GWJ Conference Call Episode 258

Conference Call

Dead Island, Men of War: Vietnam, Red Orchestra 2, How Coop Changes Single Player, Video Killed The Print Journalist?, Your Emails and more!

This week Shawn and Elysium are joined by Russ Pitts to talk Dead Island, coop games, video killing the games journalist star and more!

To contact us, email [email protected]! Send us your thoughts on the show, pressing issues you want to talk about or whatever else is on your mind. You can even send a 30 second audio question or comment (MP3 format please) if you're so inclined.

Sponsor

Tech Thing Daily
Game Thing Daily
Good Old Games

GWJ Donation Drive Prize Pool
Dead Island
Red Orchestra 2
Men of War: Vietnam
King of Dragon Pass

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Trailer Theme - Dead Island - http://www.deadislandgame.com/ - 22:27

Red Orchestra 2 Heroes of Stalingrad Theme - http://www.heroesofstalingrad.com/ - 55:02

Comments

"For me personally, podcasts beat print and video hands down, since i can do other stuff while listening to them. I need to be really interested in a game to read or watch something about it."

I agree completely! I only read (listen) to audio books now for the same reason.
We have entered the age of multitasking!

Giftzwerg76 wrote:

For me personally, podcasts beat print and video hands down, since i can do other stuff while listening to them. I need to be really interested in a game to read or watch something about it.

I want to focus on a podcast when I'm listening to it, so the most I can really do while catching up on them is go for walks.

I just wanted to chime in to mention something about Mojang and Bethesda - The suit stems from the fact that THE ELDER SCROLLS is a longstanding franchise, and a trademark, as we know. They didn't file suit when SCROLLS was announced, but rather after Mojang attempted to trademark the word SCROLLS. The way trademark law works, you have a legal obligation to protect your trademarks or you risk losing them. Bethesda can't afford to lose THE ELDER SCROLLS trademark, and so they are essentially required to sue to prevent Mojang from trademarking the word scrolls. This has the effect of forcing Mojang to change the name (only because they don't want to release a game with a title they can't trademark) but this is more of a side-effect than Bethesda's goal.

TL;DR - Bethesda literally has no choice but to sue Mojang when Mojang tries to trademark the word Scrolls.

Dirtyword laid some SCIENCE! on us.

I have been lawyered.

(Thanks for the clarification, that makes a lot of sense)

As I understand it the distinction is the attempt to trademark particularly the word "War" not "God of War" or "Gears of War". If MS or Sony had attempted to trademark only the word war, then you can bet there would have been heated legal battles.

Elysium wrote:

(Thanks for the clarification, that makes a lot of sense)

Not to me. Not in this situation. If what he said is really the case, then how was Microsoft/Epic allowed to trademark Gears of War? Sony had surely already trademarked God of War. Did Sony just decide not to "protect" their trademark? Or was common sense used, since "of" and "war" are common enough words that another game developer/publisher could use them without risk of being sued?

I don't how the single word "scrolls" is any different.

Another example of the same word being used in different games: Dead Rising / Dead Space / Dead Island. I'm sure there are many others.

Ah ok. I think I understand now. So all Mojang needs to do is add another word - any word (besides "elder" obviously) - to their game's title, so that they won't be trademarking just the word "scrolls", and the lawsuit goes away yes?

Scrolls of War: Brotherhood. Boom. Done.

Ah ok. I think I understand now. So all Mojang needs to do is add another word - any word (besides "elder" obviously) - to their game's title, so that they won't be trademarking just the word "scrolls", and the lawsuit goes away yes?

Not exactly. The issue is that if they (Mojang) _do_ trademark the word "Scrolls", then they can sue Bethesda for using the word scrolls in "The Elder Scrolls" title. Bethesda's lawsuit is one more to defend from potential litigation that makes TES change it's name than it is just "we don't like the name of your game".

Elysium wrote:
Ah ok. I think I understand now. So all Mojang needs to do is add another word - any word (besides "elder" obviously) - to their game's title, so that they won't be trademarking just the word "scrolls", and the lawsuit goes away yes?

Not exactly. The issue is that if they (Mojang) _do_ trademark the word "Scrolls", then they can sue Bethesda for using the word scrolls in "The Elder Scrolls" title. Bethesda's lawsuit is one more to defend from potential litigation that makes TES change it's name than it is just "we don't like the name of your game".

D'OH! Just when I thought I had it figured out...

f*ck it. Mojang should name their new game "The Ancient Parchment Rolls."

MeatMan wrote:
Elysium wrote:
Ah ok. I think I understand now. So all Mojang needs to do is add another word - any word (besides "elder" obviously) - to their game's title, so that they won't be trademarking just the word "scrolls", and the lawsuit goes away yes?

Not exactly. The issue is that if they (Mojang) _do_ trademark the word "Scrolls", then they can sue Bethesda for using the word scrolls in "The Elder Scrolls" title. Bethesda's lawsuit is one more to defend from potential litigation that makes TES change it's name than it is just "we don't like the name of your game".

D'OH! Just when I thought I had it figured out...

f*ck it. Mojang should name their new game "The Ancient Parchment Rolls."

"Velum."

I've actually wondered why GWJCC doesn't have a YouTube channel if only to upload the podcast in audio form. It would be able to get subscribers and views which would help to get partner status in the future if GWJ were to do some video content.

