Posts Tagged ‘Economics’

What Happened This Week – The Cold Calculus of Microtransactions

All right, back in business once more.  Hopefully we won’t be hit by another freak storm this weekend, but really it seems like the power dies if someone so much as coughs too loudly.  Let’s get to the news before it happens again.  Here’s what’s going down:

  • Zynga starts getting hit with lawsuits regarding allegations of insider trading, with underwriters paid to help insiders offload stock before it fell.  Also known as “Tuesday on Wall Street.”
  • Not to be outdone, EA has also filed suit that Zynga copied The Sims Social to create The Ville.  Man, who do you root for in that fight?  (The answer is EA, seriously.)
  • Ubisoft’s Uplay exposes players to an exploit that allows websites access to, and control over, a user’s computer.  It’s like they want people to pirate their games.
  • The Old Republic pulls the pin and goes free-to-play.  Should’ve kept the base, BioWare!  And the base I mean your playerbase.  By making KotOR III instead.
  • Sony posts a sizable loss of some $312 million for the first quarter of 2012, including losses in the games division.  Tempting to blame the Vita, but their true problems run deeper.
  • Squenix has an ambitious ten-year plan for Dragon Quest X.  It sounds crazy until you realize they’ve been running Final Fantasy XI for at least that long.
  • Rumors abound regarding Bethesda and the STALKER series, Take Two posts a lower earnings report due to unrealistic expectations, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Naysayers Right and Wrong

News time, everybody! Get it while it’s hot, metaphorically speaking as the transfer of information is not linked to temperature! In tonight’s episode:

  • Zynga’s stock takes a nosedive due to slashed earnings estimates and insiders dumped the stock months ago.  Pardon me, I’ll be over here doing my “I called it” dance.
  • Boston Magazine provides an in-depth postmortem on the many, many warning signs leading up to 38 Studios’ closing.  Short version: Schilling mixed up baseball and business.
  • Key developers come out strongly against Windows 8, with Gabe Newell saying Valve may encourage Linux development as a hedge.  Mr. Newell, hedges are supposed to save money.
  • Crunchyroll breaks down a Japanese poll showing the Japanese are no longer bullish on their own gaming industry.  Clearly, the industry needs more ara ara~
  • Square Enix takes to Twitter to confirm Versus XIII is still alive.  CEO Yoichi Wada has to stop himself from saying it’ll be done “when it’s done.”
  • FFXIV gets rebranded, Irrational Games uses Metacritic as a hiring requirement, OnLive joins up with the Ouya, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Now Seventy-Five Percent Off!

Ooof… man, what was I thinking? Don’t… nobody even tell me the damage. If I don’t see the bill, it doesn’t exist. I’ll pretend this big stack of games I bought just magically appeared there. Yeah, that works for me. Anyhow, it’s time to distract myself, and you, with the news:

  • Apple suffers a serious hack, allowing users to bypass some in-app purchases and get the goods for free.  Welcome to the 99%, Apple users!
  • Meanwhile, Microsoft posted its first loss in 26 years.  Strangely enough, they could probably commiserate with Nintendo, right down to the “constant media doom chorus” thing.
  • Michael Pachter speculates that Activision strongarmed Nintendo into developing a conventional Wii U controller, a silly notion for multiple reasons.
  • Gamasutra’s half-year analysis of gaming industry retail paints a grim picture for 2012.  The numbers don’t lie: CODBLOPS2 probably won’t save this year.
  • Torchlight‘s developer uncovers more than a few similar art assets between a Chinese-based iOS MMO and their game.  Purely coincidental, I’m sure.
  • Weird new software categories show up on Steam’s droid app, the Ouya’s first game is a prequel to a game planned for 2015, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Kickstart the Atom

Is this year going fast for anybody else? Maybe it’s my mad scramble to find another job, virtually any job, outside banking right now, so I’m just noticing the passing weeks more. Oh well. It’s news time! In tonight’s episode:

  • Via Kickstarter, we have the Ouya: an open source, Droid-based console priced at $99.  Surely this will spearhead the glorious indie revolution that upends gaming forever…
  • …except the numbers don’t quite add up, there doesn’t seem to be a concrete prototype, no games have been confirmed, and its own supporters have made comparisons to the Phantom.
  • Meanwhile, Nintendo plans to link the Wii U and 3DS through its online service, which will (initially) be free to use.  Shiggy asks: but what of Metroid and Star Fox?
  • Vivendi discreetly scopes out possible buyers for an as-yet-unconfirmed sale of its ActiBlizzard stake.  Even money says they’re waiting for CODBLOPS 2 numbers.
  • Pachter sez: EA may break out the long knives for John Riccitiello, with Peter More as a possible replacement.  Should’ve kept the base!  And not picked a fight with Activision.
  • BioWare reveals its plans for the Ultima franchise: a free-to-play action/RPG.  Ugh, BioWare, and you were doing so well with the Mass Effect 3 DLC!  Why?
  • The Last Story gets its worldwide release date, CERN may have found the Higgs-boson, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Everybody Misses the Nineties

