By Ray Atkinson


Video games are becoming more and more mainstream with each passing day.  Whether it be traditional consoles, smartphones, PC’s, or tablets; odds are if you are reading this column, then you have at one point picked up a game controller or touchscreen at some point.  Consider this to be a compilation of  the big news and releases of the week in the ever evolving gaming industry with analysis.

Big Release:  Metro: Last Light.

Developed by 4A Games and published by Deep Silver, Metro:  Last Light is a first person shooter set in a post apocalyptic dark future.  The game is fast paced, intense, and even has elements of horror.  If you are looking for a different type of shooter to play, give this one a shot (pun intended).

Note:  This game is Rated M for Mature:  Ages 17+.  Parental Discretion Advised.

EA discontinues the online pass.

One of the pioneers of the controversial online pass has called it quits.  “Yes, we’re discontinuing Online Pass,” EA Senior Director of Corporate Communications John Reseburg told GamesBeat. “None of our new EA titles will include that feature.”

The online pass was a feature implemented to combat the sale of used games at major retailers.  Developers do not see a dime of revenue from secondhand sales, and some were looking for a way to make up the loss.  Enter the online pass.  Any game that featured online content would require gamers to enter a complex code to access the content.  New copies of a game would feature the code in the box.  After one use, however, the code would expire.  Anybody who bought a used copy of that game had to purchase a separate code usually for around $10.

The system was clunky at best.  Most gamers who purchased a new copy were confused in entering the code.  If any typos were existent, the code would have to be started over from scratch.  EA’s decision to discontinue the online pass shows that the juice was not worth the squeeze.  Only a few big developers continue to use the online pass, but maybe this is the beginning of the end for the controversial practice.

Source:  GamesBeat.

VP Joe Biden wants to tax violent games.

And media as well.  He did not necessarily single out the video game medium.  During a meeting on immigration reform, Biden said there was “no restriction on the ability to do that, there’s no legal reason why they couldn’t tax violent images.”

Except, there is.  This landmark Supreme Court Decision ruled video games like other media are protected under the first amendment.  Biden did concede that more studies were needed, but even with the studies, the legal hurdles may be too high on this one.

Source:  Politico.

Nintendo enforces copyright and EA says no to Wii U.

Let’s Play videos are widely popular on Youtube.  Watching someone play video games is quite enticing.  Users have had success  monetizing their channels, but Nintendo wants to rain on the parade.

“As part of our on-going push to ensure Nintendo content is shared across social media channels in an appropriate and safe way, we became a YouTube partner and as such in February 2013 we registered our copyright content in the YouTube database.”  Nintendo told GameFront.

Only time will tell if this will mean any increased revenue for Nintendo, whose Wii U console was dealt a huge blow this week.  EA told Kotaku, “We have no games in development for the Wii U currently.”  Almost immediately after that report, Bob Summerwill, a Senior Software Engineer with EA, tweeted out, “The Wii U is crap.”

Source:  GameFront and Kotaku

The week ahead.

One lone big release this week.  Resident Evil:  Revelations is coming out for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and Wii U.  Revelations is the game Resident Evil 6 wishes it was.  It was pretty good on the 3DS, and now, it is getting a high definition makeover for our home consoles.

That’s all for this week.  Remember kids, it’s all fun and games until it hits The Fan.

Follow Ray Atkinson on Twitter.  @FilthyRay.

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