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posted by janrinok on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:25AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the from-angry-birds-to-angry-people dept.

From Wired:

Rovio has confirmed that 110 people will lose their jobs as the Angry Birds maker also shuts down its game-development studio in Tampere. The layoffs, first announced in October, amount to about 14 percent of the company's workforce.

It had been expected that Rovio would make 130 people redundant but after a round of consultations this number has now been reduced. Rovio said that as a result of the redundancies "several positions" have been opened for internal applications. The actual number of employees out of work will depend on how many new internal positions are filled.

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Site News: Proposed Moderation Rework Experiment 150 comments

I've been hinting around about this for a week or two, so here it is. I circulated this proposal around the staff mailing list before Thanksgiving and got nobody telling me it sucks and to die in a fire, so it falls to you lot to do it if necessary. Let's be clear beforehand though. This is not a complete solution; no meta-mod consideration included for instance. Nor is it a permanent change. What it is is an experiment. Unless you lot are overwhelmingly opposed, we'll run it for a month or two and either keep it, keep parts of it, or trash it entirely based on staff and community feedback. We're not the other site and this isn't Beta; what we as a community want is what's going to happen.

So, here's the deal with the bit that's likely to be most controversial right out front. Bad downmods and mod-bombing both suck hardcore but you can't really get rid of them and still have downmods even with meta-moderation because you still have the same ideologically driven few who think Troll/Flamebait/Overrated means Disagree. To that end, I converted all the downmods to +0 mods and added a proper Disagree +0 mod. They affect neither score of the comment nor karma of the commenter but will show up beside the comment score (and be subject to user adjustment from their comments preferences page) if they hold a majority vote. It'll be entirely possible, for instance, to have a +5 Troll comment and equally possible that the same comment will show as -1 Troll to someone who has Troll set to -6 in their preferences.

Underrated and Overrated are also out. For Underrated, I for one would really like to know why you think it's underrated. For Overrated, it was almost exclusively used as Disagree, which we now have.

Second, everyone who's been registered for a month or more gets five mod points a day. We're not getting enough mods on comments to suit the number of comments; this should have been tweaked a while back but we quite frankly just let it slip through the cracks. Also, the zero-mod system will need the extra points to reliably push comments from +5 insightful to +5 Flamebait if they warrant it. We may end up tweaking this number as necessary to find the right balance during The Experiment.

Third, we're introducing a new Spam mod. As of this writing it's a -1 to comment score and a -10 to the commenter's karma; this may very well change. Sounds easily abused, yeah? Not so much. Every comment with this mod applied to it will have a link out beside the score that any staff with editor or above clearance on the main site (this excludes me by the way) can simply click to undo every aspect of the spam moderation and ban the moderator(s) who said it was from moderating. First time for a month, second time for six months; these also are arbitrary numbers that could easily change. So, what qualifies as spam so you don't inadvertently get mod-banned?

  • Proper spam. Anything whose primary purpose is advertisement.
  • HOSTS/GNAA/etc... type posts. Recurring, useless annoyances we're all familiar with.
  • Posts so offtopic and lacking value to even be a troll that they can't be called anything else. See here for an example.

Caveats about banning aside, if something is really spam, please use the mod. It will make it much, much easier for us to find spam posts and attempt to block the spammers. One SELECT statement period vs one per post level of easier.

Lastly, if I can find it and change it in time for thorough testing on dev, we'll be doing away with mod-then-post in favor of mod-and-post. Without proper downmods, there's really just no point in limiting you on when you can moderate a comment.

Right, that's pretty much it. Flame or agree as the spirit moves you. Suggestions will all be read and considered but getting them debated, coded, and tested before the January release will be a bit tricky for all but the exceedingly simple ones.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:35AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:35AM (#123137)

    Damnit why did the birds have to go to court ordered anger management! I knew we should have bribed that judge. And who knew anger management classes could be so effective! I thought it was all bullshit! God damn it! They ruined our business model!!

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:37AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:37AM (#123138)

    Yay.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:39AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:39AM (#123139)

      Huh?

      • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:42AM (#123140)

        Buh?

        • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:44AM (#123141)

          Wuh?

          • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:46AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:46AM (#123142)

            Whuzu?

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:48AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:48AM (#123143)

              Habnabagapppppp

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:50AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:50AM (#123144)

                Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, anonymous comment posting has temporarily been disabled.

                Yeah, not so much, fuckface.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:52AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:52AM (#123145)

                  You can still login to post. However, if bad posting continues from your IP or Subnet that privilege could be revoked as well.