Yaaay, we’re back!  And hopefully we’ll stay on time going forward, or at least we won’t lose power right when I’m about to start writing.  Anyway, news time!

  • Sony acquires streaming game service Gaikai for a cool $380 million.  Speculation abounds as to how doomed modern consoles are (not very, for the moment).
  • Vivendi plans to sell off its stake in Activision-Blizzard.  Possibly a restructuring effort, or maybe they just see Call of Duty being the next Guitar Hero, with all that would imply.
  • Zynga reveals “Zynga With Friends,” and exciting new games ending with -Ville that are totally not the same idea over and over.  One’s even an “epic slot machine adventure” for extra irony.
  • Yoichi Wada asserts Final Fantasy VII isn’t getting remade until they make a game that surpasses it.  My take: better get a DeLorean, ’cause we’ll need the nineties again.
  • Atlus announces and defends its decision to region-lock Persona 4 Arena.  So that’s why the official forums melted down the other day.
  • The EU rules that resale of digital games is legal, Pokemon Black and White 2 makes all of the money, Facebook suffers a sizable email fiasco, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Tablet Plus Keyboard Equals Innovation

Or so we’re supposed to think, I guess. Hey, everybody! We’re on time this week! Let’s not dawdle, here’s what’s going on:

  • Microsoft unveils the Surface, a powerful new tablet with a keyboard cover that may cost $800-$1000 we’ll discuss price later
  • Nintendo shows off a new, bigger 3DS with a longer battery life, possibly at the expense of the whole ‘portable’ thing.
  • Persona 4: The Golden gives Vita sales a shot in the arm.  Good game Sony, now you just need, oh, another couple dozen of those.
  • A week after EA’s Origin pointman says they won’t be offering “going out of business” deep discounts, Origin offers deep discounts.  EA GOING OUT OF BUSINESS FULL STORY AT 11
  • Squenix might bring Final Fantasy VII to Steam, if only they could get it to work.  Meanwhile, Final Fantasy XI continues to print money.
  • Sega launches a browser-based card game for Valkyria Chronicles, to be depicted in the TBS miniseries, “How to Ruin Everything Beautiful in This World.”
  • Blizzard suspends digital Diablo III sales briefly to combat goldfarmers, another Capcom fighting game veteran leaves for greener pastures, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Burnout Gives HR Stuff to Do

There are weeks, even single days, that make me want to crawl into a bunker with as much food, games, and quality booze as I can manage, seal that sucker up, and hide there for, I dunno, a year or so. But then I tell myself, “I know life sometimes seems bad, but at least you didn’t sign over the Running Man to MC Hammer.”

Shame, too. It was the freshest move I’d ever seen. But enough of that, let’s get to the news.

  • Yet more insanity is added to the fifty-car pileup that is 38 Studios: RBS Citizen’s Bank is suing Curt Schilling directly, and an anonymous wife of a 38S employee speaks out.
  • Oh, and Rhode Island state police have launched a criminal investigation into 38S.  So has the Massachusetts Attorney General.  And the FBI.
  • ICANN prepares for bidding wars on more top-level domains: .xbox, .sony, .apple, and countless others sure to bring back those timeless dotcom jokes from the late 90s.
  • Sony is still trying to convince people the Vita is doing fine, though salary cuts and returned benefits suggest at least someone is taking this doom thing seriously.
  • EA openly admits it would rather have a higher-price game not sell than sell more copies on discount.  Counterpoint: Syndicate is $59.99 on Origin, and $20 plus S&H on Amazon.
  • Eurogamer interviews Yoshinori Ono, the man behind Street Fighter 4, whom Capcom almost literally worked to death.  Read the whole thing if you’ve got time, it’s… sobering.
  • Dead Space 3 has to sell five million copies, Dragon’s Dogma sells just over half a million, I analyze what these stories have in common (read: the AAA push is killing us) and more!

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What Happened This Week – Weird Acts of Corporate Theater: 2012

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.

