An overlooked reason we still need physical copies of games

For some time now, everyone in the video game industry has been going on and on about how digital games are going to take over the world and the evils of Gamestop and the like shall be banished from the earth and sent to live in exile in the deepest depths of hell. OK, maybe it isn’t always phrased exactly like that, but you get the idea. PSN, Xbox Live, and of course Steam are seen kind of like the iTunes of video games. Here to replace old fashioned physical discs and cartridges with digital downloads. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not here to say that isn’t true. Steam has already “won” it’s battle for PC gaming, but I can’t say that consoles can follow in the same fashion. Not yet, at least.

You see, there’s several reasons why digital downloads aren’t immediately taking over on consoles. The usual suspect is some people would just rather have a physical copy than a digital copy. With a physical copy, no one can take the game away from the player, and it can look pretty on a shelf as part of a collection. This isn’t the only reason, though. If a great game is released and everyone loves it, people will buy it whether or not it is available as a physical copy. The problem is, some people won’t buy a digital game simply because, well, their internet sucks.

Yes, somehow even in the year 2015, it can be extremely expensive to acquire fast internet. This mainly depends on where someone resides, the United States being one of the worst offenders in the developed world. Sadly, it can be significantly quicker to drive to the store, buy a game, and go back home than it is to simply hit the download button and wait. Actually as I type this, I just went to do a speed test on the Xfinity WiFi I’m currently borrowing, only for the speed test website itself to take so long to properly load I gave up and considered the results pretty freaking bad. In small towns, internet costs can reach $100 without even being properly fast. Hell, I’ve often gone to play a multiplayer game and then change my mind when the PlayStation Network informs me the last few months of patches will take over an hour to download (looking at you, heists update for GTA V).

So, obviously, those of us who either don’t have affordable access to fast internet or simply can’t afford it want to stick to disc based games. Publishers are of course aware of this, and therefore it will be quite some time before any AAA games release as digital downloads only on consoles. These games could lose a significant number of sales in the States, as well as many developing countries that have very little, if any access to reasonable internet speeds.

Internet speed isn’t the only reason physical copies are still very crucial to the video game industry, but it a reason that is very much overlooked. When all video game discussion comes from the internet and those who live in big cities with lives centered around video games, it’s easy to see how quickly those without the same internet access as themselves are overlooked.

The games I always come back to

I play a lot of games, and when I say a lot, I mean, well, a lot. Sometimes it feels like I go through games quicker than they are released. The typical cycle for me is to buy a game, play it, beat it, maybe play it some more, and then it ends up on a shelf starting it’s very own dust collection. There are, however, several games that I always come back to, games I never leave long enough for them to collect dust (especially considering a lot of them are digital titles…). These are not only the games I never tire of, they also basically define me as a gamer. Continue reading

Mobile Games – The Future Of Gaming Or Toilet Entertainment?

Please welcome

I’ve been enjoying some Fallout Shelter ever since it came out on Android. It’s a pretty neat little game, in fact the Play Store is chalk full of them. I consider myself a gamer, because I play games on multiple platforms, but what if I only played on my phone or tablet? Would I still be a gamer, or just someone wasting his time? Continue reading

My personal favorite games for busy people

Being an adult is hard sometimes. We have to pay bills, make appointments, go to meetings, go to work, sleep, and what feels like a million other things. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to be a gamer. It can be incredibly frustrating for so many adults now to see a game like Fallout 4 is coming out, only to think, “If only I had enough time to dive into that game like I used to do with others”. Thoughts like that end in a lot of people giving up their hobby of playing video games, since they have a hard time finding extra hours in the week to allocate for playing. If this sounds like you, keep up hope! There are tons of games that can be played during any free ten to thirty minutes you have without missing out on the full experience! I’ve gathered a small list of my personal favorites to play for short periods of time (in no particular order). So let’s get started. Continue reading

How pirates brought on the age of Netflix

No I don’t mean Blackbeard is sitting in an IT department coding a digital storefront. I’m of course speaking of piracy in the more modern sense, the act of illegally sharing or downloading media, video games etc. Pirates are typically seen as people who will do just about anything to make sure they don’t have to properly pay for access to movies, games, and the like. The reality of it is, not all pirates are completely against paying, and sometimes convenience plays a large role in whether or not someone buys something or pirates it. Continue reading

Want to be a video game developer? Take the time to learn the realities of the industry.

