5 Conclusions - 23/08/18

August 24, 2018

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: 2019 is the year of the ninja

From Software has not released a game since 2016’s Dark Souls 3. Their last new franchise was Bloodborne in 2015. Whilst Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice looks on the face of it very different to the Soulsborne games (no co-op play, vertical worlds and no RPG-character build mechanics), it will clearly be influenced by them and probably built upon those foundations.

Even if it isn’t, this is a game from the mind of Hidetaki Miyazaki and his team. It’s a new franchise and it’s multi-format. Coming along in the Spring / Easter slot just as God of War did this year suggests confidence from Activision who will be hoping it fills the coffers at the end of Q1 and into Q2 of fiscal year 2019, as well as the very fact this time of year now is the new silly season.

Conclusion Two: The day Windows died

Wow. Steam is the client of choice for PC gaming, a monopoly in all but name if you will. Since it launched in 2004 the world has been eaten up by it and Valve has ceased even considering making Half-Life 3 as it can just sit there and drool over Steam. As well as get a few things wrong…

Anyway, this is very, very right. Games available via Steam which have no Linux version CAN STILL BE PLAYED ON LINUX according to Forbes.. No messing about by the end user, all the jiggery-pokery is done by Steam.

Just think - no more Windows for gaming? No more Windows at all? Yes, for anyone who wants to ditch Windows but likes to play, now is your time. It’s not going to see the end of Windows but my bet is that from this point on we see a considerable downturn in the number of activated versions globally, and an increase in the delightful Linux and any number of versions of that.

Conclusion Three: Someone’s Spidey-sense is tingling

Specifically, Insomniac Games’ Spidey-sense. As we near the release of their Sony PlayStation 4 exclusive Spider-Man on September 7th, there is a warning to any content creator big or small about posting anything spoilery:

This approach has to be applauded. Games are big business. Everyone wants to play them and we all want to talk about them. But for too long there has been a culture of spoiling it for others, whether meant to or not. A developer going out of their way to ask people to avoid this is not unique, but it is rare, and good news. We all deserve to experience Spidey as the creatives intended, rather than after everyone in the world has let us know what happens at the end of each act.

Conclusion Four: If Miyamoto-san speaks, we listen

Nintendo used to make cards. It then kickstarted the home console era with the NES, it brought Mario and Link to the world and it innovated above all others when going down its own paths with the Wii, the Switch, the DS and more (we can perhaps forget the Virtual Boy).

So when Nintendo speaks, it’s normally worth listening. If it’s somebody like Shigeru Miyamoto doing the talking then we pretty much have to listen — them’s the rules.

Basically, free to play is rubbish and microtransactions are bad. We all know this, but apparently very few game developers and publishers do. Nintendo knows this, and it’s based on experience. Recognising this allows Nintendo to try something else in order to bring gaming to as many people as possible. By doing that, and ensuring the games are good, the business wins will follow. The consumer is boss.

Conclusion Five: Game addiction has many results, but they’re all bad

Game addiction is not a laughing matter, and thankfully something which is gaining more attention in the UK, as well as around the globe. This is important as like any addiction the impact upon a person’s life — as well as those around them — can be catastrophic.

In the case of James Callis, according to ITV.com, there were also physical, mechanical effects as a result of his addiction. Specifically, his Welsh accent went because he was pretty much only communicating with North Americans throughout the day, every day.

This might be funny to some, and of minimal impact to others, but it’s a real representation of damage that is a direct consequence of gaming and addiction to gaming. There are many more things that can result, and if we were to go through that list I’m sure we’d each find one or more things which did truly scare us, upset us or more.  

F1 2019 raises the bar once again for F1 games. Whilst more hardcore racers will still prefer something like iRacing or Assetto Corsa, casual players and F1 fanatics will wholeheartedly enjoy their time here, regardless of their skill level.
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...