The future of our GAME depends on it.
 
I think this sums it up well. They didn't give up, they had... complications. The original creative director of the game parted ways with Epic and his position was filled by someone else. What happened was the visionary of the game was given infinite possibility by the owners of Epic. What he did was manage to talk them into spending 2 years on creating the framework for a high poly MOBA (like no other). When the beta launched there were slight issues with the map (that I don't have to repeat again here). These issues culminated in the ultimate problem that fast travel was. After launching the beta the marketing plan would have been to ready the game for launch. However, the original creator of the game (who knew he couldn't compromise on travel mode) was given a deadline to find a solution for his vision. This may have been reasonable, but what was unreasonable was that after he failed to meet the deadline he was overlooked as the creative lead. Epic decided to go with a smaller project that was on the table (Monolith probably used to be a 3v3 mode) and other people were creating ideas. Eventually the original creative director told the board at Epic that he felt his original vision was being restricted by a game that wasn't "ours" (he might have asked for a longer period of time, but with investors like TENCENT looking at the game for launch in China it was clear that they couldn't afford any more setbacks) and they parted ways... just like that.
 
In the words of a Turkish fan on the forums who couldn't speak English: Love is gone...
 
So in a way, I don't blame the new creative director or any of the team because I know that it was just volatile market pressures and "data" that made them make decisions. These decisions, but mostly the Epic corporation's decision, to not treat this game like the Enigma that it is, not only within their studio, but the world, was the issue. They're getting bucked up to the moon with FNBG, but that bull ride will NOT last.
 
The original philosophy was "let's put as much into this as we can -then get rid of what we don't need". So don't think that Epic can't make an even better game than they originally did with Legacy, they are the BEST of the BEST. The problem was that they already passed the right time to get rid of the unnecessary and so they took SO much off, they got rid of the necessary!
 
Monolith was a half-baked emergency plan that I actually still spent time on, just to see where it would go! They can make a better game... but trying again to pull Paragon off when you would have to abandon all business models and self-invest, is quite a risky embarrassment Mr. Sweeny doesn't want to take. In my opinion, they should DEFINITELY do it. Tell Tencent, sorry, here's the money back for your stock if you don't like it, we believe in our games and community!
 
BUT real life doesn't work like that.
 
Everyone loves this game, it's clear, but with the original creative director on to (cellular) pastures it looks like no one has the creative leadership to get it there. Right now at least, I'm skeptical about and most concerned with the future of the GAME.
 
I think Epic has the tools, but not the faculties and resources to put this game together and I think they need their community right now more than any other company out. We have the heart for the GAME to step it up. I don't know about you, but I'm going to be trying to get this game developed with or without Epic and I want so desperately for it to work out between the core Paragon players (vision keepers, I like to call us) and the amazingly talented studio at Epic, but I fear it's the business that will do us all in. Honestly, if Epic doesn't go balls to -ALL- the walls with this they will have nothing in a few years time and they can kiss that sweet transition into the big times goodbye. This is a make or break moment for them.
 
In all honestly I'm more worried about Epic than the GAME... -because the GAME will last on. Someone will make a game like this one day, I just WISH epic would see the people posting and reach out to some of us to spark the conversation and do so. Here is a related Reddit post of the timeline of "the fall of Paragon"

TENCENT BACKGROUND

Ok, hold on to your socks for some more insight everyone.
As everyone knows, Tencent owns 48% of Epic Games and therefore Paragon.
What you might not know is... Tencent Holdings Limited is a Chinese multinational investment holding conglomerate.
 
Tencent is the world's biggest investment corporation, one of the largest Internet and technology companies, as well as the largest and most valuable gaming and social media company in the world.
 
As of January 2018, the company has a market value of US$578 billion and is Asia's most valuable company, with continued revenue growth, massive user base and investments into new areas. It maintained an exceedingly high buy rating of 98% from stock watchers, credited to its bullish outlook. It is the first Asian company to cross the US$500 billion valuation mark, while surpassing Facebook in market value on 20 November 2017, and became the world's most valuable social media company.
 
Tencent has remained the largest video game publisher in the world by revenue for years and had a recent market capitalization of around $475 billion. Tencent announced the company's results exceeded optimistic expectations with skyrocketing sales, net income and gaming revenue.
 
It is one of the most active investment corporations in the world, with recent focus on start-ups within Asia’s burgeoning tech scene. The company employs more than 7000 active Chinese Communist Party members, 60 percent of which in leading technical positions throughout the firm, accounting for roughly 23 percent of its total work force.... That's not my point though.
 
