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WII U

Splatfest photo
Popularity contest burns Team Cat
Perhaps the greatest injustice of the year happened over the July 4 weekend. Nintendo's shooter Splatoon ran its first splatfest event, pitting cats versus dogs. The sides shot it out while less patriotic Americans were shoot...

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Watch Dogs PR stunt brings the bomb squad out


I like turtles
May 28
// Abel Girmay
Between sending brass knuckles for the Godfather II release, sending out $300 checks to represent greed for Dante's Inferno, and sending copies of Mass Effect 3 into space, you have to wonder how fun the world of games PR can...

Wii U development drama: Nintendo's box is a Nintendo-box

Jan 14 // Steven Hansen
This mob-anointed expose on the Wii U comes at a time where it fits the narrative neatly. The Wii U is doing badly, barring unreleased holiday numbers of peculiar goodness (Wind Waker HD drove sales up several hundred percent and the holidays were deemed "very strong" by Reggie). However, the Eurogamer-hosted piece is clearly covering pre-console-launch shenanigans and tribulations, which isn't necessarily indicative of how the company has handled itself since or how development woes are affecting the Wii U's prosperity.  What it is is an interesting snapshot in time by one of many people developing for the Wii U. Some of the recount can be telling. The apparent pitch for, "a console that was the same size as the Wii and wouldn't make much noise, so 'mum wouldn't mind having it in the living room,'" could hint at Nintendo's attempts to recapture the Wii's sales lightning in a Tesla-coiled bottle. It's certainly catchy, the notion that senior Nintendo officials feigned ignorance as to how Xbox Live or PSN worked. Still, the Wii U, including Nintendo's approach with it, has surely evolved from concept pitches and development unit issues. Just look at how hard Nintendo has campaigned the Wii U as an indie haven after launch, for example, trying to make it easier on developers to get games onto the system. Dan Adelman, who helped developed Xbox Live, is Nintendo's Business Development Manager. He has broken down age old barriers that made it difficult for small outfits to become registered Nintendo developers.  The responses in this "drama" are levelheaded and plain. Chris Arnold of Nami Tentou explained that points made in the Eurogamer article are based on "pre-retail release SDK problems" and that "the new post release SDK kits do not contain any of the listed problems." This all feels like a response to the hundreds of comments and arguments the topic has incited more than counters to the original article. The Eurogamer piece wasn't, "Wii U has no games right now because development is a nightmare." It's, "pre-console-launch development was a struggle and possibly because of this a lot of people with money hats put their bets on Sony/Microsoft." Of course, there will always be back and forth here. Apparently Darksiders II came along for the Wii U in those early days swimmingly -- though one of the anonymous developer's biggest hitches did seem to be on the online infrastructure end. 5th Cell was okay with the Wii U's power. Hideki Kamiya, curt as always, seemed okay developing The Wonderful 101. But, really, everyone is probably right. The anonymous developer had their trouble. Watsham and company seemed to have had an okay time on the Wii U. Arnold gave a plain reminder that these problems are no longer an issue currently impeding development, whatever their legacy may be. This just exposes the same nerve we've been rubbing up against since the N64. The Wii U is a Nintendo-Box. It is, first and foremost, the way to play Nintendo games that Nintendo makes for you, as most Nintendo consoles have been for some time. Barring the lunatic commenters who arbitrarily want to see a company (Nintendo) fail, all of these 600+ comment threads, all of this back and forth, stems from people wanting more games and concern over the release landscape. There are would-be Nintendo fans who want to invest in the system, there are Wii U owners uncomfortable with the checkered release calendar and inexplicably still uncomfortable with the idea of owning a system dedicated, primarily, to Nintendo games. I love the GameCube. A lack of third-party support is said to be what hurt the little lunchbox that could. My favorite GameCube games are third-party, but Nintendo has never and likely will never aggressively lobby third-parties. And maybe it doesn't need to. With the Wii U, Nintendo has, again, firmly entrenched itself aloof of where Sony and Microsoft are headed. It's unlikely for the company to pull a SEGA as so many would like. Nintendo doesn't like to sell systems at a loss. Nintendo's software pulls in mad cash for it. The 3DS is explosive -- its 2013 software sales shot up almost 50%. The Eurogamer piece, a singular snapshot into over a year ago, reads as doom and gloom because the Wii U reads as doom and gloom. Because the internet wants to argue about this and that (and, especially, tell Nintendo what it needs to do). And, hey, maybe Nintendo should farm out some IP to capable developers, like it did successfully with the amazing Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. The Wii U is, first and foremost, a box that lets you play Nintendo games. It's been the case for a while. Everything else is gravy. Nintendo would love Wii-caliber sales, but it seems to be doing okay with its current position, playing its own long game.  The Wii U is still sustainable. A pubescent, PS3-styled push isn't out of the question (see also: 3DS). Other games -- the weird and different and cool -- will trickle in. Nintendo games will do gangbusters. Being "hard to develop for" didn't sink the PS3 and there's no need to trip beyond mild interest over rocky pre-launch tech when development works now. GameCube wasn't terribly profitable hardware as Nintendo slashed prices to compete. Just look at the price of Nintendo games years after release. Nintendo doesn't like slashing prices. If the Wii U was counting on AAA support parity with PS4, Xbox One, and PC, Nintendo would've made a pricier, comparable box. STFUAJPG, I guess. Even on the Wii U, there are some good ones. And if you've played them all, buy a Vita and play those while you wait for Bayonetta 2 and Smash Bros.
Wii U dev drama photo
Everyone is right. The Wii U still needs games.
There was a bit of gloom and Nintendoom over the weekend. An anonymous, chronological account of Wii U development hit Eurogamer. It begins as early as Nintendo touring studios for feedback on its next console venture and end...

