Four Player Co-op 03.13.13: SimCity, Assassin's Creed IV, Star Wars 1313, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 03.13.2013
Is LucasArts really delaying Star Wars 1313 to focus on an Episode VII-related game? Do we think Assassin's Creed IV was originally set to be an expansion pack? Has EA damaged the SimCity franchise with their bungled launch? The 411 Staff debates these topics and more in the latest 4PC!
Dan Watson has joined the game.
Daniel Anderson has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Stewart Lange has joined the game.
Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, the game that's always online, but nobody ever seems to mind for some reason. Maybe EA should ask if they can borrow the use of 411's server.
Start the game!
QUESTION ONE: So you may have heard by now about the disastrous launch of EA's new SimCity game. The launch has thus featured a myriad of server-related issues (which is a problem since the game requires an online connection to EA's servers to be played at all), a laundry list of bugs, and a general level of dissatisfaction from gamers (especially when EA initially refused to honour refunds), reviewers, and even retailers (Amazon briefly refused to even list the game for sale for a period last week). Perhaps the worst thing about this whole kerfuffle is that a once-great franchise is being severely damaged in the process. Will this be an object lesson in the folly of always-online DRM, or is EA correct in apparently hoping that if they wait long enough, this will all fade away?
This is EA we are talking about. I am sure they believe this will just fade away in the news once another company makes a mistake worthy of main-stream news. The Sims series has been dead to me for a while now. I am shocked that this is such a popular series still. How different can you make a simulation of life? I really got bored with the game each time I tried a new installment until I finally just gave up. Why does EA torture us with terrible titles? Couldn't they release a new Sims like every four or five years and try to freshen it up somehow? Its EA though and they are just cash hungry corporate monsters.
It will be an object lesson is what can go wrong with always-online DRM, but that doesn't mean it will go away. Companies will continue to try this to combat piracy because they have nothing to lose. People who bought the game at launch, not knowing what was in store for them, already bought the game. Most retailers such as Gamestop, Best Buy, Walmart, and Target will not let you return opened games except for a new copy of the same game (now some of these retailers might have bent their rules for this case, but the point stands). EA will face some bad press for this, but most gamers will forget about this case by the next big EA release (unless this happens again). What strikes me as funny is last year after Mass Effect 3 was released there were already lawsuits filed because of the ending, but, so far, I haven't seen any stories about lawsuits being filed for not being able to play the game you bought (or I guess the term is technically licensed). I figured I would have heard of at least one lawsuit being filed by now.
So one of the giant "evil" game publishers did something shady? And people are shocked about it? At this point, I don't think there is a bone-headed move that can be done by Activision or EA that would surprise me. Had something like this been done by one of the beloved publishers, then I might be scratching my head a bit. This should definitely draw some heads towards the problem with always-online DRM, but I doubt it will. If the game is full of bugs and problems, that isn't going to go away until EA offers a patch to fix them, so I don't see this as one of those fade away type of problems.
I'd love to say it's the former and that somewhere in an office, there's a guy scratching his head about how to avoid anything like this happening again. The reality of it though is that since it is EA, they won't be answering the door, ignoring their calls and hoping that this will go away. That said, I've not personally played a SimCity game in a long time, but it's still a total farce and hopefully even if EA ignore this, other companies will learn a lesson.
Daniel's right, for 436 points. Where are the lawsuits? They should be coming out of the woodwork by now.
QUESTION TWO: Rumour out of LucasArts is that Star Wars 1313, a highly anticipated new installment of the Star Wars video game franchise, which had been hyped at E3 and predicted to be a big title for the next console generation, has been put on hold in favour of focussing on creating games that will be related to the upcoming sequel trilogy under development. Does that make any sense to anyone?
Quizmaster, this has been a bad week for me with Harvin being traded from the Vikings. Nothing makes sense anymore and this LucasArts theory makes even less sense. Just thinking that they are shelving a potentially great game in favor of more movie games pisses me off. Why does the movie need a game to go with it? Oh that's right, the damn mouse doesn't have enough money yet. The Star Wars franchise is dead to me.
The only way delaying Star Wars 1313 makes sense is that there is some issue with the game. I could easily see Disney, after purchasing Star Wars and everything related to it, taking a look at the nearly finished game and, after deciding that there were problems with it (aka it being a flawed game), deciding to cancel it instead of try to repair it. Disney seems committed to making Star Wars a movie juggernaut again (and getting the bad taste of the prequels out of everyone's mouth), and putting out a bad game would slightly damage the brand. Not saying this is what happened, but it is one of the only reasons that delaying the game makes sense.
