ryan32289

The reason behind the studio shutdowns

52 posts in this topic

10 hours ago, Soufwar said:

Lets continue talking about this in private. I am really curious as to how you think and would love to actually have this debate, throwing a DM your way if you're up for it. 

always down for a little discussion and particularly if it can help break down some myths about corporations being fueled by greed...yes, they are rich but they are not stealing anything from anyone or they would be prosecuted...stealing is a crime in many, if not most, countries...voluntary transactions, whatever they may encompass, and business activity that lead to profits to me is usually just good business...since we've gotten a little off topic let me tie this into the actual thread here...

 

the op is asking "why does it seem more studios are going out of business?"...i think this is quite complicated but could be due to the following very general factors:

1 - they are not selling a product that appeals to enough people...

2 - their shareholders no longer have faith in and/or agree with the direction the ceo is heading and withdraw their funding...

3 - they are not managing their budget wisely...this can include so many things and I would guess is the #1 area of failed businesses...it is so broad it deserves its own subcategories...in my experience, one of the most important things in business is how one chooses to spend the money they make...these may include :

    - the cost of developing a product is higher than intended or actual sales...

    - the top managers (and/or share holders) pocket their profit rather than investing it back in the company...

    - employees are being mistreated (I'm guessing quite rare in ruining companies)...

 

i'm sure there are plenty of others but these are ones off the top of my head...not an expert on the specific case but for telltale it sounds like a combination of these factors...the main things being management spending money they don't have, people not buying enough of their products, and a possible disproportion in spending profits to develop new products vs pocketing the money as profit...the latter could be a classification of what some may call corporate greed...the truth is, this more often than not leads to companies going bankrupt...and not making record profits, as some might believe...

 

big companies and small companies can co-exist if they appeal to different audiences and spend their budget appropriately...when a small company targets the same audience as a big company it will inevitably be very tough for them to stay afloat even if the quality of their product is top notch...it's just the reality of how numbers work...this often leads to 3 scenarios...they reduce the quality/innovation/advertising/etc. of their products to reduce spending...they are highly successful and become a big corporation themselves...they are bought up by a larger company...

 

to touch on morals in business very briefly I think it's pretty safe to say that most companies consider the legal justice system to be the line for what is defined as acceptable or not...if it's illegal, it's out of bounds...if it's legal, it's fair game...not much else to add...

Edited by ProfBambam55
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On 9/22/2018 at 0:18 AM, ProfBambam55 said:

So rather than hate big companies for being big and finding ways to make money, why not try to appreciate they are in fact making your country a better place?

 

Never realized that because of micro transactions injecting so much money into the economy, my father can now afford to replace his hip. Wow, PERSPECTIVE.

 

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40 minutes ago, ProfBambam55 said:

always down for a little discussion and particularly if it can help break down some myths about corporations being fueled by greed...yes, they are rich but they are not stealing anything from anyone or they would be prosecuted...stealing is a crime in many, if not most, countries...voluntary transactions, whatever they may encompass, and business activity that lead to profits to me is usually just good business...

 

It does not scream good business practices if it alienates customers. Don't get me wrong, profit should be the main drive of any company, but the way in which said profit is achieved will open companies up to public scrutiny, e.g., EA, Activision, etc. 

 

You can achieve profitable growth based off game sales and proper DLC that adds meaningful content in ways that help keep players engaged.

 

Lastly, I don't think anyone believes gaming companies are literal thieves; rather, they're more upset at how they're attempting to replace content or in some cases, lock/intentionally withhold said content onto/from the disc and later pawn it off as DLC (Capcom).

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C'mon... It's fairly obvious why Telltale went belly up. They grabbed up too many big name licenses and they didn't sell enough to make up for it. Game of Thrones is huge, they thought if they got the rights, all the people that watch the show would buy a game based of it. Same with Guardians of the Galaxy, but nope, all the people who liked the show/movies didn't buy the games, and they didn't get enough profit to make up for their losses. Batman is another expensive license, it being 2nd or 3rd in super hero licenses, and again, the game didn't sell.

