EA success in March reminds us how dominating they still are

March has seen EA take first place in sales and revenue, thanks to the success of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (developed by DICE). It seems it sold well because apparently Modern Warfare 2 wasn’t enough to satisfy the First-Person Shooter bloodlust you lot crave.

If you’re one of those who loves the sound of impressive percentages, then check the story here - http://www.mcvuk.com/news/38585/EA-and-Battlefield-dominate-March. But there are two things you need to know; 1) No matter how much we say EA have lost their creative soul, they will continue to be a dominant force in the industry, so let’s move on and find some other scapegoat and 2) EA will be using this as either an “up yours” or “your move now” kind of message to Activision.

EA is on a roll right now, not only taking a piece of the FPS market pie, but also managing to weaken Activision by luring key members Jason West and Vince Zampella to step away from Infinity Ward, create their own studio and create a domino effect that has weakened Activision and threatening to damage Infinity Ward beyond repair.

Now, some gamers out there just don’t like EA. They see them as a company who lost its creative soul and just decided to churn out sequels and updates one after the other or some kind of monster that’s been hoarding developers while chopping others at the knees and weakening them,

Even if you don’t like EA for various reasons, you still have to give them grudging respect from starting out as a small company catering to the early home computer games industry, who actually gave credit to designers and programmers, which at the time, was an uncommon thing to do.

Now almost 28 years later, EA are one of the biggest third-party companies and with their ability to create successful franchises (The Sims, Need for Speed, FIFA and Fight Night to name a few).

It makes you wonder if someone from the Train2Game could strike lightning. One characteristic EA has is that they were ambitious (and somewhat still are) and many of the members in T2G seem to have this drive. As a result, we’ve seen studios being set up such as Horizon Studios, who have potential, with a clear agenda and a snazzy website, and Adarakion Games (where you can check out their Developer Diary to hear how they are progressing)

It will be very interesting (and exciting) to wonder what these studios (and many others being set up via the T2G forums) will provide with us in the future. Just imagine one day reading a gaming website or publication, seeing a game made by these development teams and saying “hey...I knew these guys and gals once!”

Or in my case, “hey, I chatted random stuff with these weird people once!”

Source: http://www.train2game.com/Games-Design-News/Gaming-Industry-News/EA-tops-March-UK-sales-ranking$19744925.html

Train2Game A Video Diary from Steven

Steven is a hard core gamer who wanted a career in video games, he is studying his TIGA Games Designer diploma from Train2Game at the same time as studying a university degree, what a guy!
For more information: http://is.gd/bAH54

Defending the honour of video gaming art

Despite not going out of my way to visit art shows, read art magazines and websites or watch anything about the subject on TV (because I’m lazy okay), I do consider myself to have a big interest in art.

I appreciate art in all aspects and that extends to video games. Now, the definition of art is so damn loose that everyone has a different take on it. Just because I hate the 2001 Turner Prize with a passion (Martin Creed for Work No.227: The lights going on and off) and do not consider it art, you may find it to be a simplistic masterpiece of art.

So, while I respect acclaimed American film reviewer Roger Elbert’s opinion in that video games can’t be considered art – and he does bring up some interesting points – I will have to respectfully say I feel he is wrong.

Elbert says one of the main reasons video games and art have no connection is because: “One obvious difference between art and games is that you can win a game.” Well that’s true but it doesn’t stop a game from being a work of art; it merely makes it have an objective. You can still admire the gorgeous graphics, the small touches or whatever you see as art. Just because you interact with a game and not a picture or a film doesn’t any less make it art.

You see, Elbert dear boy, art is something to be admired and you can still see the beauty that has been crafted into many games. You only need to check out games like Rez, Odin Sphere, Flower, Jet Set Radio, Myst, Final Fantasy XIII, Super Mario Galaxy, BlazBlue and Geometry Wars to see how varied games can look and how they can be seen as art, as well as enjoyable. I would even argue that Myst – released in 1993 – was a graphical showcase to demonstrate the potential of PC’s.