Breaking Zelda photo
Breaking Zelda

Legend of Zelda producer wants to uproot series tradition


Someone at Nintendo speaking my language. Figuratively.
Oct 03
// Steven Hansen
Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma seems to have radical ideas. As radical as you might expect from Nintendo, anyway. In an interview with 4Gamer, translated by Siliconera, Aonuma explained the heavily reported mistranslati...
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Pachter: Nintendo is bad and Iwata is a poor CEO


Analyst cuts loose on Wii U provider
Mar 11
// Jim Sterling
Industry analyst Michael "Rainbow Pecs" Pachter is laying siege to Castle Nintendo once again, with one of his harshest appraisals of the company yet. Rather than beat around the bush, the silver-tongued stallion has directly...

Developer: Gearbox lied to SEGA, 2K over Colonial Marines

Feb 19 // Jim Sterling
"Gearbox was taking people off the project to put them on Borderlands 1," he says of his time on the job. "This was before the big art style change happened on Borderlands. Our team was getting smaller by the month, making it very difficult to get the game made. Ironically several of the team members were ex-3D Realms people who were saying [paraphrasing] 'Finally, we're going to Gearbox to make Aliens, and we're going to ship a fucking game!' Hah." According to our man with the inside track, it was later learned that SEGA actually canceled Colonial Marines, deciding to cut its losses after such a long development cycle.  "At some point in 2008, SEGA temporarily pulled the plug on the game," he said. "They caught wind of Gearbox shifting resources (despite still collecting milestone checks as if the team were full size) and lying to SEGA AND 2K about the number of people working on each project. This led to the round of layoffs at Gearbox in late 2008." The developer confirms he later spoke with people attached to the project at the beginning of 2012, and learned they actually didn't expect the game to ship in February, given its current state. It would appear staff on the game knew the thing was a bust, and were prepared for a fresh delay. Obviously, that never happened, and now we're here. Naturally, and like so much about this situation, information was provided on the hush-hush and cannot be taken as factual evidence of any wrongdoing on anybody's part. It is, however, yet another perplexing piece of the puzzle, one reflective of other things we've been hearing over the past week. Meanwhile, as SEGA and Gearbox both maintain a poker face, these whispered words are really all we have to go on.
Gearbox lied photo
Anonymous Aliens whistle blower blows whistle anonymously
It's fair to say the Aliens: Colonial Marines story has been a fascinating one. From the years of hype, to the negative reviews, to the later confusion over who actually developed the game, there's a lot of mystery and contro...

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Gearbox 'looking at' an explanation for Colonial Marines


Pitchford claims there are 'stakeholders' to think of first
Feb 19
// Jim Sterling
After breaking his radio silence this morning to respond to lots of praise for Aliens: Colonial Marines, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford went on a bit of a blocking spree, cold-shouldering yours truly and a number of other people...
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Pach-Man

Pachter talks more about Nintendo's Wii U 'mistake'


Clarifies the company's not in danger, but its glory days may be over
Feb 19
// Jim Sterling
Following yesterday's angry protests from Nintendo fans, industry analyst Michael "Fishy Sunday" Pachter took to NeoGAF to clarify his statements.There was uproar when Pachter said the Wii U was a mistake Nintendo may never r...

