Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

July 2016

You are browsing the archive for July 2016.

Why Sonic Mania is So Important to Sega

July 27, 2016

Admittedly, when I first heard about Sonic Mania, I rolled my eyes sufficiently hard that they landed in the next room. It's not pleasant fishing your eyes out of the kitchen sink. A bit of hyperbole, yes, but the eye-rolling was still very much a thing. Out at Comic-Con, Sega showed off a pair of new Sonic games, and some believe that Sonic Mania--the 2D side-scroller--would actually be the more important of the duo.

Sonic Mania looks a lot like what Sonic games used to look like, down to zones and acts and everything else.

Imitating Pokemon Go Likely Won't Work For You

July 26, 2016

Right now, Pokemon Go is changing the landscape. A major new gaming presence, one of the first big attempts at augmented reality gaming, a major marketing tool, and a host of other points are driving use of and interest in this product. It's probably got some thinking about how they can "me too!" their way to success. A recent report from Venture Beat suggests that that may not be the battle plan of choice going forward.

Given that Pokemon Go currently has more active daily users than Twitter, it's easy to see why some would look for lightning to strike twice.

Mobile Gaming Ahabs Beware: Why Hunting Whales is a Bad Idea

July 25, 2016

It wasn't so long ago when it was revealed that the gamers getting in on Game of War spent an absolutely staggering amount of cash on their game of choice, spending about $549.69 per user per year. So it's clear that there are some real whales out there willing to drop piles of loot on their favorite game, and pursuing these whales might be the perfect business plan. Some dispute this battle plan as being less than ideal, and one source of dispute may surprise you: Electronic Arts.

The notion of EA—voted two years running the worst company in America via The Consumerist—passing up a source of revenue sounds about as counter-intuitive as mice passing up bread covered in peanut butter. Yet that's what EA's Director of Global Mobile Engagement and Acquisition Erica May suggested is the case, as May suggested game designers instead focus on player experience.

The Aging Gamer, or, When Granny Wants to Go Pwning Noobs

July 20, 2016

We all have a good idea of what a gamer looks like, at least in the stereotype in our head. Young, male, probably overweight and greasy-skinned living in his parents' basement, sucking down cheese-flavored snacks to such a degree his fingers are permanently stained orange. Reports from Pew Research note this isn't too far out of line, particularly in the United States. A new report from the Electronics Software Association (ESA) and the AARP—formerly the American Association of Retired Persons—suggests that there's a larger proportion of older gamers than might be expected.

Smithsonian Steps In to Preserve Gaming's History...Again.

July 19, 2016

The true historical value of just about anything is commonly lost on most people. That's often why most historical treasures are valuable: sheer scarcity. If you'd asked the average citizen in the 1850s, for example, if they'd rather have a $20 gold coin or the five weeks' worth of food and the like it would buy—it represented around five weeks' pay—most probably wouldn't have kept the coin. That same coin could be worth $60,000 today depending on condition and year.

Are Bethesda's Fallout 4 DLC Plans Poised to Do More Harm than Good?

July 18, 2016

While E3 suffered no shortage of news in its latest incarnation, one of the biggest points to emerge was the revelation that the course of downloadable content (DLC) for Fallout 4 had been decided, and that there were three more pieces to emerge: Contraptions, Vault-Tec, and Nuka World. Further, these were to be the final pieces of DLC for the game, a potential new problem has emerged. Specifically, that the DLC will not provide the value seen in previous releases and by extension hurt the brand.

The numbers do not bode well for Fallout 4's DLC. Fallout 3 had fully five pieces of DLC to its credit: Broken Steel, which extended the length of the original campaign and addressed some complaint about its ending, as well as Operation: Anchorage, Point Lookout, The Pitt, and Mothership Zeta. Each offered a fairly complete storyline as well as in-game bonuses of better weapons and fresh supply loads.

The Dark Side of Pokemon Go: Corpses, Armed Robbery, Unusual Locations for Pokemon Gyms

July 13, 2016

It's not hard to have heard something about Pokemon Go recently; the game was responsible for a 25 percent jump in share prices for Nintendo at one point, reports noted. While the game is drawing plenty of interest, and plenty of people out roaming the countryside and urban canyons looking for Pokemon, it's also made for some darker stories.

