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 411mania » Games » Columns

Four Player Co-op 12.04.13: Playroom, Persona 5, EA, More
Posted by Stephen Randle on 12.04.2013

Mathew Sforcina has joined the game.
Todd Vote has joined the game.
Dan Watson has joined the game.
Jeremy Thomas has joined the game.

Greetings, and welcome to another edition of Four Player Co-op, where we don't get turkey-fueled hangovers, because we already have alcohol-fueled ones, and in some cases, they're strong enough to have power of attorney.

Start the game!

QUESTION ONE: Well, it turns out being able to stream video games on the Internet hasn't worked out exactly as planned, as Twitch.tv has removed the PS4's Playroom, which had been credited with the creation of several great live streaming shows, such as The Spartan Show, from the list of games that can be streamed on their service. The reason? It's been used for porn, of course, along with several other similarly unsavoury ventures. Given how Playroom basically uses the PS4 Camera to livestream your living room, shouldn't someone have seen this coming in advance?

Mathew Sforcina
Well yes, they should have. I mean, the entire history of modern civilisation has been built around sex. Fire to attract sex. The wheel to go to sex. Weapons to hunt for food to barter for sex (or skipping the middle man sometimes, alas). VCRs to watch better sex than you have. Everything will be used for sex sooner or later. And basically bundling a webcam with your console, and sex didn't cross your minds? You sweet, misguided fools. So yeah, should have been seen coming, but I understand pulling it since if you don't, someone will claim your endorsing it.

Todd Vote
People are making porn with their PS4 cameras? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, okay... Give me a second... BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. They really should have seen this coming. Might be time for companies to hire a sleaze control department. You know? He's the guy you give the final product to, and tell him to just go nuts, and do as many nasty things as he can with it. Then, they at least have an idea of what they are getting themselves into.

Dan Watson
Basically everything that involves the internet and a camera becomes used for some sort of porn. This should have been seen coming while it was being developed. How do you monitor something without losing decent content? Let's look at another good idea that was turned to pron...Chatroulette. The concept is great, you talk with a stranger and get to see their face. The problem was it became a place where 9 of every 10 people you talk to are guys jerking off. So, humans as a race turn everything into porn.

Jeremy Thomas
I think that they probably did see this coming in advance, but hoped that they wouldn't happen. And let's be frank about this: there was worse than porn that showed up. One shit-stain stripped his unconscious wife, without her knowledge or consent, for the world to see. How wonderfully rapey of him. But here's the thing: you can't plan your features based on every negative you can come up with of what people might do with it. Because no matter what you come up with, people will find a way to do something terrible with it. You can only plan for what you want to happen and try to plan for contingencies. Setting your development plans out of fear is only going to make a bum system. I don't think, for the record, that Playroom will be banned forever; I think that there will be a series of checks and balances put into place and then it will be re-instituted. But anyway, back to the point: they probably did see it coming and just didn't quite plan for it correctly.

I think…yep, I definitely feel a song coming on…

QUESTION TWO: Well, with the console launches out of the way, it's time to talk about what is really important: Persona 5. Yes, Atlus announced, among other things, that Persona 5 will hit shelves (in Japan) in Winter 2014…on PS3. Well, I guess we did need a reason to not mothball our old consoles, but this seems like an awfully long time to wait for a now-last-gen title. Is Atlus missing the boat by sticking with the PS3 for their next Persona game?

Mathew Sforcina
80 Million or so PS3s sold so far. The supposed plan is to have 5 million PS4s sold by March 2014. I can see 75 million reasons why you'd release a game on the PS3 over the PS4. Plus moving over to a new game system is always a challenge, if you've begun work on a game it is very difficult to up and move, especially these days.

Todd Vote
No, not at all. I remember a similar question a month back or so about another PS3 title. Quizmaster wondered if they were missing the boat for next gen. I don't think there is anything wrong with developing for the last gen consoles. They still have a much larger install base than either of the two new ones. Atlus' parent company in Japan has been having a bit of financial troubles, so developing on the PS3 may be the best possible way for them to go. One has to think it will be cheaper than developing for next gen, right?

Dan Watson
Hmmm... This seems like another big mistake. I know it's great to support this past generation, however, to not make a next gen version seems strange. I think they are missing the boat here entirely.

Jeremy Thomas
I don't think so. Let's be frank here: Persona is a great franchise, but it is a franchise that markets more toward hardcore gamers than casual gamers. The hardcore gaming crowd is still going to have their PS3s next winter and will still be busting it out; more to the point, they will certainly bust it out in order to play the next Persona. Atlus certainly could have reached a wider audience by making the game a next-gen game, but they aren't hurting themselves all that much by keeping it on the PS3 either and we're likely to get a better game, as they're working with a system they know in and out.

I can't resist correcting Todd, because Atlus was sold to Sega a few months ago due to the financial problems with their parent company, but one would assume that Persona 5 was in early development before then, so it might have played in. However, Sforcina is the most correct, for 1985 points, because Persona, awesome though it may be, is a niche game, and releasing on PS3 gives Atlus the biggest possible niche to sell copies to.

