GWJ Conference Call Episode 378

Conference Call

Spelunky, Unepic, Assassin's Creed 4 DLC, Walking Dead Season 2, Device 6, Botched Predictions 2013, Bold Predictions 2014 and More!

This week Shawn, Elysium, Julian, Cory and Allen look back at their 2013 bold predictions and lay out some new ones for 2014! It's a looooooong show this week. Won't be the new standard, I promise. Also note we had a couple mic problems in the early parts of the show. It'll clear up.

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.

Chairman_Mao's Timestamps
00.02.03 Spelunky (PC Gamer Game of the Year!)
00.05.29 Assassin's Creed IV DLC
00.12.19 The Walking Dead: Season 2, Episode 1
00.18.22 Europa Universalis IV
00.20.08 Starbound
00.25.16 Hoplite
00.28.49 Unepic
00.32.13 Dark Souls
00.33.57 Device 6
00.37.54 This week's topic; Bold and Botched Predictions!
02.02.48 Your emails!

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Show credits

Music credits: 

Intro/Outtro Music - Ian Dorsch, Willowtree Audioworks

Spellbound - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 37:23

If - Broke for Free - http://brokeforfree.com/ - 2:02:12

Comments

Regarding Cory's major publisher Steam sales prediction, I think the real story here is that Greenlight and Valve's other indie initiatives finally started to really take off over the second half of this year, and that tidal wave has kind of stolen some of the big publishers' thunder.

Here's a link for Cory's attempt at the Spelunky January 5th Daily Challenge.

I love the follow-up format you guys use to pull from the bold predictions for 2013.

EDIT: FYI the most funded Kickstarter for a game in 2013 was technically Torment: Tides of Numenera at $4.2M and Mighty No. 9 was #2 at $3.8M. The biggest game-related kickstarter was OUYA at $8.6M.

Oh Certis, wrong already on third-parties building their own steam boxes. http://www.valvesoftware.com/news/

harrisben wrote:

Oh Certis, wrong already on third-parties building their own steam boxes. http://www.valvesoftware.com/news/

Yeah, that was awesome!

My bold predictions: [EDIT: Moved to "Bold Predictions" Thread. Where they belong.]

I loved this by Certis, "Valve is going to announce Half Life 3 the day it is done. They are going to 'Beyonce' Half Life 3".

foose wrote:

I loved this by Certis, "Valve is going to announce Half Life 3 the day it is done. They are going to 'Beyonce' Half Life 3".

Could you imagine the minds blown if one morning you opened Steam and it's like "Half-Life 3, Buy Now and Play" with no forewarning or rumors?

Preach it Cory!

\[T]/
Praise the Sun!

I suddenly don't feel so bad about my big prediction, that I was so certain of, did not come true at all.

Add me to one of those waiting until Walking Dead Season Two is over. I'll likely wait for the collected release of The Wolf Among Us as well.

Certis wrote:
foose wrote:

I loved this by Certis, "Valve is going to announce Half Life 3 the day it is done. They are going to 'Beyonce' Half Life 3".

Could you imagine the minds blown if one morning you opened Steam and it's like "Half-Life 3, Buy Now and Play" with no forewarning or rumors?

I wonder if they did L4D2 for free during the winter sale as a smoke test for this scenario.

It's a looooooong show this week.

You say that like it's a bad thing...

Certis wrote:

Could you imagine the minds blown if one morning you opened Steam and it's like "Half-Life 3, Buy Now and Play" with no forewarning or rumors?

I fully support this idea and if it could happen tomorrow that would be great.

Bottle wrote:

Regarding Cory's major publisher Steam sales prediction, I think the real story here is that Greenlight and Valve's other indie initiatives finally started to really take off over the second half of this year, and that tidal wave has kind of stolen some of the big publishers' thunder.

Couple other factors as well. THQ was one of the big publishers that did sales on their full catalog, and had a "Complete THQ Pack", and they are gone. We are another year into Origin, so the EA titles are aging out of relevance on Steam. I don't think the remaining major publishers arr any less present or discounted, but you can feel the loss of THQ and EA.

It's probably a combination of both of those things: the much larger volume of indie games on the platform (and in the store) and a pull-back from publishers. On the other hand we've had multiple weeklong sales featuring specific publishers which wasn't a thing a couple years ago. So maybe it all balances out in the grand scheme of things?

