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About
I am a Brazilian student in Norway. I also happen to really, really like games! I'm a huge RPG fan, especially JRPGs and party-based WRPGs, but I also enjoy nearly every genre, from Mario Kart to Limbo to Bulletstorm.

Backlog:


Folklore
Fatal Frame Series
Dishonored
Far Cry 3
Lollipop Chainsaw
Ninja Gaiden 2, 3
Hard Reset
Tomb Raider
Bard's Tale
Castle of Illusion
Dungeons And Dragons Chronicles of Mystara
Legacy of Kain Pack
Natural Selection 2
Shantae
Resident Evil Revelations
Silent Hill Downpour
Anarchy Reigns
Metal Gear Solid HD Collection
Legend of Dragoon
Crysis 3
X-com Bureau Declassified
Final Fantasy V, VI, Tactics
Persona 2 Eternal Punishment
Dust Elysian Tail
DARK SOULS 2!!!!!
Flashback

Currently playing (as of 1503/2014): Dark Souls 2, Dishonored, Dark Souls 2 and Dark Souls 2.

My 3DS code: 3995-6846-8256. For some reason it doesn't appear in the player profile.
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We gamers love to talk about what's selling and what's not. Actually, scratch that. Not just gamers, it seems to be a human phenomenon. Box office and music charts are regularly reported in the mainstream media. I'm not sure why we're so fascinated by charts, but we are. 

The two main ingredients of our regular chart diet are the weekly UK UKIE report and monthly NPD sales for the United States. We tend to divide the world into two neat categories: "Japan" and "West", so we generally assume that the UK and U.S charts are more or less similar to what's going on elsewhere in "the west". But is it?

Out of curiosity, I decided to check the Amazon best-sellers in the videogame category in five countries: U.S, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and I was surprised at just how different gaming tastes can be in those countries. Even Canada and the U.S have significant differences between them. Sure, the big blockbusters sell well everywhere, and as expected the Xbox brand dominates the U.S and the UK, while PlayStation rules everywhere else, but beyond that there are considerable differences. A game that's in the top five in one country may be nowhere to be found in the top hundred in another. It's quite fascinating! Of course, we can't assume what's selling on Amazon is selling across the whole country, but I think it provides an interesting window into local tastes. Also remember that Amazon.com doesn't officially sell Wii U hardware and only recently began selling a limited number of 3DS models again, so that skews things a bit on that front.

I don't want to drag this on too much, so I'll keep it simple. I'll link the five charts and write a bit about what I see, nothing fancy. I mostly just wanted to talk about this with somebody, and who better than the Dtoid community to talk to about VIDEOGAMES?!? BTW, these charts are updated all the time, so don't be surprised if what you see don't exactly match what I wrote.

Amazon.com

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Germany

Amazon France

First of all, next-gen! We can clearly see that the common perception that the U.S and the UK are Xbox land while PlayStation dominates everywhere holds true in these charts. I was actually under the impression that Xbox's dominance extended to Canada as well, but apparently I was mistaken. However, if Amazon is any indication, Microsoft is doing a mighty fine job of giving back their hard-won market share to Sony. Everywhere, the PS4 and PS4 games are doing considerably better than their Xbone counterparts. Tellingly, in both Xbox strongholds there are more pre-orders for CoD Ghosts for the PS4 than for the Xbone, timed DLC exclusivity be damned. In the U.S, there are 4 PS4 games before the first Xbone one, Ghosts, shows up at #30. Microsoft will either have to work extra hard to win back gamers or hope that TVTVTVSportsTV woos enough "normal people" to make up for it.

Are gamers "starving" for next-generation, as we're often told, or are many perfectly content with what they got right now? From the looks of these charts, I'd say many gamers are perfectly happy with current gen and are in no hurry to upgrade.

Unless your're Germany, that is. Boy, are those guys ready for next-gen! 5 of the top 6 sellers are either PS4 consoles or PS4 games, and a full 11 of the top 20 are PS4 products (The Xbone comes in at 19, and no Xbone games are currently in the top 20). I think it's safe to say Germany is very much looking forward to next-generation. Go Germany!

