We’ve talked at length about the mystical, nebulous “next generation” here quite a bit recently, and it only makes sense — new machines are dropping on us left and right, with the next XBox reveal to take place just one week from today. And while we’ve already spoken about what we think is most important in the next generation, I thought we’d revisit that topic in a more practical approach.
While I’ve been saying that I won’t partake in the next generation for some time, there are admittedly a few sticking points that could make me change my mind. I love the IPs that Microsoft has at its disposal. But I love the gamer-centric approach that Sony is taking with the PlayStation 4. As always, the right games at the right time can do wonders, but right now I still want to see what these machines cost, and what their long-term plans are. And then of course there’s the Wii U… which… yeah.
So let’s vote and talk about the next generation consoles in the comments. Go!
After Disney shut down LucasArts, we were all left wondering why would pick up the Star Wars torch and bring new games to the market. Turns out we didn’t have to wait long because earlier this week, Disney announced that Electronic Arts has acquired the exclusive license to make core Star Wars games. Disney will retain the rights to make social and casual games for Star Wars.
EA wasted no time in announcing that DICE, BioWare and Visceral will start making Star Wars titles, presumably due to coincide with the new movies starting 2015. Here’s what EA Labels President Frank Gibeau had to say about this deal:
“Every developer dreams of creating games for the Star Wars universe. Three of our top studios will fulfill that dream, crafting epic adventures for Star Wars fans. The new experiences we create may borrow from films, but the games will be entirely original with all new stories and gameplay.”
So there you go guys, it looks like we’ll be getting Star Wars titles that aren’t just movie tie-ins, but three unique products that have their own story-line and characters. What do you guys think about this? Anyone want to take my bet that Visceral will end up with Star Wars 1313? Go!
The big news of the week so far happens to be the semi-bombshell that EA and Disney signed an exclusive deal for Star Wars games yesterday, meaning that EA’s various developing arms will have sole access to the enormous Star Wars universe. While there is some skepticism rightly reserved for allowing the floundering EA to tackle a property that so many love and hold dear, especially after some huge missteps, I think it’s OK to have a little hope here.
When you break it down, what other publishing Goliath in the industry has the number of varied, talented developers in their portfolio that EA does? I can see an argument for Activision, but that’s the only one that even comes close to rivaling the kind of talent of DICE, Bioware, Maxis, Popcap, Criterion and Visceral. So we have reason to feel two ways about this. But for now, let’s dream a little.
So here’s this week’s Pixel Count. Hit up the poll and tell us your thoughts in the comments!
We’re finally here with Episode 69 of the GamerSushi Show, the third installment of the Drunk Cast! It’s a full crew this time as Nick makes a triumphant return with some whiskey and beer.
After we establish the nation of Askarnia in podcast canon, we talk about Nintendo skipping E3, Microsoft’s next gen troubs, Tomb Raider, Call of Duty: Ghosts, GTA 5, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and many more things besides!
So yeah, it’s a pretty great cast. Listen, rate and enjoy the cast!
0:00 – 7:57 Intro
7:58 – 25:17 Nintendo skipping E3
25:18 – 40:30 Microsoft is behind for the next-gen
40:31 – 46:42 Tomb Raider
46:43 – 57:06 Call of Duty: Ghosts and GTA V
57:07 – 1:10:54 Watch Dogs and some other stuff
1:10:55 – 1:23:45 Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
1:23:46 – 1:27:49 SimCity
1:27:50 – 1:37:41 Outro
After a long wait, the Kickstater-backed iOS title Star Command finally came out today. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, Star Command is sort of a combination of Game Dev Story and FTL where you take control of a spaceship and its crew. There’s permanent crew death as well, so, much like XCOM: Enemy Unknown, prepare to get crushed when your little sprite crewmen die by getting sucked out of the airlock. Here’s the release trailer to get your interest piqued:
Hit the jump to read about the announcement plans for the next-gen Xbox.
