Author Topic: Briefs time again...  (Read 173 times)

Offline Starfox

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Briefs time again...
« on: February 28, 2020, 12:57:37 PM »
CD Projekt red has Ubisoft in sight.

In Europe at least. It appear that thanks to the incredible recent renewal of The Witcher 3 sales due to The Witcher Netflix series (The Witcher 3 on Steam was recently played by more concurrent players per day than it was just after its initial release 5 years ago which is certainly a first for any video game) and the anticipation of the arrival of Cyberpunk 2077 this Fall, the latest market valuation of CDPR places them right into the wheel of Ubisoft, their main opposition on the European market. As a side note it seems that The Witcher franchise is currently in auto sustaining mode. Since 2007 The games pulled the sales of the books by Andrezj Sapkowski up worldwide then all the publicity around The Witcher 3 made the franchise appealing to Netflix and finally the Netflix show drove up both the sales of the books and the games with a new public that did not know about the franchise but are now eager to play the games and read the books. For the past year or so, sales of the Witcher 3 have been multiplied by %554 all platforms confounded (that include the recent release on the Nintendo Switch -- for which CDPR prepared a little surprise, one can play the game on PC and port the saves on the Switch to continue playing on the go and vice versa).

The lesson to learn here is: instead of going crazy on micro-transactions, loot boxes and generally trying to abuse consumers, just deliver a pretty good game, a game that will still be on top 5 years later. Sure you might not see the benefits immediately but in the long run, you might end up catching with the competition big time. Here's hoping that Cyberpunk 2077 will follow in the wake. Companies not trying to scam their consumers deserve the good things as far as I'm concerned because if they win, we win.

Epic Games Store vs Steam

Here we go again but this time with some figures because the first game that a year ago was an Epic Games Exclusive, Metro Exodus, has been on Steam for about a month. How does it fare? Well during this period the game sold 200,000 copies on Steam. Yep, that's true. So that means that at least 200,000 people don't care about the Epic Games Store for whatever reason. And the kicker there is this: a lot of those people would have probably bought the game full price on its original release if it had been available on all distribution platform (I might have done that and I certainly would have done that for The Outer Worlds and The Sinking City). Instead of that they get the game with a discount (the game on Steam cost about 75% of it's original price) and possibly wait for a sale to get even more discount. What's more, the game was patched so one gets to avoid all the nasty release bugs instead of playing Guinea pigs. So I guess... thanks Epic, not only you contributed to me saving money but what's more, I didn't have to suffer through the potential release flaws.

It will be interesting to follow the sales figures of Metro Exodus on Steam during the next months.

Take 2 and Rockstar lost it

Take 2 tried and apparently succeeded in taking down a mod for Red Dead Redemption 2. Why? Because in it the modder presented a sex scene... without any nudity whatsoever and with animations and sounds taken from the game itself. The official reason why Take 2 and Rockstar fired a broadside is because the said mod broke the EULA (which of course is total BS because  I've read the EULA and as it is worded any and all mods for Red Dead Redemption 2 are strictly forbidden and yet mods exist for the game with which the plaintiffs have no problems). So the real reason? The real reason is apparently that Rockstar and Take 2 suffer from, shall we say a mild case of paranoia due to the Hot Coffee affair (hidden development code that was left in GTA San Andreas several years back picturing explicit sex scenes) for which they came under fire back then, legally. The problem is that we are talking about modders here. Developers are not responsible for the content produced by the modding community (it's a thing that has always been understood) so why the extra and frankly unnecessary actions, including legal threats against the modder?

The message that Take 2 and Rockstar want to convey seems to be... "it's fine modding the game because we realize that we don't allow modders the game will be dead in a couple of years, but there's a limit". Which seems to be weird for a developer and a publisher responsible for things like the GTA series. So road killing a random innocent bystander is OK but sex is not. I can't even begin to tell you how weird (and wrong) that rings to the hears of an European.

Now, imagine if Bethesda decided to take a similar action. How many mods would they have to ban?  Want the answer? Go on The Nexus and search for mods with content only suitable for adults. One thing I can tell you it wouldn't be just the one odd mod :lol:

And CD Projekt again... pissing in every other publisher's pot... again

Well, I'm not a console player so I shouldn't be concerned but this story deserves to be noted because it's one rare consumer friendly gesture in a gaming industry full of sharks. CD Projekt decided that:

Quote from: from CDP via Twitter
Gamers should never be forced to purchase the same game twice or pay for upgrades. Owners of #Cyberpunk2077 for Xbox One will receive the Xbox Series X upgrade for free when available.

So if you have an Xbox One and don't have the dough to buy a brand new Series X when it will be released at the end of the year, you can still buy Cyberpunk 2077 for your current console and have the upgrade for free on the next gen when you'll be able to buy one. You know that just about every other publisher would make you pay for the game... twice. Heck most of the AAA ones make you pay for a remastered edition even when you already own the original game (Bethesda being a stunning exception with Skyrim SE that was free for people already owning the original game and DLCs -- which proves that Bethesda can do right by us... just not at the moment apparently, too busy trying to fix the nth bug in Fallout 76).

In the same vein, CD Projekt also revised their refund policy for Now one can get a refund for any game withing 30 days of the purchase, whether the game was installed or not, played or not. Thing is, as much as I support pro-consumer move, I'm also a bit worried about this one because I can see that the new terms could easily be exploited by some unsavory character, buying a game, playing it entirely within two weeks then get the refund. SO CD Projekt asked their users to not abuse the new system, it will be in some instance a case by case judgment on their part because obviously if a same user request three refunds in three months, there might be a problem. CD Projekt said that they expect their users to know what their doing before buying a game and that obliviously a refund should only be requested in case of technical problem or if the game is absolutely not what the user was genuinely expecting.

To me it seems like a social experiment to test people honesty  :realconfused: But still it's consumer friendly and a great option to have for those users that experience a real problem with a game so I'm not complaining.

Baldur's Gate 3 is finally in development after all those years and Larian is developing it... wait what?

If I was surprised by the announcement of Baldur's Gate 3 coming, I was a bit more surprised by the choice made of Larian (Divinity: Original Sin) as developer. Not that I don't trust Larian to get the job done, I've played all their games since Divine Divinity and enjoyed almost all of them. The thing is however: Larian is Larian; their games are generally full of weird humor and a particular aesthetic that might not be to the taste of old school Baldur's Gate aficionados. Larian also doesn't hesitate to break the boundaries of the inflexible old school style dogma to bring innovations to a dusty genre (isometric D&D games).

In short, if someone wanted to do a rigid old school Baldur's Gate, they would have been better choosing Obsidian Entertainment (Pillars of Eternity) for the job. But I guess that Wizards of the Coast (the company behind Dungeons and Dragons and the copyright owner of Baldur's Gate -- among other things) had their own motive for the choice. Maybe they wanted something fresh and thought that Larian could fit the bill.

And I've seen the live demo of the game the other day (it's a pre-alpha so it was full of bugs, sometimes hilarious ones) and it's definitely a Larian product, no doubt about it. The rules set may be D&D but the look and feel is definitely Original Sin. Too much like Original Sin some are already complaining.

I'm not. BG 3 will probably not feel like BG 2, but at the same time Larian is generally able to dose correctly the amount of old stuff to preserve and innovation to inject so technically, I'm not worried... Larian special brand of humor though... that might kill some fans  :purplelaugh:

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein