So, some Russian bloke is suing Bethesda for 500,000 Rubles because of how addictive Fallout 4 is. According to various gaming news websites, he lost his job and his wife because of it, and believes that Fallout 4 should carry a warning about how addictive it is, and that if he had known, he wouldn’t have started playing it until he had the free time.
If Blizzard aren’t the current king of free-to-play, it’s only because Valve exist. Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm are two highly successful, fully fledged F2P games, while World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo all have their own free starter editions which arguably fall into the “free-to-play” category.
That’s why it’s so surprising to hear that Overwatch – the upcoming Dota-clone-FPS-thing from Blizzard – isn’t going to be launched on a free-to-play model.
I remember that there was some previous discussion about how Blizzard were going to monetise Overwatch. The gameplay is based on each character having a hard counter, and much is made of changing characters in order to adapt to your enemies composition – and that element of the game would have been severely limited if the heroes were bought, or available on a free rotation. A team with 20 available heroes versus a team with only five could conceivably create a composition that the opposition could not answer, making the game fundamentally pay to win. But paying for skins probably wouldn’t have been enough of a money-spinner to support a game of this size.
If you haven’t heard, a school shooting in Connecticut has lead to the deaths of 27 people, 20 of them small children.
And of course, the mass media has been unable to resist turning this awful tragedy into a mass panic concerning parts of society and culture that are considered ‘scary’ by people over the age of sixty, and so Fox News have already started to attack video games and the social network Facebook. Check out the link to see the spin that the ultra-reliable and always-accurate Fox News have put onto the story.
And the worst part? It’s all backfired massively.
Ryan Lanza, the brother of the accused killer Adam Lanza was accidentally named on the media as being the killer himself. Later, news outlets Tweeted his name and Facebook profile, resulting in torrents of abuse being directed at the wrong man. Hell, sometimes it wasn’t even the right Ryan Lanza that got the blame.
This is fucking awful, I think you can all agree. But how do video games link into this? Well hold your pants, because this ride is about to take a zany twist.
It was noticed that Ryan Lanza – NOT the killer, as already covered – had liked the Facebook page of popular game, Mass Effect. And this prompted the media to point to this as the major reason for the school shootings, since obviously playing the blame game like this has never turned out to be a stupid move. This has lead to the Mass Effect page coming under a significant attack by various gullible wankers who wouldn’t know how to categorise a game if it sodomised their partner. Especially if it sodomised their partner.
So now Mass Effect is a bad media influence, despite the guys who fingered it as such getting the wrong guy and pointing out the wrong game. A game who is owned by one of the most powerful gaming companies in the world. Why don’t they just wipe their arse on a copy of World of Warcraft whilst they’re at it? I’m sure that wouldn’t lead to any bad repurcussions either. EA may be bastards, but they’re our bastards, and if there’s one way for EA to make themselves popular again, standing up for themselves and gaming to various news outlets would be a good start. But that’s unlikely, since they’ll likely just roll over and beg like a good boy, much like we’ve seen before.
Seriously, fuck EA and fuck Fox.
Gabe Newell will save us.