Gaming's Biggest Problem Is That Nobody Wants To Talk

Last year, as you might remember, this website leaked almost everything there was to know about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

As you might also remember, Modern Warfare 3 did OK. Like, $US775 million in its first five days OK. People could easily go on the internet and read extensive spoilers on every single one of the game's missions and plot points. But they bought it anyway.

In other words, last year's leak helped prove something that people in the video game industry just don't seem to understand: knowledge isn't harmful.

See, the biggest problem in gaming today isn't downloadable content. It's not used games or piracy or publishers nickel-and-diming us for everything we've got. It isn't even Zynga.

The biggest problem in gaming today is that the gaming industry thinks we're all out to get them. They think gamers are the enemy, a group that needs to be treated with disdain and avoided whenever possible. They think the only way to fool us into buying their products is to cover everything in a shroud of secrecy, only drip-feeding us pretty trailers and juicy soundbites during carefully tailored marketing campaigns. They think we should just sit there and lap it up.

Game makers are afraid to get our hopes up about projects that might be cancelled. They won't talk about games they've spent months or years creating. They won't show us prototypes or tell us about problems or even answer the most rudimentary questions, like "will this game be multiplatform?" or "can we use guns in this one?"

Sometimes they won't even confirm a video game's existence. When asked by Kotaku last month if Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a game announced in 2006, was still under development, developer Square Enix refused to answer. They wouldn't confirm or deny the existence of a game they had already announced.

Square Enix wouldn't even say how many people worked on one of their games. Even though I can just go in and count the credits.

Sometimes it's minor questions. Last week, Bethesda wouldn't say whether Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC will come to PC and PlayStation 3, nor would they say why its 30-day exclusivity window on Xbox 360 exceeded 30 days. I've hounded Konami quite a few times about re-releasing beloved classic Suikoden II on the PlayStation Network, but they won't say a word: just "we have nothing to announce at this time". Sometimes things just get preposterous: earlier this year, when I casually asked Kingdom Hearts co-director Tai Yasue how many people helped make Dream Drop Distance, a PR representative immediately interrupted to say they couldn't comment.

That's right: Square Enix wouldn't even say how many people worked on one of their games. Even though I can just go in and count the credits.

Don't gamers deserve answers? Don't the fans whose hundreds of millions of dollars a year keep this industry booming deserve to feel like game companies care enough to address their questions? Why are publishers so afraid to tell us about the deals they make or the games they cancel? Why won't they shed more light on their business choices, on the way they make the games we love? Just what is so bad about information?

No other industry treats its customers like this. Hollywood filmmakers aren't afraid to tell us what they're working on. They're not worried we might find out who is cast in their movies or what their film sets are like. They're not afraid to give us an inside look at their creative processes, nor do they refuse to answer questions about what they have to offer. And filmmakers certainly aren't afraid to tell us when a movie, sometimes announced many years before it will see the silver screen, has made its way to the depths of development hell.

We just want to get excited about the video games and video game makers we love.

Maybe game makers are worried that talking too much will cost them sales, something that sure didn't matter for Modern Warfare 3. Granted, Call of Duty is an industry exception; as the world's biggest entertainment franchise, Activision's massive first-person shooter series plays by its own rules. But other games have suffered massive leaks and came out totally unscathed. Mass Effect 3's script. Half-Life 2's source code. Halo: Reach's ending. Despite their respective leaks, all three of those games sold tremendously.

And we're not often asking for spoilers. Usually we just want to get excited about the video games and video game makers we love. We want to hear why publishers make the decisions they make. We want to see cool concept art. We want developers to tell us about how much they've worked, how much blood and sweat was required to make each game what it is. We want to know why a game studio can shut down even when its game hit #1 on sales charts for the month it came out.

And, yeah, we want to hear about games that might be axed. We're not unreasonable; we understand that things change, that games sometimes have to be cancelled. Why not let us in on the process? You don't have to completely unveil the shroud; just let us get a few more peeks inside. And maybe stop ignoring our questions.

What really makes this culture of silence so heinous is that it helps hide the industry's most critical issues, like bloated budgets, mismanaged teams, and catastrophic collapses. Executives at the late 38 Studios, for example, knew that the company had serious issues way before it fell apart earlier this year. Employees at L.A. Noire developer Team Bondi were afraid to speak up about hellish work conditions because it has become taboo in the gaming industry to speak up about anything.

