Category Archives: Rant

The end-of-year release schedule, and how it messes up the games industry

The games-release calendar generally stinks. Most of the year’s game releases are crammed up from September through November. Games will get pushed out the door, ready or not, just to get them on the shelves by Black Friday or Cyber Monday, with a short-tail of releases winding down through December for those titles that just weren’t ready enough or couldn’t get fabrication time.

The idea, of course, is to make huge quantities of revenue. In practice, though, what’s happening is that the games industry is shorting its own revenues, killing game franchises, and often putting studios out of business.

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Booth-babes

Nothing a games-publisher does says “We have no respect whatsoever for our customers” than booth-babes – except perhaps the EA Sports division.

I know, some of you EA marketing folks are among the regular readers here, and I’m not tarring you all with the same brush, but you might want to hide under your desks for a few minutes, because I’m going to speak very plainly.

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More B-title games, please!

Ben Feder, CEO of Take 2 Interactive is urging games publishers to ditch B-title games and just stick with a smaller selection of A-grade games.

And that might be all well and good if it weren’t for a few simple truths, the first and foremost of which is that games publishers don’t seem to have a good handle on funding games that do not suck.

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You can keep your E3

It’s E3 time again. What I generally consider to be the worst time of the year for gaming and gamers, edging out the November/December release season (which will be discussed another time) for the real lowlight.

Picture this. What if every upcoming television series and movie were announced at and had trailers at a single weeklong event full of underdressed women, breathless producers, crowds of journalists taking shaky-cam footage, speeches about how awesome the show was going to be, and so on? Of course, by the time the show actually airs, the cast may have changed a little, they’ve got a new director, a new writer, and the drama-thriller is now an action-adventure.

E3’s like that. For games.

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Five things I really hate about video games

Yes, I’ve played a whole lot of games (that list isn’t even complete). There are a few things that keep coming up over and over and over about games that really bug me, even though I can be very forgiving about a game’s flaws so long as I’m getting some fun out of it. Here then, are a list of five things that I really hate about video games.

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Letting out the Steam

Digital downloads are certainly a big thing at the moment. There’s Valve’s Steam, there’s Stardock’s Impulse, there’s Gametap (“Yours if you can ever get it to work” – Judge Dredd), there’s gog.com and more.

These are generally good things, however I’m going to pick on Steam for a few minutes. Actually, not quite on Steam itself, but on a couple publishers using it, who need a bit of a spanking.

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