---

A couple of thoughts about the show:

Nintendo predictions: Nintendo staying course on Wii U is correct. Wii was total anomaly and Wii U is going to track a lot closer to N64/Gamecube. 3DS has been on the market for 3 years this year, so it’s still too early for rumblings of new system (DS was on the market from 2004-2011). Try again in 2 years

Steam machines: Completely in agreement here. Valve smartly offloaded the manufacturing to OEMs which makes the concept basically a specification with hopefully a ranking system/branding for retail (ie. Best Buy) sales. Target market is for people who don’t want to deal with making their own PC in that form-factor (otherwise they’re no different than buying an Alienware). The long-game is to shift the market to Linux but more importantly OpenGL which should make porting between OSes more appealing.

As for media and streaming, could Valve buy Roku or cross-license with them or TiVo?

EA: I would not be surprised if they lose NFL license. It would be really bad for their bottom line and will have repercussions with all their in development titles as they try to fill a gaping hole in the ledger. I expect they'll not come out of these negotiations without getting a little bloodied in the process. Won't be pretty :\

MOBA: Definitely agree there will be less interest (see predictions thread) in the genre this year.

These prediction shows are always fun to listen to especially playing back the predictions from the previous year and hearing the reactions. Thanks for keeping the tradition going!

MrShoop wrote:
Bottle wrote:

Regarding Cory's major publisher Steam sales prediction, I think the real story here is that Greenlight and Valve's other indie initiatives finally started to really take off over the second half of this year, and that tidal wave has kind of stolen some of the big publishers' thunder.

Couple other factors as well. THQ was one of the big publishers that did sales on their full catalog, and had a "Complete THQ Pack", and they are gone. We are another year into Origin, so the EA titles are aging out of relevance on Steam. I don't think the remaining major publishers arr any less present or discounted, but you can feel the loss of THQ and EA.

That's a good point. I totally forgot EA went off and did Origin. Which is probably why I don't recall buying any EA games last year (aside from Crysis 3).

I'm torn on Destiny. I'm getting a World of Warcraft vibe from it and the last thing I want to play is another MMO where I feel like I'm on an endless treadmill. Also, I've always loved Halo single player but could never get into the multiplayer for more than a few weeks. On the other hand Bungie is a company who know how to make great games consistently and when they say there is something for everyone in the game I believe them. 'Single player' with a little multiplayer mixed in might be great.

At the moment I'm not interested in the game but won't be surprised if it wins me over.

Regarding if the 2013 prediction about Steam & major publishers was correct: no - it was dead wrong.

Those big insane publisher bundles still exist, they're just not well-exposed, and don't really make the front page of the sale... but go look for them, and you'll find them.

Also, I can't help but think that your opinions are coloured by the fact that you AREN'T looking for those big bundles or AAA games much any more... you already own most of the back catalogs by this point, so it's the newer/more obscure stuff that jumps out at you and thus influences your judgement on what is happening within the average Steam sale.

Cory, you and I took the same amount of time to finish off Dark Souls - about 103 hours. Also, about the same level. It ended up as my 2013 game of the year.

EDIT: I had a lot more to say about that when I was listening to the CC, but I just forgot it and went with the 'derp derp - I done did da same ting!' post.

I don't think the paid MMO is dead. Final Fantasy 14 ARR is doing better numbers than FF11 did in its best year. I don't know if it'll do WoW numbers, but I think it's going to have 1-million level subscribers for quite awhile.

I think the way that Steam is doing Steam Machines makes sense. Gabe is an ex-microsoftie, so he learned the lesson of how MSDos/Windows gained dominance over the industry, and he's seen how Android has gained as much power as it has. They aren't even charging licensing for the OS, the OS is completely free.

There is a SteamMachine unit that is at $500 and has a 4-core AMD processor with R7-260x graphics card, which is essentially just a bit slower than the PS4 with a bit less flexibility, but a tiny bit faster than the Xbox One. That's at least one of the steam machines that is going for competition with Consoles.

BTW, I think what happened in Valve is the same thing that Stardock said was happening to them during Impulse. Steam has so gobbled up the entire company that anything outside of Steam isn't able to get much in the way of time or resources. I don't know how many games they're going to continue releasing in the future... I really like that they're trying to push people over to Linux, and I think they're the first company that could actually bring people over to Linux.

Stardock on the other hand, I think they have a really bright future with all of the stuff they're doing, and their Nitrous engine. Watching some of the cool stuff they're doing with AMD Mantle I just think that they're going to take off in the next 2 years and get a lot of really cool stuff out there. Take a look at this early demo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIWyf...

