The reason for this post is that the interest on the "Sins of the Industry" project has seemed to disappear as time has passed on and I would like to have an idea of why that has happened. Maybe you find it boring or too biased or poorly written or you are just not interested. Maybe the lack of regularity on the releases has made it for you. In any case, I'm interested in your opinion. As I said at the beginning (did I?) I'm open to all kind of criticisms, no matter how harsh.
By the way, speaking of erratic releases, the few of you that follow this project may wonder why there was no release last Friday. I made a presentation of the project in other gaming forum and I received plenty of commentaries, criticisms and contributions that forced me to spend various days changing things, so the DLC section of the fourth chapter was not ready. To be honest, the decision to release it weekly has been quite a disaster and I will keep failing the schedule regularly, :P Some chapters/sections just need too much work or I just don't have time a given week. At least one thing is certain, I'll keep releasing on Fridays..., maybe Saturdays once in a while.
Simply haven't had the time to look at it. Maybe I'll print some of it out some day and read it on the train.
I think it reads like footnotes on the top and conclusions used very sparingly. Also some nerdy PC bias and lack of historical perspective.
Yesterday I read chapter 1 (couldn't comment on that thread since it's been auto-closed).
What medium?: You keep referring to this as a book, and considering the scope of the thesis that's not unfounded. But there's one major element that prevents it from reading like a book: hyperlinks. I've never taken up the habit of reading articles on a brightly illuminated screen; and neither does anyone else that I know of (although with tablets and e-readers this is changing perhaps, as those devices are more pleasant to read from than PCs or Laptops). Consequently I printed it out and read it in the train with pen and marker in hand. While the hyperlinks are might convenient when reading it on a PC, I doubt many people will feel like reading 100+ pages on a screen. On paper they can be easily ignored, but quite often links are given without sufficient description of what the reader will see if he/she clicks that link. Everything is left up to implication. This made reading it on paper feel a bit awkward.
In-line further reading hyperlinks: The further danger of in-line links to videos, or articles is that you might lose the reader (perhaps for good). When I read a scientific article and see references I might mark them and look them up later. But with hyperlinks I can switch to a different article in mid-sentence. On this new webpage there might be hundreds of new links to click. The chance of me returning quickly to your article diminishes rapidly. Generally when I, for whatever reason, end up on Wikipedia I spend there at least a good 30 minutes digging deeper and deeper into all kinds of vaguely related articles, eventually hardly remembering why I was visiting Wikipedia in the first place. I'm not saying you should remove inline linking, but do consider that this might be an unwanted side effect.
Scope of "the industry": I think you mentioned somewhere to only focus on the big publishers. I guess you must draw a line somewhere. I have two comments regarding this. In the first chapter there's hardly any mention of Nintendo (other than a comment about Zelda here and there), which in general releases completely different games than are released on the other consoles. Secondly, there are also game releases outside these big publishers which are just as or perhaps even more successful with the public, it seems unfair to completely disregard online publishers such as Zynga, Gree and highly successful independent studios such as PopCap, Mojang and Rovio. Particularly because they release completely different types of games as the big publishers. At some point in chapter 1 you also refer to a list of "non-mainstream" games, implying that only the games from these major publishers are mainstreams, which I completely disagree with. Most games released by these major publishers are quite niche compared to game franchises on the mobile and browser space.
Comments on Chapter 1:
Facts?: The very first sentence of "kill or be killed" is immediately the most controversial in the entire article, imho. You say "less popular genres like puzzle, party, managerial and sports". Do you have figures for this? I would argue that managerial has been the most popular genre in the last three years. A substantial amount the games on Facebook and mobile phones are managerial and they are incredibly popular. Yearly iterations of FIFA and PES reach the top of the charts year after year as well in Europe. When I sit in the train commuting to work roughly half the people are playing games on their phone about which a large majority are puzzle games. I don't think violent games are most popular with the public. It does seem to have higher marketing budgets in mainstream channels though. Later you refer to story based games, in which case you are spot on. Most games that focus around a story do seem to focus excessively around violence.
Stealth You mention Alpha Protocol being the only new game/franchise with a stealth only path. Dishonored should now be added to that list. Also, judging from articles on Rock Paper Shotgun, stealth does seem to be in a sort of revival. Though, as you later also mention marketing still focuses on the optional violent pathways in those games.
No fear: Might be interesting to mention that in Deus Ex when enemies get substantial damage they will fall back and try to get out of harm's way. Also I think here you're looking at games too much as some sort of simulation of reality. Enemies that run away or hide from the player when it's already clear that the player has won, simply aren't any fun from a game mechanical point of view. The same way it wouldn't be fun to have enemies that sneak up behind you undetectably and blow your brains out. Or enemies that throw insta-death grenades that explode on impact instead of using a fuse just long enough for the player to throw it back. Reality often isn't fun to play.
Avoiding violence: My most memorable moment regarding this is skipping the entire final boss battle in Planescape: Torment, because my character's intelligence and charisma were high enough to resolve the situation diplomatically.
Humankind against Aliens: You state "most likely due to the success of [the] Halo franchise". What about Duke Nukem 3D, Unreal, Quake II and the hundreds of others that were released before Halo? I'd scrap that sentence altogether.
Halo: "The last Halo games, Reach". Outdated, no longer the last.
Shooting civilians is bad: You quote part of an interview with Battlefield 3 executive producer in which he states that civilians are absent to prevent the player from doing bad things (shooting them). You don't comment on this, but my first reaction is that while shooting unarmed civilians might be worse, shooting armed people isn't exactly good...
OFLC: You mention Australia's game banning. Although I didn't follow it too closely I think there had been a ruling to allow 15+ games to be sold (at least in some of the territories). Might be worth mentioning.
Psychology: I don't agree about the whole "Aggression" stance of the quoted psychologist. When playing shooters I only feel aggression sporadically when the game makes it (in my experience) unfairly tough on me. This has nothing to do with the violence in the game, as I have the seem feeling if, for example, Tetris makes it unfairly tough on me or when a violence-free Point & Click adventure makes a puzzle incredibly obscure. Yes games can make me aggressive at times, but I personally don't see the relation between that aggression and the level of violence in the game.
Film: While your point is valid that children are better of learning valuable life lessons and that children are unlikely to pick those up from games, I thought your example was a bit silly because a troubled youth from a bad neighbourhood is much more likely to watch Rambo IV (or another violent blockbuster movie just as shallow as a game) than La Haine.
