We've all seen movies that were ruined by overt product placement. Games can live without that sort of treatment.
But unlike the movie business, games have a limited number of revenue streams (there is no sell-through DVD market) and in an environment squeezed by rising budgets, anything that promises funds straight to the bottom line has got to be a good thing.
Ubisoft's vice president of publishing Jay Cohen is just one in this business, balancing the pros and cons of in-game advertising. Next-Gen.Biz visited Ubi's San Francisco offices to chat about the in-game advertising scene, where it's come from and where it's going...
Atari has called it the equivalent to book burning, while Marc has been quoted as saying "to blame gaming for everything that is inherently wrong in our homes, in our schools and on our streets is much easier to do than to actually figure out ways to fix the systemic problems that exist within our culture."
An appeal has been launched by Atari Australia. Meanwhile, Kart continues to ponder whether his own country will ever grow up. Ironically, Japan has recently introduced a new Adults Only category to its rating system...
In other news ... A study by ABI Research predicts that by 2011, the video gaming industry will double in profit to USD 65.9 billion, on the back of online and mobile titles ... Nintendo has confirmed the original Nintendo DS will be phased out by the NDS Lite over the coming year ... Dave Perry has resigned as head of Shiny Entertainment, on the back of news Atari may sell some of its internal development studios ...
Presenting a list of materials needed for each console, Merrill Lynch analyst Joe Osha pins the highest costs on the Blu-Ray drive used by the system, at $350, and the Cell processor, at $230.
Other components including the NVIDIA RSX chip ($70) and the system's memory ($50) stack up with smaller costs such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips to bring the total to $800 (although Osha's report miscalculates this figure as $900).
Although Osha predicts that the bill of materials cost will fall to $320 within three years, his headline figure is stark - and the report describes the situation in harsh terms, stating bluntly that "it's now clear that the box is prohibitively expensive to make."
Custer's Revenge: This game incites racial hate, genocidal murder and rape of First Nations people. Remove this game from all sales and promotion. Considering lawsuit against any promoters of this game. Requiring that you contact me with a plan of action to cease and desist immediately!
I understand Free Speech and such- but this game is an outright violent racist rape game and I hold the makers, purveyors, and trade pimps responsible for the fact that such attitudes create the fact that 70+% of all violent crimes (including murder & rape) against Native Americans come from "Other" races- FBI statistics. So MobyGames must by default be condoning the use of the game. If it was your spouse on the game... what would you do?
Just because it is "perfectly legal" does not mean it is moral or right i.e. slavery once was such. We can revisit slavery with proper instruction- we don't need to experience it again. We are requesting that this game be dropped from list and mentioned only as a racist relic of a more insensitive recent past.
In my opinion the first statement is quite a stretch. I've never played the game so I am not the last opinion on the matter. The second statement is the one that cracks me up the most. The person writes, "I understand Free Speech and such" then goes on to prove that they in fact do not understand Free Speech. Lastly they go on to state what MobyGames is doing is perfectly legal. Any possible concern over a threat of lawsuit has been greatly diminished by the statement of the writer that MobyGames is within its legal rights. Normally we just ignore these types of things. However, the writer did ask me a question. "If it was your spouse on the game... what would you do?" Other than file for divorce for having lied to me about her violent and pornographic past? Well I would definitely email anyone and everyone who came up in a Google search. After that maybe drool on myself and talk to the underwear gnomes.
Q*Bert has been recognized as the most difficult game to marathon for great lengths of time. Due to its bizarre array of colorful screens, the game play is harder on the eyes than any other game of the "Golden Age" of arcade classics, and countless players have failed to beat the 22-year-old world record of 33,273,520 points set by Bob Gerhardt of Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada on November 28, 1983.
The Challenge Arcade is located at the Berkshire Mall in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. You can find out more about this nuttiness at Twin Galaxies.
