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Comment Not the same markets (Score 2) 203

iOS and Android games don't share the same market as the Wii U, it's dumb to compare them just because they're games. PS4 and Xbox One, sure, but mobile gaming is its own ecosystem. 95% of the iOS and Android games available don't even come close to major release titles in terms of scope and depth, and their prices reflect that. A person is extremely likely to own both a smartphone/tablet and a gaming console, and I seriously doubt anyone is going to have to weigh a purchase of a console game against that of a mobile game. It's like comparing Wii U games to board games just because they share a word.

Comment Re:Seems reasonable for FTC to do this (Score 1) 39

Last I checked the only qualifications you need to be in the Senate are that you be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen for at least nine years at the time of election to the Senate, and a resident of the state one is elected to represent in the Senate. You seem to be under the impression there is some kind of unwritten standard that isn't being upheld - nothing could be further from the truth.

You're awfully quick to dismiss a Harvard degree in government and a long time career as a political activist/satirist. That he is also witty and talented enough to be a long time performer on one of the top comedy/improv groups in the country is a credit, not an embarrassment.

Maybe he should call you for advice, since by your comment history you have a great deal of experience shilling for the other side of the aisle. Clearly you feel that qualifies you to make belittling statements about someone who opposes your political views and gives you insight into who should and should not wield political power.

Comment Re:better than building Xbones. (Score 1) 196

Actually, they are building Xbones. Foxconn is making both consoles and I have little doubt that students are building both, yet it's the PS4 that gets pushed to the forefront.

How about an article titled "Foxconn Accused of Forcing Interns to Do Assembly Line Work or Lose School Credit"? I guess that wouldn't have as much sizzle, now would it? And then we couldn't show our displeasure with our wallets, to the benefit of Sony's competitors.

Comment Does not bode well (Score 1) 193

It's going to be a monumental task for Blizzard to one-up themselves. They came out with the best and biggest game this side of the Call of Duty franchise, with subscribers who buy the game again every 4 months (@14.95/mo), with a bonus 4 months added with every expansion they pump out. They had the perfect formula and it came together beautifully.

And then they got lazy. They decided they were infallible. The very fact that you can claim to have a "dream team" of designers tells me that they weren't even considering failure to be a possibility. They were living a dream alright, and Diablo 3 woke them up.

How could Diablo 3 fail? The last game was a monumental success, it's been years since it came out, the fans are drooling for a sequel - it's a guaranteed winner... until it wasn't. They changed the magic formula. They added a corruptable cash house, they completely changed the art style, they streamlined it and dumbed it down in the name of a broader audience. The game itself predicates its play on you playing through it multiple times, which is harder and harder to get gamers to do with the plethora of options out there.

And dammit, it just didn't feel like Diablo - it wasn't dark, it wasn't gritty, it wasn't EVIL enough - for gods' sake, you had one of the Prime Evils leaving you diary entries. The Diet Coke of Evil - just one calorie, not evil enough. Path of Exile was and will be a success because it made that magical Diablo formula work, and in a F2P model at that.

Blizzard has realized they can't just poop into a mold and call it a birthday cake anymore. They can't just rest on their laurels. The Azerothian Empire will sustain them for now, but their dominion is on the wane and they need creativity and genius again to remain relevant. But they're not agile anymore, now they are 100x larger, with more suits than a Men's Wearhouse sticking their permanent pressed lapels into every aspect of the game design.

So I don't doubt what came out into Alpha from project Titan was a misshapen afterbirth of a marketing-mutated CHUD baby. At least they had the good sense to put a pillow over it and start again, but going back to the drawing board at this stage of the game does not look good. Inventive game design is born with an idea that drives the creative machine, that idea guides the hand of all of the design, mechanics, art, rules, and acts as the very soul of a truly good game. I have a feeling that there is no solid core to this project, and it will end up being a pasted together clone of other people's ideas. AKA, a beautiful, epic, heavily marketed mediocre game.

Comment Re:There are only two vampire movies (Score 1) 103

Try "Let the Right One In" - it's a vampire movie with a completely different approach. It's not a horror movie really, except in the circumstantial sense - more of a rather charming drama of sorts.

It's on Netflix on-demand, give it a watch and see if you don't find a vampire movie you truly like.

Comment American Gods HBO series (Score 1) 103

Hi Neal - first off I want to say I'm a huge admirer and I can't wait to see you in Nashville this July! That being said, the tour is billed as the "Last US Signing Tour". Say it ain't so!

My question:

With the upcoming "American Gods" project for HBO, how much creative control do you have over the direction of series? Is there a firm beginning and an end to the story arc, as with the novel, or do you have to keep things open for possible future seasons?

Blood Kiss sounds interesting due to the sheer creativity pool involved, although I think the vampire genre is getting a bit washed thin and fraying at the cuffs lately. Hopefully this approach will be sufficiently unique as to revitalize it (entendré completely intended).

Comment Article Author Eats Babies (Score 2) 48

Anonymous sources claim that "Misleading titles in articles lead skimmers to wrong conclusions, which unnamed experts say can be as damaging to society in some ridiculously extreme cases as eating a baby."

Seriously though, let me get this straight: Google is "breathing new life" into the bill all on its own by complying with the law?

