Next-Gen speculates that many of the large exhibitors feel the seven figure budgets of E3 do not justify the returns and have collectively decided to pull out. An official announcement from the ESA is expected shortly.
This is the latest and possibly the last in a string of criticisms of the expo. Journalists have felt it is too difficult to do their work at the show. Industry insiders have felt that the practice of booth babes perpetuates the negative image of video games. Independent publishers and developers have complained of the expense. Now the big hardware and software companies are feeling the pinch.
Even if E3 does disappear I feel the game industry is too big and too important not to have a large conference. I've been going to E3 on and off since 1998. Maybe E3's problems were that it tried to be an industry and consumer show at the same time? From the consumer side this can only be good for shows like PAX and vgXpo. From the industry side I have always felt that we got better access at conferences like the Game Developers Conference. It does help to know and like the organizers. The game industry will always need a venue for people to come together, exchange ideas and conduct business. It will also always need a venue to announce, posture and market the newest and greatest games and systems. I guess that it just won't be E3 anymore.
... and I feel fine.
What do you think?
Gamasutra has an article in which a bunch of writers for the industry speak at a panel at Comic-Con International entitled "Writing for the Computer Gaming Industry", wit some interesting takes:
"You have to start divorcing your ego," said another panelist, Neal Hallford, a contractor most known for his work on Betrayal at Krondor and the Dungeon Siege series. "I went off to college and I was studying proper story structure and all this good stuff, and where a lot of this broke down for me was when it was like, 'Hey, that's a wonderful dramatic scene, but you're tying a rope around the player's neck and dragging them through cutscenes.' And that's not what they're playing for."
I never played any of his games, but the man sure has a point there.
On a related note, GS also digged up a podcast with teh Tim Schafer himself when he was working in the uncanny Psychonauts, in which he has a word or ten hundred on "Memorable Character Design".
If there has been one person to be heard on this subject in the entire history of gaming, it has to be this guy.
In related news The Register is reporting that Sony PSP Wi-Fi hotspots will be going live in the U.K tomorrow. Sony has not looked like the innovation leader for some time and has repeatedly taken its queues from Nintendo. Its handheld Wi-Fi hotspots are only the latest in a long string of copy-cat moves from Sony. The article goes on to mention, "with only 11 sites [in the UK], perhaps 'network' isn't the right word, particularly given the 7,500 hotspots that are part of rival Nintendo's Wi-Fi Connection for the DS".
Coming second to the party often is not a bad position. You get to see what works and what doesn't and adopt only the things that do. Innovating is risky. Making new things often means taking terrible risks. It looks like right now those risks are paying off, but who knows what the future holds. Maybe you do?
Where else could games benefit society? Other than keeping everyone indoors and not out in the street hitting each other with lead pipes.
"According to an anonymous source with close ties to the videogame industry, two fourth installments of very popular franchises are in the work with the possible release dates of late 2007. "
This is about the thinnest piece of journalistic drivel I have ever read. A retail clerk at Gamestop is more in the know that this, "anonymous source with close ties to the videogame industry". At least the clerk is ... well ... in the industry. You know. Selling games to people. This source only has close ties. I can only imagine what these close ties are. Maybe the source has a cousin who is a retail clerk at Gamestop.
The sad thing is the story is most likely true. Both franchises are mightily successful and there is a strong probability that the developers have begun some preliminary work for follow on titles.
Eurogamer sheds a little more light on the situation and reports on the source of the Wii launch date speculation. Apparently EA recently showed a November 3 release date for a number of Wii titles. To further fuel speculation the dates for the PS3 versions of the games were left “To Be Confirmed”. EA has since fixed the oversight and announced,
“The date was put there by mistake and it is now listed as 4th Quarter 2006. We will make an announcement shortly and with the US already confirming their date we expect to be around the same time but it’s still TBC. Naturally it goes without saying the Wii release date was also an error and not an insight into the console’s launch.”
