Sony Is “For The Players”, and Now Incredibly Hostile!

Sony has become a bit of a standout in the industry, with a new display of hostility towards developers bringing fresh outrage…

Sony, Sony please stop being hostile.

Time to bring this up again…

Sony has a history of pro-consumerism. The PS4 is built upon this logic. Just like I have noted in the past however, it’s not holding up. It only took a few years to break down into hostility.

Cross Platform What?

Hostility prevents the PS4 from joining in

This is the future?

Hop back to E3 2017 for a moment.

Unfortunately it’s a commercial discussion between ourselves and other stakeholders, and I’m not going to get into the detail of that on this particular instance. And I can see your eyes rolling.

We’ve got to be mindful of our responsibility to our install base

Everybody has to take their own decisions. We’ll do that. Like I say, we have no philosophical stance against cross-play at all.

That said, to my knowledge, there is no live conversation ongoing at the moment.

Source (Seriously read it all, it is pure gold!)

This is how Sony’s Jim Ryan responded to Eurogamer about not allowing cross-platform play with other consoles in both Rocket League and Minecraft. No one consistent answer was given.

Yeah this isn’t a good look but wait, there is now more.

This was based, we assumed, on fear, and wanting to keep their install base. A company that built a base on pro-consumer moves in the wake of the Xbox One now does the things they said they wouldn’t.

Now however, we see what it is truly based on.

 

Sony Is Acting on Pure Hostility

Fortnite is blocked to PS4. Not a good look.

Do you like Fortnite? Got some bad news…

Fortnite just released on the Nintendo Switch! This would be great news. Turns out, if your Epic Games account has ever touched a PS4, that account can now never be used on Xbox One or Nintendo Switch. No, deleting the link doesn’t work. Once it’s been there, it’s locked away forever.

The same is true in reverse. If you link an account to Switch or Xbox, it won’t work on PS4. This is a huge problem, as Fortnite links progress to your Epic account, which we should stress is a third-party account.

Many PS4 users have found this to be an issue, wanting to play on Switch. This has gone beyond simply not allowing play between systems. This is now wrestling a third-party account and wanting you to only play on PS4.

This is hostility towards other systems. They want to be the only place you ever play games, and they are doing their damnedest to keep their users to them, by inconveniencing them going elsewhere.

It Makes Business Sense…Briefly

Hostility will end the PS4's Dominance it would seem.

The Best Place to Play No Longer

So the constant lies about why they don’t want cross-platform play. The newfound hostility towards the other systems. This all stinks of what we know now as “Arrogant Sony”. Remember the PS3 launch? Top of the world, can do no wrong, and it backfired. They believed consumers had no choice in who they went to, they thought they were on top of the world. Then they fell.

Now the PS4 bounces back, pro-consumer for all of what seemed like 20 minutes. Sure, they want to keep their lead, but now, what benefit is there to playing third-party games on a PS4?

On PC, you get mods. Xbox One X, you get the best console performance. Switch, you get portability. On PS4, you get tied to the system with a brick around your ankles.

Across all of the above, except PS4 of course, you can all talk, play against or with each other in games. In Fortnite, your progress even carries over. This is the future. Developers want it. Epic Games wants it. But the dinosaur that is Sony will not let it happen.

They want control. But the power is with the players now more than ever.

 

So What Do We Do?

 

Some believe the one with the largest install base has nothing to gain. But they do. In the (Increasingly likely if you pay attention) scenario where the PS5 launches and falls behind the next Xbox, these past practices will have caused people to move away. Sure, it’s fine now, but people don’t forget. Especially now the biggest game in the world is the subject.

The answer is simple, play where you want, but remember that the noise will only grow as more and more games adopt this approach. There will be a time where they have to allow it. If not, the mantra of the PlayStation falls apart at the seems.

This is more than Microsoft taking shots at Sony. This is consumers not being treated fairly, and developers not being given the freedoms they deserve.

 

Thanks for reading, and this is an issue that now more than ever needs to be scrutinised. Perhaps the future will change things, but Sony is in a position of power to abuse now…but anyway, go boot up Fortnite and play with whoever YOU want! Happy Gaming!

E3 2018 – Our Expectations and Plans!

E3 2018 is just around the corner on June 9th, but what can we expect from each show, and will it be good?

E3 kicks off on June 9th with the live presentations!

E3 2018 begins June 9th!

Firstly however, we need to cover our E3 2018 plans! In our Discord community we have a channel with the full schedule and discussion of E3. Secondly, we will be posting pre and post E3 thoughts in our bi-weekly podcast both before and after E3. We may even live-react to a few of the events, but more on that at a later date!

So what can we expect from E3? Well it’s hard to say. Overall it feels like a potentially solid show with few standouts, so let’s see why.

 

EA – June 9th – 11am PT // 2pm ET // 7pm BST // 4am AEST (10th)

 

EA Conferences typically put people to sleep.

Can you say boring? It’s EA at a press conference!