Is it already close to that time of year again? The time when all the gaming news outlets start revving their engines in preparation for E3? Seems like it.
The big show is still a few months away, but we’re already getting little bits of information about what to expect from some of the big three console developers. While we’ve already gotten Sony’s rundown of the PlayStation 4, we can expect a few more details in terms of launch date and price, along with a few more morsels of actual gameplay.
As for Nintendo’s big E3 news? Well, there won’t be any. That’s right, Nintendo is ducking out of its E3 press conference, opting instead for their smaller Nintendo Direct presentations. One wonders if the really awful Wii U sales, as well as Nintendo’s inability to properly convey what the Wii U experience actually is at the last couple of E3 shows are to blame for this.
So that’s the round-up from this week. What are you guys expecting from these guys at E3? Which one are you most excited to learn more about? Sound off!
As we inch ever closer to Episode 69, the Return of the Drunk Cast, I bring you this, Episode 68, which has a bit of a different format than previous shows. First, Eddy and I start off with an extended intro where we talk my genetic inability to lie on account of my nationality, and how Eddy knows a guy who has done a lot of cool voice acting.
Then, when Jeff joins the cast we kick into a talk about Heroes on Xbox LIVE, SimCity descending even further into a well of idiocy, and then we bring back Fill in the Blank. You can see the topics below, and as you can image we had some good discussions.
You know the deal, listen, rate and come back next week (hopefully) for the Drunk Cast!
0:00 – 14:44 Intro
14:25 – 21:24 Microsoft is bringing back Heroes on Xbox LIVE
21:25 – 24:29 SimCity adds Colgate-sponsored DLC
24:30 – 25:19 GAME TIME (Fill in the Blank)
25:20 – 40:17 Valve refunding Bioshock Infinite after a customer complained about it based on religious reasons is _____
40:18 – 48:42 Ubisoft Montreal CEO thinks gamers are ready for always online. He’s ___
48:43 – 55:20 Video game prequels underperforming is ______
55:21 – 58:41 Link to the Past 2 and trading in the Xbox 360
58:42 – 1:00:34 Outro
Nintendo’s been hit with a bit of the Legend of Zelda bug as of late, it seems — and I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all. In addition to the HD Wind Waker remake due out this fall, Nintendo has also announced Link to the Past 2, releasing for the 3DS this year.
The sequel to the much loved SNES game debuted during yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, introduced by the big Reggie himself. It takes place in the same world as Link to the Past, features some 3D dungeons and even allows link to become a wall drawing in order to solve some puzzles. While I never played Link to the Past (I didn’t own an SNES), I did watch a friend play quite a bit of it. I have no doubt that there are certain GamerSushi fans (and a few of its staff) that are freaking out about this news.
Welcome, welcome, one and all, to the 67 episode of The GamerSushi Show. On this three man cast, we finally delve into spoiler-talk about BioShock Infinite, so be warned if you’ve yet to complete the game.
Not that Eddy doesn’t try and spoil it a couple times in advance of the actual discussion, but I, your fastidious editor, made sure that his attempts at trolling were for naught. Sorry in advance to you headphone users, though. In addition to BioShock, we talk about Disney closing LucasArts, EA winning the Worst Company in America award for the second time in a row (they’ll annualize anything, won’t they?) and the out-of-control rumor mill surrounding the next Xbox.
Listen, rate, and we’ll catch you on the flip side! Of the coin. Get it? BioShock reference.
0:00 – 3:47 Intro
3:48 – 10:55 Disney closes LucasArts
10:56 – 17:24 Ea is the Worst Company in America (Again)
17:25 – 33:50 Next Xbox is a Cable Box and Always On
33:51 – 1:20:00 BioShock Infinite Spoilercast
1:21:41 – 1:23:50 Outro
I barely have the words to describe Blood Dragon, FarCry3′s new standalone DLC, but I suppose I’ll try my best. Imagine if FarCry3 were re-invented as a really terrible 80s science fiction movie starring Michael Biehn of Aliens and Terminator fame. Yes, that’s what Blood Dragon actually is. Oh, and there are also robot dragons that shoot lasers out of their eyes.
