IGN has an opinion piece discussing why, as video games get shorter, we seem less likely to finish them than in the past. For example, BioWare said only 50% of Mass Effect 2 players finished the campaign. The article goes into several reasons gamers are likely to drop games without beating them, such as lowered expectations, show-stopping bugs, and the ease with which we can find another game if this one doesn't suit us. Quoting: "... now that gamers have come to expect the annualized franchise, does that limit the impetus to jump on the train knowing another one will pull up to the station soon enough? ... In the past, once you bought a game, it was pretty much yours unless you gave it to somebody else or your family held a garage sale. The systemic rise of the used games market now offers you an escape route if a game just isn't your bag. Is the middle of a game testing your patience? Then why not sell it back to your local game shop, get money back in your pocket, or trade it in for a game that's better – or at least better suited for your tastes? After all, the sooner you ditch it either at a shop or on an online auction site, the more value you stand to get in return."
An anonymous reader passes along this excerpt from Gamesradar about EVE Online's Council of Stellar Management (CSM), a group of elected player representatives that serve to facilitate communications between the developers and the community: "On the last day, the devs announced that after the earlier discussions about improving the CSM’s ability to effect change, the CSM was being raised to the status of its own department within CCP. This is revolutionary; in one swift move, the CSM went from what could be considered a glorified focus group to what CCP considers to be a 'stakeholder' in the company, given equal consideration with every other department in requesting development time for a project. That means the CSM — and the entire playerbase it represents — has as much influence on development projects as Marketing, Accounting, Publicity and all the other teams outside of the development team. This is, of course, the stated intention. But has any developer gone to such lengths for its fans?"
Massively reports that NCSoft's fantasy MMO Aion will soon be getting a round of server mergers to balance player populations and shore up in-game economies. A newsletter from Aion producer Chris Hager also brought word that character transfers will be an option starting in June, and NCSoft will be "offering them to all of our players for free for a limited time." This is happening in the lead-up to the game's 1.9 patch, due on June 2, which contains a number of measures to make the XP grind a bit less harsh (among other things; patch notes). They're creating more quests, increasing XP rewards from existing quests, and implementing a system that "grants you experience bonuses as you continue to play."
An anonymous reader writes "For years, Microsoft has allowed Visual Studio users to define arbitrary tab widths, often to the dismay of those viewing the resultant code in other editors. With VS 2010, it appears that they have taken the next step of forcing tab width to be the same as the indent size in code. Two-space tabs anyone?"
Spacezilla writes "EA is dropping the bomb on a number of their video game servers, shutting down the online fun for many of their Xbox 360, PC and PlayStation 3 games. Not only is the inclusion of PS3 and Xbox 360 titles odd, the date the games were released is even more surprising. Yes, Madden 07 and 08 are included in the shutdown... but Madden 09 on all consoles as well?"
JamJam writes "Besides my beer gut, which I'm sure has some purpose, Wired is running a story on the 10 Worst Evolutionary Designs. Ranging from baby giraffes being dropped 5-foot during birth to Goliath bird-eating spiders that practically explode when they fall from trees."