Saturday, May 16, 2009

Video Game sales drop in US.

US MARKET for video games is slightly battered.

Not surprising given the fact that there is usually a drop in must have sales in the summer season. Everyone starts focusing on the outdoors after a long oppressive winter. Plus, what is the last must have title? L4D?

This still ignores the fact that the Video game market is largely global and that the Asian markets are still mostly untapped by U.S. developers. Moving forward, it will be critical for US companies to produce content that can be marketed in other countries.

My guess is things will pick up with critical titles such as StarCraft 2, 1943, and others. These will probably launch near the back to school period in the fall.

Recently, I've been playing StarCraft by running it through a WINE emulator in Linux. It is still a very well thought out game. Definitely looking forward to the sequel. Speaking of Linux and Wine, apparently, Wine does not play nice with Punkbuster but plays well with VAC. That's bad for Battlefield but good for Team Fortress 2. It would be nice to see some Punkbuster and Linux compatibility.

Friday, April 10, 2009

World is a buzz with Sad news about Arneson

More bad news hit the gaming community with the death of D&D co-creator Dave Arneson. CBSNews actually had a pretty nice story about Arneson.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/04/10/entertainment/main4934913.shtml?source=search_story

I really like the quote that says, "He just wanted people to have fun."

A lot of us, including myself, had a lot of fun playing D&D. Thanks.

Monday, March 30, 2009

BF2142 is getting a new map.

Well, we have heard about it for a while, but they finally posted something at 1UP.

Still the screenshot they used does not appear to be from the new map.

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3173329

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Posting.

The posting is temporarily reduced as a result of an uptick in beta activities.

The trouble with some clans.

Positive experiences can be had playing with a regular group of people. Notwithstanding that, clans can have serious negative impacts on playing online games.

This article will focus on some of the negative elements of clans.

Clans can be the grassroots embodiment of corruption. Although teamwork and teamplay enhance online interactions, the darkside of clans must not be confused with team and community.

Some clans engage in negative behaviors like stat-padding or exploiting systems. In some cases, clans work together to get rewards they do not really deserve.

Some clans may attempt to team stack servers, cherry pick good players for one team. or engage in activities designed to upset team balance. Some clans may also infiltrate and corrupt opposing teams by planting themselves on opposing teams or squads, spying on the opposition, and sabotaging their efforts. Using tools such as third party communications software on password protected servers, clans can easily reveal opposing positions, orders, and other information.

Clans may try to eliminate negative round outcomes by banning or kicking players which are cause too much competition. In the long run, this reduces clan competitiveness, but in the short-run it punishes good players and interferes with good game play.

Conflicts of interest may also prevent clans from policing their membership. Clans may rely upon membership models of revenue that create barriers to effective policing. After all, if clans are relying on donations to run a server, it is very hard to police the donors.

Some clans have closed systems which make some of the players "untouchable". In addition, substantial group pressure make it unlikely that individual members will assert themselves against the clan. Newer members will probably want to fit in.

Joining a clan may lead to an assumption of risk regarding one's reputation and standing in the community. Good players may be tarnished by a clan's bad reputation or by the actions of a few. Even clans which try to police themselves and purge wayward members will be met by skepticism that meaningful change has occurred.

Again, playing with great groups of players and teams enhances the online experience. Nevertheless, negative aspects of the clan system need to be understood.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Endless Waiting.

Still waiting.

I'm still not in at the BF:H beta. I signed up last time and did not get in, and so far, no invite to this beta round either. Sigh.

Another diversion.

In the meantime, I'm checking out Endless Ocean for the Wii. The game is a very relaxing scuba game centered on diving in Hawaii. The game is a bit odd at times. If you move the boat over to a new location where you want to take someone on a diving tour and then accept the diving tour mission, the boat will move again. At other times, the interface seems quirky. It is still an interesting environment. The game is more about total relaxation and atmosphere than anything else. It is slow going. So far, I only play about 15 minutes a day (one dive) and then I turn it off.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Do they ever sleep?

A lot of Battlefield news. Again via Kotaku!

Battlefield 1943! They are remaking some old maps with new graphics. Apparently the game is limited to 24 players (we've heard that before). I've fired up 1942 a few times this year, but often times the servers are EMPTY! Maybe 1943 will change that...

According to Kotaku they are also thinking about releasing a BAD COMPANY (2) for the PC. Woot! I have a WII but they focus on PS3 and XBOX360 development.

Does Dice ever sleep? Will we?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rumors!

There are rumors that Dice was scheduled to make a surprise announcement in England but got snowed out! The news comes via KOTAKU.

Meanwhile, EA is letting go 1,100 people as a result of poor earnings. Despite some good leadership, EA seems to be struggling in the current market. It certainly has opportunities to move towards a direct distribution system (like STEAM) and a portfolio of strong titles. Even seemingly old games have a lot of revenue potential. Right now, I'm playing a copy of MYTH II: SOULBLIGHTER (BUNGIE) on an old laptop which does not have a lot of power. Despite being dated, the title is still entertaining. With the massive vault of games EA has, it should be able to offer gamers super cheap oldies directly and make some money with its intellectual property library.

Now the Battlefield Heroes beta is opening up again! Hopefully this time, I'll get a look at the thing.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Battlefield 3 rumors.

Over at IGN, they are indicating that Battlefield 3 is in the works. No word on how it will go. I personally enjoyed the play balance of Battlefield 2142 more than Battlefield 2. Battlefield 2 does have more vehicles and accessories, but sometimes I feel as though some of it was gimmicky and did not qualitatively add to the experience. With fewer vehicles and unlocks, I felt the performance and play of 2142 was better. Nevertheless, 2142 was not the overwhelming commercial success that BF2 was. Notwithstanding that, 2142 also offers a unique FPS experience than a lot of other games. Almost every game is either WWII or Modern. So here's hoping that imagination and a willingness to break out of the mold continues for DICE.