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Declining Value of Video Games. A Solution?

ImageAbout a few months ago, I read an article on Yahoo saying how the hardcore video game industry is going to be wiped out, and around the same time IGN posted an article saying how the industry is making less money each year. 

Why?  First, there’s a lot of risk when making a big game for consoles.  Second, as the article on Yahoo pointed out:  Angry Birds costs $1 and Gears of War 3 costs $60

Not many people are going to throw down $60+ for a console video game when they can buy a $0.99 game on their smartphone or tablet that’s just as fun and valuable.  

I can, but am having trouble to, understand why some people believe that the hardcore console industry is going to die.  As far as the console companies go, Sony and Microsoft are two giant institutions that will not simply drop their consoles and say, “Well, we’re going to go out of business soon.  Better stop now.”  Microsoft and Sony have seen this already and they’ve been trying to remedy the situation for years now. 

See, the Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, is a beast of a media center device when compared to other media center devices, like Roku.  On the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, I can stream music and videos from other devices, watch Netflix or Hulu, and even cable TV (Xbox 360 only.)  A Roku 2 XS and Apple TV cost about $100 and deliver many of the same services as the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3, which costs only $200/$250. 

One of the obstacles with the 360 and PS3 is that they’re seen by many people in only being $200 devices that only play $60 video games; nothing else.  What Microsoft and Sony may do is spread the word that their consoles can do the same thing as your Roku or Apple TV, but more. 

 

As far as the guys who make the games for the consoles, well…  Hopefully, developers can start making their own winning companies rather than working for someone like THQ and eventually getting fired.  Otherwise, embrace lower salaries.

EA’s a bad company! A bad, bad, bad…

… bad, bad, BAD company!

No, seriously.  How is EA the worst company out of several other shitty institutions?  Even Mike Pachter from GT thinks “it’s lame,” and I couldn’t agree more.

I don’t know what the total worst company is but there are other companies that are far, far worse than Electronic Arts.  The most apparent one of all, worse than EA, is Bank of America.  Bank of America did mortgage fraud that caused people to lose homes.  Losing $10 to play online on a used EA game is no where near as bad as losing a home.

Even GameStop is an even worse company than EA.  Go to google.com and search for “gamestop litigations” and you will find numerous lawsuits and cases against GameStop.

But to call EA the worst company, because you think they’re ripping you off a couple of dollars, is ridiculous.

 

I’ll admit, though, it is funny to see them up there on the “worst company” list.

Fable Developers Strike Back!

Just now, I read an article on IGN in which the developers spit back saying that their game (and their franchise, overall) is treated much more poorly than other franchises.  There’s not much to say except Simon Carter, one of the original developers for the Fable series, had a pretty good argument, “When Mario Kart came out, nobody was going, what? There’s no jumping! That’s not the next Mario game! What are you talking about Miyamoto! I hate you! I’m going to burn your house down and kill your children!”

I’m going to slowly eat my words after having read that…

 

…  But I still think it’ll be a pretty poor game.

Zombie Games

Recently, I come to realize how many “good” zombie games there are, on the consoles and PC.  I can’t think of too many but they still seem too few for some reason.  I did some quick research a while ago and I found these two nifty games.

Project Zomboid – $7.99 – PC/Mac:  Zomboid is similar to Minecraft in which you build things and fight off zombies (CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!)  The difference is that you’re to fend yourself with cliche weapons (like shotguns), and barricade in a house if necessary. Plus, the game itself is 2D-isometric, which isn’t too common now.  (Isometric means your perspective and environment is 3D but everything is actually 2D… Moving on!)  The closest I can really compare this to is Dead Island.  You build or find weapons (firearms are scarce), it’s an open world, and there are enough zombies that’ll keep you on your toes.  I’ve played the demo and it was pretty fun but I didn’t cough up the $8 for this game to play the rest.  There is a demo to try for yourself.

Dead Frontier – Free – PC/Mac (Unity Engine Based, Not Flash): Dead Frontier, unlike Zomboid, is free and it’s an MMORPG game with a top-down, or bird’s eye, view.  Despite being top-down, it’s a 3D game based off the Unity Engine, which is also free and needed in order to play.  Starting off, it’s nice and slow, and it’s got your standard fare of leveling up and putting points into stats like additional health and faster reload speed.  The controls are just like any other top-down shooter, like Dead Nation, but it’s not a twitch shooter, it’s fairly slow paced. The world you’re in is huge, except it’s pretty damn empty and overly bleak.  There’s also a variety of weapons and different conditions of weapons but it’ll take a little while before you get to the good stuff (swords, chainsaws, revolvers, etc.)  As far as I know, there are no quests whatsoever, so you won’t be collecting items or destroying targets.  The community, on the other hand, is pretty active and it’s kind of large, which is nice.  Not a fan of many MMORPG’s but this was pretty fun.

