Remember, Remember, The 11th of November…


I know the holidays are when publishers want to release their most ambitious games… but come on, guys. Really?

In late spring/early summer, the fall months were already overloaded with games. So, I began to scrimp and save, until I finally amassed enough coin to purchase Bayonetta 2, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Grand Theft Auto V, and Far Cry 4… with the latter four split over two consecutive weeks. And these were only MY must-have titles. The rest of the gaming community had to weigh Sunset Overdrive, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Little Big Planet 3, and Smash Bros. for the Wii-U. For all intents and purposes, November was primed to be every gamers wet dream… so, why do I feel like the industry is in shambles now more than ever? The media’s ranting, gamers are raging, and… well, okay, that’s par for the course. So, let me put it this way:

On November 11th, when I SHOULD have been enjoying Halo and Unity, I was playing Super Mario 64 instead.

What the hell happened?

Well, from my perspective, this generation of gaming has… how do I put this gently? “A lot of room for growth.” Nintendo has decided to release yet another iteration of the 3DS, while expanding their focus to include cheap toys – that is, high in price and cheap in quality – and DLC.

In green vs. blue land, Microsoft is competing while Sony hardly competes. Resolution and frame rates have become marketing tools. Lies and broken promises continue to litter the landscape of consumer relations. Make no mistake about it; patience thins as incompetence grows. As a result, you would think the major publishers would take every precaution to ensure their games shine at the time of release… and yet, the opposite is happening. While it’s true that day 1 patches have become the norm, most of these come and go without a peep from the gaming community. And why? Because these updates are perceived by many to be trivial. Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t. But over the last couple of months – if not the entirety of this generation – the industry has sunk to a new low.

“The game just launched. OF COURSE it’s buggy!”

Let’s be clear: Nobody should EVER justify poor quality control as, “That’s just the way it is.” All that justification does is inform the industry that people are okay with products that don’t work as advertised. But… why? Why should they be granted amnesty? Battlefield 4 was broken for, what, half a year or so? Destiny was hyped to the high heavens, yet only the shell of a game had been delivered. Driveclub’s multiplayer was a joke, and its PS+ version is still a promise laughing from the wings. The Evil Within had a bunch of performance issues. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare suffered from some multiplayer hiccups. The sad thing? This list is only the tip of the iceberg.

Things truly came to a head on November 11th. Mark this on your calendar as the day apologists allowed a dose of reality to seep in: The industry is focused on launch windows so much, that releasing a finished product has become a secondary concern. I know, I know: Some will find that last statement to be a double-barreled load of hyperbole… but is it? On this date, two of 2014’s most anticipated games were unleashed, and both were clearly not ready to leave their respective stables. It doesn’t matter what school of thought you want to bring to the table: This. Is. Not. OK.


Halo: The Master Chief Collection. For all intents and purposes, this was poised to move Xbox One’s and increase the average software attach rate. EA’s Titanfall was the previous steward of such responsibility, but let’s be honest – It failed to make a significant enough splash. So, Microsoft looked to 343i to deliver its beautifully culminated package of Spartan and Cortana for the holidays. Unfortunately, 343’s early Christmas present to their parent company amounted to little more than a black eye.

For starters, 343 Industries decided to punish consumers for choosing physical over digital. Unintentional, I’m sure, but that doesn’t really make the situation any better. Weeks prior to release, the studio announced there would be a 20GB update on day 1. And no, that isn’t a typo: 20GB (although it was condensed to 15GB just prior to release). Why? Because the single player campaigns utilized all 45GB of usable disc space. No big deal, right? 343i had included a second install disc for Halo 4, right? Well, this time they said, “Screw it, that costs money. Let’s just let people download the additional content at home.” How is it I perceive this to be punishment? Because people who pre-ordered digitally could access the update ahead of time, meaning they could play the game on the stroke of midnight at launch. The rest of us had to wait until we downloaded that behemoth of an update…

…only to find out the matchmaking didn’t work.

When I complain about this around the web, the common response I get is, “You can enjoy the single player for the time being. 343i will fix it.” True enough, except I – and many others – purchased the Halo collection primarily for multiplayer. Not only that, with the onslaught of games being released at the moment, I have next to zero motivation to play Halo 1-4. I’d much rather play something new.

Good thing Assassin’s Creed: Unity was there to save the day, right? Right?!


While I HAVE been enjoying my time with the latest dose of ‘sneak-stab-climb’ from Ubisoft, there’s no excuse for the condition this game was released in. There was a pretty big stink raised when the devs announced they ‘achieved parity’ between the Xbox One and PS4 iterations. Why? Because people believed the Xbox One was holding the PS4 version back at 900p and 30fps. Personally, we didn’t have any facts to back such a claim, so I decided to wait and see how everything shook out. There’s really nothing wrong with 900p, is there? 1080p is much better, of course, but Ryse was 900p, and stands – a year after the fact, mind you – as one of the most impressive looking titles of this generation. 30fps isn’t a big deal to me either…

…But there’s a difference between ’30fps’ and Ubisoft’s 30fps.

Frame rate issues jank the game on a regular basis. It doesn’t usually affect gameplay, but there ARE times where the game looks like a slide-show on my PS4. Pop-in is especially atrocious. It doesn’t matter if you’re running across rooftops, getting a panoramic view of the city while ‘synchronizing’, or pounding cobblestones beneath your feet. You’re going to see shadows, clothing, and even complete character models come and go. Arno – the main character – would also fall through the world’s geometry. The game also locked up my PS4 on a couple of occasions.


No less than 10 teams worked on this game for about 4 years… and this is the how the game launches? “It’s day one, of course…” No. Just no. Keep in mind that of these 10 teams, not everyone was working on the game itself. Some of Ubisoft’s resources were allotted for developing a mobile app, while others (more than likely) focused on the microtransaction system. Some have undoubtedly spent their time building content for the season pass.

You have to hand it to Ubisoft, I suppose, because the set of balls on them are enormous. They released a game THIS buggy, yet have the unmitigated gall to suggest we further support their product by purchasing a season pass and in-game currency? Are they freakin’ nuts?

Truth be told, all the major studios are bonkers. As stated earlier in this article, Halo and Unity aren’t the only games with issues as of late. A week later, on November 18th, three additional AAA titles were reported with certain bugs and/or performance issues: Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 (Xbox One/PS4), and Little Big Planet 3. As of this writing, Smash Bros will be launching on the Wii-U and (regardless of how you feel about Nintendo) I’m willing to bet their latest offering will be the least problematic of the bunch.

I’ve tried to remain as diplomatic as possible in writing this editorial, but the bullshit has stacked so high, I doubt I’ve come across that way. Not that it matters. After all, if I’m about to rage, it’s because each and every day I recognize the video game industry a bit less than the day before. For the sake of transparency, I should also share that I feel hurt and betrayed by just how far things have slid down the proverbial slippery slope.

You see, I’m a physical media kind of guy. I don’t really have anything against digital content, but I believe hard copies of video games are likely to outlast the servers that currently host them. In theory, if I wanted to play a PS4 game in 20 years, I should be able to insert a disc, install, and play. Unfortunately, the reliance studios have on updating games at, and even after the time of release is crippling that future. With the way things are, if I wanted to play a PS4 game in 20 years, the hard copy wouldn’t be enough. No, I’d need to download an update to play the bug-free version, but without any servers to acquire said updates, what’s the point?

So, yes, as a result, I’m weighing a digital only future with my Xbox One and PS4 (not my Wii-U, since its storage capacity is rather limited). Not because I’m feeling ‘jazzed’ about it, but because AAA publishers are doing everything in their power to make this aging dinosaur feel all but extinct. I mean, if my physical copies are worth virtually nothing – remember, they’re incomplete versions sitting on those retail shelves – then what’s the difference? Why not go digital? Why not join the masses in pre-load ecstasy, being able to enjoy these games the very moment they go live without ever having to leave the house?

Oh, I remember now. It’s because I have a spine, and I’m not willing to let the studios bully me into a position I don’t want to support. I’m not saying I’m as solid as a statue, because that’s not exactly true. If I were as ‘pure’ as one of my friends (dude’s a warrior, I’m tellin’ ya), I wouldn’t have purchased Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and most all the other freakin’ games I mentioned in this article. Or, I’d buy them, hear the negative reports, and return them promptly to their point of purchase. But, I’m not that strong. Call me crazy, but I still want to enjoy the games I’d have fun with. Those day 1 bugs will inevitably be patched, and Arno falling through the streets of Paris will become a distant memory, amongst a host of other negative memories.

