Last week it was announced that after 24 years of service, Nintendo Power will no longer be published after December’s issue. NP is considered one of the longest running game related magazines around, and I have had my subscription since the late 80s. Over the last few years the magazine has been improving: better previews, subscriber only covers and a lot of exclusive content. But it turns out that it wasn’t enough.
On one hand I am sad to see them go, but on the other hand, I’m surprised that it took this long. Everyone knows that the writing is on the wall (no pun intended) for print and thinking about it, I feel the problem is that magazines like NP, are trying to fight the Internet on its own terms.
Entitlement is a funny word in the game industry. In other consumer based industries it’s a sign of respect and verbal contract from the seller to the consumer. When you go to the store, you are entitled to buy products that have been through quality control and are how they are advertised.
But in our industry, when someone mentions entitlement, it is used as an insult to shut people up who complain about parts of a game or want more done to it. The problem and part of this debate is that there are more parts of a game product than there are in other consumer industries. Read more…
Licensed games have been a staple of the industry since the Atari era. In the late 80s to 90s, licensed games were made as challenging as normal games. The reason was that the game companies responsible for the licensed games drew inspiration from their original games, which were made to be difficult. Capcom for example created several games in the Disney Universe including: Darkwing Duck and Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers.
What this also meant was that licensed games by and large did not push the boundaries of game design. Many titles were straight up platformers in the Mario sense, much how licensed games today are built around open world gameplay. But like always, there are exceptions to the rule and today’s game managed to beat the likes of Super Metroid and even Bioshock at their own game mechanics.
This week we finally got Diablo 3‘s 1.04 patch, which has been a long time coming, altering the skills of the various classes, enemy attributes, item stat distributions and even legendary item design. Not to mention the whole new end game mechanic in the form of the paragon system, this adds 100 more levels increasing player’s stats and the magic and gold find rate. Now without question, these changes were warranted to improve the game. However with that said something doesn’t sit right with me.