Welcome to the first installment of This Week in Gaming, a new weekly feature where we’ll be taking a look at some of the news we didn’t cover this week, as well as highlighting some of the more interesting things we did.
This week’s news was dominated by video game violence, console news and a whole lot of new videos. Before we get to all that, let’s take a look at an online battle that cost more than your car.
Lost in Space
The week began with one of the biggest video game battles in history, when two of EVE Online’s biggest coalitions decided to throw down. If you thought your Battlefield 3 games could get intense, how about a battle involving over 3000 players?
The best part is, it all happened because of a misclick. While tensions had been high between the two factions for some time, the catalyst was one of the players unintentionally teleporting a massive fleet of ships into hostile territory. Oops.
When all was said and done the losing coalition lost 650 billion ISK (the in-game currency) to the victor’s measly 67 billion. In real money? That 650 billion is about R200,000. Hope it was worth it.
Video Game Violence
Ubisoft have cut the controversial torture scene from Splinter Cell Blacklist, due to a wave of negative responses following the clip’s showing at the game’s E3 reveal. Gears of War: Judgment co-writer Tom Bissell called it “a blithe, shrugging presentation of the very definition of human evil, all in the name of ‘entertainment.”
It’s interesting to note that a more realistic portrayal of violence is abhorrent to people, but over-the-top limb dismembering and mass murder is all part of the fun.
Violence in video games has also once again attracted the attention of a simple-minded American politician. In the wake of the Connecticut school shooting, there has been a lot of attention placed on gun control laws in the United States, with many people believing that access to firearms needs to be more strictly controlled. United States Senator Lamar Alexander is not one of these many people, in fact he believes gun control is very much a secondary issue to the real problem – video games.
“I’m going to wait and see on all of these bills. I think video games is [sic] a bigger problem than guns, because video games affect people,” said Alexander in an interview, possibly overlooking the somewhat fatal way in which guns affect people.
Console quick hits
Despite being a strictly keyboard-and-mouse man myself, I still like to keep up with the computer’s less sophisticated brethren. Due to most joystick-jockeys short attention span in front of a monitor, I’ve condensed this week’s console news into easily digestible paragraphs.
The Playstation Vita is getting a new exclusive – Killzone: Mercenary, which will launch on the 18th of September. This should be very exciting news for the seven people that own a Vita.
Nintendo have said they’ve been somewhat disappointed by Wii U sales following the initial launch, but president Satoru Iwata is not interested in any price cuts just yet, as the console is already priced for less than its manufacturing cost. That’s one helluva business model, Satoru.
Computer owners were up in arms (again) earlier in the week when Visceral Studios announced that the PC version of Dead Space 3 will basically be a straight port from console – no Direct X 11, no enhanced textures. Executive producer Steve Papoutsis was confused by the response, defending the choice by saying, “The fact that we’re allowing you to control the game with a mouse and keyboard immediately makes the game feel different,” seemingly implying PC owners should feel privileged they get to play the game at all.
A small Polish studio called Bloober Team is reportedly making a free-to-play multiplayer arena game called Deathmatch Village, which will allow Vita and PS3 players to play against each other simultaneously. No screenshots, videos or PS Vita owners are available just yet.
Do iPads count as consoles? Apple has announced the upcoming a release of a 128GB iPad, which is still a lot less capacity than would be provided by a USB port I could plug an external drive into. The new models will be officially released into the wild on Tuesday.
Of course the biggest console news this week was the Playstation 4 teaser, strongly implying we’ll be getting an announcement on the 20th of February. This was confirmed by the Wall Street Journal who claimed to have an inside source.
Rumour round the interwebs is that the next-gen console will be launching in Japan and North America later this year, but “complexities involved in European distribution” means that part of the world (and ours) won’t be getting their hands on it till early next year.
The controller is said to be similar to the DualShock 3, but with a small touchpad in the center where you’d currently see the Select and Start buttons. There’ll also be a “Share” button which allows players to upload screenshots and gameplay videos – which means it’s only a matter of time before we see a headshot with an Instagram filter.
TF2 item maker pulls in $500,000 in a single year
In a recent talk at the University of Texas in Austin, Gabe Newell talked about the enormous amount of community-produced content in their games. “The only company we’ve ever met that kicks our ass is our customers. We’ll go up against Bungie or Blizzard, or anybody, but we won’t try and compete with our own userbase, because we already know that we’re going to lose,” Newell said.
According to Gabe, one particularly industrious user managed to bank a cool half a million dollars in a single year – and that’s half a million profit. ““The most anybody has earned in a single year is $500,000, so they’re making content, selling it to other customers, and we have a revenue share with those people and their takeaway is $500,000,” Newell explained. That is a lot of funny hats.
Source: PC Gamer
So much Eye Candy
Some of the best of NAG this week was all the new videos we got to drool over, showcasing a lot of exciting things coming in the not-too-distant future.
First up for the week was a Dead Space 3 launch trailer, featuring more action, less horror and 100% more Phil Collins:
Not to be outdone, 2K Games released a new Bioshock Infinite trailer – continuing their pattern of making each one prettier and more exciting than the last.
Finally, after all that AAA big-budget stuff, you can ease into the cutesy world of Tearaway, from the same people who brought you LittleBigPlanet. Before you get too attached, I feel compelled to tell you this is a Vita exclusive. But exclusive titles such as this could be exactly what Sony needs to bring their sales figures into the double digits.
NAG Magazine, February 2013 hits shelves
As much as we appreciate you visiting the site, 4 out of 5 doctors recommend leaving the house occasionally, and what better excuse than the latest issue of NAG?
This month’s issue takes an in-depth look at Crysis 3, as well as what’s coming (and not coming) in 2013. For more detail and a look at the badass cover, go here.