E3 2012 seems to be a bit of a … well, mostly it seems to be … is there really a good word for the opposite of innovative announcements? That’s the vibe I’m largely feeling. Mostly E3 2012 is producing exactly the announcements and viewings that you’d expect it to, with little surprise.
One actually interesting thing is that Microsoft seems to largely be resigned to giving up, or at the very least heavily-downplaying, motion control through its Kinect product.
“You are the controller”, certainly, but it seems to be almost all focused around voice control rather than tracking the motion of players for input.
Laid-off employees, whom you would think would have little reason to back their former employer, 38 Studios/Big Huge Games, are instead speaking out against Rhode Island Governor, claiming that governor Chafee spread misinformation that sabotaged the business’ funding sources, and even suggesting that he may have lined his own pockets, while using the high-profile games-developer as a political pawn in his re-election campaign.
38 Studios (and its subsidiary Big Huge Games – Rise of Nations), developers of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (2012), has apparently effectively closed. Selling 1.2 million copies of the game across Steam, Origin, PS3 and Xbox 360 in 90 days just wasn’t enough to pay the bills (though it outperformed the expectations of publisher, Electronic Arts). The break-even point apparently was 3 million copies (or even more), according to Rhode Island Governor, Lincoln Chafee.
Everything seemed to be going well, with word that a bungled loan repayment had finally been made, it looked like 38 Studios would hang in there for another few months, and that the attention its woes brought to its game might spark enough sales to keep the lights on.
Mafia II is a third-person action-adventure video-game following the fictional story of a man of Sicilian descent who joins an Italian crime family in the period around 1950, a time when Italian crime families were near the height of their power and influence. It’s a familiar theme, having been portrayed in books, games, movies and television for decades.
UNICO National, the largest Italian American service organisation in the USA who have never seen or played the game, nor apparently been in contact with anyone who has (because at the time of their complaint, it had not been released) are calling it “a pile of racist nonsense” and demanding that the game not be released until all Italians and Italian-Americans are removed from it.
It strikes me that this would result in a rather substandard story.