So ... who the hell DID make Aliens: Colonial Marines?

Feb 14 // Jim Sterling
Anonymous Allegations from Gearbox developer In 2012, an anonymous writer claiming to be a former Gearbox worker posted on TexAGs.com message board to reveal the Colonial Marines campaign had been outsourced to TimeGate. According to the early allegation, dug up recently by Superannuation, Gearbox had refocused itself toward multiplayer a long time ago. Hate to say it, but I wouldn't get your hopes up too high for Colonial Marines. I used to work at Gearbox, and the development of that game has been a total train wreck, going on what, 6 years now? Gearbox isn't even making the game, except for the multiplayer. Primary development was outsourced to TimeGate Studios, which has a less than stellar past.I hope it proves me wrong, as I still have alot of friends still working at Gearbox, but I am expecting it to be average at best. While the comment went unnoticed at the time, its resurfacing seemed to explain a lot.  SEGA denies Colonial Marines was outsourced Dark Side of Gaming ran a story in which a SEGA rep was quoted as denying the outsourcing of Colonial Marines. According to Matthew J. Powers, the other studios involved in production merely "helped" Gearbox as it worked on both the solo and multiplayer portions.  Absolutely not, the game has been developed by Gearbox Software. Other studios [like Timegate] helped Gearbox on the production of single and multiplayer. Of course, as the story developed, it became wholly likely that not even SEGA knows who did what.  Randy Pitchford tells IGN TimeGate made up to 25% of A:CM A recently published IGN interview with Randy Pitchford, put out just before the controversy began, had the Gearbox CEO claim TimeGate helped with maybe a quarter of Colonial Marines. He said the studio was just as much a collaborator on the project if you took all of Gearbox's preproduction work out of the equation.  Houston-based TimeGate Studios, meanwhile, worked on “probably about 20 or 25 percent of the total time,” with Pitchford noting that “if you take preproduction out of it, their effort’s probably equivalent to ours. Now, it’s not fair to take preproduction out of it, but that says a lot about how much horsepower those guys put into it.” The interview also broke down the contributions from other studios. According to Pitchford, Demiurge helped Gearbox with networking and multiplayer options, while Nerve designed the multiplayer maps. Pitchford presented all this as Gearbox wanting to give customers more for their money, packing in more content rather than selling it as DLC.  Colonial Marines has a DLC season pass costing $29.99. Anonymous 'ex-Gearbox' dev spills the beans on Reddit Things got really interesting once an alleged developer took to Reddit and revealed some shocking, if true, details about A:CM's development. It's a story that involves Gearbox dicking SEGA around, pushing off its campaign to TimeGate, favoring Borderlands 2 over Aliens, and rushing at the last minute to fix an utterly broken, serviceable game. It's juicy stuff. First off, due to me breaking NDA, I can't provide any proof that I'm not just talking out of my ass. But I figure you'd be interested in hearing what I have to say regardless. I've been on the project for around a year and a half, so some of the following are things I've heard from more senior guys. Pecan (the internal codename for ACM) has a pretty long history. SEGA, GBX and 20th Century FOX came to an agreement to produce an Aliens game around 6 years ago, after which SEGA almost immediately announced it, long before Pecan had even started production. The game has been in active development in the past, only to be shelved in favor of another project (Borderlands, Duke, etc), and each time it was resumed it would undergo a major content overhaul. SEGA, naturally, wasn't super pleased about the delays, but GBX got away with it for a long time and the contract between SEGA and GBX kept getting augmented to push the projected release further and further back. The last time it was resumed, GBX outsourced a good portion of the game to outside companies. Initially, the plan was for TimeGate to take the majority of campaign, GBX would take MP, Demiurge and Nerve would handle DLC and various other focused tasks. This decision was made mostly so that most of the developers at GBX could continue working on Borderlands 2, while a small group of LDs, coders and designers dealt with Pecan. Somehow the schedules for Pecan and Borderlands 2 managed to line up and GBX realized that there was no fucking way they could cert and ship two