I just don't get it. If game makers talked more, we'd like them more. We could start chipping away at that "us vs. them" mentality that seems to surround the video game industry these days.

Just look at gaming's most popular personalities. Tim Schafer. Notch. Cliff Bleszinski. Gabe Newell. These are people beloved by gamers because they're not afraid to talk. They speak their minds. They tweet and chat and take questions from fans like normal human beings, not PR-trained jargon machines. They share ideas and tell us about their lives, their projects, and their creative visions.

Here are some suggestions, game makers. Some tips to get the fans back on your side. Free of charge.

  • Answer questions. As many as you can. Questions are not your enemy. We're all here because we all love video games.
  • We know it can sometimes feel like we complain about everything. It's not easy to please everyone. And there will always be complaints on social media and message boards, no matter how candid you are, no matter how many questions you answer. But people complain because they care. And if you show that you care back? Maybe there'll be a little less to complain about.
  • Don't be afraid to tease games that are coming in the far future. We love teases. And we won't even mind if those games get cancelled, as long as you don't lie or pretend they're not.
  • It's OK to throw around the "We don't comment on rumours and speculation" line, but try not to make it your default response to everything that crosses your desks. You don't have to tell us about the next Xbox, but it's OK to shed a little light on your plans for a new HD collection bundle. Nobody's going to die if you have to make your official announcement a few days early. We'll all still be talking about it.
  • If you don't have plans to do something that fans want, at least tell us why. We want to understand what you're thinking. If you logically explain why it wouldn't be financially or legally viable to translate Valkyria Chronicles 3 or bring Earthbound to Virtual Console, we'll be a lot more sympathetic than if you just spout the same old "We have no plans" nonsense over and over again.
  • Just talk to us. Explain the logic behind your decisions. Help us understand you. Help us relate. Help us empathise.

When a relationship is in trouble, the only way to fix it is communication. The relationship between video game fans and video game makers is in trouble. Let's fix it. Let's talk.

Photo: Maksym Bondarchuk/Shutterstock


Comments

    Sorry. Gamers don't deserve answers. Just because I buy a product doesn't mean I have a right to know everything about its producer. I can choose to not buy from secretive producers but that's it.

      So if you were developing a game, and I (a gamer) asked you what it was about, what is the aim, what is the context, you would simply say, 'you don't deserve answers'?
      The article isn't talking about finding out everything about the producer, but more so what the aim / details of the game are!

        No actually, the article is just one journalist complaining that he doesn't like when companies don't give him answers WHEN he wants them. Developers are more than happy to share information, when the time comes. It's Marketing 101. If you're making a game and it's years before it's out. Telling people anything is going to diminish the effect of the marketing hype train they may or may not build up closer to release.

      No, you don't get it. It's not about having rights because you fork out some cash for a game. It's about being loyal to people who trust in your company and development team, especially if you expect them to turn around and buy your games for $100 a pop when they get released.
      This article wasn't talking about entitlement, it was about respect.

        They have no obligation to be loyal to you. They made a product you thought was cool. You thought it was worth your money so you bought it. Nobody obligated you to do anything you didn't have a say in. You made a choice.
        Would it be nice if they were? Sure. But unless you're some sort of benefactor to their birth and rise, they don't owe you squat.

          we, as consumers of these products, ARE the life blood and cause of any game developer or publisher's rise to fame. if we didn't buy the games they put out, they wouldn't be around anymore. if, say, absolutely nobody bought darksiders, darksiders II would not be around the corner. yes, traditional advertisement is important to bring in casual consumers and people who may not have been into it in the first place, but we, as the consumers who invested (or will invest) time and money into a company's product, should be allowed a peek into what is happening at our favorite developer. maybe through joining a fan club, like musicians have, to get access to inside projects and get to know the creators of the fantasy worlds we live in. it's not like we are asking for every little detail 6 years before the project becomes a fully realized game. just hints, a confirmation of "yes, this leaked, we are working on it. we'll have more details as soon as we figure them out," or something of the sort. that's not a lot to ask.

      No one is asking anything about the producer. It's the product that we want to know more about. I'm sorry that you feel that gamers need to be treated like that by gaming companies.

      I think you're mixing up the idea of deserving something with a right to something.