Now, pop-quiz time: In which of the five countries is Zelda the most popular? According to Amazon, the answer is, far and away... drum roll... Canada! A link Between Worlds is at the very top right now, while Wind Waker HD comes in at #33 (charting higher than Black Flag IV and Battlefield 4 on the Xbone), its best performance by far. Elsewhere Wind Waker is either near the the bottom or outside the top 100.

Speaking of Canada, have I mentioned that Canada rocks? I'm officially in love with it. A Link Between Worlds number one? Super Mario 3D World number six? Tales of Symphonia Chronicles (!) of all games (which is nowhere to be found on the top 100 anywhere else) charting higher than the likes of Assassin's Creed and Ni No Kuni still in the top 40? There may be hope for humanity yet! 

Canada also seems to be more receptive to the OUYA. The OUYA is currently in the top 20, and a couple days ago it went as high as #4.  In the U.S and UK, the two other countries where Amazon officially sells it, there's no sign of it in the top 100.

On the other side of the spectrum, the United Kingdom seems to have the least amount of love for Link and co (and for Nintendo in general), with A link Between Worlds all the way back at #50 and Wind Waker nowhere to be found. Hum... I always felt there was something wrong with that country... now I know why! :)

Speaking of Nintendo, it's probably no coincidence that the two markets that have moved most heavily towards blockbuster shooters (U.S, U.K) seem to be where Nintendo is least popular (compared to the other 3 countries). I mean, if all you care about is shooters, "Nintendo" is the last name to cross your mind.

France has perhaps the most interesting and quirky tastes. This is a country where the €99 (yes, €99) collector's edition of Bravely Default is currently outselling both next-gen versions of Ghosts on the local Amazon! As I write this it's in the top 20, but earlier in the day it was even in the top 10. Do you know what else is outselling next-gen Ghosts? Inazuma Eleven: Lightning Bolt and something I've never heard of called Monster High: 13 souhaits (13 wishes), all for the 3DS. This Monster High thing must be big over there, even the DS version is performing relatively well at #40. Oh, did I mention that Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy is in the top 3?

France and Germany may be right next to each other, but if Germans are going crazy for next-gen (or at least German Amazon customers), the French are in no hurry. Like, at all. Between consoles and games, there are a whopping 6 next-gen products in the top 50, with the first being the PS4 Killlzone bundle at #12. If they're not not terribly enthusiastic about next-gen in general, they're even less about the Xbone. The first Xbone game on the top 100, Black Flag, comes in at #66. Among the games currently doing better than every single Xbone games as well as most PS4 ones, besides the 4 already mentioned, are such blockbusters as Wii Party U, Sonic Lost World and Inazuma Eleven: Feu Explosif. Oh, and FIFA 14. On the Wii.

If France isn't embracing the future, I suppose it's only natural they are all about Nintendo, right...? Sorry, that one just flowed right out! Anyways, of the 5 countries, France is where Nintendo seems to be the most popular. Between Nintendo hardware, accessories, Nintendo games and third-parties, a whopping 48 positions in the top 100 go to Nintendo stuff. A couple days ago I even spotted the Wii U version of Ghosts in the top 100, believe it or not.

One thing that surprised me in all countries is just how well Wii games are still selling. Isn't it supposed to be dead and forgotten? In France there are 2 Wii games in the top 6, and elsewhere they're still doing surprisingly well. If Nintendo can somehow convince those Wii owners to upgrade eventually, the Wii U might succeed with exactly the opposite sales curve of the Wii: while the Wii took off right away, peaked and vanished almost overnight, the Wii U could have a very slow start and take off in its later years, not unlike the PS3. Of course, that depends on Nintendo successfully reaching those active Wii owners, a big if.

We usually focus on the top of the charts, but the bottom also tells an interesting story: there are plenty of very old Wii games in them, and not just in France. Have you ever wondered how come Nintendo games rarely have impressive opening sales compared to the big blockbusters, and then when they release sales numbers after a couple years it turns out that game that didn't even make the top 3 in its opening month sold like 15 million copies? This is why. They keep selling for years, long after we've forgotten all about them. On Amazon Canada, Super Smash Bros has been in the top 100 for 1438 days. In France, Mario Kart Wii, currently at #72, has been in the top hundred for a whopping 1818 days. That means it pretty much never left the top hundred since it launched 5 years ago, while last year's blockbusters are nowhere to be found. Even some DS games are still there.

