Gaming Roundup 9/10/08: Liar, Liar

Nathan Grayson

Did you know that, on average, gamers find themselves embroiled in 43% more shouting-matches than non-gamers?

Neither did I, because it's a statistic I just made up. However, enshrouded by the many licks of flame that are now consuming my pants, there's a spark of truth. When we throw down across the 'net, the Lord Almighty actually plugs his ears -- not even He can damn people that hard .

Really, if I were to base my opinion of the gaming community on my harrowing online excursions, I probably would've slipped a full suit of armor under my Green Linen T-Shirt at QuakeCon.

But I don't, and I didn't.

Because, by and large, even the more obnoxious gamers are typically rational, socially acceptable creatures. However, given a headset and a broadband hook-up, everything changes. Outside, you're a walking, talking, glaring, physically imposing person; but on the Internet, you're a whisper bumbling through the static -- at best, a throaty voice who knows its way around a shotgun. In short, you're nothing. Your lack of presence, then, is a bright red target for someone's insecurities. If they're feeling small, they can make you even smaller with minimal effort.

Now let's turn this thing around. When you hop online, do anonymity's rays transform you into, well, a jerk? Or are you immune to Mr. Hyde's advances?

Well, today's Roundup should at least add some flavor to your jerkery. Inside, you'll find stories about GameStop sealing its own fate, NCSoft deciding that size does matter, and Hideo Kojima rallying against in-game advertising.

All that and more after the break.

GameStop: Digital Distribution Won't Overtake Retail Until 2020 at Earliest


"The first digital distribution was Napster and it was illegal," CEO Dan DeMatteo said. "Let's just start there. The software publishers are afraid to death of piracy. Once a full game is lying on a hard drive, there's the potential for piracy. Aside from the games, the bandwidth, etc., our studies have concluded that the network won't be in place to do digital distribution of full games until 2020 to 2025," he commented. "And that's using today's size, but as consoles get more powerful, games get bigger. Right now, a 30GB game with your best T1 line is about 72 hours to do it."

"Microsoft and Sony are the gatekeepers for their consoles. And if you're a third party that should scare the hell out of you because that's the only way to get to your customer. They'll take 10 to 15 percent. Video game publishers sell me games today for $48 wholesale. If they go direct to the customer they'll probably get about $30 for them. They'll get less for the game if they bypass retail."

Everyone, have at him. But don't be too rough; his sooner-than-he-thinks-to-be-sinking business should take care of that.

NCSoft Ditching "Lighter" Games To Focus on Triple A Titles


Fortunately, the ensuing lay-offs haven't jettisoned Tabula Rasa into the cold recesses of non-existence as was earlier reported, but other NCSoft titles are on the chopping block.

NC West President David Reid noted that, among other titles, the publisher will be "moving away from" Dungeon Runners.

His rationale?

"This transition is really about ratifying a completely dedicated business to the triple-A titles," Reid said. "We would consider ourselves in the class of five-ish companies in the world that can be successful in this market. We are a leader here and we are doubling down in those efforts. If you are successful in this business, you are fabulously successful."

Koei boss: It’ll be years before HD consoles are big in Japan


“It’s back to surviving the market, I think,” he said. “In the PlayStation days, the platform was only one, but the competition was so high. For PlayStation 3, we have to spend huge resources. In the PlayStation 2 days, we could just focus on one platform, but these days, we have to spend resources on handhelds, popular consoles like the Wii, and high-performance consoles like the Xbox 360 and PS3."

Guess this explains the discontinuation of my Dynasty Warriors game of the month subscription. Shame, that.

Hideo Kojima Critical of 'Massive Ad Campaigns' for Videogames


"The creativity of video games is now on the verge of crisis," the statement reads. "Massive advertising campaigns are executed for games before their entertainment values are put into consideration all too often, resulting in sell-off tactics happening without hesitation."

Check out the full article for 1up's analysis. It's interesting stuff.

Internal studios more expensive than indies, says Rebellion CEO


"Internal teams are at times seen as a cheaper alternative than using an external resource," Kingsley explained, "but the truth is the exact opposite as far as I'm concerned, and big companies shedding internal teams might be an indication that the penny has dropped in their accounts departments."

Translation: Don't be surprised if we see a few more dev teams go under. So, who's next?

Crowbar, headcrab, and Half-Life strategy guide shipped to CERN


Crisis averted.

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