Tagged: IGN

The argument against used video games…and why developers will always lose that argument.

space-invaders1In an  interview at IGN that’s already raised many hackles and comments, the developer behind The Order: 1886 claims GameStop’s used games business model is hurting developers.

“Weerasuriya’s solution is simple: “I don’t think we should stop used games, but we should do something about getting part of the revenue back from GameStop and places like that. That’s not penalizing consumers; they’ll still get what they want.””

Small problem.

GameStop isn’t just going to “give” money to the companies.  And I’ll go so far as to say that if they’re asked to, they’ll simply go out of business.  If companies try and come up with some method to get said to get said money, Gamestop will not simply settle for less – they’ll raise the prices of their used games, which may well just get people to buy the new ones after all, which gets the developers what they want.

I think it’s safe to say their used games market is more profitable than their new one.  They’ll sell thousands, millions of copies on day of release, but they make a lot more on the used ones they start selling two weeks later. Mainly because they pay outrageously low prices for them  Oh, they might give you twenty or thirty dollars for a hot new game, but that’s credit – look at how much less you get if you ask for cash; more like ten ot fifteen. And that drops fast as time passes, far faster then the price they charge does. They they turn around and sell that copy for five bucks less then a new copy, less another ten percent if you’re a power member.  So the used games make them a lot more money – no surprise they push you to buy the used end when you can.  You save five bucks; they make an extra ten, easy.I’ve heard endless arguments about how developers are getting “shafted” by the used market.  They argue that if everyone “had to” buy a used copy, they companies would do much better, and could even afford to lower their prices.  Save argument – when’s the last time you ever saw a company voluntarily lower their prices cause they were “making enough money”?  The only reason companies lower prices is when they aren’t making enough money.  They lower prices to increase purchases, and “make it up on volume” as the cliche goes.

Books, records, CDs, DVDs, none of these have any limits on what you do with them once you’re done with them.  And any attempt to TRY to do so is met with ridiculous (and justified) pushback. Anyone old enough to remember when DIVX was an actual machine, and not just a codec?  Buyers are already very angry about the DRM, online codes, and all the other things companies added to their products right out of the gate.  The famous users’ agreements you gleefully click all the time basically make you admit that you don’t own the program you just paid for – you bought a license to use the program, technically forever, but still rescindable by the publisher at any time.  Luckily, that agreement is rarely enforced, but there’s nothing stopping them from doing so, save for the potential response of the public.

To a degree, the argument for buying used crosses the argument for pirating – “They’re trying to screw us out of too much money”.  Used gamers just wait for the price to drop, or the used copies to appear, pirates go further and don’t pay at all.  The end result is the same – the developer makes less money.  Prices for new things (electronics, medicines, video games) are more expensive at first because the company is trying to make back the money it spent on its development, off what are called the “first adopters”.  That money needs to be made back quickly, mainly so the company doesn’t go out of business, but more importantly, so they have money to invent the next cool thing.  As the prices go down, the company makes less on each item, but by that time (presumably) it’s pure profit, save for the megligible cost of manufacture.

The rule is simple – when the list price of a new game drops, the company is making money.  With a used copy, Gamestop makes the money.  If you want to make sure the company benefits, buy a new copy on sale – GameStop paid the same amount for the game wholesale, they’re taking a hit on their side to get you in the store.

Orson Scott Card, Superman And Here We Go Again

Orson Scott Card at Life, the Universe, & Ever...I’ve already received e-mails about this. Encouraging me to go nuclear on DC Comics’ for hiring Orson Scott Card to write a story for the new Adventures of Superman digital comic, as reported by IGN.

The first two chapters are by Orson Scott Card, Aaron Johnston, Chris Sprouse and Karl Story, the third by Jeff Parker and Chris Samnee; teling of Superman’s first meeting with Lex Luthor. Future chapters include work by Dan Abnett. Ed Benes, Mitch Breitweise, Giuseppe Camuncol, Nathan Edmondso, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Christos N. Gage, Marc Guggenheim, Justin Jordan, Matt Kindt, JT Krul , Max Landis, Andy Lanning, David Lapham, Jeff Lemire, Michael Avon Oeming, Riley Rossmo, Stephen Segovia, Bruce Timm, Marcus To and Marv Wolfman.

But Orson Scott Card is on the board of directors for National Organization for Marriage, an association committed to stopping the legalisation of gay marraige. And as a result of this, and a number of unpleasant statements he’s made regarding the issue of homosexuality, has been the subject of a number of boycotts. And it looks as if one is brewing for this Superman story.

I think that’s wrong.

