Greetings NAGallions, and thanks for coming back for This Week In Gaming. In the news this week we have Carmack lashing out over a big lawsuit loss, Kojima talking Kojima-nonsense about Death Stranding, Nintendo responds to criticism over the Switch’s launch lineup, EA talks Titanfall 2 sales, someone does something insane in Resident Evil 7, Conan Exiles devs make a big booboo and Nintendo talks about the future of the 3DS with the Switch incoming. All that, videos, and highlights from the week, after the jump.
Zenimax wins lawsuit to take $500 million off Oculus, pisses off John Carmack
I must admit, I along with seemingly everyone else thought this lawsuit was a bit of a joke. The tl;dr I was labouring under was that Zenimax was alleging that Carmack was working on VR stuff on company time before leaving for Oculus, and thus ZM felt entitled to some of that sweet goggle-cash.
It seemed greedy and petty, but after this week’s half a billion win for Zenimax, it seems like there was something there after all. One of the key points of contention was that Carmack allegedly stole documents and code prior to leaving the company, and then destroyed evidence in the face of the lawsuit.
With this info going public, Carmack took to Facebook to defend himself.
“The Zenimax vs Oculus trial is over. I disagreed with their characterization, misdirection, and selective omissions. I never tried to hide or wipe any evidence, and all of my data is accounted for, contrary to some stories being spread.”
He then goes on to slam the opposition’s expert witness, with this line that is purpose-built to induce a full-body cringe: “Early on in his testimony, I wanted to stand up say ‘Sir! As a man of (computer) science, I challenge you to defend the efficacy of your methodology with data, including false positive and negative rates.’ “
Zenimax felt the need to reply to this, and I really can’t imagine why. I won’t bother quoting it, since it essentially equates to “nuh-uh”. Take your half a billion and go home, there’s no need to try and win the day in the court of public opinion.
Kojima says Death Stranding is a “brand new idea” that is “best for the market”
If you, like me, have no idea what that’s really supposed to mean, allow the man himself to elucidate:
“Of course after leaving my former employer and starting up a new company, the first question was about what we should make,” says Kojima. “Naturally we have to make something, but I have so many ideas all the time. I come up with new ideas every day and they all override each other. I had several at the front of my mind, and we ended up choosing the game that—first of all—would be best for the market, and the one we were most enthusiastic about making. That was Death Stranding. It wasn’t an idea that we’d had for a long time, it was really a new idea.”
I’m still not exactly sure what he means by “best for the market”, but there you go.
Nintendo responds to criticism over their “weak launch lineup” for the Switch
Nintendo’s next console launches soon, and many have expressed their concern over the weak launch lineup, with only one decent first-party game and a smattering of unexciting third-party options.
This week Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima addressed the concerns, saying that Nintendo’s thinking with their launch lineup is that “it is important to continue to provide new titles regularly without long gaps. This encourages consumers to continue actively playing the system, maintains buzz, and spurs continued sales momentum for Nintendo Switch.”
It’s no secret at this point that the lack of first party titles sunk the Wii U, along with the console not being powerful enough to draw the attention of third party devs. Nintendo seems to be working hard on addressing exactly that, promising a ton of releases for 2017 following the launch.
The only problem is, they said the exact same thing about the Wii U launch back in 2012, stating that they tend to “release too many titles at launch” and “suffers a drop in new games for some time afterwards” and finally, that they are “being very careful not to let it happen”. Which, as we know, is exactly what did happen.
With consumers being a little gunshy after the Wii U disaster, it’s understandable that a lack of launch titles with the promise of more games would make some hesitant to buy in early.
EA doesn’t see Titanfall 2 sales as an underperformance
I’m kind of sick of EA defending the Titanfall 2 sales figures, because I feel like it’s because they know they completely screwed the pooch on this game’s release.
Sandwiching it between Battlefield and Call of Duty was a lot less than this game deserved, and sales certainly suffered as a result.
EA said this week however that they’re not worried, as they expect this to be the kind of game that continues to sell for many months after its release, much like they say with Battlefield 4. The Titanfall franchise is the best take on the military-style shooter I’ve played in years, and having it get the bargain bin treatment pisses me off.
Someone finished Resident Evil 7 with a knife
I love this nutso speedrun stuff where people fly through a game with some kind of impossible limitation – in this case, using only a knife.
Two people actually did this in one week, but one dude did it in Easy and the other did it on “Madhouse”, which sounds much harder. So I’m linking that one, ‘cause it’s baller.
Conan Exiles gets pirated immediately due to a dev error
Conan Exiles is the latest in that genre of will-it-ever-get-finished Early Access multiplayer online games, and is protected by the somewhat tricky Denuvo Anti-Tamper.
That is, until an update went out that removed it. Oops. Some poor code-lackey had the worst Wednesday ever as an error in the build process post-patch left the game unprotected. The pirates naturally swooped in before the next update could correct this, and the game is now out in the wild, DRM-free.
Unfortunately, players can host private servers and play the game without issue using one of these illegal copies. On the bright side, however, it’s still Early Access, and the pirate crew may not manage to get the continuous updates and changes to the game that are apparently on the way.
Switch designed to be portable from day one, but not a threat to the 3DS
So says one of our benevolent Nintendo overlords and Zelda producer Eli Aonuma. We’ve heard before that the 3DS isn’t in danger, but was interesting to hear was Aonuma’s assertion that the Switch was targeting something different altogether.
“A handheld system is quite a personal thing,” Aonuma said. “Handhelds naturally lend themselves to single-player. We wanted Switch to be about sharing: you can take not just the single-player experience out of the living room, but the multiplayer experience as well. That’s really important for us, and something we’ve wanted to achieve [for a long time].”
“The concept of the Switch is that you have a home console that you can take with you on the go, and in that respect it is both home console and handheld, but it doesn’t mean for us that the concept of a dedicated handheld will just disappear. Nintendo 3DS still has plenty of titles in development.”
There’s a new Silent Hill-esque horror game out on Steam this week called Husk, and it looks pretty shweet.
Pillars of Eternity 2‘s Kickstarter is chugging along quite nicely – here’s a look at the game’s multi-class characters.
Fan films of videogames seem to be always better than what Hollywood poops out. Here’s a cool Witcher one.
How is this dude still finding video game recipes to cook? Am I the only one who wasn’t aware there were so many recipes in games?
Best of NAG
Dane did a baffling notebook review this week where he talks about Christmas like it isn’t the end of January. Should we send help?
Two people from NAG played For Honour. Three, if you count the ravings of a lunatic overcome with battle fatigue. You can check them out here.
Speaking of the ravings of a lunatic, I wrote this week about all the news I don’t care about.
As always, ease those eyeballs with the NAG Online Podcast.