Homewhirled: Homeworld Now In The Hands of Gearbox

After a long struggle to survive, THQ finally belly-flopped and its corpse promptly rushed to the ch

EA Does An Offensive Anti-Consumer Thing

Gamers were dismayed today to learn that EA did a thing that showed little respect for those who kee

The Catch 22: Growing The Linux Gaming Market

The word on the street seems to be that Linux is set to be a commercially viable gaming platform. An

 

Homewhirled: Homeworld Now In The Hands of Gearbox

April 22, 2013 in Editorial, News

After a long struggle to survive, THQ finally belly-flopped and its corpse promptly rushed to the chopping block, where its bits were auctioned off to an assortment of scavengers. Most of the big names went quickly, but until this week a number of these properties still remained unclaimed.

“What happened to Homeworld?”, was a common phrase on forums and the like. And now we know!

For a reported measly $1.35 mil, the Homeworld IP now belongs to Gearbox. I have trouble writing this without gagging a little, but am trying my best not to be too much of a dick about it. Here are my thoughts.

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EA Does An Offensive Anti-Consumer Thing

January 22, 2013 in Humour


Gamers were dismayed today to learn that EA did a thing that showed little respect for those who keep them afloat with their continued generous charitable purchases. “It’s not fair for them to treat us like this”, said one customer who has been consistently buying the same rehashed (if slightly updated) game from them every year in what can only be described as charity.

“We just don’t give a shit any more”, said an EA spokesperson, “People will complain no matter what we do, so now we just do whatever we want. Fortunately for us, people are still dumb enough to give us their money”. And they showed us yet again how much they believe this, by finding a new and devious way to milk the consumer for more money.

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The Catch 22: Growing The Linux Gaming Market

January 18, 2013 in Editorial


The word on the street seems to be that Linux is set to be a commercially viable gaming platform. And the way it looks right now, this might actually prove to be true. There’s still some uncertainty amongst both developers and gamers though. At the core of a lot of it is this: Developers are hesitant to make games for a market as small as this, and gamers are hesitant to adopt it as a gaming platform because there are so few games for it.

I asked Ethan Lee (@flibitijibibo) if he had anything to add to what I wrote, so I have included his view on the various topics.

Right then, here’s a list of things to consider, in no specific order:

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Double Joy: A Good Day For Linux Game Announcements

January 16, 2013 in News


Not only has the immensely popular Crusader Kings 2 from Paradox gone on sale on Steam /Linux, but Double Fine has announced that their adventure game disguised as a side-scrolling platformer, The Cave, will also be on sale on Steam / Linux from the 23d of January.

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Steam Linux Beta: The Line-up: Highlights (part 1)

January 12, 2013 in News

The Steam beta for Linux has been running for little over two months now, and there has been a slow trickle of new titles being added to the list. Here’s a look at a few titles.

Many of the current games are ones that featured in the Humble Indie Bundle previously, so I imagine sales figures for those would not be that great, but it is nice to now be able to have these games as part of Steamplay, the buy-once-play-anywhere feature of Steam. Interestingly Amnesia: The Dark Descent seems to still be topping the best sellers chart, despite having been around for a while. Anyhoo, here are a few more:

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The Humble THQ Bundle: What?

November 30, 2012 in News


Ok, I’m already being needlessly dramatic. A clue about this showed up a few weeks ago when someone spotted this entry in the Steamworks CDR database. There was a moment of confusion as Linux users got giddy at the prospect of seeing some more big-name titles make their way to their beloved platform, but this hope was quickly squished.

And indeed here it is. Darksiders, Saints Row 3, Metro 2033, Red Faction: Armageddon and Company of Heroes with a few expandalones. Windows only, with DRM (except for the soundtracks). Charities on the roster this time are Child’s Play and the American Red Cross.

If you are a smart person with your ear to the ground, some foresight, and a few bucks to spare, you’d have used this opportunity to buy THQ stock. Its value has risen almost 38% since yesterday.

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Elite Kickstarter: I Thought I Wanted This

November 6, 2012 in Editorial


Something strange happened today. Being a sentimental sort, I’m ordinarily quite an easy target for Kickstarter campaigns that try to push my nostalgia buttons. In fact, on more than one occasion since the Double Fine funding campaign have I backed a project before even watching the pitch video. So it seemed only logical that when a new installment of a game that defined a huge part of my childhood came along, I’d be all over it. The game, of course, is Elite, created by David Braben and Ian Bell. Today, Braben launched a funding drive to collect the equivalent of nearly $2 mil to make a new Elite game. I’ve imagined this day happening, and in my mind it seemed so grand. And yet, here it is, and I don’t feel anything even close to ecstatic. Quite the opposite. Cynicism and mistrust kicked in almost immediately, irrationally perhaps, but I know where it all comes from.

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My digital attic: About collectability of games

October 26, 2012 in Editorial


I have a teddy bear in the closet that I have had since birth. He’s suffered a bit of wear over the years, but still – it’s a just shy of  40-year-old children’s toy that I still have. There’s a number of things from my childhood I could have kept all these years, like my LEGO sets, my model aircraft or the one Meccano set I had. (taught me how to lose screws like a boss, so I’d be well skilled by the time I started building PCs)

My taste in toys started to shift around the time I was about 10-ish when I got my first computer, a weird little piece of kit called a Sinclair ZX81. Man that was the shit. I spent hours learning how to write little games in which you did things like steer a letter V to avoid an oncoming  flood of letter Os.

I discovered store-bought games when I got upgraded to a ZX Spectrum, much to my parents’ dread. The games on that were sold on cassette tape. Unreliable, prone to stretching, and sometimes the tape player would totally mangle the tape. Thankfully they were easy to copy. A smart gamer would make a copy of a brand new tape, and then just use the copy.

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Kickstarters Dangling the Linux Carrot

October 11, 2012 in Editorial


Linux gaming is seeing some much needed attention of late, and a lot of this seems to come from Kickstarter projects. There are some trends however that raise a few questions for me, and perhaps a gripe or two.

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Steam Greenlight: Some Concerns

August 31, 2012 in Editorial


Steam Greenlight went live yesterday. The system itself presumably exists as a means to crowd-source the initial vetting stage of indie games applying to appear on Steam, leaving Valve only with a smaller selection of games to approve. This seems alright in principle and it’s perhaps too early to judge, but there are some things that  potentially raise some concerns.

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Indie games. Crowd funded games. Emerging gaming platforms.