Our fifth podcast is now live! This edition includes the rumoured Xbox Scarlett!
Thoughts on comments from Nihon Falcom and reports on Xbox Scarlett being a streaming service! Mega Man X and Sonic Mania Plus! How many Nindies per week?!
Thoughts on comments from Nihon Falcom and reports on Xbox Scarlett being a streaming service! Mega Man X and Sonic Mania Plus! How many Nindies per week?!
Thoughts on Fortnite! Cross-Platform Play shenanigans and Mega Man 11 absolutely not coming to Europe at retail too! Everyone is Here in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on E3 2018 and Sony does….what to your Epic Games account?!
Thoughts on Battlefield V vs Call of Duty! Pokemon Let’s Go and Mega Man 11 not coming to Europe at retail too!
Plus, hear what we have been playing this week. Then our thoughts on some pre-E3 reveals and the comments about…a new portable PlayStation?
You guys might want to sit down for this.
So you all know I have become disillusioned with my degree as a Game Designer, I mean I did fail after all. It’s become something I see, and many others see online, a reflection of the negatives of the industry. I always believe if you are creating a form of entertainment, you should make it your best efforts, otherwise a lack of enjoyment from users will mean it wasn’t entertaining. Catch my drift?
So, for simplicity sake, we are going to go through the classes and some anecdotes of my time studying Computer Games Design, explain why I am self-taught, what we were taught, what the marking states we are expected to do in the industry, and how we are expected to progress as individuals and businesses.
So, let’s start at the start.
They hate Nintendo: I’m just getting this done with now, because it’s the most bassackwards kind of thing you’ve ever heard. So when discussing what game systems sold the most, just as a bit of general knowledge, we had 5 options.
So, we had a logical question: Obviously it is PS2 right? Well we asked, for obvious reasons, does that include hardware revisions like the DSi? They said yes, so stuff like the GBA counts towards Game Boy sales as it’s the same thing.
To these people, teaching the young folk of the industry, the GBA is just a Game Boy. Not new hardware, not new games, just a Game Boy. I did point out (After promptly bashing my head of a table like several others in the room did), that this would mean the Wii U did very well, and the PS4 is well over 400 million units by now, if we use that logic.
They stood by it, so whatever. They also said Wii U games can’t be near the size of Blu-Ray, and Nintendo doesn’t make big games anyway so why expect AAAs. (This was before Switch, I must stress). This was a collective head bash again, as the Wii U discs go to 25GB.
There was a blatant love of false information, it was disheartening to see, but as time went on it just becomes numbing as opposed to shocking. For people who worked in the industry one would expect them to be accurate with what they teach to the future.
Be at the forefront of new technology….that we want you to be at: Do you know how fast they were all over PS4 Pro? PSVR? Sony partnered uni for you. Interns there are making VR games, even. That’s cool. That was one of many blooming fields in gaming right now, and I fully support it.
So when I had the opportunity to demo Nintendo Switch, on my own time and money, and be given some of the opportunities I have now (Through my own actions and skill, not theirs, I have to add), they weren’t happy. Why? This is something I’ve never gotten a straight answer on. You tell us to be at the forefront for new and exciting stuff, but seemingly only if it suits them.
They think platformers are outdated. Cant have running and jumping no more. We were actively discouraged from making those for level design courses which didn’t make much sense, given that’s an excellent show of designing a level regarding flow, player abilities and more.
Now we move on to the content, I have more anecdotes about their very weird views on what we should be doing, because some of it is flat-out restrictive to making games and content, but those will pop up in the next section
Production: Making 12 page Game Design Documentation, and small prototypes. This is all fine and good. There was an inordinate amount of time spent on writing stories (I have no idea why they spent that long on that, it was at least 5 weeks), but they did cover some handy things like progression through a game and mechanics. This was pretty good. Only downside was very little, maybe 1 week, of programming, which means making the actual game was….a challenge. Even then it was copy/pasted code.
Plus, and this is important to bring up, I have come to understand that I design games in the “Japanese” way as opposed to the “Western” way. It just suits my workflow better. Shorter documents, different primary focus, where western focus is on visuals, character and story, mine and seemingly eastern focus, is on gameplay. Those have priority in the official documentation.
