Well, E3 has come and gone, the convention center’s been cleared out, and it’s all over but the shouting. Who were the winners? Staggeringly few, it would seem. Who were the losers? All of us. Behold:
- Microsoft: You kids like Kinect, right? I hope so, because we don’t have a single new idea on stage today, so here’s a bunch of stuff you already knew was coming…
- …and also the SmartGlass, designed for people who can’t wait until after the show or game to look up supplementary trivia.
- Sony: Don’t worry guys, we’ll save E3! Look, David Cage is making another movie! And we’ve got Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed 3 DLC, and The Last of Us!
- The Vita? What’s that? Oh… ohhhh, right, we were supposed to market that! Oh god, we totally forgot! Quick, throw some Black Ops on there, they won’t know the difference!
- Nintendo: Pfft, amateurs. Here’s how you save E3: Pikmin, Mario, more Mario, the balance board, karaoke, and minigames! Bam, done! Just hand us your money as you walk out.
- What do you mean, “Where was the Zelda?” Look, uh… we’re, um, still working on that. Maybe there’s a Fire Emblem for the 3DS or something, I really don’t know. No more questions!
- Ubisoft: In spite of our utterly unlikeable hosts, we are the only company with a halfway decent gaming roster to show this year. This, ladies and gents, is the face of despair.
- My liver will never forgive me for all the drinking I put it through.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Weird Acts of Corporate Theater: 2012’ »
Look, Blizzard, I told you: I’ll come back when you start making RTSs. Complete RTSs, not the shenanigans you’re pulling with Starcraft 2. Your Diablo III screenshots, while delicious, have no power over me! I’ll not be tempted, damn you!
…I’m gonna wind up buying Diablo III, aren’t I. Nyaugh. Anyhoo, let’s get to some news:
- Japan makes noises about regulating a peculiar form of
gambling social media sales. Japanese game companies shriek in horror, including a few you may recognize.
- EA confirms it’s restructuring, which includes some of the previously-mentioned layoffs. CEO John Riccitiello also owns up to the company’s distant second place in social gaming.
- All aboard the doom train: Sony posts its forecasted loss, announcing (in a roundabout fashion) a meager 1.8 million Vita sales. Experts (and professional amateurs such as myself) opine on what may save the device.
- Microsoft, by way of Michael Pachter: “Don’t expect a lot of game stuff [at E3]; expect a lot of dashboard, interface, multimedia.” Excellent, now I know which conference I can ignore.
- Tetsuya Nomura indicates that he’d like to see Kingdom Hearts return to consoles. Square Enix confirmed for working on the Blizzard-Valve Timescale.
- Diablo III preorders make it bigger than Jesus, Redbox goofs on Max Payne 3, social gaming is slowing down in the US, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Random Revenue Generators’ »
Nothing quite like a sales binge to pick up on games you missed, especially when it reminds you how expensive some of them are. Hey, dude selling Suikoden V for $100: I hope your parents hated you, because I do. Also, a heads-up: I’ll be in DC next week starting Sunday, so no podcast while I’m away. See you all the following week! With that said, here are this week’s headlines:
- Rumors swirl that EA may be laying people off, though even if they’re true there may be a plausible explanation. Or EA’s stock could be dropping, it could be that too.
- That said, Zynga appears to have gone off the deep end, with more OMGPop-style pricey acquisitions in the future. OMGPop, incidentally, may have peaked the very day of its acquisition. Get some popcorn, folks.
- Two of the Big Three schedule their E3 conferences, prompting a rehash of speculation. My take: Microsoft offers no surprises, Sony needs to explain themselves, and Nintendo will steal headlines whether it wants to or not.
- Speaking of Sony, the New York Times offers a revealing look on where the electronics giant stumbled. Short version: departmental tribalism, right down to war paint and scalping.
- Wired’s Chris Kohler asserts the existing publisher-hardware-retailer model is broken and we don’t really need it. I agree, but scrapping it all seems premature.
- Namco-Bandai may avoid using GFWL for the PC version of Dark Souls. On bended knee, I beseech Bamco to do the right thing and serve the Newell.
- A rumored meeting between Apple and Valve is debunked, Saints Row DLC may have saved THQ, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Future Needs More RAM’ »
The news: disturbing the Force, all day erry day. Also, going to be off next week for the Super Bowl; not that I have a huge stake in it, but I owe the Giants some residual gratitude for taking out Green Bay. Us poor Chicagoans would never, ever hear the end of it if they made it back-to-back. But I get off topic. I’ll see you all the week after next, but in the meantime here’s what’s going down:
- The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement steps in to fill the SOPA/PIPA void of “simultaneously overzealous and ineffective legal frameworks for punishing 4chan users.” Also, at least part of Poland’s parliament is awesome.
- The Economist dispels a few myths about the US trade deficit with China, using the iPad as an example. Short version: paying workers ten cents an hour means China doesn’t actually get a lot of money per gizmo.
- Diablo III‘s senior producer makes an abrupt departure from Blizzard. Since the game doesn’t even have a release date yet, there can only be one explanation.
- Meanwhile, EA expands Origin’s reach to include several third-party companies, counting beloved Polish developer CD Projekt among them. The more you tighten your grasp, EA…
- The Family Research Council claims the Gay Agenda has its claws in Star Wars: The Old Republic. BioWare responds by thanking them for the free advertising.
- Nintendo mulls over a rebranding effort for the Wii U, worried that nontraditional gaming demographics might not get the concept of console cycles.
- Mass Effect 3 will tie random DLC to action figures, Voodoo Extreme faces staffing budget cuts, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Jedi Are Gonna Feel This One’ »
Nothing like a week of updates to make a guy feel like he’s treading old ground, but hey, anything worth talking about is worth talking about again. Tonight’s discussion topics are as follows:
- The Bethesda-Interplay legal mess comes to a close, with Zenimax paying $2mil for Interplay to stop harassing Fallout and claiming the MMO’s going to make it.
- GSC Game World announces on Facebook that development of STALKER 2 is somehow still underway. Why do all the beautiful things in life have to be undead?
- Zynga acquires another executive from EA. Poor Zynga… their stock’s lackluster performance has caused them to mentally regress to last year.
- BioWare reveals that Mass Effect 3 will require Origin and will not be available on steam. Also, they broke their arm in a boking accident.
- Workers at a Foxconn plant in China threaten mass suicide over low pay and poor conditions. Industry leaders feign shock that they’re still doing business with Foxconn.
- Ars Technica gets a closer look at the Wii U, and learns surprisingly little.
- Diablo III gets a console version, a Gaikai rep makes a silly assumption about the Big Three, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Is This the 50’s or 1999?’ »