News Around the Watercooler
April 12, 2009
News around the Watercooler, better late than never.
County Police Departments are angered by Grand Theft Auto mods providing authentic depictions of real police vehicles within their county. Prince William County, Montgomery Count, and Fairfax County, have all expressed their upset over the accurate depictions of their cruisers in-game, brought into the limelight from a video posted on YouTube. “The Fairfax County Police Department finds the videos in very poor taste,” said spokesperson Don Gotthardt. “One of the reasons we find it in poor taste is because of the way the officers are depicted.”
Sony has let out that their PSP2 will be debuted at this year’s E3, with it hitting the shelvesby Christmas. Sony will also be showcasing gameplay footage of some upcoming titles, as well as keeping some things still up their sleeves. Microsoft on the other hand have kept everything up their sleeves.
GameStop, the world’s largest video game retailer, racking up nearly six thousand stores worldwide could potentially be prosecuted for violation of the United States Federal Law. An alleged practice of GameStop’s involving lending new copies of games to employees and thenlater selling those games as new may fall under the Federal Trade Commissionsrestrictions as a deceptive act in commerce. “We do not comment on corporate policies that are competitive in nature”, said GameStop VP Chris Olivera. The FTC has also dodged the media circus with FTC Public Affairs Specialist Betsy Lordan stating she’s unable to confirm or deny the existence of any investigation that the commission may be conducting. However GameStop employees from a number of stores across the States have provided a copy of the GameStop Check-Out policy for borrowing new games:
“Associates are allowed to check out one item of store merchandise for personal use for up to four days. Merchandise checkout is a privilege, not a right, and may be revoked at any time.
Hardware, accessories, sealed CDs or software programs that must be altered to install may not be checked out. If the on-hand quantity of a product equals one, the item cannot be checked out. Hot titles may also be prohibited from being checked out, regardless of the on-hand quantity in the store.
Associates may only check out items from the store in which they work. Associates are personally responsible for any merchandise they are allowed to check out.
Merchandise must be properly checked out in the Employee Merchandise Check Out Log in the Game Planner.
If the product is returned in unsellable condition, or if anything is missing from the package, or if the product is not returned, the Associate must purchase the product at the current price less Associate discount.
Copying of the software and/or manuals/instructions is illegal and is strictly prohibited. Merchandise that leaves the store without being properly checked out or purchase is considered to be unauthorized removal of Company property and may result in performance coaching up to and including termination of your employment.”
It is said that the Check-Out games get mixed in with the display copies, and when customers ask why the seal is broken they claim it’s just a display copy.
Well as in recent weeks i’ve been watching Utah‘s political situation in regards to the Anti-Game Bill originally drafted by Jack Thompson and evidently Veto’d by Gov. Jon Huntsmanbecause of its constitutional flaws. Well it seems the final nail has been slammed into the coffin for now as it would take $25,000 to be able to vote for the veto to be overturned. Also if they were prepared to fund that much to get the Anti-Game Bill through then more taxpayer money would be spent defending the bill. Too much money for a state like most, pinching every penny where it can.
As announced at the start of Feb of this year The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Director, Jason Dalla Rocca, has stepped down as the head honcho. GDCsaw the last day on the job for Dalla Rocca, and what better way then to backhand everyoneyou represented while apologizing for everything you did:
Quoted from a rant from his blog this week…
“Serving the IGDA for the past 9 years has been extremely rewarding and challenging. I helped to get a lot done, but somehow feel that I failed the community.
Sorry for being too focused on the nuts and bolts, with my head down in execution. I just didn’t spend enough time on the big picture vision stuff. It’s scary, and easy to avoid when you’re just “busy” doing stuff.
Sorry for not having the leadership skills to beat the barriers of participation inequality. Less than 1% of the IGDA membership are truly active in driving the org forward. Sorry for not doing a better job building up a strong pipeline of community leaders and volunteers. Sorry for not overcoming your general apathy and laziness.
Sorry for not doing a better job of roping in all the snipers from the sidelines. Turns out you are all pretty damn good at bitching and complaining and being critical. But then you don’t actually do anything about it and you don’t get involved. Sorry for not bringing critics under the tent and getting them to work at improving things.
Sorry for not getting you to be more serious about the profession of game development. You are no longer a bunch of hacks. This is a real art and science. We need to be way more deliberate and control the path the profession takes as it evolves into the future.
Most of all, sorry for not doing more to help you realize your power! Both, collectively as a profession to tackle industry issues, and as creators of culture. You are all having a massive impact on society. You are transforming the world day-by-day without even realizing it.
Oh well, f* you, it’s not my job anymore!”
He still loves you IGDA, tough love so you can grow up to be the best IGDA you could possibly be.
Midway. Oh Midway what happened. Wednesday saw the potential for Warner Bros. or Ubisoft jumping in to buy the disintegrating firm but by Friday it was let on from court documents that Midway is swirling the drain. June or August, which one will it see Midwayloose all its money. According to a statement issued to the courts by Midway owner Mark Thomas last week:
“Moreover, the Debtors have conceded that if they continue consuming the cash at the current rate, the Debtors’ cash will be depleted by late June 2009…Furthermore, the Debtors do not have any new, major video game releases which could have provided an influx in cash between now and June 2009.”
However Midway has claimed that projected figures show that they could stay afloat for as long as August even though using last years figures points to June.
What does The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena and Spore have in common? Well they both had quite a bit of hype while they were upcoming titles, and then had multitudes of irate users sighing in disbelief to discover they could only install their recently purchased PC game three times. I thought developers had learnt from the mistakes of Spore. Install restrictions apparently help prevent piracy, but honestly who would play pass the parcel with a game disc which, knowing how paranoia of these developers nowadays, you’d need to be able to play the game anyway. There’s this thing; called the internet; ever heard of it. Anyway Atari and Starbreeze have been swamped with complaints from angry owners. Atari responds saying, Contact their helpline if you need more legitimate installs.
Killzone 2 is seeing their first downloadable content, dubbed ‘Steel & Titanium pack’, being released on April 30th. Included is two new multiplayer maps, and i think that’s it. But hey it’s free, well confirmed free for the Netherlands but i’m speculating that it will be free worldwide. Other DLCs are also confirmed to be in the works for Killzone 2. Stay tuned.
It seems Silent Hill is getting its second movie, just to torment those of us who saw the first. However it will not be directed by the original director Christophe Gans. Though actor Radha Mitchell, who was in the the first film, said:
“I don’t think Christophe is attached. [That] is a shame because he’s a nutter but he’s so passionate about the game. I think he should do it if they do it again.”
Make your mind up on whether a second one should be attempted or if the first shouldn’t of even been made.
61 year-old Dave Arneson, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, has passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer. An American Game Designer, he attended the 2nd ever official Gencon where he met the late Gary Gygax, together they created and published the original Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game book in 1974. After altercations and the creation of multiple companies, Arneson became a teacher in the late ’90s. He suffered a stroke in 2002, but kept teaching until 2008.
Electronic Arts has blundered up by sending illegal weapons in their promotion packs for Godfather II. Brass Knuckles included in the promotional packs for the upcoming title areillegal in many states including California where the main EA office is based. According to the California Penal Code it appears shipping brass knuckles is illegal, with it punishable by an imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or in state prison. It comes just days after the promotional packs were sent to key game media representatives across the United States. EA has been yet to comment on the situation except that they want to ensure that the brass knuckles were “properly disposed of”.
Upcoming Releases this week:
- Cabela’s Dangerous Adventures (PS2)
- Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force (DS)
- Leisure Suit Larry: Box Office Bust (Xbox 360)
- Phantasy Star Portable (PSP)