Take 5: JDR's Gaming Conclusions - 15/03/19

March 15, 2019
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: Google making waves in gaming? We told you so...

It was a mere three weeks ago that we reported on Google’s big play in the gaming arena. It should come as no surprise then, to learn that with two weeks to go before the main announcement from the tech giant, they’ve scored a mini coup to underline their intentions. Jade Raymond, the gaming veteran who was most recently in charge of trying to get EA to do something with the Star Wars franchise, announced this week that she will be joining Google as a VP.

While the industry is still unclear on the cause of Raymond’s troubled tenure with Electronic Arts as well as her sudden departure, given her otherwise stellar record in the field some believe that it was the publisher who caused the relationship to break down, rather than vice-versa. Google certainly appear to value Raymond’s input — and we can only assume that she’s going to play a big part in their new cloud gaming project when Google unveils it at the 2019 Game Developers Conference.

Conclusion Two: Google’s controller or "How I learned how to stop misreading patents and recognised the image means nothing, FFS"

While we're on the subject of Google, it seems the world has gotten itself into something of a tizz again. This time a Google patent has been revealed and in it a controller is pictured. And yet again too many people ignore what the patent is actually telling us. In this case, we have a notification system whereby a controller gets a notification, encouraging actions by the user.

The controller image is to help detail the inventive step and demonstrate this is something which can be patented. It would be in Google’s best interests not to give much detail, so the patent — if granted — covers as broad a space as possible, stopping others from doing anything within that space for twenty years, in the US at least. One suspects they’ve filed in Europe and Japan at the very least, too, if they’re going big with this. Perhaps as part of their soon-to-be-announced move into game streaming, right?

The images are constructs to explain the patent, rather than being a controller Google plans to use. So don’t expect Google to have a controller of this design...but also, don’t expect it to go too mad and different. Not straight away, at least.

Conclusion Three: Gamers are the stock market’s patsy

It’s unlikely you’d have browsed the gaming news briefings this week and not seen the hilarious rumour that Sony was considering buying up Take-Two Interactive. The huge publisher would obviously be a prize catch for anyone given it’s the home to money-spinning development studios and big brand names such as 2K Games (BioShock, Borderlands) and Rockstar, famous for Grand Theft Auto and a fairly well-known recent game called Red Dead Redemption 2.

But for the Japanese behemoth to purchase them outright? Insanity. Take-Two are worth billions (at last count their net worth was estimated at over ten billion dollars) and they are in an enviable position of being able to sell their games across multiple platforms. The idea that they would sell up to Sony is ludicrous, but not as ludicrous as the rumour’s origin. It seems that Wedbush Securities head of technology and media, Joel Kulina, reportedly noted a potential takeover which then got picked up by Market Watch. From there, the rumour mill got fired up, and Take-Two’s shares jumped almost 7%, although the Market Watch piece's authors said that the stock was already improving before the note was released.

When questioned by Gamespot, Kulina said that the rumour was exactly that — nothing but market chatter. A cynic might suggest that Take-Two’s stock, on the decline after the Red Dead Online beta failed to gather much excitement among players, was in need of a boost. And what better way to do that than drop a cheeky little rumour into the stock market and watch the graph turn green? The following day the stock had dropped again by over 3% but that bump likely earned a few pennies for the savvy investor who used the company — and Sony — as a patsy.

Hypothetically, of course.

Conclusion Four: 343 Industries doesn’t want a pizza the action

Sometimes the internet takes you seriously. Far, far too seriously. And so it was when Halo: The Master Chief Collection was announced for PC after — what some may consider — an inordinate amount of time. A Redditor promised that, if that announcement came, they would buy the first employee from developer 343 Industries to comment on the thread a pizza.

So, Brian Jarrard, the Community Director using the handle ske7ch343 did just that

In response, the internet provided, and a pizza was sent to him.

Then another pizza. Then another.

It started to get too much... although some in the office disagreed.

In the end, Jarrard had to issue a plea for it to stop. But really, how much pizza is too much pizza? Does such a figure even exist? It’s debatable, but one would hope that at least a lesson was learned along the way: the internet will take you literally.

Conclusion Five: Direct to video Doom movie is going straight to Hell

If we're being fair, and we are, the movie version of DOOM was bad. Not truly awful on, say, a Super Mario Bros. level, but dreadful enough that one might have forgotten that it featured notable actors such as The Rock and Karl Urban. Their commitment wasn't enough to save it, but it at least made for an entertaining car crash of a film.

You'd think that one DOOM film would have been enough. Hollywood disagreed. This week saw the release of a trailer for an upcoming reboot (wait, a reboot after one film?) entitled DOOM: ANNIHILATION. Perhaps hoping that oblivious punters may mistake it for the rather excellent — and completely unrelated — Natalie Portman sci-fi Annihilation, this unnecessary release isn't even being given the honour of a cinematic debut. No, it's going straight to video. If you want to understand why, take a look:

 


Even for people whose resting levels of optimism tick the meter towards "Don't worry, everything will be great!", this release is likely to prove testing. After all, if the highlights of the dialogue — which the trailer picked specifically to showcase — include gems such as "Move out!", "Die! Die! Die!", and "What is going on?", it's a good bet that this film won't be winning awards any time soon. Also, there were no Cacodemons, so it's a no from me.

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Rob Kershaw

I've been gaming since the days of the Amstrad. Huge RPG fan. Planescape: Torment tops my list, but if a game tells a good story, I'm interested. Absolutely not a fanboy of any specific console or PC - the proof is in the gaming pudding. Also, I like cake.