There are a number of comic book creators who believe something very different to what I do. Some of those beliefs offend me. Sometimes they even inform their art, something that Card is unlikely to be accused of in Superman.

Some try to draw a line between an opionated person and an activist. I disagree, any famous person who expresses an opinion, especially in this day and age, de facto becomes an activist for that opinion.

It’s a very dangerous game, it has led in the past to witchtrials, McCarthyite or otherwise, and it’s no better than the actions of, say, One Million Moms. And next time? It could be you…

ComicMix Six: Every Panel You’ve Ever Visited At A Convention!

ComicMix Six: Every Panel You’ve Ever Visited At A Convention!

With the Chicago Comic-Con and WorldCon both around the bend, you may be tempted to waste your days away at the panels off the main floor. But I say, gentle geeks… NAY! Why waste your precious con time in stuffy rooms with stale ice water and tons of other mouth-breeders, when you can peruse the artist alley (where local, hip and trendy comic creators like to be… ahem…), grab schwag at the big booths (or not if YOUR local con has no big booths this year… epic fail…) or spend all of your inheritance on the dealer floor!

But Marc, you plead, I’m tired! I want to make my voice heard! I need to learn hot new tips and skills on how to make my portfolio Marvel worthy! Well, I said it once, and yes… I say it again: NAY. Why, you ask? Because ALL panels at comic conventions break down into one of these top 6 over-done panels:

1. “Mondo-Nation-Neighborhood-Universal-Pow-Wow”
Yup, this is the stalwart gotta-go-to panel they hype and hype and hype. Hey! Do you want HOT, never-seen-before, uber-rare, special sneak previews of all the things to come?! Well cart your XXL self on down to Hall H for a sensational panel that’s sure to knock your sock and sandals combo clear off! Drooling yet? Well, sop it up, fanboy. Thanks to the interwebs, all you’re gonna get is a rehash of the solicits you read about months ago on ComicMix, IGN, Newsarama, Comic Book Resources, CSN, or a hundred other places. And those special sneak peaks you’re just vibrating to see? Yup… posted on the artist’s message boards about the same time you were reading those months-old solicits! And you were counting on some tantalizing rumors about all your favorite characters? Well Bucko, are you in for a treat! Turns out the big boys can’t tell you anything you can’t (and most likely DID) read in Wizard itself, last month. Sounds fun? Sounds to me like 2 hours of time you could have spent waiting in line to get that Red Hulk Sketch Holofoil Variant Cover 17B signed, kiddo.


#SDCC: Metalocalypse’s Murderous Multimedia Mayhem

#SDCC: Metalocalypse’s Murderous Multimedia Mayhem

Those of us who would Do Anything for Dethklok will now have
many more opportunities to share the love. (Why, yes, I do have a cartoon crush
on Nathan Explosion. He can “teach me who rock” anytime.) The creators of the
Adult Swim show Metalocalypse are preparing an assault on several platforms.

If you’ve actually bothered to read the Adult Swim bumps
instead of fast-forwarding past them on your DVR, you already know that in
Season 3, episodes of Metalocalypse will double in length to 30 minutes, and
the second Dethklok album is scheduled for this fall.

On Wednesday, Konami announced that they’ll be putting out the downloadable videogame
Metalocalypse: Dethgame, which will be available for Xbox and PlayStation. The soundtrack
will feature tracks from both the old and the new Dethklok albums. Game creators are promising a
thrilling and an exceptionally gory time as the player takes on the role of a
Klokateer, one of the band’s many masked minions. Here’s hoping that they will
be able to fulfill that promise: a very early version of the game is currently
being showcased at San Diego, and one IGN reviewer is already profoundly
. Apparently, gameplay now mainly consists of urinating on, brutally beating, and slicing up Dethklok fans. Hey, that may be enough for some people.

Also on Wednesday, the one-shot The Goon vs. Dethklok hit
comic book store shelves. That was quickly followed by Thursday’s
announcement from Dark Horse that a Metalocalypse comic book series is in the
works. The Dark Horse San Diego Comic-Con panel takes place later today, and no doubt more
details will be released at that time.

Kevin McKidd Wants the Uru Hammer

Kevin McKidd Wants the Uru Hammer

Kevin McKidd is a hot property right now.  The Rome star is of course ticketed for the big screen version of the HBO series should it actually get made.  Currently, he’s the latest male hottie on Grey’s Anatomy and remains interested in visiting Asgard in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor film.

He told IGN at the  premiere of Punisher: War Zone that there’s been "a lot of back and forth" about the project of late. No formal casting on the July 2010 film has been announced although shooting needs to begin in 2009 for the effects-heavy film to have a chance at making its release date.

