EA and Bioware Show Flagrant Disregard for UK Citizens
The European economy currently teeters on the brink, threatening to plunge into the abyss of another GFC, even as the member States of the EU are presently mulling over Greece’s future within the Eurozone. Meanwhile Iran is, at most, a year away from developing their own nuclear weapon, while impending destabilisation and conflict loom large on the horizon for Western States aligned with Israel. None of this matters a fig to Bioware and EA however, as they appear to think that the time and money of the UK government would be better spent providing Mass Effect 3 with some free marketing.
This week Bioware showed utter contempt for UK tax payers when they issued the call to arms to “take action now!”, urging Mass Effect fans to sign a petition seeking to compel the UK government to divulge all of their classified information pertaining to extra-terrestrial life forms. The campaign reads: “The Citadel ignored Shepard – but you can make a difference by signing a petition calling for the government to release information about UFOs and extra-terrestrial life”.
While the above campaign may sound like a good jape to some, consider the fact that an eminently probable 100,000 signatures would be enough to force the issue into a hearing on the floor of the House of Commons – that is to say millions of tax-payer dollars and scores of government man-hours stand to be utterly squandered just so an already popular video game can have some free advertising. EA have perpetrated some quite amusing larks in the past, yet the inherent fallout has always been somewhat limited – this instance however threatens to see EA and Bioware cast in the role of large-scale economic vandals, wasting everybody’s time and patience on the juvenile marketing campaign of a company that thinks it is too clever by half. Origin be damned, one is finding it increasingly difficult to see a way clear to recommending the ethical purchase of Mass Effect 3 in any of its forms, irrespective of obtrusive spyware.
Bieber Not a Belieber in Parody Apps
Justin Bieber is not a fan of iOS and Android parody games it would seem, as this week lawyers belonging to the pint-sized lesbian look-alike served a cease and desist letter to RC3, the developers of Joustin’ Beaver
The cease and desist letter gives RC3 just two days to pull the app from iTunes and the Android market before threatening to initiate further legal proceedings, claiming “you have no right to utilize our Client’s name, image, likeness, life story or identity in or in connection with the App”. All that would be fine if the App was actually in contravention of any of the Bieber-lawyer’s claims, yet the game in question is a simple parody depicting an anthropomorphic critter with a Bieber-cut as it wends its way down a river knocking things over with its jousting prowess.
The game is still available for purchase at present, with RC3 responding: “The game is a parody and is protected by the First Ammendment of the Constitution. Nowhere in the game is Justin Bieber’s name, photo, image, or life story mentioned”. One wishes them luck, though fighting this might incur a greater cost than the $0.99 App is worth.
The Last Story is Confirmed for American Release!
The Last Story has seen its European release this week to an initial showing of reviews which have been overwhelmingly positive in their sentiment – yet the week’s good fortune has not been confined to PAL gamers it seems, with Nintendo announcing that they have partnered with Xseed in order to bring the title to North America!
For JRPG fans this means gaining access to a well received game created by the father of Final Fantasy, while for industry watchers it means getting to see Fils-Aime et al. pretend like they are delighted to be bringing the game over, when in actual fact it seems like their involvement may well have been circumvented. Moreover, this release is unlikely to be limited to a scaled down Gamestop pre-order launch, so it stands a very real chance of derailing Nintendo of America’s incomprehensible master strategy of discouraging interesting looking games from releasing within their region. The Last Story will be launching in North America during the latter half of 2012; one is delighted at the prospect of sharing the experience with American colleagues anon.