And I’m not justifying all the incompetence we’ve seen with the industry as of late. No, I’m merely saying that most of these games are going to be insanely fun once the kinks are worked out… but that doesn’t give any of the greedy big-wigs a pass. Their huge fuck-ups this year have finally allowed the casual gamer to take notice of the things I’ve been rambling about for months… and as GI Joe used to say, “Knowing is half the battle.”

But hey, look at it this way: I don’t get these games from publishers. I buy all my own games with my own money (sometimes they’re gifts, but you know what I mean). I get too curious and want to try these games first hand to know what the deal is. So… use me. Watch me play and vent my frustrations, or positive reactions, while playing these games live on Twitch. If a game sucks, LET ME BUY IT SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO. If my mistakes happen to help a person or two, then I’ll be grateful for the anguish.


10 responses to “Remember, Remember, The 11th of November…

  1. Not a bad write-up, can’t disagree with anything posted. For me, I’ve always been a cynic, so I haven’t followed a hype train since…. probably Skyrim(which lived up the the hype, thank God). Considering these broken launches seem to be primarily plaguing holiday releases, I’m going to blame this on developers rushing games out, as opposed to unfamiliarity with the new console architecture. Either way, I hope consumers wise up and stop giving these publishers their money, or at the very least wait a little after launch to see if the game is functional.

    I’ve always held that the state of an industry is a reflection of it’s consumers, companies will only work as hard as we force them(just look at the 180 microsofts pulled), so I hope consumers wise up and stop letting devs get away with this shit cause I’d really hate for this to become the norm.

  2. Thanks for the ‘agree’ in regards to this opinion piece.

    Thing is, developers are always rushing games. They have been for a long, long time. The difference, however, is that they used to play the development game last generation a bit closer to a conservative chest. That’s the thing, Assassin’s Creed: Unity was already delayed by a month or so… but clearly should have been pushed until December or perhaps even sometime in Q1 of 2015. That’s not the reality, of course, because AC is an annual franchise and they really can’t push an entry out of the holiday window. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if AC: Rogue got a port to next-gen in the spring or summer… meaning they REALLY couldn’t hold off.

    It sucks when a game is delayed, yes, but these publishers don’t seem to understand/care that they’ll catch WAY more shit if they release an unfinished product, as opposed to releasing a product later than expected. Consumers know this, too, even if they choose to ignore the fact. Whenever a game is delayed, people say, “Wow, that game REALLY wasn’t ready, was it? Good thing they did, though, because it means the product will be better when it finally DOES come out!” People appreciate whatever precautions need to taken to ensure a positive launch experience… what’s worse is when a game is delayed and delayed and then STILL released as broken as some of these titles have been (Driveclub…. ugh).

    I understand that Ubisoft are sort of counting on AC every year and really can’t ask consumers to purchase two installments on the same console within 6 months of each other, and I get that 343 and MS probably REALLY wanted the MCC to push Xbox One’s this season… but, when a game isn’t ready, it just isn’t ready. Before content updates, developers/publishers had to suck it up and finish their games… now, things have gotten so bad, consumers are guinea pigs for virtually every day 1 product.

    Breaks my heart.

    Anyway, thanks again for reading. Give me a follow and hope you like what comes in the future!!!

  3. “No less than 10 teams working on this game for 4 hours”

    That’s probably part of the problem. It just got too big for its britches. For what it’s worth I heard that turning off your internet connection (on the console) while playing alleviates some of the “framerate” issues.

    • Oh, don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to act like glitches/bugs haven’t been in our games all along. They certainly have, and internet personalities such as the Angry Video Game Nerd have made a living exploiting glitches in various old school games.

      That said, over the last generation, there’s been an increasing trend of studios/devs relying on the accessibility of the internet to – in my opinion – cut development cycles short, solely because they now have the ability to say, “Screw it, let’s send the game to the disc pressing plant and get the ‘gold’ version out on retail shelves, and by the time that’s all done, hopefully we would have fixed the game in time for launch.” I mean, this year’s Wolfenstein is a perfect example of this. It was numerous GB’s of data in the update so everything would be working as was intended. When you see games that go above 5GB in an update, you have to wonder if they’re merely ‘fixing’ a game or actually trying to COMPLETE said game.

      And with the first year of ‘next-gen’ under our belts, it seems like the trend is only getting worse. The releases in October and November have been absolutely abysmal in regards to quality control. I feel like the crappy business practices these studios have been conditioning us towards over the course of last, and now this generation, are finally buckling under their weak foundation. I understand ‘hey, the holidays are a great time to sell video games, let’s get the game out in the October-November window’, but when that means pushing out games in an incomplete state, these companies are really destroying themselves.

      As I mentioned in this article, it seems more and more people are coming to grips with the fact that publishers have been increasingly sloppy, and they’re speaking up about it. I wish there were MORE people speaking out, but people will not tolerate seeing virtually every game that’s released have some sort of issue on day 1. This will ultimately cause people to be weary of that DLC, microtransactions, if not wait for all the community comments and reviews before buying ANY more games.

      And as much as the ‘wait for reviews, and if it’s not working right, speak with your wallet’ thing sounds like a great idea… we are unfortunately at a time where pre-orders also determine how much time and money goes into the development of any given game. So, in a way, not pre-ordering seems like we’re hurting ourselves but…

      …that’s not exactly our problem.

      Eventually if pre-orders become less and less relevant, these publishers and developers in the AAA side of things JUST might have to rely on, you know, making games that work in a way that at least FEELS complete.

      Thanks for contributing to the conversation, Matt. As you can see, I really enjoy discussing this stuff. Keep your eye on Byte-Size Impressions!

      • I think you’re right.

        I hate to be a “conspiracy theorist” on the matter, but it seems like it’s also a push toward digital. I buy my games digitally on PS4 (expensive!!!!!) but at least I don’t notice the updates as much. Often it can be an overnight thing that downloads/installs after the system has been in standby while I’m asleep. It’s something I started doing with PS3. Then I can check the updates list by hitting Options over the icon, but I don’t always notice or just assume it’s the latest — like a mobile purchase.

        I can’t say it’s an intent on the part of the developer to do things that way — I’m sure you’re right that they feel “gold” now means “90%” or “good enough” — but it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the smarter people at Sony and Microsoft see this problem and smile and are like happy that it’s making physica look more and more antiquated (because you don’t get the full game on disc — even if you aren’t interested in the DLC, it needs updating significantly. Over 5 gigs for Halo MCC?) I mean, you couldn’t even play Blu-Rays out of the box with PS4, and this is from the company that helped invent blu-rays. So yeah, if it’s a conspiracy theory of mine it’s a fairly believable one, I think..

        I do feel, myself, that — maybe it’s mostly years of experience of playing way too many games — but I already know up front what I’m interested in. It takes a short video, a screenshot or two, even just knowing which company it is, and I have a pretty good sense of whether I’m interested. You usually can tell if a company has put their all into something. Even the logo of the game might give it away by looking super special or well-crafted. I can’t say I always guess right, though, and I’m getting a little sloppier as I get older and out of touch.

        One other thing: if not a push toward “digital” exactly (downloads), it also makes streaming more enticing, in the future, if PS4 titles are ever done that way. Not just Sony that’s interested in that, but Square Enix for instance with Shinra / Dive In. A streamed game would presumably always be updated with the latest files and ready to go.

        The preordering doesn’t make as much sense with digital since they don’t run out of copies. Perhaps they need to come up with a better term, or at least another way of marketing it, because the way they do it now implies that you better hurry, like copies are gonna run out. And I would think they could get all the marketing info they need just based on your choices and other browsing habits — is that being watched? I don’t know how that works. But for instance Sony released info for how many times the Share button had been pressed. So some things are recorded.

        And there’s retweets, YouTube likes, Facebook comments — all sorts of info they have now more than ever to gauge whether people are interested in a product.

        I think… sorry for such a long response… but I think also we’re into a culture where it’s expected that the game develops after release, based in part on community input. Think of how Blizzard has responded to suggestions and complaints from its boards. I think the console world wants to be more like that. I think it misses some of the point of an entertainment product, though: there should be a divide between artist & audience, a curtain between the stage and the audience. Then there’s more surprises and there’s space between you and the developer so that they have something to “present” to you which isn’t exactly what you stipulated. Otherwise it becomes more like a really picky customer at a restaurant who keeps returning his order because they didn’t cook it quite right or left something out.

