411 Games Fact or Fiction 11.22.12: Black Ops 2, The Old Republic, Fake DS Games, More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 11.22.2012
Are we surprised at how well Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has sold? Will Ubisoft buy THQ by the end of next year? Will Star Wars: The Old Republic get players back now that it is free-to-play? 411's Sean Garmer and Gavin Napier debate these topics and more in this week's Fact or Fiction: Games!
Hello everyone and welcome to this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. As always, I am Daniel Anderson, and I hope everyone has had a good week. I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and thank everyone for reading before passing out from the turkey. Anyway, this week we have 411's Sean Garmer going up against Gavin Napier. Let's see what they have to say, shall we?
1.) You would pick up the PS3 Uncharted bundle for $200 on Black Friday.
Gavin Napier - Fact: Actually, I may do this. My PS3 is getting up there in years, and is starting to show signs of age. It freezes pretty frequently on the Netflix app, I have difficulty downloading things from the Playstation store, and games are hard freezing more regularly than they did even six months ago. I don't think it's going to die next week or anything, but this is likely the cheapest, best upgrade opportunity I'm going to have for at least a year.
Sean Garmer - Fact: Damn right I would! I don't have a ps3 so at 200 bucks and you get one of the best games ever with it? I don't see how you don't go buy it right now!
Score: 1 for 1 - This is the one Black Friday deal that has me considering getting out in the insanity. I just have a hard time justifying to myself buying a PS3 when, next year, I will be having to spend money on the next Xbox or PS4.
2.) You were not surprised to hear Black Ops 2 made $500 Million on its first day.
Gavin Napier - Fact: I'm rarely surprised when huge franchises do huge numbers. When it comes to shooters, there are two groups of fans. Those that are insanely devoted to a franchise, and those that are insanely devoted to the genre. Put those together with a massive marketing campaign and that number doesn't seem so unreasonable. As games progress and the price point on them inevitably rises, you're going to see numbers like this just get bigger and bigger. In the next generation of gaming consoles, something will likely hit a billion dollars in first day sales. That sounds like a lot, but by then we'll be dealing with $70-$80 price points for base versions, and $150+ special editions. It'll happen. Sean Garmer - Fact: I'm surprised it didn't sell a billion copies really with how much people love Call of Duty. When it comes to this franchise I don't know how any hojillion copies are a surprise to anyone.
Score: 2 for 2 - I wasn't surprised to hear the numbers. Everyone knows Call of Duty sells a lot of games and Black Ops seems to be the better selling franchise right now.
3.) Going Free-to-Play will bring players back to Star Wars: The Old Republic.
Gavin Napier - Fact: Will it bring them back in droves? Probably not. But it'll bring some back. Going Free-to-Play brought me back to DC Universe Online, and I've had a great time with it. Star Wars fans are devoted like no other, and are likely to go back to an old friend. I don't know how long it will last, but as long as there are servers, there are going to be people gravitating to it from their own little corner of nerd culture.
Sean Garmer - Fiction: I have a feeling most people didn't leave because of having to pay monthly. They left because they were tired of the game. You will get people back at first or even many new players at first. But they will still tail off.
Score: 2 for 3 - I don't think going Free to Play will help The Old Republic overall. The game had balance issues initially, and I think that is what hurt the game more than anything else. The big problem I see a lot of subscription MMO's having problems at launch, and then the initial players are treated as beta players. If a MMO comes out that doesn't have major launch issues, then I think we will see another succeeding subscription MMO.
4.) A 32-month sentence for a UK man selling thousands of counterfeit DS games online is a fair sentence.
Sean Garmer - Fact: If it's enough for the people that were wronged, then it's enough for me. My wife had to serve time, so I wouldn't want to wish extra time in prison on anyone unless they molested a kid or killed or injured someone.
Gavin Napier - Fiction: He deserves much longer. I know I sound like an old man here, but hear me out. Things like this directly affect the prices of games. If you don't think that at some point the legal fees will be passed along to the consumer level, you've lost your mind. Beyond that, this guy was warned. He was given the opportunity to stop or face serious consequences. He decided not to. And really, why would he stop? He made over a million dollars doing this. Nintendo has made sure that nearly three years of this man's life will be spent in prison. If they wanted to set an example, they would have asked for the max sentence. Nintendo has dealt with counterfeiters for a long time. This could have gone a long way towards discouraging the habit in the future
Score: 2 for 4 - I don't have a problem with this. This wasn't someone downloading a game for personal use, but someone selling copies of the game online and making a lot of money. I think it is fair overall.
5.) Microsoft giving away free Xbox 360's to some people who have been on Xbox live since it first launched is a good move.
Sean Garmer - Fact: Why not? That's cool they are doing this. I don't see anything wrong with it.
Gavin Napier - Fact: I'm always for free stuff. Establishing brand loyalty is always a good idea. Rewarding customers that have been around for a decade is the least that Microsoft can do. Odds are if they've been on Xbox Live for the duration, they already own a 360. However, a new console is always a nice upgrade (see my response to the first question). It would have been nice if they would have sent me a free 360 after my third red ring of death, but alas, they did not. And so now I'm a Playstation guy.
Score: 3 for 5 - This is a good move by Microsoft. It is rewarding long-time Live subscribers for their loyalty. Nothing is wrong with this move.
6.) Ubisoft recently said THQ has "good brands". Before 2013 is over we will see THQ absorbed by Ubisoft..
Sean Garmer - Fiction: I just can't see it because EA or Activision will probably take them first. I would love for Ubisoft to take THQ's properties because they give great care to their stuff. Whereas EA and Activision will whore out all of those properties till they die.
Gavin Napier - Fact: THQ does have good brands. WWE is the one brand most associated with THQ at this point, but they also have several others that should make them attractive to a financially responsible company. Saints Row, Warhammer 40,000, MX vs. ATV, and Darksiders can appeal to adult gamers. For the younger/family demographic, they have Hot Wheels along with a ton of licensing deals with Nickelodeon (Spongebob, Nicktoons) and Disney/Pixar (Cars, Kung Fu Panda, etc.). For a company that's on solid financial ground and can maximize the opportunities that these brands bring, there's no reason not to see them absorbed. Ubisoft seems to fit that bill.
Score: 3 for 6 - Between EA, Activision, or Ubisoft picking up THQ I would prefer Ubisoft. Despite the used game issue, Ubisoft is the least "evil" of any of the mentioned publishers. I mean think how bad it would be if there was an Assassin's Creed game released every year.
Bonus Question: What are your Thanksgiving plans?
Sean Garmer - Watch the cowboys and redskins and work 8pm to 4am because Kmart is having multiple door busting sales and then I get to work 9am to 4pm on Friday too.
Gavin Napier - I'll be heading home after work on Thursday and doing some Black Friday shopping on mom's behalf. Then it'll be a long weekend with the family. Dad recently had a fall and broke his pelvis in two places, so he's not going to be up and about doing much. I'll likely spend some quality time with him in the living room watching football, eating leftovers, and sleeping more than normal.
That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Sean and Gavin went 3 for 6 agreeing as much as they disagreed. I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming.