EA could be on the brink of sucking a little less as they end their ‘online pass’ system.
The company are killing off the passes – A way of locking online content with a unique code that comes with the purchase of a new game. The codes then unlock the online aspect of the game on a single console and make that particular code defunct, which means if you wish to enable the same content (I.E. Battlefield 3′s Multiplayer) on your second hand purchase you are required to pay an extra fee to EA for a pass of your own.
The spokesperson for EA, John Reseburg has stated that EA “listened to the feedback and decided to do away with it moving forward.” Though as the online pass was introduced in 2010 and was immediately protested by pretty much everyone, the statement loses a lot of its legitimacy – If you’re actively listening to feedback you don’t wait 3 years to destroy an addition to your company that your customers openly hate from day one.
The company is famed less for their games and more for their sub-par everything else these days, from failed game launches and day one DLC to the closure of up and coming studios. (You Maxis-killing bastards, Spore was amazing.)
I can see why they’re destroying the online pass and I acknowledge the attempt to get back on good terms with their user-base but it’s all a bit “too little, too late” for my tastes. That being said, as EA has been given soul right to the publication of Star Wars games – Make us a BattleFront 3 that doesn’t suck arse and I’ll forgive basically everything that was mentioned above.
… Everything except Maxis.
Question: Could this move begin to mend relations between EA and its user-base or is the company a lost cause at this point?
(Above)Every RPG ever. The same goes for sports cars in GTA. [via reddit]
Six minutes of new gameplay for Watch Dogs, an open world third person game best summarised as a tech-based GTA. You play as Aidan Pearce, a hacker using a handheld device to manipulate the world around him. Watch Dogs will also be one of the first games available for both current and next-gen consoles.
The game looks very stealth based right up until the four minute mark, at which point all the fun stuff begins. Anyone else stupidly excited for this game?
Release date: 19 November (US) 22 November (EU)
In an unanticipated move by Google, YouTube is launching a trial run for paid subscriptions.
The video streaming behemoth will be giving around 50 different channels the ability to apply a paid subscription to their content starting at $0.99 per month, with discounts available for annual renewal. The move is said to be an attempt to fix the unsustainable level of income provided to full-time video makers through advert revenue and over the coming weeks the ability to create paid channels will become available to qualifying partners.
When channels like Sesame Street are planning on putting out entire episodes you can see obvious reason to subscribe to certain channels, allowing you to watch things you would on television for a much more reasonable price. It’s not like the paid content aspect hasn’t already been apparent on YouTube for a while, with certain films being available to buy and stream when searching for their related clips.
My issue with this scheme comes from the original content. I for example, am a fan of the channels “Seananners” and “SourceFed” I check both channels daily to see what new content has been produced and listen to it in the background whilst I’m perusing the internet. This is a small piece of content I consume through YouTube regularly and I chose these particular examples because they are both popular channels and would be the most likely to profit from this type of channel dynamic. If either of these videomakers were to switch to a paid subscription I wouldn’t begin paying for their content, I’d just stop consuming it.
As mentioned I can understand why signing up for a larger channel would be appealing with their full shows available to watch at my leisure but why would I pay $8-10 (guesstimate, accounting for the annual discount) a year for daily 3-5 minute videos?
I could be alone in this opinion and as always, welcome your own assessment – including scenarios I may have overlooked.
Question: Would you be willing to pay for your favourite YouTuber’s content?
A group of “biohackers” have begun a Kickstarter claiming they are able to create glowing plants.
The Kickstarter has nearly quintupled its initial goal of $65,000 with the researchers promising the seeds of these luminescent plants to backers. The team are attempting to attach the gene luciferase (found in fireflies) into a mustard plant, as well as other bioluminescent genes found in glowing fungi and bacteria. The genes will be initially implanted through agrobacteria and then eventually through a gene gun that will fire the DNA into the plants.
Theo Anderson, a scientist who was part of the Cambridge team that successfully made bacteria glow, has unfortunately pointed out some difficulties in making self-sufficient bioluminescent plants. (Just stamp on my dreams Theo, that’s fine.) Theo talks about how luciferin, the fuel required to make luciferase glow, is very difficult to replicate due to a lack of insight into its natural production within fireflies. This is only one of the many difficulties he points out and I’d implore you to take the time to read his blog post, it’s well worth the time.
Sprawling forests filled with glowing plant life looks like it’s still more of a dream than a viable reality but the attention this garners for the concept of glowing plants could be incredibly helpful, especially when it comes to future funding of similar projects. The first glowing plant was created in 1982 and then the experiment seems to go quiet until a similar success occurred in 2008, then 2010 saw Theo’s team successfully create glowing bacteria. If this line of research were to continue due to an obvious public interest, larger groups of scientists could be brought in to improve existing methods whilst simultaneously creating entirely new ways to add an ambient glow to plants.
I think we can all agree this is the hope and that one day we’ll be able to take midnight strolls through woodland areas mood-lit by the grandiose trees that inhabit them. Magical.
1) Do you feel this has potential with more research or that it’s a largely pointless gimmick playing on our love of pretty things?
2) If you could own a single plant that could glow as brightly as a candle, which plant would that be?
(Above) A glimpse of what could eventually come of bioluminscent research. [via vimeo]
(Above) Deadpool meets Iron-Man. [image via]
The latest video of Microsoft’s “IllumiRoom” project showcases some fresh footage of its migraine-inducing features.
IllumiRoom aims to expand the immersion aspect of gaming, bypassing the limits of your television screen and allowing your experience to spill onto the surrounding wall. The device will be able to map your wall prior to gameplay, ensuring you get optimal projections regardless of the objects in the vicinity of your television.
I can see the appeal in the concept but the majority of these modes seem less like an expansion on the gameplay and more of a hindrance, with a near guarantee that you’d spend more time watching the walls than you would your actual screen. Acknowledging that and the fact I’m someone that plays on a television nestled in a corner with no coffee table in sight, this particular device will be entirely lost on me.
I feel that as much as the device looks to be targeting the more “hardcore FPS” crowd this will only really be enjoyable on a social level, with the racing games’ snow and lighting effects being perfect examples of that. Getting together with a group of friends and playing one of the Mario Party style games will have lots of room for the plethora of mini-games to spill into your living room, providing an extra layer of immersion to the fun. (Or a distraction from screaming obscenities at your friends… We’ve all been there.)
1) Does the concept behind this project appeal to you or does a bigger television solve the problem more than a projector ever would?
2) Which genre of video games do you feel would benefit the most from IllumiRoom?