Tencent Games is an international video game company and a division of Tencent. As of 2017, it is the largest gaming company in the world by revenue.
 
Tencent's first game was QQ Tang in 2004. This was soon followed QQ YinSu in 2006 and QQ SanGuo in 2007. In 2008, Tencent acquired 22.34% of the equity interest in Riot Games, developer of the popular MOBA game League of Legends. In 2011, Tencent started hosting the game League of Legends. On February 18, 2011, Tencent acquired a majority equity interest (92.78%) in 2011, and finished the full acquisition on the 16th December 2015. Starting in 2016, Tencent developed a video gaming console dubbed TGP (Tencent Gaming Platform) Box. The TGP BOX is called the Blade. It is an Intel- powered console running Windows 10 and a TGP Box mode. So far, the TGP console has imported many Tencent games, such as League of Legends, FIFA Online 3, NBA 2K, Monster Hunter, Need for Speed, etc. Tencent even hopes to bring on third-party developed games (Paragon???).
 
Tencent acquired a 40% minority stake in Epic Games, developer of franchises like Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade, Fortnite in June 2012, after Epic Games realized that the video game industry was heavily developing towards the games as a service/software on demand model (free-to-play).
 
Around 2012, Epic Games observed that the video game industry was shifting to a games as a service model. Lacking experience, they made an agreement with the Chinese company Tencent Holdings, who had several games under their banner (including Riot Games' League of Legends) operating successfully as games as a service.
 
In exchange for Tencent's help, Tencent acquired approximately 48.4% of Epic then issued share capital, equating to 40 percent of total Epic — inclusive of both stock and employee stock options, for $330 million in June 2012. Tencent Holdings has the right to nominate directors to the board of Epic Games and thus counts as an associate of the Group. A number of high-profile staff left the company months after the deal was announced. In October 2012, Cliff Bleszinski, then the design director, announced he was leaving Epic Games after 20 years with the company. His official reason was "It's time for a much needed break". Later in December 2012, Epic Games president Mike Capps announced his retirement and cited the reasons as the arrival of a baby boy he was having with his wife and his plans to be a stay-at-home dad. He subsequently announced his departure of his advisory role as well as his affiliation with the company March 2013.
 

THE THEORY ON MARKETS

IN LIGHT OF ALL THAT INFORMATION...
It is my informed opinion that Tencent is specifically developing MOBAs for the largest video game market in the world, which just happens to be the majority users of their software... Chinese gamers. When Paragon was announced for release sometime in late 2016/early 2017 Tencent set up their market in China for it's drop. THAT'S the reason why they couldn't delay the game any longer under Steve Superville and THAT'S the reason why they are developing toward a more casual... feminine player base. (I'm not a racist.)
This is a study done that explains the motivations people have for getting into MOBAs (leading factors include egoism, sense of power, standing out, domination, competition) and illustrates how as people enter the game wanting to bring down others they must learn quickly that ironically it's working together, cooperation and teamwork that accomplish this goal; MOBAs are a learning and teaching process that efficiently solve the problems that are presented in the social dynamics of modern society
... and here is a study done showing the apparently clear-cut differences between the play styles of top rated professional MOBA players of America and China
 
I'm waiting on the full-text document, but...
"The result indicates some cultural differences in online games between two countries’ teams as following. Chinese teams are risk-avoiding while American teams are risk-taking. In addition, American teams show potential stronger masculinity than Chinese teams."
 
This means that a more risk-avoiding/forgiving/casual MOBA experience is tailored toward Chinese audiences because they are the biggest market on the global stage.
A more risk-taking/punishing/competitive MOBA experience is tailored toward American audiences because that is where the game first originated!!! AOE, DOTA, DOTA: Allstars & DOTA2 were all built by and for the core MOBA player base of the genre.
 
I predicted that this tailoring would occur before they announced continuing Paragon in China.
 
Unfortunately, those who prefer the original play style aren't getting what they want out of newer larger games because they are being tailored for the larger market.
This is for two reasons:
 
On one hand... I can't blame Epic, they're recent worldwide success with Gears of War that sent them skyrocketing to the moon is now over, they're resting on the laurels of they're Unreal Engine (Guiness World Record's most successful video game engine... ever) and riding the deplorable coattails of they're Fortnite Battle Royale abomination (the developers of PUBG could do the genre so much better if they had Epic's clout!), so for them to bend the knee so to speak and have Tencent influence the development of the game is a real no-brainer. Epic even has a "Epic Launcher" that they were trying to compete with Valve and Steam through (like honestly? dumb move) and with Tencent's WeGame launcher taking over the globe they will most likely merge with them.
 
