games / Columns

Four Player Co-op 10.31.12: G4, Wii U, Kickstarter, More

October 31, 2012 | Posted by Stephen Randle

Stewart Lange has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Jeremy Thomas has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.

Quizmaster

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op. We’ll be skipping the opening monologue because I just found out that Disney bought LucasArts, and I have the rest of the week budgeted for simultaneously worrying that there might be more crappy Star Wars movies in my lifetime, and also hoping that there might be more awesome Star Wars movies in my lifetime. I need answers to my many, many questions! Answers!

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Another dark day in the rapidly ending story that is G4, as they’ve officially cancelled X-Play and Attack of the Show for 2013, ending two shows that were essentially the cornerstone of what once was a TV network centering around video games and other general nerd-centric activities, as the network itself shifts towards becoming GQ, whatever that means. Anyone here still watching G4 in the first place, let alone the two soon-to-be dearly departed flagships?

Stewart Lange

I have never watched it and honestly don’t think I will regardless of what happens. Quite frankly, I had to Google what it was to begin with.

Todd Vote

I used to watch both stations, and always check out things on G4, right up until Mediacom decided that it would be best to not offer this channel to me anymore. But that is a story for a different question. I used to like catching AoTS when I got home from work. Olivia Munn and Kevin Whats-his-Face were decent hosts, and the show was usually entertaining more times than not. Same thing with X-play, though I admittedly watched that more for previews and Morgan Webb than I ever did for actual reviews.

Jeremy Thomas

Not for a long, long time. I started watching G4 back in the day because…well, I’m a geek, and G4 was TV made for the geeky kind. And don’t get me wrong, G4 still has some of that. But the major problem with G4 is that after a while, they weren’t the only game in town. These days you have a ton of programming created for nerds, and most of it isn’t even on TV. The phenomenally epic Geek & Sundry YouTube channel by Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton and company gets most of my geek time. Where G4 still focuses more on video gaming, G&S is all things geeky, from tabletop gaming and original programming like The Guild to family entertainment (“Written By a Kid”), Motion Comics, the Sword & Laser book club and more. And that’s just ONE (albeit the best) source of geek culture: let’s not forget the Nerdist and all the original programming that the so-called “real” networks throw out to pander to our kind. G4 has completely failed to realize that they have competition from other formats, and they never bothered to raise their game. They’re like the nerdy kids who suddenly became cool and were so busy enjoying their cooldom that they ignored their original friends, who have moved on to better and more loyal friends.

Dan Watson

I am one that never really watched G4. When it first came out my cable provider didn’t offer it. In college it wasn’t available, and then now I just don’t have the time for it. I am sorry to hear it is doing so poorly as it is sad to have any channel remove gaming content. I do appreciate Campus PD on the late night hours.


Quizmaster

I think the ultimate irony will be when the GQ channel gets desperate for ratings and starts airing reruns of The Big Bang Theory, which is apparently both the greatest thing ever and also an abomination of nerd culture. Apologies to Stewart for asking him questions about North American TV, have 346 points, next time we’ll discuss QI or Mock The Week or something. Seriously, those are great shows.


QUESTION TWO: Interesting news out of a Nintendo investor briefing, apparently the Wii U will be (at least initially) sold at a loss. I know we don’t really care about how much money big companies make (or don’t), but does it make you feel better to know that Nintendo was worried so much about an affordable price point that they set it so low that they’ll have to rely on their software to make any money off the Wii U?

Stewart Lange

It is good that they didn’t just hike the price, but much like the PS3, it’s going to sell well enough that Nintendo aren’t exactly gambling here. The Wii U is going to be a big success and Nintendo are going to make a boatload from it. I’d be much more interested to know how much they are losing on each unit before sending them too much praise.

Todd Vote

Isn’t this fairly standard practice with the first version of any new console? I though most of them sold at a loss to get that install base. I’m more interested in what Nintendo thinks it will accomplish by making this announcement. Are we all supposed to suddenly feel sorry for them because their bed on money might just be stacks of twenties instead of fifties till sometime next year? Did they think it would put them in the “little company that could” sort of light and that gamers everywhere will take up the cause to make Nintendo a winner?

Jeremy Thomas

I actually don’t find this all that comforting, to be honest. I mean, kudos to Nintendo for trying to make sure the price is affordable but if the company is taking a loss, I feel like it gives the company less incentive to pour money into enhancements and upgrades than they would. Besides, taking a bath early on with consoles isn’t all that uncommon to be honest; they’re just mentioning it in order to get some good PR from consumers who are then more likely to buy it. So all in all, I couldn’t really care less about this; it doesn’t make me more or less likely to get a Wii-U.

Dan Watson

I believe most consoles are sold at a loss initially. I don’t feel bad or compelled to buy this waste of a console any more now than before. I believe their launch lineup appears weak, this general strategy is terrible, and it is basically Wii with a tablet. I’ll pass.


Quizmaster

Yes, it’s true that most consoles sell at a loss (I can’t remember if one of the last generation or so was actually an exception from the start, but I want to say the X-Box was), at least until the technology gets easier to reproduce, which leads to price cuts. As I understand it, anyway. While I’m not incredibly hyped like I was for the original Wii, I could still see myself ending up with a Wii U because I’m a sucker like that. Plus I really like Mario Kart games.


QUESTION THREE: So, Kickstarter has been around long enough that we’re starting to see some results, and sadly, not all of those results have been promising. Case in point, Mob Rules Games, which raised over $28,000 to develop a game called Haunts, described as “a competitive haunted house game”, but which recently announced that both programmers hired through the company have left, and they’ve been forced to stop the project entirely. Not that Kickstarter isn’t a pretty good idea, but now that some of the bloom is off the rose, so to speak, does this make you a little more wary of this unique creation for funding independent game development?