 
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What Happened This Week – War By Other Means

If covering the news has taught me anything, it’s that companies would openly shoot at each other Syndicate-style if only they could get away with it. Anyway, welcome back, on this lovely evening before E3 kicks off! Here’s what’s happening:

  • Silicon Knights loses in their lawsuit against Epic, and then loses the countersuit for damages.  Expect Denis Dyack to insist that Too Human will continue… somehow.
  • Epic, by the way, rescued members of Big Huge Games, rolling them into a new studio and tasking them with another fantasy action-RPG.  Talk about paying it forward.
  • Meanwhile, Activision settles out of court with West and Zampella, thus freeing Activision to keep making Call of Duty and spying on its own people.  “But the future refused to change…”
  • CD Projekt reveals their non-Witcher property: Cyberpunk.  Apparently that’s the title of a pen-and-paper game easily confused with Shadowrun.
  • Nintendo hosts a pre-E3 video demonstration showing off the Wii U… the exact same aspects we saw last year.  Oh, and a classic-style controller and Nintendo-centric social network.
  • E3 predictions: Nintendo needs to have some game demos ready, Sony’s going to spin like an overclocked centrifuge, and Microsoft will be my cue to go get a drink.
  • A Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer is mistaken for FFXV, Sony may have picked up Gaikai for PSN-related announcements, and more!

 

Are you ready?

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What Happened This Week – Endless Online Phenomenon

Say what you will about obscure Korean MMOs, but they come up with some catchy (if unrelated) promo videos. But I digress. News time! Here’s what’s going down:

  • 38 Studios and Big Huge Games got shuttered this week, their staff laid off and Amalur now property of Rhode Island.  Sadly, not too surprising given the money hole they were in.
  • Conflicting sales goals hide the real issue of what those 300+ developers – and their shiny new second mortgages from relocating – are going to do now.
  • Meanwhile, BioWare lays off some of its own people from The Old Republic team.  How’s that $200 million development cost working out, guys?
  • All this prompts Pachter to speculate that MMOs are dooooooomed!  My take: maybe, if everybody keeps trying to imitate/defeat World of Warcraft.  And speaking of which…
  • Diablo III got hacked, with reports of stolen items, money, and even characters.  Getting hacked in a single-player game has got to be some kind of record.
  • The horrible, horrible contract between Activision and Bungie is revealed.  Short version: 5 million sales of a new property in six months, and eight titles in eight years.  Read it and weep.
  • Sony patents a technology to interrupt your game with advertisements, Japan developers alternatives to kompu gacha, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Go Public or Die Trying

“Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” John Maynard Keynes said that, and I’d wager he knows a little more about the economy than you do, because he invented it! Yeah, the financial world is abuzz over Facebook’s IPO, and we’ve got our own take on that, along with a few other items of interest. Behold:

  • 38 Studios (Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning) owes the state of Rhode Island $75 million in loan payments.  I don’t even have a quip, you have to hear the whole crazy situation to believe it.
  • Facebook, as mentioned, went public, and then immediately flatlined before dropping a few bucks today.  Cue me feeling smug in three… two…
  • Activision drops its suit against EA over the Infinity Ward fiasco, on revelation that they went to absurd lengths to dig up dirt on IW staff.  Bobby Kotick, up to no good?  Pshaw, sirrah.
  • Epic unveils the Unreal 4 engine, prompting a new wave of speculation as to how many shades of brown and grey it can render.
  • CD Projekt’s hiring for a modern IP.  Given their work with fantasy IP, I expect good things.  Difficult things that kill me in the tutorial, but good things all the same.
  • Diablo III goes live, then dies, then lives again, then dies again, and so on.  Who could possibly have forseen difficulties with millions of players going online at once?
  • Square Enix is profitable again, Bamco keeps busy with the Tales series,  and more!

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What Happened This Week – Random Revenue Generators

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!

 
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What Happened This Week – Capitalism Means Never Saying Sorry

Guess who’s back!  How’s everybody doing?  I spent the weekend watching mutants and mercenaries duke it out in the Capitol building.  And then I came home to play Fallout 3 heyoooooooooo!  Okay, yeah, obvious joke is obvious, but DC is a cool town even if you’re not a political junkie such as myself.  But anyway, it’s good to be back at home base, got my computer a shiny new video card, the Mass Effect 3 review finally done, and ready to get down to business.  So let’s get on it!  In today’s headlines we have:

  • Bethesda announces The Elder Scrolls Online.  I explain why this is not going anywhere profitable, and point to a much more interesting property they’re funding for one Shinji Mikami.
  • A Forbes article breaks down that Zynga, Groupon, and Facebook work with an accounting firm that makes rules up as they go.  I wish I were kidding.
  • Eurogamer runs a lengthy piece on the demise of Free Radical.  Long story short, it took a little more treachery than doped-up marines going “Boosh!”
  • NVidia rolls out a top-of-the-line graphics card for $1000.00.  How else can a month’s salary last until next week when they push the envelope even further?
  • FilePlanet is no longer being updated, thus preparing itself for the annals of Internet history.  Behold, children, the days when patches didn’t download themselves.
  • Electronic Arts rolls out an Indie Bundle, upending basically every sensible definition of the term ‘indie.’  And on Steam, no less, making it all the more confusing.
  • A Chinese company develops a console specifically for pirates China, EA asks for feedback on Origin, I speculate based on Sega-centric Steam deals, and more!

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What Happened This Week – The Future Needs More RAM

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!

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What Happened This Week – And I’ll Keep Lying, I Promise

Ah, 16-bit-era Shadowrun. Come for the cyberpunk revenge plots and foxgirls, stay for the considerable XP/money grind so you can break the game in half. Good times, both SNES and Genesis. Anyway, on to the news:

  • Sony’s financial woes catch up to them, doubling their loss forecast and forcing 10,000 layoffs.  “Holy s***, now what?” indeed, Mr. Hirai.
  • Jack Tramiel, Commodore International founder and the man behind the C64, died at 83.  Yet another legend in the tech field that I knew almost nothing about.
  • Peter Molyneux speaks out about leaving Microsoft for his indie venture.  Will it change the world, or will it OH JUST REMAKE SYNDICATE ALREADY GODDAMNIT
  • The Better Business Bureau weighs in on the Mass Effect 3 ending furor, which is my personal “this has gone way too far” threshold.
  • Meanwhile, Victor Ireland rather gloriously misreads Steam’s effect on RPG sales, while his own Clash of Heroes 2 Kickstarter falls well short of its goal.  Time to serve the Newell?  I’d say so.
  • Wired’s Chris Kohler takes a scalpel to the argument that used games are hurting the industry.  The conclusion: the industry is hurting the industry.
  • Project X Zone‘s creators are among the least likely to localize anything, Wasteland 2‘s Kickstarter coasts to a comfortable finish, and more!

 
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What Happened This Week – Never Deal With a Dragon

Yaknow, you can say what you want about Silent Hill: Downpour, but when it comes to being tense and creepy it doesn’t screw around. The actual enemies and combat are pretty naff, but it does a fine job instilling a sense of dread. There are rooms I just do not want to enter. I consider that a mission accomplished for a horror game.

Anyhow, on to the news:

  • The Consumerist wrapped up their online poll for 2012’s Worst Company in America.  EA jumped to the front faster than you can say “biased sampling data.”  And speaking of EA…
  • Mass Effect 3‘s Extended Cut DLC was announced, prompting LOTS OF SPECULATION FROM EVERYONE.  A PAX East BioWare panel offered some more information, likely only stoking the fire at this point.
  • An industry analyst predicts doom for Nintendo, which happens often and just as often is disproven.  What’s new here is getting basic facts wrong.
  • Get your credsticks out: a Shadowrun Kickstarter launched and met its goals handily.  Check it out here, chummer.
  • Gamasutra ran a survey about salaries in the games industry, with some surprising data.  Long story short, I’m in the wrong line of work.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog‘s creator winds up at Nintendo of America, Final Fantasy Versus XIII music winds up in Theatrhythm, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Putting the Band Back Together

If life in the retail trenches has taught me anything, it’s that those jobs are really more precautionary prison sentences. True, there’s no cell and there aren’t as many gang fights, but it’s a stain on your past nonetheless, and the longer you stay in the harder it is to get out.

This depressing thought brought to you in part by nostalgia, for which I have that April Fools’ burst of Toonami to thank. Damn but that was good teevee. Anyhow, here’s the news:

  • GAME exits administration, having found a buyer crazy enough willing to take on its debts.
  • Sega, by contrast, announces a sizable drawdown in operations due to an income shortfall.  Basically, don’t expect Valkyria Chronicles 3 in English anytime soon.  Or ever.
  • Meanwhile, Denis Dyack alternates between reassuring people that Too Human is still a thing, and warning that used games will crash the industry and kill your family in their sleep.
  • EVE Online‘s developer partners with Nvidia to offer select video cards for virtual currency.  I’d love to hear Paul Krugman’s take on this.
  • Brian Fargo speaks out on the lopsided balance of power between publishers and developers.  A lengthy interview on RipTen, but a good one: read it all here.
  • Obsidian joins forces with inXile to help develop Wasteland 2, pending a Kickstarter goal of 2.1 million.  So, when I write the check for all of my money, which of you do I make it payable to?
  • An OMGpop developer explains why he balked at Zynga’s offer, Michael Pachter disregards a silly PS4 rumor, GOG.com gets a facelift, and more!

