Captain_Jono Comments

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  • After children rack up huge bills, UK government announces investigation into "aggressive" in-app purchases

  • Captain_Jono 13/04/2013

    For me the only question is, Do in-app purchases break the law or fail to adhere to OFT guidelines? If in either case the answer is yes then they need to sort themselves out in order to trade in this country. Reply +1
  • It's time to ignore Dead Space 3's micro-transactions

  • Captain_Jono 03/02/2013

    @persus-9 You and I are in 90% agreement. Although 100% agreement is available as intrusive DLC.

    On the last point, I suspect that the purpose of announcing the micro-transactions early was to give everyone the chance to kick up an internet shitstorm. That way critics can say "Well, it's not as bad as some of the more negative reactions have made out" rather than judging the feature on it's own rather dubious merits.
    Reply +5
  • Captain_Jono 02/02/2013

    There have always been ways of making your progress easier in games. They were called “Cheats”. Yes, there was a premium rate cheat helplinebut generally you could find out what you needed to know on the internet or in games magazines.

    I’m going to save judgment about this feature until the game comes out. I’m sure it’s perfectly possible to complete the game without the micro-transactions impacting on your fun. My concern is that it’s a short step from “Slightly obnoxious optional extra” to “Cannot complete the game without using it”.

    Frankly, I have no interest in opening a door that cannot be closed again.
    Reply +15
  • Kevin Butler actor settles with Sony over Bridgestone tyre ad

  • Captain_Jono 18/01/2013

    And to see why, this isn't about trademarks to an actor's face. This is the equivalent of the Go Compare guy running off and doing a new advert with the exact same scick for, say, Confused.com. Reply +1
  • Captain_Jono 18/01/2013

    Sony's action is enTYREly justified (sorry). Reply 0
  • Angry grandfather walks out of HMV with three games after staff refuse to accept gift voucher

  • Captain_Jono 17/01/2013

    Yeah, don't do that. Not a good idea as it's actually theft. Arrest, Prosecution, magistrates court fine, criminal record, etc. Reply +1
  • As Valve confirms the Steam Box, Microsoft's Phil Harrison issues a warning

  • Captain_Jono 11/01/2013

    I don’t think the comparisons are entirely apt. The PS3 and Xbox are by their nature closed platforms that developers need to buy into on the promise of making a return selling to that console's install base. These micro-consoles are basically pre-packaged PCs and android devices for which the install base is already exists; the PC and Android market. And as long as people keep developing for PC and Android there will always be software to drive demand for these devices. A Dreamcast situation this isn't.


    However, at this stage I can see two potential problems. the first is the disparate consoles fragmenting the hardware market to the extent that nobody is able to make money on their hardware. Making money from that initial purchase is vital for these new micro-consoles, as unlike XBOX and Playstation there will be no way of licensing the software. That said, it won’t really effect the consumer if their particular console turns out to be a dud for the same reasons as above.


    The second issue could be more of a problem, and that’s system requirements. The joy of the console has always been that you buy a game knowing full well that it’s going to run on your machine. I can see that being a big problem for those opting for less expensive hardware, or those with older micro-consoles, only to find that Crysis IV or TES VI chug along at an unplayable pace. Or the usual PC gaming gripe of games just flat out not working for some reason. That sort of thing comes with the territory on PC, but I can’t see your average consumer being willing to put up with it, especially when these devices are being marketed as "Consoles". This could in turn rock confidence in the market.
    Reply 0
  • Sony patents tech to block second-hand games

  • Captain_Jono 03/01/2013

    *Phew* Looks like I built myself a Digital Foundry PC just in time! Reply +1
  • The War Z review

  • Captain_Jono 02/01/2013

    Making this statement got me negged into oblivion last time I posted it. But I stand by it, and it bears repeating:

    War Z is a perfect example of why trademark laws are so important to the games industry!

    I guarantee you that a significant portion of the people who bought War Z did so because they believed it was in some way associated with DayZ. The title, while not identical, is similar enough to cause a substantial likelihood of confusion between the two games. I suspect that the team behind War Z were counting on that to make a few cheeky pounds before word got around. With Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight gathering pace I can see opportunistic trademark leeching becoming more of a problem going forward, which is all the more reason for indie developers to start taking the protection of their intellectual property seriously.