      Agree- gamers do seem to imagine that they "deserve" more input than they have, or is practical.

      Games as blockbuster entertainment is a new relatively new phenomenon- and like Hollywood the industry is about business more than it is about artistic integrity. Part of the curve is that devs will overspend and underdeliver. When games like Max Payne 3, the Prototypes, LA Noire, GT5 etc have such massive investments, they need to be phenomenal sellers upon release to be worth it.

      I feel the same way about the government. Just because I'm American and a voter doesn't mean I should know everything that's going on behind the scenes.

    Very nice read and I really wish this would happen.

    I feel the need to respond to this from the indie development side of the story, first of all the three personalities mentioned at the end are all people who work for companies (or own) that are independent it is completely different for people working in a publisher that is publicly listed could you imagine how wildly their share prices would fluctuate if every decision was announced publicly. As an indie who does not like to announce things during development I feel I must explain the reasons behind it, when we do announce something we usually have been working on it for a fair amount of time so when we show people for the first time they are amazed take watch dogs for example, when it was shown at e3 everyone was drooling all over the floor, if they had shown prototype stuff before the fact then what they were showing probably would have been about a months worth of work since the last most recent press release and the effect would be lost, don't get me wrong I'm all for showing things from the development after release, but before the game has been released we have to manage how our announcements impact the audience.

    Honestly, it seems like this a Journalist issue, rather than something games want.

    Because honestly, if there is a game that I am really excited about, I go on a media blackout and attempt to avoid all spoilers and videos about that game. Unfortunately, sites like Kotaku will place those spoilers as article topics :(

      I agree, I do the same thing as much as possible.

      I know NOTHING about Halo 4 except th Chief is in it and so is Cortana. This is my choice, I know the information is there, I just don't want to know.

      I was thinking along those lines a few minutes ago Teemo, but I don't think you can blame the journalism end of the spectrum alone.

      I think to some extent, the ever more vocal minority in gaming might be a bigger part of the problem.
      Just take a look at Mass Effect 3.
      I can see why the bigger more traditional studios are a lot more cautios, take a look at the marketing campaign for games like Command and Conquer 2 Tiberian Sun, or the well remembered Duke Nukem Forever; and these were at a time when gaming was a booming business.

      I also think that the economic downturn has a huge part to play in all this also, it is seriously pretty gut-wrenching to read about a lot of studios having to close their doors (both the older, more traditional vendors, and the upstarts).

      The past 5 years in gaming have, for me, been the most telling and the most difficult. There are a lot of factors these days to consider but given the diversity of the gaming community, rising development costs (against the economic problems) and dramatic shifts in what is considered 'gaming' these days (I'm staring at you Angry Birds); is it any wonder that the fatigued and likely struggling game studios aren't too keen to volunteer up all of their info/news.

      It's a sad state of affairs, but there it is. It looks like the 'computer games' industry grew up only recently.

    This is obviously a well planned and thought out piece of work, so I don't want my comment to come across as insulting the work itself.

    As gamers, being a general collective, we are douchebags. We complain about the most minute of details to a point beyond "caring" and actually becomes self-entitled. When you add this into the disappointing news that a game is being pushed back 2 weeks, people go crazy and start to create boycotting groups. Even when a game comes out "too early" like L4D2 coming out "too soon" and the petition that surrounded that. Every sane person knew this was balderdash, but the overwhelming news to Valve was "too soon, your product is flawed and you are trying to rip us off". When this is the news going to the publisher, it can really encourage Valve to stop talking. Then other companies see this and see Valve is constantly talking about their products and decide "let's not make announcements that can be met with outrage" "How?" "Let's not make announcements at all". This is a direct result from our attitude as a collective. This is further enforced by the class action suit against BioWare for ME3's "false advertising". In an industry where your consumers are ready to sue you for making a product that doesn't meet their expectations, you can see why the producers aren't ready to announce anything.
    As to other industries making announcements, nothing compares to a video game for entertainment. Nothing can immerse people like a video game (entertainment specific) and we spend more time with some video games than with any other kind of entertainment (100+ hours in some). In these cases, gamers who pour in that time are the ones who are likely to complain and make trouble for the developer, and most of the time they're the ones who know how to do so. Why is this relevant? Movies go for between 70-180 minutes, in that time you get the same experience everytime. A game you can boot up and run the completely wrong way and get a totally different experience within the first 10 minutes. Developers have to create entire worlds and the less they announce, the less they NEED to live up to. If Nintendo announced that in the next pokemon game there would be 36 islands to visit and then they find out they can only create 30, they're screwed whether they announce this or not. There will be those who cry out because they announced they couldn't live up to their original announcement and they will lose sales or there will be those who buy the game and cry out because they released something different to what they announced at the start of the project. Because gamers are self entitled, there is no way to win. So why not make as few announcements and promises as possible so that the consumers are not crying out over every detail, regardless of whether it's out of caring, it's degrading to have your work (that you poured your soul into) spoken out against so harshly before it's released and for the months afterwards. This isn't great sounding for those that just want to know and won't complain, but as a society, we pander to the trouble makers. We have speed bumps because people speed and those that don't still have to put up with them, so game developers don't announce much for those that will bitch and moan at everything, creating a false consensus of dislike toward a game.

