Game Ranter Banter: 38 Layoffs, Gears of War: Judgment, & E3 2012

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Game Ranter Banter: 38 Layoffs, Gears of War Judgement, and E3 2012

Game Ranter Banter Most of the Game Rant writers agree - that Dishonored trailer looks awesome, and we're looking forward to (hopefully) playing the game at E3 next week. But we know what you're really looking forward to - the Game Ranter Banter. Oh, and all those game announcements, I guess. This week, five of our writers discuss the 38 Studios layoffs, the newly announced Gears of War: Judgment, Dead Space 3 coop, Ubisoft's E3 press conference and why one writer can't wait for next generation. Let's begin!

Curt Schilling’s Day of Reckoning (By Brian Sipple)

Curt Schilling 38 Studios Layoffs Curt Schilling is no stranger to adversity. On a blustery Bronx night in October of 2004, he pitched seven innings against the New York Yankees on a badly injured, bleeding right ankle to carry his Boston Red Sox to a must-win victory in Game 6 of the ALCS. They’d go on to win the World Series that year — and one of Schilling’s “bloody socks” (he’d open up the wound again pitching in the World Series) now rests in the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s sad, then, that his 38 Studios doesn’t seem bound for the same glory. Unlike the frailties of the human body, the developer’s downfall could have been avoided — but 38 became way too ambitious way too fast. Instead of testing the waters as a new developer, Schilling forged a $75 million dollar loan on the mirage of instant success. He put all his eggs in one basket, named it Kingdoms of Amalur, and hoped that it would sell 3 million copies in the face of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim just so the company could break even and not have to lay off their entire staff in lieu of bankruptcy. Only then could the MMO Project Copernicus be funded — likely with another loan. Could it have worked? Maybe. But I’m pretty sure I’ve seen smarter business plans orchestrated on The Celebrity Apprentice. And while I’d bet Schilling feels terrible about it, his recklessness can’t be understated: This time, the consequences go beyond winners of and losers of a game. This time, he’s not the only one bleeding.

Have We Met Before? (By Anthony Taormina)

Micorosft E3 Press Banter Here we are, gearing up for yet another onslaught of E3 press conferences, putting the final touches on our list of what is confirmed and what is rumored to be appearing at each of the big three's festivities, and once again I am struck by the feeling of déjà vu, especially towards Microsoft's Press Conference. While the event promises to be an exciting one, with new looks at Halo 4 and Gears of War: Judgment, it all feels eerily similar to last year's Press Briefing. Microsoft, and to a greater extent, Sony, like to claim that we are not in need of a new console generation, but when they show us the current-gen games to get excited about it's all old hat. It's games we've seen before, several times in fact. I'm glad this year is hopefully the last for Xbox 360 and PS3, because not just their age, but also the age of their products is starting to show.

Have No Fears, Because Here's More Gears (By Riley Little)

Gears of War Judgment Banter Gears of War: Judgment is out of the bag, thanks to Game Informer featuring the title on the cover of their July issue, and now we just have to sit and wait for the first trailer. Damon Baird and Augustus Cole will be making a return in what many speculate is a prequel to the original Gears of War, and we'll finally get to see what the two were doing prior to the events in the main trilogy. Cole and Baird are two of the most entertaining characters from the series, so it's fitting that they'll be getting their own game. Since Marcus and Dom didn't know the duo prior to Gears 1, it's possible the game may not include them, at least not together. Still, with the aid of Bulletstorm's People Can Fly, I'm anxious to see more on the E3's show floor next week.

It's a Household Name, Regardless of Pronunciation (By Andrew Dyce)

Ubisoft E3 Games Banter Going into yet another E3, I can't help but feel most excited for the Ubisoft press conference, which surprises me for more than a few reasons. Once thought of as a French/Canadian company that produced largely military titles and platformers, there's no question that they've now come into their own. With Far Cry 3 set to impress based largely on open-ended gameplay and compelling characters, and Assassin's Creed 3 bringing new levels of maturity and national politics to the games medium, Ubisoft might just be the most grown up developer in LA this week. And with Rayman: Legends and a possible Splinter Cell 6 showing as well, a nice dose of nostalgia is also on the way. If Beyond Good & Evil 2 and what might be a new Prince of Persia are also announced, the studio could, and should, win E3 2012. Even if they don't the next few years look very good for a studio that continues to raise the bar.