EA is first to bat at the show this year, and that’s probably a good thing. Where EA typically stumbles is in engagement. A very corporate show mixed with online personalities and a lack of really exciting and unexpected news leaves a lot to be desired.

When talking about games, outside of a boring presence, we know Battlefield V is confirmed to appear. Anthem is also a very likely shoe in given its recent delay to 2019. No doubt Star Wars will be teased in some capacity as well after Battlefront II…launched last year.

Oh and of course, FIFA 19, Madden 19 and so on. Maybe some more Need for Speed, it’s hard to say. Of course the jury is still out on if the Nintendo Switch will make an appearance for any of these games after previous comments.

Verdict – A shallow but serviceable event. Just bring coffee.

Microsoft – June 10th – 1pm PT // 4pm ET // 9pm BST // 6am AEST (11th)

Does Microsoft finally have something to show for the Xbox One?

Will Microsoft repeat the mistakes of E3’s past?

Microsoft is in the worst position heading into this E3. After launching Game Pass and seeing its latest first party titles falter, there is only one known first party release in the pipeline. Crackdown 3 was meant to release last year but got delayed to 2018, and this E3 would mark 5 years since it was revealed. Hopefully it gets a date and sticks it this time.

Of course, Microsoft needs more than that. In what is billed as their biggest show ever, and what is now confirmed to be 2 hours in length, they need to come out swinging. Any less, and the Xbox One misses its final chance at meaningful exclusive software. Phil Spencer has been talking a big game for years, but yet to show anything.

Forza Horizon 4 is a lock in for this year, but beyond that maybe a fix to the Halo Collection at long last, 4 years after it launched? Gears of War? Maybe get a RARE IP back in action? There will at least be waves of indies. Microsoft really needs to swing and as this years wildcard, they may just do that. But any less than amazing and it will be time to write the system off.

Verdict – It better be good, but we simply can’t say. Prepare for disappointment.

 

Bethesda – June 10th – 6:30pm PT // 9:30pm ET // 2:30pm BST (11th) // 11:30am AEST (11th)

What big games will Bethesda bring?

Could we see the Elder Scrolls at E3?

Bethesda is planning a short but sweet conference again this year. No doubt they will feature a final push for Wolfenstein 2 on Switch as they did last year with Skyrim. Hey, maybe they can announce a Fallout thing or something?

Of course, RAGE 2 is showing up, a now confirmed and very different game to the original. DOOM 2 is also rumoured (And welcomed!) but it may be a year too soon. Of course The Elder Scrolls is on everyone’s minds now, but that’s not likely this year.

Starfield is very likely however. This mystery IP is due a reveal any time now, as we know nothing except it exists. If it proves a strong title, it could be a show stealer. The short but sweet nature of this show leads me to feel they don’t have much to announce however.

Verdict – It could be good, but there won’t be much quantity.

 

Square Enix – June 11th – 10am PT // 1pm EDT // 6pm BST // 3am AEST (12th)

 

Can Final Fantasy VII show up?

Is it time?

Square Enix is returning to E3! That could be amazing or absolutely horrifying.

No doubt we will get details on Final Fantasy XV’s announced 2019 DLC (Why?) and Kingdom Hearts 3 will get its release date at long last. Final Fantasy VII may show up in some form but don’t expect it.

The confirmed Avengers title will likely show for the first time. What this game can be is anyone’s guess but a new reveal would be excellent. Naturally Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Dragon Quest XI will feature.

Also expect Octopath Traveler and Dragon Quest Builders 2 to appear. One as a final push and the other to finally show the damn thing. Of course this is Square Enix, you can expect a random game or two for fun.

Verdict – Probably going to be the high point. Lots of games we know are coming and plenty surprises are possible.

 

Ubisoft – June 11th – 1pm PT // 4pm ET // 9pm BST // 6am AEST (12th)

Remember this horror?

Ubisoft had a good show last year. Can we see it again?

Ubisoft is in a unique position. Of course we will get updates on announced titles like Starlink and The Crew 2. No doubt they will also flaunt Beyond Good and Evil 2 as well, after a big reveal last year.

Watch Dogs 3 is expected, forming a new bi-yearly cycle with Assassins Creed, but no doubt DLC will appear for that. Their VR projects also took a bit of focus last year, so updates would be welcome.

What Ubisoft could show that is unexpected is a mystery. They likely won’t have another collaboration with Nintendo already, nor a new South Park title. This will most likely be an update on the known games and quantities moving forward.

Verdict – Solid but nothing stellar.

 

PlayStation – June 11th — 6pm PT // 9pm ET // 2am BST (12th) // 11am AEST (12th)

PS4 is still riding high.

How can PS4 wow and continue it’s dominance?

Learning from their mistakes of showing stuff years in advance and disappointing us at E3 2017 by repeating E3 2016, they announced their plans in advance.

