Over the weekend Arenanet’s latest entry into the Guild Wars franchise was so popular that to maintain quality on its servers, Arenanet decided to halt sales on the game for a short period of time. According to Chart-Track, the game is the 2nd highest-grossing, non-Warcraft MMO of all time, right behind Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Despite a bit of a rough start to the game which includes shutting down the in-game auction house and a large amount of phishing attempts on player accounts, the game has otherwise been seen as a huge success. This “sold out” status is similar to what had happened months ago when the game first entered its closed beta phase and allowed all pre-orders of the game access to the beta.
Issues such as the password and e-mail resets by phishing are currently being dealt with as well as looking to reduce the need for overflow servers and getting the trading post back up and running. More details can be found on the reddit post by Arenanet staff.
Word on the street this week is that the Steam Summer Sales will be upon us at any moment. I’m not really holding my breathe or anything, but I have to admit that the summer sales have easily been some of the best ones I’ve seen. They also usually come just at the right time, right when the 4th is upon us Americans and freetime is more abundant with holidays.
What’s more foreboding is how many games are starting to build up in my library on Steam. A few are even untouched (although most of those are extras from indie bundles). Will the forthcoming Steam be a complete wash for me? We’ll see.
Some games I’m going to be looking for though:
- Max Payne 3
- Civ 5: Gods & Kings
- Sins of a Solar Empire: Retribution
- Deathspank, Deathspank 2 and The Baconing (never played any of them)
- Another sweet Borderlands deal
- Maybe EVE? We’ll see, I’ve been pretty good about staying away from it up to this point.
Let us know if you’re going to be grabbing anything and what deals look good to you! (When the sale actually begins that is)
And just as a heads-up, Amazon is hosting a bit of a competitive sale on their site as well.
One last thing (I’m updating this after-the-fact, sorry for lack of continuity), people are getting so antsy they are starting to make terrorist threats to Gabe Newell, tongue-in-cheek of course.
It seems to be pretty rough over at EA lately. Things just have not been going their way. Good for people who want to stick it to the man, not so good for people who still like many of the IPs that EA owns and operates, and even less good for people who work there. EA seems to have fallen into a perfect storm of losing on some really big gambles. I’d like to quickly explore what’s happening at one of the industry’s biggest publishers and maybe where this is going next.
I’m sure you’ve thought about it a few times now. This great-looking, new indie game is out and it looks good enough to play, but I think I’ll wait a little while. After all, I don’t need it and it’ll just be on one of those Steam sales or Humble Bundle things in a month where I can get it for a buck or two.
That’s the challenge indie developers are currently facing and it may become more and more pronounced as 2012 wanes on. Indie games are a big deal now and with the industry looking to them to be the real innovators, their success is going to be a barometer for the industry as a whole. While high-profile indie titles (to think there’s such a thing now is crazy) like Fez are sure to be hits because of their heavy press coverage, awards, backing from services like XBLA and just overall street cred, the vast majority of indie developers are still out there struggling to be successful.
I am shocked that more publications aren’t talking about this. The post-game analysis from 2011’s console sales should be in at this point and it almost feels like nobody wants to say anything. Being the tiny gaming blog that I am maybe that’s where I come in.
Wii sales were down dramatically last year. Nintendo’s quick jump to sales glory seems to be followed by an even sharper drop to near-obscurity. What does it mean for the industry at large? Was all this money, development and marketing spent on motion controls just a complete waste of our time? Let’s investigate deeper into what happened exactly and see why not only the Wii was a just a just a huge fad, but motion controls to begin with.
This feels like some gunpoint drug trade. “We’ll give you the profits after you hand over the damn codes!” I don’t really think most industries work like this, but it is what a number of UK retailers are now asking for. Its no secret that video game retailers make a huge profit from sales of their pre-owned games, sales which in no way, shape or form benefit publishers at all. That means that every time you buy a used game, the publisher doesn’t see a dime (I know many of you are thinking “oh big company doesn’t make a few bucks, big deal!”, but bear with me for a moment).
Peter Moore, EA’s vocal COO, just told MCV that Battlefield 3 has made some sort of dent in what he considers the Call of Duty money pie. His comments re-lit a concern that I had about EA during this year’s release season. I think EA may be putting too much emphasis on Battlefield (and therefore, DICE) as some sort of Call of Duty-killer. I’m ultimately concerned because I love Battlefield and I don’t want some EA executive a-hole to look at the numbers and say “this ‘Battlfield’ franchise isn’t making the kind of money Call of Duty is, let’s scrap it.” Maybe all of you out there think that is ridiculous, but when the “dust settles” as Moore put it, I think they are going to be surprised by just how small of a pie piece they are really taking.
“I think when the dust fully settles, maybe when we’re looking at the end of our fiscal year, we’ll do an analysis and I think we will have taken [market] share.” – Peter Moore
Maybe all of you out there are thinking “well so what if Battlefield doesn’t do as well? I still buy it, they’ll be fine, I don’t give a rat’s ass about CoD.” You are then missing the entire point of what Battlefield 3 was: EA wanted to draw a line in the sand and make a stand. They wanted to say “us too” to all of the Call of Duty buyers and prove that because their game is about modern warfare and that they could spend lots and lots of money on marketing that CoD players would flock to their franchise and never turn back. Well to put it bluntly: THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN.
These are the main reasons why the Battlefield franchise needs to stop trying to compete with Activision and Call of Duty:
Is anybody else just a little bit surprised by this list on Major Nelson’s blog? Its almost a little insulting. Not only could Skyrim not top Modern Warfare 3’s towering list of fans, it couldn’t even beat Black Ops! Its just….a little disappointing to those of us who have sung so many praises for Bethesda’s latest open-world RPG. I recently admitted defeat to MW3’s addictive and enjoyable formula, so obviously I’m a part of the problem.
But for every hour I’ve played of MW3 I’ve played about 5 hours of Skyrim…on my PC. And I think that is the problem right there. Not only are many Skyrim owners on different platforms, they likely aren’t going online much to play a single player game on their Xbox. Steam numbers in particular for Skyrim have apparently been quite good compared to Modern Warfare 3:
So maybe this arbitrary list from Major Nelson means nothing…or maybe it does. Maybe Skyrim sells a hell of a lot more on the PC than the Xbox and MW3 blows everyone out of the water on consoles. Maybe not. We’ll see when Bethesda and Activision release their final sales numbers respectively.
If there was any thought that the occasionally-infamous Call of Duty franchise may slow down this year, then take a look at some of these numbers. About 3/4 of a billion dollars accrued in only 5 days. It is now topping $6 billion across the entire franchise’s history (though I would bet the lion’s share of it is from Modern Warfare 2 and beyond). Plus some extremely arbirary numbers: More than 7 million multiplayer hours were logged by the end of launch day and 3.3 million concurrent users were logged in on Nov. 8.