Category Archives: Economy

Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Onslaught

Battlefield Franchise: How Video Game Series Can Relate To Small Businesses

Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Onslaught
SobControllers / Foter / CC BY

Businesses, big or small, can learn a lot from corporations’ mistakes whether that be from the products they sell and discontinue to the lack of innovation and change that consumers want to see. Some companies in the past were the cause of their own demise because they failed to listen to the consumer by not delivering what they wanted, giving the customer a worse product in the long run. The Battlefield franchise, makers of the Battlefield and Battlefield Bad Company games, is the best example for small businesses and how they must continue to provide quality products that consumers want and can’t get enough of.

As a former gamer who would play a few hours of Battlefield a night during my teen years, I’m quite familiar with the franchise as a loyal consumer. Battlefield Bad Company is still being raved about by fans nearly seven years after it was released in 2008, and the second installment has gotten just as much love, if not more. It’s been four years since the last Bad Company game, and since then consumers have been given subpar games, and worse then that, they’ve paid at least $100 if they wanted to become Premium members to get exclusive content and more maps to play on in multiplayer mode.

Recently the boss for Dice, the maker of the game, discussed with a gaming magazine as to why they haven’t released a Bad Company 3. The answer is rather shocking from a business perspective. The developers can’t understand why consumers loved the game so much. They’re not sure if it was the single player storyline, the characters in the game, or the fact that they’ve failed to replicate what they created for online usage.

My take: In general, since online gaming is what drives sales, single player story lines have become quite bland and boring, but not in Bad Company. The characters were funny, there was an actual storyline, and you had much more freedom on the maps than in the Battlefield games. The online play was crisp and fluid, rarely if ever were there glitches, never getting kicked out of a server due to lack of connection, and the gameplay was extremely fun and worth the time invested. Best of all, the online gameplay was so good it was worth forking out the extra cash to gain access to new game modes and maps.

What is so difficult about replicating and continuing the story? Since Battlefield 2 ends with the Russians advancing on the continental United States and the four main characters ready to take on the challenge there is a storyline for a third game.

As small businesses owners we have to listen to the consumer or we don’t eat or have a roof over our heads. The Battlefield franchise has been under fire (pardon the pun) for not delivering games worth playing to the consumer. According to bf4central.com, 7 million customers bought Battlefield 4, but today only 2% still play the game. That’s unacceptable in business terms. Recently the franchise released a beta version for a Battlefield where cops fight the war on crime. The beta was so bad, the game is now being postponed until sometime next year.

The consumers have spoken, and they want either a Bad Company 3 or something like it. Businesses, both large and small need to listen to their customers and provide the best products and services they have to offer. Gamers might be willing to pay an extra $60.00 for a premium membership if the game itself is premium.

In business you can’t ignore the customer, and that’s what they’re doing. If you have a great product why change it? The Ford Taurus was once the #1 selling car in the United States, after they changed the appearance sales figures plummeted. The gaming industry is no different. Either provide the customer with what they want, or go in a different direction and target another customer base. It’s impossible to run a profitable business if you fail to understand and listen to your customer.

Now it’s time to see what the Battlefield franchise is made of. If they don’t go back to their roots, customers will spend their money on a different war franchise that will listen to their wants and desires in a video game, both in single player and multiplayer modes.

04 My Yahoo Cubicle

With A New Economy, Is It Time To Have A New Attitude Towards Internships?

04 My Yahoo Cubicle
nicwn / Foter / CC BY-SA

Seven years after the beginning of the recession, the economy still isn’t where was pre 2008. Close to 33% of eligible adults have dropped out of the labor force, another third is either freelancing or starting businesses, and the final third are active in the labor force, whether that be full-time or part-time work. For Millennials, we are now going to be a part of this new economy, and the decisions we make could put us in one of the above groups. Internships have always been a way to gain experience and skills during, or shortly after college before applying for full-time jobs. But in 2014, is it time to have a new approach and attitude towards internships and the opportunities that they bring?

Some former interns have come out accusing companies of not paying them well, or paying them at all. While I’m no lawyer and not an interpreter of the law, I’m not going to discuss whether it’s legal or not. However, when you decide to be an intern you’re not an employee and the company doesn’t have to treat, or pay you like one. There is another form of compensation that internships provide, and that’s in experience, confidence, and learning how to navigate through an office setting. Seeing as though many young people are turning to starting their own business because of limited job opportunities, maybe it’s time to look at internships as a preparation and confidence booster towards starting businesses.

Some interns have proclaimed that they had multiple roles in the company, learning multiple aspects and performing an array of tasks. For small business owners overseeing, and at least having a hand in different departments and aspects of the business is necessary. These interns now have the experience of multi-tasking, and grasping the magnitude of being a part of multiple roles within a company.

Now rest assured there will be a majority of interns who won’t start a business or freelance, but for the small group who will, internships can be that confidence booster that they need to get over the initial fear of starting a business. Fear is what stops people from doing anything; all they need is self-confidence and a business mindset that tells them that they can succeed and be their own boss. Internships bring a lot to the table, but money should never be the top priority when seeking a summer intern job.

Get the experience and confidence that you need to be successful. Take advantage of the opportunity that internships bring. If you still decide to become an employee and not run a business, you’ll still walk away from an internship with self-confidence, business skills, and the ability adapt to different situations. Employers have a growing fear that Millennials aren’t ready to join the workforce because they’re not being taught the skills to succeed in an office environment. Get an internship and learn. That’s the best way to get real world experience before fully submerging yourself into the labor force.

Cartier on the Champs-Élysées at Christmas

Early Christmas Commercials Sign Of Poor Economy?

Cartier on the Champs-Élysées at Christmas
Stuck in Customs / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

The Stock Market seems to hit all-time highs every week, but stepping away from Wall Street, what’s happening on Main Street? Labor participation rates are still at 30 year lows, 92 million Americans are not in the labor force, and eerily similar to 2007-2008, retail stores and car dealerships are promoting holiday specials; completely jumping over Thanksgiving and getting straight to the holiday season. Why? Are retail sales that poor? Are they trying to get a leg up on Amazon and Ebay? Are they anticipating lower sales figures this season?

During a normal holiday season, Black Friday sales promotions are usually the first commercials you see, and speaking of Black Friday, some stores are opening up on Thanksgiving and extending sales specials through the entire week. This really has been unprecedented as this can’t merely be just about generating more profits, but trying to leverage a slower economy by getting consumers into stores with unbeatable sales specials.

Car commercials have always been pushed during November and December, but it’s a surprise to see brands such as Jeep coming out with a holiday commercial of their own. Mercedes Benz and Lexus are constantly pushing sales this time of year, so it’s no surprise to see multiple commercials from these companies any given day. Leasing has been on the rise as it’s a more affordable options for consumers. People are slowly moving away from buying new and looking at leasing options. Currently the percentage of Americans leasing has surged to 20% since the recession in 2008, and that will probably grow heading into next year.

Having witnessed what the recession did in 2008, I wouldn’t go as far to say that we’re now dipping back into some volatile times such as those. However, with the mix of holiday commercials already being pushed in almost every sector, Santa already showing up in malls, and decorations being displayed this early, it’s possible that we might be seeing the symptoms of a slowing economy.

While being part of the millennial generation, I’ve also lived through the height of the American economy when it was at it’s strongest. Those days do not compare to what’s happening now. Ten years ago the holidays were anticipated but it was usually after Thanksgiving all the commercials started popping up on the TV screen. History tends to repeat itself, and seeing that retail stores and malls are already promoting Christmas this early in the season such as 2008, this could be sign of where we’re heading after January 1st and into the first quarter of next year.