GamerSushi Asks: Your Summer Backlog?

Tropico 4

Hello, GamerSushi gents and ladies. You might not remember me, since I haven’t posted in a couple of weeks, but my name is Eddy. How do you do?

Me, I’ve been a bit busy recently, which has left me with very little time to both write for the Sushi and play some games, but hopefully all of that is changing very soon. Part of the issue is that this is a slow time for gaming news, because frankly it’s just a slow time for games. Thankfully we all have our backlogs and a ridiculous Steam Summer Sale to keep us busy.

Before the Fall arrives (which I’m considering to be the release date of Borderlands 2), what games do you think you’ll be tackling in the meantime? As for me, my plan of attack revolves around Walking Dead, Tropico 4, Civ 5, Day Z and more Diablo 3. I also finally plan on putting Skyrim to rest after many months of sitting on the expansive main quest. And who knows, maybe I’ll rent Spec Ops: The Line after all the great things I’ve heard.

So what are you guys playing? Let us know your Summer backlog. Go!

Valve Versus Piracy

Gabe NewellAt the risk of being called a Valve fanboy (I’m really not), I have to say that I think Gabe Newell is probably one of the more brilliant minds in the videogame industry. That’s probably a cliche opinion to have about the guy, but I’ll stick by it until he shows me other wise. I’m pretty much fascinated by everything he says in interviews, mostly because he comes across as a guy that not only understands the business he’s in, but understands gamers. That’s a tricky shot for a CEO to hit consistently, and he managed to do it without making a fool of himself too often (PS3 cracks aside).

In a recent interview with The Cambridge Student Online, Newell waxes philosophical about a number of subjects relating to Valve, including Half-Life as a response to the dumbing down of the FPS genre, the decision to make TF2 free to play and what he expects of CS: GO. One of the more interesting parts of the interview, however, is what he has to say about piracy. You see, Newell doesn’t view piracy as that big of an issue for Valve:

“In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem. For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24 x 7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate’s service is more valuable. Most DRM solutions diminish the value of the product by either directly restricting a customers use or by creating uncertainty. Our goal is to create greater service value than pirates, and this has been successful enough for us that piracy is basically a non-issue for our company.

This actually ties into something that we all talked about on a podcast, many moons ago. When it becomes just as convenient and valuable enough to get a product at a price you’re willing to pay for it as it is to steal it, piracy loses all meaning. Now, I know this is a touchy subject (and we always talk about how touchy of a subject it is), but as much as I do what I can to distance myself from piracy, I at least acknowledge that video game companies don’t always handle this well.

However, given the recent admission from CD Projekt that DRM-less Witcher 2 was pirated 4.5 million times, does anybody have any idea at all how to make their products more valuable than free? What say you guys? Weigh in and keep it tidy. Go!

Source – TCS

GameFly Introducing Digital Beta and Unlimited PC Play

GameflyWhile PC gaming is one of my new favorite things, one area where I feel it is lacking is an avenue to rent games in a way that makes sense. Maybe someone wants to change that.

Today, GameFly announced that this holiday season, they’re launching their own digital client. Here’s the curious part: the digital client is going to allow an unlimited PC play option, where Mac/PC gamers can download as many PC games as they want, as long as they are GameFly subscribers. It’s going to launch with 1,500 titles and grow from there. If this all sounds a bit too good to be true, you can hop over and sign up for the GameFly digital beta, which launches September 8.

My first reaction to reading this particular piece of news was a dumbfounded “what?” Looking at it again, I’m still not sure how I feel. It’s so casually tossed out there it’s hard to believe it would be a big deal, but the implications seem like they could be huge. It’s almost exactly how I felt when Valve was talking about Steam on the PS3. That “this could change everything” feeling. Seems like this could shake the PC gaming market a little in unexpected ways. But maybe that’s just me.

Your thoughts?

Source – GameSpot

Ars Technica Details how Developers are Messing Up PC Ports

ars technica how to ruin pc ports

Being an occasional PC Gamer, one thing I’ve noticed recently is that PC ports have a few reoccuring mistakes that developers and publishers are continually making. Sometimes they’re simple things, but most of the time they’re huge errors like not allowing users to customize their controls or burying the graphics options deep within the game’s files.

Ars Technica did a little write up detailing how to ruin PC ports in five easy steps and they included all the major faux pas that are far too common for my liking. I’m not too upset about the controls and graphic things (I usually just play on the default settings, anyways) but the log-ins withing log-ins is getting fairly annoying. Grand Theft Auto IV was annoying in this respect as was Crysis 2.

The old PC Gaming bane DRM is also included in this list, with the writer of the article tearing up a quote from the recent Blizzard event detailing Diablo 3’s DRM. Another point of contention is the fact that PC Ports are often released way after the console versions, meaning that any site that deigns to review them will use the original scores and won’t take any usability errors made in the port into account.

While the tone of the article may come off as snarky, it does make more than a few good points and exposes a lot of the hardships that your average PC gamer has to deal with. I know we have a lot of PC gamers on this site, so what did you guys think about this feature? Did it hit pretty close to home?

