Home Tech Behind that viral Los Angeles billboard that trolled Microsoft and other gaming companies

Behind that viral Los Angeles billboard that trolled Microsoft and other gaming companies

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Behind that viral Los Angeles billboard that trolled Microsoft and other gaming companies

Last week, as Summer Game Fest attendees alternated between game reveals and demos in Los Angeles, an unusual digital billboard captured the attention of millions of people online and offline. “Gone but not forgotten,” he said, listing closed studios like Arkane Austin, Tango Gameworks and Volition, “+ all were laid off, downsized and ‘laid off.’ Thanks for the great games.” When the sign displayed its second message to downtown Los Angeles, it was equally direct: “We love you. We miss you. “We hate money.”

The message was signed “your friends from New Blood,” and as soon as Game File reporter Stephen Totilo posted a video of the poster to X on Thursday, went viral, eventually racking up more than 3 million views and making headlines. on gaming news sites. New Blood Interactive co-founder Dave Oshry, who paid for the viral ad, says he wanted people in the gaming industry to “see it and say ‘hell yeah, good cheer’ and serve one up for those studios and just remember.” the games. they made.” But what he ultimately did was troll an industry that’s squeezing developers just as its bigwigs were heading to Los Angeles to show off their shiny new releases.

It’s been a particularly brutal year for developers at studios large and small. The Indies continue to close or go on “pause,” a more hopeful move that implies they will one day return. Big-name studios have laid off hundreds of developers. Microsoft in particular is responsible for the most recent closures on that billboard list, Arkane Austin and Tango Gameworks.

Originally, Oshry he told totilo, wanted to publish the names of all the recently closed studios, but there simply wasn’t enough space on the poster. Still, his action resonated with developers who lost their jobs this year alone and others seeking to support them.

Oshry says he’s received many messages from people who were part of those studies, so “mission accomplished.” She declined to provide details on how much the billboard cost, simply telling WIRED via X DM that the price was “$xx,xxx.” “It costs a lot, but not that much,” she adds.

Whatever the cost, it was probably much less than what game studios were spending to participate in the Summer Game Fest, where a one-minute trailer can be shown. supposedly cost $250,000. Over Game Fest weekend, companies from Microsoft to Blumhouse made a splash by unveiling first looks at games like Doom: The Middle Ages and sleep awakebut much of the talk also focused on Oshry’s trick.

oshri said game file that the original messages he exchanged with his New Blood colleagues were much more direct than what they actually published. “People started suggesting, ‘They should shoot the executives,'” Oshry said. “Put a picture of Phil Spencer on there and say, ‘Hey, what the fuck?’”

Spencer, CEO of Microsoft Gaming, spoke with IGN over the weekend about the company’s decision to close studios such as Tango Gameworks, a controversial move considering the developer made the widely acclaimed Hifi fever. “Ultimately, I’ve said it over and over again, I have to run a sustainable business within the company and grow, and that means that sometimes I have to make difficult decisions that, frankly, are not decisions that I like, but decisions that Someone needs to drink. Go do it,” Spencer said.

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