While the launch of two new consoles is an exciting event, this one has been slightly marred by marketing departments using inane buzzwords to hype up frantic fans until there is nothing left but over-expectations and broken hearts. It has become a bombastic practice that often leaves companies in a bigger hole than where they started, as fans and critics peel away the poor PR paint job to uncover a myriad of lies and deceit. Here are a few words to cry BS at. (more…)
Warner Bros. Games Montreal’s Batman: Arkham Origins hits stores next week, and despite wave after wave of screenshots and info on the villains of the project, it has not managed to raise my excitement above lukewarm. I’m a self-confessed Batman fan and I adored the previous two entries (Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, despite the latter’s Day One DLC debacle), yet the prospect of purchasing the third entry has left me feeling numb
“But this is The Batman!” I hear my inner geek scream.
“So was Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin,” replies the pessimistic part of my brain.
In an attempt to reconcile these loyal feelings of fandom with my lackluster enthusiasm for the game, I decided to dissect exactly why Origins is not pushing my buttons. (more…)
CVG recently reported that UK-based online retailer SimplyGames has been accused of blatantly profiteering from gamers who have pre-ordered Sony’s PlayStation 4 by upping the price from £350 ($558) to £415 ($662). Those who do not pay this £65 ($103) upgrade ransom have been told they will lose their pre-order, although PixelEnemy has noted that those with orders of two or more units are guaranteed to receive a system on launch day. (more…)
According to the most recent Nintendo Direct presentation, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds will, in the words of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, “transform the way you play Zelda.” After years of following a consistent, popular formula, Nintendo has finally seen the need for progression. The next Zelda game will “buck the mold” of traditional Zelda gameplay with one revolutionary change: items will now be rented from and bought at a shop, rather than found in a dungeon. (more…)
It’s no secret that Blizzard’s immensely popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft (WoW), has been suffering ever since the release of the game’s most recent expansion, Mists of Pandaria. Whether it’s the pandas, the retcon, or the multitude of changes to the game mechanics, World of Warcraft has lost over two million subscribers since Mists of Pandaria released last September. The most recent statistics released by Blizzard state that WoW has dropped to 7.7 million subscribers.
At one point in 2010, WoW boasted 12 million subscribers, so the number of subscribers has been steadily dropping, and is almost at only 50% of its highest number. Whether this is due to an influx of free-to-play MMOs, a lack of continued interest in the world of Azeroth, or the rise of the MOBA genre, World of Warcraft seems to be on its last leg. According to a recent comment from Game Director Tom Chilton to IGN, Blizzard may have read the writing on the wall. The announcement directly mentioned the next patch for Mists of Pandaria, stating that it would “bridge the storyline between Mists… and the next expansion.” He went on to hint that the next expansion for World of Warcraft would be announced at BlizzCon, which is set to happen this November. I personally believe that Blizzard should make this the final expansion for World of Warcraft, tying up the story of Azeroth. (more…)
Nintendo has never been known for having a liberal attitude. Even with a diverse range of characters, the publisher has fallen back on reimagining their various iconic characters (such as Mario, Link, and Samus) through the decades. When the company was still battling with rival Sega, it was Nintendo that took the moral high ground, often censoring blood or religious imagery from games on their systems, most famously in the original Mortal Kombat, where blood was replaced with sweat and the finishing moves were toned down. In recent years, Nintendo has even throttled back the power of its consoles (compare the Wii and Wii U with the PS3/Xbox 360 and PS4/Xbox One) versus competing systems. However, with the end of this year’s E3 Expo came a decisive contrast in how gamers and journalists alike perceived Nintendo, and that for better or worse, the company has entered a new era of conservatism. (more…)
Even with the rise of PAX Prime, PAX East, the San Diego Comic-Con, and Gamescom, the annual E3 Expo is still the game industry’s premiere showcase for “what’s next.” And every year, half the fun of the festivities is picking apart the press conferences from Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony and declaring a winner.
I admit, picking press conference winners is more than a little silly. But the three companies are locked in a vicious three-way battle for your video game dollar. Even as the total market has expanded, the opportunities for any individual company have shrunk. So anytime one can wrest control of the headlines away from the other two is a victory. But what can each consolemaker do to ensure a win? Read on and follow our E3 Roadmaps for Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony to find out. (more…)
The final pieces of THQ found new homes this week as 505 Games acquired the Drawn To Life series, Gearbox purchased the Homeworld franchise, and Nordic Games scooped up the rest. While the popular publisher is no more, THQ’s demise may lead to an uptick in the overall health of the game industry. (more…)