Tag Archives: AAA

#GamerGate – An Open Letter to Gaming Media

RealGamerNewz GamerGate Feminism Sexism Gamers

I have been on the sidelines observing the recent stories that involve everything from Anita Sarkeesian to Zoe Quinn to Phil Fish to Polygon to Kotaku to indie studios’ attacks to corruption and finally to gaming media lashing out at gamers. I have recently commented that enough is enough and I’m not going to stand for it anymore. Everything that I have mentioned is going to get their fair share of my open dialogue concerning their individual strikes within the gaming community and at gamers.

They have taken free punches at us without consequence. Anytime they are challenged, we get silenced and are left with having to let our voices be heard in a miniscule scale on random forums or comments sections. That is given that you don’t get banned or censored. Not today, folks. Today, I’m opening up this series of blogs with an open letter to the very gaming media who have attacked gamers and why their attempts at misdirection is a poor effort that bore no success.

I can only really begin my opening statement with one direct question: What the hell are you self-proclaimed journalists doing? You sit at your computer screens and act all high and mighty, while belittling the dignity of the gaming industry with your convoluted and misguided notions of supremacy over everyone else. Case in point with this very situation regarding the relationship between gaming media and game developers, you are confronted about this story, yet you resist it and point fingers at us to proclaim that we are the problem.

You sit there and attack gamers (the very people who help you keep a job mind you) and say that we are the problem? We are the problem for actions that you have done? We are responsible for the very real corruption going on in game journalism? Correct me if I’m wrong, but we are not the ones giving artificial praise to projects done by someone who voluntarily slept with us and we are not the ones accepting perks and bribes from publishers and public relations.

When someone has the gall to declare that an entire group of people is a problem, it speaks of both ignorance and megalomania. That person is so willingly blind that they do everything in their power to make others out to be the bad guys. When someone does this, they more often than not do it because they did something wrong. They are either in sheer denial and convince themselves that everyone else is the problem or they realize they are busted and attempt to use a scapegoat.

Their attempts at reverse psychology is an effort to reduce the negative aspect of their actions, while reflecting an entirely different subject unto another party. In this case, when gamers unleashed their frustration with the recent corruption that was made public, the reverse argument made by you journalists is that the reason gamers are so angry is because we are misogynists.

Do any of you “journalists” who started that conversation honestly think that we are going to allow you to label us like that? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ignorant to the fact that there is sexism in the world. I’ve seen it firsthand. But what you “journalists” are essentially doing here is defining all gamers (including female gamers) under one of the many stigmas that we have been fighting against for years. People who have agendas (like Anita Sarkeesian, Jack Thompson, and Phil Fish) have been trying to convince anyone who will listen that people in the video game industry and gamers are testosterone-filled, misogynistic, disrespectful, violent brutes who don’t deserve the things we have access to lest we end up disrupting the fabric of society. You “journalists” have successfully joined their ranks.

How can you conceive the idea that by reversing the polarity of the topic at hand (which is supposed to be about Zoe Quinn influencing game media via sexual favors or any other recent corruption for that matter) that it will result in you gaining favor? The topic is Zoe Quinn is accused of sleeping with a few journalists in exchange for positive coverage of her game. The rebuttal on your side? Gamers are overreacting and angry over nothing because we are misogynists. Seriously?! You just really wanted to commit career suicide there, huh? There is a plethora of information available that pertains to Zoe Quinn and her storied history, yet you have not proven or disproven your involvement and instead opted to attack gamers. You are actively avoiding the topic that started all of this and that makes us even more skeptical of you!

Your job is to report on the recent news of the video game industry. Images, gameplay videos, first looks, trailers, interviews, conferences, reviews, and many other topics that could be worked on via your outlet is what you should be doing; however, giving your opinion like it’s law seems to be the going trend for some of you. Sharing your opinion is all good and well, but lately that seems to be the only thing you are doing. Attacking gamers seems to be the next best thing for you as well.