"even if [in the] F.E.A.R. series enemy soldiers are"
"An usual criticism" (A usual)
"Space Nazy" (Nazi)
"Conflict zomes" (zones)
"although nothing that has not be[en] done before and better"
"violence can be used for the shake of a good narrative-based experience" (sake)
"It's not surprising that there are so many examples of t[he] genre"
"the player could felt the impact" (feel)
"So did Mafia II[,] although"
"In the censored version the blood is scarce and the bodies disappear and to remove the dismemberment of zombies" (and zombies can no longer be dismembered (?))
That's all on chapter 1. I hope this is useful to you.
What medium? and In-line further reading hyperlinks: This is a bit of a tough spot here. The book is designed as a compendium in that it tries to condense as much information as possible to be used as a reference text to check when you need organized information of a certain trend. Because of that it easily derives into a structure of fact after fact. I've also been told that the narrative is difficult to follow, that the reader may easily lost track of the topic at hand. I'm not sure this can be solved. If I explain with details what lies behind each link, the length of the book can easily double. I'm keeping an eye on narrative flow and I'll keep an eye on whether some hyperlinks can use some more explanation. But I'm afraid doing it right will require another general read of all the book, so, if it can be solved/improved, it won't be for now.
Scope of "the industry": Solved the lack of references to Nintendo. I argue that cartoon violence, which is very common in Nintendo titles, should be considered for the analysis too as it uses the same game mechanics. I haven't put much though on it (is a small paragraph), but I'll leave it at that unless someone challenges that. As for the second part, I'm not sure what to make with it. I have tried to avoid mobile and facebook games as much as possible since I'm quite lost on that field. I'll give it a thought.
Fact?: This one is actually giving me a headache. If you go to vgchartz.com and look at the best sellers of each console, it is obvious that the Nintendo consoles have as many if not more non-violent games (notice that I count cartoon violence as violence too). They have sold much more than I thought. However, shooters are still the most popular genre and the catalog of the PS3+Xbox360+PSP seem to counterbalance the non-violent catalog of the Nintendo consoles. As for Facebook+mobile, to be honest, I have no idea about those markets and my plan was to pretend they did not exist as much as possible after I finish the book. Besides, there is not much data coming from there either except for really successful titles or general numbers. Now I'm trying to see how can I reword the popularity discourse to acknowledge the Nintendo (not that much of an) oddity. What about "traditionally less popular genres"?
Stealth: IMPORTANT. I decided two months ago to close content at October of this year. I still don't know how to manage it (if I should let some info slip in or just pretend time stopped two months ago), but read the book assuming it was released on October 1st.
No fear: First, two things. I'm not saying all games need to be realistic and not all games need to be fun (yes, I'm on that frame of thought). But I also don't believe that it is that difficult to create fun gameplay with more realistic behavior. You can have territorial enemies that only attack when you get close, enemies that you have to defeat, but escape from you, enemies that flee from you just to call for help, fauna that is just cosmetic and flees from loud noises, enemies that you have to subdue instead of killing, overpowered enemies that you better not disturb. I think there is a lot of margin and potential for varied confrontational gameplay that is also fun.
Psychology: Good observation. I don't know enough about psychology, but I think the key is on the symbolism of a game. For your brain, maybe at an instinct level, I don't think it is the same to "defeat" a bunch of Tetris pieces, than to defeat characters with human forms or human personalities or with "life" in general.
I have addressed the rest of the points too and the updated chapter is already up. Now for chapter 2.
(Edited by vedder (18883), Nov 25, 2012)Re: General Comments on chapter 1
vedder (18883), Nov 25, 2012
As for the hyperlinking, I think that mostly it's not an issue but at various times in chapter 1 at least (slightly less so in chapter 2) I was speculating to much as to what could be seen in the linked video. If you, as you say keep an eye out on hyperlinks that could use some more explanation I'm sure it'll be much better.
Scope/facts: It's o.k. to leave mobile and browser gaming out of the equation if you're unfamiliar with them, but I'd state that in an obvious way in the article. Make sure the reader understands that you'll only be looking at Major consoles and retail PC games. I think non-violent managerial/sim-games and puzzle games are in the majority on those platforms, but of course they too have their fair share of violent titles. I don't have numbers to back this up anyway. A year or so ago (during the height of Zynga's Facebook empire) I did keep track of AppData.com, to see the number of monthly active users on their and competitors games. Those numbers were mostly for managarial/sim-games and reached beyond 100,000,000.
(Edited by vedder (18883), Nov 25, 2012)Re: Survey: Sins of the Industry
vedder (18883), Nov 20, 2012
Borderlands 2: There was quite some uproar about this game due it sexism. Firstly because one of the people doing PR referred to a player class with an ability to change missed shots to hits as the "girlfriend mode". Another for the inclusion of Ellie, which presents the complete opposite from normal female portrayal in games, but isn't any less sexist because of that.
Marketing vs developers: You mention in relation to marketing shots of Lara Croft that "the characterization that developers and publishers have in mind is that of a femme fatale". Maybe it's a liberal use of the word developer, but I doubt that actual game developers get anywhere close to the marketing material in AAA franchises. So I doubt marketing material says a lot about what the developers had in mind.
Also on the subject of Lara Croft: for the next installment of the series, the developers have hired Rhianna Pratchett for the narrative and characterization of Lara. Might be worthwhile to see if a woman's touch will change anything about the series.
Mother: You mention that In Red Faction Armageddon the protagonist refers to the female AI as "mother". I haven't played this game, but couldn't this simply be a reference to the film Alien?
Hints to further chapters: At a couple times in this chapter you hint at things to come in next chapters, which is fine, but at least in one particular instance you write as if the reader is already familiar with that section: "In the case of the power-ups, it is obvious that this is no more than a gameplay-oriented plot device". The power-ups aren't further explained in this paragraph, but apparently there's some sexist element to them that totally eludes the reader for now.
Healthy, athletic and good looking Caucasian heterosexual males: While I agree with most about everything in this chapter, I was kind of waiting on a paragraph about the presentation of men. But it never came. When you mention that women aren't the only ones misrepresented in games you mention people of other backgrounds, creeds and disabilities are also misrepresented. True, but what you also say that "healthy, athletic and good looking Caucasian heterosexual males" aren't misrepresented. Which I don't agree with. Sure, in number they make up by far the largest portion of all character models in games, but I don't see them any less stereotyped. You can hardly ask me to take Duke Nukem as my role model. In fact I find it very hard to think of any game characters (male, Caucasian, etc.) that felt like they were actual persons. Pretty much all of them were mindless sociopaths without any emotion that will kill or destroy anything on their path without giving it a second thought. Being a healthy, non-athletic (alas) and (arguably) good looking Caucasian heterosexual male I have never encountered any male character in a game which I could relate to at all. 99% are just shallow husks, the others didn't come close to anything you might find in a book or film where they did exceed in creating characters that feel like real people.