Remember when I said in the beginning that I wouldn't drag this on? Yeah well, so much for that. I just found it so interesting to see how different gaming tastes can be in supposedly similar countries that I could keep ranting on and on, but I this is enough for now. I hope you enjoyed it, and remember: next-time you see an NPD or UK chart, don't assume it's the same story everywhere else!








Following Ubisoft's surprise Watch Dogs delay (causing its stock to plunge 22% in a single day. Ubisoft doomed! Isn't it great to know the financial markets who hold such sway over the world economy are dominated by calm, rational and long-term oriented actors?), they revealed that Rayman Legends and Splinter Cell joined the ever-growing pantheon of storied franchises that "failed" lately. Ubisoft may be disappointed, but most people who were paying any attention were definitely not surprised.

Following poor Wii U sales, Ubisoft decided to delay the one-time exclusive to September in order to launch it simultaneously on all platforms. While the decision to drop the exclusivity was a sound business move, everything else was questionable, to say the least. In one fell swoop, they took Rayman away from an audience that was starved for games, ANY game, and left it for dead on GTA V's front door. As for that starved, GTA V-free Wii U audience? By the time Rayman arrived, they were no longer starved, they had Pikmin 3 and other games released between February and August to feed them. Still hungry, perhaps, but not desperate. Rayman had competition.

Could Rayman have done better if Ubisoft had released the Wii U version in February as scheduled and followed it up with the other versions when they were ready? We can only speculate, but it's a strong possibility. Despite everything, the Wii U still accounted for 50% of first week sales in the U.K. Be that as it may, I'd bet my soul that releasing poor old Rayman within days of GTA V was NOT a good idea, to say the least.

Then we have Splinter Cell, a faded brand (though one I still very much appreciate) that launched to very little fanfare, and the most buzz it ever got was the controversy over the interactive torture scene. It also happened to launch dangerously close to that other game.

The proximity to GTA, the fading of the franchise and the utter lack of hype (I have no intention of playing GTA V in the near future, but I knew when it was about to launch. On the other hand, I fully intend to play Blacklist, but the announcement it was already out caught me completely by surprise) no doubt all took a toll on Blacklist's sales, but what 100% guaranteed the game never had a chance was... Assassin's Creed.

Time was, Splinter Cell sold 2-3 million copies, and everybody was happy. Even Conviction, already smack-dab in the middle of the ballooning budgets of the HD era, had its 2 million sales described by its makers as "solid". Hardly a shout-from-the-rooftops endorsement, but a far cry from "missed sales targets".

By the time Blacklist came out, Ubisoft was selling 12 million Assassin's Creeds, and was rather vocal about its "need" to move Splinter Cell closer to the popularity of its crown jewel. The results were, as always, painfully predictable. As Square Enix made it abundantly clear (as if that somehow wasn't clear enough), set ludicrously unreasonable targets and you will "fail" every time.

I wonder what those elusive targets for both games were. Rayman Legends sold 20% more than its predecessor, at least in the UK. Given that Origins bombed, that hardly meant it was a hit, but it does mean that it grew the audience. How much more was Ubisoft expecting? 4 million sales maybe? What about Blacklist? The previous game sold "only" 2 million copies, but this one was charged with starting to catch up with Assassin's Creed. What does that mean? 6 million?

I'm curious to see what "failure" meant for these games. Did they truly bomb, or do they belong to the Square Enix School of Failure? Regardless, it seems bloated expectations and a boneheaded publisher may have killed/put on a long hiatus/ensured the next will be mobile/F2P only yet more beloved franchises. Again.

Will it ever end?








This is something I have sometimes wondered, but the question has been coming up more and more often. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, game writing, such as reviews, were mostly limited to the games themselves. Fun factor, gameplay mechanics, etc, but those days are long gone. Now, even "simple" game reviews tend to include philosophical, social or cultural commentary, for better or worse. Mind you, I'm not lamenting the death of the "good old days" (which are rarely as good as we remember them) or anything, I'm just stating how things are.

