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Various News Musings

News Round up– Quick Hitter style:

Crusader Kings II, one of my favorite games of 2012 is now available for Mac for $39.99 according to Paradox.

Metro 2033 is now on sale at Gamersgate for FIVE BUCKS. People, seriously, buy the damn game if you haven’t played it and have the PC to run it.

The Mass Effect 3 DLC Pack dubbed Rebellion will be available next week for PC (May 29th) and XBLA/PSN (May 30th). It’s free, by the way. The pack has two new maps and new characters to play in multiplayer.

Blizzard has once again delayed the Real Money Auction House for Diablo 3 beyond the end of May target date. You can also expect a server side patch to drop next week with more game fixes and tweaks.

Konami is being sued by City National Bank for not repaying (any of) a 14 million dollar loan used to fund Def Jam Rapstar. Whoops. Fo shizzle.

38 Studios continues to struggle and lose staff. This time the CEO.

The average Star Wars: The Old Republic server has fewer than 350 people? This isn’t an official report but clearly there is a population issue. Server consolidation this soon? I have seen this movie before. It doesn’t end well. I KNOW that John Riticello, EA CEO, said just recently on an investor call that the MMO was doing just peachy. Something doesn’t add up.

Bill Abner

Bill has been writing about games for the past 16 years for such outlets as Computer Games Magazine, GameSpy, The Escapist, GameShark, and Crispy Gamer. He will continue to do so until his wife tells him to get a real job.

9 thoughts on “Various News Musings

  1. Looks like 38 went ahead and laid off everybody.

    Stick a fork in these guys, they’re done. Love how they tell their employees that the company is “experiencing an economic downturn”.

    It’s come out too that they needed to sell 3 million units _to break even_. WTF is wrong with these people? I could have told you that this game would never sell those kinds of numbers…the 90 day total is supposedly 1.2 million, which seems high to me too.

    1. I saw that earlier, too. Three *million* copies? Seriously? How do you not look at your numbers and say “This is a bad idea” during the planning stage? I wonder if the game budget was originally planned that way or if it just got away from them during development.

      1. Someone suggested that they might have shuffled some of the MMO costs into the Reckoning project to make the MMO look less like a bottomless pit in which money goes and never sees the light of day again.

        No matter how I turn it, I cannot for the life of me see how Reckoning could have cost that much to make, is creating basic fetch quests that expensive?

    2. What’s wrong with them is that they’ve been operating for 2 years with $75,000,000 borrowed from the State of Rhode Island. I would assume that it is very, very easy to spend someone else’s money.

      I think this is a great example of why governments should not be loaning money directly to corporations in any industry. The purpose of government is to provide infrastructure, stability, and equal access to markets.

      Unfortunately some of these empty-headed politicians have gotten the crazy idea in their heads that they can actually create jobs.

      God help us all. . .

      1. “What’s wrong with them is that they’ve been operating for 2 years with $75,000,000 borrowed from the State of Rhode Island. I would assume that it is very, very easy to spend someone else’s money.”

        Why would you assume that? If someone loans a book or a game or a movie, do you not feel a basic sense of responsibility to treat it respectfully? To be worthy of the trust they’ve shown in you?

        1. As an individual, absolutely I’d feel a sense of responsibility. The fundamental difference here is that we’re talking about a business transaction between a corporation and the government. Morality and personal responsibility break down within entities of this size, especially when the stakes are raised to the tune of $75,000,000. Trust is not enough in cases like this.

          If we were looking at a similar transaction between a developer and a publisher the funding would have been tied to tangible product milestones and the developer’s progress would have been evaluated every step of the way. This is a well established process that publishers are quite good at it, because it’s their business.

          My argument is that governments are not fundamentally equipped to do something like this. They don’t have an established milestone and evaluation system. Video game funding and publishing is completely outside the governments realm of expertise. It’s no surprise that they’ve failed miserably.

    3. When I read something like that, I wonder how much for example, Vic Davis spent making ‘Solium Infernum’, or the Illwinter guys spent on all three ‘Dominions’ games combined…

      Neither of them are graphically intense, true, but fantastic games.

  2. The disconnect is especially obvious when you see Curt Shilling saying they outperformed expectations, while the governer is saying they needed more then double what they had, and that the game failed.

    As for SWTOR, they wanted to give people online a singleplayer experience. Guess they got what they wanted. Should have just made KotOR 3…

  3. Next patch for SWTOR will implement server transfers. Anyone playing on a server with decent pop is having fun, but they opened too many servers at launch and now they are paying for it. With transfers, the game should get a revitalizing shot for the players who want to be playing but just don’t have a server with others to play with — which is actually quite a lot of people.

    BioWare just needs to get the patch and transfers up and running soon. Assuming they still want their game to survive…

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