Extra Extra Gamer News in 2024 AD

What I do not understand about big game publishers like Microsoft:

Why do they go this path of only investing in the safest yet most expensive games.

Why don’t they use a developer made up from experienced folks like Arkane to just release smaller scoped games? Dave the diver proved that a game with indie type scope backed by a big publisher can be a smash hit too?

Just let them develop like 20 small games instead of a single “AAAA” one and maybe one of those 20 will be just as successful as the big one…

Genuinely, please some explain it to me

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They’re dumb, because they already did that with the studio that made Fable.
I think there was a tweet from a software engineer that was telling that Microsoft viewed their games as software programs. Maybe It isn’t that dumb of an idea…

On other things, this week has released several great games. It seems we’re going to have fun.

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i haven’t played it yet but my sense from watching a trailer for indika, and based on actually nothing, is that they think it’s an a24 because of that steadicam-looking tied-to-the-face camera angle they use (which idk i’ve ever seen in a video game so that’s cool tho)

The most frustrating thing is they’re closing studios to “focus on fewer games going forward”…SO STOP BUYING SO MANY STUDIOS AAAAAHHHHHHH

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RE: The News, the window for art existing under capitalism was always gonna be a small one, but it’s seeming more and more apparent that we’ve turned a corner with so many C-suite people (“people”) in creative industries. Those jobs should, and used to at least to some extent, involve the fostering of creativity. Even if the motivation for that was simply a quality output to make a profit, there had to be some modicum of being a creative custodian. All this recent news following a year of similar news following shit like Zaslav over on the movie side really seems to confirm that this element has been ripped out of the equation. At least Apple is being upfront about their intentions, and has even made a wonderfully expressive short film about their desire to grind everything beautiful and human about creativity into a featureless tech-bro driven sludge:

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That’s what I don’t get. Honestly, you don’t even have to go with particularly experienced developers. Look at games like Lethal Company. A solo developer making one of the most successful games on Steam. You could fund a game like that for well under a million bucks.

I feel like if I had the kind of resources Microsoft has and I desperately needed interesting games like Microsoft does, I’d be throwing salaries at promising indie devs and funding small studios like crazy. I follow tons of indies that are making interesting games with serious potential but can’t afford to quit their day jobs, let alone pay for actual marketing. I really don’t get why these companies laser focus in on blockbuster AAA games when they’re so high risk. It feels so shortsighted.

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I think they formed that impression based entirely on the trailer, which is more ostentatious about appearing like a “art film” than the game proper winds up being (the game is just really good in and of itself) yeah

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Also, about Indika: I didn’t know anything about this, but I was surprised to see the studio used AI. It’s very sparse by what I’ve looked at (which makes it weirder), but you have been advised.

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Going by their recent public statements, Xbox is saying that they’re desperate for another, and even bigger, Skyrim. That is, they want Bethesda to hurry up and crank out a huge crowd-pleaser of a game that, in both the scope of its development and prestige, justifies the huge, increasingly consolidated structure of Xbox’s studio system.

This is at least the story they’re selling to journalists and consumers, and it’s telling that they’ve been so quick to throw Bethesda under the bus. The real answer might be banal and have nothing to do with games. They could just be following the general Microsoft trend of market ‘dominance’/monopolization, just in the video game industry, which is probably the whole point of Xbox’s existence.

On your point about Dave the Diver though, Matt Booty’s claim in a different, more conciliatory round of public statements that Xbox “need[s] smaller games that give us prestige and awards,” the irony of which is lost on no one, might give some insight into their thinking. They probably think that Hi-Fi Rush could be made with even less people and resources than Tango Gameworks had on the job. Xbox is well aware that small teams can make huge games, but this won’t stop their consolidation; they want to have their cake and eat it too, etc.

Besides, it seems that Dave the Diver’s apparently indie dev team was built from the ground up by their parent company, so Xbox might try doing the same thing with the talent they’ve swallowed up during their acquisitions. Maybe the plan is to drip-feed us with smaller, ‘indie’-ish games that are actually cultivated under ever closer supervision from the Xbox offices, while the big blockbusters are being cooked up by whichever studios are left standing by the end of all of this.

The cost of this strategy is, of course, the careers and livelihoods of actual human beings, not to mention the increasing homogenization of the artform, but at least Xbox gets to tighten its grip on the production process.

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what component of the game? I encounter anything that seemed like the product of generative AI to me. If there’s something, I’d like to know because I still the bait and switch with Cyan’s last game left a bad taste

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Spot the creative typo in a local newspaper’s interpretation of this AP story headline: “Asteroids, Myst and others indicted into video game hall of fame.”

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Nearly 30 years and a hall of fame induction later and I still don’t get the appeal of Myst. This game might be the largest rift between critical and popular opinion and my own.

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All I could find was the nuns on the Steam “cover” illustration were apparently created using AI image generation in some measure. Makes sense I guess, I thought they looked more “real” than the in-game models and it didn’t seem quite like a photograph

ok so just a single promo image and I guess that text to speech narration in the trailer? Neither of those things are in the game proper, although I grant that they’re distasteful and wish they didnt exist

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yeahhhh those nuns never quite struck me right, my hunch was correct then

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awww man that’s such a a bummer to hear! I am suuuuch an ai hater. but also indika I guess has some sort of art from a pixel artist I’m a huge fan of, just by looking at screenshots on the steam page and following that pixel artist on Instagram so like…I dunno, it’s disappointing to hear about ai but seems like there’s a whole hell of a lot of really real artists doing art in it

ooh ugh oof how was the AI in cyan’s last one? I thought firmament was pretty rad but they kinda went vr enough into whatever the last one is that I didn’t check it out? what a plague ai is. hope the riven remake sticks the landing

Firmament is the game I’m thinking of I thought that was their most recent release. They used gen ai for some of the 2d images (photos, paintings, etc) and also used to to massage VO and “lore” whatever that means

I looked specifically at that stuff in Indika and it all looks legit to me- with the important caveat that I can’t read Cyrillic so idk if the text on environmental art is ai-garbled. Also, Indika is clearly sort of made to spec on a particular idiosyncratic ‘vision’ while Firmament read to me like Myst stuff from the Myst guys, so idk, would be very disappointed if there was more gen ai stuff in the former other than the promo image

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How is this Code Ment clip relevant to anything?

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ahhh wait ok firmament was the one I haven’t played, obduction is the one I did play and thought was good