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”

Longview IoT Boosts Energy and Wireless Efficiency

Some of the biggest challenges slowing down the adoption of IoT are security, efficient battery usage and optimized wireless communications.One company has...

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Hallmark's Simple, Inexpensive Way to Boost Customer Satisfaction

In an effort to boost margins, companies often push more users to automated solutions such as FAQs, chatbots, voice bots and anything...

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Huawei Places the World's First 5G VoNR Video Call

Huawei recently completed the world's first voice over NR (VoNR) call. The voice and video call service was made using two Huawei...

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IGEL Advances Future of Work

IGEL is a provider of a next-gen edge OS for cloud workspaces. The company’s software products include IGEL OS, IGEL UD Pocket (UDP) and Universal...

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Tata Communications and Cisco Collaborate on SD-WAN

Tata Communications and Cisco have extended their partnership to enable enterprises to transform their legacy network to a customized and secure multi-cloud...

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How to Win the 50-Year-Old China Trade War

Today and this week in-fact is historic - the left and right in the U.S. agree that we have a major trade...

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Extreme Elements Enables The Autonomous Enterprise

Extreme Networks just announced Extreme Elements which in-turn enables the autonomous network and subsequently the autonomous enterprise. In a dynamic webinar, Dan...

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Is Fallout 4 The Next Half-Life 3?

December 8, 2014

Once again, Bethesda fans and Fallout buffs were skunked, as the Game Awards 2014 event came and went, leaving behind no mention of Fallout 4 or anything else from Bethesda. The recent appearance of the 2014 Bethesda Christmas Card also offered precious little, by some reports, and the end result was a lot of unhappy gamers who are asking themselves one downright terrifying question: is Fallout 4 the next Half-Life 3?

To clarify, Half-Life 3 is a game that's been eagerly anticipated for some time, a follow-up to a very big game of its time, Half-Life 2. Gamers have been hungry for the further adventures of Gordon Freeman for some time, but there's been little word as to when this game will actually see the light of day, if ever. This parallels into Fallout 4, a game which has been hotly anticipated since 2011 came and the end of downloadable content for Fallout: New Vegas arrived.

The Bethesda 2014 Christmas Card failed to help matters, featuring Deathshead from Wolfenstein in a profoundly godawful Christmas sweater complete with kittens on the front, and the Keeper from The Evil Within.

Razer Gets a New Edge with Gideon Yu

December 4, 2014

Razer is pretty well known in gaming circles—particularly in PC gaming circles—for offering up some really top-notch peripherals as well as even some impressive gaming platforms outright. But the company known for its keyboard, mice, and similar such matters now has a new reason to pay attention to it in the form of Gideon Yu, who has recently joined Razer's board.

Yu was brought in, according to reports, to provide experience and insight in both high tech and financial management. This is particularly handy as Yu is co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers and was a general partner with Khosla Ventures, as well as chief financial officer for YouTube and Facebook, as well as senior vice president of finance at Yahoo. That's an impressive body of work by any standard, but for a company that was looking for high tech and financial advice, it probably doesn't get much better than Yu, who has both of those things and in substantial number.

Razer is a terrific company, but it's always been a little on the smallish side.

E-Sports Broadcasting Finds Gains, Losses

December 3, 2014

The idea that e-sports could be considered a mature market may actually be a little more likely thanks to some recent news from the field. Two separate pieces have come together to suggest that this market may be farther along than some might think, and it's news that illustrates both gain in the field and loss as well.

First, the gain. E-sports broadcasting is getting a whole new force in the market, and it's from a force that we probably should have seen coming: Valve. Valve recently introduced Steam Broadcasting, a system that allows Steam players to upload footage of their various gaming adventures to both the Steam client and to the Web as a whole, which allows viewers in on the action.

Xbox One Takes Top Slot in Black Friday Sales

December 2, 2014

Two things have been very clear for the last few months: 1. Microsoft its getting its lunch eaten by Sony in the market, and 2. Microsoft is not taking this development lying down. Several recent developments have hit from Microsoft in aid of ratcheting up its own presence in the market, and these developments have been seen to coalesce and generate one particularly noteworthy result: new word from Infoscout suggests that Microsoft may well have won Black Friday.

The Infoscout report says that Microsoft actually comprised 53 percent of all console sales for Black Friday, while the PlayStation 4 took 31 percent.

Will VGX Finally Prove The Start of Fallout 4 News?

December 1, 2014

The idea of Fallout 4 has been enough to fire imaginations in gamers for some time now, but a pronounced lack of news has given rise to plenty of hoaxes. However, history suggests that we may well be facing the end of the drought of actual news on this one, thanks to an event set to hit later this week.

Specifically, we're talking about the VGX 2014 event, formerly known as the Video Game Awards show on Spike. That particular event has always offered a lot for gamers, ranging from discussion of the year's biggest names to even some advance looks at future titles with new trailers occasionally showing up. Reports suggest that GameTrailersTV host Geoff Keighley, who also serves as VGX's executive producer, had a "great night" of planning recently with Bethesda staffers.