In what it is seriously one of the most bananas moves I’ve ever seen by any video game company, Ubisoft is going completely off the rails with FarCry 3′s new content — and I couldn’t be more excited, even if I have no idea where this inspiration comes from. I can’t say I’d mind playing FarCry3′s mechanics in a ridiculously hilarious ode to 80s science fiction. And for $14.99, I can’t see why I wouldn’t jump right in with two bionic legs.
Sometimes it’s nice to get some vindication. While I’m not normally one to harp on when I get something right (since it so rarely happens), I would like to point out that the following news is something I’ve been hypothesizing for years — the next XBox is going to focus on TV programming, according to a report from the Verge.
While many of the console makers have been saying for years that they want to make their system of choice into your all-inclusive entertainment box, Microsoft actually seems to be taking a legitimate step in that direction with their plans for the next XBox. Not only will the new system function as a DVR of sorts, it’ll also have HDMI-in for your cable TV.
LucasArts has had a troubled history these past few years, what with the ugly rumors surrounding Battlefront 3 and the Force Unleashed series being canned before the second game even came out. Star Wars 1313, which made a good impression last year at E3, hasn’t really made another big appearance since then, another victim of LucasArt’s internal struggles. Star Wars: First Assault, the digital-based first-person-shooter, has also been cancelled.
Disney has made it clear that this doesn’t mean the end of Star Wars games by any means, just that we won’t see another one developed internally by LucasArts. It’s a sad day for the 150 employees laid off by this move, and we here at GamerSushi hope the land on their feet. That said, having another developer take a stab at the franchise might be just the kick it needs to bring Star Wars video games back into relevance.
What do you guys think about this news? Sad to see LucasArts go? Which studio do you think will pick up Star Wars? Which team would be the best fit for Star Wars 1313 or a new Battlefront?
One of the next big releases on the gaming calendar happens to be the release of The Last of Us in May. Developed by Naughty Dog, this game is set to be a new IP for the PlayStation 3, just in time for the end of this console cycle.
The release of the newest Red Band trailer for The Last of Us shows off even more of the story and the world than ever before. In this trailer we see more than just Joel and Ellie, we see communities, other survivors, some of the infected and different locales as well. Early trailers just showed off bits of the overgrown city, so it’s cool to see that the game opens up in a bigger way, with what looks to be a crosscountry trip of sorts.
What do you guys think of the new trailer? While I’m not completely sold on the actual game yet, I do have to say that Naughty Dog’s storytelling abilities are almost unmatched in the industry at the moment, so I’m excited to see what kind of journey they have in store for us. Some of the thematic stuff looks like what the Walking Dead show tries to tackle but constantly fails. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
Talk about dreams come true. For anyone that’s known the magic of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter or the Star Wars-themed rides at Disney, things are about to get even more amazing. According to Forbes, The Walt Disney Company is set to ink separate deals with several big name publishers to create a video game themed section of Disney World.
At the moment, only the likes of LucasArts, Bethesda, Blizzard, Sega and Ubisoft have signed on, but Walt Disney Imagineering senior director Jonathan Ackley remains hopeful that more will follow suit to be a part of this landmark deal. Said Ackley, former video game designer on the likes of great LucasArts titles like Day of the Tentacle, The Curse of Monkey Island and Full Throttle:
Video games naturally lend themselves to these amazing, interactive experiences. We would love to get some of the big guys on board like Valve, EA, and Activision. There are some cool concepts floating around the offices and hopefully this is a step in the right direction.
