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The Other Shoe Drops re: EU Server Move


warspeech
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1 hour ago, Spiteful said:

Actually all you need to show is a profit motive. Fitness Equipment Manufacturing and Game Stores are not subsidized industries.

no but they do have a lobby, they do impact personal improvement, and they are manufacturers(which do get tax breaks at least s far back as NAFTA) and significant employers.  No gvt takes a loss in revenue without a countervailing reason.  You can claim anything you want up until you get audited.  Making bad bets, bad investments, absent something else, is not an automatic "freebie" at least in the US code.  Free enterprise = the freedom to fail unless there is countervailing reasons(which are specifically spelled out in the code)  There is no blanket "your stupid" here's your Timmy award unless you have one hell of a lobby(which the games industry doesn't).   As well the profit motive clause only works for awhile if your deducting year after year.  Sooner or later YOU WILL BE audited.  The IRS takes a dim view of it being abused as a tax haven when it's actually an investment incentive to increase a businesses profitability and corresponding higher tax revenue.  If it does not appear that the item, activity, business your were deducting will ever be profitable not only will you carry the tax burden, but if the finding is that it was for the purpose of sheltering other income you'll likely get hit up with a nice fine/penalty (above back taxes) as well.  Generally much after 3 consecutive years of claiming the deduction the chances of scrutiny go up.  That clause was never meant to be a tax shelter.

EDIT

Besides one good box office weekend pulls in more than Turbine is even worth, not much of a tax break for WB if it even existed.  It would have hardly any effect on the bracket.   At best the IRS would call it a hobby and req itemized with caps.  Something like  +/-2% probably(of Turbines gross not WB's)

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3 hours ago, Spiteful said:

 

They would have also recouped some of the buyout costs as Capital Expenses and through Depreciation..

Some mainly the physical property, yes; IP depreciation, yes;  and that's not guaranteed Turbine was sold for a song  little better than at cost(if even that) not market value. Not a whole lot to depreciate. Prior Turbine incurred debt, no;  and this is the biggy, and likely the main reason Turbine was so cheap along with the age/profitability of it's released products.

EDIT most of the intangibles were already nearing the 1/2 life of depreciation  by the time of the WB deal (another problem of a game company not making games for a decade)  the curve flattens after awhile.  The biggest cost drivers aren't subject to depreciation or had already mostly completed the cycle(nearing zero at the time of the deal), and were likely already factored into the deal hence the cheap price.  If they had paid market value then yes many of the intangibles could have been given full value for depreciation.  The cost savings came with the deal you don't get to double dip later.

 

DBL EDIT Microsoft probably got more back from depreciation of Turbine assets than WB ever did.  You have to remember Turbine has been a lame duck business wise for a long time.  WB only gets the benefit of depreciation since it started ownership.  Or have been surprised(in a legal sense) how poorly positioned Turbine was(and the buy in price tends to argue against that).  For purposes of calculating depreciation it's something of the difference of a vehicle with adequate service documentation relatively well taken care of, and low or payed-off note; or the same make/model with a visibly twisted frame, missing panels, more bondo than sheet metal, and four different competing title loans.  One depreciates more than the other from time of purchase with a corosponding purchase price(which is in essence an agreed upon reflection of relative valuation).  That which has value depreciates that which has less depreciates less.

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I never said it was meant to be a shelter, I said it was common to be used as one. 

As far as an audit all they need to have for protection is a business plan and to be operating as a business. You need to have shown a profit for 2 of the last 5 years, present year inclusive, and in some instances 2 of 7 years, to not be considered a hobby.

WB has a team of lawyers and accountants, I'm pretty sure if that was what they were doing with Turbine they could do it easily. And if that was the case I doubt Turbine would be the only one they were doing it with.

You seem mighty determined to disprove something that was mentioned as a possibility and to say bought out companies are not always shut down the minute they stop making a profit, esp. when they are owned by large companies.

But hey, at least you stopped with the subsidized industry nonsense and started posting about actual tax code, so at least we made progress.