I've always felt a certain disconnect from game critics, but now that feeling is stronger than ever. When I read an article or game review, I'm often amazed by just how much difference there is between my experience and the writer's. I don't mean different opinions, that's to be expected, I'm referring to all the "deep" stuff writers see that I completely miss. They'll throw around big words like "Ludonarrative dissonance", say stuff like "the game is self-aware", "takes itself too seriously", "developer X attempted to do this and that", and make grand political, cultural, social or philosophical analyses (these days, some reviewers, who are keenly aware of the power of Metacritic no matter how much they stick their heads in the sand and scream OPINION, are even punishing games that don't respect their particular cultural mandates), and I'm like "duuude/dudeeeette... I loved/hated the game, but I totally didn't see most of that". 

Take Leigh Alexander and her famous GTA V articles, some of which are quite good (yes, I don't really respect her or what she's trying to do. Yes, I think she's exclusionary and vindictive, and she constantly and proudly reinforces that. No, that doesn't mean I have to hate her or everything she does. Imagine that!). A recurring theme is how GTA used to be transgressive, liberating, bold, a "deft protest against moral panic", and now it's trapped in the status quo, kinda like its creators, old white men desperately trying (and failing) to be cool again.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I was robbing banks and driving around in San Andreas or GTA IV (the only ones I've played so far), "moral panic" or "status quo" were the very last things that came to my mind, I was merely enjoying the show. Again, I'm not attacking her thoughts on GTA, some of which are rather interesting to read, I'm just expressing how disconnected I feel from them.

This is just one example of many, and I see them all the time. As I should. Game critics are paid to overthink videogames. That's their job, and something enough of us demand, or there wouldn't be any. But does that have an adverse effect on their enjoyment of videogames? Can they have the same simple, unencumbered fun us regular games have if they are always overthinking, criticizing, analyzing and deconstructing? And if not, can they truly relate to us?

I think... maybe, I'm not sure. What I do know is that the feeling of disconnect I have, like there's "us" and then there's "them", is more common than ever. Do you guys feel the same? What are your thoughts on this, if any?







CaimDark
10:41 AM on 10.10.2013

Yesterday I finished Dead Space 3, and most likely bid farewell to Isaac Clarke and his Necromorph friends, thanks to EA's attempt to broaden the audience, because lord knows modern games absolutely cannot survive with anything less than five million sales.

The results were entirely predictable, which just might have permanently killed the series, which is a a crying shame. After being put off by all the crap EA pulled and only playing it thanks to the $1 Humble Bundle, it turns out that, despite EA's best efforts, the game was still good.


That's so meta!

Somehow, it still felt like a Dead Space game. The dreaded shooty bits were few and far between, and it took me nearly 20 hours to finish, a respectable length. More than once I felt like the game was about to end, only to be greeted with several more chapters. I didn't play the coop, and the fact the game was designed for it sometimes led to jarring scenes, but most of the time it was a non-factor.

There are problems, of course. The worst offender is, you guessed it, the microtransactions. Not so much that they exist, but how they are implemented. It's not even that the game is designed around pushing the player towards them: much to my surprise, that's not the case. The game is generous with resources and items (too generous, in fact, which is in itself problematic. In the latter half of the game I had dozens of medpacks and rows of ammo, essentially making me immortal and pretty much killing any pretense of "survival horror") and eventually I had more than I knew what to do with it.


Way to kill the mood.

No, my main problem is that they are in your face and constantly take you out of the experience. Every time you try to craft something you don't have all the resources for, the game reminds you that you can just buy them. When I play a game like Dead Space, I like to pretend that I'm the character and I'm "in the game". While some mock the idea of immersion, it's an important part of gaming to me, and I can easily suspend my disbelief to maintain the fantasy while it lasts, as long as the game doesn't get too much in the way. Being regularly reminded I can buy stuff with €€€€€ just kills the atmosphere. If the microtransactions were exactly the same, but instead of getting constant in-game prompts the advertising was limited to the main menu, I might have barely noticed them. I'd still have a few minor complaints, like the lame universal ammo system (a casualty of the microtransactions), but nothing major.

