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Kotick: Activision Blizzard Has The "Luxury Of Patience"

Ah, "the elevation of patience." If all companies could have that luxury, everything would be so much simpler.

In speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco yesterday, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says that thanks to the Activision/Blizzard merger they now have the time to deliver the best games possible. He said that "partly because we have the financial resources to do it," they can take all the time they need to produce a product gamers really want. He calls this "an incredible luxury" and adds:

"You have to instill that value into the culture; Blizzard has that as a unique value of the culture and I think it's now been very well instilled across all of Activision Blizzard.

Patience is rewarded. It's a vocal audience that's willing to tell you through that beta process what they think of the product, what needs to be done differently and now that the product is as much a service as it is an actual product, that period of time is invaluable to polishing, building and shaping the games to be extraordinary."

Well, the beta process is certainly important and it's interesting that he says "the product is as much of a service as it is an actual product." The industry has reached a point where developers really need to continue to support big releases after launch; it no longer ends for the designers when the game is on store shelves. With the maintenance and additions required for the multiplayer aspect, along with the now-expected and even requisite downloadable content, times have changed.

But time is always a "luxury," regardless of the industry.

Tags: activision, bobby kotick, game development, game industry

11/17/2010 11:51:25 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (51 posts)

Lawless SXE
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:15:42 PM
Reply

So... is that why they feel the need to release a CoD game every year? I call BS on this fool. Activision may have the luxury of time, but they aren't taking it. How about they release some games that are actually good, and different (thus taking CoD and GH out of this equation) before shooting his mouth off.

At least Blizzard takes the time to make sure their releases are just about as good as they can be, rather than releasing yearly iterations of exactly the same thing.
Peace.

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eLLeJuss
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 5:12:26 PM

Yeppp and they closed down bizzare creations too. They just want the guys to bring them their money then fire others whose game didn't sell too well but still did a pretty decent game (blur).

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 1:00:27 AM

Would I rather they not what?

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Deleted User
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:22:46 PM
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Activision also seems to have the luxury of closing down studios. Did you hear that they closed down Bizarre Creations just because Blur didn't sell? One of the best software houses, the studio that created Geometry Wars and Project Gotham Racing, shuttered? Proof that they only care about their cash cows and have no interest in creating anything new or giving new IPs a chance.

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gangan19
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:50:55 PM

i liked blur it was kinda fun

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Geobaldi
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:59:10 PM

Bizarre Creations hasn't been shut down yet. Activision has given all members a 3 month notice while they decide what to do with them. Selling them is a possibility.

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MadKatBebop
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:51:31 PM

@Geobaldi

Lol, dude your avatar is so awesome! where did you get it?.

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Athrin
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:36:17 PM
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Kotics job is 100% safe for as long as he whants it because of idiots keep buying their inferior CoD games that are just copies of their predesessor. He could raise the price of his games by 10 bucks and ppl would still buy it like crazy.

Last edited by Athrin on 11/17/2010 12:37:00 PM

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Nynja
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:38:10 PM
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I read his comment about the privilege of new IPs are earned by developers. Only the successful studios earn the right to develop their own new IP.

So... When Infinity Ward wanted to do their new IP, they were not classified as successful? Then what is successful in the eyes of Activision?

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=266952

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tridon
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:39:31 PM
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They're patient but they release their franchises' games on a yearly basis? That doesn't seem too patient to me. Oh, and does anyone else think that Kotick looks like Carrot Top's brother in that picture?

http://images.starpulse.com/pictures/2008/05/26/previews/Carrot%20Top-ALO-016408.jpg

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 6:41:29 PM

kotex looks just like a Happy, Homie type of guy...




.....as in... Happy & Homie.....The Clowns

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swapnilgyani
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:42:18 PM
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"It's a vocal audience that's willing to tell you through that beta process what they think of the product, what needs to be done differently"

I guess that explains why a heavily glitched Call of Duty is on the store shelves.

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gangan19
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:51:53 PM
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why does this guy have to gloat so much...money hungry bastards!!!

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chedison
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 12:56:47 PM
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He isn't talking about CoD an the main Activision company, he is talking about Blizzard and referencing how long it takes Blizzard to release games. ie. Starcraft II and Diablo III.

