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’ »
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’ »
The news never stops, which in that respect is very much like Skyrim. But I digress. The Spike VGAs have given us plenty of material, and thus tonight’s topics include:
- The nominees, broken down: Skyrim wins GOTY, Dragon Age 2 somehow got on a ‘best of’ list for RPGs, Witcher 2 is looking mighty snubbed…
- …although the train of unneeded celebrities, lackluster announcements, and literal on-stage teabagging did a fine job distracting from the awards themselves. And we wonder why gaming is still seen as immature.
- Meanwhile, with the VGAs posing as E3 Lite, speculation abounds that the actual E3 could come to an end (as we know it).
- A team of students at George Washington University use Kinect for other than its intended purpose, netting a $100,000 scholarship. And they complain about the kids today!
- Shiggy scares everybody with a Wired interview, saying he’s stepping down, prompting a panic until he can finish the sentence with “to smaller projects.”
- GSC Game World closes its doors, signalling an end to the eccentric yet beloved S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series. Let’s drink to them once more.
- Namco-Bandai wins their suit re: Witcher 2 distribution in Europe, the 3DS sells 3 million units in Japan, Square Enix moves FFXIV to a paid subscription, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Such is Life in the Industry’ »
I miss Dr. Weird.
What’s happening, everybody? Hope you’re braced for the coming week, what with Witcher 2 and New Vegas DLC coming up. In the meantime, let us discuss the many interesting things that have happened since last Sunday:
- The Economist speculates on a possible tech/internet bubble, driven by overconfident investors and unproven business models. And here we thought time travel was impossible.
- Microsoft pays $Texas for Skype. Why would they buy a largely free VOIP service as a tech bubble is being built? Why, indeed.
- PSN is finally back up, bringing the catastrophic train wreck to at least partial closure. Which means we can now focus on Sony’s harmless and entertaining train wrecks.
- Eidos and Deus Ex: Human Revolution websites get hacked. Hey, hackers, that’s not funny. Deus Ex has been delayed enough.
- Square Enix has a rough week, owing in part to Final Fantasy XIV‘s amazingly poor launch condition. Really now, are high-res catgirls and magic midgets that hard to deliver?
- The National Endowment for the Arts classifies games as art, thus solving all problems with the games industry forever.
- Call of Duty vs. Battlefield at launch, the US Navy makes an anti-piracy MMO, the Harvest Moon folk join up with some weird colleagues, and much more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – It’s Not Different At All, Is It Steve?!’ »
Welcome back, everybody! Good to be back from Las Vegas, where tragically I was unable to recruit Danny Trejo and hunt down Matthew Perry. But I suppose a nacho platter at Margaritaville is victory enough for one trip. Anyway, it’s time to round up What Happened This Week. Let’s see what we have this time:
- Sony convinces European authorities to release PS3s, but the legal back-and-forth with LG continues.
- Human Revolution sees a release date, and the reason for the pushback likely goes deeper than Final Fantasy XIV‘s misfired launch.
- Microsoft to retool Windows Live and apologize for unleashing it. Well, they’re doing the first one at least. Also, speculation on possible price cuts.
- Best Buy is on the ropes, but Amazon.com and Steam need better infrastructure to viably fill the gap.
- Strange but true: criticize BioWare, get locked out of Dragon Age 2. Developers have feelings too, you know!
- Krazy Kaz is back, E3 rumor mills are in full swing, and portables join consoles in the counterproductive spending arms race.
- Japan, as you know, was recently hit by a massive earthquake and resulting tsunami. The Red Cross is accepting donations, so chip in if you can.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Cost-Cutting Spin Doctors Reopen Europe’ »
We got some hands-on time with Fallout New Vegas, as each of us applied our respective talents to various aspects of the game: Jordan did the talking, Derek did the looting, and I smacked a dude with a five-iron. Obsidian’s Chris Avellone was on hand to answer questions about things we didn’t have time to test. Continue reading ‘Fallout New Vegas E3 Impression’ »
John Boske and I had the pleasure of being invited to a round table interview with Tetsuya Nomura about the upcoming Kingdom Hearts games. Continue reading ‘Kingdom Hearts Interview with Nomura’ »
By now, anybody who cares has seen the trailers for Bioware’s upcoming fantasy RPG Dragon Age: Origins. We laughed, we cried, we wondered how in the world they thought adding Marilyn Manson to scenes of mass violence and armored dudes sneering at each other would help it sell. At E3, the gang and I got a closer look at the actual game, and while there was little to sway people one way or another, I did get the impression that there is cause for hope yet. Allow me to elaborate. Continue reading ‘Dragon Age: Origins and the Curious Marketing Strategy’ »
Most gamers remember what E3 was like in the early to mid-’00s, even if they didn’t attend: showy exhibits, loud music, plenty of swag, booth babes, and a festive atmosphere. It was more than just a trade show; it was a festival of gaming for the industry’s best. It was the chance to try out games that weren’t out yet and talk with developers. It was an exhausting sensory overload and a collective experience that made many wonderful memories.
Continue reading ‘Editorial – E3 is Energy, Exhibits, Equilibrium’ »
I had a chance to sit down with Peter Molyneux, the man behind the upcoming Fable II. Fair warning, there are a lot of details, plot and otherwise, and it’s a fairly long read. Continue reading ‘Fable II Demo, Interview with Peter Molyneux’ »