I typically go to a lot of panels at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East, but this year relatively few of the offerings interested me (and some of the interesting ones were on simultaneously). So, I spent a lot of time on the show floor. The only major publisher I really visited was Ubisoft, where I learned that Might & Magic X will be coming this year and has a huge, wasteful UI. I spent most of the rest of my time in the Indie Megabooth and environs, both because this is a more efficient use of time and you're more likely to actually see the games and talk to somebody interesting there.
I've been touched by some of the response to the Shooting Straight post that I wrote a few weeks ago. I wrote it in reaction to the spate of layoffs that we'd seen from IGN at the time, and the layoffs really shook me because that could have been me out there had I found the courage to trust in my talents and go for a paying job in the gaming press. I don't know how I would've handled being suddenly let go, having to scramble to salvage my future, and wondering where to go from there.
Extra Credits is trying a new feature where it introduces viewers to burgeoning video game markets. The first one tackled is Brazil and while I see the country's potential, this particular presentation doesn't do the best job of selling Brazil as a great new game market. Sure you can still buy a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive—brand new—and who doesn't want that? But video game piracy seems to still be pretty rampant there. It also looks like one of those territories that isn't the least bit interested in fixing things from a consumer, governmental and industry standpoint.
I'm just going to shoot straight from the hip: I'm a big ol' coward. I've been writing about video games in some capacity since 1999. I got my first reviewing "gig" in 2001. I've had many stops along the way since then, and I've probably had my fair share of opportunities to pursue my "dream job" and write about video games for a living.
Cinemablend ran an article recently that leveled some pretty serious charges at the gaming press. The article uses terms like "publisher-bought gaming media" and maintains that gaming press needs to come clean before games come out if they're bad. This article, if you haven't read it already, is fallacious and unnecessary.
So… you probably heard the news already: Wii U sales for the month of January were less than 60,000 units. That's less than 12,000 units per week of the reporting period. That's also despite the Wii U being the first new video game console (non-handheld) since late 2006. This number should be addressed by Nintendo as "unacceptable" for the US market, which saw the Wii dominate the early and middle parts of this past console generation. Investors should be nervous that the US may not adopt the Wii U strongly enough before Sony and Microsoft present their new hardware, likely later this year. I know that I would be.
Points go to the Extra Credits crew (and basically anyone who talks about preserving old, landmark games), but a lot of this just seems "pie in the sky." As mentioned in the video, a lot of the technology that ran and interfaced with these early titles do not even exist any longer. The only solution would be an industry-wide investment, resurrecting arcades, building kiosks, museums, you name it, just so some kid can play Battletech or Space War as was originally intended. When you really think about it, it seems that these treasures are doomed to obscurity.
The Extra Credits guys give us a quick summary on the importance of the horror game protagonists. After recent comments pertaining to the reception of Resident Evil 6, the creators of Resident Evil really need to watch this video before they even think about returning the Resident Evil to its survival-horror roots. Such an about-face would require a level of expertise (and guts!) that Capcom hasn't demonstrated in over a a decade.
There is a surprising downside to video game demos. With fewer and fewer options available for those that might want to try a game before buying it, demos are the default option. But demos have the adverse effect of underselling a good game or demonstrating how bad a bad game really is. Understandably, many developers and publishers aren't willing to take that chance. Where does that leave us? The guys at Extra Credits take a look.
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