The ultimate problem that lies here is that you have no idea how to conduct yourselves publicly. You are already coming up from a high horse that you put yourselves on. Naturally, your egoism will show as we have seen countless times. When you write on the internet, that’s technically public domain space, but on a worldwide scale. When you attack someone over Twitter, that is seen by hundreds of thousands of people. When you review a game and dock it by a whole point by bringing up a topic that is so insignificant to the game itself, that can be seen by everyone. When you lash out against gamers and tell them that they should be grateful to you for your contributions, people will see that. When you misrepresent an entire industry and its audience to bring up selective points to support your claims, you will have backlash. You have no one to blame but yourselves. You are creating your own hell. We have zero influence for what comes out of your mouth. If you cannot filter out what may get you into trouble, then that fault is your own.

You have prided yourselves as these great pioneers for writing in the video game industry, yet you have failed your audience. You failed because you accepted favors and gifts. You failed because you attacked the very audience who keeps you in business. You failed because any shred of dignity that you had is left to be questioned. Rather, you left that dignity at the door when you made the conscious decision to take whatever perk was offered to you. No one in the community can go by your word because of your failures.

I’m not ignorant nor is the majority of the gaming community. We are not stupid. We are not the fools that you think that we are. We do have bad apples here and there (as does every community in existence), but you single them out as the voice for all. We know there is corruption in the gaming industry. Whether you’re on Youtube or any major gaming publication site, some of your peers have been offered something. If it comes to light that everything regarding Zoe Quinn is true (because barely anything involving her has been undeniably proven as fact given it’s difficult to find any information), then every single journalist who attacked gamers through the pieces that I have linked here have lost all credibility.





Editor’s Note: These links were removed to discourage the proliferation of anti-gamer rhetoric.

Why? Because the yearly abuse that the gaming press does to the community at large is constant. They write that gamers are entitled, immature, and recently misogynists. There are multiple articles from journalists that detail how gamers are horrible people, yet gamers are the ones who help them have a job. Again, brilliant idea on their part by insulting the very audience to which is the only audience who can support them. Simply put, shame on you. Shame on you for letting go of your dignity and professionalism. Shame on you for turning your back on the very people who support you. Shame on you for plaguing gaming media with your sensationalist articles and hidden agendas.

I don’t want this open letter to be misinterpreted. I’m not targeting every single writer out there. There are good people in the gaming media. Just like how we (the gamers) refuse a few bad apples to ruin our image, the same goes for those people in gaming media. There are good writers and workers in gaming media that work their fingers to the bone to help you be informed and entertained. They do what they do because they love it. The perks they get from being in that part of the industry is just a bonus for them.

I’m not merely talking about the big websites, but also Youtube and smaller sites. There are people worth supporting out there. Whether they go to PAX, Tokyo Game Show, and E3 to do interviews or if they review games or if they give helpful tips and tricks for games, there are many of them worth supporting. Those people who attack gamers by saying we are misogynists and we are the problem with the industry have their heads so far up their butts that any insult they hurl at us is equal to crap. Their egos know no bounds and they flaunt their position in our face.

From this point on, should I see any article or self-proclaimed “journalist” ever make a questionable piece or attack gamers again, be on notice. I’m starting a new series. It will be called “Journalism Failure” where I will dissect the same sensationalism, propaganda, clickbait, and hidden agendas that some writers are known for. I have the article below to thank for giving me the idea that the gaming press “are becoming obsolete”. Stay tuned and stay informed.

Editor’s Note: These views are that of HonestDragon and may / may not represent those of RGN Staff / audience.

Tangentlemen Interview


Last month at GDC it was announced that multiple AAA developers were jumping ship and joining an indie company named Tangentlemen. I wrote an article about the interview with Cory Davis and decided to each out to the team myself. Well, they responded to my questions and overall I really enjoyed talking to them. Here is the interview:

1. To new people trying to get in the industry do you have any advice? Also skip over AAA and go
to indie or try AAA first?


Well, obviously we all came from from a AAA background, and it definitely gives you a solid understanding of how the different pieces of game development fit together, and the importance of deadlines, but it’s tough to get into. Anyone can start developing with the tools out there now, so Indie development is a great start point.