      What that guy said ^^
      I work in movie marketing and with the advent of Internet comments, they are closing the doors to there world just as much as game companies, and only tell you what they think is good for marketing.
      I enjoy playing a game as a new and exciting experience (as I do movies) so I avoid media until I play.
      While Im interested in aspects of the industry, I'm more interested in the games they produce, the media needs things to talk about between releases, and I choose to ignore most of it

      Zac wrote " We complain about the most minute of details to a point beyond “caring” and actually becomes self-entitled." How correct you are, just read any comments section on any game site and just read what stupid thing people bitch about.
      Remember game developers read these comments too, so imagine how they feel when they release info about their game and the only feedback they get is negativity. Great incentive to work too.

    I feel that nobody wants to talk because how easily one article can misconstrue something, and that will spread like wildfire. Jaffe likes to talk, but it was Kotaku US that put up an article that twisted his words, and from there a dozen similar sites just report the same thing. Jenova Chen found himself agreeing with Jane McGonigal that they are becoming more suspicious of game journalists, because too often they just go for a quote.

    Recent example: Notch said that depending on how closed Windows 8 is, it could be bad. What happens? Articles are posted with headlines: NOTCH SAYS WINDOWS 8 IS BAD.

      Yep. Also, majority of game sites are identical in content and layout. Always check at the bottom for the parent company - most sites are not independant in the slightest. Check this videogame news aggregator, http://www.gamenewshq.com/ and compare multiple sites, side by side to create a nice feeling of commercialist dread.

    Unfortunately the companies you want answers from don't care about gamers, they are run by boardrooms with shareholders interests in mind, their interest in games only stretches as far as how much profit they an extract.

    That's the image they use for the silent zone in my university library...

    "Hollywood filmmakers aren’t afraid to tell us what they’re working on. They’re not worried we might find out who is cast in their movies or what their film sets are like. "

    Seriously?

    Hollywood is and always has been an extremely closed industry, I know because I've worked in or around it for the last 15 years. I don't talk about what i'm doing at work to friends or family and the security involved in working on any aspect of a major film is insane. We have security audits in our office by the studios CONSTANTLY to make sure nobody can leak information that isn't pre-approved. All that info you have about films and film sets is drip fed to you by marketing teams just as much if not moreso than in the games industry.

    Apart from that i'm not entirely sure I agree with the thrust of the article, however as some have said before me I prefer to go into these experiences fresh and generally put myself on media blackouts in the lead up to games and movies i'm looking forward to at the risk of spoilers. I do understand however that others are completely different! Crazy people... :)

    My two cents at any rate.

    Some friends of mine have a studio where they are trying to be as transparent as possible with their development process. Through this they have found some issues with attempting to do this, namely that it takes up a whole bunch of your time, and you can't spend as long developing. Check them out here if you want to see someone doing it differently http://www.seethroughstudios.com/

    Literally the only reason Brink ever made it onto my radar was that Splash Damage wouldn't stop talking about it. I remember watching the X360A interview with Richard Ham where he's talking about it like he genuinely wants you to know this stuff rather than a PR rep spouting off bullet points (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVHaUfGUF3A). Granted it helps that he was the creative director so he actually knows this stuff and more importantly the why and how behind it all.

