Video games have gotten ridiculously predictable. Not in stories, writing, or mechanics (although sometimes those, too) but in release, pricing, and distribution. When it comes to the big-budget blockbuster console-ready games, by now pretty much every player can recite the pricing timetable by heart.
Tyler says that on four different occasions now, the Xbox Live points and subscription cards he’s bought have been invalid when he redeems them. He had a friend at Gamestop help him out with the invalid subscription card, but he’s stuck with useless paper when it comes to the points cards.
Yesterday we noted that Blockbuster was launching a new DVD-by-mail rental service (which Netflix promptly one-upped by announcing a new streaming agreement), and today we’re getting tips from people that the beleaguered brick and mortar movie rental company is throwing games into the offer as well. FastCompany notes that GameFly offers around 7,000 game titles compared to Blockbuster’s library of 3,000 titles. On the other hand, Blockbuster’s rental plans start at $9/mo compared to GameFly’s $16/mo (both for one disc at a time).
If you play games on the website Kongregate–its founders say 10 million players stop by every month–then congratulations, you’re about to become GameStop’s new BFF. There’s no word yet on how this will affect the Kongregate community; the site lets people play online games for free, and GameStop says that the its founders will continue to run things for now. If we start seeing offers to pre-order an upcoming online free game, I guess we’ll know the takeover is complete.
Wolfire Games is running a special sale called the Humble Bundle, where you can pay as little as one penny via PayPal, Google Checkout, or Amazon, for five cross-platform indie games that are completely free of DRM or even serial numbers. Despite that, says the company, it looks like over 25% of downloads are coming from “shared links from forums and other places without actually contributing anything.” That’s not counting anything happening over BitTorrent.
I’ve been thinking lately that my sneakers are too stupid. They don’t do anything, at least not anything video game related, which is where it matters. Adidas has recognized this problem and has announced a new “augmented reality” sneaker that you have to hold in front of your webcam in order to play special online games.
Robert usually writes about energy and the environment on his blog. However, he recently ran into a scammer online, and surprised the scammer by fighting back:
What the fat cats don’t want you to know as they charge you $50 for computer games is that the Internets are aswarm with freebies.
Sometimes we think Gamestop is run by some sort of secret cabal of anti-videogame fanatics, and they use the store as a front to spread hatred of games and game purchasing across America.
Late last year we pointed out that GameFly, a Netflix-style program for video games, was beginning to develop a reputation for rotten service and slow turnaround. It looks like the United States Postal Service may be partly to blame, at least as far as GameFly is concerned. They’ve filed a complaint against the USPS over lost, stolen, and damaged discs, as well as discriminatory treatment when compared to Netflix and Blockbuster.
As someone who relies on friends to recommend games after they’ve been out for awhile, I’d never heard the term “bullshot,” but now that I have, it makes perfect sense. It refers to a promotional screenshot that looks, um, a little too good… as if it had been… doctored somehow…
So much for even the illusion of editorial independence in video game reviews. One of Gamespot’s editors and top reviewers was apparently fired this week after writing an unenthusiastic review for the game “Kane & Lynch,” which was being advertised heavily all over the Gamespot site, according to…
The great thing about a used game is someone else has already worked out all the bugs and made it better—at least, that’s what we assume this GameStop wants us to believe, since they’ve got the used version priced $5 more than the brand new one. That’s why the sticker is golden, see, to show that it’s more valuable.
We’re passing on a message from our buddies over at Church of the Customer Blog:
100,000 or $174,345.29 in unilateral decision making money.