Posts Tagged ‘DirectX’

Alex St John – PC games run by micro transactions are the new wave of the future

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Alex St John, the former head of DirectX at Microsoft and now CEO of Wild Tangent has recently stated that gaming consoles will be dead by 2020 and that micro transactions are where it’s at.

“I think you’re looking at the last generation of game consoles, and I think it’s easy to defend that position,” he said while speaking at the Wedbush Morgan Securities annual Management Access Conference.

St John has always had an eye on the future, and a finger on what’s the next ‘hot topic’.  He believes that games will eventually shake themselves out into two distinct communities: One that enjoys a certain type and format of a game, with others enjoying another.  Could he possibly be alluding to ‘First Person Shooters’ vs. ‘MMO fantasy’ games?

From this split St John takes it a step further.  “I think the business model in ten years … It’s going to be microtransaction based. Microcurrency-based economies are just the most efficient way to maximize revenue. They work really well.”

In game advertising is a second shakeout from this split.  “It’s a great alternative payment type for kids who don’t have access to online currency and are huge game players. So, if you don’t have any way to take money from kids, then the only way to get kids to play is by advertisers marketing to them.”

St John sites and targets data based on the current upswing in global laptop sales.  “Kids especially need laptops due to the evolving type of homework and in-classroom work being assigned at schools. Gaming devices are usually confiscated at school, but “no one’s going to take [the kid's] laptop away from him because they need that for their homework.”  This lends itself perfectly to a community driven, gaming society specifically targeting micro transaction and advertising models.

“Laptops are fabulous gaming devices with Wii-like graphics, instantly tied to community, 100 per cent online and a vast volume of free play for kids who don’t have credit cards.”

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Funcom puts the F back in effed up

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Hyboria may look hotter than hell from the screenshots and trailers, but not so with client downloaders. It seems as though the early access offer that allow(ed) players to start playing the new offering on May 17 has sold out, leaving a LOT of fanboys and girls screaming bloody murder. Funcom sites that their servers couldn’t any more peeps downloading the 14GB client. Let me say that again, 14 effing GB?!?! Not being prepared for a release is just bad business. An easy fix would have been to make a patch available whereby users could simply patch the beta version they’d been testing and bring it up to the release version. Instead, users are forced to uninstall the beta and then re-download the 14GB access client again. Ouch.

To add insult to injury, plenty of peeps experienced the “ERROR: Filesize incorrect” message when installing the game. WTF? Granted this can be fixed, but not exactly what I’d call a nice Welcome doormat. To fix the error, you’ll need to go into the AoC directory, find and run the SimpleConfig.exe program, click on “Verify/Repair” button, check the repair checkbox, and start the verification. This repair checker will then download the correct version of the corrupted files. As if I haven’t downloaded enough already?

Ok, so we’ve now spent 22,000 hours downloading a corrupt 14GB client, patched the what should have been correct files in the first place, and are ready to fire up some juicy blood spilling action. Hold the phone boss, we’ve got a few MORE of funcoms eff ups to fix. You’re probably going to launch the game and get nothing more than a black screen now. Be sure to check if you have anything between your teeth with this now very expensive mirror you’re sitting in front of.

To fix the black screen of WTF, head back to ye old SimpleConfig.exe, and give ‘er a run. Now look for the graphics tab and select DirectX 9 (your default may or may not be DirectX10). Restart AoC. If this still doesn’t work, rinse and repeat the above steps, but now set the resolution to something lower than your standard screen rez. Fear not, you’ll be able to change these settings in game mode once you’ve managed to raise Conan from the black screen of WTF.

I wish that I could say after funcom’s last release, Anarchy Online, that they’ve learned a thing or two. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem so. With such a sweet looking game, let’s hope that funcom can fix the flubs and bring on the fury!