Look, I don't like Apple. They crank out a similar product each year and charge an arm and a leg for it. I'm nearly positive that they have invented the iPhone 20S and planned backwards from that. However, whatever your opinion is on smart phones, there is no denying that the technology is affecting modern gaming, and that they impact the industry greater than you may think.
Yesterday, an EA employee spoke out and stated that "the Wii U is crap," and "Nintendo should have pulled a Sega." He also says "the casual market is on mobile/tablet now." Many comments on this news piece Nate wrote criticized the mobile market, stating mobile games do not matter.
I do disagree with the EA employee and I'm positive that the Wii U will recover, but I also recognize the increasingly foreboding force of smart phones and tablets. Yes, many of these so-called "games" are cheap cash-ins. Yes, the App Store for Apple users has layout problems. However, the market for tablets and smart phones is ever-growing, and it is cutting into the video game industry.
More after the jump.
I love video games. I also happen to love television and film — particularly television and film with good scripts. I write a lot of my own stuff, so I tend to be that guy who says things like "huh, that was well structured" while a dude's getting hit in the balls. Naturally, I love it when my areas of interest overlap; like the Zelda documentary being made, or the Redwall video game currently being developed.
Unfortunately, there are times when the overlaps aren't pleasant to sit through. Usually, the overlap happens in one particular area; when a film or television program discusses video games, they do so with almost no integrity whatsoever. It's an incredibly frustrating issue to me, and one that I've ranted on a handful of times to various friends.
Jump inside for examples and complaints; your favorite!
The video game crash of 1983 was a pivotal moment in the history of video games. When Atari released the Video Computer System — known today as the Atari 2600, although that never became its official name until 1982 — they managed to bring a niche product, video games, to the mainstream. In terms of historical significance the Atari VCS is widely viewed today as one of the greatest consoles of all time, and the one that our entire modern industry is built upon. Atari had huge success in the late 70’s and early 80’s, a success that other companies such as Coleco, Bally, Milton Bradley and Mattel also wanted a slice of. All these companies in turn released their own consoles, all superior to the VCS in the technical department, but none of them could come close to matching its success. The Atari VCS was the king of the industry, and the competition was nothing more than its court jesters. But as the years went on the overabundance of consoles and bad, cash grabbing games on the market (such as the infamous ET: The Extra Terrestrial) meant that the industry couldn’t withstand its own weight, and it inevitably crashed.
The video game crash is widely acknowledged today as an event that we wouldn’t want to see repeat itself, but I don’t understand why that is the common view. Although the crash nearly destroyed the industry before it really hit the big time, from its ashes Nintendo carried its Famicom system across the seas from Japan and brought the industry back from the brink. If you look at those immediate five or ten years following the release of the NES it marked the golden age of video games, a unique time in history marked by continual innovation and new ideas. On paper the crash may have appeared to be a bad thing, but as a result, we all received something far greater than what we would have gotten had the industry stayed the way it was.
Head past the jump to keep reading!
I am going to share my perspective on Nintendo's performance of late. If you'd like a primer, see Nathan's recently-posted article and its comments. We all know it's been a rather 'new' window period for Nintendo. By that I mean that we have a new console, we have a new future ahead, we have the unknown. So it's during a time like this when it helps to communicate and formulate your views on things. I express those views but I will address myself as if it were meant to reach someone at the Nintendo headquarters.
To whom it may concern at Nintendo,
Somehow, some way, things are not being carried out as I wish they were, as many-- many, of your followers wish they were. Let's start simple..
There's been quite a bit of controversy on the site today concerning pirates. Nate's piece Piracy is Never Justified was published earlier, and many comments criticized the writer of ignoring key issues such as availability and price of products, although Mr. Rumphol-Janc states quite clearly that he believes video games to be a luxury, rather than a thing a person is entitled to.
My fellow staff member Colin followed up on the issue by reposting a piece he wrote in 2012 entitled Piracy: the Good, the Bad, and the Future. In this piece, Mr. McIsaac-san brings up the idea that "piracy bridges the gap between supply and demand." Pirates can be both a good and bad thing, but it has to be executed in a way respectful to the game creators.
Want to know my opinion? I don't give two hoots about either of these pieces. Hell, I love piracy. The industry has proven to us time and time again that pirates aren't hurting the industry, but rather making publishers profitable. It's amazing what pirates can do to the video game market!How you say? Hop inside to find out!
This article was originally published to Zelda Informer on December 26th, 2012. Following our recent piece, "Piracy is Never Justified," by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc, I believe this is an appropriate time to bring this article back to light. This article is intended to serve neither as a rebuttal nor expansion to "Piracy is Never Justified," but rather an exploration and alternate viewpoint of this touchy issue.