      • It doesn’t come off as conspiracy theory at all. They definitely want our money directly, especially since it cuts used game sales.

        I know a lot of people like to say, “They wouldn’t do THAT… would they?” But that’s because they seem to think of a company as a single entity that abides by some sort of unwavering moral code. Obviously, that isn’t the case. The major AAA studios are businesses, first and foremost, meaning there’s people who sit around and come up with new ways to make us ‘better consumers’.

        For example, we saw how aggressively Microsoft wanted to shed the plague that was used game sales… it might have benefited them if they presented it differently, but Don Mattrick had too many ‘insert foot in mouth’ moments to make it seem like the Xbox One would be a genuine product (that’s since changed, which brought me around to getting a One and loving it dearly). Sony were allegedly (insiders have reported on this) going to take the DRM route as well, but upon hearing the negative reaction from internet folk, decided to change things up.

        Companies want us tied to practices that ultimately make them more and more money… DRM is huge on that list, I’m sure. As you said, they’re doing everything they can to ensure digital is attractive. “Pre-load now! Download the massive update ahead of time and play on minute one, day one!”

        The price for digital isn’t really attractive, of course… but that’s because retail stores put games on sale or permanent price reductions in order to move their stock… all while the MSRP never actually changed, meaning the digital price is still accurate and not inflated.

        But if we look at the last couple of generation, we know what these companies are doing – They are conditioning us. So, I wouldn’t put it past them to make us want to looooooove digital in time for the NEXT generation… I strongly believe another generation of consoles will mean DRM, and they could quite possibly be systems without disc readers. They’re hoping by next gen, people will prefer digital over physical.

        EA Access is another program that’s ‘conditioning’ us. What does it do? It adds back catalog titles to a service which EA will be paid for directly… which could severely undercut used game sales in the ‘Gamestop market’. Eventually, other companies will likely follow in EA Access’ footsteps, so people are probably going to snuggle up to digital quite a bit over the next 6-7 years.

        Then again, shorter console life cycles could also be in the cards.

        All this said, I’m not entirely sure that a push to streaming is going to be viable for a long, long time. Too many issues with poor internet areas, data caps, etc. I think streaming may very well be attractive for playing games from generations past, but not so much for the latest and greatest.

        And you’re also right, by the way, about pre-ordering digital copies not making much sense… but, they’re working on that. I would bet they’d want those pre-order figures to matter. The industry is heavily tied to making decisions based on pre-order numbers… and if people routinely pre-order on a console instead of Gamestop or the like, they’ll be happy campers.

        Of course, they’re not really doing anything that the likes of Valve haven’t done already. Consoles are way behind the digital PC trend – I mean, PC games on disc? Practically unheard of, nowadays. But, they DO know that customers will ‘pre-order’ digital copies if it means having the game pre-loaded and ready to go. With the way things are on consoles, too, we are further enticed when we are told, ‘you can download that multi-GB update, too’.

        But, the system for digital isn’t perfect, either. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare had to be re-downloaded by most involved, and that ruffled a lot of feathers, too.

        Last but not least, your last paragraph is definitely interesting:

        We’re definitely in a time where people ‘expect a game to develop after release’… but that’s both a good thing and a negative. I feel like if a game has legitimate mistakes, it’s great to have the capability to update those games. That said, let’s – since you brought up Blizzard – talk about Diablo 3.

        Diablo 3 was released with some really terrible ideas that RUINED the experience… at least, in my opinion. I got it on day 1, and the servers wouldn’t let me play for days. Then, I played the campaign through twice, but had to stop, because the auction houses made it so my item drops in-game were always worthless. I had to play a new game – ‘Sell stuff and make money in the auction house’, and it took up much more of my time than I really wanted to allow. It felt like a game breaking thing to me at that point, so I walked away… Until it was released on the PS4, and now the game is, in my eyes, precisely what it always should have been.

