We are bullish on Lego City Undercover, which looked like it was basically gonna be GTA minus the G and the T, which is basically true. It’s also incredibly silly in that Disney Pixar sorta way, in that it fights a Two Front War against children and their parents with physical humor and references that aren’t meant for every member of the intended audience.
Let us, now and in the future, refer to the journalistic edifice dedicated to electronic entertainment as The Machine. There is no value judgment inherent or even implied by this term - it is meant to contain in a single phrase the groups and individuals who acquire and disseminate information about this medium, the assumptions of the meta-entity, and the incredibly complex relationship they have with this shit.
I think we just need to accept that there are games The Machine is not meant to assess, and maybe can’t assess, and that’s… okay. I’m thirty seven, if a cop super likes donuts or whatever that don’t get me out of bed. The Machine is a specialist device, and can be relied upon to express the contours of these experiences with a granularity, but not every game demands the full sweep. As “this thing of ours” becomes normal, for lack of a better term, there are going to be games that aren’t what we might think of as Games with the capital g. And when you turn The Machine’s gaze on them, you look sort of dumb. I don’t need to know what Zagat thinks of the KFC Famous Bowl, and unless you can tell me about a game like this without resorting to your Big Bag of gourmet gaming terminology, you aren’t actually providing a service.
I know a lot of people now, a ridiculous number, and occasionally I can even remember which is which. One thing I hear more or less constantly is the extent to which Microsoft has pissed away its relationships with independent developers while simultaneously allowing an incredibly hungry Sony to fill the void. Specifically, they are filling that void with money and love.
Making games is a fairly difficult endeavor, even without dealing with a publisher who calls you and courts you and then tells you after all that that they don’t want your game. It’s the rolling and moaning of a sated plesiosaur, and the notoriously idiosyncratic artist demographic only puts up with that kind of shit when they get paid at the end, which is why Steam retains its stature: people use it. I don’t trawl XBLA anymore, and from the way its put together now you’d have to wonder if they even want you to. I’ve simply come to terms now with the fact that I will never, never understand this company.