Causality: In the conclusion you speak about three distinctive types of harassment which you link with the major issues described in this chapter through causality. One of the links you make is "using female sexual activity as an insult" to "sexual activity of women is demeaning or morally wrong (femme fatale)". I don't quite see a direct link between having femme fatales in a game and using female sexual activity as an insult. You will need to expand on this if you wish to keep this argument.
"However, none of the police and tracuers" (traceurs)
"even if she is the Captain of the squad and the responsible of the mission" (lose capital c in Captain) (...and responsible for the mission)
"However, as some sort of gesture of disapproval, the scriptwriters of these games throw a sacrifying male character so the female protagonist cannot have a satisfactory victory." (throw in) (sacrificing) (character, so)
"In MoM, the..." (this sentence has 7 commas in it, and is unsurprisingly completely unreadable :)
"and her behavior or even posses..." (poses)
"...the marketing shots[,] the characterization that developers..."
"Fi in Skyward Sword in the game of the same name," (?? no idea what you're trying to say here)
"and end[s] up being a powerful enemy"
"as by game develoeprs" (developers)
"Not only a "hottest video game babes" section is/was a must-have in mainstream game web[site]s" (not only is/was a...)
"The spanish web[site] of the series"
"a species without gender consisting on" (consisting of)
And as subjective as this may sound, they all seem [more] fashion oriented in their clothes than men,"
"More than the average, and one of them is..." (Missing context: You mention 4 women in the game and say this is more than the average. As you don't mention the number of characters in the game this could be 4 out of a million for all I know.)
"Both elements are explained in [the] section Plot Engineering in [the] chapter about" (not sure if this is correct, but sounds more proper to me as a non-native speaker)
"it is left clear that marketing people us[e] sexist tools"
"However, they are only two and they can only fight each other," (there are only two) (if you were to write it full out it would now say "However, they are only two women", which is a rather sexist statement ;)
"of the people working on videa games" (video)
"designed to highlight the sexual appealing of these characters" (appeal)
"demographic that does no[t] coincide with"
"as if sexually suggesting to the viewer." (not sure if this is a proper sentence)
"Art is supposed to make culture to improve" (culture improve)
"which means hundreds[—]if not thousands by now[—]of examples"
Presentation of males: This one is empty (?).
Borderlands 2: I discarded the "girlfriend mode" at the time, not sure why. I'll pass on the Ellie thing because... *sigh*, at least they are trying, :P
Marketing vs developers: Yep!, this is very speculative territory. My opinion is that, as a field or medium industrializes, the relation between creators and the marketers of a product thins down as these last ones gain more and more control of the creative process. Some developers adopt the frame of mind of marketing and others just do what they are told. In any case, I have reworded that part to avoid speculation.
Mother: I don't remember that part of Aline, but in this situation it's an annoyed "mother", as in "can I have fun now?".
Healthy, athletic and good looking Caucasian heterosexual males: I may have painted myself against a corner with that excessively detailed sentence. It was supposed to be just a summary of how video game characters tend to be, to contrast it with what one can find in an average community. By the way, if you think of it, the chapter on Violence and the section on heroism and individuality in chapter on Manipulation can be seen as the stereotype on male characters. Perfect, I'll write that into the problematic paragraph.
Causality: Actually, it is a weak link since the definition of femme fatales in gaming is less "female who uses sex for personal agenda" than in other mediums. The idea is that traditional female roles say that they should not be sexually active and that the women that are are so because they are using men for their own benefit. In video games, females can only be sexually active through the role of femme fatale, which is traditionally considered a negative role. I have reworded it a little bit, but I can't do much without ruining the elegance of the analysis, ;)
presentation of males: forgot to delete this. It's covered in the healthy, athletic... section
Mother: probably no link then.
Apparently they're not making it easy on her
I'm reading some of the messages on that #1reasonwhy campaign and the situation seems really screwed even for female developers. I guess it will improve as the numbers and their power grow, but it is hard to realize that it only takes a male majority on a group of professionals to just forget about the existence and the respect due to females, :( Here in Europe I think it's a little bit better, though, although computer related professions still have a bad reputation on this issue.
Gee, I'm really surprised... 21st century, white-collar working environment - educated tech-oriented professionals... I expected game devs to be bespectacled geeks who are shy towards girls?
I thought jerks are found in marketing, HR and management? ;D
After entering all those credit listings: most HR positions in game companies seem to be filled by women.
Speaking about women as developers, I found this website: Dames Making Games.
Then how about convincing her to write on that website that indie developers should be adding their games/bios/websites to Mobys, because it's free and it won't hurt, and we don't have draconian notability policy like Wikipedia?
I just added her in a credit last night, so I don't have high hopes 8)
Ah, but I also played accordion at her birthday party a decade ago.
(Edited by vedder (18883), Dec 02, 2012)Re: Survey: Sins of the Industry
vedder (18883), Dec 02, 2012
Saviour of the World: After finishing this section I didn't really have a clue as to what your point was. This section is nothing more than an (accurate) observation that most game stories revolve around saving the world. And while this concept is expanded in further sections (supersoldier, chosen one, trueman show), the exact point remains elusive. Are you critiquing the lack of creativity in overarching stories, or pointing to how the player is lured into the game by being empowered. Overall I felt (though this may be a personal opinion) that the first couple sections could be significantly shortened (and/or moved to the creativity section which is referred to). Then the chapter could focus more on the skinner box and compulsion sections.
Compulsion: Some informational insight that might be helpful to you. More and more publishers want to see so-called "compulsion loops" from the developer. I.e. a reasoned flow chart that shows the compulsive motives of the player in the game. This is particularly the case with persistent and freemium games. One of the monetization principles behind those types of games is that the more the player plays the game and the further he gets into the game the more emotional attachment (s)he has with game and thus the more likely the player becomes to spend money in the game (through microtransactions, subscriptions, DLC). Hence the compulsive collections, skinnerboxing, etc. that you describe in your game. The "compulsion loop" typically shows what the player will try to aim at as his goal, what he has to do to get it and which new goals that will trigger for him. (e.g.: I want to have the rocket launcher, I need money for it, money is earned with kills. I need 1000 kills. There's an achievement for 2000 kills. While killing I found 4 sniper rilfe parts, 10 parts make a sniper rifle. I now have my rocket launcher, but I really want to finish that sniper rifle to... Ooh I just found armor part 1 of 20) The idea is that there's always a new carrot on a stick right in front of the player to drive him to continue. If a player reached a goal he set for him then he might stop playing which from a monetization point of view is the worst thing that could happen.