Video Game Bloggers provides some interesting insight to the Wii launch date speculation. "One, assume it was an error and wait until in or before September until Nintendo announce the Wii launch dates officially; Two, make a list that point to this being an accidental leak on EA’s part and let you judge for yourself…"
VGB maintains a list of datapoints about the Wii and its prospective launch date;
- Nintendo plans to release the Wii before the PS3’s November 11-17 launches.
- Nintendo plans to release the Wii in Europe 10 days after the Japanese release.
- Nintendo consoles always get launched on a Friday in Europe (November 3rd).
- Looking at the in June started Wii production & historical Nintendo October-November launches, analysts expect October to see the US Wii release.
If you looked at the trailer and start drooling, there is a way to enjoy the goodness of the portal gun before the release of HL:E2. The game was designed (or so I have heard) by the team who did Narbacular Drop. Narbacular Drop plays almost similar to Portal, allowing you to create your own two-way portals to solve puzzle, with the exception of simpler level design and graphics. So many people are rushing to get a taste of what the Portal game will be like, that Narbacular Drop's site has exceeded its bandwidth. The game can be downloaded at one of the game's mirrors.
If you looked at the game and thought "gimmick", well you aren't alone. Many people think that once the novelty of the idea wears off, it will just be another feature.
I however think that this is pretty innovative. Valve brought us the gravity gun, which isn't gimmicky at all. In fact, they practically based an entire game around it. The idea of this gun being incorporated in a real FPS is mind-boggling. The game would have limitless possibilities. I can't wait to see what types of weird puzzles this game can throw at us with a portal gun.
TF2 is one of those long awaited games. I remember reading about Valve working on it way back in 1999. It is not quite as bad as 3D Realms' Duke Nukem Forever which has been "in the works" since 1997.
Every so often developers experiment with cel-shaded graphics from auto modellista to XIII. Right now cell shading seems to be back in vogue with the release of A Scanner Darkly. Some are calling TF2's character models cel-shaded. I am not so sure. What do you think?
Steven had been battling lung cancer for over a year.
Steve was a larger than life character and will be sorely missed by anyone that worked with him in the industry.
His contribution to games dated back to the early eighties. He worked for such well known companies as MicroProse, Denton Design, Imagine and Psygnosis. Steve was a pioneer and a maverick, and will be remembered for his uncompromising nature, his Scouse wit and his enormous laugh.
The story is a fun read, but pretty much states what we've known all along. All games, even the ones that are not blockbusters, are culturally and historical significant.
Innovations like scalable difficulty allow enough tinkering and fine-tuning to satisfy most players, though it’s harder to brag, “Just totally owned that game in five hours – on a difficulty level customized to my tastes and preferences.” Prey’s new adaptable difficulty system, where the game becomes harder as the player gets better, seems like another great development, and maybe introduces a new level of strategy into games, gaming against the difficulty system (ie. What’s to stop a shrewd player from, say, playing poorly in a few early levels to make that later boss fight a little more manageable?)
I remember having heard about "adaptable difficulty" before, I seem to remember it from The Fall of Max Payne and I definitely read it about SiN: Episode One, but either I'm impossibly gifted or shamefully lame and in any case the system just couldn't keep up with me, because I never found those games any hard nor especially smart --In the case of SiN: Ep1 I actually found the A.I. to be borderline braindead.
Then again, maybe I fell into that "gaming against the difficulty system" thing without noticing?
In any case, I think this is a really interesting topic to talk: Games seem to be becoming shorter and shorter, and to make matters worse, I usually find them disappointingly easy to beat. Psychonauts is impossibly fun and fairly challenging, but it keeps steering me through the puzzles (And boss-fights/puzzles) with excessively revealing clues, which looks like it's treating me like a moron. Rogue Trooper is a shooter I enjoyed immensely, but even the "Extreme Impossible Nightmare Dood!!!!!11"or whatever difficulty level you unlock upon beating the game is ridiculously easy. Tomb Raider: Legend is real fun, but it's also stupidly easy and short, something even more noticeable when you take the challenge of the "time trials", which shows that most of the 12 or so levels can be clocked in about 10 minutes each.
Does everybody feel like this or is it just me? Do you believe in Prey's promises? Anybody got to try it already? What do we do with difficulty then?
