The Business of Review Copies; More Evidence of Industry Corruption?

Take this with a pinch of salt, since no sites are specifically named in the original Tweets or messages about it, but it seems an interesting set of allegations have been made about corruption and the review copies some video game sites receive.

What kind of corruption?  Well, how about flogging the things on eBay before the game’s release date?  Or companies trying to sabotage smaller sites by convincing PR firms to delay or ‘run out’ of review copies to stop them getting early information.  Either way, here’s the full set of corruption allegations, by someone called Chihiro Onitsuka on Twitter:

300K hits? Is that hits, visitors or page views? Because 300K hits is nothing. 300K page views is slightly better, and 300K visitors is actually impressive.

Well, every site I use is probably blacklisted then. As is this site, though we arguably blacklisted ourselves back we were a 3DS specific site. We pretty much told every Youtube network and gaming company (Nintendo included) that we weren’t interested in ‘agreements’ or deals and that they should sod off.

Not surprising, unfortunately. Ever wonder why IGN and Gamespot get games so far before everyone else?

Okay, this annoys the hell out of me personally. If anyone can get evidence, can we sue them for anti competitive practices?

I think most people already knew this. Some of this also ends up on eBay.

On the other hand… perhaps independent sites could take advantage of this. All we need are a few corrupt journalists willing to flog review copies, and we’re in business!

In other words, don’t believe all the ‘hardware issue’ stories you read, some are made up for cheap hits.

*Drops old 3DS out of third story window*

See? The console has a hardware fault!

Wonder where all those early copies of games on torrent sites come from? Reviewers on large gaming sites apparently. Wonder what Nintendo would think of this? Especially if Super Mario Maker somehow ends up on a torrent tracker…

So those are the allegations. Are they true? Probably. In fact, someone at a certain subreddit confirmed many of them in a comment on the article:

Journalism is Dead Discussion – Reddit

Either way, it seems like corruption in this industry is even worse than we thought, and some journalists are outright abusing their positions to get in good with video game pirates and thieves.

What do you think of these interesting ‘allegations’ about video game journalism and the industry?

Source:

Chihirodev’s Allegations – Storify

Rare Shows off 2.5d Banjo-Kazooie Beta!

As you may or may not know, Banjo-Kazooie went through several different phases in its development. From its origins as Project Dream to its beta form as a 2.5D platformer on the Nintendo 64, the game changed many times as Rare considered all these different possibilities. But while we know this from hearsay, we never really got to see much of these early plans. No pictures, no video footage, the odd vague hint here and there… the days of Banjo-Kazooie between Project Dream and the final game were never exactly expanded on much by anyone at the company.

But now, things seem to have finally changed. Rare has announced that it’ll be showing off more footage of Banjo-Kazooie’s beta content via their YouTube channel and Twitter, and have just released the first ever pictures of Banjo-Kazooie’s 2.5 beta version!

So what do you think about this game? Could Banjo-Kazooie have been as great of a game if it was a 2.5d platformer in the style of the Donkey Kong Country series, Kirby 64 or Yoshi’s Story? How good does the beta version look in your opinion?

Crazy Taxi 4 Was Under Consideration By SEGA?

Over the last couple of years or so, SEGA’s arcade taxi game series hasn’t really had a whole lot in the way of new titles.  Okay, you had a compilation in 2007 and a mobile only game in 2014, but as far as major installments go?  You’d have to go back to 2002 for one of those.

Above: The last main installment this series ever had

But regardless of that gap between releases, did you know that Sega had plans for a fourth game at one point?  Indeed, at one (currently unknown point in the past), their Australian branch actually pitched Crazy Taxi 4 to the rest of the company, complete with some basic concept art and ideas that suggest a home console game more in line with the originals.  Here’s the artwork they used for to pitch this undeveloped game:

Crazy Taxi 4

Above: A basic piece, but it seems to share the madcap style from the earlier games quite well.

So what come of this mystery game?  Well for reasons unknown, SEGA declined the pitch and the idea was scrapped.  Was it due to the mobile game market?  A lack of confidence in older IPs?  Who knows, but what we do know is that such a game could well have been an amazing title had it actually gotten into development and a certain level of effort put into the game’s design.

But what do you think?  Is the idea of a fourth Crazy Taxi game something you’d have been interested in?

Source:

Portfolio Reveals Sonic Classic Collection Had More Content Planned, Crazy Taxi Pitch – Sonic Stadium

Twitch Plays Dark Souls; God Help Us All

If you’ve been reading up on gaming news any time within the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard of Twitch Plays Pokemon.  A series/experiment where a ton of Twitch members try and complete a Pokemon game by using certain chat key words as in game commands, it became popular due to how so many people could play the same copy of a game at the same time yet still somehow get to the end.  This was hundreds of thousands of people trying to play the same game on the same virtual ‘controller’ at the same time.  Yet they completed it.

But now, it seems the next Twitch Plays series is not going to be quite so easy.  Why?  Because as the title suggests, they’ve picked the infamously difficult Dark Souls games as their title to ‘crowdsource’ playing.  You know, a game which destroys many a player trying to beat it on their own without a couple of hundred thousand people all trying to do different things via the same controller.  But they’re trying, and you can watch the series here:

Watch live video from TwitchPlaysDark on www.twitch.tv

But what do I think? Find out… after the break!

Continue Reading…

Mighty No. 9 Delayed until 2016

It’s been pretty obvious for a while, but today it was officially confirmed that Mega Man successor Mighty No. 9 has been delayed until 2016.  So what’s the reasoning for this?

MightyNo9

Above: Why is this game delayed?

Well, as the company puts it themselves, “there are still bugs and issues pertaining to the online features that are included in the game.”  There’s also a bit of a longer explanation on the Kickstarter page, if you prefer reading that:

Mighty No 9 Delayed – Kickstarter

Either way, the game will now be targeting a Q1 release, with no specific date being set as of this point.  Hopefully that means we should see it sometime between January and March 2016.

What do you think of Mighty N0 9’s delay?