Cow Clickers: It's of note that 99% if not all Freemium games have RPG elements (experience bars and leveling up)
Farmville: On a side note: You mention having to harvest crops one by one in Farmville. Interestingly in Farmville 2 this is no longer the case. You can swipe the mouse over your fields to harvest everything in one click. I wonder why they changed this as the tractors were surely a good means of monetization (I saw quite a number of farms that had one).
Network leaderboards: "There will often be a network leaderboard". Then you give two examples, of which only one has it. 50% of two examples is hardly a solid case :)
"This is the case with games like Bad Company series, Modern Warfare series or Battlefield 3" (and Battlefield 3)
"Battl[e]field 3 begins as the run of the mill..."
"Spartans from Greek history Others are" (???)
"the player is only supposed to do what [he/she's] told"
"has always being used" (been used)
"even with different architectures, flora and orography" (Don't thin this is a correct use of the word, I'd use 'landscapes')
"This type of games" (these types of games)
"In the best cases the amount of collection items is large[,] ensuring [—]at least [—] a varied activity while playing."
"But, in general" (In general. Starting sentences with but is considered bad practice)
"The game allows for all kind of decoration items too, aswell as" (items, as well as)
"EA's iOS [game] Simpson's" (EA's iOS game Simpsons. No apostrophe)
"spamming or real life money." (spamming on spending) (isn't there a better term than real life money?)
"farm points" (isn't it just called experience points in Farmville?)
"are forced to harvest crop[s] one by one"
"eventually played for more than" (by more than)
"some of who[m]"
"and most of them buying the paid game and three expansions (1, 2, 3), any possible calculation of profits" (Note that profit is revenue - costs, as you have no idea to what the development and maintenance costs of WoW are, I think you mean revenue)
"Around 50% of [the] participants"
"an extra motivation to complete each game" (the motivation is to complete the achievements meta-game, not the game itself)
"A great practical example one how" (on how)
"The chapter has began" (chapter began)
"and has then moved" (and then moved)
"SP experiences ... MP is based" (Spell out, this isn't a text message)
Saviour of the World: Yes, the structure of chapter 3 is a mess. It still will be subject to a major revision later on, though. The part on MP needs much more documentation and only the conclusions on the SP part are written. For now, I have tried to make the SP part a bit more self contained, so the reader does not need to wait for the conclusions to understand why it is there. I recognize that the themes of the chapter are difficult to tie with one another, but I like the idea of a chapter about how video games are designed to keep the players coming back. Besides, it fits wonderfully in the narrative of the book. It makes a final stance about the homogenized themes present in the industry and repeats and reminds the structure of chapters on Violence and Sexism for bigger effect. Then it introduces the second part of the book that is more focused on the monetization and on what does it mean for the medium to be a business.
But yes, it really needs more cohesion of topics. Better narrative paragraphs and more inter-references between sections. the structure stays, but it will be reworked.
By the way, section A Winner Is You was awfully written, I have had to revise it all and rewrite many sentences, :P
Compulsion: Interesting paragraph. I especially like the concept of "compulsion loop". When I return to the chapter I will see if I can use it to complete some of the ideas. I may ask you for a citation if I use most of it. In any case, it would be very helpful if you can put these ideas in the mouth of experts. You know the typical article on gamasutra or the likes of maybe a psychologist or an honest exploitative developer. I see you are a game designer too. Do you consider yourself expert enough to be cited by name? I still don't know where to put this paragraph, but give it a thought.
Farmville: My theory is that Farmville was a bubble of player exploitation. They found a monetization method for which the medium was not ready and they took it as far as possible. Their success brought a lot of "me too"-s and eventually the exploitation methods had to be softened as the audience was getting more aware and tired of them. In fact, although I don't read much about this trend, I have the impression that PR has focused a lot in recent years in the idea that "the Farmville model was clearly evil, but we are nothing like that, we want to make proper games!".
Network leaderboards: Yes, yes, section Better than someone is barely complete at this point, :P
By no means do I consider myself an expert on this. I've never been asked specifically to make a compulsion loop myself (though in essence core mechanic loops are usually not that different, except that compulsion loops focus more on coming back to the game (at least in my understanding of the term)), but I know of at least one person who had to make one. Plus the fact that it became quite a buzzword a while ago have led me to believe that more and more publisher wanted to see those. I don't have any facts to back this up, so I prefer not to be quoted on this. For more on compulsion loops you might have a look at Gamasutra. This article for example has a decent definition of what it is (although I do prefer "carrot on a stick" myself!). This opinion piece also has some interesting things to say about them. Particularly true is his statement about compulsion loops being nothing truly new.
(Edited by vedder (18883), Dec 15, 2012)Re: Survey: Sins of the Industry
vedder (18883), Dec 15, 2012
General: Having read up to and including this chapter there have been dozens of games mentioned in a relation to one or more of the "sins" handled in the book. But it's hard for the reader to get a clear overview of the extent of these sins. I think it would be nice to have (as an appendix at the end of the book) to have a table listing games referenced on one axis, and the sins handled in the book on the other axis, then the cells can be coloured for example green, red and yellow (or blank if unknown) depending on whether the sin is encountered in that particular game. That might be quite a lot of work but does give some invaluable quantitative data to possibly further strengthen the points you are trying to make.
Numbers in text: Starting in the section console wars you start using numbers in the text (6 months, 2 years, 3 new characters, 9 games, 6 years, 6 of them, 4 years, at least 12 of 20, 10 years). I believe the general rule of thumb in English is two write out every whole number below thirteen. Prices and dates are an exception of course.
Guitar Hero: You argue that Guitar Hero games were too expensive. When Activision axed the franchise last year they apparently stated that the game was just too expensive for them due to licensing costs for the music. This could of course be taken with a grain of salt since they are probably comparing it with CoD, which sold more and carried no licensing costs. And there were also legal battles they had to fight (or was that Rock Band?) If you look at the tracklist of Guitar Hero for example there are well over 50 songs in the game. At a going rate of 99 cents on iTunes, it looks like the game is actually quite cheap compared to buying music. You are basically getting the game for free.
Casual Gaming: Casual gaming seems to be one of those terms for which everyone has a different meaning. One I found particularly accurate is that casual games are games in which the player doesn't need to learn or remember anything. No matter if the player logs in for the first time, or after 20 years of absence, he/she can immediately start playing again using things he already knows from elsewhere (I can click/touch things on my screen, things that look sparkling are good, green button is the correct choice). This makes only certain types of games casual-enabled. You can't make a traditional fighting game or competitive strategy game like StarCraft casual, because a large part of the game is spent learning things that aren't explicit in the game. Strategy, tactics, muscle memory. You can't have such elements as part of the core experience in casual games because then you are scaring away a large part of the demographic. This doesn't mean however that you can't have those elements at all in casual games, but you have to put them on the side line so that only people explicitly interested in them pick them up and they don't scare away people who aren't interested at all. Your "Short Term Memory" section ties into this. This is clearly a case of casual mechanics seeping into hardcore games. Casual gamers thought the industry that if they stop playing for a bit and then return but forgot things that they were expected to remember, they will stop playing and never look back. Someone who stops playing isn't going to buy DLC, in-app purchases, or a sequel. So from that point of view it's better to hold his/her hand to throw him/her in the deep.
