Oh, marketing departments, the bane of sophisticated gamers everywhere. It’s easier to make your product appeal to the lowest common denominator these days, but sometimes I have to wonder how these ad campaigns get pushed through. Take this recent bout of advertising for Dead Space 2 which features 200 mothers watching, and being horrified by, EA’s upcoming sci-fi thriller. Now, as a child of the 90s, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this type of advertising stunt before, probably for Soldier of Fortune or something. I’m sure that my mom would hate Dead Space 2, but would I make her watch it and upload my own reaction video to win a custom PS3? Probably. Here’s the shameful behind the scenes video.
So, any opinions on EA’s attempt to bring Dead Space 2 down to the level of common grade schlock? Any thoughts on months and months of hard work invalidated in order to appeal to 12 year olds?
Apparently someone at 343 Industries was taking their crazy pills and signed off on Apt. 117, a cartoon about a “normal, average guy who lives with a Halo fanboy.” Sort of like the Odd Couple, but with more man-boobs. Actually, maybe the exact same amount. Anyways, the trailer for this cartoon recently went up, and you can watch it below if you’re so inclined.
If that didn’t excite you then maybe it’s doing its job, as the cartoon is described as purposely underwhelming. I don’t know if I’ve ever invested my time into being specifically disapointed but hey, this might be a new untapped market. Personally, I think a cartoon dedicated to Spartan 1337 would be better, as his short was the only one from Halo: Legends I enjoyed. Apt. 117 will be hitting Halo: Waypoint on X-Box LIVE soon, making it the only time in history that I will consciously stay far, far away from something Halo. Thoughts?
Back when the X-Box 360 launched in 2005, one of the the titles it came with was called Kameo: Elements of Power. At this point, the game has mostly slipped the collective memory of the 360’s user base, but the game’s developer, Rare, remembers. Rare just recently celebrated its 25 anniversary, and it spent a little time reminiscing about a game that is apparently a “painful” memory for the developer.
Rare initially started making Kameo for the GameCube back in 2002, but it was bought up by Microsoft shortly thereafter and transferred the game over to the then-upcoming 360. By that point, Kameo was mostly finished, so they just made a few tweaks to bring it up to next-gen standards. According to Creative Director George Andreas, the studio wished that they had scrapped it and started all over again. The game was originally aimed at the Nintendo audience, and Rare thought that the main character’s race wouldn’t fly with the 360’s shooter-centric crowd, so they fibbed. Here’s the word from Rare’s George Andreas on Kameo’s dirty secret:
“We changed direction slightly because of the new audience we were trying to aim at. We called Kameo an elf, but really she was a fairy. We tried to disguise that a few times, but it didn’t really work out. It was a game with a fairy for an audience that likes shooting and killing things. In hindsight, it probably would have been best to scrap everything and start again. And then we jumped on 360 as a launch title. We weren’t far off finishing [when that happened].”
Well there you have it, folks. We’ve been lied to all these years. This is kind of a funny thing to finally reveal after all this time, but carrying a burden such as this can be hard on people. While this is more of a amusing WTF than a puzzling one, I thought you guys would get a kick out of this. Do you have anything to say on this? Maybe it’s an over-all comment on the difficulty of breaching the X-Box audience with a new, more kid friendly IP?
Oh, EA, you were doing so well. You started trying to publish new games in 2008 with Dead Space and Mirror’s Edge, and you took back your estranged children Vince Zampella and Jason West when they got canned by Activision. You even pledged on-going downloadable content support for your titles with “Project Ten-Dollar”, but now the true nature of this initiative rears its ugly head.
Announced today in what may go down as one of the biggest bone-head moves of all time, EA Sports has dropped the word that all Sports titles will come with an online access card similar to the ones in Bad Company 2 or Mass Effect 2. The major difference is that this card will allow the player to access the multiplayer portion, something that gamers have come to take for granted from their titles. Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 will be the first game to include this pass, and one has to wonder if this practice will begin to make its way into other EA titles. Could Crysis 2 require this? Unthinkable to most gamers, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Additionally, this pass will only be available with new copies, so used game purchases and renters will be out of luck.
In an effort to further underline the questionable motives of this maneuver, GameStop CEO Dan DeMatteo has pledged his support to EA Sport’s new enterprise, stating that GameStope employees will begin pitching X-Box LIVE and PlayStation Network point cards to used game purchasers.
What do you guys think of this? How do you think it will affect the rental industry? Let us know in the comments.
Now, we here at GamerSushi don’t usually like using the WTF title for just any old occasion, but this new revelation regarding Assassin’s Creed II PC and its draconian DRM measures seems like the perfect fit. For those of us who are waiting until March to play Assassin’s Creed II (my personal favorite game of last year) on the PC, it looks like Ubisoft is trying to add insult to injury by requiring a constant internet connection to play the game.
This seems more like an effort to deter paying customers rather than pirates, but it gets better. Even if you’re lucky enough to have an unwavering 24/7 connection, you can still be booted out of the game if Ubisoft’s Master server goes down. Yes, you read that right: you’re totally helpless when you’re playing this game. When a disconnect happens, either on your end or theirs, you’re kicked out of your current game and back to the menu where your only option is to save your last checkpoint and wait until you’re connected again. Fortunately Assassin’s Creed II auto-saves frequently, so this shouldn’t be as big of a headache as it could have been, but it still seems like an unnecessarily harsh punishment to those who paid money for this game.
What do you guys think about this? Obviously it’s a very negative turn of events, so do you think this is going to affect the sales of this game, or perhaps all Ubisoft PC titles? Are you even going to buy this game anymore?
Hope everyone had a safe and happy New Year! As we slip into 2010 and eagerly await the best first quarter of video game history, we look back and reflect on 2009 and what an interesting year it was for gaming. We had plenty of great games drop this year (Batman, Resident Evil 5, Assassin’s Creed II just to name a few), and we finally saw the release of the undeniable juggernaut, Modern Warfare 2. But, as great as this year has been, there’s been more than a few eyebrow-raising moments as well. Whether you’ve got Infinity Ward’s decision to use matchmaking on the PC, Bobby Kotick’s Emperor Palpatine-esque villainy or Microsoft and Sony’s bizarre desire to tap into the motion control market, 2009 has seen its share of shenanigans. 1up has put together a list of their top industry quotes of 2009, and I’ve gone through and picked out a few of my favorites:
“You ever wonder what the bottom of an Avatar’s shoe looks like? Well BAM! There it is!”
Kudo Tsunoda demonstrating Natal at the E3 2009 Microsoft key note.
“Games have been used for stimulation, but maybe it won’t be long until games are used for relaxation and even to fall asleep.”