 

I would guess they thought buying popular licenses would work, since their Walking Dead game sold so well at first when the Walking Dead show was very popular. Sadly they gambled, and they lost.

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The fact that telltale is being sued by a former employee doesnt help their situation either.  If they're struggling from misusing funds (ie buying up licenses that don't make them enough money), a costly lawsuit could be the breaking point

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On 9/21/2018 at 4:47 PM, ryan32289 said:

Yeah but gamers these days prefer highly shitty FPS shooters which are proven far more successful than story driven games hence Black Ops 4 has no campaign and bought in to the trend of battle royale mode though.

Um...have you not played God of War, Horizon, or Spider-Man? Spider-Man sold more copies than any PlayStation game. Story-driven games will never be outdone by FPS. Guaranteed Spyro would sell more copies than most FPS games. 

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3 hours ago, TheLakota said:

 

It does not scream good business practices if it alienates customers. Don't get me wrong, profit should be the main drive of any company, but the way in which said profit is achieved will open companies up to public scrutiny, e.g., EA, Activision, etc. 

 

You can achieve profitable growth based off game sales and proper DLC that adds meaningful content in ways that help keep players engaged.

 

Lastly, I don't think anyone believes gaming companies are literal thieves; rather, they're more upset at how they're attempting to replace content or in some cases, lock/intentionally withhold said content onto/from the disc and later pawn it off as DLC (Capcom).

these are very good points and ones to consider as a consumer...all of us have a chance to voice our opinions with our wallets...

 

from a business perspective, which i'm not 100% on since gaming/entertainment is not even near my expertise, I would guess that it's much cheaper and consistently profitable to implement microtransactions for items rather than put out dlc...not really sure about the Capcom situation but I'm guessing it was an attempt at inflating profits...if it worked, they'll do it again...if it didn't, it will likely be short lived...

 

with regards to microtransactions for content...i think there are two extreme general classes of players...and no, they are not the only classes just two basic extremes that directly influence profits...one that has disposable income, and one that doesn't...perhaps one that is bothered by microtransactions and one that isn't are better examples...regardless of how they are classified, let's take a look at two scenarios...

 

1. this gamer is a pretty casual one...jumps into multiplayer for the first time...level 0, 0 items...gets slaughtered in their first 10 matches...goes up like 1.5 ranks...gets one crappy item as a result of this first experience...they can usually see all the unlockables that are available but that require some form of extended gameplay or real money to acquire...it's possible they have disposable income so they might think "no worries, $100 on loot boxes should get me to a good spot, right?"...well, no, it doesn't...so now this person has a choice : spend more money, stop playing the game, or just play with what they have...

 

2. this gamer is a relatively serious one...loads up the online experience for the first time...plays their first ten matches...they then also realize that microtransactions or extended gameplay are the only way to acquire the unlockables...they disagree with microtransactions (possibly due to financial reasons) so they then have the choice of grind the game out for hours/days/months/years to acquire better items, stop playing the game, or gamble on loot boxes...

 

and this is the part where, ideally, numbers should be looked at...are gamers getting involved in microtransactions?...if so, then they are willfully making companies richer...if companies see that microtransactions are giving them a huge income boost which do you think they would choose : scrap microtransactions or push for more of them?...some people might strongly disagree with microtransactions and that's fine...massive profits might mean that they are a minority...again, it's us as consumers who get to vote by choosing to give them our money or not... 

Edited by ProfBambam55
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@ProfBambam55

I read on here somewhere recently that one guy got carried away and didn't realize he spent something like 15 thousand on microtransactions. For a fifa game I think?

 

It only takes 1 person like that to inspire more companies to keep on with the micro transactions

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1 hour ago, AJ_-_808 said:

@ProfBambam55

I read on here somewhere recently that one guy got carried away and didn't realize he spent something like 15 thousand on microtransactions. For a fifa game I think?