Stewart Lange

I’m not wary of it, but I’m going to be a bit hard here and say I don’t care how a game is funded- if it is going to be a good game, I’ll buy it regardless of how it was made. I’ve never contributed to a Kickstarter project and likely never will and I hate to see people lose their jobs, but these companies know the risks involved. Unless I’m missing the point, which I’m sure I’ll be informed of.

Todd Vote

So what happens if the project that the funds are raised for dies? Does the money go back to the people who donated? Does the company keep it and just get to decide how they want to use it? I need to know these things before I can form that sort of opinion about the site. I still think it is a great way to both generate interest and funding for games, but I will admit that I know very little about the site or exactly how it works.

Jeremy Thomas

One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole tree. Granted, most of my Kickstarter donations have been toward non-video game entities like Amanda Palmer’s brilliant album or White Wolf gaming books, but the concept is still the same. There will always be some setbacks and the amount of successes have far, far outweighed a failure or two. Kickstarter really is the future for independent entertainment in all forms: video games, movies, music and more. I actually feel more secure than I did even a month ago in Kickstarter because of the amount of projects that have borne fruit since.

Dan Watson

I look at majorly funded companies like Curt Schilling’s abortion and am worried. Kickstarter is a great concept and idea but in practice it’s terrible. They should wait until the game has a bit of development behind it and then fund it the rest of the way, otherwise be ready to throw a lot of money away.


Quizmaster

I’ll reward Todd’s interest in learning more with 2431 points and the requested information as well. Money donated to Kickstarter is not required to be refunded should the project fail, so you’re basically assuming some risk, like any investment. However, Mob Rule Games has said that they would give refunds to anyone who asks for one, and the community has instead responded by offering help with completing the game. So, hey, happy endings all around, it seems.


QUESTION FOUR: I kind of want to talk more about Wreck-It-Ralph, since it releases in theatres this week, but I feel like we might have already tapped that well when the first trailer came out. Ah, here’s an idea: are you more interested in Wreck-It-Ralph, or the news of a Michael Fassbender-starring Assassin’s Creed movie that is reportedly in development?

Stewart Lange

Here’s the thing- I’m a total Scrooge with kids films. I don’t have any kids, so why do I need to see them? I don’t find them funny and can’t be bothered sitting through them. The problem is though that there is every possibility this Assassin’s Creed movie sucks. I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt, but we all know it’ll probably suck- Fassbender or not.

Todd Vote

Wreck-It-Ralph is hopefully going to be fun, but I must admit my interest level is very high for the Assassin’s Creed movie. Especially if Fassbender is attached to star as Altair, Ezio, or even Desmond. Getting someone like Fassbender on board is a definite step in the right direction for this film.

Jeremy Thomas

Wreck-It Ralph, without a doubt. I believe that Michael Fassbender could be great as Desmond (and Altair and Ezio, maybe?) and it could be the film to break the video game movie curse. But how many films have we said that about? Let’s face it, most movies based on video games are okay at best and terrible at worst. One casting does not make a great movie, there are still so many things that have gone wrong. And while I love Fassbender, I cannot forget that he willingly signed on to play the henchmen in freaking Jonah Hex, in which he was horrendously bad. He’s a great actor but he’s not infallible and all this needs is a terrible script or crappy director to screw the whole thing. Meanwhile, Wreck-It Ralph looks fantastic. So it’s not hard for me to pick.

Dan Watson

Wreck-It-Ralph. Let’s look at realistic movies before looking at future possibilities. Every week a new game is going to become a movie and how many of those happen or are successful while staying true to the content? Wreck-It-Ralph is a perfect way to tie video games into movies.


Quizmaster

Jeremy and I are on the same page, for 3204 points, because Wreck-It-Ralph looks so good that I’m actually going to drag my wife to see it on Saturday, even though she has no interest in the film. God only knows what kind of favours I’ll owe for this one.


BONUS QUESTION: Happy Halloween! Any plans for this most evil of non-statutory holidays?

Stewart Lange

My work are having a Halloween day, then I’m off to a Halloween party. I’ll be dressed as Walter White from Breaking Bad, including a drastic beard change. Hit me on twitter @stewartlange411 for photos of me looking like I’m cooking meth.

Todd Vote

I may still be hung over from my zombie themed Halloween party this past weekend. So no, other than taking my nephew out to get candy, I have nothing else planned for the day. One of my favorite Holidays, but I’ve already done my celebrating.

Jeremy Thomas

Well, its a religious holiday for me so I’ll be doing some observation in that manner. Blessed be, all! Anyway, once I’m done with that I will be rocking the WWE ’13 and maybe some Dead Rising 2 to celebrate the season. Yes people, I have finally joined the twenty-first century and gotten a console. Shocking, I know.

Dan Watson

It is the last day of the sales’ month for me, so negative. It’s going to be a late night of life insurance sales.


Please wait…Host is calculating scores…

HIGH SCORE


PLAYER THREE WINS
AND WEIGHS AS MUCH AS A DUCK
COME BACK NEXT WEEK TO TRY AGAIN


411 on Twitter!
Quizmaster’s Twitter
http://www.twitter/411mania
http://www.twitter.com/411games
http://www.twitter.com/411wrestling
http://www.twitter.com/411moviestv
http://www.twitter.com/411music
http://www.twitter.com/411mma

NULL

article topics

Stephen Randle

comments powered by Disqus