Investors get Twitchy
In mid September Bessemer Venture Partners decided to drop 15 million dollars on Twitch.tv a video game broadcasting company. The one year old company has received almost 25 million dollars since its inception so another 15 million on top of that can’t be too bad. Twitch has allowed tens of thousands of gamers to stream their games and games-related activities live to an audience.
Thoughts: This can mean nothing but goodness for gaming. Twitch has been an excellent outlet for both gamers and gaming personalities. The autonomy it gives as well as the easy access for viewers has helped gaming grow a lot over the past year.
Greenlight gets Greenlit
Steam rolled out their new method of sorting game applications this month. For those not in the know, Steam is a PC and MAC based platform which sells and manages user’s game libraries. Instead of dealing with new games behind closed doors, the Greenlight process allows members of the Steam community to vote for games they would (or wouldn’t) like to see sold on Steam. Mixed responses slowly became positive reviews and with a few tweaks, such as a $100 submission fee to prevent time-wasters, Greenlight seems to have started well.
Thoughts: I was as dubious as a cynical donkey in Animal Farm who has discovered that Morgan Freeman is secretly a twat. Always willing (and wanting) to be proved wrong I did some investigative journalism (Italics added for smarm) and found that the majority of developers found Greenlight to be having a positive effect on themselves and their community interaction.
Black Mesa is messy
In development since the Antikythera Mechanism was created, Black Mesa was finally released. Black Mesa is a remake of the original Half-Life video game. Suddenly every YouTube personality has been playing this mod constantly and every YouTube member has been watching every YouTube personality. You can’t jump like you should be able to and every looks a bit pinched but everyone else seems to like it!
Thoughts: It’s nice to see that fans were willing to put in this amount of development time. Forty volunteers spent eight years working on this game, a lot of respect has to go to them. It’s nice to see upgraded versions of old games, but I’m hoping it doesn’t become a new trend. I’d rather see new IP come out from small development teams than remakes. But if any developers are reading, Deus Ex…
Torchlight 2 good for Diablo 3
When Diablo 3 came out the Battle.net servers shit the bed and locked everyone out of their accounts for several days. Battle.net provides access for players of World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3, that’s a lot of angry gamers. After the initial disaster people started playing and having fun, then they discovered that the rarest loot wasn’t as good as the slightly more common loot and some enemies were virtually unkillable. So what happens then? Max and Erich Schaefer turn up and announce Torchlight 2. They’re the guys responsible for Diablo 2, co-founding Runic Games after leaving Blizzard North (which they co-founded). Torchlight 2 came out on the 20th September and has since received rave reviews and if considered by many to be the spiritual successor to Diablo 2.
Thoughts: What can I say? I’ve played both and while they’re both pretty good games, Torchlight 2 has so much replayability (new word) and is overall a more fun game. It’s good to see competition against the biggest titles (Diablo 3 is the fastest selling game ever, afterall) and hopefully this will lead to a lot more innovation in the industry. You can’t skimp on a game anymore.