                  Baby do you hate me
                  Do you hate me
                  Baby

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:54AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:54AM (#123146)

                    If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner or login and improve your posting. If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down.

                    Suck a sack of cocks.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:57AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:57AM (#123147)

    The Happy Crappy Birds love everything! Hugs for everyone!!

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:59AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:59AM (#123148)

    Jump over the rigid stick shove you full of horny prick.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:01AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:01AM (#123149)

    one that will neeeevvvvveeeerrrr eeeeennnnddd

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:08AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:08AM (#123151)

    Put some io.js crap in there, make yourself look hip-and-with-it.....ster.

    Make sure to fork every fucking thing you can find and then pretend all your repos are original work!!! That's the way you do shit!!!!!!!

  • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:12AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:12AM (#123153)

    peck

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:14AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:14AM (#123154)

      This exact comment has already been posted. Try to be more original...

      peck

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:16AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:16AM (#123155)

        Peck

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:18AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:18AM (#123156)

          This exact comment has already been posted. Try to be more original...

          Peck

          Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:20AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:20AM (#123157)

    Rovio Lays Off 110 People as Angry Birds Hype Fades
    posted by janrinok on Saturday December 06, @01:25AM Printer-friendly
    from the from-angry-birds-to-angry-people dept.
    joshuajon writes:

    From Wired:

    Rovio has confirmed that 110 people will lose their jobs as the Angry Birds maker also shuts down its game-development studio in Tampere. The layoffs, first announced in October, amount to about 14 percent of the company's workforce.
    It had been expected that Rovio would make 130 people redundant but after a round of consultations this number has now been reduced. Rovio said that as a result of the redundancies "several positions" have been opened for internal applications. The actual number of employees out of work will depend on how many new internal positions are filled.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Saturday December 06 2014, @12:52PM

      by Bot (3902) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 06 2014, @12:52PM (#123187) Journal

      wired should stop copypasting from SN.

      --
      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:45AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:45AM (#123162) Journal

    Vendors of silly phone games will inevitably outlive the fad, and die. It is rather like Microsoft!

    --
    A pair of ragged claws, scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
  • (Score: 2) by ticho on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:53AM

    by ticho (89) on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:53AM (#123165) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if they are at least working on something new, or are content to just ride the the Angry Birds gravy train into oblivion and disband.

    • (Score: 1) by RedGreen on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:46PM

      by RedGreen (888) on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:46PM (#123275)

      That depends have they got the IPO under their belt yet, if so the slide to irrelevance is someones elses problem now, the gravy train has already been boarded leaving the investors/suckers at the station...

      --
      "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:55AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:55AM (#123167)

    This is not a surprise. The quality of Rovio's games has gone down hill with complaints about crashes flooding their reviews. They also have changed to an ad model where the ads block play, cover the screen, or just get in your way even in the paid versions of the games. They've even issued updates requiring the user to purchase a "play all levels now" option to remove what can be day-long delays before accessing the next level. Every 'update' is just delivering another way of getting ads on the screen so a game that used to be ad-free is now just another Rovio crashing billboard.

    I'll give them credit for being sneaky. They've added a "feature" to their newer games which "rewards" the player with "coins" for accomplishments and then requires these coins to unlock other levels or more powerful options. They also sell these coins and repeatedly try to get the player to "buy" the additional level or options. It's basically training users to make in-app purchases without thinking twice.

    I always hate to read that people are losing their jobs, but I doubt any of the ad people will be let go. I look forward to the day the decision makers at Rovio are shown the door.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:45PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:45PM (#123274)

      I look forward to the day the decision makers at Rovio are shown the door.

      I look forward to the day the CEO's and their families are eating out of trash cans and begging on the streets. But I'm not holding my breath.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday December 06 2014, @10:58AM

    by kaszz (4211) on Saturday December 06 2014, @10:58AM (#123174) Journal

    Nice.. Workers help employer to write a cash cow. Once task is done they can be thrown away while the owner reaps the income for years.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:11AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:11AM (#123176)
      about 3 of the employees wrote the cash cow. the other 1000 are in marketting, spending all day working out new products they can stick their stupid images on. I can't go shopping without seeing a dozen stupid angry birds foodstuffs now. nothing creative was required to come up with "angry birds cola", you're giving these jerks too much respect.
      • (Score: 1) by EETech1 on Sunday December 07 2014, @01:50AM

        by EETech1 (957) on Sunday December 07 2014, @01:50AM (#123357)