Hon Hai is often referred to as the "biggest company you never heard of". They are responsible for making many of the computer and consumer electronics for such gold label companies as Dell, Apple, Cisco, Sony and Nokia.
Obviously the PS3 pipeline is ramping up. Will Sony be plagued with the same supply problems as the Xbox 360? Will the high price be enough so that everyone who could afford one will be able to get one? Could we even see a PS3 glut on our hands come Christmas time?
I really liked God of War. It was one of those purchases I made long after I thought I had put away the PS2 for good. About the only game Brian or I play with any level of consistency on the PSP is Lumines. Is this what we should expect from Jaffe's upcoming PSP title? What about God of War II? What is Jaffe's "real" role in that project? Does this smack slightly of Hollywood and star directors leaving after the first installment in a franchise?
I played a demo of the game at E3. The level of violence is extremely high, as there is little else to do in the game but hack and slash zombies. However does this really warrant a ban?
Is it me or has the game industry supposedly been broken since ... well ... 1972? Ok the dice and paper game industry is pretty much ... well if not broken .. pretty ill. Comic books, and I LOVE comic books, are kinda broken. Games?!?! No way. Anyone else agree?
In a related note to the widely predicted Wii preeminence, EA fully commits to supporting the Nintendo Wii platform reports Reuters. Shares of EA rise on the news. It appears the market expects the Wii to be a major platform.
At last tally the worldwide video game market was $30 billion. Compared to Music at $40 billion and movies at $90 billion, games are a ways off. The big difference is the growth numbers. Music sales have declined worldwide from $60 billion six years ago to $40 billion last year. Movies are relatively flat. The video game market grows at 4-6% in an off year and 17-20% in a good one. At this rate games will easily surpass movies and everything else for that matter in a relatively short period of time.
I imagine it went something like this:
Kid buys an UMD porno off his friend or off the horrible, evil Internet. His father catches him.
Father, "Boy, where the f@*! did you get that? I am gonna skin yer hide."
Boy, "It came in the video game box. Honest. I didn't even know it was a bad movie."
Father, "I'm calling my lawyer. Someone is going to pay."
They claim it was purchased new at a local Wal-Mart and was sealed in the box. Now I have bought hundreds, if not thousands of brand new records, CDs, DVDs and games. Never once was a disk missing or incorrect. Has this actually happened to anyone? Is this kid trying to pull a fast one?
I feel there hasn't been a good video game movie ever. While it is true games do have stories. If you look at Halo of the 30-40 hours of gameplay I would be surprised if there were more than 15 minutes of dialogue. That is awfully thin, even for an action movie. Can this one be different, or is it another check your brain at the door flick cashing in on all the fanboys?
This was confusing, so the green light's been given on something else: There's now a new "Worldwide" selection that can be chosen when you're selecting a release date country. Note that this should not be used for traditionally boxed copies of games where different editions (or publishers) may be used for different parts of the world.... even if they release them all on the same day.
So in short, use "Worldwide" release country for games sold online. Feel free to submit corrections to previously approved content in the database to reflect this new standard.
The man is entitled to his opinions and the future of gaming will definitely play out over the next so many years. The statement that gets me is, "Intel ruined the PC gaming business.” I cannot even fathom how someone can make this connection. PC game sales are down. I personally believe it is largely due to piracy. You can hop onto BitTorrent and grab an ISO of just about any PC game out there, along with key generators and software to emulate an optical drive. Brian thinks PC games slumped because it is just too hard and expensive to keep up with the myriad hardware requirements. I pretty much have a PC dedicated to gaming. It is an expensive hobby and possibly one fewer and fewer people are willing to afford in the light of the next gen consoles. A rational person would probably believe it is a combination of the two.
How Intel had anything to do with this is anyone's guess.
Not content to just lose $2B Microsoft is widely rumored and now confirmed to be working on a portable device. The problem is the Ipod is near perfect. When I owned my first Rio MP3 player I could barely fit a CD on the thing, memory was expensive and the doohickey looked ... well ... totally fugly. If anyone was going to create the dominant portable music player this was the time. I can only imagine what was on the Ipod product development team's whiteboard, "lots of songs, not ugly". Seems obvious now, but back then it was considered "revolutionary".
