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.
What can I say? Bethesda Softworks/Zenimax Online Studios should throw lots of money at Peter Hollens to enhance their game soundtracks. This man has a fantastic voice.
Go on, do it. As much money as it takes.
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.
Strong stuff. Read all about it at Gamasutra.
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.
No such luck, apparently.
I’ve been thinking about The Sims 3 and Bioshock 2, and Dragon Age and other titles which I just haven’t picked up (and it doesn’t look like I am likely to). I know why that is. It’s the DLC/addons.
Games publishers have been making increasing amounts of noise about the used market for games. So, let’s look at another industry example.
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.
Over the last few hours, rumours have been circulating that the entire development team of Project: MyWorld were laid off due to an inability to secure publisher funding for the project.
DRM, in its form as copy-protection for computer games is completely backwards, and accelerating rapidly in that direction.
The annual Games Developers Conference (GDC) in California gives me rather mixed feelings these days. Essentially it has become two entirely different events that occur at the same time.