    If there’s any justice in the world Dean Hall and his team would be able to sue those behind War Z and perhaps recover some ill-gotten gains to put towards the genuine DayZ standalone that we want to see.
    Reply +14
  • Eurogamer Christmas update plans

  • Captain_Jono 21/12/2012

    Nadolig Llawen Ichi Gid Eurogamer! Reply +2
  • THQ files for bankruptcy

  • Captain_Jono 20/12/2012

    I wonder how the bankruptcy affects the lucrative licenses THQ holds; WWE, UFC, etc? Presumably if the company is dissolved the exclusive rights no longer apply and those properties are once again up for grabs! Reply 0
  • The War Z has been removed from sale on Steam

  • Captain_Jono 19/12/2012

    See, this is why trademark laws are neccessary! Reply -43
  • Tomorrow Comet closes for good

  • Captain_Jono 17/12/2012

    @RobTheBuilder @Bluetooth

    A few people have asked why OpCapita are walking away with £50m from the collapse of Comet. It pretty much goes like this:

    OpCapita set up a company called “Hailey Acquisitions”, which bought Comet in February 2012 for a token payment of £2. The caveat being that they also took responsibility for Comet’s massive debt liabilities too.

    I don’t know the exactly what went on in this case, but it appears that at some point between acquiring comet OpCapita and/or Hailey Acquisitions loaned money to the Comet chain on a favourable “secured” basis. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but essentially in insolvency law there is a strict order of precedence for different types of creditor, and a secured creditor takes precedence over an unsecured creditor. What this means is that Deloitte, the administrators, had a duty to pay off the debts owed to OpCapita/Hailey Aquisitions (also suppliers) over and above those of Comet’s ordinary and preferential creditors, including Employees, HMRC, and others. This is where the £50m comes from.

    To an insolvency practitioner, this process appears entirely fair and straightforward. As ordinary people you and I will of course recognize this for the bollocks it clearly is! The law allows the controlling interests to lend money to themselves of favourable terms in order to lock out their unsecured creditors and minimise their liabilities in the event of insolvency. This is more or less the same thing that happened to the administration of Rangers FC when Craig Whyte made himself a top creditor via a “floating charge”, although that of course took place under Scots Law.

    The other common wheeze is the “Pre-Pack” administration. This is what happened to Game. This basically involves creating a new company which buys up the brand, properties, and profitable assets, while all the debts and liabilities are left to moulder in the old failed company. In practice this has the affect of leaving creditors with Sweet Fanny Adams.

    A pertinent question is whether Comet( or for that matter Game) is guilty of trading while insolvent? This is an offence under the Insolvency Act 1986, and could potentially lead to directors being held personally liable for the losses caused to creditors, but I wouldn’t bank on that happening seeing as those regulations are virtually never enforced, and even if they were Deloitte would have to instigate proceedings (and why would they? They’ve already got paid from their fat administrators fees).

    As a final note, in spite of their £50m from administration OpCapita/Hailey Acquisitions are ostensibly going to lose £95 million out of their stint running Comet; perhaps a small comfort to those facing redundancy.

    Sources:
    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cb795b24-46e8-11e2-8b2f-00144feab49a.html#axzz2FLV624Gb

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trading_while_insolvent

    http://www.managementtoday.co.uk/news/1164523/taxpayers-hit-50m-bill-comet-collapse/

    http://insolvencyandlaw.co.uk/comet-administration-a-wakeup-call-for-zombie-companies/administration/
    Reply +18
  • Valkyria Chronicles retrospective

  • Captain_Jono 16/12/2012

    Love this game. The episodic structure meant the game played out like an Anime box set. The art and costumes reminded me of Fullmetal Alchemist, a series I absolutely adore!

