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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!

We've seen some interesting, if not wholly distasteful, trends in the industry the last 5 years. We have seen day one DLC (which most agree is silly), on disc DLC (again, locking out content you technically already paid for), DRM (attempting to prevent pirate players from playing), and naturally some always-online talk (which most agree is a silly concept). All of this is done mostly because of one simple factor: People pirate games... and they pirate a lot of them. While it's most rampant on PC's, consoles themselves are not inherently left out of the equation.

Personally, I can't deny that I have never pirated a game. I have, just once, and at the time I felt my reasoning was justified. It was a game lacking a demo, and I felt entitled to "try before I buy". To many pirates, this is a logical excuse we use to reason with our own self morals. Of course, this is but one of the reasons pirates have for stealing games. The problem with every excuse out there becomes the fact that none of them actually truly morally justify stealing a game.

Ahh Watch Dogs. You are one of the year's most anticipated titles and you happen to be an all new IP at the same time, something the industry seems to think isn't possible. There was apparently a big press event held for this game in Europe, and assuredly we will likely get some gameplay footage later today. That being said, above we have a trailer, which hasn't officially been released just yet (but will be shortly).

Inside, we have some images of some pre-order bonuses, special editions, and of course the release date.


As the first truly free to play, no pay for content later experience on the Wii U (though, not technically true, as it’s only free until the full game’s release) I was naturally excited to try out the Rayman Legends: Challenge App. It’s a single player online experience where you are competing in two different tasks each day, with a new challenge every day and an additional one every week in “randomly generated” levels.

It’s been a few days so I figure now is as good of a time as any to tell you just how great this experience is. 


Nintendo is known for making bold steps in the industry, but most of that has to do with the hardware they release. A handheld with two screens? That can’t possibly work! 150+ million sales later it’s shown that yes, it can. Motion controls and simplified controls! You’re crazy Nintendo. 99 million in sales later says that actually, no they weren’t. 3DS? No one likes 3D Nintendo! 30+ Million in sales over two years. Not too shabby.

Of course, the outlier right now is the Wii U, of which Nintendo hasn’t fully turned around yet, but let’s give them a bit of time to see how that plays out. History points to it being just fine in the end.

The industry itself is broken right now. Games that sell millions of units aren’t successful or wholly profitable. Every year the big three show up to E3 with many hopes and dreams on the line, only to be dashed when we see the next Kinect game, or see a spell book game with the PS Move, or an emphasis on cable television. Even the mighty Nintendo has faltered, with broken promises (E3 2011) and poorly targeted software (ending E3 2012 with Nintendo Land).


The time for rumors and speculation are soon to come to an end, as Microsoft has finally lifted the covers off of the reveal date for their all new system. According to Microsoft Spokesperson Larry Hyrb:

On Tuesday May 21st, we’ll mark the beginning of a new generation of games, TV and entertainment. On that day, we’ll be holding a special press event on the Xbox campus and we invite you to join us via the live global stream that will be available on Xbox.com, Xbox LIVE and broadcast on Spike TV if you are in the US or Canada.

On that day, we’ll share our vision for Xbox, and give you a real taste of the future. Then, 19-days later at theElectronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, we’ll continue the conversation and showcase our full lineup of blockbuster games.

We are thrilled to pull back the curtain and reveal what we’ve been working on.

A New Generation Revealed 

Xbox Campus, Redmond WA 
Tuesday, May 21st @ 1p ET/10a PT/17:00 GMT
So there you have it folks. What are you hoping to find out about the Next Xbox?

Despite the experts, analysts, and pundits all predicting a decent loss for Nintendo's final numbers in the last fiscal year, Nintendo was able to pull out ahead with a Net Profit of $71 million despite an overall operating loss of $366 million. For those that aren't educated on the difference between those two numbers, a lot of it has to do with how they are allocating their taxes. In essence, the Operating Losses could potentially be tied to eating some of the fiscal losses for the previous year, with a small allocation to potential costs in the next fiscal period.

Of course, that's all speculation. Still, you can have an operating loss yet still turn profit overall, but how you can come to these numbers is slightly above my pay grade (I haven't had an accounting class in 8 years). That being said, Nintendo is claiming the Wii U had a negative impact on income, while the Yen depreciating in March actually ended up being what caused Nintendo to be able to end the year strong with a profit gain. Cutting it rather close, Big N. More inside.



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.

Both of these terms are important aspects to many video games, and have been almost since the dawn of gaming itself. Violence, in one way or another, is ever present in most of the games we play. Be it Mario stomping out Goombas, Link attacking well... anything, or killing virtual people in games like Call of Duty: Violence is an ever present part of the video game culture that we all enjoy on various levels.

Another intricate and ever more present aspect is story. It drives players to want to complete certain tasks, it gives motivation, and more importantly it can touch us on a personal level in a way that sometimes can't be conveyed in a movie.

Neither one of these aspects is required to create a compelling experience – as an example, something as simple as Minecraft is technically a video game and it doesn't rely on violence or story in order to create a fantastic product.



Toki Tori 2 has arrived on the Wii U e-shop this month, and man has it been a pleasant surprise. Having never played the original I wasn't exactly sure what I was walking into. When I played the alpha build on steam there was a slew of notable issues, mostly the lack of sound and lots of lag. In the Wii U final edition, both of these are corrected.

Toki Tori 2 is extremely simplistic from the moment you boot it up. So much so there are absolutely no tutorials or even a simple start screen. The GamePad will tell you the two basic moves (stomp and sing) and shortly into your first few minutes the only real text in the game appears... the game's title.


VGLeaks has been providing gamers with quite a bit of intrigue over the past few years, and they have a surprisingly good track record. Thus, when they announce something that goes against everything we've heard before, things get a little turbulent. According to the just-released Xbox Roadmap 2013, Microsoft is getting really ambitious with the release of the upcoming Xbox 360's successor. Head past the jump for all the juicy information!


Splinter Cell: Blacklist is heading to Wii U  on August 20 in North America, August 22 for EMEA territories and August 23 in the UK. Ubisoft continues to show a lot of support to the Wii U platform and for their sake I hope it starts to really pay off. I have never been a huge fan of the series, but I might be willing to give this game a go. Hope inside to see another screenshot, the official box art, and a gameplay walkthrough provided by the devs.

I struggled writing the title for this piece due to one major factor: I personally really like Mr. Iwata. I haven’t met the man, but from what we have seen publicly he is just very likable. He’s a CEO that cut his own pay when sales dipped. He’s very honest in an industry where many talk out their ass. He does developer interviews in Iwata Asks and spurred the Nintendo Directs – both of which I thoroughly enjoy and have been nice additions for the fans.

However, in many ways Iwata has a bit too much of Miyamoto in him. He’s a fine idea man with some nice concepts, but too often he finds himself apologizing for mistakes he has made. Grant it, he is pretty good at rectifying his own mistakes over time, but the fact he has continually made them is certainly a problem.

         

Rising indie developer AckkStudios is developing an upcoming game called Two Brothers, an action RPG designed to feel like a classic Game Boy game. We at Gamnesia had the chance to speak to Andrew Allanson, who served as the producer and leading composer and on the game's staff, about a wide variety of subjects. Areas of focus in this interview including the design of the game, challenges introducing gamers to Two Brothers' new ideas, and the relationship between plot and gameplay. Read the full interview to see why you should be as excited as we are excited about Two Brothers.