This week in gaming, Microsoft and Blizzard continue to make bad decisions, an entity dies, and another RISES FROM IT’S GRAVE! (You get a digtial cookie if you got the reference.) News
- The Wii Mini will be hitting U.S. shelves this month for $99. Guess they couldn’t leave all those all Wii parts laying around when their current console isn’t selling too well.
- The last Blockbuster Video has closed. I guess this means physical rental is dead. You have to go digital or by mail now. A sign of the times. R.I.P. Blockbuster…
- Due to an apparent error in Target’s computer system, some people got their Xbox One pre-orders early. One such person is spilling all the juicy details.
- PC owners of Diablo 3 will not be getting an offline mode like the game’s console counterpart? Why? Because fuck you. That’s why.
- Set your calendars! December 18th 2015 is the release date for Star Wars Episode VII! I don’t care, but I know some of you will.
- BioWare has teased a few images from an upcoming Mass Effect title. I am excited despite many swearing off BioWare because of 3’s ending.
Apparently, offline-play is now considered to be a feature for games. A FUCKING FEATURE!
I really don’t want to live on this planet anymore. Maybe I’m just one of the old-timers still running DOS prompt and shaking my Nintendo Entertainment System controller at all the kids with their iPads and saying “In my day, games were fun! They were challenging and you had to figure shit out and write down notes outside the game!”
Perhaps it is a sign of the technological times that we live in. The game case this was taken from was Call of Duty: Ghosts, so it makes sense. The hardcore gamer of old, the “nerd” of my youth is a dying breed. We might still get made fun of to a degree, but when “offline-play” is considered a feature in a game industry dominated by games with multiplayer options, we all just take it in dignified silence.
Then we go play an actual good game.
Blizzard still clings in desperation to it’s subscription model despiteplummeting down to 7.6 million subscribers.
This really isn’t a surprise to me after reading this interview with Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime. This bit in particular struck me:
“If I had to prioritize, it’s our active players at number one, our returning players at number two, and then probably third is players who, after nine years, haven’t tried it yet,” Morhaime said. “People are doing different things. People are getting older. Nine years ago, some people weren’t old enough to play WoW. Now they are. We want to be there to be the MMO of choice for them as they grow up.”
He also elaborated on comments earlier today that WoW was “not designed as a free-to-play game,” explaining that “I think that changing it into a free-to-play game is not necessarily very trivial considering the types of things we’d have to change. I think the focus should be on accessibility, providing a free onramp to the game. But if you really want to play WoW for any length of time, I think we’ll stick with subscriptions.”
You want to keep active players happy? Quit trying to fix what isn’t broken.
You want people to return? Change it back to how it was. Challenging, yet fun.
You want to draw in new people? Get the near 5 million people you lost to SWTOR, Guild Wars 2 and Final Fantasy XIV so they can draw in their friends to all play together.
Just like the aforementioned lack of offline mode for Diablo 3, you’re the kings of one step forward, two steps back.
This week in Microsoft, they have revealed that your Xbox One will have achievements for watching television and movies! How awesss….who the hell am I kidding? Are they fucking serious?
Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that the Xbox is no longer a video game console. Even though the prime focus of the PlayStation 4 and WiiU are video games they are now known as “Home Computer Entertainment Consoles”.
Like an effort to call a cashier a “Point of Sales Systems Operator”, it’s all just PR speak that tries to make something sound like more than it is.
At least in games, achievements give you a goal. Something to strive toward. I don’t think even a casual gamer or Joe Blow Schmuck are going to give two shits about the “plink-plonk” they get after watching the third season of The Walking Dead on Netflix.
But this is nothing compared to the fact that…
It has come out that the Xbox One is damn near useless without the day one patch. The quote from Albert Penello when pressed about what gamers could do without the patch replied, “Nothing.”
To quote a friend of mine, “Even with some of the truths about the PS4 coming out, ‘doesn’t suck balls’ is still a priority Microsoft doesn’t share.”
While the PS4 also has a day one patch, at least theirs seems to beunlocking features (Presumably so people who get the console early don’t break the street date).
They have also stated that you can play games in the background while the update downloads, install it via USB drive, and if you don’t want the console online at all, you have the option to contact their customer support line and have a Blu-Ray disc with the patch on it sent to you.
I really just don’t have any more words for this. I want to make fun of the console, but it does a plenty good job of doing that on its own.
(Archived rant, original post from Tumblr on November 12, 2013)