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1 minute ago, Spiteful said:

I never said it was meant to be a shelter, I said it was common to be used as one. 

As far as an audit all they need to have for protection is a business plan and to be operating as a business. You need to have shown a profit for 2 of the last 5 years, present year inclusive, and in some instances 2 of 7 years, to not be considered a hobby.

WB has a team of lawyers and accountants, I'm pretty sure if that was what they were doing with Turbine they could do it easily. And if that was the case I doubt Turbine would be the only one they were doing it with.

You seem mighty determined to disprove something that was mentioned as a possibility and to say bought out companies are not always shut down the minute they stop making a profit, esp. when they are owned by large companies.

But hey, at least you stopped with the subsidized industry nonsense and started posting about actual tax code, so at least we made progress.

3 years actually consecutive in any 5 year period, you are allowed 2 years of non profitability deduction during the same period.

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39 minutes ago, Spiteful said:

Yea that's likely. It's been quite a few years since I needed to worry about any of that.

And I never said they would shut the company down merely a single product that has been contracting for years.  You somehow conflated the two.   It(LOTRO as opposed to Turbine) will shut down the day it goes red.   DDO alone wont be enough to support itself and turbine(and by extension WB's expectations) all by it's lonesome while also carrying dead weight non-profitable products that add no value to the company.  Nor is there a viable reason to keep it going any PR mileage is years in the rear view, there is no clause that offers protection for an extended time and judging by the repeated rounds of lay-offs WB isn't giving Turbine games division a whole lot of rope.  Certainly not after IC.

EDIT

If Turbine ever released a game that lasted longer than 2 weeks this generation things might change, but until then dead weight will get cut when sources of profit are rather thin on the ground in Turbine land.  Speaking of IC that's your perfect window into WB thinking and  track record of responses to non-profitable product lines, they did not even hesitate.  No speculation needed.

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3 hours ago, warspeech said:

Someone on the OF found this and posted it,  I haven't seen/listened to it yet but it sounds like there are some gems in here, from some of the reactions to it.

 

considering everything going on with LOTRO right now, this video was a bit comical.  one thing that stuck out for me was when she talked about bringing down the servers for an update or maintenance and how that affects her customers (primarily the EU).  in  a nutshell, she would rather not inconvenience her operations people and instead inconvenience the customers who are helping pay their salary.

the only reason this stuck out for me was FFXIV recently pushed out a major patch and they scheduled their downtime for the patch so it wasn't during a time when most EU players would be online.  granted FFXIV followed through with their promise in setting up a EU data center so it's probably a bit easier for them to at least try to accommodate their customers :)

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On 2/23/2016 at 11:48 AM, warspeech said:

Going forward we’ll continue to work on with the technology team at our datacenter as well as key regional ISPs to improve the performance of LOTRO for all players worldwide. The next step of this process will have us on a new routing system in the next few weeks. This is expected to improve performance for players in much of the EU, and certain parts of North America as well. 

This is actually a pretty well understood engineering problem.

All you have to do is improve the speed of light.

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13 hours ago, LordVorontur said:

At this point, do any of us truly care?

I haven't even transferred my accounts to new servers.

I do care, but not a whole lot. As far as I'm concerned, I have gotten my money's worth out of my Lifetime account in LOTRO, and all the other money I've spent on it. But I would have liked to take at least one character to Mordor, so if the game doesn't make it to "the finish line" (so to speak), that would be a disappointment.

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3 hours ago, The MMO Troll said:

I do care, but not a whole lot. As far as I'm concerned, I have gotten my money's worth out of my Lifetime account in LOTRO, and all the other money I've spent on it. But I would have liked to take at least one character to Mordor, so if the game doesn't make it to "the finish line" (so to speak), that would be a disappointment.

That is pretty much how I feel as well. I don't have a life time account but do sub when there's some new content to do. My attachment to LOTRO is mainly based on a sense of gaming nostalgia and morbid curiosity, as I watch an IP based MMO of note, slowly kill itself. A sort of death by a thousand virtual cuts.