You’ve got to start creating, and meeting the right people (other talented game developers) as soon as you possibly can. I think getting involved with an indie project, or helping out with a mod is the best way to prove yourself. If you’re able to have any form of success with the projects you get involved with, then you have a foothold. At that point, you can use your foothold to open the door to a number of different opportunities.


I think it depends on what kind of work you want to do, AAA tend to develop specialists, whereas in. Indie you do a little bit of everything. We’re really lucky that we have a broad range of interests, so we’re. comfortable throwing ourselves into new territory.


Say yes. That first job is always the hardest. Take any opportunity in so you can learn but then be careful what you are good at. While you are looking for work seek out similar people and try to start a project or help on their project they are equally valuable. Nothing resonates like working on something. All successful development requires people good at integration. Working on a group project and being able to reference that experience is key. Look at others portfolios. This IS a competition and you are compared to others. Make sure your materials look good.

2. You guys are just getting started and maybe down the road I will be able to ask this question
again, but so far, other than your Garoffice, what are you enjoying about the indie atmosphere?


I love being able to bring my guitar in to work. I’ve been experimenting with some sounds that I think would be really good for our project, so it’s been great to just play my ideas out and see what fits. I also have a badass view of an ancient cactus.


Impending victory born from the fires of destiny.


You get to set your own culture. making a company from the ground up is a big challenge but a lot of fun.

3. How did your families react? I mean essentially you guys had reached what can be considered
the top of the gaming industry and to the normal person indie development can be seen as a downgrade.


Everyone’s been really supportive so far. My wife is also starting her own company at the same time, so it’s been a bit of a challenge, we’re both really understanding, but at the same time, we need to able to change plans on a dime to help take care of the kids.


Julie has been telling me to go Indie for years, so she’s been super excited! When you’re working in AAA there’s just so many things that are outside of your control. Things like release date, marketing material, schedule, and other important factors that contribute to the overall success of the game. We’re really looking forward to having more input in those areas.


Mostly my dad gives me his opinion on how it was ok for Activision to screw over Infinity Ward.


Eden was just really excited we’d be cleaning out the garage.

1. In an interview during GDC Davis talked a little bit about Kickstarter. Have you guys dived deeper to the conversation about funding? If so is Kickstarter still considered a viable option?


We’re looking into all possible avenues for funding right now. Kickstarter has absolutely been a viable option for a lot of game projects recently, and it’s something we’re looking at very closely, however there are a lot of other options out there as well, we don’t want to rule anything out just yet.


There have been some really successful Kickstarters in the last several months. Having the opportunity to interact directly to the gamers and retain ownership of your game is a really exciting
prospect. We’re still trying to figure out where we fit best.

2. So, what’s with the name? Why Tangentlemen? Is there any significance behind it or is it just a cool, untaken, interesting name?


So we were all in the car together, and Cory made this offhanded joke about Tangentlemen as a potential name for a studio. We all laughed and thought it was funny, but for the life of me I can’t remember the joke. What I do remember is that it captures some of the juxtapositions we’re trying to achieve.


We’re not the youngest guys to go Indie. Most of us have kids, and we’re bringing decades of experience to the project. The name has a sense of refinement, an appreciation for really bad puns, and just a hint of the unknown.


I think it helps chart out the direction we want to take with our games. we want to create meaningful, unimaginable interactive experiences. It also has a myriad of meanings most of which are entirely misleading… just like the answers to life’s important questions.

3. How have you guys been prioritizing your project(s)? Meaning are you prioritizing enjoyment,
longevity, or beauty?


Right now we have one project, I can’t say much about it yet, but I can tell you that it’s coming from a very personal place for me. We started by kind of verbally exploring some of the themes we wanted to explore with our next project, and a lot of us were mentioning the same ideas. We don’t want to make a game that’s pure ego trip, we want to make something that challenges the way our players think. I guess you could say we’re prioritizing theme.


I’ve really enjoyed speaking with the team and look forward to their game’s announcements. I wish them the best of luck and really hope they are having a great time in their Garroffice. For those of you who do not know, they are currently working out of a garage. So, for fun sake I just called it their Garoffice. Anyway, I’m sure Tangentlemen has a great future ahead of them and I really wish them the best. Most of their developers made my childhood and everyone I got to speak to were very nice.