Sony will be focusing on 4 main games, in what I suppose is a 4 act structure: Spider-Man, Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima and The Last of Us: Part 2. With the exception of Spider-Man, making its third appearance, these will all be gameplay reveals and maybe even release dates.

The question is why such a large push for Spider-Man when other games could do with the spotlight such as Dreams? Third party announcements like exclusive DLC, VR news and a few indies will break up the pacing between each big game, but the pace threatens to drag with already known quantities if they hold on them for too long.

PS4 is very much on autopilot now.

Verdict – Solid, but a bit repetitive and unremarkable.

 

Nintendo – June 12th – 9am PT // 12pm ET //5pm BST // 2am AEST (13th)

Can Nintendo wow again?

This could potentially be disastrous.

Nintendo has already stated one thing. Only 2018 titles will show here. That and their main event is only on Switch. 3DS announcements will come in Treehouse Live if any.

With that in mind….eh. This really does seem like it could be lacklustre. Only focusing on the upcoming 6 months of content feels risky, but with Fire Emblem and Yoshi due out this year, one of which we haven’t even seen yet, and a confirmed focus on Super Smash Bros. it can at least be solid. Add in Pokemon and hey it could be great.

But we all knew about those games anyway, some for well over a year at this time. Plus on the third-party front I don’t expect much. This will be the Smash and Fire Emblem show. If neither of those interest you, don’t expect much else. This could just be pessimism, but it feels like an unfortunately low-key second show for their new system.

Verdict – Potential great, if third parties show, and if the game selection is greater than anticipated. Most likely just average otherwise.

 

 

And that’s it. We will see how right we are on the money and if we can be pleasantly surprised after E3! What do you think we will see? As always Happy Gaming, and stay tuned to the NL Inklings community for our takes on the events!

Our first full podcast is live now where we discuss all things gaming from recent events.

This podcast includes the Dark Souls delay on Nintendo Switch, our initial impressions of Nintendo Labo, and God of War being patched!

Plus, hear our predictions on E3 2018. Does the 3DS refuse to die? What does Microsoft have for us at E3 2018?

Check it out below, and Happy Gaming!

 

Behind The Game Podcast – Nintendo Online, E3 2018 Predictions, Labo and More!

Mid-Tier Games: Why We Love Them and Want More!

Mid-Tier Games are some of the highlights of the industry. But where did they go and why are they now returning?

 

Sonic Mania is a perfect example of a mid-tier release from a major company

A perfect example of a “Mid-tier” game!

The immediate thing any gamer needs to understand is the distinction between a Mid-Tier or “AA” game, and something that is commonly called a “AAA” game. The difference is actually night and day!

A “AAA” game is quite simply a game with huge potential reach in terms of customers. monetization and one massive budget backing it all up are other features.

A “Mid-Tier” game is a sizeable project, but marketed within reason. No game will be blown out of budget. A game knows the audience and the publisher will be happy reaching them. It doesn’t need to sell tens of millions after all.

Not every game needs to be Call of Duty in terms of sheer size or market value. Indeed every company will have a few massive well-known titles but a good developer leaves room for the smaller games.

 

So what are these smaller games?

Crash Bandicoot returned in 2017 with what can be best described as a AA release

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is the perfect example of a big company stepping back into Mid-Tier gaming!

Smaller games come in all shapes and sizes. Companies are fond of putting out experimental ideas and seeing how well they sell. Franchises can even start as a smaller release and explode into the mainstream!

Splatoon was originally a smaller release. Simply a unique idea that ended up exploding in popularity to become on of Nintendo’s top franchises. Sticking with Nintendo, a franchise like Yoshi or Kirby also falls under this category. Notable and recognised characters that won’t sell in high quantity, but will make a return on investment.

PlayStation is also very good at pushing Mid-Tier releases. Gravity Rush, Fat Princess and LittleBigPlanet, all sit alongside the big releases. So why are these games all so important?

 

Why are smaller games so important?

Bayonetta 2 is a game that also fills the smaller game niche.

Bayonetta 2 is yet another example of a game that fills this niche

Try and imagine a system like the PS4. It gets all the huge AAA yearly releases. It holds the top of the tier first-party titles. But imagine the system without Persona 5, without Nioh, without Ratchet and Clank. Do you start to see what is missing?

Smaller games provide one key thing: Variety! If your system has nothing but huge games that need to sell millions for the publisher to consider it a “success”, then you will be presenting a surprisingly narrow selection of games.

Smaller games can afford to offer different experiences. They don’t need to cater to as many people as possible after all. Can you envision a Kirby title with the budget and scope of Call of Duty? That would never sell enough to be worthwhile. Yet being a mid-tier game allows Kirby to be unique, to be different and offer something worthwhile to a library.

So why are these games making a resurgence?

 

This is an easy answer. Cast your mind back to a decade ago, the height of the Xbox 360 and PS3. Everything wanted to be Call of Duty, the next blockbuster hit. The industry chases trends, currently Battle Royale games apparently, and the trend was to go big.