I was marked down for that, with the specific words that…I was wrong. Doing something wrong, yet only doing the same thing differently because it suited me. University, and especially a creative field, was being judged on academic criteria, which is counter to the nature of the field.
Creative Design: This started strong. Making company logos, scene concept art, character concept art, promo materials, all good stuff. But that was just half of it. The 2nd half, bear in mind this was mandatory to pass, involved making an interactive magazine, with a video review of content, and amazingly enough, a prediction of the future of something we have interest in.
So I said, based on previous industries like phones and PCs, and them having peripherals to play handheld games on consoles, and console ports on handhelds, that Nintendo will create some kind of hybrid system.
They said we aren’t giving you the marks, as that’s not realistic, citing Nintendo wont be around and the technology isn’t there yet to make it compelling. You can imagine my feelings on this now.
I never did get awarded those marks.
3D Modelling: I have no issue with this. Despite not being very arty, its relevant and covered everything from individual models to whole scenes. This was good, very good in fact.
Web Development: Making websites. In a games design course. Yep. People had the option to do Flash animations as well, as an alternative, but neither are super relevant. You could say Flash based games are, but this was 2014, Flash was already outdated and soon after deprecated.
3D Animations: No problem here. Make 3D animations. My only issue was, amazingly, being put in a group half the size needed for group work, one of whom didn’t work, and the other didn’t want me as part of the team. So I opted to redo it and still failed, as I was then stuck doing a 6-man job as an individual.
Level Design: Relevant. Don’t know why they pushed CryEngine so much, as I think everyone universally hated it, both years I did it. This was one I had to redo because despite having the right sized team, one guy actively faked doing work until he vanished 4 weeks prior, so all I had was code and no assets, and the other guy, bless him he is lovely, doesn’t do any good standard of work. The new team was far better, despite having to teach myself C++ for Unreal Engine 4, because the uni seems to have some weird aversion to teaching how to actually make the game part of a video game.
Mobile App Development: What has this to do with games? Nothing. It was mobile website development, by the way, just thinly veiled. Had to make apps to track people via Google Maps. Riveting.
Had the same lovely guy from Level Design working with me on this one, never did any work, had to teach myself PHP for server-side stuff, because they wouldn’t teach that for some reason (again) despite being half of the marks. Turns out he went and made SASS sheets that were just HTML formatted incorrectly, so we had to scramble! The teaching focused solely on front end: Visuals and appearance.
Games Programming: It was a train wreck. A good attempt but most didn’t get it (Heck I didn’t get it) as the information wasn’t being conveyed in a way that made it learnable, it was just pure here’s some code away you go slap it together. The attempt at teaching programming was a copy and paste effort. Not productive in the slightest, and in hindsight was vastly over-complicated for what needed to be done. You don’t start teaching programming to some students who have never touched an IDE by having them make AI.
User Interaction: Critiquing UI across devices and suitability for things like VR and such. I didn’t do this one, wouldn’t let me because I didn’t do Flash animation (Why?) but, at least it was relevant to the field.
Multimedia Web Development: This was an extension of making apps except it was making videos and images for web-based viewing. Game Design remember?
Audio: Smashing stuff. Didn’t do this, because I didn’t do Flash, but hey they you go. Another relevant one.
Professional Awareness: You know I have no idea what this is? Talking to people who did it, they didn’t either. It was something to do with team work. Can’t really fault that from the outside, but the confused responses I saw from people made me think it was one of those “token classes”.
Here we go. So a note, they wouldn’t let me do the group project or individual research project. I’m going to get to something else they didn’t let me do this year as well, at the end.
Advanced Concepts in Gaming: Debate issues around gaming such as women’s rights, sex, violence, anthropomorphism, realism, middleware and so on. We had to make either a realistic building render, a character creator (Which I did, guess what there was a complete lack of material on? Yes there really was NO teaching on what the hell they even expected!) or a transmedia narrative, spanning multiple devices.
Basically glorified marketing. I actually failed this one, because for whatever reason, my side of the debate, when it came to the debate, didn’t back me up in the slightest. Didn’t help every debate prior had been a one sentence thing, while this was a paragraph on why anthropomorphism is bad for games as it is dehumanizing. Overall, this wasn’t a bad idea, it just wasn’t…a good marking thing? It’s hard to explain. Like why the class existed was okay, but what you had to do to pass was all kinds of arbitrary.