Elbert does ask one question which is perhaps the most convincing argument he has in this debate: “Why are gamers so intensely concerned, anyway, that games be defined as art? Bobby Fischer, Michael Jordan and Dick Butkus never said they thought their games were an art form. Nor did Shi Hua Chen, winner of the $500,000 World Series of Mah Jong in 2009. Why aren’t gamers content to play their games and simply enjoy themselves?”

The funny thing about this is that me (and I’d wager many gamers) weren’t really thinking about games as art until Elbert stirred up the hornet’s nest. Now most of us have got our boxer pants in a twist and defending the fact that gaming can indeed be art. But then Elbert, you should think of the artists who draw concept work and actually work hard to make their games look beautiful or at least pleasant. And I’m sure the newly enrolled students of Train2Game Art and Animation TIGA Diploma course would also disagree with him. Or send an angry email or clench their fists screaming “damn you Elbert, damn you to hell!” before doodiling the American running away from getting eaten by Pac-Man.

Not every developing team strives to have their game look amazing, make people go “wow” or even concerned with making sure things look nice. And there are many who won’t give a damn because they belong to the “as long as the game plays good” camp.

But I feel that there are many games out there that do represent “art” in some way; we just have to look for it when playing games.

Source: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/100062-Ebert-Re-Emphasizes-That-Games-Will-Never-Be-Art

Train2Game Student Jon’s Video Diary

Part 1 of Train2Game Games Designer student Jon's video diary

It's been a dream of his to get a career in the games industry, ever since he was visited by a career advisor at school who asked him what he wants to do with his life and he said all he wants to do his make computer games.
For more information http://is.gd/bAH54

Train2Game Student Lee’s Video Diary

Part 1 of Train2Game Games Developer student Lee's video diary

He turned down a place at Edinburgh University on their Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence degree course to do a Games Developer coursewith Train2Game.

Train2Game Student Martins Video Diary

Part 1 of Train2Game Games Developer student Martin's video diary

Ever since he started programming on his Commodore 64 he wanted to develop computer games, he quit his job last in 2009 to study for a TIGA Diploma in Games Development with Train2Game
For more information http://is.gd/bAH54

Gamestation proves eternal superiority over its customers for one day.

Be honest, who here actually reads those “legal purchase agreement.” Oh I understand why they are in place (unless you goal is to make sure you business loses money), but rather I’m just wondering if there is anyone out there who takes the time to actually go through the clauses and say “yup, I agree with that wholeheartedly.”

I bring this up because on April Fools, Gamestation decided it would be a fine time to own your soul and thus they put in a clause where they owned your soul. Unless you’re one of the few who checked the terms and conditions and went “yup, I agree with that wholeheartedly...Hang on just one minute! God of War 3 may be worth an arm and a leg, but not my soul.”

You can check the clause here - http://www.gamestation.co.uk/Help/TermsAndConditions/ - and they still have the “you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul” part (use the search function to find it).

While it sounds I’m being cynical, I actually commended the 12 per cent who did bother to check. I’ll be the first to admit I never check terms and conditions, instead scrolling down and clicking the box just so I can speed the process of kissing my money goodbye. Had I decided to shop at Gamestation’s online store, I would have been part of that 7,500 plus and probably would have felt an unexplained unease that day.

Those who didn’t give your souls to Gamestation were awarded a £5 discount (http://tinyurl.com/y2554bj) and those who did become eternal slaves were happy to know that their damnation has been nullified via email. I would like to know if anyone knew someone who did freak out after hearing they no longer had their soul.

Hmmmmm, maybe I should check Amazon’s terms and conditions to see if I’ve signed my soul away. Would explain why I felt so empty after playing White Knight Chronicles.

In the future Gamestation should make an offer where customers can trade their souls to get a newly released game at £9.99.

Hey my name is Gabriel May - let's talk

Hey my name is Gabriel May. I write for Train2Game. I'm an avid gamer who's been playing since the age of five, with my favourite consoles being SNES, Dreamcast, PSX and PS2.

I'll be here to talk about the games industry, offering my opinions on various topics.

I look forward to discussing my favourite subject with you.