Sunday, 16 January 2011

Next time you buy a game...

In our culture we are told to think about where our clothes come from and not to buy certain brands due to the exploitations of child labour. Now I know this isn’t on the same level but should we care about how our games are made? Should we support publishers and developers if they are undermining their staff or us as a consumer?

The back and forth fight between Activision Blizzard and the duo that used to own Infinity Ward Jason West and Vince Zampella is still continuing. Jason and Vince were told to leave due to “breaches of contract and insubordination.” Activision filed their huge lawsuit due to the Jason and Vince’s lawsuit against Activision, which argued against their sacking and they wanted $36 million in royalty payments. As they didn’t receive their full amount for making the game plus they didn’t get any bonuses for creating the most successful entertainment release which has grossed over one billion dollars as of January 18th 2010.

Jason and Vince left Infinity Ward and created Respawn Entertainment which is currently working on a game (fps shooter) for EA to publish. In December Activision bought EA into the law suit claiming that Jason and Vince had signed a deal with EA when they were under an exclusive deal signed in a contract. Also the claim was that EA were using go-betweens to persuade Jason and Vince to create their game. The lawsuit all in total reaches $400 million against EA and the executives.

Jeff Brown EA spokesman said in a statement. "A PR play filled with pettiness and deliberate misdirection." "Activision wants to hide the fact that they have no credible response to the claim of two artists who were fired and now just want to get paid for their work." Jason and Vince are saying that bringing in EA to the lawsuit, Activision are trying to setback the actual court date. Jason and Vince say “any delay of the trial in this lawsuit would increase the financial and non-financial burdens and would continue to distract us from running our business and earning a living.”
So should we continue supporting companies that are taking advantage of its staff? Just a thought.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Task 6: Writing about Games, Previews, reviews, commentary and lies

Hey guys this blog post will see me analyzing key links about game reviews and previews. To get your game in the media you need to build up hype and a certain buzz around your game. I have read both blog entries by Kieron Gillen, I have learnt the media coverage can be bias and corrupt but also be completely impartial depending on where you look for your reviews. For example when you are search online for good review of a game that you may buy is a hard and very lengthy task as there are thousands of review sites. When you find one good review that tells it like it is you want more just to make sure the game is getting properly reviewed.
I have figured out from the websites that the publishers and game companies pay the wages of the journalists. The game websites also pay the journalists with some of the money they get from advertising which occurs on the website. Sites like IGN and Gametrailers are heavily influenced and write a good review for the publishers in return they get exclusive interviews, gameplay and moneys. Whereas independent review sites say what they want to say and are completely impartial also they do not advertise games on their websites. For reviews of games I will go to smaller known websites or buy a magazine where as if I want the latest news I will go to well known websites. I also look for review sites that do not have a ranking for their games mainly because you cannot have specific numbers for graphics and presentation. Also the game engines, consoles and software are always being updated so I do not see that a ranking system is very fair.
I’m a big fan of magazines due their professionalism their review styles and their big pictures! In magazines like GAMESTM you can find humor and experiences, Here is a sentence from a quick over view of a game called Endless Ocean 2 “If the first one was endless, why a sequel?” Also having a magazine involves you a lot more than reading a review or watching a 2 minute review on the internet. I love hard copies of things (except music) including games I really dislike the idea of cloud gaming but I know I will have to come around to it eventuallyL.
I like the NGJ and the style of writing due to the fact that it is more about experiences and not about this game has good graphics and this game has alright sound. NGJ style would be like “when I switched the game camera to inside the off the car I noticed how realistic the graphics were. The steering wheel and dashboard looked crisp and well textured.”
My own writing style at the moment would be objectively as I find writing altogether hard, I focus on getting the information down on the paper that I think is the most important to the reader and then triple check my work to make sure it is all correct and sounds right. I would like my writing style to be more subjectively as I want my blog to be more personal and more about my experiences.