Buy or Sell: NBA Live, Blezinski’s Epic Departure, PS Vita, Wii U Launch
Welcome back to another edition of Buy or Sell! Yes, we know, it’s been a while, but sometimes you gotta take a breather and regroup so here we are.
This week we have Todd Vote and Josh Boykin jumping into our hotseats, if you will, so let’s get right to it.
1. We’re only a few weeks away from the launch of the Nintendo Wii U. You are pumped up.
Josh Boykin: BUY - I’ll admit, I’ve been pretty swayed over time. I think there’s potential to get some pretty useful things done with the system, though I’m not necessarily saying it’s going to be the groundbreaking-salvation-of-Nintendo-and-console-gaming that a lot of others seem to be saying. Whether it flops or flies, I’m looking forward to seeing it on the market.
Todd Vote: SELL - Pumped is not exactly the word I would use. Curious is probably far more appropriate. I am curious to see if Nintendo can capture lightning in a bottle twice in a row. Can they hook the casual market they cornered with the Wii, and still capture that elusive hardcore gamer? It’s an interesting time for Nintendo, and I absolutely refuse to count them out on anything, but this is a risky venture for them, to be sure.
2. EA should just ditch the idea of bringing back NBA Live.
Josh Boykin: BUY - Do I think there should be some competition in the basketball market? For sure. But at this point EA needs to really measure whether or not they’re going to be able to make any Live title successful. The bar’s going to be set awful high, and I think they may even be better off coming up with a new title for their franchise if they do try to do NBA again. Otherwise, well…there are other things EA can do. They’ve got money, they can figure something out. Well, something other than how to release a basketball game, apparently.
Todd Vote: BUY - They sure do need to get their proverbial shit together, that is for sure. But there is money to be made on this property, if they can get it out the door for people to enjoy. But that hasn’t happened for two seasons now, so I would say, ditch NBA Live, and just work on making NBA Jam the best they possibly can. Sure it isn’t a true basketball experience, but can you imagine how much of the “Live” fanbase they have probably given up to the 2K franchise by now?
3. Halo 4 will be the highest grossing video game of the holiday season.
Josh Boykin: SELL - My money’s on Assassin’s Creed 3 this season, though maybe I’m playing some favorites. But I’ve heard plenty of non-hardcore gamers get excited about this fictional foray into early American History, and I’m hoping that with its multi-platform spread it’ll get an edge on Halo.
Todd Vote: SELL - Halo will sell like hotcakes, it always does. But we are forgetting a giant multi-platform monster that also releases this holiday season. Black-Ops II, I think, will outsell Halo just for the simple fact that it is going to be available to so many more people.
4. The departure of Cliff Blezinski will negatively affect the next Gears of War game.
Todd Vote: SELL - Not the next one, no. The new game that features Baird should for the most part be finished if it is still expected to launch for this years holidays. By that idea alone, Cliffy B leaving can’t have to much of an effect on the next Gears game. Beyond that, it is really hard to tell. Cliffy is just one person, and while he may be the father of the Gears series, he is most certainly not the only one to have a hand in it’s creation.
Josh Boykin: SELL - This one’s a tough one, but I look at it the same way I look at Apple post-Steve Jobs. New leadership gives the potential for new ideas, and even though the last ideas were good ideas, that doesn’t prevent the new ideas from being good ones, too. There will be some adjustment, there may be some growing pains, but inevitably it’s best for Cliff to be in a place where he’s happy, and maybe the company will be better for it, too.
5. BioWare also saw its founders leave the gaming industry; this concerns you.
Todd Vote: BUY - If the newer rumors that they have left the industry in part due to the negative backlash from the ME3 ending are true, then yes it is a damn shame. You don’t want to ever see someone chased away from something they love, and it would be a shame if that was the case. However, if the original story about them just not having as much passion for the industry are true, they are making the right choice for everyone involved.
Josh Boykin: SELL - Maybe new leadership will give me KoToR III. Because THAT’S ALL I WANT.
6. You find it ridiculous that third party developers don’t seem to be offering up much support for the PS Vita.
Todd Vote: SELL – You can’t really fault them if they don’t feel developing for the Vita will be fruitful. It is up to Sony to get them on board with the system, just as it was up to Nintendo to keep and bring in third party support for all of their systems. If they feel like Sony hasn’t given them a good enough reason to find developing for the Vita a profitable undertaking, who can fault them? The industry is still a business first and foremost, after all.
Josh Boykin: SELL - The Vita’s a powerful handheld, but nobody owns it. There aren’t any games out for it. I know that makes this a sort of chicken-or-egg question, but Sony needed to have a MUCH stronger launch for the system to sway people, particularly with its price tag. If I were a developer with limited dollars, I’d probably be a bit cautious about where I put my energies, too.
7. Gaming headsets are increasingly becoming one of the most important peripherals for you.
Todd Vote: BUY - I honestly don’t know what I would do without my Turtle Beach headset. Even if it is not the best headset on the market, it works great for me for watching movies late at night, or those late night gaming sessions. I love the idea of being in a game and being able to hear if someone is sneaking up on you with evil intentions.
Josh Boykin: BUY - Headsets are a big deal, and having controlled surround sound not only makes the game more immersible but it’s a lot better for anyone who lives with you and doesn’t have to put up with a whole bunch of explosions. All they have to deal with now is the sound of you “talking to yourself” when you cuss out your friends on LIVE or PSN.