Hey, do you like indie games? Are you in or around London on May 14? Do you fancy hearing talks from the likes of Paul-Kilduff-Taylor from Mode7 (Frozen Cortex) and playing a bunch of indie games? How about swapping assets wi... read
Do you like indie games? What about beautiful hand-sculpted architecture? What about the thought of the two combined? Yes, such a wondrous combination of things is possible, particularly if you're going to be in or around Vie... read
The Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo is one of Canada's biggest gaming, film, television, gaming, comics and "geek culture" events, drawing celebrities, panelists, and events from all over the world. This year, it wa... read
PAX East 2015 is happening RIGHT NOW! And just like years past, the Destructoid community is there in a big, big way.
Did you make the trek to Boston this year? Then check out our daily meetup schedule below! And be sure to j... read
When I think of the D.I.C.E. Awards, I'll remember montage guy, now and forever.
I wasn't around to see if any similar unscripted hilarity took place at this year's show, but I did catch that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor to... read
Jan 21 //
Videogame journalists are the biggest nerds in the world
This may seem like an unrelated point, but it's important to start this off by identifying who we're dealing with here. Nerds. Huge fucking nerds.
What do I mean by nerd? A lot of things, but the two key points for now are 1) nerds care about shit that is completely unimportant to everyone else, and 2) nerds want other people to see how important this unimportant shit actually is. A nerd is a guy who can't help spend hours trying to convince his loathing in-laws that The Game Grumps are way funnier than Mel Brooks. A nerd is a girl who sits you down in the middle of a hurricane and babbles about how the latest Legend of Zelda game completely sucks compared to the prior, nearly identical Legend of Zelda game. A nerd is in their own world. A nerd wants you to be in that world with them.
I'm not saying there is anything wrong or right about being a nerd. It's just a thing. Some nerds take pride in being nerds, and they tend to be the most annoying of their breed. Other nerds are ashamed of being nerds, which is also pretty fucking annoying. Videogame journalists tend to do both at the same time, which makes them doubly annoying, and triple susceptible to manipulation.
A nerd wants to be understood, to be validated, to have their peers finally "get" how fucking amazing Buffy the Vampire Slayer is. They want to be honored for their ability to immerse themselves in banal, worthless shit. They want to get paid for it too, because who wouldn't? This is the portrait of a "videogame journalist," a writer who might as well be wearing clown shoes and a t-shirt that has "deluded asshole" written on it in big rainbow lettering, should they ever talk to actual, real-life journalists about their jobs. "I just wrote a hot exposé on how how the guy who made Gears of War got tops scores in Mario growing up, where the fuck is my Pulitzer?" they cry, alone at the journalism party, wondering why every other journalist in the world can't make eye contact with them without laughing or turning away in sympathetic embarrassment.
AAA publishers are well aware of what they're dealing with here. They know that videogame "journalists" are the biggest fucking nerds in the world, and they have spent millions of dollars on turning this situation to their advantage.
Food, folks, and fun
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that videogame "journalists" are all totally fucking poor. I don't know how much the staff at Destructoid get, but I'd bet they don't make much more than your average McDonald's manager. I don't just mean the frontline writers either. I mean the bosses too. Unless you're one in the unknown guys in the way back, sitting pretty at one of the big-money parent companies that pull the strings of the game blogs you read, chances are you're poor as fuck.
So you're a multi-billion dollar company and you have a group of "journalists" in front of you who are totally financially bankrupt and aren't respected by anyone in the world except for their videogame loving "fans." Metacritic makes or breaks games these days, and some game blogs are read in the millions, so you know you need to get these fucking nerds on your side somehow. But how can you do that, other than by making actually good videogames? That's really fucking hard, right? Isn't there an easier way to win them over? Like any business transaction, you have to look at what you have that the other side wants, and vice versa. From there, you concoct a deal that will leave you richer and the other guy poorer.
Videogame "journalists" have the one thing that AAA publishers can never have, but I'm not quite sure what the word for it is. I don't want to go as far as to say "integrity," but it's something in that ballpark. Multi-billion dollar publishers will always look like car salesmen to consumers. Some are more likable car salesmen than others, but we all know that all they want is for us to "shut up and give them our money." In fact, I have it on good authority that it was a corporate shill who created that meme. Nothing like memes to create a culture where buying shit makes you feel like a funny guy that's super popular on the Internet. But back to the point.
Though they often fail at it, the game "journalist" has the potential to be seen as something more noble than a car salesmen. In theory, they are someone who tells the honest truth about videogames, despite the fact that they get paid shit and are mocked by real journalists for choosing that path. It's a path they can't help but fall into, and can't usually crawl out of either. They can't help but care about videogames and the people who play them. I'd call it "honorable" if it weren't so fucking stupid. Either way, it's an image that AAA publishers can only dream about having.
So if you are a multi-billion-dollar game publisher, these borderline "honorable" people are who you want to buy, but the irony is, buying them would ruin them for you. If you put them on the payroll then *POOF*, cherry popped, and with it any illusion of honesty and integrity. That's counterproductive. That's scrubbing your toilet with shit-scented soap. So instead of buying game "journalists" directly, you have to work them sideways. You have to win their affection, to get them to feel instead of think. To do that, you have to feed them the things that they're missing -- acceptance, a sense of importance, and often times, actual food.
Ask your average San Francisco-area game journalist how many fancy parties they were invited to by AAA game publishers last month, and they'll likely be unable to tell you off hand because there were too many to keep track of. All of these parties are well-catered with fancy food and free drinks. They are almost all held at trendy clubs, complete with stylish DJs playing cutting-edge music. Young, attractive PR people work the "press party," playing the role of "professional friends." They'll smile and joke and hang out with the "journalists" as they drunkenly play some half-finished, totally mediocre, risk-free AAA videogame. Maybe they'll get drunk and make out with the attractive PR people later on. Maybe the game being previewed at that party will get a 9/10 by that writer later in the year. Maybe that happens with every goddamn over-hyped annual AAA game release in the history of AAA game releases. Maybe it's been going on for years.
And that's just the tip of the iceberg. That's not even getting into "review events" where journalists are flown to exotic locations, fed even fancier food, and basically treated like kings for the entirety of a long weekend, before returning home to their shitty studio apartments and nightly ramen-noodle dinners. That's not touching E3, a trade show disguised as a press event where AAA publishers make an economy out of swag and "insider" game screenings, parties, and press conferences, where journalists are trained to measure their worth by how close they were able to get to certain "important" games and publishers, and not by how thoughtful and unbiased their coverage is.
This lists go on and on, and nothing on the list has ever been a secret. Like that giant gas pipe with "DANGER" written in bling all over it, all this unethical bullshit is hiding in plain site since the dawn of the game industry. Capcom even used to advertise its "CAPtivate" event on its own blog, despite the fact that it was basically a giant trip to Hawaii it bought for game "journalists." There was no GamerGate-style hashtag to complain about it either. That's right, gamers weren't worried at all about collusion and conflicts of interests at all back when Capcom took all of the most-read game bloggers in the world on a fucking group vacation to Hawaii. I guess gamers in those days were too busy fretting over the fact that some blog might have given a game they liked an 8 instead of a 9, or some other such bullshit that they've been trained to think is important. Good thing those days are over, right guys?
If anything, gamers seemed to think that CAPtivate was cool. It probably gave them hope. If they became game journalist someday, they too could hangout with women who were paid to pretend to like them and get free food and basically be allowed to remain children forever. That's "living the dream" for many people. I know it was my dream for a while, until I woke the fuck up. Now I see that we've created a culture where the rich, popular kids occasionally ask the biggest nerds in the world for help with their homework, and in exchange they let the nerds sit at the "cool" table at lunch for a day. But just for a day. Then it's back to the fucking nerd hole with the lot of them. Even worse, everyone involved seems totally OK with maintaining this practice as the status quo.
That's fucked up.
So why is everyone OK with it?
