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”

Where's the Margin? (Part 1)

As much as I grumble often about the VoIP/UC providers and their lack of differentiation, SD-WAN is going to be just...

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First Hackproof Wi-Fi, then Grab Some IP Communications

While most of TMCnet blog readers want to monetize IP communications, most of the world just wants to be able to use...

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Software Media Servers Help CPaaS Offerings Such as GENBAND Kandy

Cloud communications are giving customers deployment options they never had before. Big data centers running ‘you name it’ communications functions and software...

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New Flowroute Customer Onboarding Platform Lubricates CSP Porting

Smoothly and effectively onboarding new enterprises is one of the most significant operational challenges for cloud communications providers. Flowroute is aiming squarely...

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CounterPath Bria-X Delivers Cost-Effective UCaaS Solution

In the 1990s Novell had a lock on servers in the enterprise. There was no Linux but SCO UNIX and IBM's AIX...

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Stupid Mistakes Lead to Kelihos Botnet Spam Lord Arrest

Russian Pyotr Levashov spread ransomware and other malicious software through the Kelihos botnet, possibly hacked the U.S. election and probably ran the...

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Is Cloud Infrastructure Swallowing Up NFV?

Service Providers want the infrastructure to be able to scale up (and down), they want to move CAPEX to OPEX, and they...

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A Wait and See Attitude with VR Won't Cut It

August 3, 2016

It's tempting, when a new technology emerges, to be aloof and let cooler heads prevail. Why go plunging off after the latest possible fad only to discover that it is indeed just another fad, the kind of which has been in play for years? The problem with that notion, of course, is that it cedes first-mover advantage to other firms, and also delivers other unpleasant side effects.

The initial reports suggest that virtual reality--one of the biggest new potential fads around--won't really be a profitable market until 2017 and beyond, thanks to a combination of high prices and few software items available. Those numbers are changing as more early adopters get into the field, but it's still fairly slim.

Stop Laughing: Konami Wants to Win Gamers' Trust Back

August 3, 2016

It was easily one of the most hilariously sad moments of the 2016 presidential race, when Jeb Bush got up on stage at an event and, in mid-speech, stared out into the audience and mournfully requested that the audience "please clap." Recently, Konami got a look at just such a phenomenon as it took to Reddit and sought to "win gamers' trust back."

For those who remember the recent goings-on with Hideo Kojima, the pachinko scandal, the canceled games and plenty of other developments, Konami's plan to win back gamers' trust is about like thalidomide winning pregnant mothers' trust back. This led to Konami's social media manager heading over to Reddit in what has been, so far, a month-long campaign to help drive gamers back to Konami after a series of middle fingers directly to the gamer. So far, said manager--a gent named Ben--has been waging this war with the kind of dogged determination that almost makes you respect him out of sheer bravado, fielding complaints and answering pointed questions with all the poise of a master politician.

Ben's also tipped the hand on a few new developments, including some upcoming Metal Gear Solid titles, though admittedly that's about a big a surprise as saying that I have exclusive information that says the sun will come up tomorrow morning.

Shutdowns, Shutdowns, Shutdowns: Gaming Pulls in on Several Fronts

August 1, 2016

As is the case in any industry, sometimes new products show up, and sometimes old products die off. Recently, the dieoff side of the coin seems a bit stronger than normal, as two major new efforts were announced shut down by their owners.

First, BioWare announced that it was shutting down the forums around some of its biggest properties, including those for the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. Though noting that it wasn't an "easy decision" to shut down the forums, BioWare effectively took official notice that Facebook and Twitter exist. Plus, apparently, fans also enjoy connecting on Tumblr and Reddit, so BioWare seems to have figured that developers and fans can talk better on platforms that BioWare isn't directly paying the bandwidth costs to operate.

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.

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