As I argued a couple weeks back in the wake of the botched release of Assassin’s Creed Unity, video game publishers need to stop treating their biggest customers as guinea pigs on which to unleash broken games that will eventually be fixed via multiple patches weeks after release — or at the very least acknowledge this treatment and give these customers an incentive (lower price, free stuff, etc.) that doesn’t make them immediately regret spending $60 on a new game. And while it’s too late to undo all the damage done, Ubisoft is now attempting to make nice with these users by offering them free content as an apology. [More]
Video Game clips make up a sizable chunk of the most popular content on YouTube, and its becoming easier and easier for gamers to share short videos online, and game publishers rarely try to flex their copyright muscle to get clips taken down because they know it’s good publicity. Someone failed to tell this to Activision, which has been flagging Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare videos, but only those that highlight that the game has flaws. [More]
Last week, we shared the exciting news that a local historical society would auction a bunch of trash on eBay. Well, okay, that “trash” was really some of the millions of unsold Atari cartridges that were crushed, covered with cement, and left in the desert for three decades. They were left in the desert because nobody wanted them in 1983, but cartridges sold for as much as $1,537 on eBay, with auctions concluding this week. [More]
You wouldn’t go to Spring Training and expect to pay regular season prices to see a sluggish baseball team play a half-assed game. If you go to a preview of a new musical — where they might not be in full costume or have to stop and start a song halfway through — you don’t pay the same as someone going to the theater after opening night. And there’s a reason why the “dinged and discounted” section of the furniture store isn’t asking for the full sticker price. But when it comes to video games, consumers are increasingly paying a premium to be de facto beta testers for unfinished and broken games that aren’t ready for the market. [More]
One of the perks of my former life in the entertainment news business was getting early access to everything from books to movies to music to video games. On the down side, that early access often comes with the stipulation that you can’t say anything about what you’ve seen, read, played, or heard until the publisher says so. It’s an annoyance for all reviewers, especially when they want to tell the public that something is so bad they should stay away, but it’s particularly harmful in the video game business. [More]
Depending on your point of view, a selection of vintage game cartridges recently listed on eBay are either priceless pieces of video game history and lore, or just a bunch of trash that someone is trying to hawk on the Internet. Both of these perspectives are true: it’s the cartridges’ status as trash that makes them so valuable and interesting in the first place. [More]
Back in March Walmart launched a program that allows customers to trade in their used video games for store gift cards, you know to buy milk, bread, sweatpants. Now that the mega-retailer likely has a hefty stockpile of said used games it’s ready to resell them, completing its transformation into a bonafide video game reseller. [More]
Perhaps in a quest to ensure that a new generation of people will go to sleep every night with shapes floating behind their eyelids, someone is making a full-length live-action movie of the popular 1980s video game, Tetris. Aaaaaaaand cue that song that never fails to get in your head. [More]
Tech Expert Makes Point About (Bad) Security In The Internet Of Things By Hacking A Printer To Run Doom
The more appliances and devices there are out there with internet connections, the more hackers will be able to find security vulnerabilities in those appliances. One security expert found a particular hole that let him remotely install any software onto a whole line of popular printers. How to make a true point about what someone can accomplish with remote access to your devices? Make it run full-fledged video games.
In 2013, video game giant Electronic Arts became the first business to be named Worst Company In America twice by Consumerist readers (a feat that has since been matched by Comcast). EA made the brackets again this year, but narrowly lost out to Time Warner Cable in the early rounds. And if relatively new EA CEO Andrew Wilson had his way, his company would never be up for WCIA consideration again. [More]
It’s been almost a year since Microsoft launched its latest console, the Xbox One, originally selling for $100 more than the new competition from Sony. Now that these next-gen consoles are looking toward their second holiday season (and really their first with any decent games), Microsoft is trying to get a leg up on the PS4 by offering free games to people who buy an Xbox One next week. [More]
Rumors of video game live-streaming service Twitch.tv being acquired by Google for $1 billion have been slightly exaggerated. It turns out the price of the biggest gaming live-streaming site on the internet is only $970 million, about $30 million shy of that billion-with-a-B mark. But the rumor was wrong in one huge way: it’s Amazon, not Google, spending the scratch on a streaming future.
For a decade, fans of EA’s wildly popular Madden NFL video games have been able to try the game out for a couple of weeks before its release via demo versions made available on Xbox and Playstation consoles. But in an apparent effort to get people to sign up for its new $5/month EA Access service — currently only available on Xbox One — the video game publisher (and two-time Worst Company In America winner) doing away with the publicly available demo and instead dangling the carrot of being able to play the game fives days early through Access. [More]
Trading in an old video game isn’t that complicated. Once you finally figure out what you did with the box (it’s under the old coffee mug) and get the cat hair off the disc and put the two together, it’s just a matter of bringing it down to your local GameStop and getting your pennies back so you can buy another game. But in one city, GameStop now won’t just collect your old games — they collect your fingerprints along with them, too.
Disc-based video games aren’t doomed yet; there are many years left to go before their seemingly-inevitable demise finally comes. One big game publisher, though, is clearly already scrounging for the nails they eventually hope to put into the lid of that particular coffin. EA this week announced a new online subscription service giving players unlimited access to a whole “vault” of games for as long as they keep paying the monthly fee. Is it a great idea for consumers or a blatant cash-grab from EA? In reality, probably a little bit of both.
The man occupying a vacation condominium in Palm Springs, California without paying rent was not thrilled that his new landlord planned to cut off the electricity. He said that it would affect his work, which he does from home and earns $1,000 to $7,000 per day. What kind of work? Developing video games, apparently. [More]
When last we checked in with the auction for the world’s largest video game collection, bidding had reached just more than $90,000 — a substantial amount of money but far short of the $700K-800K estimate the seller had put on it a few months earlier. Turns out his approximation was spot-on, with the winning bid coming in at slightly more than $750,000. [More]