Lorne Lannning and the folks over at Oddworld Inhabitants have generally been pretty positive on the Wii U since announcing the Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty and Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath HD would be coming to the console, and today they’ve spoken with VentureBeat about Nintendo’s struggling system further, saying that despite a small install base it’s still well worth supporting:
“We’re self-publishing. With Sony that’s a breeze. With Steam it’s a breeze. With Microsoft it’s not a breeze. With Nintendo, something’s going to happen there shortly,” said Lanning. “Even on the Wii U, though, how many people did buy it? It’s kind of how we looked at Vita in the Christmas of 2012.
“We did Stranger HD on Vita, and the publishers were kind of snubbing Vita at the time, because there wasn’t enough installed base to move their dial. We said, yeah, but that small base is pretty passionate. They invested and they want good experiences that are designed to maximize that control scheme. Why don’t we spend a little more time and attention – because we’re small and we can – and a result we took number two in the US and number one in Europe that Christmas on Vita.
“So far we’ve had zero on Nintendo. We’ve had zero brand visibility on Nintendo since day one. We never built for Nintendo. Today, we’re looking at it and we say, ‘We’ll get over to Wii U.’ As a business model it might not completely make sense, but we want to get to work on Nintendo, get to self-publishing on Nintendo. Everything’s a new store. Everything’s more shelf space. We’re trying to get the brand across that as widely as possible.”
Venturebeat via IGN
A new study conducted in Singapore by Douglas A. Gentile, PhD; Dongdong Li, PhD; Angeline Khoo, PhD; Sara Prot, MA; and Craig A. Anderson, PhD; has found a fairly unmediated correlation between children playing video games and them having more aggressive tendencies 3-5 years down the line. Covering just over 3,000 children over a 3-year time period (73% male, 27% female), the study surveyed each child every year to try and gauge their game-playing habits and their susceptibility to aggression. The researches found that longitudinal latent growth curve modeling demonstrated a positive correlation between the consumption of violent games media and real-life aggressive tendencies, though they make particular note that this is primarily mediated by “aggressive cognitions”, rather than by the games themselves.
“Aggressive cognitions” appears to reference “normative beliefs about aggression, hostile attribution bias, aggressive fantasizing”, which effectively means that children’s thoughts on aggression and violence prior to playing games are the primary factor when determining the effect playing a violent game may have on them. Children who are more open to violence will see a stronger negative effect from playing video games, whereas kids who tend to be less open to or accepting of violence won’t see as strong an effect.
You can read the full study here if you like.
Warner Bros. Interactive has revealed today that their LEGO franchise of games– most recently LEGO The Hobbit, which comes out next month– has been a great success for them over the past few years, revealing that it not only sold 1.6 million units last year, but is the number two selling franchise so far in 2014:
“Since the start of 2013, WBIE has sold 1.6 million LEGO games, and it is currently the second biggest game franchise in 2014 year-to-date in terms of units sold, with 420,200 units. Another strong week could see the LEGO game franchise take the number one franchise spot.
“They also completely buck the sales trend with a huge shelf life. LEGO games are no longer seen as kids products and we ensure they’re available on all platforms, both physically and digitally.”
- Warner Bros. Interactive UK sales and marketing director Spencer Crossley
Crossley says he believes strong sales will continue into the new year, and that Warner Bros. has plans to expand the franchise onto new platforms going forward.
MCVUK via VG247
As though we’d ever think this was going to happen: A movie (based on a book) about the 1990′s insane console war between Nintendo, Sony, and SEGA will be coming out, directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (both of whom worked on last year’s This is the End). The book– authored by Blake Harris, who will write the film– that the movie is based upon hasn’t released yet, but the it is in the pre-production stages which means we could see it as early as next year.
No word on specifics; the above is all the real info we have.
