Archive for Joystiq

Open Source Rock Band Sequel

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

Well, not quite. But in a conference at GDC, Chris Foster, of Rock Band developer Harmonix, stated that the company was investigating possibilities of user created content and song imports for future Rock Band titles. As Joystiq staffer JC Fletcher aptly points out: does this mean that Rock Band 2 is confirmed? If so, I gotta get my Xbox back ASAP.Nickelback Rox

I’ve been lobbying for user generated songs for Rock Band for awhile now as I feel that the transcendent game could capitalize on user driven content in a way that few titles could. The music world is so vast, that allowing the Rock Band players to contribute to the game seems the obvious next step. And quality control (another massive piece of the user content puzzle) could be self regulating: Nobody is going to play your crappy port of Nickelback. It’ll get drowned out by better ports. Or just by better songs. I suppose this is the YouTube model of operation.

Of course the red tape surrounding this operation must be entangling, to say the least. Can you imagine trying to pitch this to big time music studios who are already soiling themselves over the plethora of piracy problems? The bottom line though is the fact that all parties involved are taking it to the bank courtesy of Xbox Live downloads. Why give something away when you can cash in on it instead? I know I’m putting the points on my account nonstop. El Scorcho anyone?

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Gamernomics

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on February 4, 2008 by Pvt. Eyes

Here’s an excellent NY Times article about the increasing disconnect between best selling games and critical darlings. As the article states, this is by no means a bad thing. In fact it indicates a broadening of the market coupled by the development of really sophisticated niche audiences. I agree with most of this article, minus one instance where the author, Seth Schiesel, states that the mini-games of a title like Mario Party 8 are viewed as lame in the eyes of well-informed gamer. Well, I see where Schiesel is going, but this point could have been a bit more nuanced. Mario Party 8 is lame in the eyes of a well-informed gamer not because of the structure of the game or the fact that it has mini games, but rather, the game just plain sucks. The mini-game model can be fantastic, innovative and indicative of a really great game – just look at all the Wario titles.

For a look at the top 10 games of 2007, check out 1up.com. Need a hint on #1? It involves some cardboard armor.


PC game sales are low and lazy, according to everywhere on the internet. Because I like their website best I’ve cited Joystiq and Justin McElroy’s post, but really the numbers speak for themselves: PC Games account for only 14% of the 18-billion dollar plus video game industry. At first I was distraught and then I realized that the last game that I played on my PC was probably Warcraft 3, which I purchased from a midnight release party at a Fry’s Electronics in San Diego. Great times. But yeah, point is – I don’t play PC Games anymore. Around that time, I realized that my pc couldn’t keep up with the software it was trying to run. In fact, I think that era is marked by the fact that, for many PC gamers, constant updating of hardware was a big turnoff. Oh, that and I bought a Mac.

Don’t cry too much dedicated PC Gamers, apparently digital downloads are the wave of the future, the wave of the future, the wave of the future, the wave of the future…

Finally, Microsoft has put in a $44.6 billion bid for Yahoo! Inc. What will become of Literati?