        My son and I count angry birds crap as counting practice when we go to Target. We always find over 100 things. Last week when I asked him what he wanted to do, he said "I bet we could find 200 angry birds things at Target with Christmas coming"

        Took us a little over an hour (including looking at every other toy too)

        They sold out in every possible way

        Then got candy crushed

    • (Score: 2) by bitshifter on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:26PM

      by bitshifter (2241) on Saturday December 06 2014, @06:26PM (#123253)

      This is not that simple.
      What should the business owner do?
      How much should he lose before he has to lower his expenses?
      Should he wait until the business is bankrupt and all the employees lose their jobs?
      I say this not as a business owner but as an employee.

      • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:21PM

        by kaszz (4211) on Saturday December 06 2014, @07:21PM (#123267) Journal

        Profit sharing? stock options?

        • (Score: 2) by bitshifter on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:00PM

          by bitshifter (2241) on Saturday December 06 2014, @09:00PM (#123292)

          I don't know it they got them, or not.
          Do you?
          If so, enlighten us.
          In the company I work for (which is a private company), when we have a very good year, we get a bonus of one months salary at the end of the year. This has happened twice in the last seven years.

  • (Score: 2) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:17AM

    by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:17AM (#123177)

    My hobby is making a list of all the times technology companies purge workers, and then remembering that list when I hear them talk about a shortage.

    --
    (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:37AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @11:37AM (#123179)

      There's a shortage of naive workers who haven't been laid off yet and who haven't become bitter and disgruntled.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Saturday December 06 2014, @01:28PM

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Saturday December 06 2014, @01:28PM (#123195) Journal

    Angry Birds had good physics and they did a great job making it playable and fun on the mobile platform. It's hard to do, which is demonstrated by how few games become that popular against the tens of thousands of entrants out there. But then the MBAs, like locusts, are drawn to the good work of others and proceed to kill it. You get the Angry Bird stuffed animals, the Angry Bird lunch boxes, Star Wars Angry Birds (the perfect mating of two marketing whores if ever there was one), ad nauseum. You see it now with Candy Crush, which has become riven with up-sell hooks.

    It would be wonderful in the 21st Century if the end-stage of these things was to put the engines in the public domain, so that new programmers can learn from the old and innovate from there to come up with new, fantastic things that increase the human bounty. This Slash-and-Burn capitalism is so 18th Century.

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 2) by hubie on Saturday December 06 2014, @02:38PM

      by hubie (1068) on Saturday December 06 2014, @02:38PM (#123204) Journal

      I think this is just the natural progression of high demand products. When something gets really hot and demand dramatically rises, a company needs to expand development or production to meet that demand. They hire on staff, build factories, open retail stores, whatever. This, of course, adds to their overhead costs whereby they need to raise more money by selling more stuff, jacking up production, etc. In the 19th century a company like Budweiser had to build more breweries in order to cover their costs, but to pay for the factories they had to expand into new markets. Or take Justin Bieber (please). He must have a small army working for him to in order to keep him meeting demand. In Bieber's case the whole product is himself, and he's made enough money that he doesn't need to work another day in his life and he can just walk away and disappear. It is a little harder for a big company to do the same. I wonder how many people were working for Rovio when Angry Birds first caught fire.

      In addition to the need to raise money, there of course is the desire to make money over and above what you need. I would bet in the market for "free" mobile games, because there are so many copycat games on the market, there is probably a pretty strong negative relationship between price and sales. When you expand into the merchandise business, I wonder what your profit margins are. In Rovio's case where you are riding a hot fad, I could see the plushie sales going great until it hits a sudden wall when people get saturated and think "meh." That is how I recall the Beanie Baby craze ending; just as fast as it popped up.

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:40PM

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:40PM (#123241) Journal

        I think this is just the natural progression of high demand products. When something gets really hot and demand dramatically rises, a company needs to expand development or production to meet that demand.

        The high demand product was ready. There was no development to be done on it. If anything, they should have put developer power into new games which then would have been ready when the Angry Birds hype ends (which was 100% expectable).

        And production? We're speaking about software here. Not only that, we are speaking about software that is downloaded. So you don't even have to produce distribution media. Moreover, it is downloaded from servers other people run. So you don't even have to put work into keeping the servers running/upgrading them to handle the demand.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
    • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Saturday December 06 2014, @03:22PM

      by quacking duck (1395) on Saturday December 06 2014, @03:22PM (#123215)

      But then the MBAs, like locusts, are drawn to the good work of others and proceed to kill it. You get the Angry Bird stuffed animals, the Angry Bird lunch boxes, Star Wars Angry Birds (the perfect mating of two marketing whores if ever there was one), ad nauseum.

