Death of the Disc-Based Game – PC Feature at IGN.
The full-priced retail game might not disappear until after the next generation of consoles, but it will eventually. Major franchises like Call of Duty will continue to move huge quantities through ever-expanding brand recognition, but new or lesser known intellectual property is doomed to either flounder or catastrophically fail if they’re sitting on a store shelf bearing a prohibitively high price tag.
More and more games these days are being sold with ‘digital download only’ copies which makes you wonder how much longer will it be before we start seeing all games sold this way.
Blizzard are already doing it, the Steam platform on the PC has been around a while and becoming more and more popular and the console landscape is really the only place left for publishers to make a stand. Even consoles have downloadable games now via the XBOX Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, etc.
It will still be at least a few years before we see all games ship this way, but those without a solid internet connection will unfortunately be left in the dark with no good option to purchase new games, and that is truly a shame. It will be because of this reason, and likely this reason alone that publishers will continue to ship physical media. The question is, when will the switch happen?
There were a lot of new details shown at this years E3 gaming Expo in Los Angeles including a Q4 release date (27 October, 2011 in Australia). There has been a lot of multiplayer footage and also gameplay footage. One thing must be said the game looks absolutely spectacular. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens when this game launches as Infinity Ward’s ‘Modern Warfare 3’ will be set to launch around the same time. Modern Warfare games in the past have dominated first person shooter sales for the last few years with Battlefield (to be honest) a close second.
Battlefield 3 global release schedule:
October 25, 2011
USA, Canada, Singapore
October 27, 2011
Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Australia
October 28, 2011
UK, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy
Sources: http://www.ea.com/news/battlefield-3-release-date-announced. http://www.enterbf3.com/
This year though I think DICE and EA have a hot game on their hands with BF3 and I think will knock Call of Duty off its very high perch. Can’t wait for this one, will be looking forward to it!
OK, I know a lot of people who still love playing Diablo 2 (my girlfriend included). She actually re-installed this the other day and she asked me “How come I can’t get rid of the black bars on the sides of the screen?”. The answer to this question is because Diablo 2 only supports a maximum screen resolution of 800×600. I showed her how to stretch the game across the whole screen but wouldn’t it be great to be able to play Diablo 2 at higher screen resolutions? Well, now you can.
I came across a really great article at N.E.E.T. Gamer which explains how it all works. You basically install some software which runs from the Diablo 2 game directory modifying the game to run in higher resolutions. The reason why something like this is able to work is because the graphics engine Diablo 2 uses is able to scale graphics accordingly based on your screen resolution (it can already do this between 640×480 and 800×600 anyway) unlike previous Blizzard games before it (StarCraft 1, WarCraft 2, etc) that used sprites of fixed size which could not be scaled or re sized without stretching and warping the image badly.
Here’s a quick link to the D2MultiRes Patch: http://www.moddb.com/games/diablo-2/downloads/d2multires-version-102
Last week the minister for justice Brendan O’Connor released a draft of guidelines that would accompany the introduction of an R18+ rating for video games in Australia.
With a classification system in Australia that does not have an R18+ rating for video games is ridiculous and stupid. We’ve had an R18+ rating for film and television in this country ever since the Office for Film & Literature Classification (OFLC) created the system but video games have been left behind all this time. Granted there is an argument that video games have not made such an impact on society as they have over the last 10-15 years and the need for an R18+ rating has not been raised before and I understand that, but at least between the last 5-10 years we’ve seen video games grow and the level of adult content grow with it. The question I’d like to ask is “Why should we treat video games differently?”.
As an adult living in Australia, currently I have the right to view R18 films whenever I like. I have the freedoms and rights to see what I want and consume that type of media with its adult content as I want, why can’t I do the same with video games? People say it’s because video games offer a level of interactivity that film simply does not. I understand where you’re coming from but its not as if I’d go around killing people or anything in real life after playing Grand Theft Auto.
Because Australia has not had an R18+ rating for video games, we have missed out on some really amazing games, more recently Mortal Kombat was released and banned in Australia, we’ve received watered down versions of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Left 4 Dead 2 just to name a few others.
So far as I’m writing this, I’ve started to think that perhaps I’m a little biased and my rants here are a little one sided. Fair enough, but I don’t hear too many arguments from people disputing the need for an R18+ rating for video games, do you? It’s kind of like saying would you object to legislation that would cure cancer or end world hunger? We need an R18 rating for video games not just to please fellow adults like myself, but we need this rating to better manage the types of content our children can get their hands on and to classify media in Australia in a more detail. There can be no blanket “one rating to rule them all” strategy because as it has been with video games this is all we’ve effectively had.
