Citing 95% PC piracy rates, Ubisoft seems to be quitting the PC games market. The problem with games piracy statistics are manifold: Nobody actually knows what the piracy rates really are (though they seem to be likely to be on a par with console piracy rates – probably – since there’s certainly no shortage of console games piracy), and there are other factors involved like release-timing, product quality and pricing that all play their part.
Ubisoft’s PC versions of their games have become increasingly so slapdash and cack-handed that it isn’t really surprising that PC gamers simply don’t want to buy them. I don’t have to tell you that this does not make for a good business model for the PC games market, but someone should probably tell Ubisoft.
There are essentially two broad classes of games that sell. There are the so-called ‘AAA’ titles, which might be big financial hits or big financial flops, and there are ‘ordinary’ titles – games with a lower production value, but significantly less financial risk involved. In times past, those ordinary titles have been the mainstay of the games industry, sometimes incurring modest losses, but more often providing the steady income that offsets the big flops in a publisher’s ‘AAA’ stable.
With big publishers increasingly focusing on those ‘AAA’ titles and shying away from those mainstay games, money is left on the table. Money that Indie devs are well-suited to pick up.
It’s been a while since I wrote about MMOGs professionally, but that doesn’t stop me having an interest. I have half a dozen MMOGs installed, and was recently ‘comped’ a copy of Star Trek Online and 60 days of game-time. I’ve just hit the equivalent of roughly level 20 (Commander, grade 1), and that set me to thinking.
Once you hit approximately level 20 in an MMOG, you’ve essentially seen all of the gameplay innovation that the game is going to offer, in all of the combinations that it is going to be offered.
I know, it seems like the various State Attorneys General coming to an “in-principle” agreement in favour of an R18+ rating for games would be a good thing for… well, actually for getting the rating passed.
However, it actually isn’t and it could delay this repair to the classifications system indefinitely. If the “in-principle” agreement hadn’t been announced, we’d likely have had an R18+ classification in the works by next week. As it is, it is actually looking increasingly doubtful that it will turn up any time soon.
Got an Android device handy? Want a cool little management game for just a couple bucks?
Give Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story a whirl. Currently, the game is 40% off to celebrate the release of their newest game, Hot Springs Story.
Game Dev Story is just what it sounds like. A game about developing games.
This game (currently in alpha) reminds me partly of making Redstone circuits in Minecraft, and partly of some of the more complex and ambitious scripted systems in Second Life – where object oriented programming can involve actual visible objects, and motion and colour can be used to monitor or debug system states.
California State Senator Leland Yee has just spent somewhere in the ballpark of a million Californian taxpayer dollars to have his bill on violent video games struck down by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional. Again.
Yee says he’s going to do it again. In fact, that would make the third time he’s heaped all of that money into a pile and metaphorically set fire to it.
It’s an awkward time for games-publishers as the industry and market performs a very slow and protracted migration from physical retail sales to digital distribution.
You might think that with an increasing percentage of copies of games titles being sold via digital distribution channels that the publishers’ costs would be falling. Well, it isn’t getting any cheaper for them.
Power. Intrigue. Ambition.
Five nations held together in an uneasy alliance, threatened by neighbouring nations, and troubled by their own differences. Choices you make early on affect later events.
I’ve written a review of The Witcher (the original game), and you might want to check that out.
Now, moving on to The Witcher 2, which is due for release this month.