Games Journalism 2017: Gaming news in a post-truth world

We got eleven days into the new year before we get our first entry.

US Gamer looks back at all the exciting upcoming games that Microsoft presented at E3 2014 and gives us a hard-hitting check on what’s going on.

Microsoft needs to find itself and find its games. This year will be key for Microsoft, with E3 and Gamescom representing a chance to blow off all the doors ahead of a console release. Hopefully whatever they announce this year actually makes to retail shelves.[/quote]

As opposed to all those years which weren’t key for Microsoft?

I mean, I guess? I think I have a different perspective from having worked at MS but projects being smothered in the cradle is just how things are done there. It doesn’t pay to get attached.

I love how the author, determined to show how shit Microsoft’s follow-through is, buried this paragraph in the middle of the article:

That’s not say that Microsoft didn’t deliver on some of its promises from E3 2014. Sunset Overdrive, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Forza Horizon 2 were great Xbox One exclusives, even if the former two didn’t light up the sales charts. There’s the feeling that something isn’t quite adding up with Microsoft’s first and second-party efforts though. The end of 2016 and early 2017 releases are solid, including Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, and Halo Wars 2, but there’s the belief that not much new is coming.[/quote]

“I guess technically, they did release some of the games they said they were working on, but they sucked anyway so there.”

That’s actually a lot of good games. If Nintendo released as many in that span people would be very happy with them.

I think it’s pretty reasonable to emphasize the importance of this year to Microsoft.

From Eurogamer, Microsoft’s 2017: momentum at last, and a golden opportunity

Is this the year we can finally begin an editorial on Xbox’s fortunes without referring to the catastrophic consequences of Xbox One’s botched launch in 2013? I guess I’ve answered my own question there, but at least I feel a little bad about it. Phil Spencer and the rest of the Xbox management team deserve better than having past mistakes raked over yet again, because they have achieved what at one time seemed impossible. They start the new year no longer on the back foot, with some notable successes under their belt, and with, for the first time in years, a strategic advantage over their rivals at Sony. (They even bloodied their nose on Twitter.)

It is, of course, all about Project Scorpio, the high-powered new Xbox console due at the end of this year. It’s bound to be a controversial box, but have no doubt that Microsoft’s games division will be attacking its launch like its life depends on it - and not for nothing, either. It represents a very real opportunity to regain ground in its hard-fought sales war with Sony.

I think they’re right that this is the most momentum MS has had in this generation, and whether they can follow through with it or not this year is going to have a lot of impact on their future.

This is more subjective, but I really don’t think they’ve got an axe to grind here. I think they’re acknowledging it wasn’t ALL a failure, but Scalebound’s cancellation is a reasonable enough justification to revisit and look at the games that never materialized.

No, that’s not at all a fair representation. He literally said that they were “great exclusives”. There was not even the slightest suggestion that any of the games sucked, just that some of them didn’t sell well.

If anything the author was being too kind to MS in that paragraph, by buying into the idea that these were actually exclusives. Especially the deceptive messaging around RotTR’s timed exclusivity was a huge mess. It should be really be counted as a black mark and not a redeeming feature of that press conference.

The bit I find funny is this:

Is that supposed to be an example of a great exclusive lineup? Most of it is PS3 thrash. There has never been a better time to launch a powerful console with bad exclusives. The competition doesn’t really have anything compelling either.

[quote=“jsnell, post:7, topic:127981, full:true”][quote]
[…] in a year where Sony is counting on PlayStation 4-exclusives like Persona 5, Horizon: Zero Dawn, NieR: Automata, Yakuza 0, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix, Gravity Rush 2, and Dragon Quest Heroes II. [/quote]

Is that supposed to be an example of a great exclusive lineup? Most of it is PS3 thrash. There has never been a better time to launch a powerful console with bad exclusives. The competition doesn’t really have anything compelling either.

Nier Automata and P5 the two games I’m most looking forward to BY FAR. Very excited about those two, specially P5, for which I might even take some days off holidays. Horizon Zero Dawn looks really nice too (but I’m not much for open world games).

