Topic: With smartphone games so popular nowadays, it seems like handheld games are growing out of fashion. Time discusses the fundamental differences between these two worlds, and why handheld games will still stand strong.
Topic: The concept of death in virtual pet games (Neopets perhaps the most notable one) is often avoided for cultural and financial reasons. But remember, Tamagotchi, perhaps the most well-known virtual pet game, had pets die. Why was there a move away from the precedent Tamagotchi set?
“However, speaking to Wired.co.uk, all three explained they did contemplate adding death to their respective games. ‘We did consider threats to the horse as part of our initial design review,’ explains Deeming, ‘but ultimately we chose to promote a sense of reward for improvement and good ownership of your horse, rather than the negative effects of the opposite.’”
“Microsoft now stands to become more of a gatekeeper for getting software on their computers than they ever have been before. Nothing will be stopping Valve, EA, Ubisoft, or any other publisher huge or indie from distributing Windows games online or on disc exactly as they have been for years. But it’s easy to imagine the process going awry.”
Topic: ‘Robot Rising,’ a new Facebook game, is adding a new depth to Facebook games. It has been described as “Diablo III got in bed with a free-to-play Mech game.” Check it out at http://apps.facebook.com/RobotRising/.
“We believe that gamers who have left the platform all together will be reenergized and excited to overcome the challenges that await, and that existing core Facebook gamers are ready for a change of pace.”
Topic: Michael Pachter, an industrial analyst at Wedbush Securities, talks about the migration towards mobile gaming, but more importantly, the growing trend of gamers around anti-used gaming and free-to-play games disrupting the current industry.
“‘The solution is to figure out a way to charge for multiplayer, but gamers have a sense of entitlement, believing ‘once free, always free’, so this one is tricky. I think the solution is to roll out serialized multiplayer content and charge something nominal, like $1 per week. We’ll see who makes the first move, but I’m betting it’s Activision,’ Pachter said.”
“Operating on the assumption that you won’t see a dime from 95% of the people using your product would require someone in any industry to rethink their business model. Guillemot used these numbers to argue that Free-to-play games were going to be the future of the platform – they’re typically cheaper to produce, distribute and iterate.”
Topic: OoVoo, a group video-chat program, is thinking of expanding its uses to dating and gaming for online groups. Since many people use two screens nowadays, OoVoo could provide services to cover both screens at once.
“A number of users filmed their TV screen with their phone or laptop to give friends access to shows like Mad Men when DISH dropped the show due to a retransmisson fee dispute earlier this summer, Samit said.OoVoo wants to officially add this kind of content, as well as games and dating services, later this year through collaborations with third-party providers.”
Topic: Nintendo Power, a gaming magazine a lot of us grew up with, is closing. It certainly is related to the declining magazine subscribers, but the relationship between Nintendo and Future Publishing is unclear.
“But our source says that Nintendo, which was always “difficult to work with,” was uninterested in renewing that contract or in taking part in a number of digital initiatives that Future saw as necessary for the long-term health of the brand. He added that Nintendo doesn’t seem interested in taking over direct control of the magazine again.”
Topic: Despite experiencing significant drops in the number of users playing WoW, Blizzard pushes a new system that allows anyone on any expansion play any of the races of WoW. Keeping in mind that the first 20 levels of WoW can be played for free, this might be great.
“This includes the enigmatic pandaren, who will become available for play when Mists of Pandaria is released on Tuesday, September 25. We want the entire World of Warcraft community to be able to embrace their inner goblin, blood elf, worgen, draenei, or pandaren from the moment they step foot into the world of Azeroth.”
Personal Opinion: Blizzard is really good at keeping WoW alive o__O. It’s impressive to see some of the changes from expansion to expansion. It’s sometimes more than just the usual “increase levels, add new classes, new quests, new items, new characters/race, etc.” This is definitely one of WoW’s more brilliant moves.
Topic: Although current research has developed headsets that detect EEG (electroencephalography, or electrical brain signal) to allow hand-less interaction between the user and the computer, some researchers presented the threat of a subconcious security/privacy breach with this same technology at a Usenix security conference last month.
“When shown a collection of locations on maps that included one of their home, the headset-wearers’ brains emitted tell-tale hints that allowed the experimenters to determine their home’s general location with 60% accuracy on the first try among a collection of ten choices.”
Personal Opinion: Holy shi*. This is.. o__O I’m at a loss for words. This is like Inception almost. Just imagine the implications of this, not for just cyberthreats, but what if these devices were used in courts? (This would be much more sensitive than “lie-detectors” I suppose.) Currently, this is a hit-and-miss technique (you have to “show the answer” before you know that it was the answer), but still. Mindblowing.