Digital 3D Effects: Make a 90 second CGI movie. Take real footage and CG something in. And make a documentary about making it. Teams of 4, I got a team of 2, with the nice guy who does nothing from Level Design again.
Side note, the people in the class did say “Thanks for taking one for the team”. Cheeky sods.
But again, this is Game Design. Making CGI/Live Action movies? I….alright? I don’t see the relevance unless you wanted to do pre-rendered cutscenes.
But the good part: So being colour-blind I can’t composite shots very well. I can’t get the tones right, so I directed the location shoots, designed a monster for a monster movie trailer, animated it, gave it all to the lovely guy to do, while I worked on a documentary using shots of the cut up work with narration to explain what we did. It was easy marks for him, and he couldn’t possibly screw this one up.
Boy did he ever. For some reason he used barely any effects, had terrible audio balancing, used his own static image for a monster it was just….I had some alcohol that night. It totally invalidated the documentary as well, which didn’t help marks.
But to compound things, he did ask for feedback, and by the time I was done watching the…monstrosity…he had constructed, he messaged me to tell me it was submitted.
I became a very good friend of Mr. Jack Daniels that night.
Indie Game Development: Here we go. The things you need to know when making a small studio. Great right? It also went over ways to make money and such. Didn’t cover talking to other companies or acquiring anything for development but hey, priorities.
When writing out a business plan however, we were required to plan out DLC and micro-transactions (Not just for marking purposes), but it is a requirement they want us to do when we plan a game. They want us to put MTAs and DLC in from the start.
And I didn’t do that. I openly object to that.
Also, this required submission of .exe files and code via electronic submission. All handy right? Electronic submissions don’t allow zips, rar files, code files or exe files. Whoops. Another mismanagement. You can’t submit it electronically due to restrictions on what can be uploaded, but the only submission was electronic.
Advanced Concepts in Web Production: Judging by what Advanced Concepts in Gaming was about….probably the same but Web-based. Again though, it’s Game Design.
Creative Visualisation and Animation: Do you know those Casually Explained videos that have neat animations explaining things and how they work? It’s that. Make that. Pick something and explain how it works via animation. Game Design.
And that’s the course structure. As you can see, a lot of it is irrelevant to the actual subject, but it’s what you didn’t see that worries me more. While a fair chunk of it is relevant, even within those, there are alarming holes, not most beyond teaching some dodgy practices and business moves.
Firstly: Where the hell was optimisation? I cannot stress this enough. We weren’t taught how to optimise anything, even for PC. Looking back it was mentioned in passing, like what it is and why you do it, but nothing on it. When submitting something, hardware just has to brute force it.
Secondly: Programming! They tried, bless, but it was so poorly done, in addition to a lot of mismanagement, it’s worrying that they hand wave the key component of making a game interactive. The bit that makes the game a game.
There was a week where Intel were coming around and allegedly offering job opportunities (Now why Intel came to game designers to offer them jobs, some of whom wont pass for two years, is a mystery) but it happened. Interns ran interviews, and all was well. Got emails and checked the sites for the list of times and such, find my allotted time.
This was a mandatory thing that had to be done by all second and third year students.
Long list of names, covering all second and third year students, both in the e-mail and on the website.
I had been withheld from an opportunity that was listed as mandatory I must stress, and they never once said why. They never once said “We don’t want you there”, they just never let me do it and never mentioned it to me. I asked my housemate, once they revealed they were one of the people doing the interviews. They said they didn’t know why either. The staff pretend it never happened.
Now, they had, since day one, said we should be striving on our own as well. Working on games in the background, and eventually, trying to get relations with developers and publishers who visit for talks, see the exhibitions at the end of every year, and so on.
So, being a guy who likes to make progress, I did the numbers, looked at what games I wanted to make, so on and so forth, and by the half way point of that first year of learning, I was already talking to the first company I even spoke to.
But here is my thing. They say go to the new tech. Make the games you think people will enjoy. Work with people, who get you where you want to be. But it has become increasingly apparent, that it doesn’t apply to certain companies. I don’t know the exact reason why, I don’t know for what purpose, but I have been locked out of opportunities on many occasions beyond the egregious one I listed, ever since I took their initiative, showed initiative, and made myself known.
