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9:30 AM on 07.10.2013

Xbox Live price hike arriving with dashboard update

[Update: Microsoft has issued a statement about the pricing inconsistencies to Xbox One Daily. "We are aware that select regions experienced some incorrect game title pricing in the Xbox Live beta. This was an unintended erro...

Jim Sterling


8:00 PM on 04.20.2013

Dungeons & Dragons destroys peoples lives

Crazy alert: radical TV preacher Pat Robertson is at it again. In a new video aimed at warning the world of hidden evils, Robertson asserts that Dungeons & Dragons is a "demonic" videogame. In previous discussions throug...

Taylor Stein



Capcom's plotting a DLC avalanche photo
Capcom's plotting a DLC avalanche
by Jim Sterling

Like most "AAA" publishers, Capcom is finding itself in a market no longer capable of meeting its extravagant financial expectations. At a time where even a game selling five million copies is considered a failure, the company has one answer -- an avalanche of DLC!

Capcom's forecast revisions are centered around an upgraded downloadable content strategy, to the point where it's no longer interested in making games that can't offer buckets of extra stuff sold piecemeal. It reports that it's "strictly re-evaluated" projects currently in progress, in order to have them comply with this new plan. 

Indeed, the company has placed the blame for its recent underperformance entirely at the feet of its slow adoption of the "digital contents market," which is ironic when you consider how lambasted the company is for adopting that market so shamelessly

The company also noted that outsourcing games to Western developers hasn't been helping either, and aims to keep projects more internal from now on. 

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Ubisoft thinks audience is ready for always-on consoles photo
Ubisoft thinks audience is ready for always-on consoles
by Jim Sterling

Despite the massive outrage sparked by ex-Microsoft employee Adam Orth and his suggestions we'll have to "deal" with an always-online console, Ubisoft thinks the game buying public will be just fine with it. Responding to questions regarding a DRM-locked Next Xbox or PS4, Ubi Montreal's CEO was casually in favor. 

"Well, that's a question you should put to Microsoft and Sony," said Yannis Mallat in a Guardian interview. "I would say that a lot of people are already always online through other devices -- I would suspect that the audience is ready."

Yallat's reasoning echoes that of Orth and other supporters of a hypothetical "always-on" console -- most electronics are online a lot, therefore it's not a problem if a home console demands a persistent Internet connection. Of course, the reality is a lot more complex than that, but industry spokespeople don't seem to like acknowledging that.  

I don't think it's even a case of whether or not the audience is ready. I don't think the game industry is ready. I don't think most countries' broadband infrastructures are ready. The practicalities of real life make this whole thing a bad idea, without needing to factor in what the audience wants ... and I don't think the audience wants it either. 

Ubisoft Montreal CEO: next-gen consoles will blur all the lines and create new ways to play [Guardian]

view full story + comments


10:00 AM on 04.03.2013

EA: customers want freemium games, so shut up

Electronic Arts has justified its blind charge into the free-to-play market by suggesting that, though the ever-classic "vocal minority" dislikes such games, everybody else loves them. Upset about the restructuring of games l...

Jim Sterling



Sony patents method of blocking used games from working photo
Sony patents method of blocking used games from working
by Jim Sterling

We're only a few days into 2013, but Sony's already vying for the Asshole of the Year award in a competitive fashion. It's been discovered that the company has patented a method of "tagging" games played on multiple systems, with the purpose of trying to control secondhand sales.

"According to the present embodiment, realized is the electronic content processing system that reliably restricts the use of electronic content dealt in the second-hand markets," reads the patent. "As a result, the dealing of electronic content in the second-hand markets is suppressed, which in turn supports the redistribution of part of proceeds from sales of the electronic content to the developers."

The next PlayStation was rumored to be looking into ways of blocking used sales, though boss-man Jack Tretton has said he'd be against the idea. A patent, of course, is no proof that anything like this would actually happen -- it's just Sony sitting on an idea in case it or anybody else does want to do it eventually. 

Even so, the very idea of this, along with the thought that people want to implement it, disgusts me entirely. It speaks of the cowardice that dominates this industry -- the desperation to control consumers at every level, rather than face the scary prospect of actually having to work to gain their loyalty and money.

I don't think even Sony is suicidal enough to use this idea at the moment, but I'm no less disgusted with it for dreaming it up in the first place. 

[Via NeoGAF]

view full story + comments




The top demony demons to have done demon stuff in games photo
The top demony demons to have done demon stuff in games
by Jim Sterling

If you're anything like me, you're a devil worshipper. 