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Amazingskillz
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:01:16 PM
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Not particularly a fan of Kotick, but lets face it, the COD franchise is a smashing success. They've put out a product that is beloved by zillions of fans. People criticize them for supposedly being more of the same. But the flip side to that is that people love the games. Its like your moms apple pie. Every time she cooks its good even though its still an apple pie. If it aint broke why should they fix it. In some ways its foolish to criticize a franchise that has set back to back records for first day sales. Folks should give Activision there kudos and move on.

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Underdog15
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:14:53 PM

Back in the day, Squaresoft used to take an incredible franchise and release a completely different iteration in terms of gameplay while expanding customization and introducing new elements.

That was quality service.

While I agree that the recipe they have is working, I don't necessarilly agree that it's good to keep it the same. Because, unfortunately, it is broken at times, and it needs fixing. They don't spend time and resources to iron out the kinks from one title to the next because they don't need to. Until there is a direct correlation between extra work and extra sales, it will never improve.

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Norrin Radd
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:51:39 PM

What?! A voice of reason in this board regarding CoD??? I never thought I'd see the day.

FWIW, just because someone bought the latest CoD (like me) doesn't necessarily mean they previously purchased any of the preceding ones (like I didn't). Black Ops appealed to me based on it's setting and me growing up in the 70's. That's why I picked it up. SO, for people like me, the game play is anything BUT tired. Just because it may seem to be "more of the same" to people who have played many of the previoous ones doesn't make it so for newcomers to the franchise (or gaming for that matter - and believe me - I hope the pool of gamers keeps growing - even if they play crap I don't like. The more $$ flowing into the industry, the better. And what does more money give you? More time to develop new IPs and polish OTHER games before releasing them into the wild. Now where did I just read something like that????).

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Jawknee
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 2:46:08 PM

Norrin, but there isn't many like you. Most gamers have played every Call of Duty and have had to sit and watch other genres get brushed to the wayside while crap like this is hoisted on the rest of us non trigger happy, drone gamers. Not saying your a drone, glad this is your first and you like it but your in the minority.

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Alienange
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 3:13:28 PM

You're joking right Underdog15? Either that or you don't know squat about the FF series.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 3:24:44 PM

Oh c'mon Alienage, you know Final Fantasy has done a fantastic job of keeping the series fresh with each installment unlike Call of Duty. Are you trying to say they didn't?

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Underdog15
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 3:37:36 PM

@Jawk
No kidding....

@Alienage
Uh... please... name 2 FF's that are identical in gameplay...

We've seen job systems, materia, junctioning, sphere grids, license boards, skill-ups, ATB, strict turns without time meters, various vehicles, various mini-games, varying specials (limits, trance, etc. etc.), free roaming battles, random encounter battles, 3, 4, and 5 party member games, etc. etc. etc.

What's CoD got that varries game to game besides a short storyline and the same glitches game in game out?

Last edited by Underdog15 on 11/17/2010 3:45:33 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 3:49:02 PM

@Jawk and Alienage
I think I get it now. Jawk, I think Alienage probably thought my last paragraph was still about FF. I was talking about CoD in the last paragraph, and I didn't clearly distinguish the transition from FF talk to CoD talk.

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Alienange
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 4:02:10 PM

The only major differences between FF I-IX is how the story is told.

It's the same random battles fought the same way with the same fire/ice/lightning magic spells and inventory management. Outside of that you have a map to wander with key items and characters to find.

There is nothing "completely different" about the gameplay in any of them. The main appeal was always the focus they put on the narrative.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 4:27:48 PM

Alienage you know that's not true. Yes some of the themes, elements and summons are the same but the game play, battle system, how you build your characters, how you equips spells and summons, how those spells and summons are used is widely different across all the titles. Materia vs Jucntion vs teh Grid Sphere etc Not so with Call of Duty. Its a freakin cookie cutter game and you know it. I have more reason to believe now that YOU have never played any Final Fantasy games.

