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Permanently Moved

Will it Fit? But Is It News? | 2108

S04E08

The new COD game is 500gbs and may not fit on a base PS4. Shouldn’t this be like … news or something?

Full show notes: https://www.thejaymo.net/2021/02/27/301-2108-will-it-fit-but-is-it-news/

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Permanently moved is a personal podcast 301 seconds in length, written and recorded by @thejaymo

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Will it Fit? But Is It News?

I’ve been speaking with people about worlds and games recently. I’ll be posting more to the Dimensino series soon. About the emergence of MMEW’s or Massively Multiplayer Entertainment Worlds.

Today’s 301 opens with the news that the new Call of Duty ‘Black Ops Cold War and Warzone’ may not fit on the base PS4 hardware model.

The franchise publisher activision announced. “Those who own a standard PlayStation 4 with a default hard drive of 500 GB may need to make room if they have the full versions of Modern Warfare®/Warzone and Black Ops Cold War with all modes and packs installed.”

Essentially, the size of the new game when fully installed is beyond the capacity of a base PS4. Players will potentially need external storage to have the full install of Call of Duty on one console.

Predictably, people who want to play the new Call of Duty on the older playstation are in uproar. There are 114 Million PS4s in the world and only about 4.5 million PS5s, you can see why this news affects a lot of people.

To be clear: The newest Call of Duty needs more than half a terabyte of hard drive space. That’s terabyte with a T. 500gbs with a G. I remember paying over 100 quid for a 256mb with an M thumb drive when I was at uni in 2003. I know Moore’s law is semi intuitive but the whole storage law thing blows my mind.

I bring this up as I kinda think this should be … like… real news or something you know? I struggle to think of a consumer analogy in other domains. Headlines like ‘Movie to Big to Fit in Most Cinemas’ or ‘Truck Too Big to Fit in Garage’. I dunno, neither of them really work. 

Let’s take a step back for a moment.

In a 2019 press release Call of Duty’s publisher Activision Blizzard announced the following:

“As a franchise, Call of Duty has now generated more revenue than the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the box office, and double that of the cumulative box office of Star Wars”. And yet the Marvel franchise way more visible in offline media than Call of Duty.

Activision Blizzard names Rob Kostich as new President of Activision Publishing

5 of the top 50 all time best selling games are COD titles. With a combined total of 129 million sales. I saw a stat recently which said that people have collectively spent 25 billion hours playing Call of Duty games online.  The equivalent of 2.85 million years. The equivalent of the entire history of humanity has been spent shooting people in the face in COD. Or just 3.2 hours per human alive today.

These numbers are huge. But they aren’t even the most remarkable.

Fortnite, which came out July 2017 has racked up over 10.4 million years of game play in just 3 and a half years.

Minecraft has sold more than 200 million copies outside of China and has 131 million monthly players. How many people know that its the biggest game of all time? AND it’s a social one?

If you add up the numbers for China and Rest of World. Minecraft has likely been played for over 68 million years in the last decade. That would take you back to the dinosaurs. 

Whilst I don’t think focusing on ‘time spent, or attention given’ is that helpful. But compare it to something like ALL OF SPORT. Brits spend about 2.3 hours watching or listening to sport a week vs 43 mins a day spent playing games. Or 5 hours a week. During the height of the pandemic Brits spent up to 18hr a week gaming.

Sport takes up the back 10-15 pages in a newspaper? but you’ll be lucky to find a single article about gaming in a daily newspaper at all. 

It takes about 50 hours to watch the complete marvel universe movies. About the same amount of time it takes to play Red Dead Redemption 2. Which by the way has sold 36 million copies. 

I’d wager there’s a chance that more have experienced the complete story of the Van der Linde gang than have experienced the complete story arc of the MCU.

If you haven’t played RDR2, and experienced the world it simulates, you have missed out. To me it’s like being totally unaware of Bayreuth and Wagner’s ring cycle or something. 

Tetris on the gameboy is recognised as cultural touchstone. It sold more than 43m copies. Yet as of Jan 2021 Animal Crossing: New Horizons has sold 31.1m copies and it hasn’t even been out a year. 

But is Animal Crossing a bigger cultural force than Tetris? Maybe?

Gaming is the first truly 21 century medium.

Wider culture is still coming to grips with how to handle it. The Para-reality of online gaming is blurring online and offline concerns. I haven’t seen a single UK newspaper that is pro-regulation of gambling write about Genshin Impact for example. A game that made $100 million dollars for its creators in the first 3 weeks.

So why is all this important anyway? 

Game spaces are fusing economic and governance models at an alarming rate. They are changing the way entertainment gets made. They will dictate how we interact online in the near future. Their gammers and mechanics will drift out ‘games’ and into our social networks.

This is about more than COD not fitting on the PS4 ofcourse. But it should be news? 

Critique is now a cul de sac. We need to experiment, build and control the worlds we already spend so much time in.


The script above is the original script I wrote for the episode. It may differ from what ended up in audio due to time constraints.

About Author

Jay Springett is a Solarpunk, and Strategist for hybrid environments. His concerns are with culture, humans and technology and the environment. He is currently writing his first public book: Land as Platform.

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