It absolutely makes sense... if you are an idiot. You have a game that has been extremely hyped by nearly all of the media. The game has created a tremendous buzz amongst gamers, Star Wars fans or not, and you think it is a good idea to put this on ice in favor of developing all new games for a series of films that has yet to even be completely written? Yup... that is just stupid, no matter how you slice it.
As the Star Wars fan, I pass you over to my wife for the answer on this question-
"None of it makes sense. Star Wars is done."
So there you have it. I'll only get excited for a Star Wars Kingdom Hearts, so until then, I'm not bothered. I only like Empire anyway.
Stewart receives no points, and may God have mercy upon his soul, for he has a wife that loves Star Wars, and he doesn't even care about the franchise. Many men would kill for less.
QUESTION THREE: So, the Assassin's Creed IV news has been coming fast and furious lately, which I find interesting, since we just saw AC3 in late 2012, and UbiSoft gave AC2 a couple expansions before moving on to the official third installment of the franchise. Then you toss in the information we have about Black Flag sets it in a time period just prior to AC3, and I start to wonder: what do you think the odds would be that ACIV was originally going to be an AC3 expansion, but after that game took some critical beatings, UbiSoft decided to do what they could to distance the next game from AC3 by just skipping straight to the next sequel instead?
I hadn't thought about that but it makes sense. Something about the AC series really doesn't keep its shelf life up long and the value of the games normally drops within weeks. I don't think there is any other series that the title comes out in early November and by Black Friday you can pick the game up for $20 each year. Your theory makes a ton of sense and I am going to say you are correct. 5,437 points for you.
I think that your scenario is exactly what happened. Assassin's Creed 3, while it had its good parts, seemed a step down in fun from Assassin's Creed 2 (and the numerous expansions). So to try and make people forget about the bad parts of Assassin's Creed 3, they took an expansion, that seems based on one of the highly touted parts of Assassin's Creed 3 the naval battles, and decided to name it Assassin's Creed 4. I think another reason they went right to Assassin's Creed 4 instead of trying an expansion, is because we are getting new consoles this Christmas season. Having Assassin's Creed 4 being a launch or near launch title for a new console around Christmas would probably sell a few more copies than Assassin's Creed 3 Expansion 1 of 3.
I am not qualified to answer this statement [QM Note: That doesn't usually stop you]. I've only gotten about half way through AC: Brotherhood. So I can't comment on the quality of AC3 yet. Therefore, I can't state whether I think they are distancing themselves from AC3 or not.
I enjoyed Assassin's Creed 3, it was Connor I really didn't like. If you can't enjoy playing as someone, then you'll struggle to want to play any future titles so yeah, it's a wise move on Ubisoft's part. Now, onto the point that we've now had an Assassin's Creed title every year for the last 37. It's a little much now and I think rather than distancing themselves from 3, they should maybe take a year out and really focus on creating a new story arc, revamping the gameplay and making a new trilogy as exciting as possible, much like the Halo franchise.
Didn't you read what Dan wrote? I get 5,437 points. Next question.
QUESTION FOUR: With the new console generation basically here, there are a couple potential new contenders on the horizon. But to hear Microsoft tell it, the highly touted Steam Box from Valve is not even close to being a contender against the big guns. What you may or may not find interesting, however, is that the belief of everyone out there is that the entire console industry, all of it, could be over-run by Apple if they ever decided they want to, simply due to their dominance of the current app market combined with Apple TV. How much impending doom does that little bit of news fill your heart with?
Hmm, this is an interesting concept/theory. I think the reason Apple has stayed out of the console market is simply because the high amount of loss you are hit with on each console sold. You really aren't making money on the consoles. I would be more concerned if I was a fan of certain accessories companies because that is where Apple would be solid. Imagine Apple TEAMING with Microsoft to counter the WiiU's tablet in favor of gaming on an official Apple iPad connected to your Xbox. I just don't see Apple wanting to get into a console battle when the money isn't made there at all. Then again, I was one of those idiots who thought the Zune would beat Apple.