QUESTION THREE: Here's something I never thought would happen, EA has publically apologized for the ongoing massive problems with Battlefield 4, and also for NBA Live 14 being horrible. While I'm not so sure that really helps, especially for NBA fans who had to wait three years for this franchise to resume (of course, I suppose they could just play the 2K games), do you at least appreciate that EA stood up and said "Yeah, we made bad games and we'll try and fix it"?

Mathew Sforcina
Yes, yes I do. I mean, it's still EA, they have a fair way to go to fully earn back my trust and support, but I do appreciate a "Yeah,we messed up." over a "Everything is wonderful apart from our POS fanbase who all suck" mentality that is usual with most AAA publishers. Of course, maybe they could not force games out so fast and make sure they worked first but hahaha, that's crazy talk.

Todd Vote
I suppose it is nice that they came out and apologized for the problems on Battlefield, and I would probably be a bit more understanding about those than the NBA Live 14 thing, those are problems associated with a launch on a new system, as we've stated before software launch issues are fairly common. When it comes to NBA Live 14, it really sounds to me like they are just apologizing for making a shitty game there. Why should that be forgiven, just because they admitted to it? If was did a shitty job at work, do you think I would be forgiven just because I copped to doing a shitty job?

Dan Watson
I appreciate that they apologized but it doesn't fix anything. How can EA make an amazing soccer and hockey game but cannot put out a decent basketball game? FIFA was my favorite sports title of the year, which is shocking because I'm not a fan of soccer. NBA Live had three years to fix the bugs and it's still garbage. I don't get it.

Jeremy Thomas
Well, let's get technical here for a minute: it was the subsidiaries who apologized, not EA themselves. I know that sounds minor (and it is), but this allows EA to lay the blame elsewhere and still look good. That being said, I was indeed surprised by this one and I always appreciate it when anyone stands up and admits fault in their work, then commits to making it better. And kudos on EA Sports of taking the graphics thing, which wasn't even one of the main complaints about the game, and saying "Oh yeah, this isn't to our satisfaction either so we're going to fix it." We'll see how follow-through goes but it was a solid first step.

Dan and I agree, for 2812 points, especially on NBA Live: EA had three years to get this right and they still put out a crappy game. What the hell were they doing over that time?

QUESTION FOUR: Guys, guys, guys! Telltale Games, makers of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, is working on a Game of Thrones game! What more did you need to know?

Mathew Sforcina
A lot. But since I've only just started the second book and haveyet to watch any of the series, I'll refrain from asking and go back to reading.

Todd Vote
As one of the few people on the planet that aren't hooked on Game of Thrones (I've seen about half the first season), it's a bit tougher for me to get invested into this news. I was really excited about The Wolf Among Us, but once I played it, I realized that without being a fan of the property they are adapting, there really isn't that same emotional connection that I got out of The Walking Dead game. This is still fantastic news, and perhaps I will be all caught up on the show and freaking out over it like the rest of the internet, before this game launches, but as of right now, I like this news more in support of Telltale Games, than Game of Thrones.

Dan Watson
This will end up being a Game of the Year contender when it releases. All I need to know is when does it release?

Jeremy Thomas
This is the second time in a row the Gamesmaster has given me a question the week after I got the same question with him in Fact or Fiction: I swear he's just trying to tempt me into pulling a Vote and copy/pasting. BUT I'M NOT GONNA DO IT, DAMMIT! Anyway, yes I'm totally excited about this because Telltale and Game of Thrones is a perfect match. The show has a lot of the same moral ambiguity that played out so well in the Walking Dead game and while I don't think anyone should get their hopes up of playing Tyrion as we will surely be looking at people who are not featured in the show/books, but that works for me. There is a lot of ground not covered in the source that Telltale could play around with. Politics, morality, murder and fantasy? Sounds like a Telltale winner to me.

I just want to warn you, the first person who spoils anything for Sforcina or Todd will be castrated, flayed, and then torn to pieces by wild dogs. Just so we're clear.

Jeremy wanted the least amount of information before getting hyped, so he walks away with 4328 points, which he must use carefully. After all…winter is coming.

BONUS QUESTION: So, did everyone enjoy Thanksgiving, or for those of us in the civilized world, last Thursday?

Mathew Sforcina
Thanksgiving is like the ultimate version of Mother's/Father's Day.If you need a special, specific, designated day to love your family,you're not doing it right.

Unless you just treat it as Turkey Day. In which case... Whatever.


Screw you, I'm rusty at this, so sue me.

Todd Vote
Too much turkey. I don't want to see another turkey until next year. Unless it's the Gobbledy Gooker.

Dan Watson
I worked the morning and had two turkey dinners. No shopping because well, I'm getting older and just wanted to sleep. All in all it was a good day.

Jeremy Thomas
I worked. But hey, it was slow, so that made for a fun time. Not much else to it.



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