Which begs the question: sure, Dead Space 3 was never going to sell 5 million copies no matter how delusional EA execs were, but could it have outsold Dead Space 2 (aka "broadened the audience") if EA hadn't done such a thorough job of alienating the fanbase? We'll never know, but it's possible.


Pictured: wider audience not playing Dead Space.

Conventional wisdom says that public outrage doesn't matter, that when push comes to shove consumers will buy whatever crap is put in front of them. While I have at times shared that view, now I don't think it's quite so clear cut. The Xbone is the obvious example, but it goes beyond that. Despite EA's ambitions, Dead Space is still a small brand. It is not even close to Resident Evil's league (itself a big name but far from the GTAs of the world), where failure looks like 5 million copies. I'd say it's a safe bet that the vast majority of Dead Space 3 players are people like us, enthusiast gamers who closely follow the industry, spread the word and know Hideo Kojima's birthday (come to think of it, I actually don't, but you get the point!), and that is precisely the audience that loathes EA shenanigans so much. Once your brand reaches a certain level of success, sure, maybe you can release "Call of Duty: Hello Kitty Edition" and still sell 10 million copies, but first you have to get there. And you don't do that by doing what EA did with Dead Space.

Take Call of Duty, for instance, the One Standard To Rule Them All. It is easy to forget now, but Call of Duty was once "just" a successful game selling two or three million copies. And they built the audience they have now over several years by consistently delivering the game their players wanted. Back then, the market was saturated with WW2 shooters, and GTA was far and away the biggest third-party success story. Did Activision go "hey, look at how much GTA is selling. Quick, make CoD open world!"? No. Modern Warfare, which catapulted CoD into what it is today, was never meant to appeal to people who don't like shooters.

And why oh why does Dead Space need 5 million sales to "survive"? For the love god, why? Take Capcom, for example They get a lot of hate, much of it deserved, but to their credit they haven't gone batshit crazy with their sales targets. Take a look at the targets for their latest big games:

Resident Evil 6: 7 million
DmC: 2 million
Lost Planet 3: 1.3 million
Monster Hunter 4: 2.8 million

But, but, but, look at that ridiculous Resident Evil target!! Let's get that out of the way: there was nothing unrealistic about expecting Resident Evil 6 to sell 7 million copies, just as it's perfectly normal to expect GTA V to sell over 20 million. Resident Evil 5 sold 6 million, and had RE6 been as well received as its predecessor, it would likely have sold even more than 7 million. All the other targets are rather modest by today's standards.

Now, consider Lost Planet 3. I still haven't played it, I intend to, but from what I've seen it's a high-budget production, easily matching Dead Space 3 in production values and scope. Last I checked, Capcom's goal wasn't to lose money, so it's unlikely they would forecast 1.3 million sales for Lost Planet 3 AND greenlight the game if that number wasn't a profitable number, even if just modestly. So why oh why can't Dead Space "survive" without 5 million sales?

Or Sleeping Dogs, a fantastic looking open-world game with a huge scale (or so I heard). Square expected to sell slightly over 2 million copies, a somewhat modest target for a game of such scale. The game initially didn't sell as much, but Square has since gone on the record to say it had turned a profit. So, for the love of all the gaming gods, why the bloody hell does Dead Space need 5 million to "survive"?

To be clear, I don't buy the fantasy that every game that sells more than a million copies should automatically be considered an unqualified success, much less some of the ludicrous comparisons to indies ("look, indie game X sold 50k and was successful, lol EA!). Games like GTA and Skyrim cost big bucks to make, and whether gamers admit it or not, all that beautiful, expensive coat of pain is a big part of their appeal. Such games wouldn't be viable if they only sold a million or two.

Regardless, we see again and again that the "5 million" mantra for something like Dead Space just doesn't add up, and it's a crying shame that such a promising series is dying an early death thanks to publisher cluelessness.

R.I.P, my friend. You will be missed.








Who wants inclusivity in games? You'd think most people, particularly those loudly advocating for it. When this started to become a prominent part of online game communities, I welcomed it, and happily engaged in the debate. But soon, not only was the whole thing hijacked by opportunists from all corners, it started to become clear too many of those advocating inclusivity aren't really that much more inclusive or less hateful than, say, the famous straight male who believes Bioware romances should be catered solely to him, and to him alone. Yesterday, I decided I'm done. Finding honest, interesting conversations with people who are truly more interested in the issues themselves rather than in destroying their enemies is just too much trouble, feels increasingly pointless, and I want no part of this anymore.