Part of why everyone's OK with it is that everyone either feels like they benefit from it, or they feel powerless to stop it. AAA publishers get their coverage, game blogs get views and free vacations, and game blog readers get to read about the games that they've been convinced are "hardcore" and "important" by the other two groups. The consumer is having their wallets stolen from them as AAA publishers look them straight in the eye and say "I'm doing you a favor," and god fucking damn it, the average consumer seems to believe them. Why else would broken, bland shit like Destiny be one of the best-selling games of 2014?
As for the "journalists," they just look on at the crime and say "Well, that's just how the system works. Guess I'll just shrug my shoulders and obey this review embargo. Wouldn't want to lose my job! Wouldn't want to get my dick cut off by Activision! Gotta keep your dick around, even if the only thing you get to use it for is pissing out press releases and jerking off to the idea that you're doing something worthwhile with your life."
And in the face of all this, thousands of people think that some poor, no-name game developer fucking some poor, no-name game "journalist" are the root of the ethical issues in "game journalism"? Are you for fucking real?
Of course you're not for fucking real. You're a smokescreen, obviously.
I know that certain parties at certain AAA game publishers are fucking thrilled with GamerGate, and have actively worked to keep that shitstorm going under anonymous accounts, not unlike this one that I'm using right now. And why wouldn't they? GamerGate distracts from the real ethical issues in game journalism while bringing hits to the blogs that are basically working as unpaid PR for whatever cookie-cutter, "must-have" game of the week that they're hocking that day. It inflates the importance of game bloggers, and as a result, the importance of the games they blog about. 99% of the time, that's one of their games.
GamerGate also works to discredit the people who are scariest to AAA publishers; critics like Anita Sarkeesian who have managed to get their voices heard while remaining outside of the AAA PR ecosystem. Capcom can't fly Anita out to Hawaii and try to win her over. They can't slap a review embargo on her. She doing just fine without having to get involved with "hype-trains" or review events. She might be shitty at her job, but she's still an honest-to-God game critic, and that scares the fuck out of AAA publishers.
Equally scary are game developers who don't need AAA publishers to find their audience. Minecraft is their fucking worst nightmare, but it was too big to kill so they had to buy it. It's buy, sell, or kill with them, just like it is with all pimps. Those are the only services a pimp can provide. If they catch a girl who looks like she could live without a pimp, you can bet they'll do their best to swat her down, to make an example of her.
You wonder why no AAA publishers came to the aid of the game developers who are getting chased out of their homes by identity theft and death threats? It's because they are happy to see it happen. They are happy to see anyone who dared to work the streets without a pimp get shanked. But hopefully you're not happy with it. Hopefully you're not happy with people who are getting paid multi-million-dollar salaries to further a system where the shit trickles down from the top and lands squarely on your face. Hopefully you want to do something about it.
I've been trained do as I'm told so please tell me what to do, anonymous stranger!
If you insist.
First of all, let go of that goddamn fucking bullshit GamerGate hashtag. It makes you look like an idiot at best, a fucking stalker at worst. Start a new hashtag. Try #GameBoycott. Use it to identify games or game consoles that were presented to game "journalists" for coverage at fancy parties where they were given free stuff and other attempted buy-offs. Try that for a change, instead of spinning your wheels with dumbass witch hunts and obsessive nitpicking. Stop getting mad at the dog for farting and do something about the giant gas pipe in your kitchen.
I'll even give you a head start. I heard that Nintendo threw a big surprise party for game "journalists" last week where they were all fed free expensive food and given a "gift bag" that included a New 3DS and a bunch of games and shit. I think it's fair to call that an attempted buy-off. If you agree, boycott the New 3DS, and make some noise about it. Show Nintendo that you won't tolerate those kinds of business practices. Show them that you don't appreciate their efforts to buy the affection of nerds with really expensive gifts and fake friendship, regardless if those nerds are on the "consumer" or the "journalist" side of the equation.