 

It only takes 1 person like that to inspire more companies to keep on with the micro transactions

I'm not sure about the rest of the world but here in Canada, just about every gas station sells lottery tickets...as a matter of fact if you place any items on the counter you'll likely notice that, more often than not, you're putting them on some kind of lottery...this might be a banal example but it's not entirely different with regards to gambling in gaming...how do we make money in life?...well, I'd like to think that either it is (partly) given to us if we are extremely poor or that most of us earn it through an exchange of voluntary services...in other words, we work for it...(and for the record I think the latest stats show that only about 1% of wealthy people have inherited it) ...often this can be a massive grind on a daily basis that lasts days/months/years...our unlockables?...well, whatever we feel like we want/need (in video games it is not stuff we need, only want)...we could cut this grind considerably if we won the lottery...a $10 ticket could be worth millions...the choice is not much different from microtransactions in video games...you either buy the ticket or you don't...it seems pretty simple...and I think many people would say that buying lottery tickets is gambling therefore  amoral and would never buy them...that is not enough to keep others from buying them and to make companies stop offering them...it also doesn't stop people who disagree with them from going to and spending money at a gas station that offers them...again, the numbers pretty much speak for themselves...does it kind of make sense?...

 

with regards to your comment, someone spending $15 000 on microtransactions or lottery tickets is not enough for companies to want to/not want to mainstream them any more than a story of someone who says they spent $0...

Edited by ProfBambam55
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9 minutes ago, AJ_-_808 said:

@ProfBambam55

I read on here somewhere recently that one guy got carried away and didn't realize he spent something like 15 thousand on microtransactions. For a fifa game I think?

 

It only takes 1 person like that to inspire more companies to keep on with the micro transactions

One thing to note about that case is that that guy had that much disposable income anyway. 
In that interview he even said while it was shocking he spent that much in 2-3 years, it's not like it hurt him or his family to do so.

A article about it.

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2018-07-23-fifa-player-uses-gdpr-to-find-out-everything-ea-has-on-him-realises-hes-spent-over-usd10-000-in-two-years-on-ultimate-team

Edited by soultaker655
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I was using that example as more of the exception than the rule, but a few people like that helps microtransactions become more prevalent I would think

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9 minutes ago, AJ_-_808 said:

I was using that example as more of the exception than the rule, but a few people like that helps microtransactions become more prevalent I would think

I just edited the above as I realized I had failed to sum it up...basically, a story of a person spending $15 000 is about as powerful a story as someone spending $0 with regards to companies mainstreaming microtransactions...general trends are much more important to look at I would think...you would need a ton of people in either extreme category to make a dent in profits as they would kind of cancel each other out...it wouldn't make much sense for big companies to target only the extreme super poor or super wealthy in the entertainment industry...the super poor have no money to spend and the super rich are a minority...

Edited by ProfBambam55
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3 minutes ago, AJ_-_808 said:

I was using that example as more of the exception than the rule, but a few people like that helps microtransactions become more prevalent I would think

"Whales" (people spend what is perceived as high amount of money on microtransactions) have been a known factor in f2p games for like a decade now. 

One thing that most people like to forget that about the average "Whale" is that they have more disposable income than your average consumer. Because of this higher amount of disposable income it's difficult for people to understand that Whales normally spend percentage-wise the same amount as anyone on microtransactions.

For example someone who makes a $500,000 a year vs someone who makes $50,000 a year. If they both spent on 1% of their yearly income on microtransactions it would look like this:

  • 1% of $500,000 = $5000
  • 1% of $50,000 = $500 

Now to some people both of those amounts would seem ridiculous to spend on microtransactions, but that kind of the whole point of disposable income and luxury items such as gaming.
Now if both of these people spent all their money on the same game for microtransactions there is a high chance that the $500,000 will have a bigger advantage over the $500 guy and people who don't spend any money, but if that's how he wants to spend 1% of his income to do that, it's fine. Why because it didn't hurt him financially to do so.
 

