Posts by Scott Steinberg

Fear Factor: Designing Scarier Games

Fear Factor: Designing Scarier Games

Fear’s a funny thing in video games. Sometimes scares come naturally, as when being chased by hordes of homicidal natives in Resident Evil 5. Other times, less so, e.g. when you little sister accidentally unplugs the PS3 after you’ve been playing Final Fantasy XIII for four hours without saving your game. Now Dead Space 2 hopes to up the chill factor by not only letting you dismember creepy-crawly enemies limb-by-limb, but putting you in suicidal scenarios and...

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Too Many Sequels: Are They Killing Gaming?

Too Many Sequels: Are They Killing Gaming?

Are too many sequels killing the video game business? It’s a salient question to ask, considering that virtually every new major gaming release this holiday season is a sequel, spin-off or series remake. Rather than simply dismiss the issue and say that there’s no merit to improving upon blockbuster games franchises (hey, if it’s not broke…), we present a thorough taxonomy of the debate in recent CNN article Are Too Many Sequels Killing...

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Top 5 Portable Games: DSi, PSP, etc.

Top 5 Portable Games: DSi, PSP, etc.

Looking for the best new games for your top favorite handheld gaming system, whether it’s the iPhone, iPad, Nintendo DSi or PlayStation Portable (PSP)? Then seek no further: As our CNN column Five Puzzlingly Good Portable Games points out, you don’t have to look far for action, arcade and role-playing titles that challenge your brain matter and puzzle-solving skills as much as your hand-eye coordination. Featuring the likes of Osmos, Angry Birds, Super...

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The State of Modern Music Games

The State of Modern Music Games

It’s no secret that sales of music video games hardware have been on the decline for several years (although industry executives claim that sales of software and digital song downloads are actually on the rise). Naturally, this presents a challenge for the makers of popular franchises like Guitar Hero and Rock Band, even as presents opportunities for a wave of newcomers from Def Jam Rapstar to Linkin Park Revenge. Rather than stick with the previous excuse...

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Dozens of Video Game Classics Being Remade

Dozens of Video Game Classics Being Remade

Retro video game enthusiasts are in for a treat this holiday season: Looking for a cheap way to boost sales and raise brand awareness, many of today’s top gaming companies are turning to classic games as a modern source of fun. Dozens of remakes, reboots and updates of popular series are all in the offing, no matter whether you grew up with an Atari 2600, Super Nintendo, arcade joystick or IBM PC-compatible keyboard in hand. Our recent column for CNN, titled...

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Gaming’s Dirty Little Secret

Gaming’s Dirty Little Secret

We’ve gone on record with the media many times explaining what’s happening to the video games industry, and how it’s being utterly transformed by the advent of online game downloads, social gaming, iPhone/iPad apps, free-to-play titles and other new forms of interactive entertainment. But our recent column for The Daily Beast, dubbed simply The New Revolution in Video Games summarizes the situation quite nicely, if you’re looking for a short...

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Motion Controls: A Bad Move for Gaming?

Motion Controls: A Bad Move for Gaming?

With Sony’s PlayStation Move now on sale and Microsoft’s Kinect coming soon, we recently connected with CNN to take a look at whether or not motion controls were the future – or even a wise move – for video games. You can see the results in recent story Will Motion Controls Reinvent Gaming?, which brings up a few worrying questions, at least from our perspective. Check out the list of a few key troubling issues below, and see just how many...

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Gaming’s Hottest New Business Model

Gaming’s Hottest New Business Model

Video game piracy may seem like it’s a plague, resulting in failed development studios, shuttered publishers and freefalling sales of leading PC and console games. But as we succinctly point out in recent CNN column Video Game Piracy: Is It Good for Business, free online downloads may actually be the answer to reinventing the gaming business. By lowering costs, enabling effortless access, prompting massive software pass-along and providing a range of tiered,...

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Video Games: Unsafe for Kids?

Video Games: Unsafe for Kids?

According to parental advocacy group Common Sense Media, a whopping 72% of adults now support a ban on violent video games. These figures seem at striking odds with those presented by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), which says that 82% of all games sold are for ages 17 and under, the average player is 35 years old anyways and that 64% of parents believe that games are a positive part of kids’ lives. So how to explain the discrepancy, and why...

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Have Social Games Peaked?

Have Social Games Peaked?

Here’s a question you have to ask yourself: Just how much FarmVille, Mafia Wars and Pet Society is enough? For some, a year’s worth of wasted afternoons, others a couple play sessions and still more a single reminder to tend your @&(!$ crops. Still, that’s the beauty of social games, designed less to push the conceptual or technical bar than keep people clicking. Our position on these titles? They’re great at helping expand the gaming...

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