Save games: You mention that "the reason" for checkpoint saving systems is console storage room. While this certainly plays a part. But as you mention later on this isn't an issue on modern consoles yet they still use it. One of the reasons (aside from consumers having gotten used to it) for this is because manual game saving is meta gameplay and can break the immersion of your game. You aren't truly immersed in the storyline or character you are playing if you're constantly thinking if now is tactical time to press the quicksave button.
Customizable controls: Speaking of quicksaving. The number of games that don't let you reconfigure the quicksave and load key has lowered in the last few years, but is still annoyingly high. And worse yet, I game lefthanded, so I don't use WASD but the arrow keys. Many shooters nowadays require the use of more buttons than there are conveniently located around the arrow keys (control, shift, \, delete, end, page down, NP4, NP1, NP0). Also there are many games in which keypad keys are either not bindable, will bind but you can't use them unless you bound them while numpad was off during binding, or can only be bound using the cfg file and not in-game). I had major issues with this with AAA titles such as Modern Warfare and Dead Space. Both console ports obviously.
Prompts: In the short term memory section you mention Battlefield using prompts for common actions. Here you mention picking up a weapon/ammo and grabbing a grenade (among others). I find these examples poor because usually these objects are outside of you view (on the floor) so you don't see them. The prompts are valuable feedforward that there's something to do at your current location for which there is no clear in-world visual cue.
Tutorial lengths: In the Wii and DS section you specify in minutes the length of the tutorial sections, but for the shooter section you suddenly stop doing that.
Versatility: in the iPhone case study you mention the poor effort of major publishers have shown on new platforms. This is simply the nature of big companies. Big companies are good at what they do now. They are never good at changing direction. Because there are layers upon layers of management and shareholders and thousands of employees to think about. It's logical that small indie games come with more original ideas more suited to the platform. Large companies are like huge cargo freighters, they are good at what they do, but they can't quickly change course. That's the reason why you still hardly see free to play games on Xbox or PS3 even though they've proven immensely popular on all other platforms. It's still seeping through layers and layers of managers, share holders, divisions and stake holders. They have grown so gargantuan that they simply lack versatility.
Confusing sales numbers: you mention different sales numbers for Crysis, first an unsources 1.5 million then 4.5 with source but then continue to use 1.5
Last paragraph: I don't like DRM either, but lets play devil's advocate: Doesn't the fact that heavily DRMed games still sell multiple millions mean that most consumers simply don't mind and that those you see complaining on the internet are just a tiny vocal minority? Nobody is forced to buy or play these games.
"(more on [this in the] Case Study: Crysis section)"
"an option not present unless the game run under Vista" (ran)
"This makes Dark Souls, falsh games aside, probably the only [triple A] PC game [from a major publisher] in decades with a fixed resolution" (I find that a rather bold statement, I've played multiple indie games that only feature a fixed resolution)
"practically non-playable" (unplayable)
"designed for a 720x576 [pixel resolution]"
"but it has annoyances of its own." (good example of place where the link should be explained upon in text)
"Gamers would eventually give up[,] switching to another console or returning to PC" (to another gaming platform)(Who said they were pc gamers in the first place?)
"usually render this non-working" (render the device non-working)
"was products to buy at that prices" (were ... those)
"exclusives in their console" (on their)
"date of release in the Xbox 360" (on)
"Unless said otherwise, the prices of the games mentioned are the highest in the platform" (on the platform; also I had to read this sentence a couple times until I understood what you meant to say. It would be wise to explain here to the reader that different consoles (traditionally) use fixed price points for games and what these price points are for the mentioned consoles.
"while offering the less content" (least)
"this three games, share all this elements" (these, these)
"themselves, share all this elements" (these)
"of the Playstation" (on the PlayStation)
"the MSRP [(Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price)] is"
"In the big platforms[—]additionally...weight[—]we have series like" (on the big)
"previous game[, such] as"
"are is used for the sequel" (are used)
"And, finally," (Finally,)
"the use occur[s] within"
"the concept of downloadable content [(DLC)]" (since after this point you refer to it by its abbreviation)
"$70€" (pick one!, this is repeated a couple of times in the sentences below. Also I don't know about the rest of Europe, but here we put the € symbol in front of the number, not behind.)
"popular in mobile phones" (on)
"cannot even from ledges" (hang from ledges?)
"In the manual saving system" (The manual saving system)
"in horror games too, w[h]ere immersion"
"with interactive elements [that] cannot"
"and a genre that is tracked back to 1992 with Wolfenstein 3D" (First Person shooters are much older than that, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_person_shooter#History )
"and mastered the controls" (master the controls)
"Xana solves some heavily implies" (Xana heavily implies)
"there is no big names" (are)
"Gameloft or ngmoco" (and)
"(without a single remarkable original concept, though)" Speculative, you can't prove this
"a port of the Nintendo 64 for with" (Nintendo 64 version with)
"none goes beyond" (below)
"10 years old at the time of release than the games they were recycled from." (ten years old at the time of re-release.)
"Chronno Trigger" (Chrono (Twice in the article))
"New Zeland" (Zealand)
"and adss a few of its own, $40," (of its own ($40)) also this goes on to finish mid sentences.
"aside of the games" (from)
"And make it three the number of programs running in the background if it is a copy bought from Steam" (And make the number of programs running in the background three if it is a copy bought through Steam)
"no lean[ing]" (I presume?)
"its prequel" (predecessor. A prequel is a sequel which depicts events that are earlier chronologically (like Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.)
"into promotion the game" (promoting)
"And Microsoft certainly give" (gave)
General: Nice idea. Although, I'm thinking more on a table that can be used as an index to find all the section in which a game is mentioned, the cells could feature the name of the sections the game appears on. I'll think about adding colors too. Putting now this idea in my increasingly unstable pile of "things to make when the book is fully written".
Numbers in text: No idea why that happened. However, I'm tempted to use numerics in some paragraphs with a lot of numbers to be followed. For example, the paragraph about Guitar Hero. Numerics kind of make the reading more fluid and easy to understand when there is a lot important numbers in the reasoning. Have just found this, boy are there rules for this!
