December 2007

On Mac OSX, It Installs Internet Explorer, And On Linux, It Forces You To Vote Republican

Well, that’s an unfortunate patch bug.

CCP’s latest major patch to the EVE-Online client, Trinity, comes with an optional DX9-enhanced graphics patch that dramatically improves the visual quality of the in-game graphics through remade models, textures, and HDR. It also has an unfortunate bug: the incredibly stupid choice of boot.ini as a game configuration file, coupled with an errant extra backslash in the installer configuration. The result is that anyone who installs the enhanced graphics patch overwrites the windows XP c:\boot.ini file with the EVE client configuration file, bricking the machine on the next boot. Discussion in a couple of forums threads is becoming understandably heated.

Broken Press

N’Gai Croal at Newsweek excoriates everyone involved in the Gerstmann/CNet drama.

The reality is this: publishers generally hold the enthusiast press in utter contempt, and they have for a long time. This disdain began as scorn for the enthusiast media’s roots in videogame fandom, rather than traditional journalism from “respectable” publications, but it has since metastasized into a veiled but nonetheless seething anger over the advent of the Internet and with it the rise of fan sites, forums and blogs over which publishers can exert little pressure, let alone control. The contempt emanating from the publishing community, by the way, is not limited to the enthusiast press. In our view, it extends to publicists, whom certain executives believe can and should be able to dictate the nature of their coverage and secure review scores of a certain magnitude. It even extends to their own developers, for whom Metacritic and Game Rankings scores can dangle as precipitously as the sword of Damocles, as if these executives were incapable of determining for themselves the quality of their games and taking action accordingly. This even though, ironically, said executives have little respect for any individual reviewer whose score, when aggregated with those of his fellows, makes up the rankings they employ so assiduously.

And just in case you were unsure Croal was right, Joystiq, thanks to the magic of caching, maps out the differences between the pre- and post- firing versions of the Kane and Lynch review.

Gaming Industry Blows Up

While I was at a party frightening everyone to the core with my Rock Band-fueled vocal rendition of “Flirting With Disaster”, apparently forces were in motion.

Item: EA is no longer the biggest dog in the playground. It looks like Activision and Vivendi-Universal Games’ management has merged, and taken Blizzard’s name, because, well, hey, wouldn’t you? No idea what impact this will have on, well, anything. Heck, EA still hasn’t fully digested Bioware/Pandemic, and now this. Some days I’m glad my soul is kept in a Korean jar safely away from all this buyout mania.

Item: Gaming journalism blows up. Apparently Jeff Gerstmann was fired for Reviewing While Honest. Call it Kanegate. Or Lynchgate. Or Kaneandlynchgate. Depending on how you remix the Gamespot website ads! What may (or may not!) be a Gamespot editor leaks all about it to Valleywag and in response, 1UP pickets Gamespot. I’m pretty sure I can’t make any of this up, which means I don’t have a future in corporate gaming reviews.

And y’all damn sure know what I mean. Whop-bop-a-loo-bop.