It is Friday and, while I have posts that I could put up today, I wanted to cover a few small items that popped up this week, if only to write them down for discussion later. As usual, just marking the dates with a bullet point post.
King of the Kill Dethroned
In a surprise move… to me at least… Daybreak announced that their battle royale game H1Z1: King of the Kill, already under pressure from hot new contenders like PlayerUnknown’s Battleground and Fortnite, decided that one of the things it needed to do was simplify the games name.
So they cut one side of the colon. The side with what I sort of considered the actual name.
The game is now simply called H1Z1.
Back where we started in 2015 when there was only one game with two modes and a single name. Only the other mode is now Just Survive.
Daybreak gives a several dubious sounding reasons for the change, ending on what was likely the real answer”
…having the word ‘Kill’ in the name of the game can be limiting with some global audiences…
I have to admit that I cannot, off the cuff, come up with a widely successful game with “Kill” in its name. Maybe they’re right.
Of course, none of that changes the fact that the two titles mentioned above are eat H1Z1’s lunch, that the game is still in Early Access after saying it would be released last year, and the planned console port is still just a wink and a promise.
Oculus Price Cut
Facebook announced a price cut for the Oculus Rift. The unit, which started off at $599 back in the day, will now be $399 and include the Touch controllers as well, at one time additional cost items.
That is a better price, though I am still in the boat of having to upgrade my PC first to be able to support their VR implementation. I am at the very minimum spec for the Oculus Rift, and we now how well minimum specs work out. And there still isn’t a must-have game or app out there to push me forward.
Facebook also announced the Oculus Go, priced at $199, but then didn’t say much about what the hell it actually was. According to the Game Informer post linked above, the Go unit is stand alone and comes with one controller and a lot of promises. So I am not sure what that even means. Can I watch movies on it?
Empires of Kunark Still Half Price
Back to Daybreak, where the Norrath titles are in the middle of their annual expansion run up. I’ll probably compare and contrast the pre-order offers at a later date.
But as part of that both EverQuest and EverQuest II put last year’s expansion up for sale at half off the original price for a limited time.
If you wanted to get all of the goodies that came with the more expensive packages… well… they are less expensive now, though you don’t get any price credit for having bought the base package it seems.
As usual, being a subscriber gets you an additional ten percent discount.
Lockboxes and Gambling
This has been going around due to a petition to the UK government to declare lockboxes a form of gambling. This seems silly to me as lockboxes do not meet the required win/lose scenario of gambling. You always get a prize. That it is not the prize you wanted is irrelevant and you don’t get to claim that virtual good have no value if you only mean the ones you don’t like.
Anyway, fellow bloggers have weighed in on this:
- Keen and Graev – Loot Boxes and Gambling
- In An Age – Gambling is Gambling
- The Nosy Gamer – Loot Boxes, Gambling, And The Butterfly Effect
The above doesn’t mean I like lockboxes, and I certainly don’t spend my money on them. I think they are a predatory device that plays to the same weaknesses that gambling does. They just aren’t gambling any more than Pokemon cards or the gumball machine at the grocery store. Chance alone does not make something gambling.
Meanwhile devs offer responses as to why they use lockboxes. Spoiler: They have families to feed, so are apparently absolved of any moral issues.
Meanwhile, Activision has patented a system to punish you for not paying to win, which can include buying lockboxes, so welcome to reality. Good luck playing for sympathy with that on your side.