    I'm inclined to say the problem is as much to do with games journalism and the culture it fosters as the evil corporations hell bent on stealing your soul and sacrificing it to satan for profit or whatever.
    The culture of secrecy I believe is a throwback from 10-15 years ago when gaming was really getting up to speed that simply hasn't changed because it hasn't had to. When your source of news was the once a month purchase of N64 mag (or whatever your favourite flavour was) and a smaller industry with a small 'window' of information the code of secrecy just whipped up mountains of speculation (this hasn't changed much) and made a real talking point, and probably sold a lot of magazines too. This exclusivity is something that stirs us as consumers up like no other, so if you saw a magazine with an exclusive on a game, however tiny, you wanted to know as it would be at least another month before you heard anything else about it. Which explains why every piece of information released was so valuable, if the developers can keep the journalists hungry at their door, they'll eat up any scrap they're thrown. However, this drought of information actually prevented a lot of these raw scraps being sent out into the world, instead at the end of the month only the most newsworthy of the information based made it to print.
    Now contrast this to today where everyday you can have 10 magazines worth of gaming news pumped directly to your face. Today this concept of exclusivity still reigns king so there's no incentive for developers to release everything they're working on. The concept is still sound, from a developers point of view, because of this saturation of news. Developers don't want their hard work lost or twisted in the quagmire of Plunkett-esque articles about nothing, built on scraps of half stories found on reddit, or sensationalised crap based on nothing but conjecture and bent truth. This 'vulture culture' of reporting is what causes companies to be so secretive today for fear of having their work written off before it's even released.
    In the article Jason mentions the film industry having no problem letting the public see what they are working on, but that's not strictly true, many films are shrouded in secrecy before release and even those that aren't don't get the same treatment as games. Hollywood reporting isn't about bashing Pixar or Paramount for being money grabbing bastards. Gaming culture as a whole is full of knee jerk reactions and what is essentially teenage angst towards 'the man', whether his name is EA, Activision, Zynga or whichever multinational corp we see to be doing a little too well this week and can write off as shameless profiteers.

    Anyway while I agree with a lot of points in the article, that's my two cents on the matter. Admittedly it's mostly conjecture based on nothing but my personal opinions and experience, but I'd like to hear a journalists take on it.

    Maybe if game journos stopped reporting on random tweets, half-quotes and resisted the urge to make the first post about what is inevitably a non-issue, the games industry would be more likely to open up...

      Gotta admit it guys.. we're not nice people.

    When I read this all I can think of is "Aren't you thankful". Three little words posted from Blizzard to gamers that created an overnight meme earning the ire of their player base. If I worked for a games company I'd keep my mouth shut because there's no telling what sort of PR shit storm you could create.

    I blame the internet. It seems to me since news went online, rather than thoughtfully planned and executed pieces of journalism that you would get in printed media, it’s now just a clusterfuck of who broke the news first. Most sites have turned into the douche bags that post “first” in a comment thread. No substance, no thought, just focused on being the first post and to hell with actually contributing anything meaningful.
    It’s too easy now to remove a story or post an update so the filter of what content is put up has all but been removed. So now if Jaffe says “fuck” and “Gamers” in the same sentence, a news article is put up five minutes later titled “Jaffe says fuck gamers”. This level of lazy reporting always sensationalised to get the most hits is usually at the expense of the interviewee and in this case leaves the interviewed devs strung up by their balls trying to explain 1 sentence taken and displayed out of context ignoring the rest of a 30 minute chat
    … and then the journo wonders why no one will talk to him any more…
    I should also note, Devs are just as lazy due to the same. Ohh there are bugs in the game… fuck it we will patch after release…

    I don't disagree with your conclusions, but I disagree with using CoD:MW3 as an example, for several reasons. Firstly, it's a primarily multiplayer game, so campaign spoilers won't have an impact on sales. Secondly, based on it's previous two iterations, we all knew 95% of what would be included in MW3, and hyping expected features didn't really do anything but make marginally more people aware that the game existed.

    As for ME3, when I heard about the script leak, I was wondering why anyone would read it - why spoil the game for yourself? Again, it served little more than to give the game publicity.

