Monthly Archives: February 2015

Geek Links of the Week

Remember Peter Molyneux’s Curiosity cube clicking game that earned one man chance to be the digital god of Godus. That man never got his chance thanks to Godus shutting down and 22 Cans cutting him off. [Eurogamer]

And RPS really went to town on Molyneux in an interview about Godus, among other things. [Rock, Paper, Shotgun]

LCS team Meet Your Makers were slapped with a heavy fine from Riot over the team’s treatment of Kori. It was this Richard Lewis report that spurred Riot’s actions. [The Daily Dot]

Sony Online Entertainment has been Daybreak Games for a week and is already shedding jobs. [GameSpot]

So much for free-to-play. Players spent $1.3 billion on Candy Crush last year. [The Guardian]


eSports Weekend Calendar: February 13 – 15, 2015

It’s a quiet weekend in the world of eSports this weekend. Outside of the various top flight League of Legends professional leagues, not a lot is happening. There are a couple of Dota leagues ongoing and ESL is having another round of its weekly Hearthstone tournaments. The big non-LOL event of the weekend is the Round 1 Finals of the SC2 Proleague as SK Telecom T1 takes on Jin Air Green Wings. Okay, there’s some World Championship Series events too but that’s still just the group stages.

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Comic Book Pull List for February 11, 2015

harley-quinn-valentines-day-special-1Just weeks after Star Wars #1 came out, Marvel is back to take advantage of Disney’s new Star Wars ownership with a second comic. It’s not just the movie side that will be milking Star Wars for all its worth. Okay, that’s probably unfair to the people writing it at Marvel but Disney is trying to suck Star Wars dry to get that $4 billion back. It all continues with Darth Vader #1.

Elsewhere, DC Comics has Harley Quinn: Valentine’s Day Special in which Harley goes to a charity auction to buy a date with Bruce Wayne. You know, sometimes outlandish sounding fun is just what we need from a comic. Elsewhere, Dynamite spins off its first series from its Legenderry steampunk comic in Legenderry: Red Sonja #1. And Valiant says that they have a new take on science-fiction with the debut of Divinity #1.

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The Bad, The Ugly and The Worst: A Look at Evolve’s DLC and Pre-Order Plans

evolve-bannerI don’t know how many times that people have to be told not to pre-order games for it to sink in but I’m not sure that it will matter. For all the convincing pitches that game companies themselves make with games that are broken on launch or otherwise in need of a lot of work to be considered of triple-A quality, publishers are coming up with ever more convincing pitches to get you to pre-order games or upgrade to more expensive editions of the game and it all comes down to money.

It used to be that pre-order perks were limited to things like skins or weapons or other little bonuses that didn’t really make that big of an impact on the overall game. Those traditional pre-order bonuses should not be confused with the setup that Turtle Rock Studios and 2K Games have come up with their latest hoped triple-A money printer Evolve.

In order to move pre-order copies of Evolve and to sell the various deluxe editions of Evolve, Turtle Rock and 2K have come up with one of the most complicated and ridiculous DLC schemes in recent memory. People have actually come up with charts in order to keep track of what is included with which version via pre-order, purchase, season pass and a la carte. Evolve might be one of the better games this year but its DLC will make it one of the most controversial at the same time.

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Game Trailers Roundup for February 9, 2015

When I was putting together today’s trailers roundup, I forgot that I wanted to write about the DLC practices that 2K and Turtle Rock are employing for Evolve. I haven’t seen a new trailer for that game so it’s not in the roundup but I’m hoping that I can write up that column for tomorrow. And then I have to hope that no one hates all the Business Of Gaming posts I’m running but if you did, you wouldn’t have stuck around these parts for very long.

Anyway, today’s roundup is an eclectic sort. We have fighting games, RPGs, strategy, hack-and-slashers. Basically, you name it, we have it. Except for Evolve. But we do have Mortal Kombat X. That has to count for something.

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Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) Review: It Belongs in a Museum

never-alone-bannerBeing from Canada, Aboriginal culture is a big part of Canadian society. Their history is taught in schools. Their contribution to Canadian culture is celebrated as part of other Canadian cultural events. They’re just as much a part of the cultural identity of Canada to Canadians as hockey and winter.

That’s why I was so interested in Never Alone. The game is a side-scrolling platformer based on the folklore of Alaska’s Inupiat people. Having learned about native folklore in the classroom and in museums, I was excited for a great interactive story based on some fascinating folklore. Instead, I got a game that wouldn’t seem out of place in a museum exhibit, both for better and worse.

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TheScore Launches Sports-Style eSports App

theScore-eSports-headerCanadian sports media company TheScore may no longer be on TV but that doesn’t mean they’ve given up on improving their product offerings. Since selling TheScore TV channel to Rogers, they’ve doubled down on their mobile and web offerings and their mobile app is still considered among, if not the best mobile sports app on the various app stores.

Now, theScore is the first sports media company to move hard into eSports. While ESPN has broadcast some eSports on its digital ESPN 3 channel, those were just rebroadcasts of the official broadcasters covering those events or brief highlight packages of MLG events. TheScore has launched their own eSports news app and website led by popular eSports journalist Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau.

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eSports Weekend Calendar: February 6 – 8, 2015

It’s a little quieter on the eSports front this week in terms of competition. With IEM and Assembly Winter 2015 last week and no equivalents this week, SC2 and CS:GO fall off the calendar. It looks like it’s just League and Dota with a bit of Hearthstone thrown in for a bit of variety. There is a bit of cool eSports news and a new app that I want to write up a quick report about for tomorrow. Keep your eyes open for that.

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Heroes of the Storm: Early Access by Any Other Name

blizzard-heroes-of-the-storm-logoHave you heard of H1Z1? It’s the latest MMO from the artists formerly known as Sony Online Entertianment (now called Daybreak Games). While SOE’s MMOs are all free-to-play, H1Z1 has launched as an Early Access title on Steam for $20. That price gets you immediate access to the game along with a few other perks. By all accounts, it’s quite obvious that it’s in the alpha stages of development.

The problem most people are having is that it’s a triple-A company that have gone the early access route. SOE has a few popular MMOs on offer already and with their financial backing from Sony and now Columbus Nova, it’s not like they should need the funding from Early Access sales to complete and polish the game.

But H1Z1 is the popular example of Early Access gone wrong. They aren’t the only example out there right now. Imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago when I launched and saw Heroes of the Storm waiting for me to click. The problem was that it wasn’t there to download. HOTS got a spot on my launcher so I could spend $40 on the Founder’s Pack which includes immediate access to the game along with a few other perks.

So how is SOE and H1Z1 getting blasted for releasing an alpha of their game as early access while Blizzard is getting a pass for Heroes of the Storm?

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Sony Sells SOE, Now Daybreak Games

sony-online-entertainment-logo-bannerThe developer and publisher behind some of the most popular free-to-play MMOs is under new ownership. Sony Online Entertainment, the company behind EverQuest, Planetside 2, DC Universe Online and the new H1Z1, has been sold by Sony to a management investment firm called Columbus Nova.

The company’s new branding won’t mention their new or former owners. SOE makes a clean break as Daybreak Game Company.

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