Even first party developers fell to this. When was the last Jak and Daxter? Sly Cooper? F-Zero? The mid-tier game fell to the side in pursuit of mega hit after hit. Every kind of game has a place in the market, but what felt strange was the almost overnight shift.

It’s hard to look back on the PS3 and PS4 and not wish it was like the PS2. Yes they got smaller games, even from first parties. Doesn’t it feel like they haven’t been pushed like they used to? Gravity Rush 2 is losing online connectivity, though that was recently delayed. I didn’t even know Fat Princess was a thing that existed. Tearaway isn’t mentioned anymore.

New games like Concrete Genie show up for sure. But it’s not in the volume it used to be. The variety suffers.

Metroid Samus Returns is a recent example of a smaller title and revival of a franchise

Metroid: Samus Returns was not only the revival of a fan favourite, but a commitment to smaller titles

The same happened for Nintendo. Only recently have we seen renewed interest in smaller games. A few popped up on Wii U and 3DS but Switch singled a shift. Snipperclips, ARMS, Bayonetta (Again). The Wii U had Wonderful 101, Captain Toad and 3DS has BoxBoy and Dillon.

The games supplement the library of huge titles and this is what makes a system truly attractive. Variety. It’s where Microsoft has fallen short. Swamped with the huge releases but smaller releases are hard to come by especially on a first party front.

 

So where are we going next?

 

Well this is also easy to predict. Third party developers will forever be inclined to pursue the big hits. They locked themselves into a cycle of monetization and marketing. Some are branching out to smaller games like Activision with Crash and Spyro or EA funding smaller titles from indies. By and large however that will remain a smaller part of their strategies.

Where this really comes into play is with the platform holders. They can throw out as many small titles as they want alongside the Marios and Uncharteds of the world. They have the resources and hardware sales to accommodate it.

It’s from first party software that you see the most variety. This word keeps popping up but to truly have something for everyone you need to be varied. Know that a game will sell only so much and plan accordingly.

Sometimes appealing to more people over multiple lower selling titles is better than aiming for the top every time.

 

 

Thanks for reading, and if you agree or disagree, feel to shout on social media. This is an interesting discussion spurred by trying to work out where I find my enjoyment for a system as a whole, naturally it’s that word again: Variety.

Happy Gaming!

My History with YouTube, and Capcom’s with the EU Market…

A dual article for you today, covering both my history with the YouTube social media platform and its recent changes, and the insanity that is Capcom EU.

unnamed

So my history with YouTube is a storied one. I started back in 2009, May to be exact. Playing games, going for completion, all that good stuff. I was 13, and I hate thinking about it! But we all start somewhere.

Over the 9 years I took a two-year gap for my education before a re-launch with my friends, where we all played games together and the company made it easier for me to talk, and be more confident.

This continued, we got a capture card, now replaced with a superior model, and it maintained until 2016 when I finally got off my butt and got a decent PC for better quality both audio wise and for visuals.

btguni

Back in 2013 YouTube changed the rules for the partnership program, allowing almost anyone to become monetized. Now YouTube was never about the money, personally I do it because gaming is my passion, and as the years went on I felt more and more confident in my media abilities.

When this change happened, I set a goal: Only allow myself into the program when I reached a goal I felt was acceptable.

By September 2014, I was part of an excellent MCN, and had the support of a community and staff behind it when needed. I only did this when I felt right, not when YouTube told me.

wutt

But growth felt like it stalled. My drive died over the 3 years I was at university…like everything else in my life at the time, and I felt quality, quantity and more fell behind. I began thinking of format changes, right around the time I knew I was moving back home, coincidentally right alongside the announcement that YouTube would change its policies slightly to create a 10,000 lifetime view requirement for channels to be monetized, back in April 2017.

Then of course 9 months later the goalposts moved again. Now it’s 1000 subscribers and 4000 hours of watch time in 12 months, in addition to the lifetime views. As such, we lost access to monetization and any features associated with being partnered – What those are, I am not sure and nor is my former-MCN, because honestly expecting YouTube to communicate is laughable.

But that announcement was what finally spurred me on with those changes to format, moving to a live format, mostly on Twitch, and making a wider transmedia brand. Seeing the goalposts constantly move not even a year apart with little warning, poor communication and more, led me to make the moves I don’t regret one bit.

Making content is easier and better looking. I can engage with the audience more. Everything worked out better. If I ever become eligible for Twitch Affiliate status or more, chances are I wont take it, just like with the partner program, until I hit MY goals, not one set by a platform, that will likely change arbitrarily within 9 months.

Do I disagree with why YouTube made these moves? No. YouTube is a near constant black hole for Google and something had to be done when media began blasting it for monetised content that really shouldn’t be monetised. What I don’t agree with is the poor communication on what will and won’t be available to those affected, nor the guarantee the goalposts won’t constantly move.

 

Capcom_logo

 

Now, on to Capcom, since we are talking about financial black holes.