Former AAA Developers Moving To Indie Development


The recently made studio Tangentlemen is at GDC 2014 with a new project to talk about as well as some new talented employees. These developers come from different companies as well as different types of genres:

  • Richard Smith: A previous senior art designer of Infinity Ward. Smith also contributed art work towards Respawn’s Titanfall.
  • Cory Davis: The lead designer and creative force of Spec Ops: The Line.
  • Toby Gard: A game director who helped launch Tomb Raider as well as create Lara Croft in 1995.
  • Five additional members of their team come from the development team of Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z with Davis and Gard.

The first game the company is working on is titled Daedalus which they have described as “an existential horror trip into a surreal, half-forgotten dream.” Davis expects the game to be revealed in the upcoming weeks. The team is currently actually working out of the producer John Shelton-Garcia’s garage. So, the question beckons: Why move from AAA to this? Davis goes on to explain this  by saying “I was finding the structure of making big games to be too rigid and restrictive,” he also goes on to say “There seems to be a problem with chasing after photorealism–it makes everything else about the game very myopic. By moving into an illustrative space, the look of the game can become a voice in its overall intent, rather than a limitation to that intent. It’s indie games that understand this, and because of that, it’s indie games that are really progressing the art form of game making.” With indie games becoming more and more popular it seems to be a great idea overall.

Davis also commented on their current working conditions by saying “It’s an awesome experience to be in our own new space, even if that space has heating, electricity, and claustrophobia issues,”  Davis seems to reinforce his decision by saying “It’s a reminder that we’re not only free to make great games, but that it’s our responsibility at this point. Every aspect of the game will be hand-crafted, just like a piece of furniture, in our development garage.”

Davis’ choice doesn’t seem to be influenced by money or any other type of motivation that is depicted negatively. Davis’ seems to be chasing one of the most important things in the gaming world which is his freedom of expression. Davis seems very excited about his decision and I hope his enthusiasm is shown in his games as well. When asked about funding Davis stated “We’re looking for publishers who would be interested in smaller, more daring projects, but I’m personally really interested in seeing if we can Kickstart our first game,” and that “Being able to engage directly with game players right from the start of development sounds like an incredibly liberating way to do things.”

Davis ends his interview with the following: “Starting a video game company has been a dream of mine since I was a kid, but this opportunity is more than that,” Davis stated. “Tangentlemen is a studio made up of the developers that I respect the most in the entire industry. ” and goes on with “I feel extremely lucky to have had the chance to join up with individuals that are at least as passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced as I am to create the games that we all were born to create, in an environment where we have the freedom to do something truly unique, potent, and if we so desire, even risky.” We here at RealGamerNewz look forward to their first project’s reveal as well as their funding choice.


The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (AAA Next-Gen / PC RPG) Delayed

The Witcher 3

In an open letter from developer CD Projekt RED to gamers and shareholders, the studio has delayed the blockbuster RPG title The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt until February 2015.

Here is an excerpt of their press release:

“We recently reexamined what we had achieved thus far, and faced a choice about the game’s final release date. The decision we made was difficult, thoroughly considered, and ultimately clear and obvious. We could have released the game towards the end of this year as we had initially planned. Yet we concluded that a few additional months will let us achieve the quality that will satisfy us, the quality gamers expect from us. Consequently, we have set the release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt for February 2015.

Dear gamers – we know many of you would have liked to play The Witcher 3 sooner, as soon as possible, even. We’re sorry to make you wait longer than you, or we, initially assumed you would. At the same time, we believe the game will prove to be worth the wait and meet the expectations you have of us. We believe The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be an exceptional RPG, one of the best, providing many hours of wonderful entertainment.”

While this is definitely a disappointment to all of us at RGN we know CD Projekt Red wants to release a polished game that exceeds gamers expectations. With a projected 100 hours of content it comes as no surprise that great things may take time.

