Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers ...especially EA-T2

August 27, 2008 -

Don Reisinger, who pens The Digital Home column for Cnet, takes a dim view of video game publisher mergers - especially the proposed deal between Electronic Arts and Take-Two Interactive.

Reisinger believes consolidation results in high profits for pubishers and low-risk, lackluster titles for gamers:

Since the age of consolidation hit the video game industry, it has changed drastically... In fact, consolidation has spawned an industry that's dominated by sequel after sequel and enough first-person shooters and sports games that barely differ from year to year...

 

A quick glance at EA's upcoming lineup of games tells you everything you need to know about consolidation. Aside from Spore, it's dominated by sequels and titles that will do little but provide the same basic experience...

 

And if EA and Take-Two -- two of the biggest culprits of derivative gaming -- combine to form one major developer, this will only get worse.


Comments

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Thanks good job;

Btw, I think Atari and Midway will drop out too, but mostly travesti because  these guys have done nothing travesti or little and need to start saving costs. and dizi izle

YES.

Now I don't have to get off my ass for the important shit anymore!

Whats next, ordering pizza from Xbox live?

Wait... I think that sounds like a good idea.

But I think voting should MAKE you get off your ass, and see outside or a second while you go vote. I mean, your picking the president of the United States of America for God's Sake... least you can do is drive down there and punch out a card.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I'm all for freedom of ttnet vitamin speech and allowing rent a car game makers to put whatever they want in games, but there's one thing about this app that has me scratching my head.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but from araç kiralama the previous article araba kiralama on this I gathered that players can use Google maps in-game to find the other (real-life?) dealers in their area.  If this is the case, has travesti anyone considered what's stopping someone from using this app to actually move drugs between hands for reals?

But majority araba kiralama of their outrage araç kiralama stems from what it could DO TO children, not the content itself.  Talk to one of these people and you'll find they don't think any books kiralık araba should be banned from children.  Mention American Psycho and they talk about kiralık araç the redeeming value of using imagination to construct a story.  Reading, no matter what the content, is largely viewed as a consequenceless activity for people of any age.  The reason why I mention American Psycho is because of the content itself.  Gaming never has and likely never will have any scenes where someone has sex with a severed head.  Not gonna happen.  Yet despite this, they'll fight tooth and nail to protect their children from two boys kissing in Bully but whatever they read is harmless... yeah.

The entire arguement is kiralık oto based upon a social normality inflicted by luddites who can't figure out the controls for Halo so it's frightening and terrifying and obviously the cause of youth violence on the rise even though, in reality, it's in decline (which is actually a HUGE suprise given minibüs kiralama the economies status).  In  a perfect world, we would have parents that actually parent.  The idea of sales restrictions on media on oto kiralama any form to accomidate parental unwillingness to get involved with their child's life is the real problem to me.  Here I am, 32 years old, and being held up at a self-scan rent a car needing to show ID before I can buy a $10 M rated game all because Soccer Momthra can't be bothered to look at the crap Billy Genericallystupidson does in his free time.  It's too hard for her, so I have to suffer?

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I don't think it's necessarily all bad.  As someone noted above EA is bringing some innovative games to market this year.  Furthermore, a big company would more likely to have the resources to take risks.  Finally consider EA sports.  Since Mr. Moore has taken over he has taken quality very seriously. (for example many Madden players feel 09 is much better than 08.) 

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I thought mirror's edge is a really original lookin game and dead space to.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

This happened in Hollywood, and you know what happened? It crapped out, and all the good movies were indie films. The Video Game industry should learn from that. We do need Nintendo fixing up every crash the video game market has. Anyway, I do agree that EA is trying to monopolize, but I think EA is much better then what they use to be. Activision is becoming the new EA. Look at EA's line-up with Spore, Skate, Mirror's Edge, Boom Blox, Dead Space, Rock Band, FaceBreaker, etc.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I have to agree that Consolidation is Very bad for gamers and the fears surrounding a EA-T2 Merger are well warrented. If the merger happens then there will be a monopoly on sports games and in the US Monopolies on anything is suppose to be a BIG No no! As for the almost ritualistic Bashing of EA seems somewhat to much of an ingraind habit for most people. I have heard of them doing some pretty F**king evil things and for that I flip them the bird as well as dislike them. Its true that they seem like the spoiled child that always wants the best of everything and the second they see some one do something better and are successful they buy them up. EA needs to calm down, look at what they have and try to improve themselves with it (buying other companies not included)! On the other hand they do put out some decent games from time to time and the flood of sequels this year is partially the gamers fault. Companies listen to what the consumer wants as well as looking at what the consumer buys. If you show companies that you want new and inovative titles tell them you want it for a while and you will eventually get it. 

