Dundee has a pretty good summation of how death penalties are getting lighter with time, and why. (Damion notes: this link is now dead).
Thought I’d throw out one additional thought: Your death penalties create the grind. Continue reading
Back in 1977, Star Wars made summertime the best time to release an action film, and Memorial Day has become money movie day in the states. If you can, you launch your big budget extravaganza on Memorial Day. That gives your movie the biggest chance to succeed. But that being said, the movie companies aren’t stupid about it. They know that even an avid movie fan rarely spends more than 2 hours in a movie theatre any given week.
In 1999, Star Wars Episode I decided it would release on Memorial Day. Rather than everyone try to dogpile on that day, every other movie decided to cede the coveted Memorial Day release to the big dog. The lone exception was Notting Hill, a chick flick marketed as a movie mom could watch while the kids were geeking out in the next studio over. Can you imagine geek movie history if The Matrix had decided to release the same weekend?
So what does this have to do with us? Well, we, in the games industry, are collectively stupid, that’s what.
Earlier this week, I pointed out how hard it is to get a congealed community to scatter. Blizzard has found a novel approach to the problem.
Link courtesy of N3rfed, who like many, is astonished by WoW’s announcement of having 200K accounts and 88 servers after two days. And I must admit, that’s a hell of a trajectory. I note that a lot of people that I didn’t think played MMOs are picking the title up. The game has the potential to be a true phenomenon.
Should we be surprised? How many RTS titles were there? And by how much did Starcraft crush them all?
Still, whether they’ll reach 1M will depend a lot on how sticky the game is, and how well they support the service. Given their team spent Thanksgiving putting up 46 new servers, it would seem they have clue.
How stupid is this? If you had any hope of staying in the games market, why would you sell one of the true golden geese? Either Infogrames is really desperate, or the offer was unbelievably good.
I sure hope whoever has it still respects it in the morning.
According to who you ask, Worlds of Warcraft is either having a launch smooth as a baby’s butt, or a clusterfuck of imaginable proportions. Can you guess which server is complaining the most? Continue reading
As long as we’re talking about the Incredibles, I thought I’d point out a nice Onion AV interview with Brad Bird, Writer and Director of what may well be the best movie of the year (nod to Looka for pointing it out). In it, he explains why there’s precious little innovation in your 25 million dollar budget games. Continue reading
Intelligent Artifice points out that there’s an interesting discussion going on in the comics/CGI blogosphere. The question is – why has the Incredibles earned nearly 200 million dollars, whereas Polar Express has barely earned 2.5 million of its 265 million cost back on its opening day? Many blame the MoCap of Tom Hanks, which were able to capture all of his movements except for his eyes and lips, creating a uniquely eerie experience. Or, as ‘The Beat’ puts it:
[One] is a marvelous romp, the other, frankly, scares the shit out of us…the beds of American children are going to be soaked with anxiety pee after watching a creepy digital Tom Hanks shout “All aboard!!!”
The animation industry has a term for the point in which graphic animation looks so good, it’s creepy. They call it The Uncanny Valley, a theory first propogated by Japanese roboticist Doctor Masahiro Mori. Continue reading