Toy Headquarters (THQ), 1990-2013
This week, one of the game publishers of the good old days went under. THQ has been in bankruptcy,
and its property has been auctioned away, piece by piece. Although none of its games of the past few years interested me enough to buy them (aside from that Humble Bundle), I really liked Supreme Commander and STALKER. I'm sad to see a once great publisher of PC exclusives and a proliferater of gaming originality go under.
In my recent podcast, I had mentioned an article about how with every console generation, costs go up and game publishers (and studios) go down (bankrupt). Seeing how we are in the twilight of a gaming generation, I feel that this is the proper time that I should make some speculation:
A major hardware vendor (namely Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo) will stop hardware vending.
Sony isn't doing too well. If they don't pull out a winner in the next generation, they will be destroyed. Nintendo just does its own crazy thing and is crazy enough to make it (it has thus far). Microsoft keeps loosing a bit of money on Xbox, but is extremely popular and they have put too much money into it to just step away.
One of the other big three (Activision, Electronic Arts, or Ubisoft) will go away: not necessarily bought, bankrupt, or merged. Perhaps one will loose big on something (like Activision succumbing to sequelitis), and will have to downsize.
One of the minor publishers (like Konami, Take Two, Square Enix, Namco, Capcom, Zenimax, or Sega) will close, be bought, or merge.
But I think all of this will be OK, because digital distribution will continue to become more important. Who needs to go big when you can simply kick start something and put it on Steam?
Posted Friday, January 25, 2013 at 11:42 PM EST under Gaming.
Since you've made it this far, you might be interested in reading:
At last, 343 Industries released Halo 4 in the PC Master Chief Collection. Note that up to this point, Bungie had made all the main Halo games. By the time they made Reach, they had already bought themselves back from Microsoft. They cited oppressive corporate culture, and went straight into the crushing arms of Activision. (Why oh why did Bungie think Activision would be better?) Microsoft formed 343 Industries to pick up where Bungie left off, and this is the first of the new series.
The Oregon Trail Deluxe
After doing some spooky games for Halloween, I wondered what games would go well for another part of the year. I realized that the Oregon Trail kinda fits for Thanksgiving, since it's old-timey, and about people moving to a new land. There were several versions, but I had the Oregon Trail Deluxe growing up. Its VGA graphics are more detailed than the original, since it's from about 10 years later. Since the Internet Archive has thousands of DOS-based games, I wondered if they had it. They do!
Halo: Reach is set on a planet named... Reach. Unlike last time around, you resume your role as a cyborg warrior. However, you aren't playing as Master Chief, but as another Spartan, Noble Six. If you paid attention in the other games, you know what Reach is. It was overrun immediately before the first game.
Supreme Commander 2
Back when I first wrote about Supreme Commander, I noted that its sequel shares little of what I liked about it. Being so pumped about SupCom, I got hyped for SupCom 2 after reading previews in PCGamer. I probably preordered this, too. I was a fool.
The Wolf Among Us
Like the Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is a series based on comic books. (I'm not familiar with either comics.) The setup is simple: all the fairytale characters were forced to leave whatever kingdoms they lived in, and are holed up in New York City scraping by. You play as Sheriff Bigby Wolf. (Bigby Wolf -> Big B. Wolf -> Big Bad Wolf) Because I've portrayed this guy in school plays, I'm immediately on his side.
The Walking Dead
Hey look, a game for Halloween! (Yes, I planned this one, unlike last time.) I've finished playing through The Walking Dead, the game that Telltale Games got popular on. This is one of those games from the zombie craze that reached its height around 10 years ago. I think this rode the coat tails of a Netflix series based on the same comic series, but the game has different characters and story. It merely takes place in the same world.