They refused to let me go and demo the Nintendo Switch in London, on my own time and money. Obviously I went anyway!
At the end of the day I got ahead, did as they asked, and I was pushed away by it. And that’s on a personal level, the worst aspect, that doing what I want and what they said I should do, has led to being left on the side.
This led to a serious downward spiral for my health both mentally and physically. I hope it is the only time I need medication for depression and anxiety, because lord knows it was a rough time.
But here is my final thought on the matter.
In a lot of ways, I have enjoyed myself. I have learned things, that granted, I did pick up over time just by playing games and being analytical about them, but the doesn’t excuse the gaps in knowledge, some of which is crucial, and the blatant irrelevancy and mismanagement of the course in general. For £9000 tuition fee per year, and all the loans I’ll have to repay?
It needs to be better.
That is 100% the truth. This is the education an actual institution is giving students who, god forbid if this standard maintains, will be making games in the near future. Aggressive monetization, dodgy practices, lapses in knowledge. Yes they can’t reasonably teach everything, but they could at least teach well and relevant.
Universities are ultimately a business, and this was a course that I personally feel was misleading. It positioned itself as one thing, with freedom, and revealed itself to be a stifling, counter-intuitive, sometimes random mismatched bunch of classes marked academically to judge creativity: And the problem with that is, if you don’t fall in line with that is expected, creativity can be shunned.
So this is a discussion close to me, as a programmer anyway, as it is something that I have not only been subject to, but others have around me as well. Not just that, but you will see it regarding reviews of games or other software, or rather, it’s what you don’t see that is interesting.
So as I went through university for Game Design, a choice I completely regret (I mean that Economics degree was right there…), I realised we spent very little time learning the bit that makes games…interactive. Programming was barely a footnote amongst the art and writing aspects (And how to make the most money by selling your game piecemeal). I suppose this was the downside of the course focusing strictly on the “Traditional Western AAA methods”. I’ll write another article about the entire issue of the education I had at a later date, because it makes my blood boil.
In terms of programming, outside of the classes on Websites (Which were fine) and “Mobile Apps” (Which were really mobile websites), there wasn’t a lot. In my first year, in 2014, there was a class on “Digital Media and Design”, which from those who took said class, sounded like making games and animations in Flash. Yes, in 2014, I am just as baffled as you are.
Second year had a class on “Games Engine Programming” which was basically C# in Unity. Now on paper this is a good idea. In practice, it was far too fast for anyone there to get anything, and overcomplicated matters without ever explaining the purpose of functions, methods or any other aspects. Just follow along, and we were expected to produce AI, procedural generation and inventory management systems. It was a mess.
Beyond that, programming was….well there is a reason they asked to see who was a programmer at the start of the course. They basically have it set up so the programmers go solo with learning, so they don’t have to, and hope the group work plays out okay.
It’s baffling there is a course on making games that barely scratches the surface of making a game interactive, there was actually more classes on micro transactions and the types of story you can tell. Don’t even ask about optimisation, or programming in any other engines that we were required to use like CryENGINE and Unreal Engine 4. That wasn’t touched in the slightest.
But this is the facts, a generation of developers is now out in the world….with no knowledge of how to make a game interactive or be coded properly, and the problem is, this means they will be seen.
So my other issue that I brought up mentioned reviews, and this is true. Look at any review for a game. How often does a review mention how glitch free, or well done the collisions are? What about how stable the game is on a technical level? What about AI praise, or so on so forth? Programming in games, especially good programming, goes in-noticed. It’s never going to draw attention to itself by being good. But art, music, visuals? Yeah, people will praise that, and rightly so, if the work is good, praise them. But programmers don’t get that luxury.
Now read some reviews. Look at some bad games. How many mention the programming issues like glitches, or dodgy AI? Yeah, it drew attention to itself. A programmer is only seen and acknowledged when the work is below average. Back in university after clearing a group project and spending many nights building a gameplay style I was told to put in instead of refining other mechanics, I didn’t get to go to the expo to show the game off. The artists, writers, musicians went. Us programmers? Stay at home, put your feet up, your work doesn’t actually sell a game.