While casually surfing the ethernet waves yesterday, I stumbled upon Leigh Alexander's website. I recognized the name from Gamasutra, so I stuck around for a bit. Guess what the top post was about? You get a dickwolf shirt if you guess it right.

The little I knew of Lee's work had already given me the impression her idea of inclusivity, like many others', was really about getting rid of the types of people she disapproves, but I had no idea how right I was. Here's a passage from a FAQ on her webpage:


"The fact you got a Game Boy for Christmas and liked it so much you stopped doing anything else doesn’t entitle you to a revolution. Your fandom is not your identity. Your fandom is not a race.

If you think it is, then you’re in our way, and the work I do specifically exists to dispossess you of your sense of relevance. If you don’t like it, good. I’m much louder than you. And we have an army.

Hmm, that’s a lot of stuff, there. And not all of it applies to me. And I’m not sure if I agree with you. Can we discuss?

No. Be quiet and listen for once.

Don’t you think being friendly is better than being sharp?

Ah, yes. The many revolutions that were won by smiling and not being negative.


In her own words: her work exists specifically to dispossess people she despises from their sense of relevance and to get them "out of the way". They are not entitled to a revolution, whatever that means, but she is. This is what passes for "advocating for inclusivity" these days.

Part of her army is Elizabeth Sampat, to whom she links in her piece about never going PAX. If you guess what is the top post on Elizabeth's site, you get an exclusive dickwolves miniskirt. The title alone, "Quit Fucking Going To PAX Already, What Is Wrong With You", already gives you an idea of what to expect.

Read the whole piece if you feel like it, it's interesting in its own way. If you don't feel like it, here are some choice highlights from this inclusion activist:


"And today, on stage at PAX, Mike publicly stated the one fucking thing that PA ever did right— removing the Dickwolves merchandise— was a mistake".

"A place where the owners can say “We should have continued to profit off of the suffering of others”.

"But sometimes the consequence (of going to PAX) is that people will think less of you. People who would otherwise care about you and think that you’re an okay person will look at you in a different way because of the choices that you make in your life, and that’s okay. And if you choose to continue to go to PAX, that will happen."

"The money still puts food on the table of someone who apologized for voicing his opinion that trans women aren’t women without ever acknowledging their gender identities. The pass you purchased helps a rape apologist sleep a little better at night."


Guys, Mike Krahulik is not just a jerk/asshole/idiot/insensitive/impulsive, or whatever it is you think of him or his handling of the Dickwolves fallout. He's a freaking rape apologist. He profits off of the suffering of others. It doesn't matter that his company raises millions for charity, removing the Dickwolves merchandise is the one fucking thing PA ever did right. He must be destroyed, shattered to pieces, food stripped from his table and withheld until he starves to death, and you better not have any association whatsoever with him or anything he touches. Or else. 

This is what passes for inclusivity these days.

I've had enough. I'm glad self-proclaimed critics with the loudest voices such as these two have such an inflated sense of their actual power and influence. PAX is bigger than ever, and their first international debut was a smashing success. All the rivers of words have done very little to alter gaming besides token PR gestures, like removing the torture scene from Splinter Cell or the implied sexual assault in Hotline Miami 2 (off-topic: what the hell are developers expecting to achieve when they add such scenes to out of context demos months before release? Back on topic...) or Bungie inviting Sarkeesian (remember her?) to teach them about women.

Leigh and Elizabeth are by no means the only two who behave that way, I just used them as examples because they are the ones I stumbled upon last night, and they are so transparent about their venom. There are inclusion and -isms issues with games and the community, but this isn't about inclusion or equality. It's about replacing and destroying. Like a Destructoid commenter I don't recall the name put it, "how can such a large group of people be so fundamentally right and yet be so awful about it". Enough is enough. I'm done enabling this game. The enthusiasm I once felt for such a potentially rich and interesting conversation is all but gone. And that's a shame.








