It was a damn busy news week for some reason this week, and I am here with all the important stuff! Strap in ya'll! News
- EA has finally allowed an offline mode for the disastrous SimCity. Despite saying "it would be incredibly hard" to do, they have done so. Much like Larry Hyrb said an offline mode for the Xbone wouldn't be easy. When people are slamming your shit and not buying your product, looks like the work will be put in.
- Apple has to pay back $32.5 million to negligent parents who let their kids mess around on their iPhones without supervision. Serves 'em right for buying iPhones. But this is proof, once again, that shitty parenting/bad behavior is to be rewarded.
- Japan will begin taxing foreign downloads next year. So if you're living in Japan with a U.S. account on one of the many digital distribution services, this may prove to be a problem.
- An interesting case-study claims that booth babes don't actually attract customers at conventions. I'm not really sure his method is ironclad, but it brings up a different view on the oft-debated booth babe issue.
- This one you need to spread around, the U.S. government has ruled that the FCC cannot enforce net neutrality. Ergo, the way you use the internet could change very soon.
- After the latest IGN report saying characters and worlds from Starbound would be wiped clean earlier this week, it was reported that the game is nearing completion and players would begin to get to keep their gear and goodies. I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to start from scratch in Terraria again, so this is good news!
- Gabe Newell of Valve was quoted as saying that he wanted to make Steam Greenlight go away since the service is evolving. He doesn't care for closed systems and wants to make Steam more open source. Steam will also be supporting 12 more currencies this year.
- Comedy trio The Lonely Island has signed a deal with FOX that will enable them to create video content for Hulu and related services with the goal in mind of making these into series for FOX and it's subsidiaries. Not really nerd news, but those guys are funny as hell!
- Showtime wants to make a Dexter spin-off series...starring Dexter...doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose of a spin-off as it would be more of a continuation?
- Square-Enix has shut down it's Core Online streaming service. I know what you're thinking. "Square had a streaming service?" Yeah, I didn't know either.
- Nintendo is in a bad way financially and is considering entering the mobile arena to combat the colossal losses incurred by the WiiU. I have stated before that Nintendo has at least another 5 years in them, but between the revised sales projections and Nintendo's stock price taking a hit, I'm getting a little worried for the games giant.
And finally, Kevin Bruner of Telltale Games announced that The Wolf Among Us' second chapter is releasing the first week of February! Huzzah!
Two sets of butthurt emerged this week as writers on both Kotaku and Destructoid lamented the pixelated graphics that resembled the face of God in their childhood and what Square-Enix "turned it into" with the mobile release of Final Fantasy VI.
And it looks different. I won't venture as far as to say better, but cleaner and a bit different. Even as a die hard Final Fantasy VII fanboy, I can say that the graphics in that game are laughably terrible. I showed the screenshots to John of the Good Talk Podcast (A big fan of Final Fantasy VI) and he even said they weren't terrible. Just different. Once again, the rose tinted glasses of our childhood nostalgia cloud the judgment of grown-ass men. (And I don't mean my kick-ass heart-shaped ones!)
If you pre-order the next expansion of World of Warcraft, Blizzard will reward you by not having to play the game! You get a free level 90 effective upon purchase!
And this is why we can't have nice things. It very well may be time to take Ol' Yeller out back and end his suffering. Not only did they make the game easier, made it stupid easy to level, and incentivized people to skip over large portions of the game, now they will reward you by not even having to PLAY THE DAMN GAME TO REACH MAX LEVEL!
There is an insane amount of content in this game and the fact that you don't even have to play any of it by simple virtue of buying it is ludicrous. The whole point of an MMO is to "start from the bottom [and get] here" as the scholar (lol) Drake would say. It's counter-intuitive to me and a slap in the face of the people who work on all the lore in and around the Warcraft universe. As you all know, I'm a story whore.
An indie developer by the name of Jason Rohrer wrote a blog on his site for his upcoming game saying that "sales screw fans" and that you are effectively punishing your fanbase by placing a game on sale after the game has released.
He sites the big culture around Steam sales, games' prices dropping over time and economic hardships as causes for this culture and that he understands why the "I'll wait 'til the price drops" attitude is so prevalent.
In his well-written piece, he says with his new game, Castle Doctrine, he is going to reward players who adopt the game early by charging a low price for the alpha, a bit of a higher price for the beta, and full price once the game releases in full and the game will never again go on sale. It is certainly food for thought, and I'll be keeping up with Castle Doctrine and how his experiment goes. You just might see a new model in gaming as an early adopter.