It should, because if a game is technically sound, it’s going to be a good game to play and should be fun, right? But your part in that won’t be praised.
For a field as demanding and knowledge based as programming, one has to wonder why the unsung heroes of game development don’t get recognition, at least when their work is good, alongside their peers in development. It’s an interesting situation and one I am not sure I would know of a solution to. Sure they are in the credits, but the actual conversations beyond that, you’d be hard pressed to hear someone praise a game’s programming.
That is just the thing. As programming isn’t a spoken and praised field like art, or writing, or hell even monetization if you look at the industry today, why should it be taught to students? The people of the world won’t notice it unless it’s bad, and they figure (And I know this is the case), that people who want to be programmers don’t need the teaching. Well, we do. We all learn somehow, and there is only so much Google and books can give you without the insight.
I sincerely hope in the future as games become more demanding, programmers get the praise they deserve. They are more than the people in dark cubicles who complain a lot. They make the game work. They make your tools. They gave you the software to develop your animations and art. They are there when something breaks and they would rather be asleep.
And this isn’t even mentioning the industry where if a programming job can be found by someone cheaper, a developer will likely take it regardless of quality. That’s a thing too, I suppose. Labour turn-over is a real issue.
If you enjoyed this rather different piece, share and leave feedback on social media, and I will see you for the next one. Until then, Happy Gaming!
Well truthfully, announcing something before it is ready, or even before active development, is a terrible idea for consumers and for developers.
For the gamers, you have to understand there is a “Hype cycle” announce a game a few months too early and people will be clamouring to just see it be released already, the “We get it please shut up” approach. This actually happened with Super Mario Odyssey if you can believe it.
On the flip side for gamers, announcing it soon or close to release isn’t such a bad idea. It may be for their wallets but you get a good period of time to promote the game and out the door. Something like Wolfenstein II or Mario + Rabbids springs to mind, with a few months between reveal and launch.
This goes down incredibly well. A focused, brief campaign, not too stretching on the budget, and it keeps the game in the cycle for the duration with well-timed releases. This benefits the developer as well. Gamers want it now, so getting it as fast as possible in concise ways is great.
Then we have what happens when you announce a game too far in advance. We all know the success or horror stories of games being announced close to launch, either with great campaigns or people forgetting said game was even coming out (Evil Within 2 anyone?) but the other end of the scale is far, far worse.
Who remembers Final Fantasy XV? Who remembers what it originally was? Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a spin-off to Final Fantasy XIII. This game was announced all the way back in 2006, final lands in 2016. It took over 10 years to finally arrive, going through development hell (Though reports suggest by 2012 it was barely in development anyway) and changes in staff.
The problem is, I can’t fathom why Square Enix felt the need to announce a spin-off to a game that wouldn’t even come out for another 3 years. Final Fantasy XIII didn’t land until 2009, so the timing of this reveal makes no sense. When you don’t know the first game will be a hit or not, why try to build a universe around it?
To compound issues, let’s jump to 2013, with Kingdom Hearts 3, now saddled with a 2018 (Sure) release date. We haven’t seen much of the game, but apparently it’s coming in 2018. But now gamers are frustrated and just want a date and to finally play the thing.
Jump ahead to 2015, where Sony announced that the Last Guardian was coming to PS4, a game announced in 2009 I might add, Shenmue 3 via crowdfunding (Yes really) which has had spotty development updates and no gameplay shown, yet is due next year apparently, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake, of which we have seen some gameplay, it fell off the radar, and reports of development restructuring came to light. It’s also episodic, so expect to finish the remake in 2030.
All these games had the same problem. They showcased ideas. They didn’t sell us the game, they simply said it existed. Then radio silence, the gamers get nothing. Doing that, as shown with Final Fantasy XV, is incredibly damaging, as during development you don’t know how much it will change, if it will be cancelled, but having nothing to show instills no confidence in the consumer.
But then there is the damage to the hype cycle. Take E3 2017 for Sony. It was a repeat of 2016, barring a sprinkling of new games, and this left people wondering, why was that stuff at E3 2016, when it could have been held over for this year, closer to release (We think), and some stuff from 2015 that still isn’t dated could be pushed into E3 2016. It creates a confusing message for the consumer, games appearing and disappearing at random with no clear timeline, just that they exist, and based on how things go you may or may not be shown new things next year. It’s damaging to the image of the games.
