411 Games Fact or Fiction 2.06.14: Nintendo, Dark Souls 2, Microsoft, More
Posted by Daniel Anderson on 02.06.2014
Is it a bad move to limit an Elder Scrolls Online race to Collector's Edition buyers? Are we interested in a new Crackdown game? Are we surprised that Dark Souls 2 might have DLC now? 411ís Stephen Randle and Jeremy Thomas debate these topics and more!
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. Did anyone outside of Seattle see that Superbowl coming? I am not talking about the Seahawks win, I am talking about the blowout. Shocking. Anyway, this week we have 411's Jeremy Thomas going up against Stephen Randle. Let's see what they have to say, shall we?
1.) Elder Scrolls Online only allowing Collector Edition purchasers to play the Imperial race is a bad move.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: Any time that you make a tangible feature in game only available to a select few, it's a bad move. I have no issue with Collector's Editions as a rule. They're great ways for the companies to give some extra stuff to hardcore fans of the game and net some extra profit in the process. But those are usually things like music CD, art or cosmetic DLC. Bethesda has tried to say that there are no "significant advantages" to Imperials but it is playable game content that you don't get unless you shell out big bucks, and they are making a mistake in terms of poor PR. It definitely dampened my outlook on the game by just a bit.
Stephen Randle - Fact: I am all for Collector's Editions, and I'm all for all those little additions that go in to making those editions into hundred dollar monstrosities of commerce. If you want to include extra multiplayer maps, in-game pets, unique skins, all those cosmetic things that don't actually give anyone a real advantage, then by all means, go nuts. But once you start roping off actual content and only making it available to people who pay extra money for the same game, then I draw the line. I mean, it would be one thing if ESO was free-to-play with microtransactions, but it's a subscription-based MMO, which means there's no reason to restrict anyone who is paying good money to play from having access to all races and classes in the game. That's just a terrible business decision, one ESO can ill afford to make.
Score: 1 for 1 - My first thought upon hearing this news was, "What's next?" I mean, if they are going to give people who buy the Collector's Edition an extra race to play as, what is stopping them from giving people who pay an extra $5 a month in fees a special sword or extra XP? Where does it stop? This is going to come back and bite them in the long and short term.
2.) You are not surprised that, despite earlier comments, Dark Souls 2 might end up getting DLC.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: DLC is bread and butter for games now. Whatever From might have thought initially, it doesn't shock me at all that they eventually said "Well, maybe we should include some downloadable content." And don't get me wrong; the initial statements about wanting a "full game from day one" was some nice publicity but anyone who's paid attention to the direction of gaming likely knew that this position was going to flip. If there's anything that might surprise me, it is that they admitted this before the game was released instead of after.
Stephen Randle - Fact: DLC is the way to keep games relevant longer, which can only help sales, and it is the way most games will probably operate for the foreseeable future (and beyond). I think it's likely that they weren't willing to commit to DLC for Dark Souls 2 initially because the original games were very much niche titles (and Dark Souls did have DLC as well), and it might not have been worth it to plan to develop any for the latest addition to the franchise. Thanks to some rising interest in the title fueled by a lot of people getting back into the original again, it looks like DS2 might be a decent success, and thus the developers can plan on doing some DLC.
Score: 2 for 2 - I am not surprised, but I admit to hoping that they would stick with their earlier statement and not have any DLC.
3.) We will see a cheaper Xbox One later this year.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: I think that we'll see a cheaper Xbox One and a cheaper PS4, but the Xbox is the more likely. Whether Microsoft wants to admit it or not that extra $100 price tag did prevent some people from buying it so now that most people have already bought their Xbox Ones it makes sense to introduce a somewhat cheaper model to pick up some sales from those people who were on the fence. Me, I'm happy I bought it when I did and didn't mind the higher price so much, but not everyone is like me.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: The XBOne will get cheaper at some point, but I find it unlikely that a console that sold over 3 million units in the first three months would even be under consideration for a price drop, or even some sort of "budget' version. The console is already massively successful by any measurement (I mean, it's in second place, but that's an unnecessary cheap shot that I'm completely above taking) and shows few signs of slowing down in the near future, especially with guaranteed console-seller Titanfall on the way in March. One day, we will see a cheaper XBOne, but I'm willing to bet money that it will not be in 2014.
Score: 2 for 3 - I agree with Jeremy here. Microsoft will probably cut the price on the Xbox One (most likely while eliminating the Kinect) and see an increase in sales. I also agree with him as being happy with purchasing the more expensive version, mostly because the Kinect voice commands work really well, much better then I originally thought it would.
