A Cup of Brown Gold Suits 4chan to a Tea
One must apologise to readers upfront for the dearth of video gaming news in this first story, yet it has to be said that 4chan’s commitment to tea and tealike beverages is truly laudable. It would seem that 4chan’s /v/ board is so taken with the Star brand of Warsbattle Fron Tea that they have registered the starwarsbattlefrontea.com domain in order to properly celebrate this tasty beverage. Upon entering the site the first thing that visitors are greeted by is a step-by-step guide detailing how one might successfully brew a piping hot cup of Warsbattle Fron Tea:
“First of all: boil some water. This one should be obvious.
Then combine it with some bullshit but pretend that it’s
the most amazing thing ever. Throw in some milk and sugar too.
It is also important to note that the site takes pains to be inclusive by offering these instructions in video form so as not to disadvantage any persons with impaired vision or learning difficulties. Warsbattle Fron Tea is widely praised by 4chan connoisseurs for its bold taste and rich aroma, yet it is often rejected by drinkers more accustomed to milky corporate swill on account of being too salty.
4chan’s Warsbattle Fron Tea page is actually an offshoot of their longstanding website commemorating the war dead of East Arkansas, many of whom fell in The Battle of Arkansas Post, titled simply as East AR Wars. The site lists off the divisions who suffered the heaviest losses throughout Arkansas’ troubled history, and includes such casualties as the Origin, Westwood, Dice, Criterion, Maxis, Bullfrog, Bioware, Mythic, Visceral, Pandemic, and Black Box units. Quite why /v/ is so intent on honouring the fallen of such a regionally specific corner of America is anyone’s guess, though their patriotism and community spirit is certainly praiseworthy.
Daybreak Game Company Metes Novel Punishment to H1Z1 Cheaters
H1Z1 has sold over one million copies since it was launched on Steam Early Access in January of this year, and with any sizable community comes the accompanying vestiges of industry which spring up around any vital hub of activity. In this instance the industry in question was the cheat modding community, and the most commonly used hack appears to have been a cheat called ESP, which allows a user to see other players, heath, guns, and ammo from any distance. This was often used in conjunction with an aimbot to score enemy kills before they were even within visual range. After months of cheaters being able to freely have their way with H1Z1, Daybreak Game Company [formerly Sony Online Entertainment] has finally got a handle on the cheating that has been running rife within their game, leading to the permanent bans of 25,000 [and later a further 5000] players who were caught out cheating.
There is nothing particularly out of the ordinary in this response, yet what happened next certainly set tongues wagging. Daybreak President, John Smedley, appears to have prioritised the visibility of this major purge over the strict banning of every last cheater. Thus, he offered the slim opportunity for banned players to have their accounts restored if they recorded a genuine apology video to the H1Z1 community and then made it publicly visible on their Youtube accounts. This basically amounted to the cheaters voluntarily climbing into the stocks to be pelted with rotten fruit, as Smedley proceeded to tweet links to these videos to his Twitter followers, which resulted in them receiving tens of thousands of views:
“I want to make sure it’s clear there are consequences for cheating. You don’t just get to make a video and get unbanned. This is a very limited time thing to try and raise awareness of what’s actually going on.
If these videos go far and wide and it elevates the importance of getting rid of the cheaters in PC gaming, I feel it’s an excellent trade.”
When all was said and done five individuals out of the group of thirty thousand banned cheaters were successful in having their accounts restored by willingly subjecting themselves to public ridicule – a trade-off that has assuredly paid dividends to Daybreak; not only in spreading their anti-cheating message, but also in terms of general positive publicity for the studio and H1Z1. The industry has not seen a strategy like this before, and so the issue has dominated gaming news for days. As for the reinstated cheaters, many H1Z1 players feel that they got off lightly, yet one feels that this is not something that they will be able to easily live down.
Thank You Nintendo, but Your Customers Are on Another Console!
What to do with a company like Nintendo. Given their current doldrums it must have seemed almost appealing to appoint a loveable fuck-up like Bowser as VP of sales. Bowser fucking up is something that any Nintendo fan could get their head around, and few could fault him for what is essentially his nature. It would certainly be nice to be able to rationalise Nintendo’s current mediocrity on some level. The Wii U console has always struggled to find an audience, much like it has always struggled to find developers. On the rare off-chance that it actually does find a developer willing to support it, such projects still invariably end up in disappointment.
Take for instance the game Sonic Boom, which barely sold 400,000 units across both Wii U and 3DS platforms. This week a developer who formerly worked on Sonic Boom chose to come clean about what went wrong during development. Sonic Boom did not begin life as a Wii U title, but rather it was being designed for the next generation platforms which would later become the PS4 and Xbox One. Sonic Boom was pretty much a complete alpha build when Sega struck up an exclusivity deal with Nintendo, and the game’s developers, Big Red Button, were left with very little development time with which to downgrade a PS4/Xbox One game to the point where it would be playable on Nintendo’s weak Wii U hardware. Not only that, but despite Crytek’s protestations that they had got CryEngine 3 running on the Wii U, the team still had to heavily modify the engine before it was suitable for their needs. The game would eventually see release with a host of serious bugs crippling the experience, leading to critics relegating it to the junkpile with a Metacritic rating of 32/100. Meanwhile, the game’s developers caught the brunt of the blame for how Sonic Boom turned out, when really they were given an impossible task.
Being forced to work with Nintendo’s terrible hardware is only half of the problem however, as having to rely on Nintendo’s poor infrastructure is enough to do for many developers producing content for Nintendo consoles. This week an anonymous ‘well respected’ indy developer has given a rather frank assessment of Nintendo’s eshop to Nintendo Life, which serves to provide an explanation of sorts for precisely why game releases on the 3DS are dying in spite of that console’s huge sales success. Simply put, many developers are struggling to even hit 3000 units in lifetime sales for their games. Further, Nintendo Life’s source has stated that this is an issue which effects both indy developers and conventional studios alike, and that many studios have dropped release plans altogether for both Germany and Australia, as they find themselves unable to cover the cost of having their games rated in these regions through the potential sales that would occur within these markets.
This really does not come as much of a surprise at all. Anybody who has ever tried to use Nintendo’s eshop will know precisely why software does not sell on it. It is a place without rhyme or reason, where the only way to effectively use it is to know what game one wishes to purchase ahead of opening the app. These aforementioned factors both serve to highlight the absurdity of some of the tenuous justifications made when Wiitards attempt to port-beg from the PS4’s library. Why would, say, Koji Igarashi bring his new game to Wii U when the resulting port is liable to play like Sonic Boom and sell a scant handful of copies because nobody can find it on Nintendo’s eshop?