Ah, Japan. As a child, Japan was the legendary home of video games to me. Rumors would always float around school of what video games were out in Japan (of course there were those who somehow believed Japan was several console generations ahead of the rest of the world, but I digress). As of late, however, gaming isn’t what it once was in Japan. This isn’t to say that gaming is dead, that is. Gaming is alive and well… just in the form of handheld/mobile gaming. Games like Puzzle and Dragons and Monster Hunter dominate sales in Japan. Almost all games are played on phones or handheld systems. Nintendo and Sony consoles still see decent sales in Japan, but are no where near being as dominate as they were in years past. Continue reading
Over the last several years, almost all big publishers have relied on sequels to bring in the money. Companies like Activision, Ubisoft and EA have all depended on big name franchises like Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, and Battlefield. The reason for this is even if these games are released completely broken (not that any of these games would ever release broken… right guys? …guys…?), they can still sale millions of copies simply from people walking in to a store and wanting to buy whatever game they saw advertised on TV, and names like Call of Duty draw in hundreds of thousands if not millions of sales alone. Over the last year though, things are changing and new IPs are selling better than they have in years past. Continue reading
Independent developers have brought us gamers some of the most original and exciting games of the last decade. From masterpieces like The Unfinished Swan and Limbo, to the crazy and quirky like Hotline Miami and even Goat Simulator, indie games have been some of the most noteworthy games in history, and phenoms like Minecraft will be remembered as a huge part of many childhoods. So how did such a huge part of the video game industry get started, and where does it go from here?
Sometimes I want a new experience without having to buy and download a game. In situations like this I turn to web games. Web games are great because there are just so many needles in the haystack (plus, you can sometimes play them at work or at school, but I would NEVER, EVER recommend… OK, fine, play these at work). Most of the following games will be Flash or Unity based, so players may have to update or install a plugin to play, but it’s worth it. I tried to make this list consist of games that can be played in less than 15 minutes, and are likely one’s you’ve never heard of. Continue reading
So far this year, two major video game websites have announced they are discontinuing the review score. Joystiq and Eurogamer have both recently announced they are leaving behind review scores to let their words speak for themselves. This has been praised around the internet as taking a stand against the antiquated system video games are currently reviewed in. This is great news for readers who just want to read the review, and are tired of arguments of “how could you give this game a 7 and say it was OK, but give another game the same score and call it really good?”. The problem, however, is that this isn’t making much of a difference in the industry as a whole. Review scores are a vital part of almost every branch of the video game industry. Publishers and developers use sources like Metacritic to benchmark critical reception, sites like IGN and Gamespot get a large portion of their traffic due to internet scores, and fans use scores as a purchasing aid. So, why is everyone attached to a little number? Continue reading
Many of the largest publishers and manufacturers in the video game industry are publicly traded, meaning shares of the company can be bought on the marketplace. This allows fans to own a piece of the companies they like/love and hopefully make a profit through. That’s fine and dandy, but the people who put big bucks into buying shares rarely have little knowledge of the product the company is making, they just want a piece of the action in a huge industry. Continue reading
For some time many of us have been speculating as to where Valve will find itself in the emerging VR market. Originally, Valve and Gabe Newell supported development of the Oculus Rift VR headset, but this likely changed when Oculus was bought by Facebook, one of the most surprising moves in recent memory. Especially considering the Oculus Rift was being made with video games in mind yet Facebook doesn’t exactly have a foothold in the video game market (what are they going to do? Let us play Farmville like we’re really there). Continue reading