Your money is the only thing they care about. If you want game "journalism" to be more ethical, you've got to go after the AAA publishers running the show. Trying to kill the blogs that write about their games won't help. If one dies, two more will just pop up in their place. Instead, reward the blogs who are up front about what AAA publishers are doing, and avoid the rest. Don't lose focus. Don't fall for smokescreens. Be consistent in your efforts to fuck with the secret AAA douchebags who are really in control, the guys smiling in the shadows as they wipe their asses with your hard-earned money. I know these guys personally, and trust me, they deserve to be fucked with.
[Disclaimer: The views and opinions of The Badger do not necessarily reflect those of Destructoid.com. They do make some interesting points, though.]
Because you apparently can't figure it out on your own [Note: The Badger could be anyone -- a game developer, a member of the gaming press, even a writer for another game blog. They could be just one person or multiple people. You'll probably never find out who they really are, w... read feature
The roster for this year's Evolution Championship Series has been announced.
EVO 2015, the largest fighting game tournament in the world, will feature: Ultra Street Fighter IV, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Smash B... read
If you're too late, just stare at this picture for a while
// Jordan Devore
Passes for PAX East are on sale! Get in here while you still can.
The show takes place at the Boston Convention Center the weekend of Friday, March 6, 2015. Tickets are $45 for a single-day badge and $95 for a three-day badge. Scalpers be damned.
I've never made it out to Boston, but I'd like to go, one day. The weather that time of year, though! read
The list of new Nintendo independent games to be shown at IndieCade that we received this morning? Great. Great news. But I'm more hung up on the title of the press email that Nintendo sent out:
Nintendo Showcases Prolific &... read
There it is, ladies and gentlemen: your PAX Prime 2014 Dtoid group photo! It wasn't as big of a showing this year -- thanks a lot, PAX-tickets-that-sell-out-in-42-seconds -- but it sure was a pretty one. I know I say this eve... read
We don't attend videogame trade shows for their "PR impact," but it is interesting to hear that gamescom is gaining on E3 as far as that measurement is concerned. Analytics company ICO Partners says that the European event is... read
[Update: Our big party is tonight! Hope to see you there!]
PAX Prime 2014 is happening right now!
We're armed to the teeth with meetups scheduled for Thursday, Friday, Sunday, and Monday, a badass party we're co-hosting with ... read
Some events are better than others. It's an objective, measurable fact. What unit of measure can you apply to an event to quantify its level of quality? Simple -- add the amount of Jake "Virt" Kaufman to the total of Cor... read
PAX Prime is in 10 days!
Every year, Dtoiders from across the entire known universe make the trek to Seattle, WA to hug each other and then get hungover (and then hug again), and 2014 will be no different! This year's convent... read
Gamescom tickets are in high demand, as evident by the lack of availability for day tickets in the online shop except for Sunday. Afternoon tickets, which cover entries after 2 PM, will still be available on-site.
Trade visit... read
Geoff Keighley hosting live panel with Kojima to showcase new content
// Alessandro Fillari
It's looking like gamescom 2014 will be a pretty exciting show. With many of the big hitters set to unveil their new products, we've certainly got a lot to look forward to next month. Now, we've got another publisher ready to... read
Homefront: The Revolution finds new home at Deep Silver
// Alessandro Fillari
It looks like things have finally come to a head at Crytek. The troubled publisher and developer behind Ryse, Crysis, and the upcoming Homefront: The Revolution has taken major steps to secure its own future. Crytek has sold ... read
Sony's gamescom press conference will take place on Tuesday, August 12 at 7:00 p.m., says Videogamer.