That's the even bigger elephant in the room though that no one mentioned on the podcast. Suppose you do find some good video talent out there and talk to them. Why would they want to join a publication? They are a YouTube partner and even if they aren't, they could become one. They are their own boss. They control all their content. They control the direction their content takes. Why would they want to be under someone else? YouTube allows you to bypass the middle man. TotalBiscuit probably makes over 75k a year from being a YouTube partner and what's great is if he makes better content which nets more views, he gets more money. He's his own boss and his success is all in his own hands. It must be incredibly satisfying for someone creative to have all that freedom and be able to reap all the benefits of their success.

I also have wondered why there isn't a GWJCC Twitch.TV account. Certis talked about playing Men of War: Vietnam co-op and it would have been a lot of fun to watch that. It's really easy these days with XSplit so it's not even technically difficult. The co-op would be great to watch but also, the hosts get a lot of early access to games in terms of betas. When the Dota 2 NDA was lifted the other day, the people in the beta all started streaming and were getting live viewers in the thousands. It would have been hilarious to watch all that preparation in Men of War: Vietnam only to see the game crash

BNice wrote:

I've actually wondered why GWJCC doesn't have a YouTube channel if only to upload the podcast in audio form. It would be able to get subscribers and views which would help to get partner status in the future if GWJ were to do some video content.

As a guess, I'd say it's because GWJ isn't so much of a serious professional thing as it is a hobby. I don't think anyone makes running GWJ a job, or makes money off it. That's not to say they couldn't, but it would be a major change from what it is now.

'Going pro' is probably a double edged sword, as much as many see GWJ as a special unique place on the net, how different would it be if it had to compete with the armies of other gaming sites on the rest of the net, and somehow bring in money and support itself. I've seen many sites go down the tubes when they had those pressures added. Do you think it would be the same if GWJ needed to put out X articles, Y youtube videos, etc, per day, and make sure people are looking at the content, to bring in money?

Careful what you wish for

Scratched wrote:
BNice wrote:

I've actually wondered why GWJCC doesn't have a YouTube channel if only to upload the podcast in audio form. It would be able to get subscribers and views which would help to get partner status in the future if GWJ were to do some video content.

As a guess, I'd say it's because GWJ isn't so much of a serious professional thing as it is a hobby. I don't think anyone makes running GWJ a job, or makes money off it. That's not to say they couldn't, but it would be a major change from what it is now.

'Going pro' is probably a double edged sword, as much as many see GWJ as a special unique place on the net, how different would it be if it had to compete with the armies of other gaming sites on the rest of the net, and somehow bring in money and support itself. I've seen many sites go down the tubes when they had those pressures added. Do you think it would be the same if GWJ needed to put out X articles, Y youtube videos, etc, per day, and make sure people are looking at the content, to bring in money?

Careful what you wish for

Yeah that's true. That link was cracking me up and then I got sad when I realized how many of those headlines could actually pop up on IGN.

Scratched wrote:

Careful what you wish for

[i]I figured you were going to link one of the more painful videos from here.

BNice wrote:

That's the even bigger elephant in the room though that no one mentioned on the podcast. Suppose you do find some good video talent out there and talk to them. Why would they want to join a publication? They are a YouTube partner and even if they aren't, they could become one. They are their own boss. They control all their content. They control the direction their content takes. Why would they want to be under someone else? YouTube allows you to bypass the middle man. TotalBiscuit probably makes over 75k a year from being a YouTube partner and what's great is if he makes better content which nets more views, he gets more money. He's his own boss and his success is all in his own hands. It must be incredibly satisfying for someone creative to have all that freedom and be able to reap all the benefits of their success.

I really have no idea how the pay scales match up, but I think there's something to be said for being part of an organization where you're treated as a human being. I don't mean that in any kind of ideological "fight the machine" sense, but in a very literal one. YouTube's (and by extension, parent company Google's) genius is in designing a system that scales exceptionally well, and the only way to do that is by algorithm.

Let's say I make a series of video reviews for video games. Oops! One of my videos just got taken down by one of the copyright-detecting robots that scans YT for copyrighted video footage. The use of short clips of a copyrighted work for commentary or review purposes very clearly falls under fair use, so after receiving my impersonal form letter from YT telling me what happened, I fill out their impersonal counter-claim form and spend two weeks to a month waiting for it to filter through the system and put my video back up.

Now, if I'm doing these videos as a hobby, that's a perfectly fine system. They're giving me free hosting of all my videos, after all. Tens of thousands of people are doing what I do; I can't expect any kind of personal attention from the employees of YouTube to get my problem resolved sooner. But if this is my LIVING that's sitting on hold while their algorithm does its thing, that's a different story altogether.

Presumably in an organization like the Escapist that scenario would never happen, because A.) it would take the act of a human being to take a video down; it couldn't be done automatically by robot, and, B.) it would take the act of a human being on the part of the copyright holder to send a C&D letter, which they would probably not do on such ridiculously shaky grounds.

"You're just kind of scrabbling by." I had to check it, but that is the proper use of the word "scrabble." Well done. "You're scrabbling around for food." There's that word again.

Zombie management? Yes, we have those here. Every hour on the hour, they can be seen shambling out to the side of the building to smoke.

"People want to be visually stimulated." Well yes, but that's why we have pornography.

One problem I have with podcasts and video blogs that focus on video games is that most of the people doing them have terrible speaking voices. The secret is finding a medium that works best for your skill set.

This just in: video conference calls are ludicrous! They're also full of tomfoolery and hijinks.

"And hey, I'm a great guy," said the budding sociopath.