Guitar Hero: Hmmm, let me think about this one. It is interesting because I also criticize Activision in chapter 5 for firing developers of the series after having forced them to specialize in what was clearly a bubble. The general thesis of this particular section is that games should cost less than full price when their content is clearly recycled from previous games. They cost less to produce because an important part of the game is already done. You can also argue that the buyers receive less value since there is less innovation. Even if we are talking about games with licensed content I think the argument still holds. If anything, it may have happened that music copyright holders just started asking more for the licenses, which basically transfers part of the blame from Activision to them. But the price is still too high in terms of real (as opposed to inflated licensing) production costs.
And even if the songs cost the same as in iTunes, the question is, can you take a GH song and put it in other media devices? If the answer is "no" you are buying songs for different uses, which makes the prices not exactly equivalent.
Save games: By the way, I wonder if it would be so difficult to design a save system that basically records your whole campaign and then allows you to rewind to whatever point in the campaign you want. I mention this in chapter 6, if Carmaggedon was able to record a whole race (I'm pretty sure it was) with hundreds of pedestrians in the map more than 15 years ago, it should not be that difficult with most of games today.
Tutorial lengths: Different argumentation.
Wait, you were not supposed to read Case studies yet, it was another part of the chapter, :/ I was considering merging this part with the first part and I left it there apparently. Not sure if it was there, but I have just finished a case study of Kinect that you may not have read properly. I'm releasing it soon.
As for Crysis numbers, 4.5 are all time Crysis+Crysis Warhead, Crysis alone sold 3 million and I think 1.5 was at the moment Crytek complained about sales. I'll give it a look to improve understanding.
(Edited by Somebody bring me Sisko! (8), Dec 31, 2012)Re: Survey: Sins of the Industry
Somebody bring me Sisko! (8), Dec 31, 2012
Rules indeed. Apart from employing vedder as editore economico, you should consider obtaining a good style guide of the English language, preferably AE if you decide to stick with a single flavor.
EDIT: But keep the serial comma, pls
EDIT: But keep the serial comma, pls
If the serial comma is what the Wikipedia says it is, I am afraid it is not in my personal style guide.
Visualizing data: In my previous comment section I already touched visualizing data from all the games. In this particular section there's a summing up in the third paragraph of lots of numbers. This doesn't read well and is much better presented as a graph. or table.
Reviews: Couldn't remember if it was already mentioned in other chapters or not, but the things about reviews I don't agree with are the so called media blackouts and exclusives. Often the press gets the chance to play the game, but not publish about their experience until after a certain deadline set by marketing. In addition certain magazines or online reviewing outlets are often granted exclusivity rights. This usually means they get to play and/or publish their stories sooner than others. I don't think this promotes fair reviewing processes. Having an exclusive is very valuable for a magazine or website to have because it'll generate sales/traffic respectively. If the magazine will give the game a low grade, they can be sure to kiss goodbye any future exclusivity rights so guess what they're not going to do?
Franchises: You mention books, films, comics, gambling machines, but what about toys, apparel, board/card games, etc?
"using that grant [to] build your own business"
"close to a 1/2" (close to a half. Same for all the further uses in this sentence)
"less than a 1/2 articles, eurogamer.com" (articles is underlined for some reason and eurogamer isn't a link like the others and also doesn't have a percentage listed)
"people is slowly accepting" (are)
"this list from Gamespot from 2009" (something like "dated 2009" to prevent repetition of words)
"but the first games was called Wolfenstein 3D" (first game. Also this isn't strictly true as the first game was called "Castle Wolfenstein". Should probably be reworded to say "first game in this First Person Shooter series was called Wolfenstein 3D")
"naming of [the] Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit subseries"
"Also [the] Devil May Cry series"
"from previous games it would [be] called DmC"
"and this are not only sold" (these)
"This kind tend[s] to be"
"This is the case of" (for)
"There is various ideas" (are)
"Wing Commander or Double Dragon" (and)
"as sequels [are] practically a given"
"games greenlighted based on" (greenlit)
"pointless prequel" (pointless is rather subjective)
"Sometimes, it will enjoy junk food, others, it will" (Sometimes it will enjoy junkfood, other times it will)
Visualizing data: I'll consider it. I'm afraid of what problem will it generate to try and create tables on html, though.
Reviews: Seventh chapter is about the press, I have copied this text there to consider it later.
Franchising: Well, it's a mix of ignorance, time constraints and, most importantly, the difficulty of saying something meaningful about the other types of merchandising. movies I know well, books and comic books I only mention to encourage the reader with knowledge to draw her/his own conclusions and slot machines I mention because their unethicality is easier to prove. With movies it is obvious that they are a cash-in, with slot machines more so, because how the hell does that type of "cross-media" improve the franchise at all, with books and comic books I imagine similarly happens, but I don't know. Anything else would require a lot of work and, most likely, a lot of wild guesses.
"pointless prequel" (pointless is rather subjective): The thesis here is that franchises are unnecessarily expanded from an "elevated" (basically, any other reason that is not "make more money") point of view. They are generally unnecessary for the most part because the gameplay is rather similar and the stories and characters are often so flat that they rarely deserve any expansion. It is subjective, but this section deals with creativity (and just wait for chapter 6), so it is unavoidable. Besides, prequels are generally more unnecessary than sequels, so I think it fits as an emphasis.
slot machines I mention because their unethicality is easier to prove. With movies it is obvious that they are a cash-in, with slot machines more so, because how the hell does that type of "cross-media" improve the franchise at all
The Tolkien family estate just took the Hobbit film financiers to court for making Hobbit slot machines: when we said you could make a movie out of our book, it was not implied that rights to manufacture slot machines were included.
It's 2012, we live in a very visual culture. No "considering it" bullshit, just do it.
Oh lawd. Right into the pool of cheap commodities. Don't.
P.S.: I forgot already, do you plan to sell it? In what (electronic) form? What software/tools do you use for writing and research?
Somebody bring me Sisko! Wrote:
I expect the "visual people" to have fled from the book already at this point.
Somebody bring me Sisko! Wrote:
I have just remembered that that part of the book is supposed to have a satirical tone, so cheapness is allowed, :P
Somebody bring me Sisko! Wrote:
No commercial release, it won't even have a license. The format will be .html, I guess .pdf or .ps too and it will be released exactly where it is now and through torrent files. For writing LibreOffice, for research the internet. I'm not sure if you were expecting something more sophisticated?
I don't follow.
I see. For me, satire as a form and part of (a) critical analysis doesn't leave much room for ambiguity, though.
No expectations at all, just simple curio. How's your feedback elsewhere, if I may ask?
Somebody bring me Sisko! Wrote:
The book is quite dense, nobody who reaches this far will be turned around by the paragraph vedder was referring to.
