7-Eleven does Used Video Games, Call of Duty to broaden audience & Ubisoft says no to manuals? – Welcome to the column that tried printing up a manual to help you read more efficiently but then decided that would be counter-productive known as Dare to Play the Game.
I’m still unable to really start a game lately. But interestingly enough I did go back to one game in particular over the weekend and that was Marvel vs Capcom 2 on Xbox Live Arcade. I did actually beat the game, but had to use a boatload of continues to do it. This means that I still don’t have any actual achievements in the game *sigh* (the arcade achievements require no continues). I love fighting games, I really do but I suck at them unless they have Mortal Kombat in the name. (Then I’m only good against the computer)
World of Warcraft is about the only game that sees consistent action since I play it with my wife. Quick update, priest is still 76, rogue is now 74 (nearly 75), lock is 36 (nearly 37), and my alliance hunter is stuck at 25 (will try to catch up with my wife’s pally once she starts playing her again). I am however awaiting a copy of the Saboteur (360) from NewEgg that I ordered recently, $17.99 w/free shipping was too hard to pass up. Perhaps that will be the game I will actually jump into when I get it. (I know, I know…the odds aren’t too good)
This would be a cosplayer doing the Tifa Lockhart bit from Final Fantasy VII. Apparently there are still some rumor mills out there that would suggest a remake for this game. I would hope that it would come to pass on a system other than Playstation 3 but I kinda doubt it. However, maybe instead I should break out the PS2 and grab my PSX disc. Or maybe I should stare at the picture some more. Hrmmmm, what was the question again?
Call of Duty
Video game publisher Activision released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 last year. It made over a billion dollars. Now Activision has decide it will make the series more accessible. Because over a billion dollars is not accessible. And not enough people read Harry Potter books. Have you ever seen Star Wars?
Thomas Tippl, Activision’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, explained which studios work on the hugely successful Call of Duty franchise: “Today, we have three studios working on Call of Duty. We have Infinity Ward, which made Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Then we have Treyarch, which will be releasing a Call of Duty game in the fall of 2010. Treyarch also developed Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty 3. And, most recently, we’ve added Sledgehammer in the Bay Area. We haven’t yet announced the content of their game, but it’s going to be an innovative take that will further broaden the audience for Call of Duty.”
Broaden the audience? Pretty sure Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 developed by Infinity Ward would be Activision’s best bet for that.
Oh wait. Right then. Well, carry on with that Call of Duty innovation!
I wonder if I could be a fly on the wall at Activision board meetings. Topic for Monday board meeting: How do we broaden or expand our audience by using Call of Duty? Do we A)Make a brand new Call of Duty game that calls on the strength of the series and improves on the game? Or B)Some Call of Duty action figures and a Facebook game based off the Farmville engine? I’m not sure what they are trying to imply here but it sounds like cleanup after the Infinity Ward scandal I talked about last week.
Clearly any future Call of Duty game at this point isn’t going to have us jumping for joy until we are able to play it for ourselves. Diversity and making your games accessible is wonderful up until the point you start seeing Call of Duty koozies and toys inside a McDonalds happy meal. It’s a fine line between hardcore and casual. For the fans, I just hope a real sequel shows up in the near future. Activision is really treading on thin ice.
A Slurpee and a used copy of Prototype? It’s more likely than you think. 7-Eleven is teaming up with Game Trading Technologies, Inc. to offer a wide selection of “Great Games Below $20” at franchise locations throughout the U.S.
Already known for its creative interpretation of the term ‘street date’ in regards to new video games, 7-Eleven will soon be offering used video games at more than 3,000 stores across the country. A partnership with pre-owned video game supply and service company Game Trading Technologies will see the debut used game bins branded as “Great Games Under $20,” filled with used titles for popular platforms.