    Maybe this is happening because game publishers are realising that conventional advertising isn't working as well as it used to, because the majority of their target audience has moved away from conventional media (TV, newspapers and "gossip" magazines). Sure, publishers are still advertising on youtube, and gaming sites, but these forms of advertising don't have the same impact as supposed 'leaks'. So, yea, publishers/devs should be more open about what they're doing, but the consumers should also learn to grow up and not throw a hissy fit if they don't get what they want, and I believe that the latter must happen before the former has any chance of occurring.

      It's easy to view it as a hissy fit but you've got to keep in mind that they're investing a lot of money in the games and their marketing. They've got a lot riding on this stuff.
      Imagine one of the cornerstones of your advertising campaign was a huge E3 presentation, then a week before E3 all your big 'wow, look at that' moments in the presentation were leaked. You've essentially paid for the E3 time, the work preparing the presentation, the flights out there and all the associated costs, when the end result is Kotaku running blurry videos without context. I've got nothing against what Kotaku do (I enjoy it a lot) but imagine being on the other side.
      Worst of all you're still locked into doing the presentation. You've got to stand in a room full of people who know basically what you're going to say and somehow get them excited about the news that broke a week ago (which in internet time might as well be last year).
      You could have just e-mailed some videos and a chunk of text to the major internet news outlets and got a better result with a fraction of the work and price tag. It's not just E3 and the other expos. They do the same thing with websites like IGN only to have the big, well written article scooped by hastily covered gossip. Totally knocking the wind out of their sails.

      Don't get me wrong. It used to drive me nuts that Rare was secretive purely for the sake of being secretive, even if it was a little fun sometimes, but it's understandable that some of these companies are going to be pissed when their plans get shattered in such a lame way.

    I think Battlefield 3 is a prime example of where communication failure has happened with a community. Where it didn't necessarily hurt sales. However in the long term they've done a lot of damage and it'll definitely hurt sales in the future.

    I think it also shows the pitfalls of communication with the gaming industry.

    DICE early on told gamers what they wanted to hear. Then at some point the plans or reality for the game changed. It wasn't PC lead platform. It wasn't a true BF2 sequel. It didn't have unparalleled destruction.

    Then now there's still so much dissatisfaction and the community is still unable to get answers for why the game is missing basic functions such as VOIP. DICE could simply do huge things to improve the situation with the community. If they would openly discuss what happened with BF3. It's clear that a lot went wrong. in development. They should admit it. Be honest. Instead of pretending nothing went wrong,.

    I respect a developer like Crytek who will openly admit that they made mistakes with Crysis 2. DICE, no respect.

    I'd rather know as little as possible about games. I don't WANT to get hyped about something that might get canned. I want the marketing to show what the game looks like and how it plays, and a few hints as to what the story will involve so I know it's not going to be dull. For some more established franchises, I want to know even less: Saint's Row the Third I knew nothing and the Genki-oriented marketing was just baffling...and that's how I liked it!

    I like the idea that journalists get early hands on etc and can find out more, but just about anything in a game can be a spoiler, moreso than in a movie where major plot points are revealed at key moments, whereas games tend to spread it around a bit more. I can fully appreciate why some devs and publishers want to play it close to the vest.

    I think the other thing is that drip feeding information is that it keeps the game in the public (read: game playing) mind. Every thing that is released is a new post on the websites, it keeps the game in our thoughts...

    If we knew everything 2 years out, the next marketing we get is on release... which isn't great for their pre-order numbers.

    I like this article. I think Jason has made some good points but I also think the journalists have to get tough on these developers, the public are the customers and if we want information (whether we have a right to it or not) it's their job to provide. We need articles with titles like: "Hour long Square Enix Interview: Not a Single Straight Answer".

    Developers don't make your job easy by answering questions? Only question I want answered about a game is "is it any good"?".

    As a long time gamer (15 years+) I've found the developers/publishers that usually fall silent and more-so the large AAA guys are the people that seem to have something to hide from the wider gaming community.
    Prime example - Activision with COD which is basically a straight copy of previous installments with a few minor extras tacked on.
    Blizzard, EA etc etc
    Funnily enough they all seem to turn up in reviews and media coverage for all the wrong reasons.

    I've just about given up on searching for daily/weekly or monthly videogame news - there's really nothing to talk about... Virtually no info on anything, anymore!

    Information is great, but our rights do not supercede the rights of the people developing the game and controlling the intellectual property. Gamers have the same rights everyone else does. No more, and no less.

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