So for the last couple of months (and especially over the last few days) there's been a resurgence of "no one should ever write for free, ever, never never" among freelance games writers and paid career professionals. As someone who takes games writing very seriously and who's also worked as a mostly-unpaid-but-not-always reviewer for the last twelve years, I wanted to take a few minutes and share my thoughts on the subject.
December 2011 is a month that, upon review of the NPD report, continues the slide that the console video game industry has seen for much of the year. Hardware sales were down 32% from a December ago, with weaker Wii and PlayStation 3 sales leading the decline.
We've been seeing a gradual shift in software sales in the last couple of years towards digital distribution. Full retail games have been available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 over that time and, although the digital library is but a fraction of the retail library, digital has been catching up.
Quantitatively speaking, I prefer Plants vs. Zombies to every game, ever. Plants vs. Zombies is not my favorite game. I'd say it's not even in the top 20. That honor belongs ICO, a game that typically lasts less than six hours and that I have played exactly four times, to net less than a fifth of the hours I have spent playing Plants vs. Zombies. ICO is my favorite game because of how it makes me feel.
This week, we honor the little guy. (Not Herve Villechaize; for that, check out my Fantasy Island podcast.) No, it's all about great Indie Games we think you should play. Plus: Highly improbable E3 predictions which, knowing us, will probably wind up coming true. Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad "The Diamond" Gallaway, Richard Naik, and Tim Spaeth. Happy birthday Ryan!
Looking at the calendar, we're less than two weeks away from what will be one of the most important E3 events in recent memory when it comes to what I call the Hardware Trinity—that is Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft. Each of the three companies have issues to address. Nintendo is facing lackluster 3DS hardware sales and the lame-duck status of the Wii until its new platform is launched. Sony has to deal with the aftereffects of one of the largest online security breaches in history and major losses in the last year. Microsoft may seem bulletproof, but the stagnant nature of the Kinect sensor and a slow trickle of software for it call into question the viability of the technology.
3DS! PSP! Smartphones! Which represents the true future of mobile gaming? Plus: Our most anticipated titles of 2011, and you'll struggle to hold back tears as Richard becomes a man. (NOTE: We recorded this episode before the big PSP2/NGP announcement—you'll marvel at the semi-accuracy of our predictions!) Featuring Chi Kong Lui, Brad Gallaway, Mike Bracken, Richard Naik, and Tim "The Timely Producer" Spaeth.
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