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Because We May Sale is Colossal

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From Humble Bundles to Indie Royales, discounts on indie games are all the rage, but you have not seen a sale like this. Initiated by Ron Carmel, developers from far and wide have banded together to support the message of Because We May by selling their games at rock-bottom prices on Steam, Android, iOS, and other platforms. There are well over 300 games on sale (I lost count), which begs the important question: what is the message?

“We believe that developers should have the freedom to price their games how they like, without interference from the online stores that sell the games. Why? Because it allows us to promote our games more freely, as we are doing here!”

At this point, you are probably thinking that this is another marketing stunt to drum up additional sales, and that is precisely the point. By pushing sales numbers through the roof, Because We May is out to prove that developers with full control over prices can sell their games more effectively. It’s a triple-win situation for the developers, distributors, and consumers.

The main concern of many people though, myself included, is that sales such as these make people less inclined to purchase indie games at full cost. Why pay full price when you know that it will likely be on sale in the future? Well, I say, buy now and let the developers learn that lesson for themselves. A small sample of the games up for grabs that caught my eye include Shadowgun, Canabalt HD, Capsized, Vessel, Jamestown, Superbrothers: Sword & Sorcery EP, and Avadon: The Black Fortress. The Because We May sale runs through June 1.

(Because We May started May 24. Sorry for the delayed news, but some family matters came first.)

Various News Musings

Technically, as a blogger, you aren’t supposed to do this. The idea is to post a lot of quick hitter stories and build up your post count and content rate.

But I feel like hell today so I figured I’d shoot off a rapid fire article with some news industry blurbs in one catch-all post! Convenient, eh?

Truth is, some of this stuff doesn’t need its own story so let’s do some conglomerating.

Leading things off Sony continues to lose money hand over Yen. Its shares have sunk to a 32 year low, and the latest fiscal report points to the reasons why it continues to lose money.

“…the unfavorable impact of foreign exchange rates, the impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the floods in Thailand, and deterioration in market conditions in developed countries.”

Translated: not our fault.

Atari is also losing money hand over sawbuck. The company has now officially closed off the Eden Games studio (the Test Drive guys) and is going to refocus its energy on the mobile games market. So going forward you are going to see more mobile and freemium games from the company and fewer retail products.

In better news (well depending on who you are I suppose), the Xbox 360 continues to be the #1 selling console in the US. This has been the case for the past 16 months, which includes the launch of the PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS. Although NPD analyst Anita Frazier says it’s too early to count the handhelds out:

“One thing to keep in mind is that the 3DS has outsold the DS by about one million units in their respective first 14 months in the market, and the DS went on to become the best-selling gaming hardware system ever.”

The April NPD numbers are out and Prototype 2 leads the way in the US. The mutating, smash ’em up sequel edged out Kinect Star Wars, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Tiger Woods. (Witcher 2 was #6). The report also shared that overall sales (software, hardware) are down 32% over the same period last year. This is no shock at all because as someone who watches new releases with a pretty close eye the past few months have been painfully slow — I have never seen anything like it. So a drop in sales is no surprise. I’m going to guess that May with its “Diablo 3” will be different.

Capcom has released a report that is putting a whole mess of eggs into the Resident Evil 6 basket. The company is counting on shipping seven million units of the survival horror sextuplet. As Eurogamer puts it:

To put that into perspective, the expectations put on DmC Devil May Cry (ship 2 million copies) and Dragon’s Dogma (ship 1.5 million units) and Lost Planet 3 (ship 1.4 million units) are much lower.

I think that is definitely safe to say. RE5 to date has sold 5.8 million units so Capcom feels there’s over a million units of meat left on that bone.

And wow that’s a lot of DmC Devil May Cry.

And, finally, Minecraft is popular.

Mirror’s Edge Movie Rumor False

On March 20 (too early for an April Fool’s prank), Parkour Generations announced the confirmation of a “big-budget movie treatment” for Mirror’s Edge. The rumor has since spread like wildfire through the online parkour community. Although Parkour Generations was tapped for consultation and motion-capture for the original game, there are a few problems that discredit this rumor:

1) Some of the details regarding the game are outright wrong. Mirror’s Edge was not “very popular,” and poor sales nearly caused EA to permanently shelve the franchise. Likewise, Mirror’s Edge did not buck “the trend for violence…by actually docking points if you were forced to fight.” Forced combat was the key criticism in nearly every review, and actually, points (via Achievements and Trophies) were given for employing as many combative tactics as possible. These are nit-picky details, but they do not aid Parkour Generation’s credibility.

2) Doesn’t anyone else find it strange that no gaming outlets picked up on the story? Surely, someone at Joystiq, GameSpot, Kotaku, or IGN would have been notified and possibly contacted for an exclusive interview by now.

Curious, I reached out to VP Worldwide PR Tammy Levine at EA, who thanked me for the heads-up and replied, “We hadn’t heard that one.”

DICE is rumored to be in development on Mirror’s Edge 2. Perhaps Parkour Generations heard about filming for a cutscene (EA is very fond of multimedia promotions), or perhaps the details of another fan-made video were blown out of proportion. Either way, I doubt Faith will appear at your local movie theater anytime soon.