Gaming Roundup 8/7/08: Just us Ninjas

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rmmst49

As when applied to music, the "creators will stop creating" argument is idiotic at best and marketing-speak at worst.  worst, as in, when maximum pc plays dana perino to ubi's bushs whitehouse, it disappoints me.

Every one of these companies that likes to hold the right for us to give them money over our heads by threatening to go all console all the time, you know what, go, watch the door on your way out.  The pc as a gaming platform will never die as the ratio of pc's capable of gaming move's towards a one to one relationship with the population of the planet, and games move to the web browser.

 

btw, a. creed sold on marketing and art design, most assuredly not its 6-foot under par gameplay.  If ubi spent a little time designing a game that was actually fun, rather than just a pretty rock wall treadmill simulator with the worst fighting mechanics in any game i've ever played, which is all you ever do for the last 6 hours of the game, and if their marketing plan for the pc version consisted of anything other than this press release, maybe more people would have bought it at retail, not that any pc gamer i know has bought a boxed game at any point in the last 3 years or so.

 

oh, and another real / actual reason that is quite a bit less convenient for ubi to acknowlegde from shacknews:

http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/54077

Making matters worse according to Ubisoft, is that the earlier version
of Assassin's Creed contained a bug (for security reasons) that would
make the game crash half-way through. Though supposedly this bug was
not in the final release, the mix of reviews based on the buggy release
as well those based on the retail version "created customer confusion
and caused 'irreparable harm' to [Ubisoft's] reputation".

 

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BaggerX

"The pc as a gaming platform will never die as the ratio of pc's capable
of gaming move's towards a one to one relationship with the population
of the planet, and games move to the web browser."

I think that we'll see a lot fewer AAA PC exclusives, and maybe even fewer AAA multi-platform titles.  This doesn't really bother me though, as they are all being created with console limitations in mind, and therefore just don't measure up to what a AAA PC title should be anyway.  Looking at what has happened to so many former PC franchises makes me feel that I'd just as soon not play these games at all as play the gimped console port.  I'd rather just play great PC games like Portal, Space Rangers 2, anything from Stardock, etc.

Microsoft seems to be doing everything it can to kill the PC as a gaming platform in favor of the XBox (apologies to Jerykk whose post over at bluesnews.com I am blatantly copying from):

1. Microsoft buys Bungie (PC developer). Halo, originally a PC & Mac game, becomes an Xbox exclusive. PC port comes out two years later. Halo 2 port comes out three years after Xbox version. With the rise of Halo, a market is formed for console shooters. Eventually, the vast majority of shooters are designed for the consoles.

2. Microsoft buys Lionhead (PC developer). Fable becomes an Xbox exclusive. PC port comes out a year later. Fable 2? 360 exclusive.

3. Bioware (PC developer) releases KotoR... for the Xbox. PC port comes out soon after because Lucasarts was the publisher). Microsoft publishes Jade Empire. Xbox exclusive. PC port comes out two years later. MS publishes Mass Effect. 360 exclusive. EA buys Bioware and releases a PC version. If MS had published the PC version, it would have taken at least a year to come out. It has been almost 6 years since Bioware designed a game for the PC.

4. Ensemble Studios (PC developer owned by Microsoft) develops Halo Wars. 360 exclusive. PC port status unknown.

5. Deus Ex (PC franchise): Invisible War is designed for the Xbox. PC version is a port. Game is an utter abomination.

6. Thief (PC franchise): Deadly Shadows is designed for the Xbox. PC version is a port. Not as bad as DX:IW but still a disappointment.

7. Rainbow Six (PC franchise): Vegas is designed for the 360. PC version is a port. Franchise turns from a realistic tactical shooter into a linear, highly scripted and very unrealistic shooter.

8. Ghost Recon (PC franchise): Advanced Warfighter is designed for the 360. Realistic, tactical military shooter turns into an unrealistic, dumbed down, arcadey shooter.

9. Bethesda (PC developer) designs Oblivion for the 360. Game is severely dumbed down. PC version is a port and carries the terrible interface and weaknesses of the 360 version.

10. Fallout (PC franchise) 3 is designed for the 360. cRPG is turned into an FPS with RPG aspects.

11. Call of Duty (PC franchise) 2 and 4 are designed for the 360. Regenerating health is added to a WW2 game for the first time in history.

12. id (PC developer) designs Rage for the 360.

13. Epic (PC developer) develops Gears of War as a 360 exclusive published by Microsoft. PC port comes out a year later. GoW2 is also a 360 exclusive.

14. Peter Zetterberg, representative of Microsoft Game Studios Europe, bluntly states that consecutive releases of Xbox/PC games in Europe are not done because the PC versions would greatly outsell the Xbox versions.

15. Xbox Live! charges players for things that PC gamers have been getting free for years. Xbox players pay, Microsoft maintains fees. Games For Windows Live! is released on the PC, with fees. It eventually fails and the fees are removed, suggesting that the nobody signed up because they didn't want to pay fees. PC gamers speak with their wallet.