 

Capcom and the EU market have what I would call a bad relationship. Back in the NES and SNES days, let’s take Mega Man for instance, Nintendo or some other random publisher had to publish the games here for them, which lead to Mega Man 6 never being released here until the 3DS happened.

But the Mega Man Collections on PS2 were never published here either. Mega Man Star Force 3 never made it here. Battle Network was published by Ubisoft in the region.

Jump forward to now and you would think the issues of the past were gone, but no. Both Mega Man Legacy Collections have physical releases on PS4, Xbox One and Switch…but not here. Couldn’t tell you why, I’m sure only Capcom knows.

This is next to the laughable cheap skate attitude around the Switch port of the Legacy Collection Double Pack, which has a 500MB at most game on the card, with a download code for the 6GB game. Why? Capcom.

mmlc

Of course we don’t even get that release here. Digital only.

Resident Evil Revelations got the same treatment on Switch. Here in the EU there are physical releases of both games on other systems, but not Switch, and Capcom cited “monetary reasons”. Basically they don’t see the market for it.

I have to say thank God for digital, otherwise it’d be the 90s and 2000s again for us.

But this goes beyond Capcom now. Nintendo is publishing the physical EU release of Dark Souls, for some reason. Is the EU really that hard for publishers? Are most 3rd party Switch games going to be handled by external publishers now if we want them here at retail?

 

Capcom has slipped back to treating the EU like it did in the 90s. Limited physical releases and even then only on certain systems, or mandatory downloads for Switch games you get physically. Of course Capcom isn’t the only one guilty of this, and in the case of Revelations there was a logistical reason for it, but for Mega Man, someone should let them know 8GB cards exist.

The way other publishers are going about things, especially on Switch, the EU regions feel more and more like a last-minute effort market. Maybe it’s the multiple expensive ratings boards like PEGI and USK. Maybe it’s the currencies, or the logistics across borders. Who knows.
All I know is the EU market is becoming the afterthought again, and if that is the case, the digital future can’t come soon enough. Even then we get games months late.

Sony’s Backwards Compatibility on PS4…is Bad.

Sony needs to remember that the PS2 set the standard for native backwards compatibility when they say “No one really uses it”.

 

I cannot fathom what is happening over there now, beyond having enough sales to justify doing whatever they want: The backwards compatibility on PS4 for PS2 games (Which yes does exist), is absolute horrendous.

So I hope it goes without saying, but the PS2 set the standard with native PSone support, and the games ran fine. This was part of the hardware, all was well, this was then followed by the Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360 (Somewhat), DS, 3DS, you get the idea. The standard was set by PS2.

Jump forward to PS3, it had PS2 hardware to run PS2 games in it, but that was later removed to save money, a wise choice under the circumstances. However, the ability to pop your PSone CD in and play away remained, and again, it ran fine.

What the PS3 did eventually allow, was the ability to download PS1 and some PS2 games as “Classics” and play them, only emulated.

151355-sonic-heroes-screenshot

PS2 Classics on PS3 as emulated titles is a mistake. Let’s take Sonic Heroes for instance, which is available as a PS3 download and emulated on PS3. Frame rate problems (More so than the original!) and some errors that I can’t really explain, like boss text not fading away properly. It’s not the best.

But to compound the issue let’s look at PSone Classics, namely the Spyro Trilogy, and we begin with THIS little gem, courtesy of the PlayStation Blog from 2011 (Yes, I remember).

The journey from PSone disc to PSone emulation can be a long one – here’s the short version.
We make sure we’ve got a good copy of the original disk (or discs if there are localised versions), then the game is cleared for publish by our legal department.
Why are some games available on the US Store but not available on the EU Stores?
The million dollar question…
This usually comes down to either publishing rights or bugs that occur within the emulated PAL version that did not occur within the NTSC emulated version. There are several PAL titles that don’t play well with the emulator because of a PAL-only copy protection system that was used in several key releases, and sometimes other bugs occur at random.

Source

tenor

So what do I mean? Well with the Spyro Trilogy we got the American localizations (The system doesn’t hide this fact!). What sucks is this “It needs to be bug free and play well with the emulator” is absolute horse manure.

The three Spyro games on PS3, at least in the UK, have near constant slow down, frame drops, and musical errors. Yet if I pop my PS CD in there and play it from a disk…it’s fine. Flawless. What happened? Is the emulator that bad? Why not just make the games run natively?

Of course even native ports aren’t safe. The HD re-release of Ratchet and Clank 3 as part of the Ratchet and Clank HD Trilogy is a mess, with audio screw ups, either mis-timed or bad loops, and even scripted cutscenes playing out wrong (Just look up the Momma Tyhrannoid fight from 3 for that spectacle!). So when bringing over past games either as emulations of remasters, the track record isn’t great.

 

bullshit

 

Now we get to the big one: The PlayStation 4, the most powerful base system of the time. It outpaces the Nvidia Shield, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One quite comfortably. You’ll see why I mentioned those shortly.