The guy in that article admitted that it did not hurt him financially to do what he did. Meaning he is somewhere closer to the $500,000 guy than the $50,000 guy. Because of this we can assume he probably didn't spend more than 5-10% of his income on microtransactions over those two years. Because of this, it makes him a poor example for the lootbox debate. The reason he is a poor example is because, the core of the debate is that lootboxes are ruining people's lives by tricking them into spending a majority of their money on loot boxes. Which would put them in a bad place financially, which would lead to other things. However, because he admitted it did not put him in a bad place financially it means this article doesn't have anything to do with the debate and it's just the article to freak people out over the perceived large amount of money.

 

Do "whales" like this guy help my microtransactions become more prevalent? Not really, because they are already known factor. It has been known for a while now that if you're going to make a game with microtransactions you have to play a delicate balancing act of keeping both your "whales" and your normal players happy. Last year EA did a very bad job of that balancing act with Battlefront 2 and caused a ripple effect in the gaming industry. 

I could go deeper into this topic, but that's not what this thread is about.

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On 22.09.2018 at 8:18 AM, ProfBambam55 said:

activision ceo makes $8.3 million...has 4000 employees...gets taxed 39.6% meaning $3 286 800...remaining salary is $5 013 200...divide by 4 000...makes $1 253 / employee in a year...i make way more than that off my employees annually and am far from greedy

 

https://comicbook.com/gaming/2018/05/03/activision-ceo-bobby-kotick-earnings/

 

activision is the world's largest game company and these figures seem to me comically low in your writings.. 

 

Still i agree with your general points that no one force anybody to buy anything.. 

 

but leading companies should do their businesses with more ethical approach, too 

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On 21/9/2018 at 10:47 PM, ryan32289 said:

Yeah but gamers these days prefer highly shitty FPS shooters which are proven far more successful than story driven games hence Black Ops 4 has no campaign and bought in to the trend of battle royale mode though.

Is that right though? I remember these kind of arguments 10 years ago too.  Not sure why fps are always depicted on such a bad light, if you remove microtransactions in the equation, it is a genre more gamer friendly than something like Spiderman, a single player game yes, but with too few hours for completion and lack of challenge, whereas something like cod has difficult trophies and you also get to socialise with a group of friend for objectives or trophy hunting 

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There could be a variety of different reasons even though a couple studios were closed in close proximity of each other. One was just a development studio while the other was an entire publisher. 

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1 hour ago, Darpiom said:

 

https://comicbook.com/gaming/2018/05/03/activision-ceo-bobby-kotick-earnings/

 

activision is the world's largest game company and these figures seem to me comically low in your writings.. 

 

Still i agree with your general points that no one force anybody to buy anything.. 

 

but leading companies should do their businesses with more ethical approach, too 

I have tried to be as transparent as possible...all data used is readily available...for example :

 

https://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/04/27/activisions-bobby-kotick-one-of-top-paid-us-ceos-at-65m/

 

If data was not available I made every effort to use words showing they are my thoughts and opinions and not factual or conclusions based on that information...i also tried to shy away from generalizations using most, many, often, etc...i try to be careful in writing in discussions like this but acknowledge it is far from university thesis level quality...

 

edit : apologies if not up to date on data...i just realized mine was from 2012...haha...just goes to show how well he must be doing in his business endeavours if the one you linked doesn't include shareholder's incentives...$29 000 000 / 9 625 = $3012 / employee...still not anything crazy...nearly 10 000 jobs is a lot to create...and $2.9 mil in tax money is phenomenal (considering potential loopholes)...thanks for pointing this out...

