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Archive for December 9th, 2008

So it’s the end of the day, my deadline is pushed back a week, and I was briefly checking out my sources when of course Loot-Ninja (who else?) came through with a scoop on the release date (March 3rd) for the upcoming Halo Wars, a real-time strategy game (or as Ensemble puts it, an Action-Strategy game) based entirely in the Halo Universe. Now, I loved Halo 1, played the crap out of Halo 2 and 3, and am an avid RTS-er. I’ve beaten all the C&Cs, Total Annhiliation, Age of Empires and Red Alerts (except for 3, but I digress) and I can’t wait to get my hands on this. Something about building SPARTANS, assigning them to a fleet of warthogs, and covering them with stolen Banshees warms my gaming soul. This could be big, really big. Almost as big as the rumored Star Wars MMORPG. Only time will tell when it comes to Star Wars though, that was just a tease, for well, teasing sake. I’ll get back to that if Bioware (makers of Knights of the Old Republic) or Lucasarts ever lets anything slip, and chances are they won’t.

Back to Halo wars: The only thing that concerns me is the 360 exclusivity of the release. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for sticking it to the Sony Brats, but wtf Microsoft? Pull a Left-4-Dead and release it on PC and 360 only!!!! I know, maybe its a crutch to rely on keyboard grouping shortcuts, mousedrags, and soothing voice of Tanya out of my computer speakers, but its a crutch I don’t want to easily give up. Sports and Shooters with the gamepad, RPGs and Strategy games with a mouse (Fallout 3/Left 4 Dead don’t count, but don’t ask me why.) To be fair, I haven’t really looked into this game fully, somewhere comparable to the amount of vetting by the GOP leadership of Sarah Palin (zing!) but be warned, I will be reading more about this game and will have some very astute observations and a follow-up to my complaints about the lack of PC support very shortly. That, and with my Xbox fixed at Microsoft but not shipped yet, it still might be weeks before I can get back into my console, so I’m strictly a PC gamer until UPS saves my world.

That’s it folks, for this Tuesday. Watch out for some Jpark update tonight, the Man doesn’t let him blog at work…sucker.

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So its a big day, we have the first non-bird post and I’d like to welcome Jpark to the family. The blogosphere is lucky to have him, and I’m even luckier. Hopefully we can post a few times a day now, but we’ll see. I have a quick link to this study regarding who is playing games. Some interesting stuff:

While just over half of adults play games, 81 percent of adults age 18 to 29 play games — a proportion that drops to 12 percent among those 65 years of age or older.

And again, to connect my day job with my dream, I wanted to share this article about the future of venture capital.

Unlike the last technology bubble, when LPs questioned how much money they put into venture capital as an asset class, this time around there are questions about both the viability of the asset class and pressure on all alternative investments.

This is a quick read, but a good one for those unfamilar with alternative assets and especially venture capital. As VC is an extremely important part of the industry, since so many games require massive funding from VC firms, and VC loves the big payouts with the homeruns, (see this post about WoW: Lich King and its venture ties,) this could have massive implications on the future of gaming. In the past few years we have seen the smaller firms get venture funding, including Boston based Harmonix, makers of Rock Band and a slew of others. Would we have Guitar Hero if Harmonix was developing it now, rather then 5 years ago? We can only watch and see how the recession is going to affect VC and how that in turn affects the ability for smaller gaming companies to get funded. For now, I can expect iApps and flash based games, offered for free online, as where the innovation is going to come from. Hopefully the bigger firms, those that are not venture backed and run on marketing teams and television like executives (I’m looking at you EA,) will keep the industry cruising with cutting edge breakthroughs and risk taking. Odds are though, we’ll see Sims 45 competing with Age of Empires 12 before we see any REAL innovation from the big guys. Left 4 Dead, while a fun and entertaining game, is basically Half-Life with better A.I. and melee only enemies. Not that I’m complaining, but one cannot expect Valve to take any true risks. (That said, the A.I. in L4D is amazing…)

That’s it for the morning, I’m going to have to crank through some day job stuff for the next few hours. Stay tuned for an afternoon update from me and hopefully something from the pahka later.

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Yes thats right phans and phoes alike, its Jpark making my debut as a contributor to the Bird Blagh.  You may ask yourselves;

Why would Jpark make contributions on Bird’s video game blagh dude?

 Well let me answer your question with another question:  How many abodiginals do you see male modeling?  But for serious, I am a video game addict and will actually be  bringing content  and often a second opinion to the blog.    Actual post with content to come tomorrow.  Left 4 Dead follow-up on the maturation of scare-factor video games.  Yeah I know you jumped when that thing grabbed you from in the wall that first time you played Resident Evil.  Has it changed?

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