Last week, I discovered Jeff Bezos has spent the past few months adding a fuckload of money to the megafuckload of money he was already in possession of, and I’m not even going to bother to look up his net worth because he’ll probably tack another billion onto an already impossibly large number by the time I finish writing this.
In the article linked above, I referenced the question that Peter Gibbons asked a few people in Office Space concerning what they would do with a million dollars. While his neighbor opted to go with “two chicks at the same time,” his answer involved much less physical exertion and attention to logistics, as he only needed a single word: “Nothing.”
Well, based on Peter’s hypothetical net worth and the one Bezos was rocking a week ago, the Amazon founder could do 186,000 times more nothing if he wanted to, and based on his hearing in front of Congress on Wednesday, it kind of seems like he’s basically checked out based on the number of times he wasn’t able to answer some pretty straightforward inquiries about the fundamental operations of his company.
He could’ve been purposefully dodging the questions to save face, but whenever he pled ignorance, it felt like he was essentially saying, “I’m too busy dealing with the unfathomable amount of money I have to worry about any of this bullshit,” and to be totally honest, I wouldn’t blame him if that was the case.
Bezos and the other tech leaders who were summoned by the House were primarily there to address allegations that they used anticompetitive practices to become the behemoths they are today, with one member using the antitrust hearing to say he viewed the four companies represented as monopolies.
I’m not an economist so I have no idea if they really fit the definition of the label but I do know that economists generally agree that allowing a single entity to gain a stranglehold on an industry will also result in the suffocation of innovation, as there’s no need to stay one step ahead of the competition when it’s nonexistent.
There are plenty of examples you can use to highlight this phenomenon and I can’t think of many that do a better job than the Madden franchise, which has had the luxury of resting on its laurels for the past 16 years after EA signed an exclusive deal with the NFL to become the only company permitted to make football video games featuring real players, franchises, and stadiums.
Now, the graphics and mechanics have obviously come a long way since Donovan McNabb graced the cover and Madden goes to great lengths to call attention to the new features that are introduced each year. While I’m not suggesting the producers don’t innovate, I am suggesting they do the bare minimum. All they really have to do is dream up enough flashy shit to convince people to drop $60 on a game because it has updated rosters, new touchdown celebrations, and a physics engine that promises to be just as “revolutionary” as the one that was marketed the exact same way the previous year.
As a result, words cannot describe how thrilled I was to discover 2K was getting back into the football realm after inking a deal with the NFL earlier this year. While EA will still be the exclusive producer of “simulated-based ” games until 2025, the competing studio will be allowed to start pumping out “non-simulation” titles in 2021 (no one seems to actually know what exactly differentiates those two spheres but it likely refers to arcade-style with a focus on individual games).
Now, I’m even more amped after learning about the latest development, as CBS Sports reports 2K has also signed a deal with the NFLPA, which grants them the right to use the names and likenesses of over 2,000 players in whatever games they’re dreaming up. While I wouldn’t have a problem with playing an NCAA Football game without any real athletes, I can’t say I’d be as intrigued by an NFL game that’s just random dudes in uniforms, so this is a pretty vital move.
As of right now, there’s no indication of what we can expect from 2K (or when to expect it), but you know what would be fun? An over-the-top game featuring unrealistics physic and laughably muscular players who face off in various environments—except for streets—instead of a stadium. That’s a good idea that I don’t think any other company has done before.