A Gamer's Thanksgiving, Once Again

November 27, 2014

So it's a great day to be a gamer. There's a nice long weekend afoot, and though there will be lots to do with family and friends and the like, there will also be plenty of time to throw in on a few games and have a nice, relaxing weekend, at least part of the time. I've personally been neck deep in "Escape Dead Island" for the last day and half or so. But given the season of the year, and the general inclination that most anyone should have toward counting one's blessings, I took a page from fellow blogger Peter Radizeski, and figured it was a good time to take a step back and consider the things I was thankful for, with this particular post.

Some might remember that I've done this before.

Burned By Steam Early Access? Valve Has New Rules Afoot

November 26, 2014

Steam Early Access is an exciting idea that doesn't always hold it together. Perhaps best described as a mix of sizzle and steak where the sizzle is sometimes much more than the steak would merit, there have been times where players have felt burned by the Steam Early Access program. But needless to say, it doesn't take a lot of burned customers before either responses are framed or competitors start to circle, and in Valve's case, responses were framed to help improve Steam Early Access for the user base.

The overarching theme to the rule changes is rather simple: Steam Early Access is now to be regarded as “...a place for games that are in a playable alpha or beta state, are worth the current value of the playable build, and the developer plans to continue to develop for release.” That may sound a little mealy-mouthed, but Valve also notes that there is “ expectation by customers that (developers) will continue development to a point where you have what you consider to be a 'finished' game.” Naturally—and Valve even notes this—there are circumstances that may prevent this, but developers are expected to maintain communication with players and set the appropriate expectations for whether or not the titles will ever actually finish.

There are a few other points as well, but the end result is all the same; it's about managing expectations and working toward a goal. That's all fine and well, but as several have already pointed out—some couching the conclusion in humor, invoking Captain Barbossa of “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie fame to remind us all that these are more “guidelines” than actual “rules” that will be required to be obeyed lest removal from Steam Early Access follow.

Sony Doubles Down on PlayStation

November 25, 2014

Sony does a lot more than just the PlayStation line; it's also a presence in mobile devices, in televisions, and in a variety of components. A recent ad for Sony showed Sony buying a film script, and then building that film using a variety of Sony components. But one thing is clear: PlayStation is one of Sony's biggest properties, and as such, the company is putting extra focus on its development and sales, and putting its collective money where its equally collective mouth is.

A recent forecast suggested that Sony's mobile division, just by next spring, would lose as much as 30 percent of its sales. To that end, Sony is reducing the amount of support for its mobile device and television divisions, and up sales in the PlayStation division by as much as 25 percent, representing nearly $14 billion in business for the company.

Are Digital Games Too Cheap?

November 24, 2014

It's not surprising that we see some significant differences between the price of digital games and the prices of their disc-based equivalents. But word from Tony Bartel—GameStop's president—suggests that the discrepancies between prices for digital and disc-based games may have farther-reaching consequences than anyone expected, and one of those consequences may be some significant damage to the gaming industry itself.

Bartel, while talking to investors on a conference call, revealed that consumers expect to pay just a little over half the cost for a digital game that they would pay for its disc equivalent, expecting just $35 on the price tag instead of $60. Naturally, for a company like GameStop that does most of its business on disc, the idea of customers getting digital downloads for almost half the price would probably drive most of its operation out of business, but GameStop thinks that it's not just its own operations at stake, but game developers' as well.

Bartel noted that the industry is potentially courting disaster, by making what Bartel called “the same mistake as other entertainment categories by driving the perceived value of digital goods significantly below that of a physical game.” Huge sales from places like Steam are driving some serious price degradation, Bartel noted, but it wasn't alone. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft have all been giving away games and also offering discounts; there's a new set of games for discount every week on Microsoft, and GameStop estimates that the companies are giving away nearly $100 million in games just for this year.

It's not surprising that GameStop would have a problem with this.

World of Warcraft's Warlords of Draenor Issues Prove Customer Service's Value

November 20, 2014

While there has been much speculation of the World of Warcraft of late, with some believing that it's only a matter of time before this long-lived game finally goes the way of the dodo and others believing that those people are quite literally full of it (here carefully not defining just what “it” is, noting only that there is plenty involved), it's clear that this game will be carrying on for some time. Recent issues hit the franchise with the rise of its newest expansion, Warlords of Draenor, and that lent some ammo to the “franchise is doomed” side of the equation. However, Blizzard's response is one that illustrates the value of customer service very nicely, and how a little expense today can prevent a lot of headache later.

Not surprisingly, when Warlords of Draenor hit, there was a rush to get in on the action. Equally not surprisingly, this rush led to a lot of traffic and slowdowns and queues and the like.

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