I think that Apple releasing a console wouldn't hurt the Big Three that badly. As we saw with the PS3 initial launch, gamers do not have brand loyalty from generation to generation of consoles and something that is extremely expensive will not sell just because it has a recognizable brand name. Apple is Apple, and any console would probably release at a high price point because there are a group of people out there who will buy anything with the name Apple on it. After those sells though, I don't think there would be a major market for a game system that combines phone apps with Apple TV. Now if Apple came out with a console that played games like the PlayStation or Xbox, then that would be one thing, but the console as described above wouldn't see massive sells after the initial Apple fans buy their console.
I don't know if Apple's dominance would translate into the console race... Apple likes to have their products, then they like to introduce a new version of said product every 3-6 weeks (sarcasm...slightly). Put on top of that, the fact that Apple products are not cheap by any stretch of the word. You see what I am driving at yet? Could Apple be competitive? Probably... Would they want to when they have consumers buying every single new version of tablet, iPod, and iPhone they put out? I don't see it happening.
I don't think it'll really be as big a problem as everyone thinks it will be. Here's the thing. Apple products are good. I have an iPhone and iPad and while I'm by no means a fan boy, I do think they make quality products, whether you actually like them or not. Now, the other side of Apple is the cost and that's the big factor here. An Apple console entry, should it ever happen, would be pretty expensive. People will still buy it, but Xbox guys won't change, PS3 guys won't change and everyone else will probably be gullible enough to spend seven-bajillion dollars/pounds/rubles on and iConsole.
I just like the idea that every console maker lives in fear of the day that Apple might turn its gaze upon their section of the market. Am I the only one old enough to remember when Apple was considered a bunch of bumbling buffoons that put out crappy electronic gadgets that nobody wanted?
Oh, crap. I think they heard me.
BONUS QUESTION: Sorry, I'm buried deep inside watching Wreck-It Ralph on BluRay (which is awesome). Free reign for everyone!
Well Quizmaster, this week has been terrible. Really outside of buying a house in 2013, the year has sucked. Let's see, Blackhawks lose their first two games of the season finally in a three day stretch. That was rough. Then, I am at work on a miserable Monday when my phone and iPad buzz alerting me to a Vikings' move. Here I am thinking we traded for Darrell Revis, maybe signed a big name receiver or corner, anything positive. Instead, I am informed that we have traded our second most explosive offensive player. And to who you may ask? Well of course our out of conference rival the Seahawks. I hate the Seahawks. So here is a bit of recent history between the two teams. We went after their restricted free agent, Steve Hutchinson. We put in his contract that he would be the highest paid offensive lineman on our team or we would guarantee his contract. This made it impossible for Seattle to match the offer. So, Seattle then went and did the same thing to our player. They have also taken away TJ Houshmanzadah as well as other free agents we have gone after. Their wide receivers now are Sydney Rice (Vikings Drafted and were screwed out of), Harvin, and Golden Tate. They have one of the best defensive teams in the league, a solid running back in Lynch, and a great young quarterback. This deal helps them greatly and puts us in the running for overall first pick in 2014. Now I know how Lions' fans feel.
As I mentioned at the start of last week's Fact or Fiction, I have recently gotten back into DCUO (DC Universe Online). I have played it for about a month now, and I feel justified in calling it the best MMO on the market right now. From the largest raid groups being 8 players, to development staffs that listen to the players, DCUO is doing everything right at the moment. To anyone that tried the game after its launch but felt there wasn't anything left to do after you hit 30, pick it back up and give it a try. I think you will be surprised at the massive amounts of endgame content. Also the game just feels fun. Also, people that hate the New 52 will find the comic characters they grew up reading about in this game. I would highly recommend giving the game a try.
'm busy shoveling myself out of a snow storm in March... leave me alone.
So, I bought the wife Tomb Raider in a hope to get her gaming again. She loves it but unfortunately, she doesn't want me playing it in case I get ahead of her. As a result, I'm replaying Arkham Asylum and it's totally amazing a second time. The bits I remember being frustratingly hard have been great fun (Scarecrow 3, Croc's lair) and if you've only played it once, I recommend you go back to it if you have nothing to do until Bioshock Infinite.
Mmmmmmm............. Bioshock Infinite.
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PLAYER FOUR'S WIFE WINS
MAYBE NEXT TIME
I'LL JUST SEND HER THE QUESTIONS
COME BACK NEXT WEEK TO TRY AGAIN