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DIsmael85
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 5:01:57 PM

To be fair on both end, all Final Fantasy games have used the same RPG gameplay element of Fire, Ice, etc etc. They just change the way in which you use them. In terms of CoD Black Ops, unless you have actually sat down and played the game you wouldn't know all the new additions they have stuck in there for multiplayer to make it a fresher experience for those who have already played them before. I love me some Final Fantasy, and like someone said above about the apple pie statement. If it ain't broke, why fix it. You saw this happen with Final Fantasy XIII, did you not?

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Alienange
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 5:26:16 PM

Jawknee, what is your obsession with CoD? At no point have I even mentioned the game. I'm not fool enough to compare an RPG with an FPS.

I'm talking about FF and how the gameplay was not radically different from one to the other. All those things you mention are minor tweaks. In the end you were just doing the same thing you did the last game.

If anything, the junction system is why I prefer FF VIII above the rest. It was a little different. Materia wasn't ground breaking. It was simply the way the devs limited the number of spells you could use.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 6:22:26 PM

Having played most of FF9 now, and having finished FF6,7,8,10,12 and 13, I think I will say I liked FF8's junction leveling system the most out of the bunch. And I mean that only in the context of leveling. THe actual combat in FF8 I thought was a bit too slow. The game made heavy emphasis of the GF's.. at least I could try to time the boost taps in the process of waiting for the the cinematic to run it's course. And to be unpopular, I liked FF13's combat system the most.

In context of the discussion, though. I think it's fair to say that the format of FF has remained mostly consistent over the years. I don't think there was any question if any particular FF didn't squarely fit in the genre class of jRPG. But most new FF's brought to the table a wealth of new content to engage: new story, art design, game play components, sound track etc. Each of these components are vital to the overall experience.

Sometimes I think CoD's big draw isn't so much all of that new content as it is refreshing the maps and competitive rules of play. That's not to say a person can't be engaged by the single player experience. But the respect, strength and forward momentum of the series seems to capture more of those gamers who are engaged primarily by the competitive online component. I say this because Black Ops's campaign was rough around the edges, and MW and MW2 had surprisingly short single player campaigns. Basically, there's just not a lot of value there for those who aren't interested...lol, man, I don't even know where I'm going with this anymore. Any how, games are cool!


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Underdog15
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 8:21:30 AM

@Alienage
Well, I -tried- to give you the benefit of the doubt...

@DIsmael
Actually, I have been playing a lot of CoD:BO due to all my friends having it. I've unfortunately had to play a sickening 13-ish hours of multiplayer logged now, (Sporting a 1.78 K/D), and I'm 2 levels away from completing the campaign on Veteran (Which is really easy once you figure out how predictable the AI is.) All in all, I don't find the multiplayer features expansive or new at all, aside from gambling on matches and creating your own emblem, which I couldn't care less about. It's exactly the same experience as MW2 was. It truly is no different.

@me
Hooray for turning an Activision article into a FF discussion! Today is a good day.

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sha4dowknight05
Sunday, November 21, 2010 @ 5:22:42 PM

I agree with you 100%. This site bashes that game too much almost everyone is biased here about it. Let's face it call of duty ever since modern warfare has been an xbox 360 game. Sure it's on ps3 and pc but still, it's lead console is the xbox. I know that there's fanboys on the xbox side that take things too far but it's not so bad!1 it's just a bunch or immature idiot's who's only bash they are capable of is "ps3 sucks" and when you ask them why, they add an extra 2 words to make their point sound worst"ps3 sucks SO BAD" it's pathetic, you cannot determine wether which one sucks unless you've spent a quailty amount of time on both systems. I know that this site is loyal to playstation but we've all got to remember that it's the final result is what matters, this game is a media phenomoinon and will countinue to be so there's no stoping it.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:13:51 PM
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Good God did he just call gaming a "service"? A true sign of the times and so sad. Why do I feel gamers are the ones doing the "servicing"?

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/17/2010 1:15:52 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:15:52 PM

lol... yeah... an online service he wants us to pay for...

Or maybe he means a gaming service like making other gamers host games...

They certainly don't provide the service of a dedicated server.....

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Lawless SXE
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:25:06 PM

I think by using the term service he is referring to the online portion of the games. Once upon a time it was a single player experience, it was a product, but now, with people able to log hundreds of hours into even the most simple of games for the same price, it is considered differently. It does make sense... Kind of.
Peace.