While we wait for this much anticipated title, check out some former coverage of the game on RGN:

Be sure to check back for updates to this and other games right here on RealGamerNewz.

iRGN Episode #6 w/ Ashen Rift Developer – Industry Discussion + Kickstarter Preview

iRGN Episode 6 - Ashen Rift

This Episode of the iRGN Podcast by RealGamerNewz will feature Barry Collins (the creator of Ashen Rift) as we discuss major issues in the industry such as the brutal job market, the indie development scene, indie devs doing their own PR with sometimes disastrous results, and a lot more heavy industry topics. We will also discuss Ashen Rift with the developer live on the air about this work in progress game.

Main Topics:

1. Special Guest: Ashen Rift developer Barry Collins Discusses His Work In Progress Game*
2. Should Indie Devs Avoid Doing Their Own PR?
3. Irrational Games + Santa Monica Studios Latest In Major Industry Layoffs
4. How Should An Indie Game Be Priced?

*For More Info On Ashen Rift Visit: http://AshenRift.com

Alternative: MP3 Version Below:

Or Directly Download MP3 by Clicking Here.

The Digital Download Version of Killzone: Shadow Fall Will Apparently Take Up 50GB

Killzone Shadow Fall PlayStation 4

Digital Distribution is a great business model with an increasingly intriguing amount of benefits for the end-user over time. One of those benefits on the PlayStation 4 side of things includes the ability to instantly demo some games via cloud without even downloading them, pause said demo and purchase, then resume playing the full game as it downloads in the background. Suffice to say, gamers expect the file size of AAA games to increase over time. There is a pretty decent amount of comfort from most of us about downloading games the size of a Blu Ray these days, as we understand the quality in what we are getting.

Games like The Last of Us and Grand Theft Auto V sit nicely on my PlayStation 3 Super Slim, and although the download wait was a bit brutal, PlayStation 4’s download speeds will likely be a lot faster than the current PSN’s performance for such highly in-demand games. I am also glad I have these titles digitally that way they are idiot-proof against me selling based on a bad judgement call, they’ll always be there for me to play so long as I have this hard drive or this PlayStation Store is up and running.

All of that being said, and taking in to account a considerable upgrade for the PlayStation Network which is going on behind the scenes as we speak; it has become revealed that Killzone: Shadow Fall will take up approximately 50GB of data out of the PS4’s 500GB stock hard drive. There are probably some out there who would begin to assume the extreme here, that PS4’s hdd will only be good for storing around 10 games. I would say that’s a stretch in the least, since the graphics of a game like KZ:SF are going to be pretty up there in terms of quality as well as being an early title for the console therefore not privy to as many optimization techniques as later games might be.

Then again, I could be wrong; major AAA games could just keep getting bigger. Perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky that we can still pick up titles in the physical format and be a bit careful to pick and choose which we accept digital versions of. We should probably factor in whether or not we are willing to wait for the download times and if we are comfortable with needing a hard drive upgrade down the road or not. In any event, it’s great to have the choice and if you have the gigabytes you probably might as well spend them! Oh, and by the way, this is probably not including anything from their Season Pass / DLC schedule but actually just the main game.

RealGamerNewz Interviews Alex Hinkley: Are AAA Publishers Scared of Free Speech? Censorship Exposed

Censorship in the Game Industry

In the following article, myself (Editor-In-Chief of RealGamerNewz.com) took the time to interview with Alex Hinkley who you may all remember authored a huge piece on the AAA industry’s failure to budget games correctly leading to massive losses and the shut down of many companies in the past few years alone (consequently leading to the losses of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the video games industry). This article ended up getting him fired and exposed a massive amount of censorship that exists in the video games industry today as AAA publishers are scared of free speech and try to use pressure (and in some cases their bank) to get writers hushed up. Here at RealGamerNewz we are not subject to that, so here is an interview exposing some of the more deep thoughts of the author which you likely will not find anywhere else. Enjoy.

Jon: Did you have any idea that the article might get you in trouble when you were writing it?

