My apologies readers! I’ll promise that I’ll try hard to make this the only Last Month in Gaming you see this year. Last week was a busy one for me, and a few of my writing responsibilities slipped my mind. With that out of the way, we can finally start last month’s This Month in Gaming for April 2013!
Early in April, gamers were given the news that longtime game developer and publisher LucasArts was closing its doors for good. While heartbreaking in its own right, it didn’t necessarily come as a surprise to those of us who have followed LucasArts over the past several years. The publisher had a knack for starting projects that would never come to see the light of day. Couple that with a lack of vision and direction for the company because of so many changes in upper-management and it’s easy to see how the financial instability that had plagued the company for the past several years, eventually became its downfall. It wasn’t a good start to the month.
Microsoft Prepares to Unveil Next Console
Until recently, Microsoft had been pretty mum regarding a possible reveal date for its next home console. Mark your calendars for May 21, ladies and gentle-toads, because that is the day that Microsoft is going to try and convince you that it has more to offer than Nintendo and Sony. While the reveal of the Microsoft console is interesting enough in and of itself, the thing I’ll be watching for is how Microsoft addresses the controversies it has been mired in for the last couple of months. Rumors about an always-online Microsoft console have been circulating for some time, but the rhetoric around that rumor ramped up when, now former, Microsoft Creative Director Adam Orth had an outburst on Twitter, essentially telling people worried about the possibility of an always-online Nextbox to piss off. Microsoft can’t afford to have a bad E3. In order to have a good E3, they need to polish off their public image, and that means using the reveal on May 21 to directly address some of the more unsavory rumors that have been going around. They can’t afford to spend their E3 press conference talking about things like always-online.
Nintendo Continues to Confuse
Nintendo hasn’t been doing very well since the tail-end of last year. The Wii U hasn’t sold well at all. In fact, in February and March, the Wii outsold the Wii U in the United States. Nintendo hasn’t been hitting monthly sale projections and their quarterlies are looking even more dismal. It has a lot of people worried, myself included, who would like nothing more than to see a second Golden Age for Nintendo. At the end of April, Nintendo pulled a fast one on those of working in the game press when it announced that it wouldn’t be holding an E3 press conference. Nintendo wanted to be clear: They would be at E3, but they would be hosting two smaller events in lieu of a large press conference. One event would be an invitation-only affair for the press, and the other event a small pavilion where they would—presumably—showcase some games. This announcement dumbfounded many people in the industry, who saw E3 as Nintendo’s only shot to reinvigorate what little consumer-base it had by showcasing some of the games planned to release later this year, games that the console desperately needs. Say what you want about the relevance of E3. It remains the single most popular and widely covered event dedicated solely to videogames that the industry has. It’s where consumer-bases are built and maintained, which is why it is important for Nintendo to really come out in force… or why it was important.
Article by Jon Hamlin--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Jon Hamlin is a freelance game journalist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He plays too much Mass Effect 3 multiplayer and enjoys a good glass of wine. Occasionally, he can be found commanding his legion of doom on Xbox Live as GeniusPantsPhD. Follow him on Twitter @WordsmithJon, or email him at email@example.com. All Articles by Jon.