Somebody bring me Sisko! Wrote:
I have included the word "exaggerated" to describe that section, so readers recognize the change of tone easier. However, I must say that I consider that satire very close to reality.
Somebody bring me Sisko! Wrote:
Non-existent, :( I tried in the forums of gog.com and I barely received feedback for the first two chapters. I'll try again when I release chapter 5 and have more themes to draw their attention. I'm also thinking on calling the press after 5 is released.
Collectors: Collecting things is a natural instinct and in modern society manifests itself from collecting football stickers in high school, to collecting stamps or being a hoarder. Collecting things in games is of course also very common (as you touched on in other section). I believe the primary reason for publishers to release different editions in different stores is to cash in on the fact that some consumers will feel their collection is not complete until they have all versions. You can offer a game for $50 and people will buy it. But if you offer two marginally different versions for $50 dollars each additional production costs are negligible, but a fraction of the buyers will suddenly spent double the amount of money. I believe this point was missing from the analysis.
Compulsive Buyers - short period: Trying to sell as many units in as little time as possible stems also from the price of marketing. Marketing campaigns run around launch time and after that they stop because they are expensive. Games (with some exceptions) generally stop selling after marketing stops so yes publishers want to maximize sales in a short period.
Compulsive Buyers - Gamers: While I agree with your statements about marketing using dirty tricks. I'm more appalled by gamers themselves. When push comes to shove they keep getting themselves abused en masse with the same cheap tricks used on them. Pre ordering before reviews are even finished, saying you're never going to buy from publisher X again because drm/support/sequel sucked and then idolize and throw your money all over them again the next time they release a pre-rendered video that's supposed to be in-game footage even though there's no HUD or fixed camera view... Maybe it's the large number of naive teenagers, but I even see such irrational behaviour among 20-40 year old peers.
Videos: I'm not sure about the point you're trying to make with the summation with dates and amounts of videos.
Release delay: You mention with some disbelief how Microsoft/Epic said that Gears of War III was delayed for marketing decisions. I don't see the issue here. Surely when you just spent dozens of millions creating a videogame, you want to release it at the most opportune moment? Clothing shops aren't going to put full price winter coats in their shops in spring either. Creating games is not some kind of charity towards gamers. It's not an entitlement of a gamer to be allowed to play any game that's finished. Creating games is a business like any other. Gamers have shown time after time again that they (bar a tiny minority) have very little interest in games that are older than a month or two. So if market research suggests your target audience is currently playing another game or anticipating another game more it makes sense to wait with the release. Major publishers like Microsoft particularly have to watch out for canibalization of their own market. When releaseing a title like Gears of War they have to take Halo into account as well as most of the target audience overlaps and most of them will nto be able to afford to buy them both.
Gameplay trailers: Unfortunately this has become a marketing term for pre-rendered videos that absolutely do not show any gameplay whatsoever.
Console games running on PCs: At conferences console games run at PCs for two reasons. 1) All games— whether it be PS3, X360, Wii, iOS or Android— are developed on a PC so most of them also run on one. 2) You can make your game look better because the PC can have much better hardware than the console. Helps selling your game.
Backlash: You mention an article about the next console generation will have a problem with appearing better because games will not look better than the fake screenshots/videos gamers have been fed this generation. Well, enter flashy dumb gimmicks like Motion controllers, VR goggles, Kinect, touch screens, smartglass, WiiU's controller, Stereoscopic 3D, etc.
"As a particular" (A particular)
"countdown have come into fashion and consecutive public surfeit as many marketing campaigns have adopted them" (Not sure what this is supposed to say, please rephrase :)
"since they had already seen [it] on TV"
"in another device" (on another)
"on a printed magazine" (in a)
"the day an add on a printed magazine had pointed to before" (verbs don't match with time)
"on the game press?" (in the)
"follow us in Twitter" (on Twitter)
"in an account" (with an account)
"Not the only product team up" (product to team up - on second thought both ways are correct)
"the proper game" (the game in question)
"if they start consuming" (started)
"with a back up of $1 million and and called as the series" (???)
"was only one of the three, all of them paid, way[s] of playing the demo" (three way[s][—] all of them paid[—] of playing the demo)
"was released with 5 different" (five different what?)
"potential customers [to] decide how they are going to play the game"
"3 hours and a half" (3 and a half hours)
"doubt about Ubisoft['s] reasons"
"are not forced [to] meet"
"Another example, ActivisionBlizzard[:] This publisher"
Will address these comments soon (going on vacation for a few days). By the way, chapter 5 is on track, :)
Collectors: Good point. I can't imagine people buying twice a game for small extras, but it is really an unethical practice when you force people to buy the same game more than once to have everything. It would fit as an addendum to the subsection about pre-orders, but I don't remember precisely any case in which this happens with collector's or spetial editions. Do you know of any such case? Do you know of any previous analysis done on this matter? That would help. Besides, I guess their reply would be that that content is eventually released for everyone, which is something that some times happens, but no idea how common it is.
Compulsive Buyers: It all comes to us living in a very consumerist society. If a game is good, it should not be such a problem to keep selling it at a high price for many months. It's a matter that involves an integral change on how things are done. Less games, but better, more complete and more polished could be talked about and sold for full price for long periods. The press could use the time to make deeper analyses of the games, marketing could be replaced by community-based hype slowly building up, developers and the press could talk about the mods and the most popular changes asked by the community or what not. Instead, marketing makes us all believe we have to have the game right the first week after release or else, which is also very useful to boost sales before any major problem arises and such. But, yes, this particular problem has only a very complex and radical solution.
Videos: The goal of the subsection is to show the saturation that marketing produce on the gaming community and some of its ill-effects. The amount of videos is a way of showing this. I have explained the part of the videos a bit more, though.
Release delay: I refer you to the explanation two paragraphs above. Anyway, that particular case of Gears of War 3 is not even acceptable in a situation in which "it's a business" is a good excuse. What I explain there is that Microsoft and Epic Games, after the hyping-machine was full speed, told potential buyers of the game that, for no good reason, the game would be delayed half a year. They did not even apologize for that. And then they released on-disc DLC. Very classy.
Gameplay trailers: More than that, I'd say that many games have reduced their gameplay to sequences of little interaction that look cool on a trailer. And that one is not mine, CliffyB said it more or less on an episode of Bonus Round at gametrailers.com.
Backlash: We'll see in about 4 days, ;)
In the case of big name games, the reasons are different. First of all, sales will be naturally high as long as the game is new enough not to have been cracked. For reasons explained elsewhere, this is becoming less and less of a threat due to always-online regimes.
