You know what? Free stuff is awesome. And I’m not talking about a free thimbleful of all-new Coke Zero at your local supermarket, here, either. Titanfall 2 is giving away stuff that, in other games, you’d be expecting to pay at least a few quid for. And what’s weird is they’re doing it on purpose, and it keeps on happening. Before I analyse this bizarre business decision, let’s quickly talk about another – Titanfall 2’s release date. It was inexplicably positioned in the tiny gap between Battlefield 1 and COD: Infinite Warfare last year, and sales really suffered for it. But you may have heard that it’s actually really bloody good, which means you can now nab it at a bargain price and get your fill of space-age shootery. But we know what you’re thinking. “If I pick it up now, the servers will be dead and the only players still on them will be on maps that are locked behind DLC payment screens.” Well, that is where … [Read more...] about Thanks to all the free updates, the Titanfall 2 community is alive and happier than ever
When is m and s sale
For a while now I feel that Nintendo has been doing a good job of distancing themselves from any competition between the PlayStation and Xbox brands. They do things pretty differently. When the PS2 and Xbox where using DVD media, Nintendo’s GameCube used tiny little toy-like dishes. When the PS3 and Xbox 360 brought stunning HD games and rich multimedia functions to home consoles, Nintendo’s Wii introduced motion controls that helped it become the best-selling home console of that generation.With the staggeringly technically powerful PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on the horizon, the Wii U has marked Nintendo’s debut into HD gaming and introduced a tablet for a controller.I think it goes without saying that Nintendo runs their own pace to win their own race.Despite the dramatic difference in the technical specifications of Nintendo’s consoles compared to their “competitors”, Nintendo has absolutely never failed to deliver quality exclusive titles on … [Read more...] about Nintendo’s User Account System is Outdated and Downright Unfair
It is February, 2017, and respected fantasy author Pat Rothfuss is livestreaming Torment: Tides of Numenera. Viewers are watching him play through the earliest scenes of the isometric RPG, for which he has written an inspired companion character. But you would be hard pressed to know he was playing at all. Related: How Brian Fargo's hustle kept inXile alive long enough to revive the RPG. Sometimes Rothfuss clicks to move his character through the world - until a paragraph of descriptive prose pops up. When that happens he falls silent to read. Occasionally, he chuckles. During these long moments, of which there are many, the screen is almost totally static. “It couldn’t have been more dull,” inXile head Brian Fargo laments. “I love Patrick, I love the game, but that’s not fun to watch.” The fact that Tides of Numenera is not exactly a spectator sport might go some way to explaining why this 9/10 RPG will not bother Steam’s top-seller … [Read more...] about Torment: Tides of Numenera’s sales have been “disappointing” – but why?
As everyone prepares to get together for the holiday celebration, Gabe Newell has decided to pull you back to the computer tomorrow with the annual Steam Winter sale. In what has become a tradition for Steam sales, the exact date for the beginning of it was revealed by Paypal, this time doing so on their Twitter account.While Valve has not publicly confirmed that date, they have announced when the voting on the Steam Awards will begin, and it will be December 22nd. Over 15 million nominees were sent in, and the final winners will be announced on New Year’s Eve. This event is likely continuing the recent trend of the “gimmicks” for the sales to be more community oriented and less of a game. While we’ll include the full list of dates, nominees, and awards below, we want to focus here first on the write-in category, which will have their vote on December 30th.Instead of just choosing one, Valve has opted to go with four different write-in awards, and no, none … [Read more...] about Steam Awards Voting and Winter Sale Begin Tomorrow
My esteemed colleague Robert N. Adams discussed that he found this Winter Sale “disappointing” and, well, that’s his opinion. The wonderful thing is opinions are something we all have, and I have to say in general I disagree. There is an issue with the Steam sale, but it’s not the lack of Flash Sales or minigames.Flash Sales were all about creating false scarcity, as on the digital side of goods there is never the impetus of “limited supplies.” Retailers like Steam have an unlimited quantity of supply, and thus they have turned traditionally to things like Flash Sales to create that type of traffic that brick and mortar retailers can get by saying “while supplies last, these days only!” The goal is to keep people coming back and back and it actually hurts the general customer experience by requiring things like the Steam sales chart, which was all about metagaming the Steam sale. He discusses that the flowchart was … [Read more...] about The Steam Sale Issue is Discoverability Not Flash Sales
Note: I’ve had quite a few people who either don’t follow games closely or only heard about Star Citizen [official site] relatively late in the day ask me to explain it to them. This piece is intended to break down a complicated situation for those people and others like them. If you already know the ins and outs of this most unprecedented tale of crowdfunding, spaceships and controversies, it will be of little use to you, though please do help to cast more light on the affair in comments below. What is Star Citizen?Well, that’s a question with a least two answers. The first, and simplest, one, is that it’s a sci-fi simulation, combat, trading and to some extent roleplaying game from Chris Roberts, the lead designer of Wing Commander, the 1990s series of PC spaceship games. Those fondly-remembered DOS titles are as famous for their full-motion video cutscenes starring Mark Hamill and some lion-men as they are for their cosmic dogfights.Star Citizen, initially … [Read more...] about Star Citizen 101: What Is It And Why Is It Controversial?