Edited by ProfBambam55
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On 9/22/2018 at 10:28 AM, Soufwar said:

Omg dude, you are one of the worst passive aggressive assholes i’ve ever talked to! Holy shit. You’re assuming I don’t travel, I am 21 and i’ve been to 8 countries, I am a son of a CEO of a big corporation, I live a very comfortable life financially and I am a foreign student here in the United States. Basically, I am very much the opposite of what you paint me as in your elitist mind. 

First of all let me hook you up with some facts, Activision and Blizzard were forced to merge due to them being fully owned by a French conglomerate called Vivendi, they didn’t choose to, they were forced to. 

I already told you, by design. Video games are made in such a way that would push people to be inpatient and spend money, prey on the weak minds that are vulnerable and sell them on loot boxes because it’s the same as gambling...and they’ve patented a way to sell you micro transactions because of matchmaking, so yes it’s fucking unethical wether you’re in Iraq or Canada. 

Now, i don’t go around saying this but I am a game design and development student, i am putting my money where my mouth is and I am trying to make for a better industry. I don’t buy loot boxes and micro transactions in 60$ video games out of principle, i don’t support things I am against and I am making it my career to make a better industry all about players (not payers). 

 

That's quite a resume for someone as young as you.

 

You're young, you've got a lot of years ahead of you. Just don't waste them.

 

On 9/22/2018 at 11:41 AM, ProfBambam55 said:

hmmm?...really not sure what passive aggressiveness has to do with anything...no assumptions on you not travelling...i said I would guess that likely you haven't travelled much if you think morals are universal...simple as that...if you took it personally, well that's on you...

 

as the son of a ceo of a big corporation then you likely also understand that big business is just that, business at a very high level where taking risks can make or break and influence a lot of people's lives as we are seeing with telltale...

 

i'm not sure that I've painted you as anything...i've made an effort not to actually...not sure why this or asking a bunch of questions interspersed with my reasoning makes me elitist...

 

I'm also not really sure why microtransactions are unethical based on your explanation but ok...distasteful?...completely agree but unethical?...i don't know...it sounds like a solution would be to not buy into them?...but people are...that speaks volumes...and yes, I'm a bit sceptical that mainly vulnerable people with weak minds, as you put it, are making CEO's rich...do you have any specific data that shows these weak minds are being exploited en masse?...it'd be interesting to look at the numbers...

 

and gambling is also unethical?...not sure if that's 100% true here in Canada...also not sure about from here to Iraq...i think some would say immoral or unethical but others might disagree...again, it's subjective...

 

on the topic of patents...companies get patents all the time...yes, very often...another part of trying to grow a financially successful business is to try out new ideas and patent them...as far as I know the matchmaking patent has not been applied to any game yet...again, I would argue that whether or not the patent is unethical is a matter of opinion...would if tempt people to spend money on new items?...likely yes...does that force people to buy them?...or to puchase the game?...i'm not sure it would...again, they are not actually using the patent so not really an argument at this point in time...i don't think it's a secret that companies are trying to lower the cost of games and increase microtransactions...clearly, it's becoming a winning formula...i don't think it's a sign of greed, immorality, or bad business if companies back a winning formula...in the end, the consumers can decide their fate with their wallets...or not...

 

I'll admit I know nothing about the merger between activision and blizzard which is why I asked questions on possibilities...is it possible that someone, somewhere thought it would be financially beneficial to merge the two companies (i.e. a potentially positive investment)?...and is it possible that someone, somewhere also decided to put less money into developing blizzard for financial reasons (i.e. a potentially negative investment)?...would it be surprising if these were the only motivations behind the decision to merge?...

 

although very honorable, you not supporting things you don't believe in doesn't mean that a majority of other people won't and also doesn't mean companies are greedy, which is the point I tried to make at the beginning of this discussion along with trying to bust a few myths about corporations with numbers...we could share our opinions on wise or unwise decisions or morality all day but the truth is, the numbers pretty much speak for themselves...