The main reason for selling many copies in the first week – or even weekend – is not only due to marketing, but part of marketing. Marketing makes a very big deal out of the numbers sold on launch, or the number of pre-orders (which serve the same purpose), which may even grant the game a spot in Guinness' book of world records and further PR buzz. It is also something that the marketing department will not fail to mention when launching the sequel. If you can't reach record sales numbers overall, you can still set a new sales record for first week or day.
Yes, the Dreamcast broke sales numbers for biggest launch weekend, didn't it?
Ordering: You have a section about RealID before the section in which you explain your definition of DRM. The defining section should be the first section
Capital letters: I found the style element where you don't capitalize sentences that start with a bullet point weird.
Trading on Steam: Already currently possible with TF2 items, DOTA 2 Items and DOTA 2 game copies. Presumably this will shortly become more widespread. At the very least in Europe where The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that it should be possible to resell digitally bought games.
Subscribers Agreement: This chapter features a lot of in-depth analyses of Subscriber Agreements. This may be different in the US, but where I live clicking an "I agree"-button is not legally binding. So I doubt it will hold up in court if they radically change anything it says there which is detrimental to customers.
Server capacity: What I don't understand with servers overloading on launch (Diablo III, WoW expansions, Sim City beta) is why companies don't opt for on demand cloud servers for the first week or so of the release. Sure it's more expensive, but it's scalable so that it can cope with as much players as you need. You can always migrate to a more inexpensive server plan after the initial peak. Presumably this is more difficult than I think it is?
Virtual Mall: You mention Steam starting in the storefront and pop-up adds and that they can be turned off. Fair enough, but then you go on about seeing updates for the game on the launch page of the game. That's just whining. I don't see how someone could possibly find it inconvenient to have update information/news on the page where he launches the game. I recommend scrapping the whole part.
Digital Distribution pricing: FYI if I buy a game on steam around launch it usually costs around €50-60. If I buy the same game in local retailers it costs me around €35-40. If I order it through UK/Irish online retailers a brand new game costs me about €30-35 with free shipping. So digital distribution is definitely more expensive. I won't argue with you there. What I do find weird is the following sentence, which seems to be the core of this paragraph: "With all tehse numbers, the prices of Steam should be around $5-10 lower for a $50 game, but they are not."
First of all your numbers are off. Steam also takes a cut of the sales. I'm not sure how much but I'll assume 30% as that's what Microsoft, Sony and Apple take, but it could be less. That makes releasing digitally just as expensive than putting it in a box. Also there's no universal law that says a game is worth €45. That's not how our world works. A game is worth as much as people are willing to pay for it. How many people are taking a cut in the profit is totally irrelevant to how much a customer is willing to pay for it.
Effectiveness of DRM against Internet sharing: Indra was just complaining about Diablo III which I noticed indeed has successfully prevented pirating. Your point is still valid though DRM is mostly ineffective unless you build your entire game around online servers. On a whole it's mostly effective against perfectly legal second hand sales, and they sure as hell know that. I think this couldn't be emphasized enough. Most pirates weren't going to buy your game anyway because they are poor middle grade or university students (or simply living in a country where major publishers don't see a market). Second hand buyers on the other hand show the intent of wanting to spend money and publishers dread more than anything that this money not a dime goes back to them. "Pirating" as reason for DRM is PR Bullshit.
Conclusions: I thought the paragraph about the Sony outage was particularly good! The very last paragraph with the future prediction and community antipathy as well. What you described there sounds very much like *shudder* television. There are few things I dislike more than television. Yet for the majority of people apparently having no control whatsoever over their life is good enough. As gaming becomes less niche it will definitely go into that direction for the masses. I just hope that the niches within gaming that I like remain largely unaffected.
"with their products as if they were what they are not, that is, material, limited in number" (what they are not: material, limited in number)
"how can Blizzard force an user to" (how Blizzard can force a user to)
"but are also unusable after a simple OS change." (after installing a different Windows version) (A GfWL save will definitely be unusable on Linux or Mac)
"it has to be notice[d] that German and Australian laws"
"content they own in their platforms" (on)
"Xbox  users with too many patches"
"installation limits, this limits" (these limits)
"These were the initial days, days of experimentation" (These were the initial days of experimentation)
"to find which systems would the general public endure" (the general public would endure)
"In fact, it is not difficult to find" (it's (don't think you meant to emphasize "is" here))
"So, in summary, DRM removal is still highly uncommon and care should be taken not to interpret as such news about DRM softening." (rephrase this. Had to read it three time before I understood what it said)
"over the players, [the] Internet is certainly"
"started to use [the] Internet"
"on the form of either a background program to spy or" (really weird sentence, rephrase)
"or a multiplayer [mode] that works only through"
"admitting in the cover of the game" (on)
"that the game included software" (includes)
"impressive level of control from the company" (by)
"As for spying programs goes, Valve" (As for spying programs, Valve)
"Not only Valve is not responsible" (Not only is Valve)
"own will, they can also change" (own will. They can also change)
"that they video games" (their)
"has been announced to require [a] permanent online connection too even for [the] single player game [mode]," (connection, even for)
"Therefore, it can be assumed that these practices fall on the category of DRM, since communication with the publisher is required after the game is bought to enjoy a feature of those games, the multiplayer mode." (restate here somewhere that this could easily be handled by the customer)
"of the PS3" (on the PS3)
"there will be content of the game to which the player cannot access" (game which the player)
"without exiting the game whatsoever when a player" (without exiting the game when a player)
"installing a client in their computers" (on)
"This are consumer prices" (these)
"With all this numbers" (these)
"Australia is particularly angry" (Australians are)
"an user" (a user)
"The same happens if it is Valve the one" (if Valve is the one)
"In such [a] case"
"without any access to his/her game" (without access)
"most of Steam games" (most of the games on Steam)
"there is probably many" (there are)
"This does not settles" (settle)
"The games of Mortal Kombat (2011) in particular is proven" (??? what?)
"with Online passes with" (passes for)
"from which they can make a profit." (which they can make a profit on.)
"Epic or Nintendo" (and)
"Access for worldwide scores" (to)
"with the only exception of Green Man Gaming" (with the only exception being)
"in a ridiculous amount of time" (this has me thinking of very much time, yet you mean very little time)
"would be soften[ed] to"
"can be count[ed]:"
"DRM will the sequel feature" (DRM the sequel will feature)
"there has already been 9" (have already been nine)
"works against against" (repeated word)
"Assassin's Creed III is in that platform" (on)
"is announced that that" (repeated word)
"more and more parts of games['] server sider" (side)
"that the game was robbing him [of]"
"people is watching" (are)
"The Kinect. It opens" (The Kinect opens)