Since the beginning of civilization, one form or another of piracy has been a pressing concern. Though piracy in modern times has, in most cases, outgrown cannonballs and rotting teeth, it’s as threatening an act as ever. This is perhaps due to the coevolution of the crime and those who commit it.
When we think of the term “piracy” in its modern sense, we tend to think of the morally reprehensible. Media moguls spent years combatting piracy by conjuring up disheveled images of thugs and depictions of malevolence, along with the line “You wouldn’t steal a car,” but this sort of propaganda couldn’t be farther from the truth. No longer is piracy an act of devestation performed only by the wicked, but as piracy’s negative outcome has weakened, its rates have proportionally skyrocketed. Nearly everyone in the digital world, even the most righteous, has pirated something at some point in their lives, be it a movie, a song, or in our case, a video game.
Head past the jump to keep reading!
Party Members! They valuable assets in video games, most notably in RPGs, but more often than not, you are given more than you need or can use. Sometimes the amount of possible party members borders on the ridiculous, Final Fantasy VI had over 30 party members (granted over half of which were temporary), but some are mild like Persona 4 which featured 7 possible characters to choose from, including yourself.
Players in Persona 4 of course control, their blank avatar who they name and whose personality is shaped around the player's decisions. Along the way players quickly build up their first full party consisting of Chie Satonaka, Yosuke Hanamura, and Yukiko Amagi (Depicted to the left). Of course, as the game continues players are given 3 more members to choose from, Kanji Tatsumi, Teddie, and Naoto Shirogane. But switching out any of your previous party members for a new one isn't exactly easy.
By the time a new party member comes into play you've usually become attached to your current party and having working strategies set up around their movesets, stats, and abilities. Some have no problem switching out the old for the new, especially in games like Pokemon where it's better to switch out a water type to a fire type to fight a grass type gym leader, but some people find a workaround to avoid such problems because they can't bear to change their party for some personal reason. So I want to know, what keeps you from changing party members in RPGs like Pokemon or Mass Effect?
2001 introduced gamers to the wonderful world of Luigi's Mansion, a game which deviated from the traditional Mario scene and featured the younger, greener Luigi in the starring role. Twelve years later, Dark Moon has arrived, and introduces players to the Evershade Valley, where the wonderfully spry Professor E. Gadd has relocated in order to study ghosts in a closer environment. But when the Dark Moon is shattered and the playful ghosts start destroying the professor’s work, it's up to Luigi to get them back under control. Equipped with a handy new Poltergust and his signature brave face — or lack thereof — the other brother sets foot into five nearby mansions to restore the Dark Moon and tame the harum-scarum specters.
How does Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon hold up to its hype? Head past the jump to keep reading.
Valve is perhaps the most beloved publisher / developer in the world right now, and for good reason. The constant influx of quality games, fabulous customer relations and a business model that does not feel like giving a blowjob to 500 pound rednecks named Buck in the back of a convenience store for games are all very positive things. However, Valve has set themselves up for the biggest backfire in the history of gaming, and it's called Half-Life 3.
Just today we have seen a new stream of rumors concerning the imminent announcement of Half-Life 3 (source), and I wholeheartedly expected my fleshy insides to tingle with excitement. Instead, all I felt was last night's leftover lunch becoming much less solid and much more brown. The truth of the matter is simple - Valve is pushing it. There's only so much teasing that the gaming community is willing to absorb, and giving the rapid (SEVERE UNDERSTATEMENT) decline in overall customer satisfaction with the industry, even the goodwill that Valve has amassed among its fans is starting to wear thin in this particular regard. However, that is not the crux of the issue, a "it's ready when it's ready" mentality is not necessarily a bad thing, and it won't matter once we have a release date and eventually sit down to play the game.
It's no secret by now that EA's support for the Wii U platform and the 3DS is practically non-existent going forward. That isn't to say they haven't released "any" games for the platforms, but it's well known they are keeping major franchises away from the systems previously and will continue to do so moving forward. Even games that were fully running and ready to go out to the production line, such as Crysis 3, were shelved due to Nintendo and EA essentially not getting along.
Lets set aside, for a moment, that EA has been making some questionable decisions in terms of how they are running their business. Let's also not place entirely all the blame on EA themselves. We will get into this in a moment, but Nintendo is responsible heavily for rifts with EA. However, the better question is, could we finally reach a point in the future where Nintendo and EA's relationship is just like what it is with Ubisoft? It always possible, and I have some sure fire steps that need to be taken on both fronts to make this a reality.