Star Wars Battlefront Beta: Disappointingly Average

I decided to take a break from Wildstar and Destiny this weekend to give the Star Wars Battlefront beta a try.

battlefront logo

Being a Sci-Fi geek its pretty much a given that I’m a big Star Wars fan, and although I haven’t touched a battlefield game since Battlefield 3, I do have fond memories of that series of games, as well as the original Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefront II.

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SimCity Launches.. And There Are Queues.

SimCity has launched in the US, and there are 30 minute queues to get in and play.  The game doesn’t even unlock in Europe for another three days, so unless EA hurry up and add more servers, this is only going to get worse.

Sim City

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SimCity Developers’ Reddit AMA Backfires over Always-Online DRM

The SimCity dev team held a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Friday, ready to answer fans’ questions about the game.

However, the game’s always-on DRM came back to bite them when one fan asked what would happen if they were to lose internet connectivity while playing.  The first response from MaxisKip stated that the game would “handle ‘short’ internet outages gracefully”, but the clarification of ‘short’ was rather disappointing: “We will allow you to play for as long as we can preserve your game state. This will most likely be minutes.” (more…)

Battlefield 1942 Free on Origin

To celebrate the Battlefield series’ 10th anniversary, Battlefield 1942 is available for free, to allow everyone to see where the whole series started!

The game is now live, under the demo section on Origin.

SimCity Due on 8th March 2013!

EA have announced that SimCity will be released on the 8th March 2013 in Europe!

SimCity will be available for PC and Mac, and is available to pre-order on Origin.

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Used Vs New

The Mass Effect Day 1 DLC debate got me thinking about some of the issues in the games industry.  Are customers being exploited?  Are customers losing out while stuck in the middle of the publishers’ fight against used games?  My thoughts on DLC can be found here.

I can see why publishers and developers might not like used games.

New games go into the shops, with the retailer paying a fee for the product and then selling it on, making the initial outlay back plus profits.  That in itself, is fair.  However, when it comes to used games, the retailer pays the customer a small trade in fee and then re-sells the game, keeping all the income from that sale to themselves.  Although multiple customers will buy the game, often exchanging the same copy, the developer only receives payment on the first sale. (more…)

Rivals to Steam

Update: it was apparently Valve who removed Crysis 2 from Steam, due to some disagreement over their contract..

Today I see a number of posts on the web announcing that Crysis 2 has been pulled from Steam as EA begin to push their digital distribution store, Origin.  The Star Wars game and  Alice: Madness Returns are also to be ‘Origin exclusives’.. so we can only assume that other games will follow suit.

I like Steam.

I have easy access to my games library, I get automatic updates.. the Steam overlay allows me to talk to friends, invite them to my game or join theirs, without having to stop playing or mess around trying to find a server that we can all get on.  Steam is not without problems, most notably when a new game is released and the servers just can’t cope.. so I like having a few games that don’t rely on it to run.. but that’s all I want.

I picked up Bulletstorm and Crysis 2 from the EA store because of a 50% discount, and in order to have a few games that don’t rely on Steam, and then reluctantly installed Origin.. but now I wonder how long it’ll be before these games will require Origin.  I also have Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2, bought on Steam, but if Origin doesn’t fall on its face I guess I’ll soon need to add them there too, if I want to receive updates.

My friends play these games, so I know they’ll also be forced to install and run Origin.. but what when the next publisher decides they want in on the act?  A client per publisher?  Eww.

I don’t want to run multiple clients to do the job that one is doing now.

It’s going to mean hassle adding the same people to my friends list, hoping I’ll still be able to chat and invite them to games as easily as I can now.  I don’t really want to be forced into  advertising the latest new client at my friends: “Hey, I bought a game off this company, go and sign up to their website and forum, get loads of annoying emails, download their client, add me to yet another list.. then we can play”.

I can only hope that I’ll still be able to add games to Steam as “Non-Steam games”, at least allowing me access to the overlay so I can still talk to people who refuse to install all the clients I guess I’m going to be stuck with.

What about clients that nobody else installs?  A while ago, I was introduced to Green Man Gaming, another digital retailer.  I was given a free game, which is why I consented to downloading their gaming client, Capsule.  I have launched this client only a handful of times.. I don’t think I’ve even reinstalled it since reinstalling Windows.   I’ve not even bought a single game from them despite the fact that they allow you to sell back your games for credit, and despite the fact they have offers on from time to time.. my friends are on Steam, the majority of my games are on Steam, so I find myself barely thinking about Green Man Gaming and Capsule, let alone running it.