These two Bohemia developers, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, were both denied appeals recently by the Greek Government. The short story, if you didn’t already know, is that both men were allegedly researching Greek military operations, up close and personal, on the Greek island of Lemnos. They were detained and charged with espionage. As a result, the gaming community at large has protested the arrest, stating that the two are innocent without a doubt. To play devils advocate, how does anyone know exactly what is going on?
I’m sorry for being blunt, but I have to look at the only angle that hasn’t been evaluated here. So far, none of the gaming media cables I’ve read are qualified on the subject of political and/or military espionage, and have been unobjectionable, highlighting a non-guilty undertone prematurely. Has anyone considered the possibility that espionage was a motive? If not, then ‘video game developer’ should be the go-to cover for all intelligence operatives worldwide. These two men are going to trial, and the Greek government rightfully has many questions that deserve answering.
I haven’t posted in a few days; a result of inhumane work schedules and, of course, Civ 5. Anyway, here’s a quick story of one of my most satisfying rage quits.
So my desperate American military had been chipping away at the Polynesian capitol city for what seemed like 100 turns. It was a constant struggle, a tug-of-war motion with an impossible number of casualties on both sides. I kept turning out new recruits, sending them to the front lines to be slaughtered some more, but eventually found myself slowly taking ground ahead and around the capitol of my greatest enemy.
His lush lands, littered with the resources I craved and that he stubbornly refused to trade. I could taste victory amidst the misting showers of blood and rain. The artillery thundered atop the mountains, barraging what was left of their will to fight. The capitol, down to a mere SLIVER of health, and victory destined for my civilization, reeked of reward and a sweet age of peace. Then, suddenly and out of nowhere, fucking Mongolia roles in with a unit of archers and captures the capitol, followed by his massive army. I have never quit so fast (and uninstalled everything) before in my life! Fuck you, Mongolia.
I’m giving away a Hawken beta key. Who wants it?
Maximum PC’s Gordon Mah Ung reports Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubitsoft, is implicating that “95% of Games are pirated”. Going on to say that “only 5 to 7 percent of gamers bother to buy a game”, regardless of the fact that “PC game sales were up [230%]” while “console sales were down [28%]”. At first I fell into my gut instinct on this one; Guillemot is an asshole, Gordon is no liar and I’m never going to buy a Ubisoft game again.
Ubisoft is becoming famous in the PC world for riddling deserving IP’s with distracting DRM, and being all around obnoxious with their console love-affair. However, after carefully digesting the MaxPC ousting of another once-patriot of forward thinking in video games and media, I had to take a step back. While Ubisoft’s business practices are far from ethical, in my opinion, Guillemot is a very intelligent person who rarely cowers from hard pounding interviews from skeptical outlets at the Kotaku level where, surprise-surprise, I found a more elaborated version of the MaxPC alligations.
“We want to develop the PC market quite a lot and F2P is really the way to do it. The advantage of F2P is that we can get revenue from countries where we couldn’t previously - places where our products were played but not bought. Now with F2P we gain revenue, which helps brands last longer.”
“It’s a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue. On PC it’s only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC it’s only about five to seven per cent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. It’s around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage. The revenue we get from the people who play is more long term, so we can continue to bring content.”
So, as you can see, Gordon may have been a bit hasty in his interpretation of Guillemot’s statement. Guillemot, a business strategist by all means, and carefully calculating guy, is guilty only of over-exaggerating an important point.
Guillemot favors absolute control, evident in his console bias and cut-yourself DRM for PC. It is a natural assumption that, with micro-transactions becoming a proven model for sustained revenue, Guillemot is going to gravitate to a F2P service for PC games. A service of which will fruitfully supply Ubisoft with ultimate control over the user experience in more ways than I care to discuss. Besides, nobody is reading this anyway. Here’s a picture of a cat.