Tim Sweeny himself has stated: "Tencent is not our publisher here [in America] but our investor... and our publisher in China." The future of Paragon and Epic looks pretty bleak.
But you should never bet against Epic...
 
I'm telling you though, I work independently as a consultant and I KNOW markets...
If Epic had any balls, they would buy back they're stocks from Tencent with cold hard cash, if they had to, in order to bet on the American audiences. For two reasons:
 
For instance, on another topic, Asian markets are just recently being introduced to the NBA (or being marketed to by them rather) and it's solely because of the efforts of the stand-up guy of a current director of the NBA that he is, which is socially inclusive of all nations. He aims to engage untapped markets with the sport, which is so great, but my point is that, it's not until those markets spend a few years in the competitive sports scene that they will be truly ready for any sort of professional video game league. This is because of the competitive nature that it instills, which I already touched on.
 
My point is that investing in the American market in the long term is the smart thing to do for these companies and for that, you need a professional game that is sophisticated enough to last.... DOTA2 will continue to evolve for years to come and may even be considered to have skill at the level of regular sports on a national level. The only downside to DOTA2's outlook is that it is not cross-platform and even though the PC gamer market currently makes up the majority of the competitive scene, it doesn't even compare to the console market. Herein lies the key; revolutionizing the future of NA competitive gaming and elevating it to the level of physical sports on an international level -and it can only start here.
 
As an ASIA dominated game, LOL will fade away into the history of video games from those nations that were respected by, strictly, gamers in those nations.
Paragon has the possibility to tap into so much more.
 
If Paragon is to succeed in the future, it must be tailored toward the hidden markets. That means the level of sophistication (uniqueness or novelty/unawareness/challenge) that Paragon presents will be it's defining factor in it's success or failure.
 
Hence... my reason for the complete overhaul I've redesigned from the community. Please help contribute, the GAME can only be made by YOU the player.
 
Here is a study done on the reasons why we start, stay and stop playing MOBAs
"More broadly, previous research has established the value of social connectedness through video game play. Thus, the primary recommendation offered for improving player experience and wellbeing outcomes is to find ways to facilitate new friendships among MOBA players and ultimately, the formation of communities."
If you've read this far... I'm proud for you to be a part of this community. We can make the game we want. It is possible for Epic to help us accomplish this.
Here is the original 7-page GINORMOUS article on the future of Epic. It's as much worth reading as it is long... keep that in mind. Make sure you read all the pages (the arrows are at the bottom). If you care about the future of the game at EPIC, read it.
 

Further Findings and Comments

I just recently realized this.
"Following Tencent's purchase of Epic shares, Epic Games announced it had founded a new studio in Baltimore, saving some Big Huge Games folks from the collapse of 38 Studios to work on Infinity Blade: Dungeons – only for Epic to eventually shutter the studio in February of this year."
This is the reason why Steve Superville now works at Big Huge Games! It's a vendetta!
This is from the Big Huge Games wikipedia page
"On January 15, 2008, THQ acquired the developer.
On March 18, 2009, THQ announced that due to declining economic conditions, it would close Big Huge Games unless an outside buyer could be found in the next 60 days.
On May 27, 2009, 38 Studios announced that they were acquiring Big Huge Games and retaining 70 employees out of approximately 120 who were at THQ.
It was reported on May 24, 2012 that the studio and their parent company 38 Studios had laid off their entire staff (this was the lowest point).
In June 2012, Epic Games announced the opening of a new studio in Baltimore called Epic Baltimore. THE STUDIO CONSISTED OF A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF EX-BIG HUGE DEVELOPERS. It was later renamed Impossible Studios.
Impossible Studios was officially closed on February 8, 2013.
In October 2014, it was revealed that Reynolds and Train (original founders) had acquired the name "Big Huge Games" at auction from the state of Rhode Island, which owned it following the bankruptcy of 38 Studios. This name was given to their new venture founded in 2013, which was formerly known as SecretNewCo."
Epic declined to comment beyond a statement posted on the company's website Feb. 8 by founder Tim Sweeney:
"When former members of Big Huge Games approached Epic last year, we saw the opportunity to help a great group of people while putting them to work on a project that needed a team. It was a bold initiative and the Impossible folks made a gallant effort, but ultimately it wasn’t working out for Epic."
...
"Former Impossible employees declined to comment about the six-month stint with Epic. One said that saying anything about those months would break a separation agreement that included a line about disparaging the company."
 