        So, is it a matter of ‘expecting a game to evolve after release’, or was it, ‘Blizzard shouldn’t have implemented terrible ideas that the community weren’t responsive to’? They released a game that served them more than their customers, and that was the problem. They didn’t use their heads when they came up with ‘always online, even in single player’, and they got the expected results: Community backlash, and they were subsequently forced to change the game as a result.

        If we want to see how a game should be supported post-launch, let’s look at Killzone: Shadow Fall, instead. Regardless of how you feel about the game, the developers have supported this game over the last year with tons of free content, with a little ‘pay to play’ stuff as well. Didn’t they just release something else for it, too? Or are going to? THAT’S how a game should be supported! The product that was delivered didn’t feel incomplete, and they’ve only improved the experience ever since. That’s a company I’d support ‘just because’ at this point (don’t read too much into that ‘just because’… you get what I’m saying, I think). CD Projekt Red are another company that’s doing things right. Full game, lots of useful stuff in the standard package, and a bunch of free DLC slated to arrive after release.

        There’s a difference between the companies in the above paragraph, and the likes of Ubisoft, EA, Activision and even Blizzard. So, the question becomes… what do we really want to support?

        For example, if there was ONE GAME I had to choose right now for people to buy… I’d have to say Dragon Age: Inquisition. I own it, but haven’t played it yet… but it appears to be a solid game with 80-90 hours worth of main game content, and there’s hasn’t been reports of major bugs or glitches, either. All reports have been quite good, which is encouraging, and should BE encouraged.

        Thanks again… and I don’t mind long replies. I like having conversations!

        Btw, I don’t know how much you’ll frequent the site, but also keep an eye on @bytesizeimp on Twitter and … I stream most evenings, and, there just may be a podcast with a couple of guests in the very near future 😉

      • I think I came off a link from N4G – must have been this article.

        I don’t have opinions on a lot of these topics regarding these individual companies. I think people mainly buy games that they like regardless of which company made them, so a bad company is “easily forgiven” the next year once they’ve made something everybody likes.

        With streaming I think it could be used to supply access to any company’s games. It’s why I kind of wish Gaikai had remained independent, or that OnLive would provide games from lots of different companies. It’s only an option. Like with movies or music there’s several formats or ways to get your media. Some people prefer physical and collecting, which is also good for gift-giving and reselling.

        If it’s becoming harder to make computers smaller and faster on silicon (since we’re close to atomic size at about 14nm) then streaming could potentially utilize very large computers, setups that wouldn’t even be practical for PC enthusiasts to build (18 SLi? 128?) and then deliver extremely lifelike or complex graphics and multiplayer worlds. All the player would need is a “dumb terminal,” even if it’s a handheld machine without much guts in it.

        At least there’s some potential there.

        There still needs to be more “AA” (super indie) games coming out. I wish some of these smaller developers would combine like Constructicons and put out titles at least at Child of Light or Capcom/Konami level. Because there’s a huge gap between the little pixellated 16-bit style games and the huge open world titles from major publishers.

        I’m still partial to games just being finished and a complete package, whether actually packaged or just downloaded. I don’t think patches or post-release content should be essential. It’s also really a mess on the Playstation Store to see all the DLC mixed in with the main titles. I don’t know why they don’t organize that better.

        Another thing I don’t like about games now are the prices. I feel that $60 is too steep for a lot of these. It is less because I don’t feel they aren’t worth that, or don’t need that kind of money to make back the costs, but it drops rapidly only two weeks later. They often hover around the $45 to $30 range for months, for a longer period of time, than they stuck at $60. So I tend to hesitate in both preordering and buying a game soon after release.

        If the console makers did price match more it would surely hurt retail a good bit and they do need retail at the very least to sell consoles and accessories. I think people just like to browse, though, and I don’t see the market going all-digital. I think there will be people that DO go all-digital, but I doubt everyone will. Sony isn’t even interested in allowing gift-giving through PSN.

        One way a company can do sales with digital that may not upset retail is in giving discounts to PS+ and Xbox Live subscribers. Bethesda has done that with a couple of titles this year (Wolfenstein and The Evil Within); I think $6 off when preordered digitally.

        Also with pricing i don’t know how much server costs factor into things versus manufacturing and distribution of physical titles. It seems like the former would be much cheaper, but a lot of the latter has been in place for a long time and is done en masse, meaning it’s very cheap per disc.

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