Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Today in Gaming

The Worst Game in the World

Fox News posted an article yesterday asking, “Is Bulletstorm the Worst Video Game in the World?” They quoted several psychologists talking about the game’s violence and its effect on younger audiences, even though clinical studies have been inconclusive. One psychologist was even quoted as saying, “The increase in rapes can be attributed in large part to the playing out of [sexual] scenes in video games.” However, according to the National Crime Victimization Survey, the per-capita victimization rate of rape has declined from about 2.4 per 1000 people in 1980 to about 0.4 per 1000 people, a decline of about 85%. Beyond the fact that their statements are false, Rock, Paper, Shotgun reached out to the three psychologists for follow-up statements, but only heard back from one. Billy Pidgeon, a video game analyst with M2 Research, was quoted as saying, “Games without sufficient quality of gameplay -- games that include highly objectionable violent or sexual content -- often pump up the level of this kind of content to gain media attention. This tactic typically fails, as can be seen in the poor sales performance of titles such as BMX XXX and Postal,” but that’s only about a quarter of what was actually said, check out the rest here. Bulletstorm follows all of the ESRB’s guidelines for both gameplay and marketing and to be labeled as worst game in the world by Fox will only help in its promotion. Keep up the good work Electronic Arts, Epic Games, and People Can Fly. Bulletstorm will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on February 22.

Activision Cancels Guitar Hero Franchise, Headlines Using the Word Axe Increase Ten Fold

Activision held their 4Q calendar 2010 conference call today and informed investors that the Guitar Hero franchise is being shut down and that there will be no new release this year. Coincidently, check out how many headlines made the connection and used axe in their headline. The newest True Crime game, True Crime: Hong Kong is also being cancelled, reasoning that Activision was to focus on the highest of quality games. This is a suprising considering Activision held an E3 2010 party themed around the revival of the True Crime series. Activision also announced that a new studio named Beachhead is working on a Call of Duty based digital platform that will bring “special services for our Call of Duty community,” said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. Check out Joystiq for the quote in full of what Beachhead will offer for Call of Duty players. What this likely means is a free-to-play model for a new Call of Duty that offers micro-transactions for perks, player cards, and other services. The first map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops was also announced to be coming to the PlayStation 3 on March 3rd. No date was revealed for PC, though it was mentioned that it will be coming this quarter.

New L.A. Noire Gameplay Trailer

A new gameplay trailer was released for the Rockstar and Team Bondi game L.A. Noire. The trailer, showing how the game progresses from beat cop to homicide, is the first to show how the facial animations play large part in interrogations. You’ll also solve cases by searching for clues and uncovering conspiracies that unravel the game’s story. L.A. Noire will be released on May 17 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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