Last Time, Honest.

Last time I’ll mention the piracy thing (for the forseable future.)

EA, of all people, has absolutely no excuse for not having their own digital delivery system up and running. Shit, that medium-sized developers aren’t doing this themselves is a fucking travesty as far as I’m concerned. Valve’s given everyone the ability to make their own Steam, if you’ll recall. It’d just take an extra guy to get it up and running, I’d imagine.

Often retailers (and even renters,) will break street dates. When this happens, retailers who haven’t broken the date contact the publisher, and say “So and so broke the date. Check it, because we’re going to as well. We can’t afford to lose all of our sales to them, because their math says they’ll come out ahead by breaking the rules.” The distributer/publisher then checks to confirm the story, and if this is true, they give the okay for everyone else to break the date as well (and often punish the initial violator.)

I just can’t be convinced that EA can’t publish games online. They’re a publisher. It’s what they’re supposed to do. What am I missing here? Hell, Microsoft and Sony should be doing this. The moment the ‘download date’ was proven broken, EA should have had Spore online on their EA Shop for everyone everywhere to download. That headline would’ve dwarfed the news about the cracked version available online. “Why bother pirating it,” gamers would ask “when I’ll probably end up buying it anyway? Go ahead and save the re-download time by buying it the first time, and have my friends already in my gamer list for auto-downloadig of their creatures.” Besides, I’m betting Valve games have a much lower rate of piracy than most PC games, and gamers are (by far and large) okay with Steam, now that the kinks have been worked out for a few years. And I’ve heared nothing but good things about Direct2Drive. Though, honestly, developers should be doing this for themselves.

I just can’t feel overly sorry for a developer getting hurt by a publisher forcing them to put anti-piracy tools in their game. It’s the bed of their own making, really. Last post I mentioned gamers downloading shareware off of BBS’; the original digital distribution. Well, it’s 2008 and developer distribution has never been easier (now bedroom coders don’t even have to physically mail disks to users.) Refusal to make self-publishing a priority, or even demanding the power in the developer-publisher relationship, gets developers treated like the lesser in the relationship, and that’s just a lessong they need to learn. I mean, Valve? They get it. If another developer can’t prioritize their publishing deals, then let them falter, and let them fail.

Though, the first person to use Steamworks to create an online publisher? That person will make some serious money.

Okay, done with that topic for the foreseeable future, enough armchair-CEOing over Riccitelo. Next up? MMO payment plans! Yay!

Electronic Arts
Gaming's future

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E3 Denial.

Sony and Microsoft can’t even admit how bad they got their ass kicked this gen. They’re in denial.

I feel the need to preface this post by saying: I only have a 360 from this generation of hardware (well, a DS too,) and I eventually aim to get a PS3 and a Wii, as both either have games I want, or soon will. But I think myself a fan of games, more so than consoles. That said…

Don Reisinger put a great reality check up on Cnet today which I’ll choose to not quote, but instead paraphrase in my own words:

“Hey Sony, Microsoft, quit your bitching. Just because Nintendo cleaned your clock doesn’t mean you have to cry in the corner and whine ‘they don’t count anyway!’ They do. Now cowboy up and fight back. You”re trying to turn Nintendo into the elephant in the room no one is talking about, but it doesn’t matter, because everyone’s still giving the elephant their money, and not you.”

… Okay, so he was more nuanced, but I think I captured the sentiment well. It seemed particularly spurred forth by a comment from Sony’s CEO Howard Stringer: “I’ve played a Nintendo Wii. I don’t see it as a competitor. It’s more of an expensive niche gaming device.”

That’s hilarious; calling a cheaper competitor that’s kicked your ass in sales “expensive” and “niche.” Don’t worry Howie, I’m sure Nintendo doesn’t view you as ‘competition’ either. I mean, for that to be the case you’d have to double your hardware sales for both your console AND your handheld. Of course, you’d still be behind in both counts.

Of course, Nintendo capitalizing on their success is another thing entirely. I think they waited far too long to start believing their own hype. I really hope they’ve got some good things up their sleeve.

Gaming's future
teh Funny

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Dear Sony,

I would like to thank you for your press conference Monday night. You took a chatroom full of people who previously took every chance to make fun of the name ‘Wii’, and united them against a common cause, you. Not only was your performance forced and rather boring, but let’s do the checklist!

First a lecture telling us that you’ve sold over 100million PS2s and other numbers. (As if about half of those weren’t people rebuying the system after their died.)

-Gran Turismo 4, slightly retooled for the PS3. Gran Turismo HD? The same game running in HD and you gave it ten minutes? Seriously Sony, what the fuck?

-+EyeToy. A new EyeToy game isn’t a game so much as a nice side item to the game, like R.O.B. the Robot. While you’re playing a CCG, EyeToy sees the cards you play, airing that on TV, with monsters appearing over them and fighting. Interesting, but not really ‘fun’.

-PS3 will have a MySpace-esque service. Yay?

-The online system is referenced as a good place for ‘shopping’. A decided boo goes here.

+A brief glimpse of games not expected at launch like Lair and Afrika. Also games from London Studios and Naughty Dog look fun enough.

And then there was your wannabe Wii controller. You claimed your new “innovative” controller will have ‘six degrees of freedom’, but by the horrible display given on-stage, it seems that it really just recognizes pitch, yaw, roll, and vertical change. So, if you moved the controller to the left without tilting it, the game would never know. It then doesn’t even have knowledge of where it is in relation to anything. So, it can’t do any of the things that the Wii can so far as gameplay. But the question isn’t ever “is the product better than the original,” only “is it good enough?” And to that I still laugh. In fact, the entire chatroom laughed the whole time until the very end when the controller was revealed, and then everyone laughed again.

Yes, when Kutaragi revealed your controller, which looks like a Dual Shock 2 with an Xbox ‘Guide’ button, the audience actually snickered at the man. Then they grew silent, and then made polite applause. And when he said “that’s not all,” I got a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew what he was going to do; we all did. But I felt like I was in the theater at a horror movie when the young blonde, before the opening credits, gets the phone call from inside the house. You shout “No! Don’t do it! You’ll die, and you’re not really that bad! Don’t get yourself killed!” But Kutaragi couldn’t help himself. It was bloody. And thank you from that Sony. Thank you.


Don’t believe me? Grab it from torrent, (here.) I’m grabbing a copy to watch again to see if I missed anything when I was nodding off from boredom.


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