“We partnered with GTT because of their experience and expertise as a third-party provider of video games and the terrific selection they’ll offer to our customers,” said Michael Jester, 7-Eleven category manager for gaming and electronics. “More than 60 percent of U.S. households now have at least one video game console, and consumers are searching for convenient ways to stretch their entertainment dollar in this challenging economy.”
Game Trading Technologies hopes to have the program running at most U.S. stores by September of this year.
Unfortunately we don’t have many 7-Elevens in this part of the country, we are relegated to Exxons on the Go and Buccees. I have seen dvds sold in convenience stores but I’ve never actually bought one as they have always been really crappy movies or dubbed en Espanol. I’m not sure I have much faith in games that are lying around in convenience store bins no matter how low their prices are.
Think about it, this reeks of Walmart and has anybody taken a look at the games that are traditionally $20 and under? Wii mini-game collections and lots of them. The chances of finding a game that’s actually worth that amount isn’t very likely. This is mostly aimed at impulse buyers who apparently needed a game fix along with their green apple cherry flavored slurpee. If I do happen to see one, I’ll probably dig around as long as it isn’t put in between the nacho cheese and the week old hotdogs.
Well actually there are some good games in there. Looks like we have DMC for the 360, along with Lost Odyssey (did they ever fix that case storage problem?). There is even a GTA game for the PSP. My only hope is that since this has been going on for 7-11’s in Japan for a while that we actually find some imports once in a blue moon. Yeah, I know…but it would be nice.
Is the grand tradition of colorful video game manuals coming to a close? It is for Ubisoft, as the company launches an initiative to replace tree-hungry paper manuals with in-game instructions for all PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 titles.
Killing trees just isn’t in style anymore, and Ubisoft is taking steps to make sure it does its part to make sure we don’t end up with a Lorax situation on our hands by doing away with paper manuals for its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles entirely. In place of paper manuals, Ubi’s games will come with extensive in-game instructions, which the company says is not only better for trees, but better for customers as well, saying that in-game manuals have the potential to be more robust, free of worries over printing cost and space limitations. Internal Ubisoft numbers indicate that manufacturing one ton of paper used to create game manuals uses two tons of wood from 13 trees, enough energy to heat an average home for a year, 13,000 gallons of wastewater and 6,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Along with doing away with manuals, Ubisoft is teaming with Technimark, Inc. to create a 100 percent-recycled polypropylene “ecoTech” DVD case, which will debut with the PC release of Splinter Cell: Conviction.
“Ubisoft is often recognized for making great games, but it’s a special privilege to be the industry leader at saving trees,” said Laurent Detoc, president of Ubisoft North America. “Eco-friendly initiatives are important to the global community and introducing
in-game digital manuals on Xbox 360 and PS3 is just the latest example of Ubisoft’s ongoing commitment to being a more environmentally conscious company.”
Shaun White Skateboarding, due out this holiday season, will be the first Ubisoft title to ship without a manual. There is some irony there, if you look hard enough. Whether or not other publishers follow Ubisoft’s lead, it will be very strange to open up a DVD case and not see some sort of instruction booklet included. Where will we jot down our notes? Our own pad of paper? Preposterous!
We’ve contacted Ubisoft to ask why Wii titles are exempt from this new initiative, and recieved the following reply from a representative: “Ubisoft is implementing its in-game manuals first with its PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 games, and we’re looking forward to eventually having all of our games feature digital game manuals.” My theory? Many Wii owners aren’t quite ready to take off their training wheels just yet.
DONE! I am done, done, dddddddiedone….doing the Macarena and pivot hips done. I am so done that if I was meat, I would be suitable to be served at a Golden Corral buffet. Ubisoft, if you ever get another sale from me at this point; it will be a miracle. Yes, I do own a few of your games; Prince of Persia and both of the Rainbow Six games. I was actually considering Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed but not anymore. Well maybe if you actually bring back Might and Magic, but I digress.
