Michael Pachter, an analyst that tries to gauge future trends in the video game industry, has basically built a career saying crazy things and hoping they come true (kind of like some games journalists, but I digress). While most of what he says can be brushed off as preposterous rumor, he sometimes produces a rare gem, like a diamond in a coal mine.
Take this recent interview he had with NowGamer where he postulated that Valve will begin offering a trade in service on Steam fairly soon. While we all love Steam, apparently there’s some demand to have Valve’s digital store offer the same sort of service provided by GameStop, i.e the ability to trade in titles for credit towards new ones. This is the explanation Pachter gave as to how he thinks it would go down:
“Steam is phenomenal, it’s a great service,” Pachter explained, “Steam gives gamers enough other stuff so that they don’t resent the fact they can’t trade in their games. And you know, name all the Steam games that you’ve purchased that you’ve traded back in to somebody else for credit. Steam’s about to let you do that supposedly, you know like trade and exchange, but they’re going to take a fee from it.”
While the “supposedly” does take this idea pretty firmly into guesswork territory, I think it’s a novel idea that Valve are possibly exploring, if only to further their dominance on PC gaming. What do you guys think? Any truth to Pachter’s statement? What kind of “fee” would Valve take, if any?
I don’t want to start off this article by saying that we’re a bunch of gaming prophets or anything, but sometimes we make frighteningly accurate predictions. I don’t know if any of you recall, but on our E3 podcast, we conjectured that Bungie and Activision might be putting out an MMO since Activision loves recurring payments and Bungie loves making games. Turns out we might not have been too far off the mark.
In a recent keynote speech at GDC Online Austin, Bungie’s Joe Staten, known for writing the Halo games along with the Contact Harvest novel, talked about building the canon around Halo and how that contributed to the game’s success. After he finished giving his speech (in which he admitted that the ending to Halo 2 was a total mess, confirming what we knew all along), he opened up to some Q&A with the audience. One of the questions was related to Bungie’s next project, to which Staten responded with this little snippet:
“Wouldn’t it be great if we could make a world that was always there for you?”, replied Staten. “Wow. That would be great.”
While he doesn’t out and out say that an MMO is indeed Bungie’s next project, his comment does seem to lean in that direction. While his whole discussion on the writing of Halo was a great read, this is probably going to be the sticking point for people going forward.
We’re undoubtedly going to see something concrete from Bungie’s next project soon, so do you guys think they’re going to go the MMO route? Do you think it will be First Person or some other genre? Based on Halo: Reach, I’d love to see some space combat in there as well.
On the internet, everything must be taken with a grain of salt, which is why Wikipedia is no longer a valid source for information when writing a paper for school. Simply put, there are too many untrustworthy people who are much, much smarter than the vast majority of us, and they use their talents to disguise erroneous facts as the truth. This video, though, seems to be pretty legitimate to me. Apparently an X-Box LIVE user attempted to connect to a friend’s game, only to be bounced to a Marketplace page that announced that a Membership plan was necessary, but not available yet. Take a look at the video and decide for yourself.
The top of the screen clearly has the beginning of “membership” before it is cut off by the size limitation. What do you guys think? Will Modern Warfare 2 follow a WoW-based route, or is this for something different? Treat this as a rumor for now until we have official word from Activision. It wouldn’t surprise me, though.
For many months now, there has been a rumored Fallout MMO in the works, with Interplay and Bethesda caught in a slight legal debacle over the rights to the game. The codename for this game has been Project V13, and while it wasn’t scheduled to go into public beta until sometime in 2012, it seems that things might have changed. A new Fallout Online site has been launched by Interplay, with a flash animation, some artwork and even a form to register for the beta as well as regular e-mail updates. I guess they’ve had their issues worked out, recently?
This is potentially pretty cool news, even though I have yet to finish the game. The Fallout world is a really rich one with plenty of great locales to visit, and tons of room for player exploration. I think it’s exactly the kind of property that lends itself perfectly to an MMO, so the developments here should be fun to see. If any of you are interested, head on over to the site, but just be warned that it’s loading a bit janky right now because it’s servers are no doubt being beaten like a drum.
So what do you guys think of this? Who’s going to sign up?
Ever since last year’s Microsoft press conference at E3 2009, people around the gaming industry have been wondering about what their new motion control system, codenamed Natal, was eventually going to end up being named. We saw a similar thing several years ago, when the Nintendo “Revolution” wound up with the then-strange-but-now-household moniker: “Wii”. Well, news has finally dropped tonight. Natal’s final title will be the Xbox “Kinect”.
While the name certainly isn’t everything, and I see the idea they’re going for, I actually thought Natal was kind of catchy in the same sense that “Wii” was, because it represented something new that we hadn’t seen before. With no controllers, Kinect is certainly going to be an interesting evolution of the motion control platform. By all accounts, this makes Sony’s Move seem like a stroke of genius in comparison.
In addition to that piece of news, there are also reports of the long-rumored “slim” XBox 360 finally making its debut at E3 this week, along with pictures of the new model. Supposedly, the only difference between this new model and the old ones is that the HDD is 250 GB and it also has built-in Wi Fi. To me, this design seems like a step back, especially compared to the PS3 slim, which was such a well done re-design of a system. This rumored model is sharp and angular. If this ends up being real, they might as well call it the XBox 360 Orthanc, after Saruman’s tower in Lord of the Rings.
Anyway, there has also been a short list of Kinect’s launch games, which include a dance game as well as a Wii Sports ripoff. So what do you guys think of all of these developments? Do you like the name Kinect?
This news could possibly be the death knell of Metal Gear Solid: Rising for me, even though I’ve seen nothing of the game since last E3. According to rumors, the game, subtitled “Tactical Lightning Action”, will be out sometime next year, and no one has phoned David Hayter yet! For those of you who don’t know who this man is, he’s the guy who’s been providing the gravelly-voiced delivery for Solid Snake for the last twelve years. He’s also a Hollywood screen writer with credits for X-Men and X-Men 2 in addition to the Watchmen draft that stodgy Alan Moore gave his approval to.
One might say that Hayter is the linchpin of Metal Gear Solid in North America, so what will a Metal Gear game without Solid Snake be like? Granted, the game is assumed to be about Raiden, but even Metal Gear Solid 2 (which had Raiden as the main protagonist), featured a lot of Snake. What do you guys think? Could Rising be completely Snake free? What are your thoughts on this game, now that a full year has gone by? Keep in mind that this is just a rumor, but it’s puzzling none the less.
It’s been a couple of months, and many of you left feedback that you love the GameCop vs LameCop vs PsychoCop feature, so we thought we’d do an honorary E3 rumor edition!
If you’re unfamiliar with this feature, we discuss gaming issues and we switch roles each time. The GameCop is looking out for you, the gamer, while the LameCop is just what he sounds like: kind of a lamewad. Meanwhile, PsychoCop is a troll in every sense of the word, and completely bat poop insane.
In honor of next week’s E3, we have a completely intellectual debate regarding the status of several E3 rumors, including Hulu coming to the XBox 360, Rockstar pulling out of E3, and Valve’s special showing.