News Snatch: Wii U Confusion, Warfighter And Dizzy

Happy Monday everyone, Snatch is back after taking a brief hiatus on Friday due to me spending a day off work, eating cake and trying to finish Skyrim. I also spent a couple of hours watching TV, and proper ‘broadcast’ TV not catch up which meant adverts, specifically one for the Nintendo Wii U which you can see below.

‘What is the Wii U’ asks the advert that fails spectacularly to explain what the Wii U is – in fact it highlights what I consider to be a major problem with the console: you have to take your focus off the main screen to look at the GamePad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kywMsIlWEc

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I am not the only one confused by the Wii U, Atari founder and games industry veteran Nolan Bushnell has told the New York Times that he is equally combobulated.

“I actually am baffled by it,” said Bushnell, “I don’t think it’s going to be a big success. These things will continue to sputter along, but I really don’t think they’ll be of major import ever again. It feels like the end of an era to me.”

EA have come under attack from one of their own moderators on the Medal of Honor: Warfighter forums. The open letter by ‘DigitalHitmann’ criticises the company for trying to take on the Call Of Duty franchise.

“You’re trying to upbeat the competition by forcing us to play through “Hollywood” moments that we don’t want, nor do we need. Give us a moving and emotional storyline that we can remember. Characters and faces that we can relate to. That was the true vision of Electronic Arts years ago, not this petty competition for the best share of the profits.”

The Oliver Twins are hoping to bring Dizzy back to life in a new game for PC and iOS by using, yes, you guessed it, Kickstarter. It has been over twenty years since the last Dizzy game (putting aside the recent iPhone remake), personally I never liked them but with over fifteen games starring the acrobatic egg he has plenty of fans.

Good news! Bioshock Infinite will not include a half arsed forced into the game just so we can make DLC and try and stop people reselling their copies multiplayer! Ken Levine has tweeted ‘no multi’ in response to a question by a fan.

Bad news! Developer Eurocom has had to make large number of redundancies reducing their headcount from 200 to just 50 staff. They have released the following statement:

“We’ve fought to try and save as many jobs as possible, but the steep decline in demand for console games, culminating in a number of console projects falling through in the last week, left us with no option. Eurocom has retained a core staff of just under 50 employees and will be focusing mainly on mobile opportunities moving forward.”

Now by my count that makes them the four hundredth and twenty twooty billionth games developer to ‘focus of mobile development’. It is widely recognised that unless you have a big hit such as Angry Birds or Draw Something then making money off the app store is horrendously difficult so I’m wondering what has happened to all these developers who moved to mobile – we’ll certainly never hear of them again.

Oh. wait… yes we do, news just in that a Liverpool-based indie studio formed last year by senior ex-Bizarre Creations employees has closed.  Despite releasing the well-received iPhone game Tiny Invaders the development team known as Hogrocket have gone their separate ways, blaming ‘a combination of factors, ranging from geographical to financial.’

Not News Snatch:  A writer at Valve thinks Guillermo del Toro, widely regarded as a brilliant writer and director, would make a great director for a Half Life film.

And finally, a little treat for Game Of Thrones fans, artist Roberto Flores has imagined what TV series would look like as a 2D brawler and it’s certainly a lot better than the current Game Of Thrones tie in.

Robert is investigating the possibilities of a Kickstarter to make this happen, ‘Looking into licensing, probably not possible but still trying,’ he said.

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30 Comments

  1. The Wii U adverts aren’t great and I found it weird that they tell you to go on online to find out about it. It’s basically admitting the advert doesn’t tell you anything.

    There are some awful Kinect Dance adverts around at the moment making people look as stupid as possible.

    The only advert I’ve liked this Christmas was the Playstation Carnival type advert but I’ll watch anything with Sackboy pulling some silly faces.

    • could be worse, they could have got ant and dec back. O_O

  2. Eurocom’s CEO blamed the console market for the current state of eurocom. Which is a bit bullish as games like Dishonoured managed to sell well and i think the studio that did that game only had a few games under their belts. I believe the reason why they are going downhill is because of how average the Goldeneye remake was(and the fact that Acti could not be arsed to even market it, in fact i only found out that it was out i think via TSA’s review of it) and Legends is just a COD game with a Bond skin which is said to be rubbish. So it’s no wonder they are letting people go but i believe the blame also lies with Acti for not giving them enough time with the games and not giving them enough freedom as well as marketing the games. I suspect mobile gaming is the retirement home of all game studios before they pass away.

    I did enjoy Bioshock 2’s MP as it did tell us a bit about the civil war but it was tacked on and aside from the powers, it would have been a bit generic so i’m glad they have ditched it with Bioshock Infinite and hopefully, they would have focused 100% on the main story and not cut any bits out to sell back to us as DLC.

    As for the EA bit. I could let Hazelam describe them but it’s a monday morning and i think she just cba. :P They do need to stop trying to get the amount of sales that COD get with every major IP as COD seems to be able to generate the same amount of sales if not more each year without really changing that much which is a bit surprising for a franchise that has 9-10 games. :O EA, just focus on delievering excellent games with excellent plot without the bullshit that you are known for and you may end up with a lot of sales. But i suspect you would rather milk some franchises dry and kill Bioware. :-/

    • Now Eurocom will be slaved to make Movie licensed Mobile games.

    • Right, well i would say that considering the amount of games i have played & own (see sundays chronicle for a current selection!), it says something if i don’t even know who the hell Eurocom are!

      I think that probably speaks volumes about the sort of impact they have had on consoles as a console only gamer!

  3. So no multiplayer at all in Bioshock? I’m bioshocked (see what I did there?), it was enjoyable for the most part – just not reaching level 50.

    • Well, most people will probably be glad about this descission but I doubt it has something to do with gamers complaining about shoehorned MP. The game has already been delayed. My guess is they are just running out of time.

      • I suspect you could be right! Doesn’t bother me too much as I always prefered the single player.

    • The only FPS I really enjoyed online was Bioshock 2.

      Fantastic stuff, disappointed not to be able to do the same in Infinite.

      Not surprised though, we’d have heard something by now if it was there.

  4. It seems to me that the Wii U advert could easily be misconstrued as an add-on for the Wii, and that the only new thing is the controller. It still has the Wii branding, and I don’t think it’s been made clear enough that the Wii U is an entirely new console.

  5. I find the lack of multiplayer in Bioshock Infinite a little bit of a disappointment as it goes (& therefore bad news to me), although i did suspect as much as there was a distinct lack of information about this portion of the game.

    I was a little hesitant when i heard that Bioshock 2 was going to have one & ‘tacked on’ was actually the first thing that came to mind – However, the proof was in the pudding, as it was actually a very good multiplayer which fed into the lore of Rapture & the events which came before Jacks arrival. Competitive if you wanted it to be, but always a good but of fun.

    • *bit

    • Or end up being a bit frustrating due to Yogdog murdering everyone. ;)

      • Yogdog wasn’t so bad… When he was on your side. ;)

        Other than that though, i became quite partial to the nail gun against Yogdog, as i found it the most effective. Otherwise you would be dribbling in your own blood (& maybe covered in bees?) before you even realised he was there.

      • He kept treating every mode as deathmatch! So many deaths trying to save the little sister. OH MY GOD! I’M HAVING FLASHBACKS! ARGH! *curls into a ball* :p

    • Ditto, the Bioshock MP was a good example of when MP can bring something different and expand the gaming experience, as opposed to just tacking on something that never gets a second glance. With a tiny bit of refinement in a sequel, it could be something quite special.

  6. Developmental budgets on mobile platforms are incredibly cheap so I’m guessing it’s not too tricky to break even if you have a good game on your hands. These developers shifting over to the mobile market must know something that bucks the usual “you have to be a top seller to make money”.

    I think I might go see if I can find out the development costs of a few key titles to get a handle on things.

    • Quite a brain drain from home consoles, even AAA gaming to mobile gaming, as their projects come to fruition we could be in for a treat.

  7. good news for bio-shock
    fekin’ hated the multiplayer!

    • Keeps all the developers minds focused on the campaign too, rather than working out how to leverage co-op & multiplayer modes into what was an amazing single player experience… Bioshock 1 & 2, Dead Space 1 & 2 highlight this really well, although we know EA are hell-bent on this as it’s a key way for them to sell DLC, online passes and other stuff.

      For me, it dilutes the experience – it doesn’t have to be everywhere.

      It probably dilutes the developers focus & time too.

      • They did focus on the campaign with Bioshock 2 though, as the multiplayer for that went to a different dev (i believe Arkane studios also had a hand in level design).

        There really was no excuse for Dead Space 2 though unfortunately. That never needed a multiplayer & it suffered a little as a result. Was it the entire downfall of the title? Not really, but i know a few people it put off entirely.

        For what its worth, i am with you about diluting what goes into the singleplayer, but a few games have shown that you can have a decent singlelayer as well as a good/competent multiplayer.

      • I haben’t played the Bioshock 2 MP but comparing the SP part of both games I Have to say Bioshock 2 was quite the let down after Bioshock 1. That could totally be unrelated, though.

      • I still found Bioshock 2 highly enjoyable. Perhaps not as great as the first of course, but much better than some of the bilge we have seen!

        To be fair to it as well, it was never going to hit the dizzy heights of the sort of narrative found in the first, so i think they had their work cut out with what people were expecting & what they eventually ended up getting.

      • Levines team had nothing to do with bioshock 2 multi or single did they?
        Bioshok 2 largely detracted from the first game imo.

      • Bioshock 2 was a different development team to Bioshock, and the multiplayer had a different developer to the single-player.

        Definitely not the same as Dead Space.

  8. If the MoH series went back to being a WW2 shooter, I think it would do far better, and leave the BF series for the modern era.
    I mainly loved Sniper Elite so much because it was refreshing to see something different, and I can imagine fans of the old MoH and COD games would love to see a return too.

    • I agree. MOH seemed to excell at telling WW2 stories as the 2 modern day games have both been average and generic shooters. In fact, with COD focusing on the future, EA could have stole the WW2 shooter market away from them. And it is very ironic that we both believe it should go back to WW2 due to how many WW2 shooters there were last gen.

  9. Not a fan of this news-snatch :/. Makes it feel so empty on the first page with almost no new news.

    • Sorry, it’s that time of year.

    • It’s either tuffcub’s snatch or Bear Force One videos. Please don’t ever mention this again. ;-)

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