Alex: Well obviously when one is writing an article criticizing overspending in an industry, you naturally expect that the people you’re criticizing aren’t going to take it very well. As for trouble from Examiner though, I never thought there would be a problem. I had been writing for Examiner for over four years at that point. I had published nearly two thousand articles across three separate columns and my work had received almost six million views. I would have expected that after dedicating so much time and effort to Examiner that they would have at least given me some forewarning if there was a problem with my work. What’s funny is that the week before getting fired, they had just “promoted” me to the A-list review team and praised me for what great work I had been doing.

Jon: How did you learn you had been fired?

Alex: At first I had no idea I had actually been fired. My access to the site dashboard simply went away on the night of June 28th without any notification from anybody. This was three days after I published the article mind you, so I didn’t suspect a connection. It is also worth mentioning that all of my numbers were cited from trusted, verifiable sources so nothing I wrote was factually inaccurate. I had no reason to suspect I had been fired for writing an article that was reporting on-record facts.

I emailed several content mangers to ask what was going on but nobody replied until the next morning. Then I got an email from the managing games editor named Steve Ruygrok that they had decided to let me go because of the article. He said he wasn’t going to debate the content of the article but that “major developers, publishers, and public relations people” had complained to them about it and they did not want my article to damage their already fragile relationships in the industry among other writers on the site. So basically it wasn’t the content that got me fired – it was solely due to the fact they thought it threatened their future ability to obtain free games.

What makes it even more baffling is that a majority of readers actually liked and agreed with the article. It had 9,000 Facebook likes on it by the time it was taken down. A “rebuttal” article that was written by a game developer had less than 1,000 likes. Have you ever heard of being fired for writing an article that 90% of people who read it agreed with? It was simply a very vocal minority, comprised almost exclusively of game developers and other industry professionals, that made it seem worse than it was by repeatedly insulting me in the comments and on Twitter.

Ruygrok wrote in his email that he wished there was some other way to handle this but that they were left with no choice. Really? How about instead of firing me, simply take the article down and explain why it had to be removed. Or better yet, why not simply task one of the other writers on the site with penning a counter article to mine? No other choice? C’mon there are two better choices right off the top of my head.

Jon: Do you feel like the video game industry rewards censorship and punishes freedom of speech?

Alex: Yes I think the answer to that one is obvious since gaming industry professionals got me fired because they didn’t like my opinion. Trying to shut up a journalist because you don’t like what he said is not the proper response and the fact Examiner capitulated to their wishes goes to show the sorry state of affairs that game “journalism” is in today. The game industry has a history of this. Jeff Gerstmann being fired from GameSpot for a negative review and Rab Florence leaving Eurogamer after they edited an article he wrote about PR and journalists being too cozy are just a few examples.

Examiner, at least the gaming division, has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for the video game industry. How can the information you read on that site be trusted as the writer’s honest opinion when people like myself get fired if someone complains? Most of the top people in the gaming division at Examiner have next to no qualifications so they will do whatever it takes to further their career. Take the games editor, Steve Ruygrok, for example. According to his profile on linkedin, he went to college for a degree in sports management. I’m not one to judge education since I also have an off-topic degree (a Bachelor’s in Criminology to be exact) but he’s never worked in the gaming industry whatsoever. He’s never been a journalist. Prior to becoming a writer at Examiner, he worked as a sales intern. He had only been with Examiner for a little over a year before he became a content manager and the managing games editor.

As previously mentioned, I had been writing with Examiner for four years. I have been running the most successful play-by-post RPG online for thirteen years (it’s also free to play, mind you). I have also been published in the Software Developer’s Journal and have published a book on game design and RPG mechanics. Why wasn’t I the managing games director?

The answer to that is Ruygrok does what the industry wants him to. He’s a puppet. I am not. He writes to make industry professionals and the higher ups at Examiner happy, I write to inform gamers. The latter is frowned upon and the former is rewarded. Is that really how things should work?

Jon: Do you think video game publishers bribe big sites too much by allowing even authors who aren’t writing a review to receive free copies of games while other sites have to beg just to get 1 copy?