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What Happened This Week – There He Goes Again On His Own

Hello and welcome, everybody! It’s that time again. GDC occupied a lot of the news this week, but among that we have the following:

  • Valve’s marketing director clarifies that they are not working on a Steam box… for now.  Actually they left off the “for now” part, but let a man dream :3
  • Peter Molyneux leaves Lionhead and Microsoft to start his own company once more.  Shine on, you awesome fibber.  Shine on… or go on to develop social/iOS games like other gaming legends.
  • Blizzard offers a rather hefty bounty returning bonus for players who bring friends back to World of Warcraft
  • …which doesn’t quite distract from their announcement that Diablo III will not have PvP at launch.
  • A quartet of big names – Will Wright, Sid Meier, John Romero, and Cliff Bleszinski – offer various insights on the state of the industry, ranging from concerns about self-referential development to homeless simulators.  It makes sense in context.
  • Tim Cain gives a postmortem on Fallout, sharing the dirt on how the now famous post-apocalyptic RPG almost never saw the light of day.  Short answer: blame Windows NT.  Watch the whole thing if you can, it’s enlightening stuff.
  • Two men make more or less the same complaints about Japanese games, with vastly different levels of tact (and authority), I suggest the big picture might be a bit more complicated, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Should’ve Kept the Base

You know it’s true.

Sorry for the delay, folks! Man, ME3 and Super Tuesday tomorrow! The political junkie and the Mass Effect fanboy are having a fistfight for dominance in my brain stem. Gonna be busyyyyyy~

Anyway, to the news:

  • Mass Effect 3 comes out tomorrow, or, if pirates are to be believed, today.  Guess somebody got ahold of one of those low-orbit packages.  And speaking of which…
  • …one of them got stuck in a tree north of San Francisco, boldly resisting an intrepid IGN team’s attempt to dislodge it.  Well, at least bears weren’t involved.
  • UK retailer GAME is in a bit of financial trouble, revealing they will be unable to stock Mass Effect 3 or Mario Party 9.  Hey, guys?  I know your parents probably told you honesty is the best policy and all, but, uh, you may have wanted to make something up this one time.
  • The rumor mill is abuzz that Valve may be developing a Steam-centric PC-slash-console with baseline stats for modern games.  Hey Valve, Derek and I got this great idea for a mascot.  You ready for this?  He’s a scientist, see, and he’s fighting an alien invasion…
  • Facebook gaming takes a sharp downturn from 2011, with the company having to work harder to draw in new users.
  • By contrast, Zynga unveils their own content delivery platform to stand apart from Facebook, forgetting how they got so many people playing their games in the first place.
  • Pokemon Black & White Version 2 makes like Daft Punk and goes around the world, Kinect gets a tinfoil hat accessory, and more!

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What Happened This Week – You Keep Using That Word

“Anytime, Fly Girl.”

I don’t know about you guys, but I dropped my pacifist playthrough right then and there.  But enough about how I pass the time waiting for Mass Effect 3, it’s time for the news!  Here’s what we’ve got:

  • A fake Pokemon Yellow gets into the iOS App Store and places at #3 on the chart.  How did an obvious counterfeit get by Apple’s screening process?  The answer is in the question.
  • The above prompts discussion about how Nintendo should release its games on iOS, followed by Pachter claiming the Wii was a bubble.  I explain why that word doesn’t mean what he thinks it means, using Nintendo’s gigantohuge pile of cash and utterly puny debts to illustrate.
  • Beloved podcast group Idle Thumbs launched a Kickstarter project to fund their return.  Yeah, I’ll throw some money down to see these guys return.  In a related story, Double Fine’s project is up to $2.2mil.  Yikes.
  • The Last Story has been confirmed for North America.  Two down, one to go!  The Wii needs stuff like this to smooth the transition to the Wii U.
  • After a lengthy stay as a 360 exclusive, Alan Wake finally makes the jump to PC… and recoups porting costs in two days.  Serve the Newell and share in His bounty.
  • OK’s violent videogame tax dies in committee, fewer videogame transactions are using credit cards, and more!

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