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Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Hey, I love competition, don't get me wrong, but there's no call to be beating on Electronic Arts.

I've been through the RA3 beta. Sequels can be a very, very good thing. Certainly better than to let a hit legacy like Red Alert just die out. And Warhammer Online will be my first ever MMORPG; I only have so many classes I can fail before I become a homeless bum, so I wanted to make sure my first MMO was a good one.

Big companies have their benefits too; small developers are having a harder and harder time scraping up the money for production to keep up with gamers' expectations of technology and originality. EA's development chests are practically bottomless, despite people regularly stealing their games.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Consolidation is killing video games, alot more crap no real price lowering, and the saddest thi is theebst games are degraded buy it not made better.... a good exsample of this would be Bioshock....

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Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

What the fuck did you just say?

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I see his point... what I would say is the problem with games is that we are all asking for sequels, pratically begging for them so they make them not the oher way around. Competition is only good in that gamers choose wich game they buy only because we forget sometimes we have the choice not to buy.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Don needs to pay better attention to the games industry and EA. FPSs often differ drastically. Compare Halo to Gears. EAs shown us a new face recently. We just need to see if that continues.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Halo - Garbage game that introduced nothing

Gears of War - not a FPS, it's an over-the-shoulder perspective which makes it more of a "Third Person Shooter"

Also all this EA bashing really needs to stop.  It seems like people just want to bash them on principle now.  Warhammer Online and Spore, both out this September, are the first PC titles to interest me since I bought Bioshock and Dawn of War Soulstorm.  In addition, some of their sequels are actually good.  My friends and I are eagerly anticipating NHL09.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

the EA bashing should only stop when they make right on their rape and plundering of some older really excellent franchises. just a few crimes out of many i can't forgive them for: killing off Origin which canned privateer 3 which was very close to going public, this also killed off the ultima series. i'm not a big fan, but i can't deny they were excellent games. what about westwood? created some truly innovative products in the past and also got the axe. now replaced with half assed revived sequals which don't hold a candle to the originals.

the list goes on here...i'm just scratching the surface. these are the things that ticked me off the most, but until EA owes up to destroying some really excellent works i say the bashing goes on. they won't get a penny of my money until they do. the really disgusting part is the above mentioned companies were not losing money...they just weren't making quite as much as they used to since they were trying new things.

if someone took a piss on the mona lisa would you forgive them? thats about how some of us feel about EA.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

exactly man...

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

well said. that needed to be said

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Fine: Halo to CoD.

Halo introduced this thing called "good balance", "actually making multiplayer maps", and "good AI". Few game companies decided to follow Bungie's example.

And was that last paragraph aimed at me? I was defending EA.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

The last paragraph wasn't targetted at you.  I'm just irritated with the knee jerk response of "EA IS EVIL FOR ALL REASONS AND CAN DO NO GOOD" response that tends to crop up on every single topic related to them.

Also I can definately state that Halo did not introduce those things.  It ported them from the many quality PC FPS games.  Halo was over-hyped trash.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Then you'd best hope you don't upgrade your computer or need to reinstall anything, because EA is still using their insane DRM that <i>might</i> delay pirates for a couple of weeks <i>if</i> they're lucky, but will be screwing over the people who actually buy the game for the life of the product.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

The DRM stuff is a valid thing to bash.  In addition, if I buy a product and it stops working, I call the customer service line, if I don't get help I download it, which is not illegal in Canada yet.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

No fan boys allowed...