For reference, the Xbox and Gamecube surpassed the PS2 in performance, PS2 games were nowhere near as demanding or advanced in fidelity or polygon counts.

So this begs the question, why does the PS4, again a powerful system, have issues emulating the PS2, when the weaker Xbox One and Nvidia Shield can emulate the more advanced-than-PS2 systems in Xbox and Gamecube, with no issues?

 

In these two videos you can see frame drops, skipping images, jumping images, it’s all over the place and a total mess.

Sure we get up-scaled to 1080p and trophy support…but if the trade off is a terrible performing PS2 game on a PS4, then what is the point?

I have yet to try Jak 3 and personally I don’t want to, but the original Jak and Daxter was no better, with some moments becoming brief slide shows and one boss fight running routinely below 30fps it felt like.

dafuqdafuq2

 

Now the coup de grace: Both the PS3 releases as part of the HD Trilogy, and these PS2 Classics for Jak, have separate trophy lists, however, I can easily check both from my PS4, mobile app, website…the list goes on. It’s evident the two sets of games, despite being the same games, have separate lists.

This is something I can easily check, yet for some reason, despite trophies being a part of my account and Sony being very capable of checking if I already own the games, you don’t get a discount on these facades of PS2 “Classics”. Full price, which is upwards of £30.

To compound this further, the PS3 re-releases I actually bought digitally, and thus is part of my account’s purchase history! Still no discount. Unlike Microsoft, who let you pop a disk in and download it onto Xbox One when available (Something the PS4 could do with your original PS1 and 2 disks!) to see if you bought physical copies, or simply checking your account and giving you the games if you already downloaded them….you need to pay again.

Hell, let’s get really archaic with the Wii. That didn’t even have an account system, your purchases for the Virtual Console were locked to your hardware, but via system transfer, your Wii U can see what games you already had on Wii Virtual Console, and gives you a very sizeable discount on the Wii U versions when available!

discoun

Yes. Even the damn Wii got this right. It was cumbersome, but they found a way to do it. But here, all the data is right there, multiple times over as it happens, in my account and…nothing. Full price please, have some butchered releases.

I don’t like that.

 

To end, I’ll quote my favourite man who should himself hire some PR guys: Jim Ryan! Remember what he said about backwards compatibility?

“That, and I was at a Gran Turismo event recently where they had PS1, PS2, PS3 and PS4 games, and the PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?”

You know what Jim? I have to somewhat agree. Except instead of criticising the graphics, I’ll modify your statement a little.

The PS1 and PS2 games, they ran worse than they did initially, even though it’s far more capable hardware, like why would anybody play this?

That’s the question I find myself asking. Why? There is absolutely no reason for it to be this way. Everything about Sony’s approach to backwards compatibility is wrong, which is a shame as they spurred it into an industry standard.

Plus, Jim Ryan, at the rate you all churn out these maligned releases, for the sheer gaps between releases, for all the effort that clearly goes into these, if this is the resultant quality….keep them.

 

Thanks for reading! What do you think about PS4 BC in this day and age? Is it acceptable? Let me know in comments or on social media, and until next time, Happy Gaming!

 

A Degree In Game Design and a Lesson For Our Future…

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.

Game Boy
Wii
PlayStation
PlayStation 2
DS

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

Year 1

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.
Year 2

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”.

Year 3 

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.

Except me.

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.

Why I Play Games and Why I Sometimes Hate It

In a deeply personal examination, I explain why I play games, why I find it hard to play games, and why others may be the same.

 

So I recently turned 22, a ripe young age I know, but I feel a lot older. Significantly older as it happens, and I find myself wondering why. It’s because I’m tired.

I am incredibly tired. Not physically, but mentally: Exhausted. I find myself playing games a lot, it’s what I do, but why I do it, and why it has exhausted me, are related.

 

So a lot of people play games for fun, a hobby, or a job. For me, and many others, it is escapism. It always has been.

I started playing games with the Mega Drive and PlayStation, specifically Spyro the Dragon, Crash Bandicoot 2/3, and Sonic the Hedgehog 2. I would have been 2/3 years old at the time. Yes I did start very early in my life, and not with the easiest games to begin with either!

Video games were a sanctuary for me. I wasn’t very sporty (I can play sports quite competently though), nor was I one for going outside. The latter is simple – Around the time I found my interest in games and technology, was the time I started school: The time the bullying started.

companies

So what happened? Well until the end of my GCSEs (Age 16 for you not-British folks!) I was bullied in some form near daily. Sometimes physically, most often verbally. So I became sheltered. Not anti-social, lord knows I wouldn’t be here if I was, but someone who simply doesn’t spend a lot of time worrying about parties, drinking, going out. I’m a desk sitter.

