News: The Thin and Blurring Line betwixt Packaged Games and Budget Downloads

Peter Moore
Peter Moore, head of EA Sports

EA Begs for a Stay of Execution

Gamers who have found their goodwill sorely buffeted by publisher overreach in recent years will have their patience once again tested by Electronic Arts, as Peter Moore, prince among men, asks the gaming community to hold off on judging their Origin platform for at least another eighteen months, if not two years.

Moore feels that gamer animosity toward Origin has “quieted down”, and goes on to claim that “I don’t think you see the initial level of vitriol. And I’ve been gaming long enough [to know that] if you try to add something that’s different and particularly if you add the layer that it’s EA and everything that goes with it … It’s one of those things where I would ask give us 18 months to two years. And if we sit here in two years from now, start looking at it then.”

What Moore failed to mention is whether in eighteen months to two years EA will still see their way fit to banning players from their own single player games due to forum indiscretions or Origin’s own well documented administrative incompetence. If that were not alarming enough, Moore offers one final chilling vision of the future: “I think the ability to have your own direct platform with the consumer is going to be very important in the digital world going forward”, thus painting a picture wherein all major players in the publishing game operate their own individual resource gobbling online storefronts.

The official position of on Origin is one of blanket disapproval. If a game is only available on Origin then it must be avoided at all costs, while if there are both Origin and non-Origin versions of a game available, then only the non-Origin version can be purchased conscientiously.

Atlus Shrugs Off Domestic Publishing Duties

It would seem that since Atlus’ absorption into parent company, Index Holdings, the new management has been unenamoured with the JRPG developer’s efficacy in self-publishing. To that end Index Holdings have a freshly inked deal which will see Sega acting as distributor for all physical copies of Atlus games.

It is not known whether this deal refers only to domestic distribution, or whether Sega will be carrying all of Atlus’ packaged games going forward – but seeing as Sega is a major player in the international distribution game, the latter scenario is more than likely. The limited nature of Atlus’ distribution capabilities has long been their Achilles’ heel in the West, and to that extent Sega’s more extensive and coordinated distribution network will be a positive boon for them in achieving greater market penetration. One does however hope that Atlus will be keeping their marketing duties in-house, given that Sega cannot even successfully market their own games.

Hironobu Sakaguchi
Hironobu Sakaguchi, the father of Final Fantasy

Hironobu Sakaguchi Has Smaller Stories to Tell

With Hironobu Sakaguchi currently engaged in a whirlwind tour of Europe ahead of The Last Story‘s release there, he is a busy man, but not so busy as to ignore his Twitter followers it would seem. When asked by a fan on Twitter what his next project would be, Sackaguchi replied that he was working on three iOS titles.

It is not currently known which projects comprise the iOS trilogy (other than one being a surfing game), though this unexpected tidbit of information is still sufficient to have the iOS community intrigued. While the excitement of iOS gamers is understandable, one does worry that the games will turn out to be more Away: Shuffle Dragon than Lost Odyssey. At any rate, it can be hoped that these three downloadable offerings do not comprise the full extent of Sakaguchi’s active projects, as it is on the consoles that he has traditionally shined.

Corruption Ahoy: Ubisoft to Sell $0.99 Game for $40

Gameloft’s Dungeon Hunter is a game which has seen more milage than most. Originally released on iOS it was highly praised for its strict, if somewhat uninspired, adherence to the Diablo formula. With Publisher Ubisoft in tow, the game would see life again on PS3 and Macintosh as Dungeon Hunter: Alliance. It is this newer console version of the game that will once again see release next week on the PS Vita, a success story in some respects, but a cynical cash grab in others.

Dungeon Hunter is still a steal on iOS platforms for its asking price of $0.99. In its migration to the PS3 and Mac, Dungeon Hunter: Alliance managed to increase its price thirteen fold, not all of which can be justified by the cost of porting and providing graphical upgrades. Finally, next week the title is to see its first physical release on the PS Vita for the sum of $39.99, a state of affairs which hardly needs commenting on.


  1. SN: “Hm, I need a picture of Sakaguchi for this news article, but not just any picture. I need the most 80’s picture of him I can find.”

  2. I think that’s actually a mid-90s picture of him – but then Sakaguchi is just eternally stylish ..

Comments are closed.