Independent.ie via GameInformer
Not only will the crowdfunded remake of this Sega Genesis RPG be hitting the Wii U in just a few months, it looks like a 3DS version of the game could be on the cards. In an interview with Nintendo Enthusiast, WaterMelon President Tulio Goncalves said that the company was hoping to release the Wii U version of the 90′s-JRPG-inspired title in April. Of course, the game was originally intended to release in December of last year, and then in “Q1 2014″ so we’ll see. The Wii U version will make use of the console’s second screen, a feature that will be exclusive to Nintendo’s console – although Goncalves teased that it wouldn’t be exclusive for long if the game eventually made the jump to the 3DS. It might be a while before we see a 3DS version, though, as the game is already being ported to the Wii U, PS3, PS4, PC, Mac, Linux, Android, Xbox One, Ouya and Dreamcast. Phew.
Capcom is a company that has been trying for a while to dig itself out of financial trouble, and today prestigious producer from the company Yoshinori Ono has said that he believes companies that are only focused on understanding Japan simply can’t succeed worldwide anymore:
“The challenge for us now is determining the best way to adapt our approach for delivering services in each regional market. In Japan, for example, home video game consoles enjoy the same amount of popularity among gamers as smartphones and computers. On the other hand, there is little need to focus on game consoles in other Asian countries because they are only used by hardcore gamers. We do intend to continue marketing titles aimed at hardcore gamers, but in general our primary focus in the Asia is building up the market for online games.”
“Home video games are the most popular in the North America and Europe, so in that sense it’s like a larger version of the Japanese market. But recently the income gap has widened in certain areas, and there are differences in the attitudes people have towards games, so we need to adapt our services to fit the needs of each group. People involved in global business development who only know Japan have no real hope of accomplishing anything. To offer services adapted to each region, you need to take an active interest in regions outside Japan, and make an effort to understand their local customs and culture.”
- Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono
Capcom Developer Interviews via VideoGamer
Here’s an incredibly interesting bit of reading for you: A company called Danger, Inc. once took their prototype for a T-Mobile Sidekick (also known as the “hiptop”), merged it with a Game Boy Advance chipset, created an online “app store” of sorts to purchase digital Game Boy Advance game copies, and sent it off to Nintendo for them to take a look at. Nintendo’s response? Read it below, as it’s worth hearing it through the first-hand account:
After a years-long legal battle, it appears that Eternal Darkness and Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes developer Silicon Knights is going to end up paying a $9.1 million fine to Epic Games for allegedly using an unlicensed copy of Unreal Engine, breaching contractual obligations, and racking up court fees.
Silicon Knights hasn’t been up to much lately and the studio is a shell of its former self. Dennis Dyack– former leader of the developers there– has said that there’s only one or two people still officially working there, and after losing this legal battle it appears unlikely that they’ll continue. A sad way for the developer to go out.
Court Ruling via Gamespot
Disclaimer for all study-based posts: This is not meant to be taken as positive or negative, nor is it wholly conclusive. It’s an intriguing set of data with which you can do what you please– not a moral conclusion in and of itself.
Researchers at something called the “Nottingham Trent University International Gaming Research Unit” have gathered data leading to an interesting observation: A portion of gamers experience minor visual/aural alterations to reality after playing games for an extended period of time, presumably 4+ hours straight. These alterations are called similar to hallucinations but not entirely the same thing.
The study covered 483 gamers and “656 experiences” that were gathered via online forums, and did not include a psychological profile of players. Researchers say that, after playing for long periods of time, some gamers continued to “see” (in a non-literal sense, of course) elements of the game that in some cases prevented them from sleeping or caused strange behavior. The professor of psychology at Nottingham Trent admitted that the study was not necessarily representative of gaming as a whole, but finds it interesting nonetheless.
Read more about the study over at Gamespot.
Despite the vitriol online, this year’s VGX Awards appear to have been a big success on a technical level, with the show bringing more viewers for more time than they had every thought possible. Viacom’s Erik Flannigan said that the show “exceeded” their expectations, and that the average view time (32 minutes) was “way beyond our wildest dreams”.
Producer Casey Patterson chimed in, saying that they’re already talking about next year’s show:
“Yes, we would love to do this show again and those are the discussions we are having right now, and we’ll produce that show, that stream in the same way we produced this year’s which is to take the feedback of the gamers, good and bad.”
“The only thing we can do is assure gamers that we are listening. They can tell from the show we built this year that we like them talking to us. Good, bad, ugly, we want to them to continue to talk to us at the decibel that they have been.”
- VGX producer Casey Patterson
Polygon via ShackNews