If you’ll remember the fortunes of the 2014 E3 slate have their roots in 2013 and the DRM fiasco. After the initial Xbox One reveal went over like a lead balloon they basically announced everything possible game wise at E3 to try and compensate. That created a big problem for them the next time year as they didn’t have much new to show which is how we ended up seeing a bunch of CGI trailers for games that were barely under way. As it turned out the Phantom Dust trailer was basically a complete fiction. Crackdown 3 is a total misadventure in attempting to justify cloud computing. And now we see they’ve given up on Scalebound. Obviously at the time they felt the need to announce games was more important than their ability to deliver them.

Edit: also I have no idea how anyone could look at Nier, Nioh, Horizon, Personal 5, Gravity Rush 2 and Yakuza 0 and think that equates to “ps3 trash” or a weak lineup. That’s literally just the lineup for the first few months this year.

I’m really curious to know what’s going on with Crackdown 3.

I’m sure whatever it is it’s awesome. THAT’S RIGHT AWESOME I’M NOT LISTENING TO YOU LA LA LA

[quote=“Brad_Grenz, post:9, topic:127981”] also I have no idea how anyone could look at Nier, Nioh, Horizon, Personal 5, Gravity Rush 2 and Yakuza 0 and think that equates to “ps3 trash” or a weak lineup
The article had a list of 7 titles. 4 of them were already published on the PS3. They even included a compilation of PS4 remasters of PS3 remasters of PS2 games there! (And did not include Nioh, which is kind of inexcusable).

Persona and Yakuza have PS3 versions, but they aren’t available outside of Japan. The Kingdom Hearts collection includes a brand new prologue episode to KH3 that is built on Unreal 4 and PS4 only. Not sure it matters that much when the equivalent list for Xbox One only has one game: Halo Wars 2.

So Nier and Nioh are different things?

The weirdest thing is that the last E3 I was at was…2012? When did we all get so old?

Speak for yourself, I’m perpetually 25 years old, dammit.

Ben “ProfessorBroman” Bowman wrote an op-ed on how Twitch’s IRL streaming channel will ruin his work/life balance.

I’ve been streaming full time on Twitch as my career for four years. Growing my channel at the start involved a mind-crushing 12-16 hours of streaming every day, seven days a week, all year, for two years. This was the only way I could maintain growth.[/quote]

“Always Be Casting” was a common mantra I learned from one of my streaming mentors ManVsGame before I began broadcasting. It took me three solid years of streaming every day before I chose to take one day off every week to keep my sanity. In truth, I already felt like I was losing control of my channel with only one day off. Sub numbers dropped, follows slowed down and every metric I had been tracking for so long seemed to scream at me every Saturday saying, “Get back online or you’ll throw away all your hard work!”[/quote]

Mobile streaming might not do much to change Twitch immediately, but will it be an expectation of every broadcaster to take their community everywhere in a few months or years? Will they feel the need to go out on a date and make sure it’s on IRL because they know that will get views? Could someone turn their phone on in the middle of a horrible event and suddenly become the top stream on Twitch, while having to “engage” with the audience in order to avoid breaking the rules?

Twitch needs to be careful as it manages its brand with this addition. My initial fear is that those rare days off will never appear for the new generation of streamers and we’ll have to learn to speak with our audience as they watch us sleep. “Always Be Casting” is a powerful, effective way to grow an audience, and the only one who can turn the camera off is the person who benefits the most from keeping it on.[/quote]

I’m confused. He makes it his career to stream full time and he’s uncomfortable with a Twitch category designed for that? Twitch isn’t turning “always be streaming” into a career with zero balance. “Always be streaming” is a career with zero balance, by definition.

The streaming community is weird. From my side of it, being an observer more interested in it as a trend of the industry, the whole thing is weird as heck. There’s a lot of “woe is me” in streaming. That’s not to say entertaining people for the amount of time streamers do isn’t hard, (it’s certainly not something I can or want to do) but if that’s your chosen profession, them’s the breaks. It’s cutthroat because viewers are fickle, there’s an unlimited pool of up and coming streamers, and a lot of your livelihood is beholden to other people’s content (the games) and service (Twitch or YouTube). On top of that, it’s tech so it changes very rapidly.

This isn’t like traditional show business, and that’s part of the draw as well as the danger.

That would be the only game to get me interested into getting a Prism One.