As an adult, I should have the same freedoms offered to me to consume adult material in video games just as I have the right to do so with film and television. I’m glad the Australian government are taking steps to catch up with the rest of the world on this issue. It will allow adults just as myself to better make decisions to restrict the type of content children consume, while at the same time not prohibiting the rest of us from watching (and playing) whatever we choose.
I’m really looking forward to an introduction of an R18+ rating for video games in Australia, it has been neglected and absent for far too long.
I am currently ranked 13 in my bronze league division in StarCraft 2. I usually win more games than I loose, but every loss there is a lesson learned and this is partly the idea behind these videos. I have to say I’m not a professional player (obviously) and I’m not a professional StarCraft 2 commentator. These videos are simply a ‘self-help’ idea I came up with and by sharing my learning experiences with others I might find some new and interesting tips along the way.
There aren’t a lot of useful video guides out there to help Bronze/Silver leaguers get out of those leagues but Total Halibut does a great series “I suck at StarCraft 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92Rv-s-7rNk. I’m hoping to be able to share my Bronze league experiences with others and maybe I’ll learn a thing or two along the way also!. I’m always looking for great beginner SC2 vids so this is my contribution.
My goal is to record a bunch of my bronze level matchups and review them try to find out what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong and to see what my opponents are doing that work well for them. Chances are others have already made the same mistakes I have and if not, maybe my videos will help them out!
There’s always something new to learn with StarCraft 2 – let the learning begin!
It looks like AU ign.com are looking for a new gaming writer to add to their team.
Ideal candidates should have a fiery passion for gaming, possess superior writing and communication skills, have a good knowledge of the gaming industry, and be keen to help IGN.com remain the best gaming destination on the Internet.
The requirements are as follows:
- Must be 18 years of age or older and live in Australia
- Must have a passion for writing and a unique voice
- Must be reliable, professional and have interesting ideas
If you are interested in the gaming industry you need to submit your CV and a 1000 word writing sample to the IGN outreach email address.
I have been thinking about writing a sample and submitting it, it would be great to freelance for ign.com. The website has been a one stop shop for all my gaming info for years and I still regularly visit for upcoming gaming release dates, previews and reviews, etc.
If you’re an avid writer and want a piece of the IGN pie, you should definitely apply!
I know WOW: Cataclysm is only ~$40 to buy and it probably would be quicker if I just went out and got it, but if you fire up World Of WarCraft without the new expansion installed you’re pretty much forced to have to download about 8GB of patches and updates just to be able to play the game! Now $40 really isn’t all that much to pay and if I was really desperate to play it I probably would just go out and pick it up, but I’ve been thinking about possibly getting back into WOW but I’m not really sure. If I can get the game up and running and maybe buy a 1 month sub to test it out, if I like it I’d probably go get it…otherwise I’d leave it.
I’m sure I’m not the only one in this boat, there must be heaps of people out there who used to play and are thinking about returning to it now that the new expansion is out, but the last thing they want to do is fork out large sums of money for subscriptions to a game they might not want to even play.
Now I understand why these patches are required, the Cataclysm expansion changes pretty much the whole game. There are new starting zones for the 2 new races, but even looking at all the old zones from the base game and 2 previous expansions they’ve updated those also. This means you are pretty much having to download the entire cataclysm game anyway as everybody needs to be playing on the same zone maps, etc. The only things you won’t have access to if you don’t buy the expansion would probably be being able to create characters based on the 2 new races in the game (Worgen and Goblins) and any new quests.
I’m sure its a great game, it just kind of sucks that people who might want to come back to it have to wait a million years for their game clients to patch before they can jump back in again.
Ahh well, only another 1GB remaining and I’m back in.
The Commonwealth Government has finally released its discussion paper which briefly summarises the key arguments for and against an R 18+ classification for computer games. Censorship Ministers in Australia have considered the issue of an adult classification for computer games on several occasions. However, they have not undertaken public consultation on this issue.
Submissions are being sought on whether the Australian National Classification Scheme should include an R 18+ classification category for computer games. Submissions can be made by downloading and completing the submission template. Submissions may also be mailed or faxed. The discussion paper and submission template contain the contact details for making a submission.
Submissions are invited by close of business 28 February 2010. Submissions received after the due date may not be considered.
The average age of video gamers in Australia is 30 years old and should have the right to view and use video games which depict sex and violence if they choose, as the exact same classification exists for film and television…it doesn’t seem right to not have one for games. It’s great the Australian government is interested in hearing from the public about this issue and hopefully its a great first step in bringing Australia’s aged classification legislation into the present (instead of living in the 60s).
For more information, please visit the Australian attorney general’s site for an R18+ game classification.