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17 hours ago, Moderate Peril said:

That is pretty much how I feel as well. I don't have a life time account but do sub when there's some new content to do. My attachment to LOTRO is mainly based on a sense of gaming nostalgia and morbid curiosity, as I watch an IP based MMO of note, slowly kill itself. A sort of death by a thousand virtual cuts.

Well said! Turbine has screwed the pooch so many times with this IP, not just big blunders like this promised EU server move being cancelled, but hundreds and hundreds of little things, as well. It's like the current staff have simply no idea what to do with the game, let alone what WB and Turbine Management will allow them to do, or change plans on them mid-stream, leaving the staff hanging in the wind.

Whatever happened to Mounted Combat past RoR? Or Skirmishes, for that matter? Any new Epic Battles added of late? Or how about the promise that the Epic Story would always be free to all... until it wasn't anymore because Reasons? And these are just big things, there are innumerable little changes, tweaks, and bugs that have come up through the years, each a "virtual cut", that has left the game in the state it currently is: Overlooked, AAA in name only, and only still alive because of the small group of whales that are huge LotR fans.

I expected more from Turbine.

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1 hour ago, The MMO Troll said:


I expected more from Turbine.

I read that Turbine used to be a good company, taking care of its customers.

The Turbine I came to know, has managed to climb the pinnacle of corporate imbecility. They don't even know how to lie. 

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3 hours ago, The MMO Troll said:

Well said! Turbine has screwed the pooch so many times with this IP, not just big blunders like this promised EU server move being cancelled, but hundreds and hundreds of little things, as well. It's like the current staff have simply no idea what to do with the game, let alone what WB and Turbine Management will allow them to do, or change plans on them mid-stream, leaving the staff hanging in the wind.

Whatever happened to Mounted Combat past RoR? Or Skirmishes, for that matter? Any new Epic Battles added of late? Or how about the promise that the Epic Story would always be free to all... until it wasn't anymore because Reasons? And these are just big things, there are innumerable little changes, tweaks, and bugs that have come up through the years, each a "virtual cut", that has left the game in the state it currently is: Overlooked, AAA in name only, and only still alive because of the small group of whales that are huge LotR fans.

I expected more from Turbine.

Not that I like them but they DID add 2 Epic Battles with Update 17. 

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4 minutes ago, FundinStrongarm said:

Not that I like them but they DID add 2 Epic Battles with Update 17. 

True but the Epic Battles set on the walls of Minas Tirith are virtually identical to those set on Helm's Dike.

Again we see minimum effort and creativity from Turbine, no doubt due to lack of resources and any of the team being the original staff.

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39 minutes ago, Moderate Peril said:

True but the Epic Battles set on the walls of Minas Tirith are virtually identical to those set on Helm's Dike.

Again we see minimum effort and creativity from Turbine, no doubt due to lack of resources and any of the team being the original staff.

The format itself is limiting. One of several reasons I don't like them. But they are still making them, unlike Skirmishes and other things he mentioned.

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54 minutes ago, FundinStrongarm said:

The format itself is limiting. One of several reasons I don't like them. But they are still making them, unlike Skirmishes and other things he mentioned.

well, they have to make SOMETHING eh?  kidding aside, i would prefer the epic battles be used for story telling devices and not as end-game group content.  get rid of all that battle promotion system/engineer/vanguard/bullshit.  the last thing this game needs is another system to weigh down an already overtaxed game engine.

we should be able to enter the big battle fully able to build a barricade, launch a catapult or command the soldiers--whatever is needed.  the point should be about the story of that epic battle, not grinding for promotion points.  again, a good idea that turbine executed very poorly.