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

lol not a fan boy.  I belive that Madden is killing American Football games and there desperately, desperately needs to be competition.  For hockey games though, when's the last 2k game seriously been better than the EA game?  EA just happens to have purchased all of the companies that were releasing games I wanted so I feel that it's harder to bash them.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I have to agree with just about everything you said there. Madden is pretty bad in terms of repetitiveness, but I also have to stick with what I said earlier about it not being a game that is easily innovated upon. Football games have gotten a lot more attention than hockey and most other sports games in the past, and as such they put more work into perfecting the formula for good gameplay and controls and got it done already for the most part. Now its basically just a matter of making the AI and graphics better.

Hockey games though, they're finally starting to get more recognition and get significantly better. Especially with NHL08, which is an EA game, and NHL09 is looking like its going to add to what 08 already did. For 2k, I'd say the last time I know they were better was NHL2k3, but that was also the last year that I bought a hockey game until NHL08.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Competition is always going to make it better for the consumer.

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

True, EA is coming out with new games...  Mirrors Edge looks too clean and prissy though.  It looks like they need to dirty things up a little bit in at least some of the areas.  Even their underground environments are prettyl stark.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I'm pretty sure that the clean look of Mirror's Edge is intended in the design. It helps to draw your eyes to the important stuff. Kind of like how if something is red, its something that's meant to stand out and usually helps you find a path or is a part of it.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

true, but they could still ad some gritty textures to it.  for the overworld the clean look is okay, sure, maybe if is a clean commy government, but underground they could have gotten some grung to it.  The color alone can draw your eyes, that is fine, i just want something that looks more like the real world, not the EA type, so clean it makes you think something is fishy with them...

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

 So this is what D2 fans do when they aren't complaining about the colours in D3.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Except D2 fans don't realize that the game they want D3 to look so much like had bright and flashy colors too... The only Diablo game to not have a lot of bright colors was Diablo 1, and that can partially be blamed on it using a 256 color pallete and 95% of the game taking place underground or in crypts. Diablo 2 had an entire act that was as bright as can be, where pretty much everything was yellow and orange.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Spore, Mirror's Edge, Warhammer Online, Deadspace, I'm sure there are more, but these are just off the top of my head.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I have to disagree about this years EA lineup. Sure, there's a lot of sports games and sequels, but Spore definitely isn't the only new game that shows promise about being original. Not to mention some of the sequels that are being put out have been eagerly awaited for years, like Red Alert 3, and actually look like they've listened to what the fans want.

After everything I've seen this year in terms of EA, it looks like the old, sequel-spewing, nothing-new EA pretty much went out the door once Riccitiello stepped in as CEO. They've even gained a sense of humor over nitpickings about bugs in their games, which is evidenced by the Tiger Woods 08 Jesus shot glitch being made into an ad for Tiger Woods 09.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Well, at least EA isnt' trying to buy Nintendo.

Yet...

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

There's no chance of that, Nintendo's too much of a fricking giant.  And I mean that in a good way.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

No joke but Nintendo has such a massive market cap right now (second largest company in Japan only to Toyota) that even Microsoft couldn't afford to buy them.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Somebody's forgetting about Activision. At least EA are doing Dead Space.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

...And Mirror's Edge.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

I agree, but I don't think it'll kill things. If you have one company that is making crap games, then the smaller company that makes something good is going to sweep in and take the sales. It may be more difficult for the good games to come out, but at the same time, if you have a behemioth like EA behind you, you may be more able to take risks and make intresting and fun games. Not that people will BUY them...stupid consumers...

 

If you cannot best a man in argument, all is not lost. You can still call him vile names.

If you cannot best a man in argument, all is not lost. You can still call him vile names.

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

Exactly.  EA is buying the intellectual property - if the EA-T2 deal goes through, then presumably they own GTA.  However, they don't own the people who wrote GTA.  Unless EA offers them a great set of Golden Handcuffs, the development team is likely to quit, start their own company, and make a GTA clone, while EA pumps out GTA5 that has much lower sales because, frankly, the replacement dev team isn't that great.  This has happened over and over again

Re: Columnist: Publisher Consolidation Bad for Gamers

agreed.  EA sponges up good companies and then compartmentalizes them into bad franchises because the first game sold well.

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Here are we -- and yonder yawns the universe.
 
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