If you’re unaware, The Jimquisition is a YouTube show where Jim Sterling discusses controversial topics related to games and game development. The latest Jimquisition discusses information he obtained from an anonymous member of the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided development team, who has revealed some of Square Enix’s reasoning behind various features in Mankind Divided. Microtransactions within the game are claimed to have only begun being implemented just two weeks before its submission, allegedly taking up time being used for bug fixing.
Along with this, the video also discusses other information the source gave Sterling, including the pressure that was put on the development team. Make sure to check it out above!
A week ago we reported on a story that Star Fox Zero will contain an invincibility option for novice players — a revelation that led to a lot of controversy and uproar in the gaming community. Where there’s video game controversy to be discussed, it’s always a safe bet that Jim Sterling will be weighing in. In the latest episode of his weekly YouTube show, The Jimquisition, Sterling tackles the issue of “zero difficulty” modes in games, centering around Star Fox Zero. The short version of his commentary is that people just need to get the hell over it, because it’s an optional mode that won’t affect them unless they choose to use it. For the long version, click above and watch the video!
You may have noticed that there have been many remakes, remasters, and episodic games early in the current console generation, and this subject is tackled in the latest episode of The Jimquisition with Jim Sterling. Back in 2013, Sterling revealed that (according to his sources) there were internal discussions at Square Enix about finding ways to chop up games into multi-releases in order to boost profits. With the news that both Hitman and the Final Fantasy VIII remake will be released episodically, Sterling went back to his sources to find out more.
As detailed in The Jimquisition (which you can view above), Square Enix and other publishers reportedly lost faith in home consoles near the end of last generation. As sales declined, many major companies thought that mobile games, free-to-play games, episodic content, and PC games would all continue to chip away at the AAA console market until it became unprofitable.
This, according to Sterling’s sources, is why we’ve seen so many remakes and remasters early on in the current generation. As publishers were transitioning from the old consoles to the new ones, they were overly cautious about funding big AAA games, especially single-player experiences. Square Enix reportedly cancelled several titles due to a lack of faith in the market and instead began looking for other ways to pull in money, including episodic releases and microtransactions.
The good news is that strong sales for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One alongside big AAA hits like Fallout 4 and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt have have apparently restored the faith to some of these publishers, and Sterling’s sources expect AAA single-player experiences to become more common again going forward. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that publishers will stop pushing microtransactions and episodic content if those models prove to be profitable.
Recently, a report surfaced that called Konami out for mistreating its employees. Since then, games journalist and YouTuber Jim Sterling has done some digging, getting in touch with sources at Konami to gauge the accuracy of the allegations. In his latest episode of Jimquisition, Sterling reports via his sources that some of the complaints in the report are untrue (such as excessive monitoring of employees) or exaggerated (such as the re-shuffling of employees), but there are other complaints not mentioned in the previous report that have caused “mental, physical, and emotional damages” to employees.
Sterling’s sources complain of an archaic approval process, a wait that can last for up to two weeks at times, for employees to receive necessary assets to perform their job. They allege that different development teams are kept isolated from one another, and Konami executives will downplay or flat-out deny the role people had in creating games, stealing credit even from big names like Koji Igarashi. Employees reportedly feel that Konami has no respect for the history of its games or for its employees. In summing up the Konami experience, one source said, “Welcome to Konami: You’re worthless, and everyone knows it.” You can check out Sterling’s full breakdown of the situation by clicking the video above; just be warned that there is a fair bit of swearing in there.
There’s been a lot of controversy in recent years over game publishers like Nintendo claiming revenue for YouTube videos that feature their content. Nintendo recently addressed this situation by launching the Nintendo Creators Program, which allows YouTube users to register with Nintendo and share revenue from videos featuring Nintendo content.
This has been a controversial move from Nintendo, as the list of approved games for the Nintendo Creators Program is missing a lot of popular titles, and many are unhappy with the financial compromise offered in the program. Popular YouTube personality PewDiePie recently spoke out against the program, we’ve offered our thoughts on Nintendo’s actions, and now Jim Sterling has tackled the issue in his latest Jimquisition video. Click the video above to check it out, and let us know what you think about the Nintendo Creators Program.
I think for awhile now we’ve known that the AAA industry seems to have a heavy focus on a select few genres, and among that, making games that seem to be all too similar. We’ve found plenty of avenues to place the blame for this, but chief among them is the AAA marketing teams. Jim Sterling, review editor of The Escapist, had a chance to sit down with developers and other such folks within the AAA industry to talk about this very issue.
Unfortunately, he can’t say who he talked to because they would lose their jobs, but he has a very saddening yet very pointed quote that explains practically every issue we see with AAA games.
“I deal with it every fucking day… marketers don’t come from games, they too come from physical goods. They know nothing of the landscape and the only things that fall into the sphere of vision is Candy Crush, Clash of Clans, and Call of Duty. The rest of the industry might as well not exist.”
