Daily Recap: April 7, 2009
Another day, another dearth of major developments. But as they say, “no news is good news.” As a journalist, I interpret no news to mean no job. But hey, it’s not like we’re writing for this blog to make any money.
Shadow of the Colossus is destined for theaters thanks to a push from Sony Pictures, according to Variety’s Cut Scene blog. Heralded as one of the best examples of the artistic and emotional potential of the interactive medium, Shadow of the Colossus is perhaps the most eclectic game to be optioned for development into a movie. The movie’s in the earliest of planning stages so it’s definitely too early to pass any sort of preliminary judgment, but fans should bear this in mind: Even in the absolute worst-case scenario where the movie is a total catastrophe, at least the Shadow of the Colossus name will reach an immensely broader audience than before. More support for art-house games can’t be a bad thing, right?
Charging for Internet use by the gigabyte may sound like an outdated pricing scheme to most — it reminds me of the interminable suffering of paying per minute to log into AOL on a 2400 baud modem — but it’s the situation Time Warner Internet customers now find themselves in. Lara Crigger at Gamers With Jobs breaks down the math, and the results are harrowing. Paying $54.90 per month for 40GB of bandwidth might not seem all that unreasonable on paper, but when you consider that a single HD movie weighs in at around 8 gigabytes, things start to look a little spooky.
The return of Rodney Greenblat to videogames wasn’t exactly guaranteed, but the industry ought to be thankful they’ve got his artistic talents back within the interactive realm. Gamasutra conducted an interview with the artist, who collaborated with Masaya Matsuura on the groundbreaking PaRappa the Rapper thirteen years ago, re-emerged with an odd little Wii-exclusive game called Major Minor’s Majestic March.
The battle over digital rights management (DRM) may be far from over, but game developers, publishers and distributors are starting to offer some new and innovative solutions. As Gamasutra reports, Stardock’s latest iteration of its Impulse digital distribution system, dubbed “Phase 3,” ties ownership of a game to a user’s email address. Intriguingly, it also enables users to relinquish ownership of a title, enabling reselling of PC games and hopefully eliminating some of the risk in purchasing games. This announcement arrives hot on the heels of Valve’s Steamworks update that boasts it “makes DRM obsolete.” Consumers will clearly be the ultimate factor in determining which antipiracy measures are the most fair. But, as Stardock CEO Brad Wardell points out, competing systems and services ultimately create a better environment for the consumer.
Konami’s Six Days in Fallujah may have just been announced a couple dozen hours ago, but the game is already generating a significant amount of controversy on the Internet. That videogame enthusiasts have found room to stir up controversy is nothing special, but what little is known about the game’s premise — that it’s a realistic game based on events that took place in the current Iraq War — has drawn the ire of members of the armed forces and their families and public interest groups. Basing a war game on a real-life modern conflict is a risky move, but I’d rather wait until more is known about the game before jumping to conclusions. Still, the thought of a game based on the struggle and suffering of real people who are still involved in a real conflict is unsettling, to say the least.