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swapnilgyani
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:43:47 PM

Call of Bobby: Luxorious Service

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 2:22:39 PM

I understand it, but I don't much like it. I prefer to purchase a product, whole and complete. Not something that needs to be upgraded. "Well they just sell extras" No, not if it screws up your online experience because you are the only one without the "extras"

Another reason I don't like to play online and grieve the shrinkage of SP.

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DjEezzy
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 1:22:34 PM
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I kinda agree with you "Amazing". I'm not the biggest fan and I even went as far as saying i wouldn't buy another activision game. But seriously black ops is alot of fun. It's somewhat the same but it's different in a lot of ways too. I hate to say it but i let people on the net be my deciding factor in what games i buy. I still think Kotick is a greedy bastard but i think that treyarch did a fantastic job with the game. Don't play computer games so i can't comment on Blizzard.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 2:12:23 PM
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Lol, let's be happy they're 'patient' enough to release a cod every year, instead of 3 or 4 in one year..

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Jawknee
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 2:22:58 PM
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This guy is so full of crap. It's telling when the Killzone 3 BETA!!! is running better than their finished products.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 2:45:54 PM
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I'd like the luxury of rearranging Kotick's frame of mind.

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Jawknee
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 2:46:38 PM

and his face. haha! jk jk.

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Alienange
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 3:32:54 PM
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He's saying Blizzard has had a positive effect on the Activision family? Considering they don't put out very many games, I fail to see how their lazy attitude helps the other studios.

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Maiq The Liar
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 4:35:57 PM
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It may just be me but, he looks very cheesy. I dunno, I think its the hair.. and maybe the smile. Kinda looks like he knows he is selling you a crap product and he can get away with it. Im talking bout the photo included in the article incase you didnt know.

Last edited by Maiq The Liar on 11/17/2010 4:36:56 PM

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DemonNeno
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 4:43:40 PM
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Wow... Just when I thought companies had no idea how consumers look at their product, this guy takes it to the next level.do they realize how stupid they sound when their current big seller is in need of serious patchwork?!

While we're at it, I'd like to talk about how America is never partisan on views, which is great because that works so well for us. Yeah, whatever you say kiosk.

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Scarecrow
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 5:10:51 PM
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1 Activision game, that's all I've ever owned.

If only more people learned from my glorious example.

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Snaaaake
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 5:26:02 PM
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Luxury of patience?
If so then why IW and Treyarch are making buggy games?
They got a deadline everytime and you call that patience?
Activision don't even give a damn about quality games, they only want games that sell. And so Bizzare Creation was closed?
This guy is pissing me off even though I tried to put up with his BS.

Bungie must be thinking it was a right choice to have signed a publishing deal instead of being under Activision.

So everyone, if you're working under Activision and you're not making GH or CoD, you're in danger of getting closed down if you don't make games that will sell.

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Temjin001
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 5:51:05 PM
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Blizzard is a rare and very respectable game developer. They're unique like Polyphony Digital.

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 7:01:36 PM
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"Luxury of" says kotex as he's chopping off more heads...


Activision Confirms Closure of Guitar Hero Developer Budcat

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/activision-confirms-closure-of-guitar-hero-developer-budcat/

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 7:04:54 PM
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And on a related note...

Activision Confirms It's Looking to Sell Off Bizarre Creations

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/activision-confirms-its-looking-to-sell-off-bizarre-creations/

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BikerSaint
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 7:26:22 PM
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"JUST SAY NO"!!!!!!!

How An Activision Online Call of Duty Subscription Could Possibly Work

http://www.industrygamers.com/news/how-an-activision-online-call-of-duty-subscription-could-possibly-work/

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Dreno
Wednesday, November 17, 2010 @ 8:48:29 PM
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FF8 FTW!!!

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Underdog15
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 8:23:22 AM

FF talk was up a lil' higher. Try out that reply button.

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___________
Thursday, November 18, 2010 @ 1:45:24 AM
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surprisingly, for once hes not spewing utter sh*t!
they do have the luxury of taking there time, and there certainly very good at doing that!
come on guys, we want diablo 3 already god dam it!
than once your done, go give gabe a big slap and maybe that will wake him up and give us half life 2 epp 3.
so sick of waiting for that!

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