So games were my past-time. Something to do when I wasn’t out playing with other children. Losing myself in fantasy worlds, being heroes, beating bosses, getting 100%, those years on the PS2 were magical. But then I turned 10.

sonic2

Suddenly all the games I played weren’t cool: Yes, it was the time all the kids my age jumped onto Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty despite…being horribly underage, and there I am, just being introduced to Pokemon via Pokemon Ruby for the first time on my first Nintendo system and falling in love, playing the latest Jak and Ratchet games on PS2 and PSP. When I brought these things up, I was bullied for playing kids games…despite being a kid. Child logic is weird.

I was chastised for playing these lighter games that were not only age appropriate, but held my interest, and for playing on kiddy systems instead of the Xbox at the time. This would have been 2004 to 2006 I believe, and of course the Xbox 360 came out, and I had a Wii. Well, everyone did, but I never used my 360. So that became a thing I was bullied for too.

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Then I got a DS, continued playing Pokemon through my teens, got introduced to Mario and Smash Bros and all these other franchises, continued with Sonic and Ratchet on PS3 when I got one in 2010. What few friends I were able to make, and who are still around today to my surprise, had the same interests. But to the hundreds of other students at that school? It was a huge target on your back to play games like these openly.

This is when the bullying was at its worst. There is nothing more vindictive than a hormonal teenager looking to let off steam, and as the designated “Bullied kid”, every school had one, that was on me, for who I am and the games I play.

 

I see similar stories, and I heard it from others while I was at university. The same thing happened to loads of people, bullied for playing certain games. Why? This confused me but upon discovering the wider internet as I started university, I saw what it was.

So all of the above things, bullied for certain games, talked down to, it may all seem familiar.

Go to any message board, look up the PC Master Race, as it is called, or even some “Professionals” in the games media. The air of elitism, “I’m better than you”, it seeps out in comments sections but the motives and methods are the same to this day: Demean someone else’s gaming habits and feel better in doing so.

It’s bullying. It’s the same bullying. Yet I sit and wonder why I simply sigh at comments like that, the inevitable comments, from every side, be it Xbox, PC, Sony, Nintendo, Mobile, the list goes on, across many mediums in fact. It all fills me with the same disgust: Why would I get involved? What does it get me? Nothing, but it sure does remind me of my time at school, as it will to many.

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For the longest time I used games as a way to forget about my bullying, to learn about technology, something I was deeply immersed in and still am. But over time it became something used by the bullying, and that’s when the depression sprang up like a bad weed.

There are days, weeks even, where I don’t want to play games. It’s usually after seeing comments, unavoidable comments, or people, or mind-sets, that just bum me out.

There is something to be said for thick skin, but even rocks on the coast are worn down by tides with enough frequency. You can only do some much before needing a break, some reprieve.

The internet and this modern age of gaming has largely proven itself to just be a horrifying extension of my and many other’s time at school.

The console wars are bullying, though no one on either side would admit it, but they know for sure they feel it.

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But to conclude this analysis of why many play games and just what happens if you dare go online these days, I want to end by looping back to my time at university, at least briefly.

For all of a train wreck as that was, with teammates not working or bluntly dropping out 4 weeks before a deadline, terrible teaching for what was meant to be “Game Design”, there was this elitism lingering around the place.

In January 2017 I was invited by Nintendo to London to try the Nintendo Switch out, something that *anyone* would jump at. Early on I remember the university said they wanted us at the forefront of new tech, which is an amazing concept. We even had PSVR dev kits and had interns making VR software, it was great.

But they didn’t want me going to try the Switch. In fact there was this feeling that Nintendo…wasn’t a thing. It was very much a PS4/PSVR thing. Xbox got mentioned due to similar architecture, but was similarly dismissed. We learned nothing in the way of coding or optimisation either, but we sure did learn how to aggressively monetize games.

fifa18-switchpage-switchontable-lg

I was being given opportunities and striving forward on my own, something any institution would be happy for, but they didn’t want me doing that. I was even excluded from what were “Mandatory” events, and I wish I knew why. All I can assume is that just like with the bullies in my schools, or the people online engaging in never-ending flame wars…I fell outside of what they wanted.

 

And that’s just the thing. You can’t please everyone. But you can do your best to be nice. For nearly two decades now, being it from tutors, peers, random people online, I have had the same experience day in and day out. The games I play aren’t good enough for them, and they feel like they should shout it at me.

Personally, I will always be this way. I will have times where it does get me down. There are reasons I walk that fine line of “You do you”. If someone wants to play games of their choosing how they choose, then fine. That’s them. They have the right to, and I can’t stop them, nor is it my place to tell them how that makes me feel.

But that has been a rare stance I notice. It’s okay to be a fan of something, lord knows everyone is, but fanboyism, tribalism, this bullying, it is something I want to see stop. Sadly I don’t think it ever can.

 

I grew up telling myself I wasn’t going to be the people at school. I wouldn’t treat people like that. All I can do is laugh, and sigh, and move on at each instance like I always have.

But I know for some that isn’t so simple. Some people take it way too far, and it’s those instance that make me write things like this. We all love games. Why do there need to be lines between us?

