Saturday, February 14, 2015

SPC Soapbox - 2/14/15 No Love Lost for Peter Molyneux Edition

The last time I stood on the SPC Soapbox it was around E3 time last year. I'm making up for lost time with three new subjects that will probably show that I have no idea what I'm talking about. Hopefully not, though! This Soapbox segment's topics deal with the recent RockPaperShotgun interview with subject Peter Molyneux, Nintendo's YouTube strategy and how it is ticking off users, and what I consider to be one of the greatest deals in video games today. Let's get to the topics!

- RockPaperShotgun's interview with Peter Molyneux

"It's not a lie if you believe it." I've seen this excuse from Peter Molyneux apologists used in a totally un-ironic manner. The difference between a big publisher or developer promising the moon with its new game and misleading people who have a direct tie to the project is because the latter helped fund your desired game. Misinforming your backers is a truly reprehensible thing to do, and it's something that Peter Molyneux knowingly did yet has an ego so large that he wouldn't admit to doing it.

Instead, in the interview with RockPaperShotgun, Molyneux pussyfooted around John Walker's questions, using mental gymnastics to avoid admitting that he mislead backers and even going so far to repeatedly state that he doesn't think he lies, despite mounting evidence from Walker's line of questioning.

Regarding the harshness of the interview, I am of the position that in an industry where coddling and being buddy-buddy with developers and publishers is a common sight to see, it was mighty refreshing to see an interviewer find their courage and take someone who deserved it to task-- a person with a history of blatant falsehoods hiding behind an "I don't think I lie" defense, despite all of the evidence showing the opposite.

There seems to be a cultural confusion between where I live, the United States, and where John Walker's investigative journalism come from, the U.K. In the U.K. it is a very common occurrence to see journalists put their subjects through the wringer when they screw up in a public fashion. In that sense, it wasn't anything out of the ordinary for the U.K. line of journalism. Obviously it was harsh in an American sense where we have "hard-hitting" journalists like Geoff Keighley asking questions like, "How awesome is your game?" with a response from the developer being, "So awesome." Yes, that was a nod to a Penny Arcade comic of all things.

Again, it was a breath of fresh air to see a video game journalist actually ask the tough questions and not let their subject weasel out of them with mental gymnastics and weak follow-up questions. It is for these reasons that I can't help but applaud John Walker for the interview he did with Peter Molyneux. It was a long time coming, and it was so worth waiting for to see someone take on Mr. Molyneux and his web of falsehoods.

- Nintendo's program for YouTube users

There has been a lot of whining over Nintendo's YouTube policy and not wanting its games to be shown on YouTube without getting a cut of YouTuber's profits. YouTuber's find Nintendo's approach greedy and a stab in the back to its fans. I liken what YouTubers are doing to uploading a full Hollywood movie on YouTube with the only change being commentary over it. These are the same people complaining about not being able to get all of the revenue from fully showing Nintendo video games that happily receive free stuff from the company in the form of systems and games. It's biting the hand that feeds them in a sense, and it comes off as highly greedy and selfish, ironically the same thing these YouTubers are claiming Nintendo to be.

There is no question that I find most YouTube gaming personalities abhorrently obnoxious. Seriously, how many rape jokes, angry, raging gamers, and loud voices does an industry need that we don't already have enough of? However, that said, despite liking the idea of Nintendo sticking it to these people who like to make money off Nintendo's games, it's not done in a way that makes logical sense. Nintendo has a meager amount of games that can have videos based off of, and the cut for these videos is a little too much that Nintendo takes. It makes the idea of making videos of Nintendo content very unappealing, which limits the amount of content shown. It's a lose-lose for Nintendo, and until the company figures out how to not neglect its fans in this regard, it will continue to fight a losing battle.

- One of the greatest deals in gaming

Sony may have a current-gen system that is at this time unappealing to me. However, the company also has one of the greatest deals in gaming, and that is none other than PlayStation Plus. With this subscription initiative, not only can you back up your saves to Sony's cloud, but each month you get a nice sampling of some of the content Sony platforms (the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita) receive through free games.

One such game this month was Kick & Fennick, a game I reviewed earlier this month, and it is a 2D platformer with an ingenious mechanic involving a gun that has Kick shooting the weapon to have the recoil of it launch him to higher locations, serving as the game's jump mechanic. It's the type of game that many might have overlooked without it being a free game this month for PlayStation Plus subscribers.

Of course, not only are new indie games listed each month for PlayStation Plus subscribers, but so are digital versions of fully-fledged retail titles. It's amazing that subscribers can get and download $20, $30, $40, and on releases for free-- well, not technically for free, but free with a PS+ subscription. You get to keep these games as long as you have a subscription. It's all these reasons why PlayStation Plus is a must have for any PlayStation console owner. It's truly a fantastic steal of a deal.

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