 

Fable: The Journey (To Failure)

That is, the journey to failure...

Update:  Peter Molyneux left Lionhead.

Peter Molyneux, the brains behind Fable and Black & White, has officially lost it; his talents, I mean.  I don’t understand Mr. Molyneux; you went from being a genius and innovative developer when Fable and Black & White were first released, but it went downhill soon after.

When Black & White came out, it was unbelievably amazing.  No game will ever be like B&W 1, or 2.

When Fable came out, it was a fantasy RPG that looked like it was coming out of a story book and had some great elements to it.

When Fable II and III came out, it was a fucking let down!  I don’t think the Fable sequels were bad but when Molyneux does all this hype it’s all for nothing!  Fable II lived up to some promises and was an overall good game.  Fable III was more of the same, maybe even a little less, and it felt like it was only a refined version of Fable II.

Onward to Fable: The Journey…  Mr. Molyneux is saying that it’s an RPG made for the Kinect (link.)  Now, I know that’s pretty bold to say but that’s a load of bull there hasn’t been many detailed gameplay videos showing off The Journey.  It looks boring, linear, and just plain meh.  Most of all, it doesn’t have the “open-world” factor, and he sure as hell didn’t say it was an “open-world” game in his interview.  He’s the guy who keeps preaching about giving the player freedom to play; so, if this turns out to be a linear game, Mr. Molyneux may be looked down on by everyone.

Sorry Peter Molyneux, but I have the most minute amount of faith in you.

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THQ’s Stock… Wait, What Stock?

If you haven’t heard the news already, THQ’s price, or value, of stock has gone significantly down.  As of 3:50 EST, THQ’s share is 55 cents.  Nasdaq does not like companies whose price per value is below $1.  Thus, THQ got a delisting notice, and you don’t want to get delisted; especially if you’re a shareholder.

A few months back, IGN reported that THQ cut some of their production studios because they’re merging studios together.  I’m not going to say, “Obviously, it’s bullshit, and they’re obviously laying off workers.”  Although, I would say that based on assumption (but with reason), I am saying that’s bullshit because the L.A. Times reports THQ cutting 240 workers, and CEO Brian Farrell’s salary is reduced from ~$700,000 to ~$350,000.  (Ouch.  Guess you’re not going to get that new G6 for Christmas.  Better stick with the Rolls-Royce.)

Given the article from the L.A. Times, THQ lost most of their revenue and potential profit because of the Wii.  The reason why I say that is because, basically, I think the Wii has lost its popularity.  Why do I think that?  Nintendo’s not showing any profit; only substantial losses; and when was the last time an awesome game (not being related to Zelda, or Mario) came out for the Wii?  Even further, the Wii’s niche of “motion-controller” was adopted by the PS3 and the 360.  So, if no one is looking at the Wii, and everyone is looking at the 360/PS3 (because of “Call of Duty Fever” and motion-controllers), THQ’s plan of releasing a video game and pretty expensive peripherals for the Wii was flawed.

Or maybe uDraw just sucked.

Even though THQ’s got a bunch of pressure on them I still think the company will do well because they have some pretty sweet games like the Warhammer 40k franchise and Saint’s Row The Third.  And, I know I have virtually little experience with stocks, but I would definitely buy a few shares of THQ.

 

P.S.  Blizzard laid off around 600 employees.  Seems like there’s a trend going on somewhere…

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Pre-Built Custom PC’s – The Big O

Holy shit!!

Yes, I made sure the image was full-sized to play on the “big” pun.  Anyways, I’m just putting this out there because it’s a huge beast and also unique.  Some people have Xbox 360’s/PlayStation 3’s AND a PC because some games are exclusive to certain platforms or because some people prefer to play a game on a PC or console.  Origin (not the EA service), who makes PC’s, specially crafts this.  In fact, you’d have to call or email to place in order for it.  It’s very powerful as it has Dual-Xeon processors and Quad-SLI GTX 580’s, but the intriguing and awesome thing about this is that you can have your Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 in it!  Of course, you can’t take your current console and stick it in there (but I wouldn’t be surprised if you can) but the fact you can switch from PC to console is really cool.  Unfortunately, you can’t tune down the specs down to lower the price so the minimum you’ll have to pay is ~7 grand.  The highest tier is about 17 grand.  So, unless you rob a few liquor stores on Main Street, keep staring at the picture in awe.

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