Hello folks and welcome to a lovely November with Barack Obama securing his presidency for another four years! I’m sure you all heard about that so let’s look at some gaming news you might’ve missed.
PCs are more lucrative for developers than consoles (Source)
Introversion is going full steam ahead according to Mark Morris, co-founder. After revealing that Darwinia+ sold poorly on console and cost them a fortune (dev kit alone was £10,000) Introversion has decided to focus on Steam to deliver their upcoming game, Prison Architect.
Thoughts: Although it can seem extortionate to charge a developer just for a development kit, it’s really just practical business sense for a platform to insure itself against a game failing to sell. The actually amount charged, however, is up for some debate. Does this mean that even individuals have to shell out £10k if they want any chance of getting their game on PlayStation? If this is the case then there’s no wonder Apple and Valve are doing so well with indie games where the consoles struggle. We probably won’t see much change until the new generation of consoles are released, but it seems sensible to just launch on Steam. If the consoles want in on a successful game, they can fund the port themselves.
Zynga unleash RedundancyVille (Source)
When Zynga’s shares dropped 80% it was pretty clear that something had to happen. Accusations of insider trading didn’t help either. Zynga later sent a letter to GiantBomb to tell them they were retiring support for 13 aged games as well as releasing 5% of their workforce. They’ve also promised more information in the near future.
Thoughts: Zynga is a very divisive company in the media sector. Some accuse them of producing low-quality pay-to-play games designed to milk money; others see them as a company who have opened gaming up to a whole demographic who would have never bought a game if it wasn’t so accessible through Facebook (FarmVille?) The stock drops I can understand, but the insider trading accusations, if true, are ridiculous. It reeks of an ownership who wants to take every dollar they can. It will be interesting to see if they try to turn this into a saving move and make some high-quality games, or just spit out a mouthful of shit in their death throes.
Ghost Recon Commander Dies (Ghost Ghost Recon Commander?)
Ghost Recon Commander, a Facebook game designed to be more than Facebook games are meant to be. As according to the natural law of “He who tries to improve things will fail hard” the game has now been scrapped.
Thoughts: Tom Hall and John Romero have been in the games industry since the first human had a shit and played a game of noughts and crosses with it. It seems that as much as they try to push the bar and create original concepts, they just can’t get it right. This comes after they had to scrap a kickstarter because people were suspicious of its vague nature (One man’s curiosity is another’s psychotic paranoia.) I don’t see Facebook as a platform for serious developers to look at, at all. It wasn’t designed for games and those that are on Facebook only just qualify as games. You gave us Doom and Quake for fuck’s sake! Don’t end up on Facebook guys.