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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”

September 2016

You are browsing the archive for September 2016.

A Future for Gears of War May Go Beyond the Shooter

September 28, 2016

Sometimes a game franchise takes on a certain look, and the idea of going beyond that can be unnerving to say the least. It can turn off gamers, and make a release that required a lot of time and cash to put together little more than an afterthought. It's been done before, though, and it may well be done again, this time, for Gears of War.

Word from The Coalition director Chuck Osieja and Xbox head Phil Spencer suggests that Gears of War could go in a different direction, and not necessarily the shooter. While discussing the topic at Xbox Fanfest, an unexpected move emerged as Spencer warned Osieja visibly to frame his response carefully to the notion of different genres.

NBA Elements Make Unexpected Push into eSports

September 27, 2016

An odd new development recently came to light as some major NBA figures recently made an equally major move in the field of eSports. Golden State Warriors' Peter Guber, along with a group of other features including none other than Magic Johnson, bought the controlling interest in Team Liquid, one of the biggest figures in eSports around.

The exact amount of the deal was unclear, but we know that the entire industry right now is worth around $493 million, no mean feat in and of itself. Plus, there are projections that suggest this entire industry could turn over $1.1 billion annually in revenue just by 2019, so those who get in now may be getting in on a potentially massive industry in the making.

Oddly, this isn't the first time the NBA has been seen getting involved in eSports; not so long ago, the Philadelphia 76ers were seen purchasing a competitive gaming team, making the Guber coterie something of a johnny-come-lately to the affair. Still, it's clearly early days, and any involvement right now will put those involved near the tip of the spear.

Team Liquid's co-CEO, Victor Goossens, commented "In a way, our involvement in leading Liquid is even more assured now than when we were sole owners.

Want to Game for Money? Jetpack Joyride Might Help

September 26, 2016

The idea of being a professional gamer may seem out of line, and with good reason. This field represents some of the best talent in gaming, and most of us are not the best. That's just the way it goes with such endeavors, at least until it becomes so popular that just about anyone can do it. It might, however, make you enough cash to buy dinner if you're reasonably skilled, thanks to a new move that will bring Jetpack Joyride to casinos.

The arrangement between Gamblit Gaming and Halfbrick Studios is bringing Jetpack Joyride to casino floors.

Pokemon Go's Fate Sagging? Mixed Signs Suggest a Possibility

September 21, 2016

Pokemon Go, for the last few weeks, has been a cultural phenomenon that's had a hand in everything from increased exercise to armed robbery. Though it hasn't been around that long, it's already showing some unexpected signs of slowdown, yet at the same time, it may be making some plans to nip that loss in the bud.

The biggest sign of potential trouble ahead is that, for the first time in several weeks since its launch, Pokemon Go is no longer the number one highest grossing app in the iOS App Store, having lost that slot to Clash Royale. Reports suggest that Clash Royale recently got a new load of cards in, and that could have drawn a lot more interest in the game.

This could be a bad sign for Pokemon Go, but by like token, it could be just a sign that the competition is revitalizing itself, something that Pokemon Go really hasn't done of late.

I've Changed My Mind About Remasters

September 20, 2016

It wasn't so long ago when I was railing against remasters as being a bad value in gaming, and though I'm still not sold on the notion of paying again for a game I already paid for once, I discovered a couple things that are worth pointing out. Maybe remasters aren't such a bad idea, and here's why.

The biggest thing I missed was sheer nostalgia value. This is odd for me because I normally value nostalgia and routinely enjoy reminiscence. So when I tried to get a handle on the value by buying Dead Island Definitive Edition--which just came with Dead Island, and not Dead Island: Riptide or Dead Island: Retro Rampage--and playing it, I discovered that I missed this game, despite having not played it in years.

I'm Not Happy About All The Remasters

September 14, 2016

Recently, a trend seems to have developed that I'm not happy about. There have been many exciting games released lately, but some of the games are a little familiar. A little too familiar, in fact, and it's kicked off a trend that's left me more than a little dismayed. It's the trend of remastered games, and while it's not a bad thing, it's not exactly being executed well.

