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Month: August 2013

Ouya Responds To Kickstarter Controversies

Ouya Console ControllerDuring the controversies over the potential for the two successful Ouya Kickstarters being scams, Ouya has remained mostly silent. Their communications have mostly been a simple congratulatory note toward both Gridiron Thunder and Elementary, My Dear Holmes. People have been pressuring Ouya for more and they have now relented.

In a forum post at the unofficial Ouya Forums, one admin posted the message he was given by Ouya representatives. While this message will not satisfy the demands of those seeking Ouya’s blood, it does put a definitive statement down for Ouya.

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Elementary, My Dear Holmes Is Legit According To Kickstarter

Elementary, My Dear HolmesEarlier today, we reported on the concerns that the two successful Ouya Kickstarter projects were scams. While there were some rather strikingly large pledges for Gridiron Thunder, we felt the concerns over Elementary, My Dear Holmes were a bit overblown.

Well, we can now confirm that Elementary is legit. At least as far as Kickstarter is concerned. Sam Chandola, the project creator, has been very open about those concerns and had requested an investigation from Kickstarter. In a comment on the Kickstarter, he confirmed that Kickstarter doesn’t feel any real concern over the backers and their pledges.

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Nintendo Drops Major News Bomb: Wii U Price Cut And 2DS

Nintendo 2DSNintendo took the world by storm today with a pair of announcements. First, they are dropping the price of the Wii U Deluxe model from $350 to $300. This news also means that the Wii U Basic model will be discontinued. Personally, I had not expected a price drop for the Wii U until next year. But it does make good business sense that it is happening now with several high profile game releases coming this fall. The Price cut will go in effect on September 20th.

The second major news story to break, and the one that is far more interesting, is the announcement of the 2DS. This new console is basically a 3DS without the 3d screen or the hinge. It is completely compatible with all 3DS and DS games, it just won’t display the 3D effect. It will also come in at the far cheaper price of $130. This model will be released on October 12th.

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Are The Recent Ouya Kickstarter Successes Scams?

The Ouya $1 Million Free The Games FundThat is the question being asked around the media and on the Kickstarters themselves. You may recall back in July that Ouya announced its “Free The Games Fund”, a matching program for successful Kickstarters in exchange for six months of Ouya exclusivity. Since then, a number of Kickstarters have sprung up to join the program. Two of those projects, Gridiron Thunder and Elementary, My Dear Holmes, have reached their goals of $75,000 and $50,000, respectively, pretty quickly. This has raised some concerns among potential backers and Ouya critics that shady dealing have been going down.

While most of the criticisms have little corroborating evidence, there are some very peculiar events happening. The first major issue is with Gridiron Thunder mostly. It has only 129 backers at this time and total donations of over $78,000. A lot of people wonder where that money came from. When looking at the site Kicktraq for Gridiron Thunder, we see some very large donations in a short period of time. There are two separate days that saw over $10,000 raised, one day with over $5,000 and two more days with over $25,000. Those five days are well above the normal daily donation topping at $700 on a good day and under $300 most days. Those five donations put it at its funding goal and sealing Ouya matching funds.

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Gun Monkeys Fighting Obscurity With Free Steam Codes

Gun MonkeysWhile many indie developers are struggling to find a way to deal with the problem of piracy, there is yet another equally big problem for them, obscurity. As big a problem as piracy is, it does have one thing going for it that obscurity doesn’t, people actually playing the game. It is this lack of people playing that has resulted in Gun Monkeys creator Size Five Games to take a novel approach to combating it.

You see, Gun Monkeys is an online multiplayer game. It requires people to be online playing together in order to be fun. Unfortunately, not very many people were online with it which resulted in a ton of potential players being stuck in the waiting room for other people to play with.

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New Ouya Ad Rankles Feathers Of Critics

Screen Capture of Ouya AdA new Ouya ad that appeared the other day has rankled a lot of feathers among those who love to hate on the console. The ad in question, which can be viewed here since it was set to private on the official Ouya channel, features a gamer feeling extreme and exaggerated remorse for paying $60 for the new “Medal of Duty” game. The ad is done in an animation style reminiscent of 90’s cartoon Ren and Stimpy and looks to be something that would air during Adult Swim or ADHD programming.

Personally, I find the presentation of the ad a bit tasteless but the message is clear. How many of us have spent upwards of $60 on a game we didn’t enjoy? It happens to the best of us. Sure these games may come with tons of hype and fan support, but are they truly great games worth $60? With the Ouya, you don’t even have to spend money unless you really like the game after trying it for a while. Of course that message is muddled by the crude nature of the ad. 

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Seriously, What Is Wrong With You People?

Seriously people. They are just games. Why the crap are we resorting to death and rape threats over petty complaints? Don’t know what I am talking about? Then you have probably been living under a rock since the internet came about.

Polygon has a huge expose on the plague of harassment and bullying toward game developers and other public gaming figures. The whole thing is rather sickening. Polygon highlights a number of cases of bullying and outright psychopathic behavior from gamers upset over the most minor of things. Minor issues such as slight changes to a gun in Call of Duty or a sequel that didn’t quite live up to the hype of the first game.

Online bullying of game developers came to a head recently when Bioware writer Jennifer Hepler decided to leave the games industry after getting death threats targeted at her family. Another recent case was Fez creator Phil Fish abandoning development on Fez 2 and the industry over harassing behavior from fans and the media. Another case is that of Feminist Frequency host and Tropes vs Women in Games creator Anita Sarkeesian being subjected to death and rape threats all over creating videos which examine the roll of women in games.

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