titles at the same time. Additionally, campaign (which was being developed by TimeGate) was extremely far behind, even as Pecan's Beta deadline got closer and closer. In April or May (can't remember which), Pecan was supposed to hit beta, but GBX instead came to an agreement with SEGA that they would push the release date back one more time, buying GBX around 9 mos extension. About 5 of those 9 months went to shipping BL2. In that time, TimeGate managed to scrap together 85% of the campaign, but once Borderlands 2 shipped and GBX turned its attention to Pecan, it became pretty apparent that what had been made was in a pretty horrid state. Campaign didn't make much sense, the boss fights weren't implemented, PS3 was way over memory, etcetcetc. GBX was pretty unhappy with TG's work, and some of Campaign maps were just completely redesigned from scratch. There were some last minute feature requests, most notably female marines, and the general consensus among GBX devs was that there was no way this game was going to be good by ship. There just wasn't enough time. Considering that SEGA was pretty close to taking legal action against GBX, asking for an extension wasn't an option, and so Pecan crash-landed through certification and shipping. Features that were planned were oversimplified, or shoved in (a good example of this are challenges, which are in an incredibly illogical order). Issues that didn't cause 100% blockers were generally ignored, with the exception of absolutely horrible problems. This isn't because GBX didn't care, mind you. At a certain point, they couldn't risk changing ANYTHING that might cause them to fail certification or break some other system. And so, the product you see is what you get. Beyond gameplay, the story has been raised as an issue several times. I can't really comment without feeling bad beyond saying that the script was approved by 20th Century FOX, and that the rush to throw a playable product together came at the cost of the story. Campaign does a pretty bad job of explaining a lot of the questions raised at the start of the game, and so hopefully there will be DLC to flesh that out a bit better. I'll answer some questions, but I have to run soon, so it may take a while for responses. Alleged TimeGate developer throws Gearbox under the bus The original Reddit poster would later be responded to by a different anonymous user, this one claiming to be in the employ of TimeGate. Defending his studio against implications of laziness, the poster said Colonial Marines' campaign turned out so badly thanks to terrible supervision from Gearbox.  Just to clarify, Everything Timegate did was under clear and explicit direction from Gearbox. Gearbox had creative control of everything that occurred at TG. In addition, Gearbox was responsible for firing some of the most talented people (and internationally recognized as such) TG had employed, all of which were snatched up immediately by competitors. It was Gearbox's shitty oversight of the project that led to the product you all now have before you. I wouldn't expect you to understand, considering you're probably some QA who has no idea what goes on outside of his department. But TG had absolutely no control of what was produced, they did exactly what they were asked to. You should be furious with Gearbox for assigning such shit quality creative directors to the project. According to another anonymous poster, the game's ever-changing story didn't help TimeGate either.  The script was rewritten too many times. Demiurge working on Wii U version, now rumored to be indefinitely delayed The final chapter in the story so far places Demiurge as the studio behind the Wii U version of the game, with Kotaku alleging an indefinite delay on the upcoming release. Writer Jason Schierer made the claim, though notes it's not confirmed.  We heard from a tipster about a month ago that the Wii U version had been "postponed indefinitely." We reached out to Sega, and they denied it. I'll let you guys fill in the blanks there. :) And that's us up to speed on the Aliens: Colonial Marines story so far. Personal feelings on the game aside, it's one hell of a story, and I think that, when/if the truth finally outs, it'll make for some fascinating reading. It's already quite engrossing with just what we have!
Colonial Marines madness! photo
A rundown of all the known (and not-so-known) events so far
Aliens: Colonial Marines has turned out to be more than just a bad game. It's a confusing story of allegations, outsourcing, and potential deception on a considerable level. The biggest mystery to come out of this debacle is ...