Source – Ars Technica

Diablo 3 Brings in an Auction House that Uses Real Money, Requires Constant Internet Connection

diablo 3 auction house internet connection

One thing that’s guaranteed to make headlines is a video game developer making a few design choices on the PC that get people up in arms. After continually raising eyebrows back during the lead-up to StarCraft 2, Blizzard invited a few games journalists down to Irvine, California to sample some of Diablo 3. While I’m certain they came away with the excellent taste of RPG/brawler in their mouths, a couple bits of news might have left a sour taste.

Diablo 3 will feature an in-game auction house where players can exchange real money for items or receive cash for selling theirs. As a kick-back for running the service, Blizzard will take a little off the top (like Valve and the community TF2 items), but the seller will still see some payouts in the end. In addition to Blizzard taking their cuts, an un-announced third party will be handling the transaction and taking their piece of the pie as well.

Blizzard sees this as an extension of the trading system in Diablo 2 where the best items would get filtered around by the players on While the auction system will be closely regulated by Blizzard and there are several safeguards in place to prevent abuse, this seems like quite the gamble to be taking with Diablo 3.

Speaking of gambles, Blizzard also announced at the same event that Diablo 3 will require a constant Internet connection, even if you want to play all by your lonesome. The constant connection will be used to authenticate your character with Blizz’s servers and prevent piracy, auction house fraud and other sorts of nastiness. Another part of the reasoning was that Blizzard thought that people wouldn’t appreciate maxing out a character in single-player and starting over from scratch if they wanted to try

That’s quite the pair of head-scratchers right there, if you don’t mind me saying so. Blizzard is always trying to push the envelope in these terms, so this might not be the weirdest things we hear pre-release. What do you guys think about this news? Does this affect your perception of Diablo 3? Oh, and there will also never, ever be mods. So there’s that.

Source – PC Gamer and PC Gamer

GameCop Vs LameCop Vs PsychoCop: Fanboy Edition!

Our favorite men in blue are back, eager to bring gaming justice to a spattering of industry-related topics from the last few weeks: Nintendo’s stance against indie developers, Sony’s subpoenas and Microsoft’s On Demand pricing.

I’m sure you know the rules by now, but just in case you don’t: 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.

Keep reading to find out what they have to say on these issues:

Continue reading GameCop Vs LameCop Vs PsychoCop: Fanboy Edition!

Remembering the Half Life 2 Heist

HL2 Source Code

If you recall, one of the most famous gaming heists of all time occurred back in October of 2003, when a lone hacker cracked into Valve’s servers and lifted all of Half Life 2’s source code in its entirety. Even in the days before sensationalist gaming blogs, this was a monstrously huge deal, and the news of it swept over the gaming community like a tsunami.

Several months later, German student Axel Gembe was arrested by police officers in order to keep the hacker from being picked up by the FBI in America, under a presumed trip to visit Valve for a job interview. That’s the part of the story you might not be aware of. Eurogamer recently did an interview with Gembe, who has set his life on a different path since all of that craziness went down. It’s one of the cooler gaming articles I’ve ever read, especially looking back on all that’s happened since then with Valve and its meteoric rise in the industry.

Anyway, give it a read if you think it’s something that would catch your fancy. Do you guys remember when this went down? What did you think of the article? What do you think of Gembe’s remorse and the changes he’s made in his life?

Source – Eurogamer

Pirate Witcher 2 and Pay a Fine

Witcher 2 anti-piracySo, Witcher 2 is coming out soon. If you’re thinking of pirating it to save a few pennies, think again, because CD Projekt, the developers of Witcher 2 and owners of, have a nasty surprise for you. Apparently the European company is tired of people snatching their games off of torrents (an presumably through windows as well), so they’ve teamed up with some big law firms to bring the full might of the court against PC pirates.

The game, which is set to launch in March of 2011, will be DRM-free from the outset, allowing legitimate purchasers to install the game as many times as they want on any PC. For those out there who choose less-than-legal methods to obtain their game, they should expect a cease-and-desist letter from one of the firms that have teamed up with CD Projekt.

In case you are wondering, the way that a torrenter is tracked is by having the law firm send a request to the torrent sites to get a list of IP addresses that have used the site. From there it goes to the IP provider, who then needs to cough up the name of the end user. It’s a time consuming and imperfect process, as I’m sure we all remember the claims of fraud from the few who were persecuted by the music industry a while back for illegally downloading songs. Since there’s no actual way to prove that the IP owner was the one who downloaded the game, just that it was from their address, this has lead some to believe that this method of piracy protection is a violation of personal privacy.

While DRM methods are usually stringent and are a pain in the rear, this is the first time in my memory that a game company is standing ready to take legal action against pirates. What do you guys think of CD Projekt’s plan? Is it too heavy-handed, or is a trip to the district court just what the pirates deserve?

Source – Eurogamer

PSP Go Owners Have (Kingdom) Hearts Broken

The much criticized PSP Go has just given the naysayers another piece of ammunition against it with the news from Square Enix that the surprisingly normal sounding Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep will only be released on UMD and not the Playstation Network’s PSP Store. This means, of course, that owners of the PSP Go won’t be able to play this blockbuster game at all.

The PSP Go was Sony’s reaction to the rampant piracy that plagued and still plagues the original PSP, thanks to relative ease of ripping information off UMDs. Now, Square Enix is the one who “currently has no plans” to launch a digital release of the game, but it stands to reason that Sony would want to work with them to ensure all of their customers get a chance to play this game.

What do you think about this? Should Sony step in? Do you own a PSP Go and will this affect you at all?

Source: 1Up