Behind The Game Podcast – Episode 1! 27/01/2018

Welcome to the first Behind The Game Podcast, discussing the last week in gaming.

Today we have the PSN outtages, death of Miitomo, Paragon and Twitch’s push to surpass YouTube, as well as GDC Surveys, Switch Sales, and more!

 

If you like what you see, give this a share on social media, feel free to suggest topics for next week, and we will see you then on Behind The Game! Happy Gaming!

LawBreakers: You Can’t Sell a Game on a Name

LawBreakers is an interesting game. Not really from the game part though.

 

So who has heard of Cliffy B? A man whose affectionate nickname stands out because of his involvement in titles such as Gears of War, Bulletstorm and Jazz Jackrabbit…okay maybe just the first one. He also worked on a lot of the Unreal series. So yeah, guy has a resume.

His latest project was LawBreakers. A competitor, not-competitor to Overwatch. Using anti-gravity mechanics, you could move in ways that differentiated the gameplay from its other hero based shooter brethren.

Unfortunately LawBreakers has been a bit of a flop. In some respects that’s an understatement and I’m sure the game itself has a lot of heart put into it, as the development team is clearly passionate, as is the publisher, but sales wise, it didn’t do well, and it’s player base is unfathomably low.

 

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Personally the first reason I can think of this happening is obviously Overwatch. If you want to release a hero based shooter, you need to stand toe to toe with the marketing juggernaut that is Activision-Blizzard. You need to be able to outpace and match Overwatch, no matter how different your gameplay is, it’s occupying the same space and aiming for the same players.

Just like Battleborn, another game that was attempted to be sold on name alone. Sure, Gearbox software has a name to them, one of…mixed quality…but it’s still a big name. But that enough wasn’t going to stop Overwatch, which release just before it, from casting a shadow and kicking the game aside. Not even going Free To Start saved it.

LawBreakers fared even less well. It came long after Overwatch had established itself as THE Hero shooter title. Millions of players, millions in revenue, it’s a juggernaut. What hope did LawBreakers have of snatching some of that away, especially without the marketing behemoth that is Blizzard behind it?

 

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The next thing that stood out to me, or rather, didn’t, was how under the radar this game was. Before release I was aware of a beta. I was aware the game existed, but I didn’t know much about it. All I heard, and all a lot of articles really said was that it was kind of like Overwatch, and a game from Cliffy B. What the game was certainly could have been conveyed better, especially what made it different from Overwatch, and it certainly didn’t quite grab the zeitgeist like a viral hit would.

The weird thing is, who can say why this happened? I’d certainly like to believe it is because, yet again, you can’t be a comparatively smaller publisher shouting your lungs out about a game, when there is a man with a megaphone right next to you. You won’t win that battle, not without some unprecedented windfall.

It could have just as easily been a case of not presenting the rights parts of the game.

 

CliffyB_at_GDC_2016_(25846174186)_(cropped)

The next point is what I think really damaged the ship. As I stated a lot of the buzz around the game was “It’s from Cliffy B!” and while that CAN sell a game, it more often than not doesn’t.

Example: Mighty No. 9. From Keiji Inafune. Game wasn’t that good really. Heck even long-standing industry veterans can’t sell a game on name alone. The name of the company behind it, or the franchise in question can certainly reach the masses. Granted the game still needs to be good. But the masses don’t know the individuals. Ask anyone who Shigeru Miyamoto is. They don’t care about that. They don’t know the people.

More so, you can certainly say “Oh, this is the man behind the concept”, but…what about the rest of the people actually making the game? Yes, Keiji Inafune could say Mighty No. 9 was his idea but the rest of the team was responsible for execution. A single name behind a game does not a good product make.

 

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The reason I wrote this article is that publisher Nexon had a huge $32.6 million expenses hole in its financial reports, and naturally investors want answers. Apparently that was to be filled by LawBreakers, and the response the company gave was…interesting?

“…the timing of its launch turned out to be unfortunate, specifically the blockbuster PC online game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds came out right about the same time, making the market environment very tough for first-person shooters in general and for LawBreakers”

Source

Now I can understand this being the case on PC. But on consoles? Well Xbox One only just got PUBG and the PS4 hasn’t yet and won’t for a while. So this argument even if true only holds partial water. But on top of that no mention was made to the in-genre competition from Overwatch and Paladins.

But as I mentioned, even prior to launch this game didn’t really spark interest or catch attention. Nexon was banking on sailing a ship into a port already full to bursting with other similar ships. PUBG was just passing by.

 

This just goes to show that your name can’t sell a game on its own, and nor is throwing yourself into a crowded space without catching the eye of consumers a good idea.

And blaming a game that was passing by? A lot of other games managed to sell well this year despite PUBG being a thing. But damage control is damage control. You can’t tell investors “Our bad” otherwise confidence plummets. When you have a huge black hole in finances the last thing you want is people jumping ship.

 

 

As always I hope you enjoyed this article and that you give it a share and comment on social media! Until next time, Happy Gaming!