Two's A Crowd (By Anthony Molé)

Dead Space 3 Coop Banter I usually have no problem with developers trying to make their games more "accessible," even with franchises I love. But I have my breaking point, and the Dead Space 3 coop rumors are doing nothing but make me worried. Not every game needs a coop element. Developers seem to think every game needs to have multiplayer and coop these days, leaving us gamers with the same wave-based survival mode and 5v5 multiplayer. From the leaked Dead Space 3 screenshots, it looks like Visceral's next game is going to have a coop campaign. Great, I've already played a bunch of coop campaigns, I don't need to do it again in Dead Space. Demon's Souls took the familiar coop mode and put a twist on it, creating one of the most innovative multiplayer experiences this generation. Dead Space 2 added an unbalanced 5v5 multiplayer mode. Dead Space 3 is probably going to add a generic coop campaign. If you want to add coop, do something different. Sure, the coop may surprise us - and I'm hoping it does - but there isn't much of a precedent so support that.


Game Ranter BanterThat's all for this week's Game Ranter Banter. As always, let us know what you think of this week's news in the comments, or on Twitter @GameRant and and if you have specific topics you'd like any of the team to cover, don't hesitate to ask!

TAGS: 38 Studios, Dead Space, Dead Space 3, E3 2012, Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Game Ranter Banter, Gears of War Judgment, Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning, Microsoft, Sony, Visceral Games

  • jwalka

    im sorry but since when did the current gen consoles show that they’re ‘getting old’ when we have seen amazing visuals in games like bf3, crysis 2 and soon to be released games like bioshock infinite, far cry 3, hitman, tomb raider, aliens etc ? if anything i’m looking forward ot the last batch of the current generations releases b/c it will mean dev’s are gonna drain every bit of power out of the engines to produce amazing stuff.

    there is a good chance that most of the early gen3 console games are gonna look really similar to the current gen games b/c studios have to get used to the immense power they have hold of and have to slowly lead into ‘realistic’ and bigger games. simply saying ‘this generations games look s*** give me something new’ is an ignorant comment b/c a true gaming enthusiast will appreciate all games, no matter how pretty they look (it’s what separates the kids from the men) :)

    i really feel sorry for 38 games and big huge b/c they really had potential to blow elder out of the water (i hate that mess with a passion and welcome any RPG that actually has innovation in it with open arms). but just like you said, he didn’t think everything through properly, plus the s*** state didnt cut them any slack :( i hope the team doesn’t stay unemployed for to long b/c they’re really talent folk and i’m sure if given the chance they could show that stupid business planners don’tt equal to a stupid dev team 😉

  • Matt

    “I’m glad this year is hopefully the last for Xbox 360 and PS3, because not just their age, but also the age of their products is starting to show.”

    I completely disagree with you. You seem to think that next-gen consoles will bring new gameplay. That’s not it at all. Next-gen consoles will mainly bring better graphics. With current technology, there’s not a whole devs can’t do with new consoles that they can’t already do with current-gen consoles, graphics aside. I’m totally fine with today’s graphics. Sure, better graphics would be nice, but I don’t want to shell out $700 for them. My point is, devs can innovate just as much now as they will be able to with next-gen consoles.

    • jwalka

      exactly what i said, visuals dont mean anything if the game itself is just the same bs as the game before it. there has been a massive decline in innovation in recent years, heck i would go so far as to say this whole generation (console wise) has been pretty boring, the original xbox and ps2 where the days of new and innovative gaming, now all we get are sequels and prequels to popular names (similar to movies in fact). visuals and sound dont mean jack unless the game is different (at least to those of us look beyond said features).

  • Bret

    I would give anything if a console version of the infinity blade games was announced at E3. Perhaps one that utalizes kinect?!