411 Games Fact or Fiction 01.03.13: Zynga, Next Gen Systems, Diablo 3 and More
Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of Fact or Fiction. As always, I am Daniel Anderson, and I hope everyone has had a good week and had a good New Years. Hopefully everyone’s hangovers have faded and are ready to get back into gaming. Anyway, this week we have 411’s Stephen Randle going up against Todd Vote. Let’s see what they have to say, shall we?
1.) It is only a matter of time before video games are blamed for the recent mass shootings.
Stephen Randle – Fact: You mean they haven’t done so already? Man, they’re getting slow on the draw. Maybe they finally realized that video games don’t make people into violent fuck-ups, quite often violent fuck-ups just happen to play video games, because millions of people play video games. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, after all. Or maybe they’re just waiting for the holidays to be over before they dive back into the mudslinging and hyperbole in time for February sweeps. I know which bet I’d put my money on, anyway.
Todd Vote – Fact: Hasn’t the NRA already went on record and blamed video games and movies for this stuff? You can blame this on absolutely anything that you want, that will not mean your blame is placed in the right spot, the blame falls solely on those that do these things. The theater shooting blame falls on the weirdo who did it. I don’t care how he tries to dress himself up and blame it on whatever, the fault is his, and his own.
Score: 1 for 1 - I had a discussion with someone about this issue around Christmas and I pointed out that video games are so popular that saying someone who committed one of these acts played video games is the same as saying they ate dinner or watched something on TV. At the risk of upsetting some people I am going to post a link to an author I read who has some very reasonable points to make on gun control. Gun Control.
2.) Blizzard canceling Team Deathmatch for Diablo 3 is just going to make Diablo 3 players mad.
Stephen Randle – Fact:But to be fair, it’s not like they really need a huge excuse. Speaking as someone who has lived among them for so long, spanning all three of Blizzard’s franchises, I can tell you that Blizzard game players go insane at the drop of a hat, or an unbalanced class, or a buff, or a nerf, or a bug, or a bug fix, or an announcement they don’t like, or a lack of any announcement when they want to hear one. That probably doesn’t make them unique among gamers, but they certainly are a large group and really public and vocal when they want to be heard. The day I left the WoW forums in the dust was one of the happier days in my life.
Todd Vote – Fiction: Not necessarily. How many of the Diablo 3 players were clamoring for team deathmatch? Is it something a lot of you have been after? In that case, yeah it would probably serve to piss off a lot of those fans.
Score: 1 for 2 - This is going to make a lot of people mad, but I don’t think it will get people to quit the game. They will complain, and then keep playing. Anyone that has stuck with the game for this long is not going to be upset about a feature being eliminated that would never have been balanced in the first place.
3.) You were happy to hear that the next Tomb Raider game would include multiplayer.
Stephen Randle – Fiction: In that I don’t care if games have multiplayer. I know, it makes me weird in a world where multiplayer is becoming considered necessary for all games, but frankly, if the single player story is excellent, I don’t give a crap if I play with anyone else. There’s a reason why the games I played the most in 2012 were all single player only.
Todd Vote – Fiction: Tomb Raider is not a game I had ever once played and thought to myself “you know what would be cool? If this game had a multiplayer, that would just put it over the top.” I’ve never thought that. Some games are just better left as a single player investment. Tacking on multiplayer to extend the life of your game, to me anyways, just says you don’t have enough faith in the title to sell itself.
Score: 2 for 3 - I can’t see this being a huge deal. I never have heard anyone complain Tomb Raider didn’t have a multiplayer mode. Unless there is some revolutionary aspect to it, I just can’t see it being something special.
4.) The War Z’s trademark issue (have to rename the game) will end up helping the game more than hurting it.
Todd Vote – Fiction: It’s going to take a lot to get the stink off of this title. Gamers are not dumb. They are not going to think that the renamed game is something new, well not most of us anyways. There was a hell of a lot more plaguing this game than just a name change.
Stephen Randle – Fiction: Mostly because on the heels of the trademark issue, it seems like the guy in charge is actively trying to destroy the game and any goodwill he may have had, while doing interviews that make him look like a clueless idiot. If the game ever does come back, it will be far less well-received and will disappear into the ethers with a whimper.
Score: 3 for 4 - I think the name change will help the game to a very small extent. Right now the game is recognized by regular gamers, but casual gamers. I don’t mean everyone will forget about what happened, but there is a reason that products will change names just to disassociate with past bad press.
5.) Zynga is the most likely company to be 2013’s THQ.
Todd Vote – Fact: Zynga has quite a hole to dig themselves out of. They should take a hard look at what has worked for them in the past. Instead of releasing Farmville 2 or 3 or whatever the hell number they are on now, they should focus on creating something, I don’t know what, but something new and original to recapture the excitement people once had about their games.
Stephen Randle – Fact: And unlike THQ, they won’t even have a whole bunch of big licenses that they could sell to other companies. Zynga’s more likely to end up with its employees absorbed by someone like EA and the company itself will never be heard from again, since everyone that wants to already has their own Facebook titles in development under their own umbrellas.
Score: 4 for 5 - I have a hard time seeing Zynga still being an independent company at the end of 2013.
6.) We will see a new Microsoft or Sony console for sale in 2013.
Todd Vote – Fact: Microsoft is almost a sure thing at this point. Sony can’t be far behind if they want to get in the next gen race. Look how badly it cost them initially to be the last ones out of the gate this time around.
Stephen Randle – Fiction: There’s no chance. At best, we’ll get an announcement of the next Microsoft and/or Sony consoles by June, with a release date of 2014. If they were going to release a console in 2013, we’d know more about it by now, and it’d probably even already be announced. I will say that I have no doubt that both companies will announce their consoles within days of each other. Possibly even hours. No way either of them wants to let the other get a head-start on the next round.
Score: 4 for 6 - I think time is running out for something to be announced. We learned from the Dreamcast that a short amount of time between announcement and release can be a disaster. I don’t think E3 would be enough time for a console to come out around Thanksgiving. If we do not hear something official soon than we are looking at a 2014 release.
Bonus Question: What are you looking forward to the most in 2013?
Todd Vote – Injustice: Gods Among Us, Watch Dogs, GTA V… That’s about it so far.
Stephen Randle – At this point it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I am putting all my chips on The Last of Us being the Best Game of 2013, so there’s that. From a non-gaming perspective, a chance at the first Blue Jays post-season appearance in twenty years is giving me so much hope that if they fail, it will probably damage me beyond repair.
That wraps up this week’s edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Todd went 4 for 6 agreeing more than disagreeing. I hope everyone has a good week, and until then, happy gaming.