Plus, being honest and personal for a moment, announcing a game too early in development means if a snag does come up, and bam, one delay. This is very damaging to a hype cycle and while people say “It’ll be more time to make the game better”, sometimes you have to wonder if the perception of a delayed game would be different if we didn’t know how long it had been in development.
Will this impact sales? Probably not. Though FFXV has yet to hit budget apparently (Can’t think why), and the PlayStation titles will no doubt sell well, the gaming world is looking for faster, more rewarding turnarounds. As some developers know, letting it stew for too long builds some unrealistic expectations.
If you enjoyed this article then give it a like and a share, and I’ll see you all next time! Until then, Happy Gaming!
So what spurred this? Well two things. One is Resident Evil Revelations Collection news a few days ago, where Capcom Europe announced that again, like usual, they won’t have a physical run of the game in the EU due to costs. These costs involve paying PEGI and other ratings boards, shipping, distribution, localisation, it’s a bit of a mess to be fair. But even in other regions (Except Japan allegedly), the two games come as such: 1 on a card (The smaller game I might add) and the 2nd game as a download code.
This isn’t uncommon. The “Switch Tax” as it has become known is just a laundry list of third-party games that cost more on Nintendo Switch, attributed to cartridge costs. L.A. Noire, RiME, the list goes on. Is this entirely true? Not…really? Without official figures on costs we will likely never know, but one idea is that it is simply just price gauging a new market, which is normal. But the inclusion of goodies like OST keys and pins in physical editions shows developers and publishers (Indies, typically) want to sweeten the deal for physical buyers to offset that price.
The next issue with the game cards is actually publishers like Take Two, who have released LA Noire, NBA 2K18 and WWE 2K18 on the horizon. Each game is “Playable” without downloading the remainder, but there has been widespread panning of this move, instead with people preferring to pay a little premium and have the whole experience on a 32GB card, as opposed to what is right now, a 4GB or 8GB card, with the rest as a download.
In the case of something like DOOM, this is handled quite well. The game fits all single player and DLC content on the card (16GB) and offers all the multiplayer as a download. This way you don’t miss any of the “Main event”. With Take Two though, it’s been revealed that the backlash against the Switch copy being only “Partly physical” should also be levelled at the other editions.
On PS4 and Xbox One you use Blu-Ray discs, that hold up to 50GB of data. Most games fit on this, and L.A. Noire most certainly would. However, interestingly enough that game actually only has a small amount on the disc, the rest as a download. This is a mirror of what happens on Switch. Why? Simple: It’s cheaper. While full capacity Blu-Ray discs are cheaper than the 32GB cards on Switch, publishers, as noted by Take Two saying the following, want “Maximum Profits”:
“We’ve said that we aim to have recurrent consumer spending opportunities for every title that we put out at this company. It may not always be an online model, it probably won’t always be a virtual currency model, but there will be some ability to engage in an ongoing basis with our titles after release across the board,”
The truth is the digital storefronts of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network offer something physical games don’t: More money per sale. The prices are often the same regardless, but one of them won’t factor in costs of production, shipping, retailer cuts and so on. On PS4 and Xbox One this model of Digital Only is being pushed heavily, as both systems, even if using discs, just install them to the hard drive anyway, making the disc just a form of DRM and to save you downloading all of a game, instead (In this case anyway) most of it.
So what does this mean? Well your internal storage is being eaten up anyway, why not just go digital and be more convenient on yourself (Until the game gets pulled from the store…) and you can even get those Digital Gold Editions publishers like so much. In the end, more money for them. Take Two is the most brazen with this, as their games come piece meal regardless of format.
But sticking with Xbox One for a moment, let’s loop back to the complaint you have to download most of these third-party Switch games to get the full and best experience (OR complete experience) even when you buy physically.
The Xbox One X recently launched, and with it comes the ability to use actual UHD (4K) assets, which I assume (I haven’t got one of the boxes, I’m not rich!) look amazing. The problem with these are the file sizes are enormous, with HALO 5 and Forza Motorsport 7 passing 90GB to 100GBs each! Final Fantasy XV on PC is 170GBs, so that won’t fit on ANY current disc.