Rayman Legends photo
Rayman Legends

Rayman Legends developers want their game out now!


Michel Ancel joins the cause!
Feb 12
// Jim Sterling
Continuing to prove it has no love for Ubisoft's decision to delay Rayman Legends, the dev team behind the former Wii U exclusive is campaigning for a swifter release date. Developers have situated themselves outside Ubisoft ...
Rayman Legends delay photo
Rayman Legends delay

Anonymous Rayman Legends dev angry about delay (Update)


Takes to forum to argue his studio's case
Feb 08
// Jim Sterling
[Update: Anonymous no more! It appears that this comment comes from Xavier Piox, the Ubisoft managing director who recently said that "gaming is no longer just for geeks." Errr... guess not. It's just a random dev who left th...
Rayman Legends delay photo
Rayman Legends delay

Ubisoft tries to explain Rayman Legends delay


Admits multiplatform decision pushed it back
Feb 07
// Jim Sterling
So, Rayman Legends has been pushed back to September, and news of the delay just so happened to coincide with its multiplatform announcement. As many disappointed fans suspected, the two are entirely linked, with Ubisoft hold...

The biggest videogame controversies of 2012

Dec 20 // Jim Sterling
Retake Mass Effect In the eyes of some, Mass Effect is to videogames what Star Wars is to film. Such a comparison holds water when you take a look at the fanbase, especially its reaction to Mass Effect 3. This was the big finale, the culmination of a trilogy in which millions of gamers had invested their time, their interest and, yes, even their emotion. In many ways, its ending was guaranteed to piss people off, as nobody can put so much personal stock in a story and not feel disappointed by the way it concludes. However BioWare ended it, it'd never be exactly what individual fans envisioned.  Nevertheless, nobody was quite prepared for the backlash. Aside from the usual Metacritic mauling, petitions were erected to have BioWare change the ending. Business authorities were notified as fans accused BioWare and Electronic Arts of lying. Cupcakes were sent to the studio's office in protest. The biggest sticking point lay in how commercials promised fans that every choice they'd made in the series mattered, when in reality the ending all came down to one of three "choose your ending" options, like any other videogame.  The anger became focused into the "Retake Mass Effect" campaign, which eventually got big enough to where BioWare released new downloadable content in order to "contextualize" the ending. For some, this was the olive branch they wanted. For others, it fixed nothing. Even now, months after the game's release, the debate as to whether or not fans were ultimately cheated by BioWare rages on.  Are you right there, Phil Fish? There is a reason public relations is such a big sector of the game industry, and it's because game developers seem to have a habit of really putting their feet in their mouths. Phil Fish, already a controversial figure in the indie development scene, demonstrated just how badly things can go when you utter the wrong thing, after he said to a Japanese developer, "Your games just suck." Of course, he went and said this right before his project of many years, FEZ, was slated to launch on Xbox Live Arcade. Years and years of promotion and hype, undone by a single sentence. Pretty soon, whenever FEZ was mentioned, talk emerged on whether or not the creator was a racist. There were gamers who refused to buy the game, due to concerns over supporting a bigot, while others were simply angry that he'd so bluntly write off an entire sector of game development.  Chances are pretty good that Fish, for all his faults, is not a racist. His dismissal of an entire nation's games, however, was undoubtedly ignorant, and it's not hard to see why so many were offended. Nevertheless, FEZ performed quite well and enjoyed huge critical acclaim. Just a shame about that patch.  The diabolical disaster of Error 37 Diablo III was one of the most anticipated games of the year, and after making six million sales in a week, it was easily among the biggest successes. Nevertheless, the game's always-online requirements remained a sticking point, especially when the glorified DRM measure meant users couldn't get into the game on launch day.  Many gamers trying to log in were hit with "Error 37" messages, Diablo III's servers unable to handle the masses of would-be heroes frantically attempting to enjoy the game they just paid for. The whole mess illustrated the major problem with PC gaming at the moment, as paying consumers feel less like customers and more like lodgers, enjoying temporary stays in a game's world at the mercy of corporate landlords. Nobody owns the games they pay for, and handing over your $60 doesn't guarantee you the ability to play what you bought -- and that's kind of not cool. Street Fighter X Tekken X Disc-Locked Content On-disc DLC is not a new concept, but gamers are growing increasingly tired of having to buy "extra" content that was already surreptitiously sold to them. This weariness came to head with Street Fighter X Tekken, featuring as it did a full roster of playable characters hidden on the disc, waiting to be unlocked via later purchases of "downloadable" content.  Despite the usual load of excuses (separate budgets, multiplayer integration, etc.), Capcom's behavior in this instance was largely considered a case of going way too far. Full character models, along with prologue and ending movies, were all sat there like sleeper agents, and it came off as more than a little insulting.  Capcom, for its part, would go on to say that it'd be "re-evaluating" its DLC policies in the future, though admitted Dragon's Dogma would still ship with disc-locked content. It remains to be seen whether or not Capcom can continue to resist this tacky business practice, or if it'll go back to old habits once it thinks the heat is off.  