Posts made in February, 2011

Big Budget Retail Releases: Still Necessary?

Big Budget Retail Releases: Still Necessary?

Where will physical game distribution wind up ten years down the road? The popular answer is: “In our memories.” Digital distribution is flying, and it’s not hard to picture us downloading all our console games from online services like Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. But Mark Cerny, the man behind Marble Madness and several Sony properties including Jak & Daxter and Killzone, believes that console-based blockbuster titles...

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NGP vs Xperia Play: Too Confusing?

NGP vs Xperia Play: Too Confusing?

Sony has two big plans to put games in the palm of your hand: The Next Generation Portable (NGP), which is scheduled for a Holiday 2011 release, and the Xperia Play (XP)–or, if you like, “that PlayStation Phone”–coming in March 2011. Clever plan, right? With so many people who are undecided between buying a handheld game system or just making do with games on their mobile phones, Sony has provided an option for both camps. Unfortunately,...

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XBLA on Windows Phone 7: Smart Move?

XBLA on Windows Phone 7: Smart Move?

The smartphone market is bubbling furiously as dozens of providers elbow one another for a chance to slip out from under Apple’s shadow. At the recent Mobile World Congress, Sony announced its plans for its PlayStation-branded phone–officially called the Xperia Play–and Microsoft demonstrated what’s new for its Windows Phone 7. Windows Phone 7 (WP7) is especially worth mentioning: It allows users to connect to their Xbox Live profile while...

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Digital Distribution: Can Anyone Top Steam?

Digital Distribution: Can Anyone Top Steam?

When people think digital game distribution and online game downloads on the PC, “Steam” is the first word on people’s lips. The service that Valve built is popular, but would people ditch the dependable veteran distributor for something newer, something a little smaller and sleeker? Theo Bergquist, the CEO of GamersGate, believes the time is coming when his distribution service–and others–will nip at Steam’s heels and give the...

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Carole Lieberman vs. Bulletstorm

Carole Lieberman vs. Bulletstorm

Everybody who plays video games on a regular basis has been informed at least once–usually by the media–that they indulge in a pastime that glorifies violence and automatically makes them more aggressive than the average non-gamer. This revelation usually confuses said gamers, most of whom have never fought in a war, never hope to see a war, and don’t even like needles. So when Fox News published an editorial about Bulletstorm that was seeded with...

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Is the App Store Making Games Disposable?

Is the App Store Making Games Disposable?

Video game fans should feel honored: Nintendo feels comfortable enough with us to open up about its worries for the coming generation of handhelds. Visions of Apple and iPhone dominance keep the company awake at night, and with good reason. Though Nintendo is rich and savvy enough to hold its own in a rapidly shifting market, Apple puts forth some convincing reasons to buy an iOS device instead of a 3DS. One of the biggest reasons: Dirt cheap games. Nintendo relies...

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The Dark Side of Microtransactions

The Dark Side of Microtransactions

Smurf Village is a social game for the iPhone by Capcom Mobile. The game is free-to-play, but as is the norm with social games, players can perform microtransactions and buy a special breed of currency with real-world money. In the case of Smurf Village, players can buy “smurfberries” to help them purchase special items and bonuses. That’s exactly what one eight-year-old player did–but she went on a bit of a bender and bought $1,400 worth of...

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Developers vs. Publishers: Who Wins?

Developers vs. Publishers: Who Wins?

In the latest episode of Game Theory with Scott Steinberg, entitled “Video Game Developers vs. Publishers: Who Wins?” we take a closer look at the state of the modern games industry. Exploring the shifting balance of power following in the wake of new business models, gaming devices and online technologies, the new documentary film also examines whether there’s a place for independent developers in today’s increasingly cutthroat business world. In...

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Should Apple Bust App Store Thieves?

Should Apple Bust App Store Thieves?

When a service as ambitious as Apple’s App Store becomes enormously significant and lucrative over the course of a few years, you can expect a touch of anarchy. For instance, there is a small but growing problem with video game theft on the iPhone, iPod touch and other devices. We’re not just referring to instances wherein a game is a hit and a million clones show up–though that’s a problem, too. Rather, a studio will have its game swiped...

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Fox Puts Video Games on Trial

Fox Puts Video Games on Trial

Fox News exercised its subtle vocabulary on February 8 by asking the question: “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” The body of the story describes how players are “rewarded” for the violent acts they commit in the first-person shooter, which is due out on February 22 and is being published by EA. Fox even brought in an author and a psychiatrist, Carole Lieberman, who condemned Bulletstorm for glorifying sexually violent acts...

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