    My one gripe with the game was the way it rewarded speed runs. To get the highest rank for each mission you had to complete it in under X turns, which I felt detracted taking a more tactical approach. That, and the barmy decision to release the sequel as a PSP exclusive. But in spite of those niggles Valkyria Chronicles is and remains a testament to Japanese game design at its absolute best!
    Reply +2
  • Surprise! Sony's web-based digital store now online

  • Captain_Jono 07/12/2012

    Mind you, being easier to navigate is a mixed blessing. For all the faff of the console browser you ended up feeling good about trawling the menus to find that one gem of a classic game; a bit like finding buried treasure. Better navigation just shows the Playstation Store for what it is; an un-competitively priced mess of a platform almost devoid of interesting content!

    The future it ain't!
    Reply -6
  • Captain_Jono 07/12/2012

    Well at least it'll be easier to navigate on the PC than on the console based browser. Reply +6
  • XCOM: Enemy Unknown patch makes easy difficulty easier, fixes broken SHIVs

  • Captain_Jono 02/11/2012

    I absolutely love this game for all it's minor glitches. The only major gripe I had was failing to open doors silently while pressing V even though my troops were in the right position. I hope they fixed that too; many a wasted move fannying about trying to get in position. Reply +1
  • Obsidian's new game is Project Eternity, a fantasy RPG

  • Captain_Jono 16/09/2012

    Bloody hell, $1.2m pledged in two days! Oh well, take my money anyway! Reply +1
  • Hitman Absolution level changed due to negative nun trailer reaction

  • Captain_Jono 27/08/2012

    @Eoin you absolutely hit the nail on the head! It's important to remember that any group of people working on a closed project for a length of time can form a common viewpoint which is skewed from that of the public in general. I'm pretty sure that's what happened with Duke Nukem Forever's 'Capture The Babe' mode. Reply 0
  • Soulcalibur 5 sales are a million less than Soulcalibur 4's

  • Captain_Jono 05/08/2012

    I think you’ve got to look at the wider context of the market to explain the slump.

    When Soul Calibur IV was released there were only a handful of fighting games on the market. If you wanted a fighter it was more or less a choice between Soul Calibur IV, Virtua Fighter or Tekken 6. Now we’re spoiled for choice. You’ve got Blazblue, Street Fighter , Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter X Tekken (Which was released around the same time with bags more publicity), and more besides to choose from. If Soul Calibur V isn’t selling as well it’s more than likely due to over-saturation of the fighting game market than any issues with quality.
    Reply +1
  • Schafer: Microsoft has ignored warnings over XBLA decline

  • Captain_Jono 19/02/2012

    Cannot argue with anything Schafer said! Bang on the money. Unless Sony and Microsoft carry out some much overdue market liberalization on their platforms they are doomed to fall even further behind. Reply +1
  • Saturday Soapbox: Bring On The Next Generation

  • Captain_Jono 17/12/2011

    Sorry Tom, but wholeheartedly disagree. A new hardware generation sounds like an easy solution to the innovation deficit. Tear it all down and new IP will rise from the ashes. Brilliant!

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. There are two reasons why traditional development has become more conservative. First, the cost of development for this hardware generation is orders of magnitude higher than it was in the PS2 era. Second, the rise of a viable market for downloadable games (XBLA and PSN, as much as iOS & Android), means that smaller studios with niche properties can publish them outside the mainstream. Six years ago, Limbo and Braid would have been developed within the traditional framework or not at all!

    So what would a new console generation do? Well, first of all it creates yet another barrier to entry for developers. Secondly, while development costs probably won’t increase by the same rates as last time around (which were largely the result of the transition to High Definition television), they certainly aren’t going to get any cheaper! Third, it gives publishers the usual excuse to saturate the market with highly polished ports of existing games; new Halo, new Assassins Creed, new FIFA; meaning less incentive for smaller properties to bother competing. Why would anyone run that gauntlet when they could develop for iOS with a fraction of the risk?

    Don’t get me wrong, this generation wasn’t devoid of innovation; Mass Effect and (to a greater extent) Assassins Creed would have been unimaginable on the orginal Xbox. And I’m sure some new IP will be forged with the advent of a new generation. But a new tranch of consoles can only exacerbate our present situation!
    Reply +3
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 biggest entertainment launch ever

  • Captain_Jono 11/11/2011

    I hate to be a party pooper, but comparing video game units sold to box office figures is an apples to oranges comparison!