The catch here is to fully utilise your new shiny console, to get the best experience you can, you will have to download a good 50GB of game, or more heaven forbid. Why? The games have to come on standard Blu-Ray because they ALSO need to work on the basic Xbox One and One S. So what does this mean? These huge games require downloads, because the storage medium can’t hold them.
To confound this issue further, there IS a storage medium that COULD hold them. UHD Blu-ray. They go up to 100GBs. In fact, looking at how long regular Blu-Ray has been used for gaming (Since 2006 with the PS3), one would expect UHD Blu-Ray would be used by now, but an issue there would be cost. At which point no matter which option you take, you have the same issue as you do on Nintendo Switch: Games are too big for the medium flat-out, or the medium is too costly to use to store a full game. Sure it’s a little different, where the devices don’t even support UHD Blu-Ray (Well, the Xbox One S and X do for movies…) but the problem even then still persists when some games on the basic PS4 and Xbox One go over GB anyway!
The third-party publishers want a digital only future. Consumers are leaning to it from convenience. Console makers can’t keep up with the scope of games due to costs. A digital only future is most likely coming down the line. Physical media is already outdated on PS4 and Xbox One, skipped out on with all systems by publishers wanting to save costs, and too expensive on Switch and for UHD to hold the games being made in their entirety.
Let’s just hope they include bigger hard drives in the next ones right? 1TB in the Xbox One X…eesh.
As always if you enjoyed this give a like and share on social media, and I will see you next time! Happy Gaming!
In a statement to NintendoLife, Capcom revealed that Resident Evil Revelations Collection will NOT be receiving a physical release in the EU.
Capcom has to take various factors into account when deciding what format to deliver our titles to our fans. These can include but are not limited to overall production costs, manufacturing times, distribution, and first party regulations. In the case of Resident Evil Revelations, we’ve found that unfortunately it’s not viable for Capcom Europe to create a physical version of the title on Nintendo Switch for our territories, however we will be making this available as a digital release.
Honestly though, breaking this down it reveals there is no real reason for this.
Here in Europe, you can get physical releases of both Revelations titles, readily available on Amazon, for other systems. If it was truly a cost measure, then maybe I could buy it. Cartridges are expensive after all, but the Collection only has the smaller first title on cartridge. The second game is a download code. Capcom can’t even print a half-assed attempt at a physical collection here! By all logic…this would be cheaper than printing two separate discs for other systems, two unique SKUs, and having both rated separately by PEGI.
In fact, the cost issue is potentially true: PEGI costs a lot of money for submission and rating of physical games. Plus, the cost of printing Nintendo Switch games is also fairly steep, but then again, only one of the games is even physical anyway.
Plus, indie titles are going physical left and right. With the size of Capcom you would think their EU division could be better funded, but here we are. The truth is coming to light.
I’ve noted this before, but Capcom, with the exception of Resident Evil 7, has had a rough time. Street Fighter V is being re-released. Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite was a footnote in their financials and they even dodged questions about it. Their remasters and collections seem to be dodging more accepting platforms for those games (As historically noted with sales) in favour of keeping costs down. The leaked budget (If it can be called that…) for MVC:Infinite is laughable, and shows how tight the ship has become.
I have said it before in another article but Capcom, I swear now more than ever, this better pay off. Monster Hunter World is throwing away your existing Japanese fanbase, and Western fanbase, in the hope you reach a bigger audience despite appealing to what will most likely be a smaller Japanese audience by sheer install base. To do this, you are spending more money developing the game. It better pay off Capcom, I sincerely hope so, because if it doesn’t, the writing is clear.
Personally, I’m also sick of Capcom giving Europe the shaft AGAIN regarding physical releases, like the Megaman Legacy Collections, almost every Mega Man Collection actually, and many, many more games we either didn’t get, or got digital only because “Cost”.
Tomorrow, there will be a bigger article about physical distribution across all platforms, because no system is sage anymore.
But until then, leave some comments, share with your friends, and I’ll see you all next time! Happy Gaming!
Metacritic (And similar aggregators) have a simple job: Collect review scores and average them out. Now that’s all well and good and can be a useful source for a range of different reviews on a game, movie, music and so on.