You can see Jim Sterling expand upon all of this above during his weekly show, the Jimquisition. All I can say is those that remember Jim Sterling’s old Pasta Sauce episode will greatly understand where I come from. AAA publishers can’t keep attempting to go for the same piece of pie that someone else already owns. Why leave money on the table simply because you are unwilling to go after a piece of pie that clearly exists elsewhere? Indie games are sweeping in and enjoying hefty profits covering genres that AAA studios seem all too keen to avoid, for no discern-able reason. What do you think?
This week’s Jimquisition tries to decide which console has won the next-gen launch. Or is it current-gen now? I don’t know anymore. Both consoles launches went pretty well, I think, but which one went better? Jim has a well made argument for which console actually won the launch, at least in his opinion. You may not agree with it, and I don’t know if I do, but he does have a point. After all, thank God, for Jim.
Do you agree with Jim? Let us know in the comments!
One may think you have freedom of expression, but it doesn’t mean you have freedom from facing criticism about that expression.
In the latest episode of Jimquisition, we are presented a discussion about certain decisions made by developers when they created their games. More specifically, this topic is all about gender preference, why the developers made that choice, and the following criticisms that emerged from it as a result. Two notable video games are the targets of Jim’s discussion and they are The Puppeteer where a boy is the hero rather than a girl, and GTA V which has three male leads available.
Do you share the same opinion as Jim, or do you have your own about the subject? Let us know in the comments.
“Some gamers thought that they would punish a woman who wrote Dragon Age 2 for daring to write Dragon Age 2 by threatening to find her kids on the way to school and kill them to let them know that they should have been aborted rather than have Jennifer Hepler as a mother. So now we’ve gotta do an episode on that, and that gives me no joy, but here we are, you fuckin’ idiots.” — Jim Sterling
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’re probably well aware of how ridiculous the flaming hatred coming from a very vocal minority of gamers has gotten. They managed to crack Phil Fish last month and have almost certainly been spewing death and rape threats at whichever developers are behind their newest target. They’re insipid, they’re toxic, their assholes, and worst of all, they persist.
In what’s starting to become a more and more consistent topic on the show, today’s episode of Jimquisition is about a recent bit of harassment in which a former BioWare writer’s kids were threatened to be murdered as they walked to school. Now, of course I don’t actually expect any of these threats to come to fruition, but if you think the absence of literal intent to murder justifies constantly harassing someone with death threats, then you might want to rethink a few of your values.
Harassment is becoming more and more of a constant reality in the gaming community, and I’d wager that sooner or later it’ll start to really take its toll on our industry and our medium, so I think it’s high time we stopped just letting this stuff happen.
This week’s Jimquisition asks that question in light of the response of last week’s episode, which caused a ruckus amongst gamers across the internet. Jim Sterling quickly puts them in their place and reminds gamers that creativity isn’t stifled by inclusivity, and it by no means makes a game inherently ‘watered down’. This falls in line with our own Nathanial Rumphol-Janc’s article yesterday asking why gamers on the internet can be so angry.
From time to time, Jim Sterling feels that an immediately relevant topic deserves his attention before Monday, Jimquisition‘s normal weekly release day. The weekend debacle with Phil Fish, which eventually ended in the cancellation of Fez 2 and Fish’s flight from the industry, was one of those times.
However, unlike the majority of the sentiments expressed toward Phil Fish after his leaving –that he should have had thicker skin, that he was just an ass anyway, that sort of thing– Jim Sterling shows true sympathy for Phil Fish, even going so far as to relate it to some of his own earlier experiences as a game journalist. The episode claims that Phil Fish did in fact show that he had “thick skin” because he was even able to take the amount of constant criticism which was leveled at him on a daily basis.
Personally, I agree with Sterling. Sure, Phil Fish blew up every once in a while and made himself look like a real jerk, but do any of us really know what it’s like to get the kind of hatred just hurled at you from all corners of the internet? Maybe we get provoked by some toxic forum user every once in a while and have no problem just forgetting about it, but imagine if that was just an everyday reality for you. Imagine if your entire life was just filled with those toxic jerks. And keep in mind, Fish is an indie; he has no official “team” to hide behind or a publisher to scape goat. It’s just him taking all this crap. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s perfectly understandable why someone in that situation is going to lash out every once in a while. I do sincerely respect Phil Fish, and I hope he comes back.
When the 3DS was released, many complained about its lack of good content available at launch. So when Nintendo prepared to release the Wii U about a year and half later, they proclaimed again and again that the same mistakes would not be made this time around, Wii U will have a great launch lineup. And yet, even with the much stronger list of day one titles on Wii U, nowadays gamers are distraught with the lack of content on Wii U while they’re having a ball playing great 3DS games. Sure, some of that can be chocked up to the longer lifespan of the 3DS, but if what Jim Sterling has to say is true, I’d conjecture we can also blame Nintendo’s intense focus on making sure Wii U had games day one.
