Published on March 15th, 2010 | by Bryant Kazmerzak, Contributor
To say that this past 6 months in the videogame industry has been full of fail is like saying that Taco Bell gives you explosive indigestion. While no one would argue with the notion that Taco Bell is effin’ delicious (yo), it should come as no surprise to anyone that 7 times out of 10, it will come back to bite you in the ass. Or… Would it be the reverse of that? I know I wouldn’t want to bite the ass of someone who just ate the fast food equivalent of a laxative…
But that is basically what several game developers are doing to us now: Taking explosive… Um… Bathroom sessions, and expecting gamers to continue to hunker down and kiss some putrid ass.
Between Activision dropping Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West; Ubisoft employing DRM that makes most people consider infanticide; and Sony forsaking all of their initial (and awesome) projects to take a running leap with the PSPGo, a lot of gamers are resorting to boycotting buying Activision or Ubisoft games, and… Well, has anyone bought a gorram PSPGo?
Let’s touch on Activision first.
When the news broke on February 27th that the IW wunderkind that made COD4 and MW2 concurrent successes were fired, those of us with a thinkin’ cap could already tell something wasn’t quite kosher. After doing some digging, and with the help of G4 and Kotaku, it was revealed that the Modern Warfare 2 royalties were due in the next couple of weeks. I’m not going to go into meticulous detail… Lord knows you can hear all about it in Episode 26 of our TRUTHcast, and read about it on any gaming news site this side of Baghdad.
Now that IW heads Jason West and Vince Zampella are suing IW to the tune of $36 million dollars, one can only speculate where the case will end.
My hopes? I hope that West and Zampella take their earnings (Which they -CENSORED- deserve) and form their own studio. With their resumes, I could only imagine what potential this has.
Ubisoft is in the news recently for their release of a disgustingly archaic DRM. Now, being a software pirate by necessity, I can understand why Ubisoft is doing it, but at the same time, why wont they, like everyone else, come to the realization that a pirate is a pirate. You cannot stop a pirate from having his way with a game, the same way you can’t stop Bobby Kotick from being a dick. Ubisoft pulling this DRM out of their collective ass is just a surefire way to spur pirates and hackers the world over to DDOS their servers and crack the game to run from a server clone, similar to privately hosted World of Warcraft servers. And while I may not condone such illegal behavior, I can sympathize completely. After all, hackers love a (*snort*) challenge.
Finally, the PSPGo… If you’ve never heard of it, I can’t blame you one bit. Most people outside of GameStop employees, die-hard Sony fanboys, and Kaz Hirai, have never even seen a PSPGo. Why is this? Because no one wants to buy one.
(Ed. Note: The following text expresses Shaddz’ sentiments toward Sony. They are totally legit.)
I don’t know what kind of slack-jawed ass-turtle would design a portable that was so ridiculously UN-ergonomic that it gives anyone who LOOKS at it “the claw”, but to not include a SECOND ANALOG STICK after PSP gamers have been clamoring for one since the PSP-1000’s release in 2005 (FREAKING 2005!!!) is an effing, blinking, mother-slapping kick in the balls.
And, to top that off, they removed the UMD drive in an effort to prolong battery life and remove the dependency for physical media that “became an obstacle for gamers”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the size, shape, and portability of a UMD kind of make it… Oh, I don’t know, convenient? I owned a PSP-2000, one of those nice silver ones that came bundled with Daxter and Family Guy. I bought that mofo at the Salt Lake City International Airport, on a layover back home from Navy boot camp, and it was my baby. I can honestly say that in the past decade, I haven’t had nearly as much enjoyment with any other console than my PSP. The games were great, and the feeling of a solid piece of equipment that played movies, music, and even allowed me to Skype on the go was, to me, what made it one of the most successful handhelds ever.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The PSPGo does have some nice features. If you can look past the omission of a second analog, the small, poorly placed existing analog, the inclusion of the obscure and pricey Memory Stick M2 format, the non-replaceable battery, and the slow downloads, etc., it actually had some nice features. For one, it was pretty. It looks effing cool. If it were a smart phone, I’d be pre-ordering that little lady. And the inclusion of Bluetooth, seamless PS3 integration, and 16GB of internal storage, makes it one hell of a media player, but as a handheld console leaves a lot to be desired. I, personally, would prefer to curtail the digital downloads in favor of having an internal UMD drive. Hell, even if they’d release an external UMD drive, I’d still prefer that over digital download. I love the feeling of having the case, manual, and physical disc in my hands when I buy the game. Digital downloads may be more convenient, for sure, but… I don’t know. It’s not very fulfilling.
Hopefully, future developers and companies will look back at the things I’ve brought up today, and build around the mistakes. Who knows, maybe they can look at my article and use it as a reference.
(Ed. Note: And you can send your hate mail to the below address)
Follow Shaddz on Twitter @Shaddz, or email him at shaddz [AT] GAMINGtruth [DOT] com.