Bayonetta 2 ... U MAD? Perhaps one of the more ridiculous outrages this year concerned Bayonetta 2, a game that simply would not have existed without Nintendo's support. That didn't stop "fans" being utterly disgusted that the sequel would be a Wii U exclusive, seemingly preferring to have no game at all rather than one bound to Nintendo's newest home console.  Within moments of the game's announcement, folk were flinging shit around their cages in furious protest, sending such vile messages to Hideki Kamiya as, "I better see an Xbox release in future or I'll kill you," "FU*K you and fu*k YOU Platinum Games. Not buying games from you again. No respect for loyal gamers," and "Platinum studio is dead for me. Considering to cancel my MGRising pre-order too." The term "entitled gamer" is overused and often utilized in the wrong situation, but for this particular debacle, its certainly a term that seems to fit. Bayonetta's fans painted a truly despicable picture of themselves that day.  Doritosgate An image of Geoff Keighley sat, dead-eyed, next to a bag of Doritos and a load of Mountain Dew. It started as a generally humorous image, shared on social networks and used to poke fun at game journalism's increasing proximity to advertising agencies. Things took a more serious tone, however, when Eurogamer columnist Robert "Rab" Florence penned an article severely criticizing the way in which games media seem to hop gleefully in bed with industry PR. In particular, he picked at the British Games Media Awards, a ceremony in which game marketers essentially reward their favorite writers. Even worse, this year they had those same writers Tweeting advertising hashtags to try and win a PS3.  Things took a turn when Rab focused on one particular writer, Lauren Wainwright, who defended the hashtag contest. He noted how her defense of the practice led him not to trust her opinion, as someone who justified games media's complicity with product placement. Lauren would go on to accuse Eurogamer of libel, and her employer MCV got involved. Eventually, Eurogamer edited Rab's article to remove Lauren's name, and Florence quit his post at the publication in response.  This chain of events sent shockwaves throughout the gaming community, forums such as NeoGAF began shining a spotlight on a number of dodgy practices, and the media felt the heat. Some outlets wrote up new ethics codes, others promised to cut out publisher-paid preview trips. Many writers took hard, long looks at themselves. Then again, others wrote off the entire thing as unimportant whining, and didn't take the introspective opportunity. Whatever one's opinion, this was easily among the most tumultuous issues of the year, and something I personally haven't forgotten. The War Z and the war on telling the truth about things 2012 was so packed with kerfuffles that some studios had to wait until the last few weeks of the year to get their turn. Hammerpoint sung out twelve months of controversy with impressive gusto, releasing The War Z under a banner of lies. The game hit Steam with a list of features that weren't even in the game, promising multiple maps, skills, and up to 100 players per server. None of those were available at launch. Not only that, but customers weren't told they were playing a glorified alpha build that, frankly, was a mess.  The game itself was a huge disappointment. It was less zombie-survival MMO and more all-versus-all deathmatches with snipers talking out unarmed newcomers -- newcomers who'd survive for a few seconds and then have to wait four hours to respawn (unless they made a brand new character or paid Hammerpoint extra cash for an instant revival). As customers got pissed, Hammerpoint spent its time silencing dissent on message boards and attempting to portray complaints as the work of disingenuous fanboys. Valve, however, saw things differently, and actually pulled the game from Steam before offering refunds.  At the time of writing, more information continues to appear concerning the lazy and sketchy development of The War Z. This is a story that could carry us comfortably into the new year. 2012: The Year of Sexism The videogame industry is no stranger to social pressure, beset as it is by critics and pundits who wish to blame interactive entertainment for every ill in the world. This year, however, the heaviest of the pressure came from within. 2012 was undoubtedly the year gaming got serious about gender issues, which can be a good or bad thing, and the sheer volume of events that happened is staggering.  There really are too many things that happened to name individually, but a few of the biggest include Hitman: Absolution and a trailer depicting Agent 47 bashing the crap out of fetishized nuns, the attacks on BioWare writer Jennifer Hepler, a women threatened with rape after seeking funds for a video series on videogame gender tropes, and the PR missteps of the Tomb Raider reboot.   Tomb Raider was arguably the most high-profile issue, a seemingly genuine attempt by Crystal Dynamics to craft a strong female character that managed to offend by beating the crap out of her and promising murky implications of attempted rape. While the game looks on track to be quite good, the big mouths of executives and developers dug themselves into deeper and deeper holes, as they attempted to backtrack on earlier statements and go so far as to deny the word "rape" even exists in their minds. It all got a bit David Brent, to be honest.  Of course, while some gamers enjoyed having provocative debates over the problem of sexism in the game industry, others pushed back, angry that their escapism was being dragged into such heated discussion. Whatever your opinion, though, I think we can all agree it's at least a testament to the growth and continued influence of videogames that we can even have these discussions nowadays, where once any issues would be roundly ignored.  I mean, you can just ignore any controversy that doesn't interest you, right?  Oh right ... Internet. 
Biggest controversies photo
Twelve months of outrage
Another year, another round of videogame controversies! 2012 was perhaps one of the biggest years ever for scandal and strife, filled with sexism, lies, and ... Doritos?  We've compiled the most outrageous outrages of th...

