What are you playing right now? FPS? RTS? Peggle? Who developed it? Do you even care?
I imagine you do; as a presumably-hardcore gamer, you've likely cultivated a few brand alliances here and there. But what happens when we change the question up a little? Do you think your favorite developer cares about you?
No, I don't mean on an individual, person-to-person basis. What I'm asking is: do you think those oh-so-dreamy devs slave over games for their fans, or for themselves? Yes, yes, gaming is a business, and there's certainly money involved. But at the end of the day, do you think the aforementioned designers look at themselves in the mirror and nod in satisfaction because they created a game for you, or because they calmed the cries of their wild inner artist? Sound off in the comments section. Let's start a discussion that doesn't involve sarcasm and commas (though both are certainly allowed)!
Anyway, today's Roundup shines the spotlight on developers of both breeds, though some trumpet their allegiance louder than others. If you'd like to find out who's who, what's what, and which of them might soon end up in the pit of Microsoft's belly, read on.
"Present, meet the Future. Oh, that guy? Yeah, that's the Past. He should've been out of here, like, years ago, but the NPDs won't stop clinging to him."
It's 2008. Do you know where your PC game sales are? Because NPD sure doesn't. As EA is kindly demonstrating, DLC is where it's at, and the S.S. Digital Distribution has been afloat in a sea of cash for quite some time now.
To put things in perspective, EA's $90 million made up 11% of its total revenue for Q1. Now try chopping 11% out of your total earnings each year. That's what the NPD reports do to the gaming industry. High-five for that one, guys!
“Microsoft could become a serious player in the video game industry if they made a console and sold the two best selling games on the planet," said an unnamed author on investor site Seeking Alpha. "Making GTA exclusive to the Xbox (just like Halo is) would be a terrible decision, but providing some, incentive, like an earlier release date, could drive additional Xbox sales too.”
Er, if I'm not mistaken, aren't they already doing that? And why would having GTA as a console exclusive -- and snatching it away from Sony -- be a terrible idea? 'Cause, you know, when someone's trying to attack you, pushing the knife in their direction is a brilliant plan of attack. (Block with the face!)
I'm not saying Microsoft isn't gazing longingly in Take-Two's direction, but doesn't being an analyst actually involve some, well, analysis?
Although piracy is running rampant throughout the world, the lawsuit in question pertains to Japan. In addition to the Big N, publishers like Capcom, Square Enix, and Sega are hoping to bring the hammer down on Nintendo DS flash carts. These carts, of course, allow users to play downloaded, mostly-illegal DS titles, which siphon money away from those who actually create games.
But, the same carts more or less support the entire DS homebrew scene, which certainly houses a few burgeoning developers. Somehow, though, I don't think Nintendo and co. will lose much sleep over a few innocent corpses found in the rubble of their industry-saving crusade.
“Meeting and interacting with our players at BlizzCon is always a great experience for us,” stated Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re also pleased to be working with DIRECTV this year to bring the show, for the first time, to those players who are unable to attend.”
Very cool move by Blizzard. Sure, it's a thinly-veiled marketing ploy, but there are worse ways to give back to the fans.