I know that it's been some time since I've written. Working in video game retail, you can probably guess that the last few weeks have been pretty crazy… and this trend will continue through the rest of 2010. I'm still pretty active on Twitter, as it's much easier to react or speak in 140 characters than it is to organize my thoughts into coherent blog entries. Once the hustle and bustle of the fourth quarter ends, I'll be able to write a bit more and keep updating here more frequently.
Having said that, there are a couple of things that I feel the need to react to:
The first thing is a Gamasutra piece that contains some quotes from EA Games' Frank Gibeau. Gibeau is quoted in the piece as saying that single-player games are "finished". It's funny to me how the desire to play a game alone is now perceived by the industry to be some sort of cancer that needs curing. It's obvious that the single-player model doesn't appeal to the industry any longer because it's far easier to produce DLC for multiplayer functionality. Yeah… we'll see how well this new direction bodes for EA when Dead Space 2—a sequel to a 2008 game that was an excellent single-player experience—force-feeds its fans a multiplayer mode that really didn't blow me away when playing the beta a couple of months ago. It's BioShock 2 all over again as players are given something that the industry seems to think that they want.
We don't.Don't feed me the lines about focus groups or e-mail suggestions stating the contrary, because I just don't buy it. The console gaming industry, by way of its trends and poor decisions over the course of this console generation, has cost itself the benefit of the doubt. The fact is that redirecting resources to a multiplayer mode takes resources away from the single-player campaign. I will be very curious to see if Dead Space 2 is another BioShock 2 situation next month. Don't be surprised if it is.
Lastly, can we please stop giving Michael Pachter vehicles within the gaming press to spread his blatant trolling? In the course of the past few days, Pachter has said that handheld gaming is fading, the PlayStation Portable 2 (PSP2) (which hasn't even been officially unveiled yet) will flop, and that multiplayer games need to start charging players some sort of subscription fee. Yeah, I'm pretty much convinced now that Pachter has put aside any sort of professionalism or credibility and instead is just talking to hear himself talk and try to draw attention to himself. I don't care if this man has a Master's in Business or not; he's seceded from doing his job—which is analysis—and now seems to thrive on uttering baseless "predictions" which only exist to drum up controversy. It's bad enough that GameTrailers gives this man face time via a regular show. The rest of the gaming press should be intelligent enough to know that Pachter's utterings aren't "news" at all. I understand that there's this constant need to generate news stories and generate hits for gaming websites out there, but the amount of coverage that this man (undeservedly) gets is not only mind-boggling… but also genuinely disappointing and shameful.
I can't wait to get back to writing more regularly, but I just had to cover these two topics—even at 6am before hitting the sack. My passion still burns, even if the time to appropriately convey that passion isn't as plentiful as it's been earlier in 2010. I have a lot to say, and I hope that you're not only willing to read it… but react to it, as well.