Alex: Yes review copies and exclusives are definitely a form of bribery. Examiner pretty much admitted as much when they fired me and said it was because they didn’t want to hurt relationships in the industry. That means they didn’t want to stop getting free stuff. Too many “journalists” today temper their opinions because they want to keep getting free things and feel like an “insider.” If you write a scathing review of Black Ops 2 and say it is the worst game you have ever played, Activision probably isn’t going to send you a free copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts regardless of whether or not your opinion was honest and backed up by valid reasons.

I encountered this earlier this year during an interview with the CEO of Sledgehammer Games. I was asking him about the upcoming Call of Duty game. He answered all of my questions because he is a great guy but then a public relations rep swooped in and told me I couldn’t publish anything he said because they had to control exactly which publications get that information first. Not cool.

And that is why game journalists aren’t honest. They just want to become that publication. The gaming industry is small and everybody knows each other. It’s like an exclusive clique of people who are all friends and you really want to be in that clique so you’ll do or say anything that will make them accept you as one of their own. I got that out of my system in high school.

Jon: Would the video game industry be selling as many AAA games if people were allowed to score them as they really feel rather than with the weight of publisher relationships in mind?

Alex: I think game reviews do affect sales because casuals often rely upon them to determine whether or not to buy a game. Unlike hardcore gamers that know about every game coming out and are up on the latest news and previews, casual gamers don’t dedicate as much time to the hobby so they simply see if a game scored well or not and base their decision off that. That’s why publishers and developers care so much about review scores. It’s not just to boost their own ego but because it really does affect sales. I’m sure that Call of Duty wouldn’t be selling so many copies each year if reviewers actually wrote honest opinions about it (Black Ops 2 sucks).

Jon: Do you really believe Examiner reads through every article before approving them, or do you think they just say that?

Alex: Yes there is a staff team that supposedly reviews every article after publication. For a while they even had a scoring system where all the articles got a certain number of points based on some editing criteria so I have no reason to think that Examiner is lying about this policy. In fact, I had an article taken down in the past because they thought the wording was too similar to the wording of a press release (it was a list of patch notes so I don’t know what they were expecting). That article got taken down within ten minutes of publication. If they were able to catch that one within ten minutes, I have a hard time believing that the staff team wouldn’t have taken down this article prior to the backlash if they personally had a problem with it. I published it on June 25th. There weren’t problems until late at night on June 28th. Obviously Examiner did not find the content objectionable.

Jon: Did you receive any unexpected support from employees or ex-employees of the AAA video games industry? What did these folks tell you about their experience in the biz?

Alex: I did get some support from indie developers who agreed with my conclusions. One funny thing to mention is that a prominent developer from Visceral tried to tell me that indie gaming was dying when it is in fact the complete opposite. A source at Sony confirmed that they have signed on more indie developers for the upcoming year than they ever have before. So either the guy at Visceral was horribly misinformed or was just flat out lying.

Jon: Ever since your article and subsequent interviews, RealGamerNewz has heard a lot of major publishers’ and developers’ employees expressing their belief that huge budgets lack creativity. This is even being reflected in public now by people like Jade from Ubisoft. Do you think they are just jumping on the bandwagon, or do you believe a change is coming to the industry next-gen focusing more on art and less on money?

Alex: Well I hope that it is indicative of a coming change to the industry since it is obvious the current model won’t work for much longer. Even game developers recognize that but they try to pin the blame on gamers saying we don’t spend enough money. Cliff Bleszinski made a tweet saying the “numbers just don’t work” when talking about used games. Guys like him think used games kill sales and thus kill the industry. Yet he drives a Lamborghini. That was the entire point of the article. Gamers are not the problem. Wasteful spending is. Deep down developers know what I wrote in my article is true which is why it got so much backlash. The industry is going to have to change.

Indie games are really where it’s at. Indie developers don’t make games because they think they are going to get rich off them like some people in the industry. They make games because they want to see that game in the hands of gamers. That’s why you see so much more creativity in indie games. You can also get tons of indie games for on the cheap. Why spend $60 on Final Fantasy when I can spend $5 on Doom & Destiny on Xbox LIVE Indie Arcade and have just as much fun, if not more?

