November 2007

G4 Fails In An Epic Fashion

As seen on Massively, G4 decides every MMO released since WoW doesn’t exist in their world.

A quick look at 2004 and 2005’s E3 rundown reveals dozens of MMOs either in development or planned. WoW killed or crippled all of them. The reasons are many, but a huge contributing factor is simply how good World of Warcraft is as a game.

But what makes this an epic fail: G4 apparently forgot that their two examples for post-WoW MMOs, SWG and TSO, launched before WoW. Clearly, WoW transcends time and space.

Arguably, you could say that they were simply saying the MMO market itself was destroyed by WoW’s launch, and launch dates are irrelevant. Of course, then you have to ignore Eve, and City of Heroes, and Lord of the Rings, and Everquest 2, and… OK, I’ll stop, since almost literally every MMO launched in the past decade has been profitable, and continues to be in the post World of Warcraft world.

What G4 fails to realize, since WoW’s numbers are sooooo huge, is that you don’t actually have to be #1 in the market to deliver a good return on investment. MMOs traditionally have fantastic ROI, even with budgets the size of World of Warcraft’s, simply because players keep paying to play on a regular basis. The longer an MMO runs, the better that return. Assuming Ultima Online still has ~ 100,000 subscribers, that means that EA is collecting $1 million a month on a game which completed its original development ten years ago.

But that’s boring. Better to mock everything not WoW, preferably with pictures of lolcats. That’s most assuredly the way to get some innovation!

G4: Home of awesome MMO commentary.

Truth In Advertising

Stuck in traffic while passing a Walgreen’s on the way home tonight, I noticed their neon sign was advertising various products, all with the tagline:


Why, yes, that is the essential promise of commerce that I expect when purchasing things.

What Mass Effect Has Taught Me

As the helpful men below will tell you, there is no problem that cannot be solved without the proper application of shotguns to people’s faces.


As seen in this thread, thanks to unfortunate cell-phone-cam lighting, my Cmdr. Shepard looks a little out of shape. Or, as one wag put it,

Your guy actually looks badass, except for his double-chin. I didn’t know the Normandy could fit through the McDonald’s drive-through.

Yeah, well, if you tell him he’s out of shape — he’ll stick a shotgun in your face. (Renegade +9)

Mass Effect is a triumph of storytelling over gameplay, because the combat system starts as horribly frustrating and painful, until you level up to the point where the combat system is pretty much irrelevant (“Oh, look, enemies – PEW PEW PEW – hey, thanks for killing them, party members!”). However, that aside, Mass Effect’s story, graphics, and presentation in general is not only like a Babylon 5 movie (both in scope and in, well, stealing the plot wholesale – which is fine, B5 did the same thing, space operas aren’t known for their originality), it’s a Babylon 5 movie that’s better than any recent Babylon 5 movie.

Between this game, the excellent Assassin’s Creed, and some other game everyone I know is going nuts over and I’m not even having the time to buy yet, tis the season to have no money.

Clearly, We Do Not Deserve Nice Things And/Or People

Because this entire episode has convinced me that gamers are really, really stupid I’m going to use very small sentences and lots of pictures.

Assassin’s Creed is a really fun game.


Assassin’s Creed was made by a fairly large group of people.


As you can see from the last picture, one of them, the producer as it turns out, is a fairly attractive, and well-spoken young woman.


Ubisoft marketing took advantage of one of the team members being well-spoken and photogenic. The gaming press reacted…


…well… let’s just say restraining orders may be needed.


In fact, you might wonder if Jade Raymond’s Assassin’s Creed was an actual game, or if the entire purpose of creating a next-generation free-form adventure game set in the Crusades was simply an excuse to post pictures of pretty girls. The Internet is apparently short of these.

Hey, look, more!


This is from the unofficial Jade Raymond fan site. I wonder if my producer will ever get an unofficial fan site. Since he’s not very pretty, probably not.

But this is all just harmless fun, right? Right? Surely we can take the genre-bending spectacle of an actual gee-she’s-purty she-smells-nice can-I-see-the-rabbits-george woman in a significant game development role and not make something awful from it?

Yeah, whatever. This is the Internet. We break everything.


That vile little comic (trust me, it gets a lot more offensive) is now famous because Ubisoft is trying to sue it out of existence. Apparently they only like creepy Jade Raymond fanservice if it’s happy creepy fanservice. Or if it’s done by real game journalists.


By the way, Assassin’s Creed is really fun. For some reason I thought I should bring that up again. You know, in case seeing pictures of a real girl makes you forget. Apparently this is a problem many people have.


Other commentary on how we can’t have nice people (warning: both are apparently written by real girls and as has been shown, we just can’t handle this):
Game Girl Advance

The always readable Sanya Weathers (who is also a real girl, but moreover also can and will kick your ass) has well-thought-out points as well.