Ripping Off A Zillionaire

For those of you that don’t know me, I am a petty, petty man. And, you should also know, this website was conceived entirely so that I would have a forum to slander anyone I held a grievance with.

The following is a true story…

I didn’t really publicize this, but I was a candidate to become a staff writer for a major video game publisher last spring. Since I generally don’t believe in protecting the innocent, I’ll name names. It was Bungie Studios, a subsidiary of Microsoft, best known as the creators of the Halo franchise.

I ultimately didn’t get the job, and aside from the flaming bags of dog doo I left on Bungie’s door (my calling card), I didn’t really harbor any ill will.

Until today. Here’s where it gets interesting. Remember this post? During the interview process, I submitted this to “Frankie,” the chief content dude at Bungie.

At the time I sent this to him, this post had already generated a buzz within the Halo community and wound up being linked to by a variety of sites, many of which were not Xbox related. To date, it remains the most widely read post on Internet Zillionaire.

That was more than six months ago. Take a look at what was posted on Bungie’s website yesterday. An article with an eerily similar tone, written by the very person they hired instead of me, whose boss happens to be Frankie. Coincidence?

Anyway, read it for yourself. It’s a pretty blatant rip-off. And keep in mind, I directly submitted this very idea to Bungie. For the record, I am not accusing them of plagiarism… just crappier writing. And from my perspective, this only adds insult to injury. But that’s just my opinion, you be the judge.

10 thoughts on “Ripping Off A Zillionaire”

  1. Yikes. Does it hurt when you get kicked in the teeth? That’s how I would take this, if I were in your position.

    I highly doubt you will get any sort of response from them. There is a forum discussion going on about the article, though. 11 pages so far – needless to say, I haven’t paged through them but it would be great if someone brought this up there.

  2. It’s funny because I read posts about web designers getting ripped off all the time. Someone usually copies most of the look and feel but changes 10-20% of it using poorly designed graphics, bad typography choices, and other hacks, drastically reducing its appeal and quality.

    This is almost the exact same thing but with a blog post. They took the concept (good) but butchered the delivery (in my opinion) to play it safe, appeal to an infantile audience, or simply because of lack of talent.

    I’m glad you decided to share this because it highlights how Bungie (a company most of us want to like) is really dropping the ball in respect to the content on their website and the crap they let fly on Xbox Live. The gaming audience is getting older, smarter, and more mature. I read their article and went to the forum to see the discussion it generated… let’s just say it made the swarm of goons that hit our site after your post was on collegehumor.com look like the 2006 graduating class at MIT.

    BTW, did you notice the author’s signature is “Bungie.net Cabin Boy?” How’s that for a job title?

  3. Thanks for the support gentlemen.

    Part of me wanted to shrug it off and not even post this. Of course, that would entail taking the high road in this matter.

    And for those that know me, I rarely take the high road, as it is mostly uphill.

  4. i feel you, but this is actually a good thing. this legitimizes your writing. don’t worry about it centaur, take it as a compliment. it’s every artist’s rite of passage to get ripped off of an idea. good job. just think, 30 years from now when you’re sitting in a diner and you over hear a kid talking about online personalities, you’ll be able to say, “hey, i thought of that idea.” and the kids will say, yea right old man. that’s sweet if you think about it.

  5. My god man how did you not call them with every profanity in the book. I say we march on their corporate office and find this cabin boy . I will hold him down while you give him a lecture on the finer points of stealing something cool and turning it into crap. I guess he is the expert. Tha sucks dude. I didn’t enjoy any of his descriptions. I just don;t get how you can take something that funny and ruin that bad. You should write his boss a letter asking him for royalties and to see if they need more content yet. I always had my suspicisions about bungie.

  6. Since imitation is the higest form of flattery, take it as a token that the person who they hired had to go to the extent of making a poor copy of another’s intelluctual property to keep his job. MS is all about taking from others and I think it follows that bungie follows the same reaction type content instead of proactive creativity. Fuck the lot of ’em.

  7. I’ve heard of journalists getting canned for ripping off less than this. Like Solo said, take it as a compliment on your writing.

  8. Seriously, when I read the post on Bungie I sent the author a message giving him a direct link to your post and asked him if he had seen it. I told him your post was better and had a million more comments extended on the end. Until now I had hoped for a response asknowledgeing your talents and humor. Now I have lost faith in the Public Relations depatment of Bungie. Unfortunaly i am addicted to Halo, Halo 2, and can’t wait for Halo Wars/ Halo 3.

  9. Anubis,

    Thanks for defending my honor.

    If only this was the 1700’s and it was socially acceptable to challenge Bungie to a duel.

    The sad thing is, I would have gladly let Bungie just publish my original article for free… just to get the exposure.

    Oh well, I’ve abandoned hope of anything coming of this, just wanted to vent a little to Zillionaire Nation.

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