 

it is great that you are going into game development and I wish you all the best...growing a business can be a tough path...sounds like you're lucky in that you have a father who could show you the ropes if willing...in my case, it was an independent thing and the learning curve was steep as can be...very rewarding though...on so many levels...now if only I could find a tax loophole I could grow a little faster...haha...

 

I have absolutely no clue what you're talking about here because it's clearly obvious you've gone off the deep end.

 

I shouldn't have to tell you to do your research on these subjects. But from this rambling post it clearly sounds like you need to.

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2 hours ago, scemopagliaccioh said:

Is that right though? I remember these kind of arguments 10 years ago too.  Not sure why fps are always depicted on such a bad light, if you remove microtransactions in the equation, it is a genre more gamer friendly than something like Spiderman, a single player game yes, but with too few hours for completion and lack of challenge, whereas something like cod has difficult trophies and you also get to socialise with a group of friend for objectives or trophy hunting 

Well, I was only theorizing why these studios would shut down though hence asking what you're guys' thoughts were and the conclusion came to appear that I'm wrong.

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1 hour ago, Spaz said:

I have absolutely no clue what you're talking about here because it's clearly obvious you've gone off the deep end.

 

I shouldn't have to tell you to do your research on these subjects. But from this rambling post it clearly sounds like you need to.

i appreciate your opinion...just a question though : if you have no clue what I'm talking about how can you comment that I need to do my research on these subjects?...

 

i really enjoy discussing stuff related to business so appreciate everyone's input on the topic...just saying things like "you're incoherent and crazy" doesn't add much substance imo...it's fun trying to brainstorm why some things might be possible/impossible or likely/unlikely based on statistics and/or personal experience...is it safe to say you disagree?...and if so, what is your view on the matter?...and what is your opinion based on?...

Edited by ProfBambam55
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2 hours ago, Spaz said:

 

That's quite a resume for someone as young as you.

 

You're young, you've got a lot of years ahead of you. Just don't waste them.

 

 

I have absolutely no clue what you're talking about here because it's clearly obvious you've gone off the deep end.

 

I shouldn't have to tell you to do your research on these subjects. But from this rambling post it clearly sounds like you need to.

Thank you, I really appreciate it dude :) 

I’ve been going through a tough week and hearing that makes me less stressful since I know I am doing well, I needed to hear that. Thanks for being very kind 🙂

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2 hours ago, ProfBambam55 said:

i appreciate your opinion...just a question though : if you have no clue what I'm talking about how can you comment that I need to do my research on these subjects?...

 

i really enjoy discussing stuff related to business so appreciate everyone's input on the topic...just saying things like "you're incoherent and crazy" doesn't add much substance imo...it's fun trying to brainstorm why some things might be possible/impossible or likely/unlikely based on statistics and/or personal experience...is it safe to say you disagree?...and if so, what is your view on the matter?...and what is your opinion based on?...

 

Oh palease.... this is the guy you argued with at the beginning of this thread .... now you're feigning to politely ask his opinion after he's already given it more than once? 

 

Oh the irony of a “busy CEO with a family” who has hours on end to  argue  your opinion  to the death  with random strangers on the internet ... 

And always have the last word....  

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On 9/21/2018 at 5:51 PM, Redgrave said:

 

And I think in Telltale's case I feel like it's because the Telltale formula got pretty stale. 

 

So yeah, I don't think it has to do with Battle Royale or anything like that. 

The walking dead, battle royale, on the telltale engine. I have saved Telltale now. (please don't kill me, this is satire.)

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25 minutes ago, heartoftheocean said:

 

Oh palease.... this is the guy you argued with at the beginning of this thread .... now you're feigning to politely ask his opinion after he's already given it more than once? 

 

Oh the irony of a “busy CEO with a family” who has hours on end to  argue  your opinion  to the death  with random strangers on the internet ... 

And always have the last word....  

 

I found his points a bit ridiculous. I couldn’t understand much of what was being said. 

 

No point in me trusting to argue this any further though.

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