16. Microsoft gets a royalty for every Xbox disc pressed. They don't get royalties for every PC disc pressed. On the PC, they only get royalties for games they've published or developed.

17. Microsoft has absolute control over the Xbox. They control DLC, certification, hardware, everything. On the Xbox, there is no competition, unlike the PC.

18. E3 2008: Microsoft doesn't showcase a single, PC-exclusive game nor make any mention of Games For Windows.

19. The Xbox is much easier for PC developers to transition to than the Playstation. Cross-platform development becomes much easier. Xbox development takes focus, as building for the lowest common denominator is easier than building for the highest and then scaling down to fit inferior hardware.

20. Monolith (PC developer) releases Condemned as a 360 exclusive. PC port comes out a year later. Condemned 2 is a 360 exclusive. No PC port planned. Project Origin (sequel to the PC-designed FEAR) is designed for the 360.

21. Irrational (PC developer) designs Bioshock (spiritual successor to PC franchise System Shock) for the 360. Game is dumbed down greatly, as all the RPG aspects are removed and the difficulty is set to nonexistent.

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Wildebeast

There are a lot of parallels, to me though, between software anti-piracy and DRM for mp3s.  The people being harmed find a ballpark figure & go ballistic  ---perhaps rightfully so.  But show a bit of intelligence.

I really think they tend to grab the "worst case" end of those numbers, though.  If 700,000 people had no possibility of pirating, would they spend $50 for the game??  Would they buy used, rent, or wait until it hits the bargain bin?  What if *gasp* ---only 1 out of 10 would bother to pay more than $10 for the game?

All they see is 700,000 units not sold/purchased.   Piracy is bad & damages PC gaming.   They see piracy though, and they throw out all their supply/demand sales models.  It's just stupid. 

It's like assuming that all the votes that were not counted or mis-counted in the 2000 presidential election must have been for 1 candidate [insert your favorite]. 

It's wishful thinking carried clear through mere over-reaction, to whatever you want to call the other side. 

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BaggerX

Seriously?  Not the slightest skepticism about Ubi's 700K pirated copies claim?  Have they explained how they discovered some way to accurately track how many downloads were completed across all torrent sites?  Is the number US or worldwide?  Have they factored in the fact that 100% of those downloads for the first month or so after it was release would not even function since there was no working crack?  How did they factor in the overlap between various trackers?  Will they admit that they pulled this number out of their collective.... uh... hat?

While piracy certainly does cause some amount of lost revenue, it's also ridiculous to claim that it's the reason that PC developers are jumping to consoles.  Game piracy has been around as long as games.  Used to be traded on BBSes and Usenet.  Now it's P2P and Bittorrent.  Whatever.  The reason consoles are more appealing is that they have a much larger installed base, homogeneous hardware that significantly reduces development and testing costs, and a much less discerning customer base. 

That's likely one of the main reasons Assassin's Creed was so successful initially.  By the time the PC version was released, everyone knew that the gameplay was incredibly repetitive and got old quickly.  They can blame piracy all they want, but the fact is that they created a very shallow game that just isn't worth more than a rental or a play through of a demo (if there had been one).  I don't blame PC gamers for wanting to try before they buy.  It's not like you can return it when you realize it's crap.  No wonder they didn't release a demo.

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Vahn16

And yet the game sold tremendously well on consoles and, to this day, gets great word of mouth from many gamers. I fail to see your point.

 As for the 700k copies figure, I'll shoot Ubisoft an email and see if I can find out how they did it. 

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BaggerX

I'm doubting that they're eager to discuss it...

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Redeye

I've always hated the "xxx for Dummies" and "Idiots guide to xxx".  I think they are terrible books that are typically poorly written and of little value.  If you stop focusing on the fact that you are an idiot/moron you can really accomplish a whole lot more.  (Insert casual game style here) for Dummies?  Try Yahoo, that's as dummy as you need to get.

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Antilogic81

This is pretty galvanizing, I am pretty much a guy who believes if you get a pirated copy of a game, you pay for it if you like it. I'm really sick of the trend where the games I used to enjoy on the PC are now consoles first and then PC games second...

I still want to know what their overall profit margin was for Assassins Creed. Everyone knows brick and mortar sales for PC games moving towards it's death...a quick stop to your local vendor will tell you that...just look at how small the PC game section is compared to how it was. When the biggest Best Buy in Houston has only one aisle for it's Teen-Mature section of PC Games and half an Aisle for it's younger-oriented PC games...you know you can't base your complaint alone on retail sales. Sorry just my 2 cents.

In the end though, I would like to see piracy not so rampant that all my games become ports from consoles.

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musicman172001

I've never thrown a piece of hardware but I do get pretty pissed at games sometimes. The funny thing is usually after I calm down and re-try that difficult part of the game I end up acing it on the first try.

I have a friend that threw his monitor around years ago one night while playing Rainbow 6: Black Thorn on the LAN. I've never seen someone get so frustrated.

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pellier

what drives me crazy when I see people on TV like the supposed thechy people is that they just use the keyboard. No mouse, just random typing at extreme speeds

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