I’m loath to write another No Man’s Sky [official site] release date story because those discussions have led to or fed into some particularly damaging and extreme responses. But I’m also part of a community which is curious to play the finished version (and part of the professional community who need to know timings for reviews) and see what the game is like. As such, the ongoing confusion about release dates is of interest. At the moment it’s revolving around the “about” page on the NMS site which now states: “No Man’s Sky is a game about exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy, coming to PS4 on August 9th in North America and August 10th in Europe, and on PC worldwide on August 12th.”[If you’re not interested in No Man’s Sky LOOK AWAY. Reading on will only make you cross.]For the UK that’s actually the same release date as we’ve had pencilled into our diaries already. But for … [Read more...] about When Is No Man’s Sky Coming Out?
Now and again, a game comes around whose experience is so vulnerable to spoiling, that it seems merely whispering a single detail could annihilate sales. Reviewers and enthusiasts who would ordinarily wax lyrical about a beloved game find themselves in the awkward position of trying to recommend the game without, uh, mentioning what it’s about. You’ve probably heard of Alexander Martin’s Starseed Pilgrim, right? Or maybe you haven’t, considering we’re not supposed to talk about it. Shhhhh.But what if something exists beyond those spoilers, something else that we should talk about?Michael Brough’s Kompendium is a suite of nine competitive two-player games released to little fanfare two years ago. I’d heard good things about it, but only recently played it for the first time. It doesn’t need controllers as players duke it out on the same keyboard. I can confirm Kompendium is clever, crafty fun but there’s something special in its … [Read more...] about Editorial: When Is It OK To Spoil A Mechanic?
Dean Hall is a natural born risk taker. He didn't just enlist in the New Zealand Air Force. He endured a month-long survival training exercise in Brunei that turned his fingernails yellow. He didn't just start making maps and mods for games when his service was done. He moved to Prague to make DayZ. And when he took a vacation from development last year, he didn't lounge on a beach. He climbed Mount Everest.Telling Dean Hall not to take a risk is like telling Robert Frost to take the path most traveled. Their DNA would rebel.Last December, after years of work, he and the DayZ development team at Bohemia Interactive took the latest in a series of risks and released an unfinished, standalone version of the game on Steam Early Access.Hall and the DayZ development team spent 2013 rebuilding the game and its reputation after an often difficult 2012. By the end of 2013, they were satisfied with their progress and ready to release it to the world. But nobody quite knew what to expect when … [Read more...] about How DayZ’s sales success will change the game and its creator
Knack, the PlayStation 4 launch title from SCE Japan Studio, is a platformer that hopes to satisfy all audiences across the gaming spectrum — from hardcore players brought up on challenging classics to newcomers of all ages.During a Gamescom 2013 demo, game director and PS4 lead architect Mark Cerny showcased how it manages to meet those two opposing demands. There are three difficulty settings in the game, scaling not just combat and survivability to meet players' skill levels, but platforming challenge as well. New players can also be assisted using an asymmetrical co-op mode, letting another player assist Knack in combat and exploration.Speaking to Polygon following the presentation, Cerny explained that delivering on the expectations of newer audiences is a much larger obstacle than catering to a more talented crowd. "Making a game for the nostalgia-core player, people who played Crash Bandicoot or the like back in the day, that's not that difficult to do," Cerny said. "It's … [Read more...] about Cerny: Making Knack difficult is easy, and making it easy is difficult