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1 hour ago, Papi said:

well, they have to make SOMETHING eh?  kidding aside, i would prefer the epic battles be used for story telling devices and not as end-game group content.  get rid of all that battle promotion system/engineer/vanguard/bullshit.  the last thing this game needs is another system to weigh down an already overtaxed game engine.

we should be able to enter the big battle fully able to build a barricade, launch a catapult or command the soldiers--whatever is needed.  the point should be about the story of that epic battle, not grinding for promotion points.  again, a good idea that turbine executed very poorly.

To be fair having great ideas is cheap, implementing them...not so much.  And to be completely honest Turbine usually did have great ideas, until they didn't due to personnel changes.  What Turbine has always struggled with, even in AC1 days and most definitely something they struggled with AC2 and post, was implementing those ideas in a cost effective manner for the business while remaining enjoyable to the consumer.  /shrugs  LOTRO is a poster child of abandoned systems that looked great in concept(or at least workable) but never quite made the turn, particularly if their wasn't a store tie in to incentivize more effort from it's end.

 

It's nice to have a great idea, it's much better to have the discipline to path out what you can actually deliver vs what you want to do.  As opposed to getting 1/2-1/3 the work on only to abandon later.  Which in effect is merely wasted effort manpower and resources. Big eyes; small stomach.  If any of the myriad abandoned systems that constitute LOTRO had actually managed to increase customer demand/usage/spending, they would be added value.  However, in most cases the various systems usually end up on someone's shitlist of complaints in the see you later questionnaire.  Garbage in garbage out.  If a system ends up costing you customers instead of adding or even holding steady you wasted your time adding it.

 

EDIT this trend is largely why BB's or EB's or whatever they want to be called are now the limit of Turbines creative endeavors with LOTRO.  It's the lowest hanging fruit they can reach but also the only fruit they can reach.   Setting aside the lack of discipline in keeping separate projects/budgets well...separate and stealing from Peter to pay Paul.  The inability to determine that concepts are unworkable as envisioned beforehand, and waiting until after they have already spent the farm to make the determination has backed them into a corner resource wise. 

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59 minutes ago, Bendin said:

The inability to determine that concepts are unworkable as envisioned beforehand, and waiting until after they have already spent the farm to make the determination has backed them into a corner resource wise.

It's also their silly insistence to know better and plow onward, even if early feedback clearly suggests trouble ahead.

Marginalizing parts of the player base doesn't turn out too good an idea, either, which everyone but them knew beforehand as well.

SNy

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20 minutes ago, SNy said:

It's also their silly insistence to know better and plow onward, even if early feedback clearly suggests trouble ahead.

Marginalizing parts of the player base doesn't turn out too good an idea, either, which everyone but them knew beforehand as well.

SNy

True but I've always assumed those decisions were an effect not a cause.  Two contributing factors tied into that me thinks

A.   the internal company dynamic of believing your own bullshit among various cliques departments.  Overselling pitches then blaming the consumer when it doesn't work out(it's your ISP, LI's are great)

B.  The severe contraction of available resources form the combined impact of diverting to IC while also trying to get to the moon when you only have the dV to get to LEO. 

 

When you honestly believe your own BS and when you face real world constraints you are unwilling to admit to(at least publicly)...it's other peoples fault by default.

 

EDIT thinking further, not using your own product was probably a contributor as well and not just in communication.  Rather challenging to form a base line if you don't understand what your markets(who are users not producers) talking about.

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But that goes back way farther than the IC fiasco.

Take, for example, the Radiance system. Told early on by feedback that it would be creating an item-spiral and exclude players from participating, it was MUCH later they finally admitted that the system had failed (one rare insight, at least!) and stripped it out.

Then of course, when it would had been time to do the same with the convoluted mess they call Legendary Items, F2P had happened and the higher-ups decided it would loose them money, so they instead tried to extract the same out of it by making it MORE complicated, ignoring, again, lots and lots of good feedback and constructive criticism.

Speaking of which, they always demand to be told about flaws respectfully and constructively, only to completely ignore any of the feedback that would qualify.

I can't fault anyone for flipping them the finger, and publicly so, as a result.

SNy

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