There’s no innovation in big budget games anymore. Developers just go with what has worked in the past in hopes they can continue to keep the cash flowing. Their goal isn’t to make a fun game, it’s to make a game that will milk the most money out of gamers. Remember when sequels to successful games were few and far between? Half-Life came out in 1998. Half-Life 2 came out in 2004. That’s a six year wait. So why does there need to be a new Call of Duty game every year? Why is there a new Assassin’s Creed every year? It was bad enough when franchises like Madden did it but at least their excuse was that sports games need up-to-date rosters.

***Editor’s NOTE: Alex’s views are his own and may or may not represent those of RealGamerNewz and the rest of their staff. This article will not be taken down for any reason(s) citing the 1st Amendment of the United States of America. Thanks, -RGN Staff

RGN Podcast: Should Game Devs Be Allowed to Tweet AT ALL?

RealGamerNewz Podcast - Game Devs Tweeting

We’d like to extend a welcome to brand new pod-caster BigSean who hails from the streaming hustle and also a big open arms welcome back to the RealGamerNewz RGN Podcast extended family member Payback-Ironman. But then again; Don’t call it a comeback, because he never left. Today’s podcast also includes our Deputy Editor Tristan Werbe as well as Dustin Pleasant of RGN-exclusive brand SpawnQuestGaming.

In this episode we discuss the following topics:

1. Evolution and Devolution of Fanboys
– Different types of fanboy personalities out there today
– How are they changing; for better or for worse?

2. AAA Budgets – Are They Finally Caving?
– Bloated Budgets + Unrealistic Sales Projections
– Indie Companies Making a Killing

3. DLC Discussion
– Gamers Hypocritical About Wanting Post-Game DLC
– Season Passes Not Including All DLC

4. Twitch.TV Streaming Controversy
– Are Huge Donations Going to the Wrong People?
– New Streamers Can’t Break In
– Twitch Keeping Top People On Top

5. Should Game Developers Be Allowed to Tweet AT ALL?
– Professional Vs Personal
– Advertising & Promotion Vs Attacking Fans / Reporters
– Censorship Vs Expression

PS4 Indie Game Spotlight: Check out a few hot games coming to PlayStation 4

PS 4 Devs

Welcome to a new segment here at RealGamerNewz which will help throw some shine on a few incredible games every once in a while which may have been missed in the sea of commotion surrounding the AAA next-gen titles heading to Sony’s PS4. In the following clip you will see some gameplay from PlayStation 4 indie titles including Transistor and Contrast, as well as more. Be sure to be on the lookout for more PS4 Indie Game Spotlight posts in the future, and until then; it’s Mitchy F Walters Baby!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 Confirmed; In Development Right Now

Call of Duty MW4

It has just been revealed by Sledgehammer Games senior designer that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 is actually not a myth. It makes sense now why Infinity Ward is not officially throwing the Sledgehammer Games label on COD: Ghosts for helping out like they did with COD: Modern Warfare 3. Sledgehammer Games has likely already been working hard on developing COD: Modern Warfare 4 for some time now. Modern Warfare 4 will be a full featured “AAA Game with photo-realistic graphics” according the LinkedIn job description of Sledgehammer Games senior designer. More information will be posted as it becomes available.

EA Games Getting Ready to Drop PS3-Quality Games on Tablets

EA Games

Electronic Arts, the maker of many, many, many games (is that enough many’s?) has announced today that not only are the next-generation tablets we are about to see debut on the mainstream market capable of great things, but they will already have catalogs of games prepared for them before they arrive. Next-generation tablets EA Games currently has early access to and is developing games for are being compared to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in terms of graphical and processing power.

This, EA Games says, will open the door for a whole new wave of re-imagined existing AAA franchises and new games as well. In addition to this, many PS3 / 360 game engines will now be able to run on mobile platforms, especially tablets. This opens up the doors for the booming mobile gaming industry to grow even larger in 2014 and beyond.

Are you a mobile gamer? Are you ready for a “next-gen” to occur in that market? Let us know and we’ll tell EA Games what you think, raw and uncensored, RealGamerNewz style.