Paul Meegan, Former LucasArts president and Epic Games China founder, President of Epic Games.
"We play a lot of Paragon. We played many, many months of it before we started public testing and then we had online tests that started in about December and ran through March. Then of course, we began early access. I've played a lot of it and I'm very deeply invested in the game and it is a game where the more you play the more you understand and it really is reaching a point where the ability level of other players in the community is... astonishing... I mean it's far beyond what most of us expected to happen this quickly. That's really exciting to see and we look at this as the very, very beginning for the game. These games grow over many years so we're extremely committed to getting this game right and making it something that lives for a long time, where we have competitive play and a great community. It's super exciting, it's been a great first month."
I will hold you to that Paul.
"It's a constant balance that we have to strike. We talk a lot about when we say no and when we say yes. A big challenge for us is that there's so many cool things happening and so many great ideas that we come across either internally or people bring to us externally and the ability to choose what we do, where we partner and where we might just support people to help them do something on their own is really a challenge because we're curious and we're passionate and we want to do everything that we can... -BUT, we can't. It's something that we have to constantly think about and be vigilant about, so that we don't lose our focus and are still able to do relatively few things really well."
 
"So we did a bunch of pretty crazy things," Sweeney says. "For the first time in Epic's history, we brought in an outside investor, Tencent, who put money into the company and also has provided an enormous amount of useful advice."
In June 2012, Tencent purchased about 48 percent of Epic’s outstanding shares, or roughly 40 percent of the company, for $330 million. Along with a sizable chunk of the company, Tencent also picked up the right to have two representatives on Epic’s seven-person board of directors. But Sweeney says that has no real impact on the games the team makes.
"Epic Games is incorporated and has a board of directors that makes major financial decisions about the company but doesn't involve itself in the design or product development of games," he says. "It made sense at that point in our history after 25 years to do that and we thought that that was the way to really reliably establish Epic in this generation. We realized this would be a big leap. In the past, we had done a publishing deal with Microsoft that had brought in enough funding to operate the company for several years and Tencent's involvement in Epic had a similar effect on our ability to make this massive change and make this huge leap without the immediate of fear of money."
Tencent, Sweeney is quick to point out, is the number one operator of live games in the world, the number one game publisher in China and the number three internet company in the world. "They're not a game developer," he says. "Their expertise is how to operate these games on the large scale and to really appeal to customers, and we found that their values are very similar to ours and that we had a great deal we could learn from them."
 
Found this very intriguing article about Tencent. They don't seem to be a very transparent company.
TENCENT GOING TO PUBLISH PARAGON IN CHINA, CONFIRMED
"For us in the West, it seems Tencent's ambitions are limited to beating Steam in China - at least for now. It's not clear that they have plans to compete in the rest of the world."
...These are communist Chinese we're talking about here.
I just like this quote, (and) I'd like it here:
Sweeney says the game that best represents Epic’s new approach to development is Paragon.
“It’s a clear picture of Epic’s values,” he says. “It’s not like the retail era where a game went from God to Epic to gamers. The team is constantly listening to gamers. This is being developed very much in partnership with them.”
Early reactions, while mostly positive, seem to question how the game will set itself apart in so flooded a genre and whether the game’s system for powering up heroes using cards will work.
 
It's seems even the kids on the Fortnite forums are just as unsatisfied with Epic's newest business practices, looking for someone (in particular) to blame.
 
Just wanted to highlight the struggles that Steve went through... he never got it.
Steve Superville PC Invasion interview
Steve Superville PC Invasion follow-up
 
Watch this video for a summary.
It is the very latest... from some very insightful gamers... who know nothing of paragon.
The intro alone is worth watching. They just released the video earlier a week ago.
"Well, I mean... if that basket is so FUCKIN' huge!"
I just... don't believe in it... Fortnite will die.
... Man that Kallari blade at 7 minutes and 10 seconds made me stand up on my feet! Just watch...
 
Another really great article guys. Rest assured I've already contacted all the authors and journalists covering this story. They're not doing it to get paid, they're doing it because they care to spread the word. ... and because we all want to be heard... well, maybe to get paid too.
 
What REALLY happened to Steve Superville though? He played a game with Tencent. That's actually him in-game (dying that is) lol.
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