Blizzard has written an apology to the makers of a guild in World of Warcraft which welcomed those of the lesbian, gay and bisexual communities, stating it "was an unfortunate interpretation of our current policies, which are currently under review." It's a welcome decision really. The last thing we need is discrimination both in and out of a gaming world ... well, unless you're an Ork...
Sony's God of War collected seven awards at the recent Interactive Achievement Awards, including Game of the Year. Other winners included Guild Wars and City of Villains tying for best Online title, Nintendogs, Battlefield 2 and The Movies. Sadly there was no mention of Playboy: The Video Game...
Speaking of Sony, the company will soon release DVD-UMD releases of certain big name movies. Meaning, you'll get a DVD and a UMD version of the same movie in the one package, at a competitive price. So if you haven't got all four different versions of Daredevil yet, now you can have all six! ... not that it was 'that' bad...
And finally, Microsoft has confirmed Halo 2 will be released as an exclusive for their new Vista operating system. But don't let this announcement fool you ... it may not make Vista run faster...
So I'm curious, how does the Mobygames.com website stack up? One of the goals of our website is to make it readable on Firefoxes and Internet Explorers and laptops and Blackberries and Palmpilots and iPaqs and whatever else processes HTML. But what about screen readers? What about other accessibility features that are used to process standard codes and present them in an useful manner to the visitor? Are there any areas in which Mobygames is lacking? We'd certainly like to know.
This also gets me wondering about the different experience game players have with different disabilities and abilities. Certainly many games are pushed on the visual effects alone, but "videogames" are a multiple sensory experience and what games are better than others for people who don't fall into enjoying them the way everybody else is expected to? Blindness, Deafness, Shaky Hands... there are different aliments to alter the experience. Are there any games that are better than dealing with some of these than others?
We also have a lot of new platforms and should hopefully have Mac added soon.
So right now we are smack in the middle of the widely anticipated transition. Sales are down because there is not a lot of interest in the last generation systems and there are definitely not enough Xbox 360s out there for people to be buying games for. The publishers profits are in a slide which was to be expected. What was not expected was how severe this shortage is. It is estimated that Microsoft has shipped only about 1 million units after two month. To put it in comparison when the PS2 launched Sony sold roughly that number over the weekend. The problem isn't a lack of demand. People want them. Heck the thing is great when it's working. However unless Microsoft get its supply chain issues in line the publishers are going to really suffer.
From StarForce's web site, "we now have proof that such issues with StarForce protected applications are pure fiction and all of these rumors are false and probably initiated by frustrated pirates." Although another possible explanation for the lack of applicants could be StarForce's contest guidelines which required applicants to travel to the company's Russian office at their expense.
However, similar to Sony's copyright protection fiasco, multiple computer owners have complained of problems related with this hidden program. The most common symptom is the burn speed of CD and DVD burners slowing down to a crawling pace. However, some gamers have claimed extensive damage to their systems. This new controversy has gamers stirred up quite a bit.
An organized boycott has been set up and it also includes important information on how to detect and remove Starforce, as well as an extensive list of games that currently use it.
Ed note: Video game publishers assert that piracy is killing the PC video game market. Unlike similar claims by the film and music industry there seems to be some evidence to back up their claim.
The other concern was that MobyGames was a commercial, for profit entity. There are ads on MobyGames and each game summary page has a "Buy Now!" link. I know I speak for both Brian and myself when I say we would love to dump all advertising all together, including those "Buy Now!" links. We are video game lovers first, technologists second and business people a very distant third. We would love it if we could raise over a million dollars in donations like Wikipedia and work for the betterment of mankind. The truth is the donations you send help but they do not come close to covering our bandwidth and server costs. For the time being we are stuck with ads. We are very cognizant every time we try out a new thing that may make some money for MobyGames. We are constantly asking ourselves, "Will this piss people off? Are we doing the right thing?". I wouldn't say our mission statement includes Google's famous "Don't be Evil". Maybe it is something closer to, "Don't be assholes."