Image credit: Forbes I get it, you love video games, so do I. You want to take that love to the next step and help create video games as a developer. To get to program or design your favorite games would be amazing. I mean, how can you go wrong with a career where you get paid to make/play video games, right? Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, before you dive in head first in a career in video game development, take the time to read this short article and learn what you’ll really be doing. There’s a reason why many video game developers end up working in a different industry before it’s all over.
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DayZ and how early access games are burning out before they’re ever even released.

Over the last few years, a new trend has graced the video game market (or plagued it depending on your personal views). A new trend that has allowed developers to make oodles of money without ever releasing a properly functioning game. Yep, you guessed it, early access. Early access is the idea that players can purchase games before they are officially released, like a pre-order, but have access to the game in it’s current, unfinished state. In theory, that’s a pretty great idea. In practice, well, I’ll walk you through it.

I go on Steam, and see this awesome looking game that’s getting tons of press, but to my dismay, it has not yet been released. Wait, what’s this? I can buy it now and get to play it before it’s even finished development? Hell yea, let’s do it! So I download the game in it’s current state, and play it for a while. Sure the game is a barely functional shell of what a game should be, but that’s OK! The game is just in alpha/pre-alpha/prototype whatever you want to call it. I spend some time in the game, and come out thinking, “this might be a great game when it’s released!”. So, I keep updated on the development process and go back in and check out the game every once in a while to see how it has been improved and expanded upon. By this point I’ve spent many, many hours in the game. Somehow, the game has still not reached version 1.0, and I’m already getting bored of it before it releases. Eventually the game releases, I guess, but I don’t particularly care, because I’ve already had my fill, and the developer has as well, since I already bought the game from them some time ago. I’m not alone in this, either, as more gamers have purchased the game in early access than will ever purchase it after official release. Continue reading

No, Nintendo is not going anywhere

In the early ’90s, two companies reined supreme in the video game industry. Sega, and of course Nintendo. Both of these names were giant corporations with offices around the globe. Sega battled Nintendo for the #1 spot but were unable to keep up as the industry progressed. Eventually the Sony PlayStation was introduced, Sega tried to play catch up and the rest is history. Sega’s last hurrah was a severely under powered console in the Dreamcast, trying to take on the likes of Sony and new player to the game Microsoft. Now, Sega stays afloat as a much smaller company holding onto the few valuable names they own such as Sonic.
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The State of Konami: A look at the video game giant in dark times

 

Japanese video game developer Konami holds the keys to some of the most beloved franchises in all of video gaming. Lately, though, they have not been held in the highest regards in the hearts of many gamers. Multiple creative minds responsible for games such as Castlevania have left Konami, and recent reports hint that there may be serious problems inside Konami Digital Entertainment itself. So now a new question is lingering in the minds of many in the industry. Does Konami still care about traditional video game development? This is not an easy question to answer, and is only complicated further by Konami Corporation’s other business ventures. Konami operates a gaming and systems business (for casinos), a pachinko/pachislot company (another popular form of gambling), and a health and fitness business that includes health clubs,  exercise machines, and other health products. However, Konami didn’t start out as any of these things. Continue reading

Are video game publishers still neccessary?

Several years ago, the music industry was completely run by a few record labels. Musicians who weren’t able to get a contract with a large company like Capital Records didn’t have much of a chance of ever reaching mainstream audiences. Eventually, though, the internet changed things (as it has done in any imaginable industry. The general public were now able to go online and listen to any artist imaginable, and artists no longer needed a record company to be heard. Now, record companies are no where near extinct, but they do not pull the strings of the music industry in the same capacity as decades past. Large record companies play a similar role to modern video game publishers. Having a video game published by companies like EA, Square Enix, Konami or others have been the only way to make games that anyone will really see for a long time. However, like with the music industry, the internet is turning the table on publishers. Continue reading