“McKidd stressed that the part that he’s up for is indeed that of Thor and not a supporting role,” IGN said.

‘Spider-Man: Web of Shadows’ Leaked, Then Confirmed

‘Spider-Man: Web of Shadows’ Leaked, Then Confirmed

Oopsey! Activision was probably waiting for their New York Comic Con panel this weekend to announce this, but retailer Gamestop accidentally released some advertising materials for a new Spider-Man videogame called Spider-Man: Web of Shadows. The ad listed a website (currently inactive) for customers to vote on what promo they would like if they pre-order the game.

At first, not much was known about the game. The rumor mill had been gossiping for a while about a game called Spider-Man: Red Vs. Black. But then IGN got confirmation from Activision on what the game was about. A free-roaming game with a emphasis on vertical combat — that means "swinging web fights" to the rest of us. It will be released for pretty much any system that games are still being made for. They even released a trailer shown below.

Stay tuned to ComicMix this weekend where we’ll be sure to followup with Activision… and to see if Spidey could battle Video-Man, the arcade monster Electro created in Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends.



‘Incredible Hulk’ Poster Revealed

‘Incredible Hulk’ Poster Revealed

The Incredible Hulk is looking to be the green-headed stepchild of the summer movie season.

Everyone is going gaga over The Dark Knight and Iron Man, while no one is paying any attention to the Hulk’s film. Is it because of the negative opinion of Ang Lee’s Hulk? Is it because no one really cares about the character, or is the film just being lost in a season of box office megahits?

The general apathy around the film is only increased by the fact that the film’s very first poster was released today. Keep in mind the film is set to be released on June 13.

The poster is definitely evocative of the classic Incredible Hulk TV show, but will that be enough to get people in theaters?

Head over to IGN to see the full sized version of the green goliath’s one sheet for yourself.

New ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ Still Released

New ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’ Still Released

Wolverine is the best there is at what he does – looking grizzled and menacing as he pops his claws in a posed publicity still.

IGN has gotten their hands on another shot of Hugh Jackman in his Wolverine duds from the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine prequel movie. Click on the link to see the Wolvie in all his full-sized splendor.

The shot tells us little about the movie other than the fact that Wolverine has been a fan of leather jackets for a very long time. He also looks pretty pissed off at the guy snapping the picture. Perhaps Wolverine was unhappy with his choice of lens.

Universal Debuts ‘Wanted’ Clip at WonderCon

Universal Debuts ‘Wanted’ Clip at WonderCon

In a bid to excite fanboys for the movie adaptation to Mark Millar’s Wanted, Universal Pictures used its panel at WonderCon 2008 to show an extended clip from the film. IGN has a full report on the clip.

The scene shown was that of Fox (Angelina Jolie) saving Wesley (James McAvoy) from an assassin in a convenience store.  While that bit earned praise, the real excitement came from the ensuing car chase that, at one point, has Fox hanging out of the broken windshield of her car and shooting at the pursuing assassin.

It was "a car chase like no other," according to IGN’s report.

The movie follows McAvoy’s character as he learns his father was a legendary assassin and then tries to follow in his blood-spattered footsteps.

Wanted is directed by Timur Bekmambetov, best known for the Russian films Day Watch and Night Watch. It hits theaters on June 27.

First Look at ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ #1

First Look at ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ #1

As we mentioned a while back, Marvel’s cosmic superteam series Guardians of the Galaxy is returning this June, featuring a lineup of "Annihilation" storyline survivors and some yet-to-be-named characters from the space-faring side of the Marvel Universe.

IGN has the first look at the cover to Guardians of the Galaxy #1 by Clint Langley, as well as short interview with editor Bill Rosemann, the architect of much of the publisher’s recent success in space-based titles. Given the success of Nova, Wraith and the overall "Annihilation" arc, the next step in developing the team-based story of Guardians, it seems, was a no-brainer:

IGN Comics: When gathering your creative team for this series, how did you go about selecting your writers and artists – Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning, Paul Pelletier and Clint Langley?

Rosemann: Given the vision and velocity they brought to Nova and Conquest, Dan & Andy (a.k.a. DnA, a.k.a. They Who Must Not Be Named) were the go-to guys to continue the cosmic action on full throttle. And while Paul Pelletier was kicking butt on Nova – just wait until you see issues #11 and #12 – we all realized he had the perfect mix of eye-candy and grit to launch us out of the stargate. As for Clint Langley, people are still talking about his Wraith covers – and he’s the guy to bring that "gamer" feel to Marvel.

Makes perfect sense to me!