Okay, perhaps I’m over-reacting. It is after all just a manual. I know what you are saying, it is eight to ten pages of useless crap. However, for those who actually collect and those who consider themselves old-school, it is a nice memento to have and read before entering into the world of that game. I have been burned way too many times by modern games on how to perform a certain maneuver half-way through the game and have to go back to the manual to reference it.
In reality, this has nothing to do with being Green. This has to do with one thing: Money, money yeah yeah. The part the article fails to mention is the $1 to $2 that Ubisoft will save by implementing this measure. Where does this savings go? In our pocket? HAHAHA. No. Into research and development? Unless it goes to r&d of the DRM Online Experience, I doubt it.
Into executive’s pockets so they can purchase a more expensive SUV and run me off the road while getting 18 miles to the gallon? Which is kinda ironic if you think about it. Green is a wonderful word to throw around when it saves you money. My only worry in this whole mess if this spreads to other companies. I understand I’m the only schmoe who probably still reads manuals but for me they eliminate a lot of confusion. We’ll see where this goes.
Here are the cases the article mentions. I’m actually okay with this. They look like dvd cases and I don’t see any giant sized pie slice holes. I mean they might melt really quick in the microwave but that’s about it. This is one trend that hopefully spreads and replaces that joke for a trend they got going right now.
Actually, this game has been in the arcades for almost four years. It will pay homage to the original smash and include a lot of the same features with better graphics. There will several new aircraft including the F/A-18E Super Hornet and F-15E Strike Eagle as well as updated F-14 Tomcat that is simply the F-14D Super Tomcat. It looks pretty awesome for those who do remember the first couple of games and is priced right to boot.
We get a puzzle game this week in which you have to find three identical objects and smash them with your hammer to get them to disappear and score points. Then when you get enough points, you can use the Wiimote and swing with the big hammer to get even more points. There is multi-player and over forty levels in this one. Perhaps some of you will find value in this one.
This is probably the Mega Man where a lot of people started to lose interest until his revival a couple of years ago. It certainly wasn’t any better or any worse, people just didn’t see any noticeable change and started to forget about the game. The only major change was that you could actually charge a shot and get a more powerful blast as a result. More Robot Masters to conquer, more difficult challenges and another 500 points dropped for Mega Man enthusiasts this week.
Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper
Monster Hunter Tri
All Star Karate
Monster Hunter Tri is about the only big title to come out this week. It has been around in Japan for about 8 months now and they figured that the North American & Europe markets deserved the game as well. The game will support online play and be free of charge after the initial purchase. It supports Wiimote/Nunchuk as well as Classic Controller Pro, USB Keyboard and Wii Speak. *whew*.
The game has been expanded to include underwater environments. The weapon classes have been updated and there are plenty of new monsters to fight. This should do good business, and those looking for a demo might still be able to find one at Gamestop. The only other game I was even remotely interested in was the Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper crap on 360. But then I saw it had been rated by ESRB as T for Teen. Who makes a Jack the Ripper game and gets a T rating? One who wants it to fail, that’s who.
A little bit of information about me, I tend to post in other places like certain dvd & game forums under the moniker of Kedrix. Recently, I guess some people took the things I said personally and bashed me for it. One quote was, “I need to get over myself”. While, it did make me pause and forget where I was for a second; I decided that hey at least they were reading my comments.
The thing is that I have been writing this column for almost four years. I probably don’t enjoy the readership of a lot of larger sites or really care to but people are reading and hopefully enjoying my work. If you like the content in this column, feel free to leave me a comment saying so. If you don’t enjoy what you see, again leave a comment. For new readers who have made it through this column for the first time, congratulations; there is more where that came from.
However, if you are ever offended by what you see here, I encourage you to leave a comment but I won’t hide behind any political correctness or change my tone. I am who I am, bad jokes and all. If at the end of the day, I get one person to go hey, I might not agree with all he says, but at least he’s honest and solid in his convictions, then I know I’ve done my job right as a writer. Thank you for reading this kiddoes and appreciate the input.
Kedrix of Aldrianian
(*The Forgotten One*)