Boss Rush Banter: Does Releasing AAA Games on Game Pass Cannibalize Developers’ Profits?

Imagine creating a game, having the highest of hopes, expecting it to do well, and to also turn a profit? Then after years of hard work and sacrifice, your game is polished and ready to be shared with the gaming world. The game does extremely well, and people praise its positive attributes. Now fast forward 5 months ahead to receive news that you have not made any profit from the game you had worked so hard on. Devastating to say the least, but this is exactly what is happening to Outriders, developed by People Can Fly and published by Square Enix.

When a deal was announced with Microsoft to have the Outriders on Game Pass available on day one of release, plenty of game enthusiasts were quite happy with the decision. When the game launched, plenty of people joined in on the fun, and were extremely happy with the…

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System Review: Astro City Mini… And All 37 Games!

Retro Arcadia

As iconic and popular as Sega’s Astro City arcade cabinet was when it launched in 1993, I’d honestly never heard of it until this Mini was announced for Japanese release a few months ago at the time of writing! That said, it turned out that while it’s name wasn’t familiar to me, its very functional design was, having been travelling backwards and forwards to Japan for the last twenty years – it’s what Japanese arcades still look like! Its purpose was very functional too – it was designed to take whatever game boards the arcade wanted to throw into it. The Astro City was a refinement of the Aero City multi-purpose cabinet, which was no frills, customisable and very white, which some have suggested was to negate the perception of dark and dingy Japanese arcades back in 1988 when it arrived. This time the original’s 26-inch screen was bumped up…

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Intel is the New Player in the Graphics Card Market

For many years NVIDIA and AMD have been exchanging blows as the two competitors in the market for graphics cards, but now they have a new challenger in the Intel Arc.

Intel, who is the worlds leader semiconductor manufacturer, is taking a new approach by creating a new graphics card called the Arc. This gives them the opportunity to grow in the graphics department that has taken off recently. Intel has released a demo video here:

This new graphics processor uses Xe HPG (for high performing graphics) microarchitecture, which is supposed to compete with Nvidia’s GEFORCE or AMD’s RADEON technologies. Xe HPG is a convergence of multiple graphics processors that allow the use of advanced graphics functions such as ray tracing or super sampling based on artificial intelligence. The first version of this card is named “The Alchemist”, and is set to release in 2021. There are future variations scheduled…

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Top Ten Beaches in Gaming

The Game Campaign

It has been quite some time since I have been able to get away for a weekend at the beach. If it wasn’t for a recent move, I would have made this the year but that, unfortunately, isn’t the case. So to help myself get over my lack of vacation, I have decided to revisit some of my favorite beaches in gaming. What better way to spend a day at the beach than in a dark room pretending I am getting sun burn with sand between my toes?

These beaches may not all be the most picture-perfect scenes out there but they bring a feeling with them that is at the core of every beachfront adventure: distraction. There can only be one per series, or this might have been completely overrun by one or two games. Now that that is out of the way, let’s soak up some digital sun.

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Boss Rush Banter: Is Pokémon Evolving in the Right Direction?

It’s hard to believe that Pokémon is now over 25 years-old. Since it’s inception in 1996, the multi-media franchise has seemingly dominated the globe with its video games, hit anime tv series, feature films, trading cards, toys, and an untold amount of other merchandise. Its mascot, Pikachu, is comparable to video gaming icons such as Nintendo’s own Super Mario as one of the most recognizable and believed fictional characters around. For Pokémon, the world is its (cl)oyster.

Pokémon has come a long way since its humble beginnings, and while the people in charge have been historically reluctant to change (at least with their video games), in recent years they have been much more open to evolving the pocket monster catching experience.

On August 8th, The Pokémon Company premiered a lengthy digital direct showcasing much of the new material coming to fans in the next several months (you can read…

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Castlevania is Back…on Smartphones

VIRTUAL BASTION

Konami has decided to take a break from making pachinko and slot machines to bring Castlevania fans a new entry in the series: Castlevania -Grimoire of Souls-. It’ll only be available on iOS devices via Apple Arcade at first, though hopefully Android-based fans will have a chance to try it out eventually too. As for details, Konami hasn’t offered much so far.


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What’s wrong with male characters in MMORPGs?

Bio Break

A recent survey on character gender choices in MMORPGs sparked a whole lot of discussion this past week on Massively OP. There was a lot of data here, but the biggest takeaway is that 33% of guys roll female characters while only 10% of females roll male characters. Typically when this subject comes up, talk revolves around why guys — such as myself — roll girl toons, but I think that’s missing a bigger issue.

The flip-side of this is that, as a whole, people aren’t that excited about rolling up male characters. If only 10% of women and 66% of men want to create a male avatar, that’s a disproportionate swing toward the female side.

This touches on one of the biggest reasons why I roll female characters — I hardly ever see male character options that are appealing and relatable. More often than not, they’re beefy gym bros…

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Virtual Masterworks: Are Video Games High Art?

Daniel J. Nickolas, Pens & Pig Wings

Derided as the ultimate brain-rot, vilified as a precursor to violent and antisocial behavior, dismissed as a fad doomed to go the way of pogs and disco, video games built the controversy that defined our cultural transition into the new millennium. 

Despite the slew of allegations leveled at video games, they did not become the cultural poison legislators in the 1990’s warned they would. And not only did video games fail to doom society, but their quick evolution from computerized curiosity into a prolific medium of entertainment has proven that video games are here to stay. Coming a long way from thin rectangles paddling a digital ball from one side of a television screen to another, video games continue to grow more visually vibrant and deeply narrative. With the backing of big-budget studios or the care and passion of indie developers, the world of video games is now as diverse…

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Top Ten: Video Games of the 2010’s

SWO Productions

Here’s the thing about me… I am not much of a gamer. I LIKE video games; I PLAY video games damn frequently. But it’s more that I’m not good at games, and because of that, I tire of individual titles easily. I also have a bad penchant for buying games and either NEVER playing them or playing them for about two hours and never touching them again (‘SupBatman: Arkham City, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, Grand Theft Auto V,andThe Last Of Us).

I downloaded The Witcher 3 A YEAR AGO around Christmas, and I just started playing it on this past Thanksgiving! And it’s coming along very slowly. I think I am stuck in a well after fighting the first actual monster? I don’t know. I got distracted and started playing the #2 game on my list. And then I downloadedUntil Dawnand want to play that…

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Boss Rush Banter: Should You Break Your Gaming Habits and Try Something New?

In my late twenties, I decided to figure out exactly what kind of beer I liked. I knew I preferred beer to spirits or wine but didn’t have a deep understanding of the different kinds of beer. I went to my grocery store and systematically tried different styles and figured out my personal preferences. Since then, I may branch out here or there, but I pretty much stay in my lane. However, there are times when trying something new makes me realize I don’t only enjoy one flavor. Similarly, with video games, many people decide they are RPG enthusiasts, or fighting game fans, and focus on that genre of gameplay only. But should they seek some variety?

Genre is a compelling topic in video games because a game doesn’t have just one genre. There is the gameplay genre, and then there is the story genre. These are completely separate. A…

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