Here is the Microsoft product development team's whiteboard, "lots of songs, not ugly, plays games". What they seem to be describing is the PSP. The PSP is beautiful, plays videos, music, games and connects to the Internet. The problem is that ARGO is already the PSP killer, because the PSP is dead. Well ... ok ... not dead. However, I own a PSP, I love my PSP and I have no idea where the damn thing is in my house. I haven't bothered to look for it since I really have no reason to use it. Between the bad games and infuriating load times the PSP is a horrible portable gaming device. The DS is a great little portable game system; small, cheap, with wonderful games you can play instantaneously in the 5-10 minutes you have waiting for the subway. The DS embraces the slightly Japanese aesthetic of, "less is more". This just does not seem to be Microsoft's way.
I have a sneaking feeling the ARGO will play music, movies, games and connect to the Internet. ARGO will probably also be the Homer Simpson car for regular guys.
What gives? Is this an artifact of MobyGames PC roots? Is there some adverse selection going on? People come to MobyGames because we are strong in a specific area ... say ... LucasArts PC games for instance. Since a lot of the visitors are fans of that specific genre obviously the rankings reflect this bias. Is this a problem? If so, how could we correct it?
The question is what is the point in pre-ordering games? Occasionally there are shortages. However, I could manufacture a game DVD ( provided it was legal ) in my house. A DVD burner, a printer and a little injection molded plastic is all that it would take. Compared with a console system which has thousands of parts and hundreds of different vendors all a game requires for someone to pull a lever and out poops thousands of copies of the game. Shouldn't Microsoft just make one copy of Halo 3 for every Xbox 360 in existence? For third party publishers there is a significant manufacturing cost since that is where they pay the licensing fee. This means the publisher has to pay the console manufacturer roughly $8-10 per copy pressed. To maximize profits publishers try to accurately predict how many games will sell and when. Yet, this is Bungie and they are Microsoft. Bungie doesn't have to pay the fee ... or if they do it is just corporate funny money that moves from one column to another in some accountants ledger somewhere.
I for one am not pre-ordering the game. I fully expect to be completely up to my eye balls in available copies when Halo 3 does eventually come out. What about you?
Historically MobyGames has recorded the cover art of the physical packaging of the games in the database. However many of these games no longer have a physical package. To accurately reflect this we have added a new packaging type:
Electronic Cover Art
Games that this applies to would be games where there is no actual media and packaging. Games like Cell Phone games, Xbox Live, PC games that are only available through download, and other platforms to be added in the future I'm sure.
* Cover art for these games should come from the official publisher/developer.
* Since there is no actual package a "digital" image is acceptable.
* Some companies provide a type of "electronic cover" for their games, these are acceptable in the highest original resolution possible - do not resize up or down.
* Some companies provide these on the site and/or in press kits.
* Some companies do not provide these "covers" at all, currently no other image is acceptable.
* Source of images is a requirement.
* We are looking into accepting screenshots of the title image as an acceptable image in lieu of a "cover" if no cover image exists.
* Images from sites other than companies involved with the game - fan site or media site is not acceptable.
As with everything with MobyGames this is a work in progress. We will try to adapt to the changing landscape to accurately document every game ever made.
Ill-advised or not Sony has managed on getting us ( whatever we are ) talking about it ... and ... for free. Additionally these billboards are in the Netherlands ... THE NETHERLANDS!! This is the place where prostitution, drugs and all sorts of other stuff is ... well ... if not totally legal, socially tolerated. I think the people of the Netherlands can handle a little multi-racial mild B&D without much trouble. Heck I think I remember seeing full nudity in an ad for eye cream or soap on TV while I stayed in Amsterdam a few years back.
Is all this hoopla for nothing? Has Sony cynically created a "controversial ad" just to get some free press? In this increasingly global world can or should a company make local marketing or does everything have to speak to a world audience?
Or is it just a pipedream? What do you guys think?
64DD and the Satellaview (BS-X) will be also be add shortly, entries for games released on these should enter like above.