      A little OT, but this is exactly why I respect Bill Watterson so much. He created what many consider the most popular daily comic strip (beating even Peanuts in many of the "top X" lists found by Google), fought for and won the right to break from the formulaic Sunday strip boxes to make them more interesting works of art... and then ended Calvin & Hobbes without ever succumbing to the intense pressure to merchandise it beyond the collection of books. No toys, no TV shows or movies.

      Granted it's easier to do when you're a 1-person operation, unlike Rovio which even at the start must have had different people doing the development and the art, but it's still very rare to hear of people maintaining their personal integrity and values in the fact of huge amounts of money being shoved in their face.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday December 08 2014, @03:15PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday December 08 2014, @03:15PM (#123742) Journal

        it's still very rare to hear of people maintaining their personal integrity and values in the fact of huge amounts of money being shoved in their face.

        And I think we as a species must redesign our incentive structure to do that, to reward integrity and socially positive decisions, or we will not last.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 1) by Gertlex on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:39PM

      by Gertlex (3966) Subscriber Badge on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:39PM (#123224)

      Was it the quality by itself that really did it? I am inclined to think it was more like FlappyBird; viral and simple.

    • (Score: 2) by Kilo110 on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:49PM

      by Kilo110 (2853) on Saturday December 06 2014, @04:49PM (#123230)

      Out of curiosity, do you even know what is taught in an MBA program?

      • (Score: 2) by emg on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:17PM

        by emg (3464) on Saturday December 06 2014, @08:17PM (#123285)

        As far as I can tell from how MBAs behave in the real world, it would appear to be 'how to bump up the share price so you can cash out your stock options and leave for another job before the company goes bust.'

        When an MBA takes over a company built by engineers, you can be pretty sure it's on the fast train to Hell.

      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday December 08 2014, @03:08PM

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday December 08 2014, @03:08PM (#123741) Journal

        I got my degree in Economics at the University of Chicago and took many classes at the Business School, so yes, I do know what is taught at MBA programs. More than that, I know the attitude and culture that are also taught, but not by the coursework. After I graduated I first worked in the hedge fund industry and then in banking, which constitute the acme of that MBA attitude and culture, so I have more first-hand experience with it than just in academia.

        There are many from those industries and that attitude and culture who think it's butch to consign masses of people to poverty, misery, and death for a couple extra basis points of return. Most from that attitude and culture would destroy something beautiful and good without a moment's hesitation if it put another Porsche in the garage of their third home. It is an attitude and culture of profound sociopathy and dysfunction that will drown us all.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:19PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 06 2014, @05:19PM (#123238)

      You don't think the merchandising makes them money? I think that's actually a Rovio success story.

      "Angry Birds The Game" was a genuine success. "Angry Birds the merchandising" is a potential long tail that will continue bringing in money: http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/28/angry-birds-rovio-revenues/ [techcrunch.com]

      "Angry Birds The Game Sequel #whatever", not so much. Why pay hundreds of programmers $$$ to make games that will never sell enough to pay for their salaries? So they have to cut overheads.

      Like it or not, the MBAs didn't kill "Angry Birds The Game". It had a finite lifespan and died a natural death. Just like the "draw my thing" game (which had zero merchandising potential, so the guy really got lucky he managed to get the $$$$$$ and jump off before the crash ;) ). I hardly see anyone play Angry Birds or the sequels. I see people playing Clash of Clans, some driving game, and zillions of other games.

      I'm not so sure that Angry Birds The Movie is a good idea though, unless they have Pixar grade talent (in which case that could make them lots of money).

    • (Score: 2) by TheRaven on Sunday December 07 2014, @09:51AM

      by TheRaven (270) on Sunday December 07 2014, @09:51AM (#123441) Journal
      Angry Birds wasn't the first throw-stuff-at-towers-to-make-them-collapse game out, even for mobile, and most of them had good physics. Many of them had a good interface. Angry Birds was always about the marketing: they managed to add sprites and sounds to an established concept that made it more approachable to people outside of the normal gamer market and they hyped it to a huge amount. When you have a commercial success in a fad-driven market that's there because of marketing, don't be surprised when another marketing-driven product displaces you.
      --
      sudo mod me up