There's no indication of what to expect at their media event, but my experience is that they always bring plenty of announc... read
Staff has gone unpaid over a month as pressure mounts on new title
// Alessandro Fillari
Amid recent reports of unpaid employees and mismanagement at Crytek, we are now seeing clear signs of trouble within the development studio. The UK branch of Crytek, which is actively working on Homefront: The Revolution... read
If you're itching to play a lot of recent high profile Nintendo portable games, you'll want to catch the Nintendo Play Tour, which may be coming to your local area. The games available are Kirby: Triple Deluxe, Yoshi's N... read
Zelda producer hints that things might be different for the protagonist
// Alessandro Fillari
Yesterday's reveal of The Legend of Zelda on Wii U got many people excited. With the tease of a new visual style and a more open world to explore, there was yet another reason for people to consider purchasing a Wii U. Howeve... read
Grasshopper's change in studio vision resulted in total redesign
// Alessandro Fillari
During the Sony E3 press conference, we got the chance to check out Suda51's new free-to-play survival horror title Let it Die. As Grasshopper Manufacture's first F2P title, it seemed to be a bit of a departure for them. Howe... read
Jun 09 //
Civilization: Beyond Earth
Costume Quest 2
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Far Cry 4
Forza Horizon 2
Halo 5: Guardians
Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley
Homefront: The Revolution
Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Mortal Kombat X
Pokemon Omega Ruby/ Alpha Sapphire
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Big games to be shown:
Tales from the Borderlands
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
The Order: 1886
Assassin's Creed Unity
Batman: Arkham Knight
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
No Man's Sky
Next Star Wars game
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
Super Smash Bros.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (oops!)
New online game from Guerrilla
Prince of Persia 2D
New The Last of Us for PS4
Batman: Arkham Knight (now 2015)
Dying Light (Feb. 2015)
Mad Max (2015)
The Division (2015)
The Order: 1886 (early 2015)
The Evil Within
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
The Order: 1886
Xbox E3 Media Briefing -- 9:30 a.m. Pacific, Monday, June 9 -- streaming at xbox.com
EA World Premiere -- 12:00 p.m. Pacific, Monday, June 9 -- streaming at www.ea.com/e3, or here at Destructoid
Ubisoft E3 Media Briefing -- 3:00 p.m. Pacific, Monday, June 9
PlayStation E3 Media Briefing -- 6:00 p.m. Pacific, Monday, June 9 -- streaming at playstation.com, or here at Destructoid
Nintendo Digital Event -- 9:00 a.m. Pacific, Tuesday June 10 -- streaming at e3.nintendo.com
Battlefield Hardline exclusive gameplay stream -- 1:00 p.m. Pacific, Monday, June 9 -- streaming at Twitch.tv/Battlefield
Smash Bros Invitational -- 4:00 p.m. Pacific, Tuesday, June 10 -- streaming at Nintendo’s Twitch channel
All things Persona have us excited about our appointment at E3 this year. We doubt that Persona 5 is done enough to show, but I'll insist anyway. Persona Q is more likely, and that's good by us. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax will be there, and Persona 4 Dancing All Night should too. But please just show us anything on Persona 5, Atlus. Don't make us wait until TGS.
They also have games like Abyss Odyssey and a pinball RPG.
Destiny. That is all.
Capcom let some of their cats out of the bag with a few title announcements. People seem most excited about Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, but Dead Rising 3 for PC is also a cool thing. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Ultra Street Fighter IV, and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate round out their offerings. And what ever happened to Deep Down? Plus, it would be... evil of them to not mention any other of their franchises next week.
The biggest thing for EA is probably the biggest pre-E3 leak, Battlefield Hardline. The cooperative cops/criminals game from DICE and Visceral is EA's headliner for E3 2014. Other big games include Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Sims 4, and a huge sports lineup. I know you're hoping to hear more about Mirror's Edge 2, or some new Star Wars business.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain will hold down the fort over at Konami. We expect gameplay!
Microsoft has games. They've made sure we know that. There's a new Forza Horizon 2, Halo 5, Sunset Overdrive, and a few other goodies we know about but can't talk about yet.
At least there's the teased new IPs and Japanese games -- we're looking forward to those.
As for hopes, let's hope we see a new Gears of War. Don't get your hopes up on Quantum Break, though -- it's coming to gamescom later this year instead.
But we get the feeling that there's some feature or program announcements that we'll hear about at the press conference that will make Xbox owners happy. We think they're going to announce something that will have them catching up with their nearest competitor in a particular area -- subscriptions.