4.) You are surprised Batman: Arkham Origins DLC will not be coming out on the Wii U.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: Absolutely nothing related to the Wii U failing surprises me anymore, least of all news that a third party developer is jumping ship from the floundering console. The DLC was reportedly cancelled due to "perceived lack of interest", which translates to "nobody bought the Wii U version of the original game", which is terrible for Nintendo, since Origins apparently sold at least respectably well on every other platform. Give them credit, they're at least offering refunds for anyone who bought a season pass, but that's not exactly a situation you ever want to be in.
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: With all of the problems that the Wii U has had, I am not hugely surprised by this one. I'm not going to say I would have called it, but I didn't raise any eyebrows or anything of that nature. The Wii U is missing out on a lot of things to the point that it is becoming commonplace. DLC is perhaps a little bit more attention-getting, because you would think that Warner Bros. would support the games they made for the full console. But I also believe that the sales for the game on the Wii U were much smaller than other consoles so it's a time and resources issue. You produce for where your market is.
Score: 3 for 4 - Is anyone surprised?
5.) You would be interested in a new game in the Crackdown series.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: The usual caveats apply, I don't have a Microsoft console and I've never played a Crackdown game, but regardless of those, it doesn't seem like a type of game I'd enjoy. I'm not saying it looks like a semi-GTA clone, but the previous games were third-person open world shooters, and we've covered often in the past that those games often walk a delicate line with me, and very few (Red Dead Redemption, Sleeping Dogs) actually manage to stay on the correct side of it.
Jeremy Thomas - Fact: Sure, why not? Crackdown is a fun enough franchise. I'm not going to sit here and say it is one of my favorites but I've enjoyed what I played of it. Obviously there are some concerns, particularly that they might pull a Crackdown 2 and not do much to innovate the franchise. But I think that Ruffian probably learned their lesson from the more tepid reaction to that game and would give us a game which adds more to the franchise instead of rehashing what was there. I'd at least check out the content.
Score: 3 for 5 - The more quality games that a console gets, the better. I see no problem with the franchise coming back and would give it a look.
6.) We will see Nintendo announce a merger with another company before the year ends.
Stephen Randle - Fiction: We may see some partnerships like the one with Sega (and then again, maybe not), but even with the Wii U's continued slow descent into failure, Nintendo is still more than set to stick around on its own, thanks to the 3DS continuing to carry their profits to an astounding degree. Plus, once more first party Wii U games come out, as you'll recall from when the console was launched, Nintendo only needs each Wii U owner to buy one game to make a profit on each system. They won't be rolling in money, but they will be able to keep their heads above water. It would take a real disaster and being on the brink of bankruptcy for Nintendo to even think about a Square-Enix-type merger.
Jeremy Thomas - Fiction: I don't think we'll see it quite yet. Yes, they've said that they're considering the idea but that's a long sight from actually having any serious talks or even an idea of where they might go. And particularly of note is the fact that they said "mergers and acquisitions," meaning that just buying someone is on the table as well. I kind of feel like they may go that route instead. I don't have any emperical evidence to support that claim, just a feeling. So take that for what you will.
Score: 4 for 6 - I do not think we will see Nintendo being bought out, but I think it could happen. Say, for example, Microsoft decided to try to increase their presence in Japan by quietly buying Nintendo. That would give them a better foothold in Japan and could give them access to a lot more IP's (343 Metroid maybe?). Again, I am not saying it will happen, but it could.
Bonus Question: Feel free to discuss whatever is on your mind.
Stephen Randle - You really don't want to know what's on my mind, Daniel. But I will say that if you're not watching Brooklyn 9-9, you are missing out on one of the greatest TV comedies of all time...and it's only in its first season. I cannot think of an episode yet that hasn't made me laugh out loud several times, and this week's post-Superb Owl episode was possibly the best one yet. Actually, no, that may have been the Christmas episode. No, maybe it was the fake date. No wait, it was the Ocean's Eleven one. No, wait...
Jeremy Thomas - If you've given up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I highly recommend you give it another shot. The show has been consistently improving from week to week and this week's episode "T.R.A.C.K.S." is easily their best yet. The characters are ones we've started to care about and the stakes are sufficiently high at last; they are now delivering everything that fans are wanting and they just had to get some story, character and world-building out of the way first. Seriously, check it out! (As well as my list of the top 8 wanted Marvel appearances on the show. I had to get a cheap plug in!).
That wraps up this week's edition of Fact or Fiction. Stephen and Jeremy went 4 for 6 agreeing more then they disagreed. Let me take a second and talk about Co-operative Multiplayer. After missing a show due to computer issues, we were back last week. Here is the link and I hope you will join us for the live broadcast:
I hope everyone has a good week, and until next week, happy gaming