    After box office, movies continue to make money from rentals, from pay-per-view, DVD, two rounds of television rights, Netflix, and more franchise-licensing you can shake a stick at. For a video game, all you have is the sales, the majority of which take place over a single year. Occasionally the largest IPs can draw on a degree of franchising, and of course we have DLC now. But the vast majority of video game revenue comes from individual sales in a box.

    In other words, we are comparing the *entirety* of video games sales to about 30% (at a very generous estimate) of movie revenue.

    Come back when Modern Warfare murders DVD sales. Then we can talk!
    Reply +5
  • Brendan McNamara: "I'd rather people just ring me up and tell me to f*** off"

  • Captain_Jono 10/11/2011

    If you are mandating 110 hour weeks, ‘voluntary’ or otherwise, you fail as a manager!

    If staff are so demoralized by your management style that they leave en mass and post their grievances online, you fail as a manager!

    If your development cycle runs over six years and bankrupts your studio, you fail as a manager!

    You’d have thought after this fiasco of a development MacNamara would have shown just one iota, one scintilla of grief or self-criticism. But no, apparently it’s all the fault of anonymous trolls. Never mind that those trolls are indisputably members of the studio in question, or the fact they’re remaining anonymous in order to retain some semblance of employability in the current jobs market!

    MacNamara should never work as a project lead again. He should never hold any position of responsibility again!
    Reply +2
  • Welcome to the new Eurogamer

  • Captain_Jono 25/10/2011

    The site looks great, but I miss the lovingly ramshackle look of the old site. Reply 0
  • Mojang's Scrolls legal victory explained

  • Captain_Jono 18/10/2011

    Bethesda has only failed to win an interim injunction. That really doesn't mean a great deal. An interim injunction is only important when the disputed product is actually on the market (as in the case of the Sony/LG and Apple/Samsung patent disputes earlier this year), or if there's some kind of time imperitive. As "Scrolls" hasn't been released yet, and probably won't be for some time, An interim injunction was hardly proportionate step (as the judge no doubt pointed out).



    The full hearing will be more important. In the meantime Eurogamer, any chance of some opposing viewpoints in these articles? I appreciate that Zenimax are being coy about the issue, but relying exclusively on Mojang and their lawyers for your news commentary is not balanced reporting!
    Reply +1
  • Bethesda comments on Scrolls row

  • Captain_Jono 18/10/2011

    @Koozer. I'd vote you up for not jumping on the David Versus Goliath bandwagon, but frankly what's the point after -40! I think I'll give you -1 instead, seeing as negative votes only seem to follow people who resist the line of populist tripe.



    Consider yourself +41 on common sense!
    Reply +1
  • EU PlayStation Store update 12th October

  • Captain_Jono 12/10/2011

    "Warhammer 40K: Space Marine is available to download for a whopping £49.99."



    In the 41st millennium, there is only digital distribution!
    Reply +6
  • A Game Of Thrones: Genesis

  • Captain_Jono 05/10/2011

    Dark Wings, Dark Words. Reply 0
  • Kinect can work out your age

  • Captain_Jono 03/10/2011

    Determine the user's age? I seriously doubt it. If that were possibe we wouldn't need schemes like "challenge 25". We could forgo IDing altogether and put Kinect-operated beer vending machines in pubs and clubs.



    Actually that'd be pretty damn sweet!
    Reply +4
  • How Bad is PC Piracy Really?

  • Captain_Jono 30/09/2011

    DRM is to games what licensing was to professional software! So frightened about piracy were software companies that they imposed restrictive licenses on their products backed up by enforcement exercises bordering on the paranoid. Unsurprisingly serious firms were not thrilled about being treated like criminals by uppity IT suppliers and converted their software en masse to open-source alternatives. The IT firms chose to interpret this loss of business not as the results of legitimate competition, but the results of more people pirating their software! As a result, the licenses became ever more onerous, and enforcement exercises even more paranoid... (cont. p. 94)



    It's not hard to understand why Ubisoft's sales are down; people are voting for DRM with their feet. Is it any surprise that people would rather play Assassin’s Creed II on the console for which it was designed, rather than the PC to which it was ported? Is it any wonder that PC gamers, faced with the hassle of DRM, choose to invest their time and money DRM free alternative products?



