5 Conclusions - 09/02/18

February 9, 2018
FEATURES

A regular look at gaming-related stories from the past week or so whereby conclusions are drawn from anything and everything. These may be incredibly well reasoned based on events from the week. Alternatively, they may be highly speculative, drawn from very little evidence. More likely, they will be somewhere in between.

Conclusion One: Call of Duty will never die

I mean, this series has been running since 2003. It began life as a brilliantly done World War II shooter and has since evolved and revolved through the Modern Warfare plethora of games to the future in Advanced Warfare and back to World War II. It’s also gone for some delightfully over the top Black Ops work, which is where we will be going later this year, too, according to Marcus Sellars, Editor of Nintendo Switch Network:

It is a massive franchise and has made Activision, the publishers, over $15 billion. That’s basically $1 billion per year. A pretty good return on investment and reason enough to never let the series end.  

Conclusion Two: Rockstar will be 2018’s game publisher extraordinaire

We mentioned last week how, come October 26th, there is no point in being a game which isn’t called Red Dead Redemption 2. It is guaranteed to be massive as it’s coming to us from Rockstar, and anything they release is the equivalent to cinema’s Star Wars.

Anyway, Trusted Reviews has come into possession of multiple development notes which detail the new game and its various modes and mechanics. Alongside the expected solo campaign - which can be played in first-person mode if desired - is a variety of online gameplay components, some of which might be aiming to capitalise on the success of games such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.

So, to recap: we have Rockstar releasing a new Red Dead game with single-player and multiplayer components, the ability to play in first or third-person mode and it will ensure it’s up to date with all current game mode crazes. Right then, let’s just leave silly season to Rockstar and RDR2.

Conclusion Three: Gaming is a disease

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is currently undergoing its 11th revision. This process is being done for the World Health Organisation. The relevance to Jump Dash Roll? A new addition to this draft list is something termed ‘Gaming Disorder’.

Basically, according to the entry, you can be diagnosed with this disease if:

  1. You have impaired control over gaming
  2. Gaming takes priority over other interests and activities
  3. You continue gaming despite negative consequences

Keep in mind this is a draft, that one or more of the above would need to be present for over a year and also that a doctor needs to diagnose an individual with this after hearing all of that person’s circumstances. But to us it seems like point 2 above, in particular, could be a difficult one to judge. After all, to many people - including some or all of us at Jump Dash Roll - gaming is our main hobby; we do it over other life interests and activities.

It’s listed under the umbrella of addictive disorders, alongside gambling as one other example. So you’d imagine trained medical professionals would assess the symptoms in a similar way. But still, as keen gamers this is an interesting development.

Ultimately, any addictive behaviour can be damaging and there are examples from recent times and the past where gaming addiction has led to significant and terminal problems and if this can be identified and treated beforehand that can only be a good thing.  

Conclusion Four: Xbox Preview starting to take off

Following hot on the heels of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds another hit PC game, DayZ, has been confirmed for Xbox One on the system’s Game Preview platform. Much like Steam’s Early Access it allows game developers to release their games and apply spit and polish over time. Up until PUBG’s launch on the service you could almost be forgiven for not knowing the service existed with perhaps We Happy Few and GWENT being notable additions. However with these two heavy hitters on the service it could spell an uptake in other developers launching on the platform through this avenue.

Conclusion 5: A new player is in town and they have a real chance

Google is that new player. Rather than just come in and do what everyone else is doing well, Google is looking to come into a new space - some white space - which others are looking at but haven’t really grasped. That is game streaming according to The Information - playing a game that streams as you would watch a film or YouTube video, rather than downloading it first, or getting hold of the physical media.

Earlier this year Phil Harrison, of Sony and Microsoft in years gone by, joined Google. Is he there as part of Google’s move into gaming? It would make vast amounts of sense, after all, Android-based gaming is limited to mobile despite the efforts of various companies to develop some kind of console in the past to enable Android gaming at home (think of the Nvidia Shield, or Ouya). It’s not going to be easy to succeed in gaming and it’s not going to be easy to succeed via streaming which at the moment is a nascent technology.

Yet Google are at the forefront of lots of clever things alongside the other tech giants across various categories globally, companies such as Apple and Tesla. They might be making their own console and that might not be Android-based. They might use Chromecast depending on the local power required to run cloud-based games.

It’s not an easy task, is it? But why not Google ahead of Sony, or Microsoft? Sony entered the market in 1994 after a period of Nintendo and Sega dominance. Microsoft came in 2001. Sega dropped out of hardware and each of the remaining companies has been the leader at one or more times in recent years. Change happens, and change is good for all of us consuming the games. Google might not compete directly, they might not do anything well. But they could.

Luciano Howard

I've been gaming for 30+ years on the Commodore VIC-20 to the Nintendo Switch and most things in-between. I enjoy all kinds of games but if I had to pick a couple right now, I'd say I adore Mario and love Dark Souls. I can talk about either ad infinitum...