Sexy Zombie Time photo
Sexy survival horror?
ZombiU is, by all accounts, a pretty decent game that uses the Wii U's GamePad in some interesting ways. It's helped breathe new life into a genre that's been in decay for the better part of a decade. And hey, if nothing else...

Platinum's Inaba: Bayonetta 2 wouldn't exist w/o Nintendo

Sep 23 // Tony Ponce
Who else was going to publish it? Definitely not Sega, which recently underwent severe restructuring and had to shelve several projects, one which may have been a multiplatform Bayonetta 2 in early planning stages. Despite being out in Japan already, Sega pushed back the Western release of Anarchy Reigns for reasons unknown. If that's how the company handles a finished product, how do you think it would treat something barely in development? Nintendo -- not Sony or Microsoft -- is making Bayonetta 2 a reality. What makes me most curious are those folks who insist that they are now "forced" to buy a new console to play a single game. They don't want to buy a Wii U, but because there is a game that appeals to them on the Wii U, they make up strange excuses, like how the "true price" of Bayonetta 2 includes $350 for the Wii U itself. Well, hello! That's what happens when a new hardware generation begins! Sequels to games that appeared on the previous consoles tend to only be available on the new consoles. Naturally, the new consoles will have sparse libraries in the beginning, but that doesn't stop people from upgrading. There was crying in the streets from parents back in the 90s who complained that they shouldn't have to buy the Super Nintendo because their kids already had an NES. But change is inevitable, and you are going to have to make the investment if you want to play the latest and greatest. If Bayonetta 2 were coming to the PS4 or Xbox 720, no one would have made a peep. Suddenly, the "true price" argument vanishes. The reason people are pissed is because the Wii U is made by Nintendo and Nintendo is garbage to third parties and third parties can't succeed on Nintendo machines and all third-party software on Nintendo consoles suck and how dare Nintendo take our games they have no gosh darn right blah blah blah blah. Just admit that this is blind hatred towards Nintendo and get over yourselves. Wake up and realize that this is a good thing, that it's an indication that Nintendo is trying to do right by these ingrates, that Platinum Games gets to make a sequel to a cult classic that wouldn't have been made otherwise, and that there is not a single logical reason why you should be upset over this. You want to be mad at something? Be mad at Sega for losing so much money that it couldn't fund development of a whole swath of games. Be mad at Sony or Microsoft for not coming to Bayonetta 2's rescue. Be mad at the state of modern game development that prevents a critically lauded million-seller from receiving a sequel via normal means. This is just... I mean... I don't even... 'Bayonetta 2' would not exist without Nintendo, says Platinum Games [Polygon]
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The announcement of Bayonetta 2 as a Wii U exclusive is destined to go down as one of the big "betrayals" of gaming history, right up there alongside Final Fantasy VII on the PS1. So-called "fans" of the original Bayonetta we...

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Platinum Games explains Bayonetta 2 Wii U exclusivity


Sep 14
// Dale North
Tatsuya Minami, President & CEO of Platinum Games, reached out to fans via their website to try to explain why Bayonetta 2 is a Wii U exclusive title. He says he realizes that the announcement may have shocked some f...
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Weird Metacritic user reviews tear Darksiders II to bits


Sleeping Dogs and Dark Souls PC also attacked
Sep 01
// Jim Sterling
[Update 3: A Russian speaking friend of mine went through the site and believes it to be a highly detailed troll. The cult is dedicated to keeping alive the memory of an old Soviet actor from the 50s, who they openly ac...

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