Recently, the story has been clear.

Razer Plots a Serious Expansion Effort

September 13, 2016

Exciting news for those who follow the Razer line of PC gaming peripherals; we already know that Razer makes some of the best keyboards and computer mice and similar materials. Razer isn't going to rest on its reputation so far, however, and plans to lay out $30 million to go hunting for the best new equipment makers to help keep itself on top.

While this isn't Razer's first funding venture--it's been seen previously as part of the OSVR Fund for virtual reality games that will comfortably work on a number of different platforms--this new effort known as zVentures focuses on not only virtual reality, but also robotics, Android games, big data projects, the Internet of Things, and more. It's spreading its wings wide, offering support to several firms within each field, and it's put a little something extra into its most recent line to help build on the field.

Min-Liang Tan, Razer's chief executive and cofounder, commented "Razer has a long history of supporting partners, third-party product and business development. The cumulative benefit of those initiatives over the past decade has been very positive and significant.

Microsoft Takes Stabs at Sony Practices, Future Models

September 12, 2016

Microsoft has been on the attack of late in the console wars, and running down the events of the last couple weeks suggests that Microsoft may be planning a way to take back its top slot from the drubbing it took over the last few years against Sony.

First, Microsoft scored big for Fallout 4 fans when it was revealed that Fallout 4 mods were never actually coming to Sony. Meanwhile, Xbox One has offered access to mods on Fallout 4 since May, and a summer full of mods has meant a hit on Sony. Making hay while the sun shines, Microsoft has been calling attention to this particular fact for some time. Sony, meanwhile, seems to be keeping comparatively mum as of the time of this writing.

Second, unexpected new sales data hit and revealed that Microsoft had outsold Sony in the United States over the last two months, and Microsoft is likewise taking this ball and running with it. Microsoft is even taking the opportunity to point out how the Xbox One S will have features that the PlayStation 4 Pro won't boast, and that's even before the issue of Project Scorpio gets involved.

While this isn't exactly bad news for Microsoft--it's been behind for some time now--it might be selling just a little too hard. Microsoft is already gaining ground against Sony, and if it crows too loudly about its own skill and success, it may well lose some of that footing down the line.

Coming Soon: The 2016 Game Awards

September 7, 2016

Good news, folks; those looking forward to the Game Awards and the new game trailers that inevitably follow may now rest a bit easier knowing that the days of our wait have been numbered. The show goes live December 1, and we'll bring all the joy into play soon enough.

Those who remember last year's Game Awards know that we got plenty of exciting news. We got looks at Psychonauts 2, Far Cry Primal, Shadow Complex Remastered, and plenty of other titles of games both released and not yet so. Thus, this year is unlikely to prove different, and since so many games are eager to land an award at the event, there's every reason to bring a trailer to the Game Awards to get that little extra attention.

The Game Awards aren't the only awards show in town, of course; there's also the Game Developers Choice Awards and the DICE Awards, as well as major shows like Gamescom, PAX and E3.

Trouble Afoot for VR? Steam Adoption Slows Drastically.

September 6, 2016

We all knew that virtual reality was sort of in its early days, and that, the farther along we went, the more users would come into the virtual reality fold. The problem, however, comes from the realization that new users in VR aren't showing up the way may were expecting, and some were hoping for.

The newest numbers suggest that new HTC Vive owners are up only 0.3 percent for July, and absolutely nothing for August. That's virtually no growth in the space of two months, and not exactly encouraging numbers. Oculus Rift ownership fared little better, up just 0.1 percent more than HTC Vive's numbers, adding that extra tenth of a percent in August during the Vive's flat month.

Grand total, so far, just 0.18 percent of Steam's user base owns a Vive, and even less--0.10 percent--own an Oculus Rift. That's not exactly encouraging, and if these signs continue unaltered, that's going to represent some significant problems going forward in terms of getting developers interested in this market and in developing software for it.

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