The company is suspected to sustain losses of 10 billion Yen (or $105 million) and as such, Square plans to do a major restructuring of key areas of its corporate layout. Part of the reason that Square is in such trouble is the lower than expected sales of Sleeping Dogs, Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider. This is wild considering that both Hitman and Tomb Raider sold more than three million units a piece, but both came in under their forecasted sales targets. Square expected their North American and European sales to hit 14.9 million copies across all three games by now, so they are a good deal under that target.
What do you guys think about this? Is it wild that Square Enix needed to sell 14.9 million copies of these games to stay afloat? What do you think will happen to Square down the line? More Final Fantasy games more often? Will they ditch Western development completely?
GDC is going on this week, and apparently Konami and EA were bursting at the seams to announce their games and couldn’t wait for E3 to roll around. Both Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain (a combination of the previously announced Ground Zeroes and, of course, The Phantom Pain) and Battlefield 4 were revealed with accompanying trailers. Metal Gear Solid 5 is just below, with Battlefield 4 after the jump.
It’s been two years since gaming’s finest detectives took their cases, but now they’re back. This time, their beat includes Grand Theft Auto V’s hype (or lack thereof), Richard Garriott’s comments that “most game developers suck” and Hideo Kojima’s newest antics with the Phantom Pain. Naturally, they tackle these with all the integrity and tenacity that you’ve come to expect from your favorite gaming gumshoes.
Since you haven’t seen them in a couple of years, here’s how this feature works: GameCop is a sensible gamer, looking out for your best interests. LameCop is your average forum troll, causing havoc for the lulz, while PsychoCop should be locked up for everyone’s safety.
After the last few weeks, it’s been hard for me not to be a bit of a gaming grump when it comes to trends in the video game industry. Sometimes it’s easy to look at all the ways the hobby’s changing, from DRM to microtransactions to the idea of games as a service instead of games as a product… and just feel a bit let down.
But then some great games come out like Bioshock: Infinite and Tomb Raider, and you start to feel a bit more hopeful. Like maybe some teams are out there still thinking about us and trying to make games we’ll enjoy. So in that vein, I thought today’s Pixel Count would focus on the positive: what gaming trends do you love about the industry right now! Tell us why in the comments!
After a short break from the cast, we’ve got a whole crew on for this edition of The GamerSushi Show! That’s right, Nick joins us for the entire cast. We were pretty excited when we saw him pop up on Skype.
As for what we talk about during the cast, we have a fairly restrained conversation about SimCity, discuss John Riccitiello leaving EA and what that means for the company, and Jeff breaks down why he thinks Tomb Raider is awesome. Anthony then has an unscheduled rant about Final Fantasy Versus XIII reportedly being turned into Final Fantasy XV for the PlayStation 4. It’s fairly entertaining.
So, you know what to do. Listen to the podcast, rate it up on the iTunes with all the stars you can muster, and be nice to each other. Seriously, find a gamer and give them a hug. We’re an angry group of people that just want to be loved.
0:00 – 2:04 Intro
2:04 – 21:00 SimCity
21:02 – 28:24 John Riccitiello Leaves EA
28:25 – 46:20 Tomb Raider
46:21 – 54:55 Pre-Ordering Games and BioShock Infinite
54:56 – 1:05:24 – Final Fantasy Versus XIII Goes Next-Gen/Anthony’s Square Rant
1:05:25 – 1:08:38 Outro
While the writing might have been on the wall for a while, it still came as a bit of a shock this past Monday when John Riccitiello left his position as EA’s CEO. Citing lower than expected financial targets, Mr. Riccitiello’s turn as EA’s CEO will officially be done on March 30, where he will be replaced by Larry Probst (EA’s former CEO from 1991-2007) for the interim. Riccitiello said this about his departure in a letter to the company:
This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability. The progress EA has made on transitioning to digital games and services is something I’m extremely proud of. However, it currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued in January, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. EA’s shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss.
As part of his separation agreement, Riccitiello will receive 24 months of payment, which is not a shabby deal, all things considered.