    ----

    Edited because home taping is killing video games: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3jkUhG68wY



    Reply +4
  • Eurogamer.net Podcast #85

  • Captain_Jono 28/09/2011

    Is Game of Thrones Origins going to be any good? I certainly hope so. I finished reading A Dance with Dragons the other week and I reckon The Song of Ice and Fire universe would really lend itself to something like the Total War series. Unfortunately Creative Assembly aren't involved with the project, and the material released so far makes me wary more than anything. I suppose we'll just have to wait and see. Reply 0
  • EU PlayStation Store update 28th Sept

  • Captain_Jono 28/09/2011

    Ah dang it! Borderlands discount is only for Playstation Plus subscribers. Oh well! Reply 0
  • Amazon Android tablet announced

  • Captain_Jono 28/09/2011

    I smell another patent lawsuit. Reply +5
  • Elder Scrolls: Skyrim perk tree revealed

  • Captain_Jono 26/09/2011

    ""Soul gems provide extra magicka for recharging" - again, dodgy recording but that's what I heard, even if it doesn't make much sense"



    Presumably This means your soul gems will provide more charge than normal when used to recharge enchanted equipment.
    Reply 0
  • Metacritic culls review-bombing users

  • Captain_Jono 23/09/2011

    Review bombing is a problem on Metacritic, Amazon and plenty of other sites. But banning user accounts is a temporary solution at best. If you want to eliminate (or at least check) this kind of behaviour:



    1) Have a meaningful method of social networking and peer-review within the site architecture. For example, allow users to flag up their top contributors, similar to the system on Ebay, and allow users to produce rights of reply for user reviews (as with Amazon). This would allow an element of self-policing within the community; encouraging talented writers to continue contributing, while providing a check against malicious reviews designed to drag down (or indeed pull up) scores. I believe Tom Bramwell proposed something along these lines on the Podcast some time ago (any word on that project?).



    2) More importantly, people should start taking Metacritc with a pinch of salt! Review-bombing is only a problem because too many people treat Metacritic scores as though they were carved into stone tablets, and yes, this includes journalists, people within the industry, and other who really should know better. Metacritic is a flawed-but-useful score aggregate. If people treated it as intended, griefers would be far less inclined to waste their time!

    Reply +2
  • Starfox 64 3D talkthrough

  • Captain_Jono 21/09/2011

    Lylat Wars; one of my all time favourites off the N64. Almost makes me want to get a 3DS! Reply +1
  • Zen rejects "Xbox inferior tech" claim

  • Captain_Jono 09/09/2011

    Sony has some brass neck carping on about protecting inferior technology. The PS2 was less powerful than the Gamecube, less powerful than the Xbox, yet virtually everything was made for the PS2 and ported over.



    Microsoft is simply saying they don’t want ports of games designed for the PS3 on their console, a perfectly fair view to take. As a consumer, would you want to buy a game only to find the experience significantly diminished because it was designed for a higher spec machine?
    Reply -5
  • Eurogamer.net Podcast #81

  • Captain_Jono 02/09/2011

    I meant wasn't episode 81 uploaded a couple of days ago? There now seem to be two Episode 81's on my iTunes podcast feed. Reply 0
  • Captain_Jono 02/09/2011

    Anyone else getting a weird sense of Deja vu? Reply 0
  • Captain_Jono 02/09/2011

    Anyone else getting a weird sense of Deja vu? Reply 0
  • Steam vs. Origin: Is Competition Good for Gamers?

  • Captain_Jono 31/08/2011

    The basic question is this. Do you want a one stop shop, or do you prefer to have healthy competition at some inconvenience to yourself, because in the digital sphere it may not be possible to have both.



    It’s easy to throw up your hands and say “Oh just use Steam and be done with it.” The trouble with that position is that once a service becomes big enough, it becomes all too easy for that service to entrench its dominant position to the detriment of its competitors. This has happened time and again in computing, and there’s no reason to believe Valve wouldn’t follow suit, however unintentionally. Microsoft was the great bogeyman for much of the 90s and 00s. Apple has developed a near-monopoly on digital music. Even Google, that great paragon of virtue, is facing allegations that it does down competing products and services through manipulation of its search engine.