While Microsoft was busy getting shot down and murdered by fans (and a fair amount of the media as well), a few people were asking the question: “why can’t Microsoft have DRM if Steam can?” Well, in this weeks episode of Jimquisition, host Jim Sterling makes an attempt to answer that question. The through-line of his argument is that consoles were made for convenience that PCs couldn’t offer but at the cost of features only PC could offer, so adding the inconvenience of PC-like DRM to console games would entirely defeat the purpose of console’s existence in the first place.
Sterling also talks a fair amount on a topic with which viewers of Jimquisition will be familiar, that of the distrust between gamers and most game publishers as well as Microsoft, which is in stark contrast to the strong trust built between popular PC gaming software Steam and Good Old Games with their consumers.
So what did you think? Does Jim Sterling make a valid point?
Jimquisition usually airs on Sunday, but the massive Xbox One backtrack called for a new episode. Naturally, Jim delivered. After all, he always does.
In this emergency midweek entry, Jim discusses the straw that broke the camel’s back: Jimmy Fallon. He also points at the victory of consumers, saying voting with your wallet can really create change in the industry. Jim warns us that Microsoft can still change their policies back at anytime if publishers pressure them, telling us to remain wary of the company that tried to “fuck us over”:
“Be vigilant. Be jubilant, but be vigilant… I will not forget this. Like I will never forget the ESA reversing its decision on SOPA only after it failed to become a law. Like I will never forget Ubisoft’s shitty DRM even after it stopped. Like I won’t forget EA glomming on to online pass system, despite now saying it was a dumb idea.”
A new episode of Jim Sterling’s Jimquisition aired today on online gaming magazine The Escapist. For the past few weeks Jim has been on a rant about Microsoft, tearing the Xbox One a new one nearly every week since its debut at the end of May 2013. Today’s episode continued that tradition. However, he also spent today’s episode showing off his dance moves, and praising Sony for all that it’s done. Or, rather, hasn’t done.
Yes, it’s true, Sony essentially won this year’s E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) convention. Anyone with an internet connection and interest in the gaming community has most likely seen articles, news, reactions, and clever memes depicting this sound thrashing that Sony gave Microsoft. But it should be noted that, just as Jim Sterling pointed out, Sony didn’t actually do anything.
Sony’s announcement of supporting used-games, no DRM (Digital Rights Management), and no required internet connection was a big announcement, to say the least. But when you think about it, Sony’s not actually doing anything different. They’re simply keeping things the way they are. Yet, that seemed to be big news. It’s funny that “the PlayStation 4 can play used games” has to be big new for video games today. Imagine if Sony CEO Kaz Hirai’s announcement in 2006 was “by the way, the PlayStation 3 can also play used games too!” We would have thought they’d gone bananas! Well, they did charge $599 US dollars for the Giant Enemy Crab fighting machine, so I guess there were some bananas to be found. Bananas were also found at the Nintendo booth this year, but those were more of the Tropical Freeze variety.
Yet Sony’s announcement of simply keeping things the way they are now, and doing what any decent company with any sense of what good customer service would do, is being lauded by the internet, the gaming community, and gaming publications all over.
This is just a small piece of a much grander banana cream pie. For the full dessert, please check out Jim Sterling’s video above.
As everyone should already know, the new Xbox has just been revealed as the Xbox One, with a slew of new features, prettier graphics, and better hardware. We learned that there will be restrictions on used games, mandatory Kinect integration, Windows 8, and many other features to enhance our living rooms. As more and more information spread about this new console, people started tweeting and sending messages via Facebook to Jim telling him to tear the new Xbox a new one. So in this special episode of the Jimquisition he does just that. Not because he was badgered into doing it, but because he wants to.
“It’s like Namco literally forgot that it succeeded with Dark Souls minutes after it got its
financial results. What we see here with Demon’s
Souls and Dark Souls is a series
that became a cult hit specifically by not doing what everyone else did and a
publisher that now wants to make it more successful by doing what everyone else did.” – Jim Sterling
This week’s episode
of the Jimquisition is back on the topic of Triple-A publishers and
development studios being moronic, specifically Namco Bandai. See, Dark Souls II will
be arriving sometime within the next year or two, and the game’s publisher, Namco Bandai, is
apparently planning on “treating it like a massive, massive Triple-A
title” in order to appeal to a wider audience. They plan to be “widening
the net” with Dark Souls II, by extension skyrocketing development costs,even though practically all of Dark Souls sales come from a very loyal cult followingfor whom one of the primary reasons Dark Souls is so good is that it didn’t compromise its focus.
Monday is Jimquisition day! Jim talks about the differences between objectification and idealisation, and what applies to men and women in games. The difference between owning and aspiring to be. Are men and women equally objectified? We’ll let Jim do what he does best.
Thank God for Jim! What did you think of this episode? Share in the comments!