Metacritic though has become a focal point. The vaunted goal, the barometer of what’s worth buying, and even what determines developers getting bonuses. Yes, Metacritic alone has become a huge part of the industry, and while it does a job that is needed, namely collecting reviews into one place for convenience, how it does it and the impact of that, is the problem.
First, the rise of competitors such as OpenCritic have raised awareness that Metacritic seemingly acts selectively with getting reviews from places, requiring verification. Further, it also reaches very slightly different averages, indicating that some reviews are weighted more than others. Weighting is in fact a key point that we will come back to later.
Another issue is review scores, because that’s what Metacritic uses for an average, will be based on different criteria. A 7 from one site is a different set of criteria from a 7 elsewhere. But for Metacritic, a 7 is a 7. The reasoning behind the number could be completely different, but the context behind that number is ultimately lost.
The idea that Metacritic and other aggregators can give a consensus is a bit foolish. ure, it will say “Generally Favourable” or “Mixed” or whatever other word of the times it chooses, but is that accurate, when the context behind those numbers is lost? The average number is just a basis from generalisation. A game could come out with 80/100 and be “Generally Favourable” only for the reality underneath to be…well mixed. This is especially prevalent with mixed or divisive games, as outliers skew the data, and in statistics, significant outliers are anomalous. But Metacritic doesn’t care about anomalies and their context, just the number. More pull is assigned to the lower end of the scale, so even if a game has by all accounts more “Positive” reviews than “Mixed”, the “Mixed” weight it down. On top of THAT, not every game will have the same number of reviews, further skewing data.
I’m going to keep bringing up that number, because just like on this site and our refusal to score reviews (Again, context is key), that number in recent years has become the most contested aspect of any game.
The 4 point scale, admittedly nowadays more like 3 point scale, is a problem. Undoubtedly so in fact, to the point where now, a game below an 8/10 is considered bad. Yes, really, and I wish it wasn’t the case. A key factor in this is in fact aggregators have weighted (There is that word again) the averages.
Say you have a 10 point scale, in this case 1-100. If that was to represent a range of values from terrible, to bad, to average, to great, to excellent, why would 50% of that scale be assigned to “Negative” and below? Why is 50%-75% the range for “Average”? Why is the range for “Good to Excellent” only the upper 25%?
This doesn’t make any sense. The cream of the crop would stand out regardless, so why is there a significantly larger range for games to be considered bad, than the other 2 general ratings? Why is the general bar for “Okay” around, of all things, 75-80%?
This extends to the issue regarding the 4 point scale. As the averages are locked to this upper half of the board, and most games fall in that range, it starts to push the minimum for what gamers call “Acceptable” up and up over time. Once, it was 7. It’s closer to 8 now and heaven forbid it hits 9/10.
These scores, and the uneven distribution and attribution of values given to the scores, is simply nothing more than fuel for a fire, of my game is better than yours, and so on so forth, amongst gamers, or even attacks on developers. It’s okay to have high standards, but average is not 7/10.
Finally we are going to come to the other obsessed group: Publishers. Companies like EA and a handful of others, are known for tying bonuses for developers to a Metacritic score. Get a certain score, or no bonus. This is the dumbest, most disrespectful thing imaginable.
Sure, you should get a bonus for doing a good job or working extra hard. That is true of any industry. But developers go through crunch time, unpaid overtime, without union support. Worse to that, if the game has great visuals, and those artists, animators and modellers did the best they have ever done, but the programming leaves the game a mess with a low score, those visual development staff won’t get a bonus, even if it is their best work.
This is of course, assuming they still have the job afterwards, due to high turnover in the industry as well. Bonuses for a developer should be based on the work of the individual, and not held behind an arbitrary and without context number that a publisher wants to see, that can be broken down by a completely separate part of the development staff.
The industry has manifested a culture of abusing developers and not giving them their dues, based on what other people think. Not their work individually, not even what the publisher thinks, but what the rest of the world thinks, and the obsession with every increasing standards and a shrinking scale of what is acceptable means that this culture will only hurt developers in the end.
As always if you enjoyed this, give it a share and let me know what you think on social media. Until next time, Happy Gaming!