It's that time of the year when we all share with the world what we learned while... doing stuff. Joshua Derocher shared with us what he learned about moro, er, normal people while working retail, while CrackedBat taught us what he learned about retail employees while shopping. Now it's my turn to share with you valuable knowledge, gleamed at great personal risk, that I amassed while dealing with that most insidious of creatures... the game critic!




Those Who Criticize For a Living Hate Being Criticized Themselves

The dismissive reaction to readers who dare to question a critic's behavior has been apparent for sometime, but it all came to a head thanks to then unknown Lauren Wainwright. Short version: Eurogamer wrote an article questioning some "journalistic" practices. One of those featured in the piece was Wainwright, who took offense to it, and threatened libel. Eurogamer, being based in the UK, a place where libel laws are so insane they gave birth to a monstrosity called libel tourism, backed down. Riots ensued, reporters everywhere took up arms and marched to the trenches, with many defending Wainwright, others ashamed of the embarrassment they were bringing upon their profession, but none were able to simply keep "sticking our heads in the sand and dismissing as drama", as Ben Kuchera put it, and all were forced to finally confront the issues at hand. In the end, once it became clear that shit hit the fan and it was going in their direction, Wainwright's employer quickly threw her under the bus.

It was fascinating to watch, in no small part because gamers had been leveling much of the same criticism at the press, but only when it came from the inside did they finally pay attention. In the end, though, a healthy, if dramatic, debate took place, and we're all the better for it.



They Admit The Current Business Model Pushes Them Towards Clickbaits, But Don't You Dare Call Them Out For It

In the past year, many websites have started trying to draw our attention to the epidemic of Adblock. They support themselves solely through ads, too many of us are blocking their ads, something's gotta give eventually. Thus, websites have started writing about it, in the hopes of persuading us to disable Adblock, or even, in the case of Destructoid, launching an alternative revenue model (one I supported. I'm HUGE, baby!).

In their pleas for us to buy the subscription or disable adblock, they will often bring up how the current model all but forces them towards click-bait stuff. In his HUGE pitch, Niero writes:

With members' support we can pump the breaks on trying to load up quick-hit galleries and build more long-form interesting content about the biggest stories in gaming: the investigative, humorous, and critical work you really come here for.


Sometimes they even write entire articles about the clickbait part of the business. But when we see something we feel is obviously clickbait and call them out for it, oh no. That's ridiculous! LOL, look at the entitled gamers whining again!

They Can Be Just As Arrogant And Shady As Any EA

Remember Gerstmann-gate, when Gamespot's reviewer was fired after he gave Kane And Lynch a bad review and Eidos threatened to pull advertising? Oh, and the review was edited afterwards. You know, kinda like that laughable tinfoil conspiracy theory that could only possibly happen in the heads of crazed, entitled fanboys. Or the Annoyed Gamer outburst? No, not the part Fish cancels Fez and quits the industry. That's entirely on him. I mean the part the Annoyed Gamer tells websites that didn't get the comment they wanted from Fish and Jonathan Blow to boycott them going forward.

AAA publishers may be shady, but the press that reports on them, as an entity, is not inherently better, and can be just as bad. Neither is above throwing their weight around if they feel they can get away with it.

They Have a Hard Time Connecting With The Average Joe Gamer

There's a crucial difference between "us" and "them": we pay for our games, they do not. They even get paid to play them, would you believe it?!? This isn't a bad or evil thing, mind you, it's necessary. Games are, after all, the tools of their jobs. If police officers were required to pay for their own body armor, weapons and ammo, criminals would rule the world, because there wouldn't be any police.

However, I've always felt that this changes their relationship with gaming, and often generates a disconnect between them and the average consumer. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the discussion about games and length. While gamers who buy their own games still overwhelmingly take into account how much bang they are getting for their buck, professional critics who do not are becoming ever more dismissive of considering length when judging a game (as an IGN editor put it once, "as if games were lightbulbs"), and even hostile towards gamers who do so.



Activision Bribed Every Single One Of Them To Like Call Of Duty

Not really, but I just had to say it, amirite? I could go on a bit more, but I know you idiots judge blogs and lightbulbs by the same standards, so I'd better not make it too long. What about you, fine Dtoiders? What awesome insights have you learned while scientifically studying this most peculiar of creatures, the game critic?