The controversy over microtransactions in full-price triple-A games has been brewing for a few years now, but it finally came to a head with EA’s release of Star Wars Battlefront II.
To recap: Reddit poster “MBMMaverick” was frustrated to discover that he had paid $80 for the game only to find that a favourite character, Darth Vader, was locked behind either an extremely long grind or having to pay further real money for a chance of unlocking him through the game’s loot box system. And with the variable character abilities and other unlockables in the game, this meant that the game most definitely had an element of “pay to win” about it, since those with the cash could simply pay up and get better things with which to dominate other players.
EA’s response became one of the most downvoted Reddit comments of all time, sitting at a mighty -676k points — that’s minus six hundred and seventy-six thousand — at the time of writing. And things didn’t get any better from there.
Continue reading Microtransactions: The Battle Isn’t Over
At the time of writing, the 2017 nominees for The Game Awards — referred to by some as “gaming’s Oscars” — have just been announced.
While it’s nice to see some high-profile Japanese games — most notably Persona 5, Breath of the Wild, Final Fantasy XV and Super Mario Odyssey — get some recognition, once again the overall lineup for the awards is a fairly predictable affair that primarily boils down to “which games were most popular and/or made most money this year”.
And while there’s some merit to celebrating those games that have performed well from a commercial perspective over the course of the year, it presents a rather narrow view of the industry that leaves a number of titles underrepresented and underappreciated.
Continue reading Games Awards Should Embrace a Broader Spectrum of Games
My 2017 Extra Life efforts are over and done with, and at the conclusion of my 24-hour stint I’d raised a grand total of $170: not quite as much as I managed last time around, but still pretty respectable!
If you’d still like to make a donation to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in celebration of my marathon, you can still do so here.
And if you missed it, well, you’re in “luck”, because I’ve gone and archived most of the stream for you to enjoy at your leisure! (DISCLAIMER: This is all unedited footage, I have had a cold and tonsillitis and am not very good/confident at streaming. But there are some fun games to see, at least!)
Continue reading #ExtraLife: Thank You!
After a slightly longer wait than expected due to a printing error with the soundtrack CDs, the limited editions for Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online are finally here.
As with most of Idea Factory International’s releases, it’s a substantial but affordable release containing a nice selection of goodies — some practical, some purely to go “ooooh” at. IFI’s limited editions are always reasonably understated and never feel the need to go for the excess of some “Collector’s Editions” — particularly those from triple-A Western publishers — and it’s for that reason I like them. They’re easy and fun to collect and display, and they keep the focus on the game.
So let’s take a look inside the box of this newest one, then!
Continue reading What’s in the Box: Cyberdimension Neptunia – 4 Goddesses Online
November 4 is Game Day for this year’s Extra Life — at least for me.
You can find some information about the event and my contribution to it on my fundraising page — as well as make a pledge — but today I wanted to share a bit more information about what I’m planning for the day itself.
I don’t tend to do a lot of streaming, but my 24-hour stint playing Final Fantasy XIV for Extra Life two years ago was a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to this session too! I hope you’ll join me for some of the day.
Continue reading Extra Life: Game Day is Soon!
EA’s recent announcement that it was shuttering Visceral and “pivoting” (ugh) the Amy Hennig-fronted narrative-centric single-player Star Wars project it had been working on probably didn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
It did, however, rekindle a discussion that last cropped up back in 2010 — once again involving Visceral, interestingly enough, this time with regard to the addition of multiplayer to Dead Space — when EA Games’ Frank Gibeau commented that he believed “fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out” experiences were “finished” and that “online is where the innovation, and the action, is at”.
The “pivoting” of the new Star Wars project is based on many of the same principles as Gibeau’s arguments from 2010: indeed, EA’s executive vice-president Patrick Söderlund claimed that the decision was due to a perceived need to “deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come” — or, to put it another way, the oft-mooted idea of “games as a service”.
I don’t want that. And I’m certain I’m not the only one.
Continue reading You Can Keep Your “Games as a Service”, I’m Fine with Single-Player, Thanks