    Unfortunately its hard to see what can be done. Its all well and good to slag off any of the above companies, but the vast majority of people are simply not going to stop using Google, or iTunes or Windows for the sake of promoting competition!

    Reply +1
  • DICE won't let you shoot BF3 civilians

  • Captain_Jono 31/08/2011

    I respect his reasons. EA doesn’t want any more moral outrage (apart from the carefully choreographed moral outrage produced by their PR machine).



    But doesn’t that make Battlefield 3 an artistic relic right from the get go? Modern warfare (the thing, not the franchise) is all about asymmetrical conflicts with enemies hidden within the general population (Iraq, Afghanistan). Take civilians out of the equation and you’re not making a game about war anymore, You’re making a game of cops n’ robbers. Presenting the conflicts of today as a fight of goodies versus baddies without anyone else getting caught in the crossfire; is that really any less morally bankrupt than allowing players to open up on a crowd of civilians?

    Reply +4
  • Persona 4 remake for Vita revealed

  • Captain_Jono 31/08/2011

    +1 killer app for the Vita (In japan at least). Reply +11
  • Gearbox: more Duke Nukem coming

  • Captain_Jono 31/08/2011

    The first comment is right on the money. If anyone's going to make a decent Duke game it's the people who produced Borderlands. Frankly, that's what they should have done with Forever; bought the license but made the game from scratch in house. Though had they done so no doubt the internet would rage at them for it not being the "true" DNF! Reply 0
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution video talkthrough

  • Captain_Jono 28/08/2011

    I like, I like. More multimedia content please! Reply 0
  • Notch: Bethesda Scrolls claim is "bogus"

  • Captain_Jono 22/08/2011

    @Darkelfguy



    Well said that man! You beat me to my point, and with far more detail and prose.
    Reply +1
  • Captain_Jono 22/08/2011

    It’s a trademark claim, not copyright, there’s an important difference. Nobody’s suggesting Mojang is ripping off code, writing or artwork; merely that their new trademark infringes the Elder Scrolls trademark in a way that could create a ‘likelihood of confusion on the part of the public”, To quote Eurogamer’s favourite IP Lawyer, Jas Purewal

    http://www.gamerlaw.co.uk/2011/03/demyst...



    At the risk, nay, certainty of being negged into the bedrock, I think Bethesda have an arguable case; stress on the word arguable! Let’s look at the Scrolls homepage,



    http://www.scrolls.com/





    On a cursory glance, I can see that:

    • It’s set in a pseudo-historical fantasy setting.

    • It includes a number of different fantasy races.

    • It uses an oldie style typeface that’s at least superficially similar to the one used in TES series.



    Taken as a whole, I can see where Bethesda’s lawyers are coming from. I’m not saying that they are right. I’m merely saying that they have a case. There are definite similarities between the two brands, and there does need to be an arbitration process in order to decide who’s in the right. I just hope that process doesn't come at the cost of scuppering a promising new game!

    Reply +1
  • Acti vs. EA: the trash talk continues

  • Captain_Jono 21/08/2011

    "Welcome to the big leagues Eric - I know you're new in the job but someone should have told you this is a competitive industry. "



    Yes Jeff, and the best way to compete is to waste your salaried hours engaging in a childish slanging match. That stuff plays well to the fanboys, but it does nothing for the people who actually matter; developers. investors and the silent majority of consumers.



    These are the people who will ultimately determine the success or failure of EA and Activision. At best, these people are oblivious or disinterested by these antics. At worst, they're put off to such a degree that they take their business elswhere, depriving your company of talent, cashflow and sales!
    Reply +2
  • Razer's 7.1 surround headset pics

  • Captain_Jono 17/08/2011

    Cheaper than those "Beats" things in any event. First time I saw the price of those little ear buds my jaw dropped. Though not quite as hard as when I saw a 10 year old kid walking down the street with a pair in his ears. Reply 0