The combination of clock and GPS that drives Pokemon Go has led to some unusual developments, and people going places where they wouldn't ordinarily go in a bid to, as the series so famously put it, "catch 'em all." One particular "Poke Stop" led users into a police station in Australia, which led to the station getting so much foot traffic that the Darwin police ultimately had to shut the station to walk-ins.

Another incident with a Massachusetts homeowner named Boon Sheridan led to the discovery that his home--an old church converted to a private residence--had been designed a Pokemon gym, a location where the creatures could be trained to fight better. While no one's actually invaded his home at last report, Sheridan has noted that gamers are both blocking his driveway in cars and hanging around his front yard.

In an example of karma being real, and disastrous, the notorious Westboro Baptist Church--famed for its ghoulish practice of picketing funerals--is the resting place of a Pokemon with something of a "gay-friendly" stance known as Clefairy.

New Jersey Pizzeria Repeatedly Mistaken for Five Nights at Freddy's Setting

July 13, 2016

It's a strange phenomenon, but the video game which spawned the Internet tales has taken on a strange new life: as a possibly believable coverup. At least, that's what some folks seem to have thought, as they've deluged a pizza parlor in New Jersey with calls investigating the potential reality of the murderous animatronic-filled pizza lair.

The pizza place in question, Freddie's Restaurant and Pizzaria in Long Branch, has been hit with hundreds of callers not in search of pizza, but in search of a certain set of characters. The volume of calls has required some changes at Freddie's, including several new phone lines and shifted employee rosters in a bid to address all the callers.

Ubisoft Movie's Jean-Julien Baronnet Breaks Off to Found Marla Studios

July 11, 2016

The public is tired of superhero movies, so believes Ubisoft Motion Pictures' CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet. Baronnet believes this so deeply that he's separated from the company to launch his own studio, focusing on video game-based movies.

Baronnet had actually been out of the position since April, but apparently the three-month lacuna has given him sufficient insight to decide his next move. The new studio, Marla Studios, hopes to start development on its first film by next year.

As for his plan to produce films, Baronnet believes that the best way to make a game-based movie is to work directly with the game designers, building a game around "key creative angles" that can "cope with the game's DNA".

The Tetris Movie Will Be a Trilogy

July 7, 2016

The notion that anyone could make a movie out of the video game "Tetris" is baffling enough on its own. The notion that anyone would try to make THREE separate movies out of it is either lunacy, hubris, or genius. Just which it will be, however, will be only a matter of time as Tetris' producer, Larry Kassanoff, has confirmed that the film version of Tetris will be three movies, instead of one.

For anyone who might have wondered how a movie about stacking blocks into piles of four rows until they disappear, only to be replaced by new blocks, there's not much in the way of advance notice. The word is that the trilogy will be set up as a sci-fi thriller, and for those who were worried, no, there will be no anthropomorphic tetrads running around getting in comical situations.

Microsoft Studios Games Go Universally Cross-Platform

July 5, 2016

Microsoft's ambitions to bring together the "console peasants" and the "PC master race" seem to be continuing briskly along. A new report recently emerged that noted that all the games Microsoft Studios publishes will be part of the new Xbox Play Anywhere program, a move that should have gamers feeling reasonably good about things.

Word from Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi noted the support, and that all the Microsoft Studios games would be "...easily accessible in the windows store." The announcement has something of a limited effect, however, as the first such game to qualify under this program will be ReCore, which comes out September 13. So basically there's just over two months until this program actually takes effect.

When it does, though, there will be a good slug of games coming out in this vein; the long awaited Cuphead will fall under this program, and Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4 will also have a hand in. Thus, users who buy a game on one platform will not only be able to play it on another, but saves and achievements will also be able to transfer, making it a thoroughly "play anywhere" experience, as long as, of course, you've got a gaming laptop sufficient to handle the best of the new generation.

There's been a lot of speculation about just how this will work, especially as regards to things like cheating and hacking.

Featured Events