There's just something glorious about a truly demonic demon, one that embodies the spirit of the classics -- a big, red, horny, behooved, gleefully evil beast-man from the flaming depths of Hell. Who doesn't love demons? Well, Christians, I suppose. Some of them, anyway. 

Videogames have all sorts of demons, but only a few of them are proper demony demons. The kind of demon you can look at and say, "That sure is a demon!" These are the demons that you think of when you think of demon stuff, which I do pretty much all of the time. 

Here are the best ones. 

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11:30 AM on 08.13.2012

Study names GameStop the 10th worst workplace in America

Glassdoor, an analyst firm that lets employees rate their employers, has published study results labeling GameStop the tenth worst place to work in America. Of course, anybody who has ever been in one can report on the dead, ...

Jim Sterling



EA suing Zynga over copyright infringement  photo
EA suing Zynga over copyright infringement
by Jim Sterling

Electronic Arts has announced that it will be twisting the knife into the beleaguered Zynga by taking it to court -- suing the trouble company over its new social game, The Ville. EA alleges that The Ville is a rip-off of The Sims Social. Man, we knew EA was gunning for Zynga, but they brought out the cannons now.

"The core legal issue is our belief that Zynga infringed copyrights to our game, The Sims Social," wrote EA.  "In legal terms, our claim is that Zynga copied the original and distinctive expressive elements of The Sims Social in a clear violation of the U.S. copyright laws.

"The legal reasons are solid. But for creative teams who feel that their hard work and imaginations have been ripped off, there’s obviously an emotional element too."

The full allegation can be read here, as Maxis manager Lucy Bradshaw attempts to garner sympathy in what can only be described as the villain face-off of the century. Seriously, Electronic Arts versus Zynga. What next? Two pedophiles having a fistfight? 

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3:00 PM on 06.18.2012

Jimquisition: Why do people hate EA?

Recently, IGN asked EA why people hate EA in an article that seemed designed to dismiss any actual reasons for people hating EA. Hardly surprising, since EA was the one being interviewed about the hate for EA. Looking to set...

Jim Sterling

12:00 PM on 05.11.2012

EA kills free Battlefield 3 servers, pushes paid ones

Electronic Arts has yanked a large number of official DICE and EA servers for Battlefield 3's multiplayer modes on PS3 and Xbox 360, leaving mostly privately rented servers in its place. For those wondering, EA's been leasing...

Jim Sterling





9:00 AM on 05.07.2012

Battlefront 3 killed by 'psychopaths' at LucasArts

Free Radical co-founders David Doak and Steve Ellis and former audio director Graeme Norgate have been chatting to Eurogamer about Star Wars: Battlefront 3, revealing the chain of unsavory events that led to its cancella...

Jim Sterling

11:00 AM on 05.03.2012

Notch: EA is methodically destroying gaming

Minecraft developer Markus "Notch" Persson is angry at Electronic Arts for exploiting the concept of the indie bundle, expressing his distaste for the company's self-made association with independent developers. According to ...

Jim Sterling

10:00 AM on 02.03.2012

EA loves COD Elite, wants more subscriptions in games

Electronic Arts has been loving the idea of turning games into ongoing "services" for a while, and it appears to be drawing a lot of inspiration from Activision's Call of Duty Elite. Praising the rival's service, CEO John Ric...

Jim Sterling



Zynga rips off Tiny Tower, gets called out by devs photo
Zynga rips off Tiny Tower, gets called out by devs
by Jim Sterling

Zynga appears to have given up on copying its own games over and over, and has moved on to the straightforward plagiarizing of other peoples' work. Dream Heights is Tiny Tower to the core, the only difference being Zynga's inferior artistic direction. 

Tiny Tower's developer, Nimblebit, has noticed the similarities and called out the 2,789-strong company in a wonderfully sarcastic way. 

Zynga's relatively short history already has a laundry list of legal tussles relating to intellectual property rights, seeing it on both the defense and offense. Like many successful game companies, it will protect its own rights doggedly, but has no problem shamelessly copying everybody else. Apparently that's how you get ahead. 

Stay classy, Zynga!

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3:00 PM on 01.23.2012

Jimquisition: Piracy Episode 1 - Copyright

Piracy is one of those issues that will absolutely never die, like the secrets of the Bermuda Triangle or the truth of the Zelda Timeline. I have always had a set view on piracy -- it's not the worst crime in the world, but ...

Jim Sterling