Oh noes! I just breathed new life into all these traffic laws by stopping at red lights this morning! And I think I singlehandedly resurrected the anti-murder laws by not killing anyone today!! Also I threw my support wholeheartedly behind the Patriot Act when I submitted to a random FBI spidering by typing this sentence!!! Exclamation points!!!!

Can we please all just take a deep breath before we come up with these article titles - if I wanted radical sensationalism, I'd be reading the mass media news feeds.

Comment Re:Devil's advocate, checking in (Score 1) 261

Everyone in a high-profile position should learn from this, but it seems like the Internet has a special hatred for people that mess with their gaming. One recent example is EA's two-time "worst company in America" award from the Consumerist.

Really? Worst company in America? Worse than Haliburton? Worse than Bank of America? Worse than ExxonMobil? - Totally fake reply letter, but puts things in perspective. Don't fuck with the Internet's vidja games or we will rate you worse than murderers, thieves, and mass-poisoners.

Additionally, game companies' bottom lines can be made or broken by fan rage, so they tend to take more dramatic action about an employee who shits the bed on a social network.

Comment Devil's advocate, checking in (Score 4, Interesting) 261

I'm going to jump in here and buck the hivemind by saying this may have been a case of Internet overreaction and mob persecution. This guy has said multiple times that this was a snarky banter between friends on Twitter, he just had the lack of foresight to make his feed private. I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, considering the horrible things I sometimes say to provoke my friends.

Would you want to be held accountable to your entire customer base for your snarky conversations with your friends? If you made some wholly inappropriate out of context comment while baiting/trolling your buddies, would you want the world to treat that as not only your actual stance, but that of your employer?

Now before the nerd rage bubbles over, let me caveat:

At best, the guy was at least a dumbass who didn't realize how connected his life was. In a position like that, even when he's talking with friends, he's talking with the Internet and cannot help but represent his job considering how many people it affects. Games are serious business on the Intertron, and you flick the nose of your customers at your peril.

At worst, he was the arrogant douche the internet proclaims him to be and sold himself on his company's own Kool-Aid, which is a terrible mistake in any profession and he paid the price.

I think it's good for Microsoft that this issue was dragged out into the spotlight before the console launched - and I think it's tragic that it cost Adam a career. Let this be a lesson for people in high-profile game industry positions - you are NEVER just talking to one person on the Internet, and the public eye never blinks.

Comment Wave of the future (Score 1) 196

I personally cannot wait for the new wave of smartwatches so that we can enjoy all of the exciting lawsuits over who started working on which one first.

Even the introduction quote sounds like an opening move in the gambit: "We've been preparing the watch product for so long." Not a specific time, just so long - long enough to make it legally questionable who had the idea first.

I personally can't wait for Casio to leap into the fray, patents blazing. I'm gonna need to license me some popcorn for this.

Comment Oh yes, "ad free" content (Score 1) 248

Just like Cable TV - we pay for it, and then we don't have to watch ads, right?..... Right?

If this ever gets implemented, it will end up doing nothing more than driving revenue further up so that popular sites can have ads AND "premium content". Maybe fewer ads at first, but they will start to creep in, mark my words. Learn ye the lessons of history.

Comment TMI Siri (Score 4, Funny) 95

"I see you are driving down Laurel Ave and I can drive you to your destination. Are you heading to:

- Bosco's Liquor Store (1.73 mi)?
- The Bouncing Pasty Gentleman's Parlor (2.64 mi)?
- The Purple Nurple Tobacco Accessory Shop (1.25 mi)?"

".... Siri, change profile to 'Mom'."

"Okay. Changing user profile settings to 'Mom', please wait"

Comment Re:There is a bigger problem with Steam (Score 1) 384

Disregarding the fact that Steam is a software platform and Valve is the "evil company", I strongly disagree. Valve is one of the least "evil" companies I know.

Having the potential and power to be evil does not inherently make you evil - its' all in what you DO with the power. Valve has shown time and time again to be responsive, customer-focused, fair-priced, and fair-minded in their business dealings. There's always a few one-offs, but compared to all the other shitty publishers out there (EA, Ubisoft, etc.) their motives have always been relatively pure.

Sure, they lock down their platform and environment, and sure they have the power to change their licensing agreement. But while their platform is tightly controlled, it's not overly plagued with ads or crappy "features" nobody would want - mostly it just works and even tries to enhance the gamer's experience with things like the steam overlay and social features. And while they CAN change their licensing terms, they don't - just because someone has the power to do harm does not inherently mean they will.

There are certain companies I don't mind sharing information with, because they've proven themselves mostly trustworthy. Valve is one of them. For the prices I pay for the games and the broad selection of games they offer, their monitoring of my play habits is a trade-off I'm more than willing to make.

Comment Re:They'll relent eventually (Score 2) 102

Strangely enough, I kinda missed the commercials.

It's a little awkward being in a conversation where someone says "Oh yeah, like that commercial with the guy and the duck and the jetpack!" and everybody else laughs for some reason you can't fathom. You then have two choices: 1) Smug up the place with comments about how you cut the cord and it's so much better and blah blah hipsterblah 2) Fake it and chuckle along weakly in a quiet, merry lie.

Plus, some of the commercials on the tube are really amusing. And even if they're bad, I think seeing the same ones over and over and OVER AND OVER in a single one-hour show (Hulu, take notes) is really freaking annoying.

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