There are also more places selling bundles.

The Humble Weekly Sale often is publisher based. For example, this week is Frozenbyte. While they might have done a publisher bundle in the Steam winter sale, now they can be featured for a whole week at Humble.

AndrewA wrote:

Regarding if the 2013 prediction about Steam & major publishers was correct: no - it was dead wrong.

Those big insane publisher bundles still exist, they're just not well-exposed, and don't really make the front page of the sale... but go look for them, and you'll find them.

Also, I can't help but think that your opinions are coloured by the fact that you AREN'T looking for those big bundles or AAA games much any more... you already own most of the back catalogs by this point, so it's the newer/more obscure stuff that jumps out at you and thus influences your judgement on what is happening within the average Steam sale.

Except many of the dailies /flashes and a huge portion of the community votes were for indie games. More so than prevously, and unlike past sales, those big publisher packages really weren't up front.

Day 1 Winter 2012 sale dalies: (0/6 indie games)
Borderlands Franchise
Hitman Franchise
Prince of Persia Franchise
Scribblenauts Unlimited
Wargame: European Escalation (closest thing to Indie)
Mirror's Edge

Day 1 Winter 2013 dailies: (4/9 indie games -1 being Early Access)
Bioshock Infinite
Dishonored
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Batman Arkham Origins
The Stanley Parable (I)
Space Hulk (I)
Assetto Corsa (I + Early Access)
Monaco (I)
Dead Island

Day 5 Winter 2012 dailies: (1/6 indie games)
Of Orcs and Men
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Franchise
Company of Heroes Franchise
Mass Effect Franchise
Sonic Franchise
Endless Space (I)

Day 5 Winter 2013 dailies: (6/9 indie games)
Castle Crashers (I)
Borderlands 2
Shadowrun Returns (I)
Reus (I)
Trine 2 (I)
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist
Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs (I)
Arma 3
Contagion (I)

I chose Day 5 just because it was what showed up first for 2013. 2013 was indeed filled a lot more with indie games (indie tags are included in genre descriptions on the store page for the game) if you look at those lists. It also felt like to me, that a lot of the newer stuff wasn't as deeply discounted, but that's just the feeling I got.

Then there's this from the front page of 2012, which actually has an indie pack among the publishers stuff:

IMAGE(http://images.vg247.com/current//2012/12/steamsale.jpeg)

Publisher packs were not displayed anywhere on the front page of the 2013 sale.

Macroeconomics, Julian?

Certis, you said you were bringing it back.

What better than the next forum donator icon being a GOLDEN POOP SOCK!

I swear to god, I will burn this site DOWN!

Sean, that golden poop sock under CEO there is looking a little full... maybe take a break from EU4?

Prozac wrote:

Sean, that golden poop sock under CEO there is looking a little full... maybe take a break from EU4? :P

This, right here, is how you get banned.

shoptroll wrote:

I wonder if they did L4D2 for free during the winter sale as a smoke test for this scenario.

That was fun. Because now we know they will break Steam/The Internet for a few hours.

Talk about the Oculus Rift sounded pretty far removed from me as a consumer. No way I can afford the launch model (unless it's literally $150 or less), and I doubt most households would either with the next gens out. Though now I'm picturing a setup with a WiDi Oculus and gaming headset to completely cut me off from my wife....

Keithustus wrote:

Macroeconomics, Julian?

I'm glad I'm not the only one who caught that. Economics Minor FTW.

Spaz wrote:

Talk about the Oculus Rift sounded pretty far removed from me as a consumer. No way I can afford the launch model (unless it's literally $150 or less), and I doubt most households would either with the next gens out.

And for everyone who thinks it must be $150 or less before they'll buy, there's someone like me who will pay for a consumer edition at basically whatever they choose to charge for it, because there are no comparable goods--track IR setups are close but finnicky and awkward--and it fulfills a demand I haven't satisfied. Thus, my consumer surplus is set by your willingness to pay.

Eleima wrote:

I so love these end of the year shows.
That part with the clip in which Cory says the Steam box is a "bat sh*t crazy idea" was even better than I'd imagined.
Cory does have a point though. With the announcement of those third party boxes, my enthusiasm has definitely been tempered. I already have a (somewhat decent) gaming, why would I pay so much to stream content to my living room, when I can just pull a few cables... Wait and see, I guess...

Starting to feel like you just want me to be wrong, Eleima. Why do you hate me so?!?