Namco Bandai doesn't get all the pre-E3 buzz that it should. They have lots of stuff I want to play in their lineup, including Tales of Hearts R, Tales of Xillia 2, and Dynasty Warriors Gundam Reborn. Lords of the Fallen also sounds interesting.
When you watch the stream for Nintendo's event, but keep the volume just low enough so you can listen for my scream. If you are anywhere in North America, you will hear my screams of joy and excitement if we hear anything about Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem. I will break windows.
Zelda. Zelda. Zelda. Zelda. Zelda. A new game? Yes, please. Expect something special from Zelda Williams. Also, more on Hyrule Warriors.
Show us this X game from Monolith Soft already, will ya? Or at least tell us what it's really called.
I hope we hear more about this Mario Maker as well as other 3DS titles. I'd bet Metroid is a 3DS game. We should also hear more about top franchises like Mario Party, and maybe they'll even do something with the recently announced NFC figures.
Alien: Isolation and Sonic Boom are the big ones for the show. We can daydream about Yakuza or Phantasy Star Online news, but don't get your hopes up too much.
The Last Guardian. Finally. No? I'm never giving up hope.
We'll see a lot of Driveclub, The Order: 1886, and probably The Witness. Hopefully a new Uncharted is in the lineup for the show.
The Vita has a lot of upcoming surprises, I'm sure. We already know about some good titles, like Freedom Wars.
Sony is probably the most likely to have the most tricks up its sleeve. They blew our faces away at GDC with their VR offering, Project Morpheus. Let's hope they have more to show at E3.
We know we'll see Kingdom Hearts 2.5 ReMIX at the show, and Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call will also be there in a big way.
Who knows if we'll see any of the bigger titles, like Final Fantasy XV or Kingdom Hearts III.
The Division still has us hoping for something outstanding. Hopefully we'll see more. Ubi has a bunch of other hot stuff like Assassin's Creed Unity, Far Cry 4, and The Crew, giving them one of the strongest lineups of the show.
But there's sure to be surprises. How about the rumored Prince of Persia?
Warner Bros. is coming out swinging at E3: Batman: Arkham Knight, Dying Light, Gauntlet, and Mad Max. Oh, and a little thing called Mortal Kombat X.
Lastly, follow the E3 team on Twitter! We'll be updating and taking pictures of things as they come up right on the show floor.
E3 Unfiltered E3 2014 begins next week. Destructoid has its bags packed, ready to attack the press conferences and show floor. This year should bring us what we really wanted last year: games for our next-gen consoles. Sony and Micro... read feature
Over 40 theaters in the US will livestream Sony's E3 press conference
// Alessandro Fillari
Over the years, the big press conferences at E3 have evolved from the long and boring business presentations to the large crowd-pleasers (or disasters) that we see today. More and more, the folks running these events are upp... read
Following the success of their latest album, PS4, PlayStation is going on a "Road to Greatness" tour. It'll be playing "dozens" of PS4 and Vita tracks, some newly released, but also some unreleased. There will also be tournam... read
Update! Our meetup dates/locations for Friday and Saturday have changed. (E&C is now on Saturday.) See below for more details!
PAX East 2014 is just a week away in two days TODAY! As is the case every year, the Dtoid comm... read
EVO co-founder Joey Cuellar made a special presentation on iPlayWinner revealing that Tekken Tag Tournament 2 will be part of this year's EVO lineup. Bandai Namco Games is also joining the event has a primary sponsor for the ... read
A new alternative controller exhibit made its debut at GDC this year. Amazing selections from 14 independent teams were shown at ALT.CTRL.GDC on the GDC show floor yesterday, and every one of them had my imagination running. ... read
And while you're at it, sign up to wear the Mr Destructoid helmet!
PAX East 2014 will be here before we know it!
Every year, Dtoiders from across the globe make the trek to Boston for this annual gathering of the gaming community, and every year we have an absolute blast! This time around wi... read
The Last of Us cashed in on five of its nine 2014 BAFTA nominations, including winning Best Game and Best Story. Not quite 10 awards at D.I.C.E., but good.
Tearaway overtook it for Artistic Achievement while also winning in t... read