Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
XBox (Games)

Microsoft 'Refocusing on Fun', Alien Hominid Comes to XBLA 33

Posted by Zonk
from the what-were-they-focusing-on-before dept.
C&VG offers up some news on Microsoft's next-gen games platform today. Most interesting are comments from Peter Moore indicating the company will be refocusing on fun, inspired by the financial and mass-market success of Nintendo's Wii. Says Moore "From a first-party point of view, it's not just about E-rated games, it's going to be about the experience that, quite frankly, Nintendo has done a tremendous job in capturing, in bringing back fun - if you will - to the gaming platforms." He's quick to point out that this is something they've had on the back burner for some time, and they intend to aim for 'experiential' games. The article wonders out loud, questioning whether this means Microsoft is planning to roll out a motion-sensing controller, or just more E and T rated games? Additionally, CVG points out that this week's Xbox Live Arcade release is The Behemoth's Alien Hominid . It's a tremendous side-scrolling 2d shooter, and well worth checking out.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Microsoft 'Refocusing on Fun', Alien Hominid Comes to XBLA

Comments Filter:
  • Wild Limb (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Monday February 26, 2007 @11:38AM (#18154152)
    I'm going to go out on a wild-limb and assume that what Microsoft means is they're re-allocating their development money and focusing on less graphically intensive games. As a (rough) estimate Halo 3 will probably end up costing Microsoft $20 Million to develop, this means that they could probably develop 5 to 20 simple 'fun' games for the same cost as one big budget game. From a business perspective this makes a lot of sense because the risk per game is much smaller and you're far more likely to find a couple of games that really connect with consumers when you develop 20 games rather than 1.
    • Not that the price will go down... sigh.
      • by Canthros (5769)
        You might be surprised. I think Alien Hominid debuted at $20 on the Gamecube when it was published a couple years ago. (Granted, it was originally developed as a Flash game, so the overhead of the GCN port was probably pretty low.)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ThinkWeak (958195)
      As a (rough) estimate Halo 3 will probably end up costing Microsoft $20 Million to develop, this means that they could probably develop 5 to 20 simple 'fun' games for the same cost as one big budget game. From a business perspective this makes a lot of sense because the risk per game is much smaller and you're far more likely to find a couple of games that really connect with consumers when you develop 20 games rather than 1.

      Also something to note, if you make a critically acclaimed game that fans cannot
      • If you're playing a game for hours, days, months on end - you're not exactly buying other games in that time-frame. Well, in theory you're not.

        Explain Animal Crossing then. A player can beat it in two months [pineight.com], but you have to play it for a year to finish some of the optional objectives (golden rod, golden net). Yet Nintendo still sells other games. Does Viva Piñata also include calendar-based objectives?

      • I used to think that too-

        But the publishers WANT you to hang onto the game for a while, just so you don't sell it back...creating lost sales from the used market.

        That's why multiplay is so important- longevity.
    • Considering that Halo 2's release was the highest grossing release in entertainment history, it's probably safe to assume that MS don't really mind putting up that $20 million to develop it. They're the platform holder, the game is developed and published by them... I imagine you're talking about at least a 20% profit off each sale. Assuming a 20% profit per unit, with $60 US per unit, then MS need to sell 1,700,000 to break even. Halo 2 sold 2.4 million in 24 hours, and has moved 9.2 million copies worldwi
  • So it's not like they've been producing only FPS games this entire time, and Viva Pinata is fun as hell.
  • Solid, well designed, gameplay is better than "rich graphics" and a "M for Mature" rating?

    Not that you can't have all of the above, but the latter can't substiture for the former. Very interesting that the "lower end" Wii doing so well by comparison.

    • Solid, well designed, gameplay is better than "rich graphics" and a "M for Mature" rating?

      That's not what they said! They're focusing on "fun". When game designers try to make "fun" we get games like Fusion Frenzy, Mario Party, Eyetoy and Buzz - stuff you'll probably enjoy if you're drunk at a party* but not exactly games for people who appreciate and enjoy quality gameplay.

      *which is fine, but I'd much rather be at a spin-the-bottle party than a Mario Party party...
  • Define fun (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Itchyeyes (908311) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:03PM (#18155642) Homepage
    My problem with this is that the industry usually defines fun as party games or mini games. There's this delusion that for a game to be fun, it must be simple. A game can be both fun and deep. It's not an either/or situation. What's more, people assume that there is no value in a game that is not "fun". I would not qualify games like World of Warcraft, Shadow of the Colossus, and Oblivion as "fun". However, there is value in the kind of experience they offer. Think of the film industry as an analogy. A movie can be fun and still be deeper than your typical Will Farrel comedy. Likewise, movies like Schindler's List and Hotel Rwanda are not fun in any way. That does not make them bad movies or the experience they offer worthless.
    • by marcybots (473417)
      Good point, I dont consider Oblivion a "fun" game either, its boring as watching paint dry mate! I actually started playing Final Fantasy IV while waiting for day to change to night and eventually just turned the game off. Oh yeah, World of warcraft isnt fun either (its a chat room with graphics) ....for fun games see Gears of War, Rainbow Six Vegas co-op, Super Mario World, Mario Kart, Warioware, Resident Evil 4, Final Fantasy V, Castlevania Symphony of the night, Super Monkey ball (monkey target).
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by CrashPoint (564165)

        Oh yeah, World of warcraft isnt fun either (its a chat room with graphics)

        In the same sense that your house is a cave with windows, yes.

      • by mingot (665080)
        I actually started playing Final Fantasy IV while waiting for day to change to night and eventually just turned the game off.

        Um, next time try using the 'wait' command. Hit the back button. It'll go by quicker than the boot screens for FF IV.
  • by Kazzahdrane (882423) on Monday February 26, 2007 @01:42PM (#18156288)
    Alien Hominid will be my first XBLA purchase since getting my 360 about 5 weeks ago. My flatmate bought Geometry Wars, which is very good, but I can see myself downloading a lot more games through the service in the coming weeks and months. C:SotN, Castle Crashers (the new 4-player co-op game by the Alien Hominid team), Worms HD (Worms + Xbox Live = instant fun). I heard even one of the original TMNT games is coming the Arcade, which I may well pick up for a fair price.
    • by GrayCalx (597428)
      Kazza, download Heavy Weapon and give it a try. Its a silly, sidescrolling shooter game, similar to Geometry Wars. Its quick, its cheap, and I've had a great time playing it.

      Personally the best part of these kinds of games is that my wife enjoys playing them with me. Give her a game like GoW and her character ends up staring at the ceiling performing some kind of extremely complex River Dance as my wife complains how her controller is "broken."
      • Since I still have a sealed 2100 points card that I bought weeks ago, consider your advice taken, sir - I'll at the very least try the demo (I LOVE that all the XBLA games have trials, unlike the Wii's Virtual Console). It's nice that MS (and other devs) take the time to at least not just emulate the original game and add Achievements, scoreboards etc.
  • I hope that by fun they don't mean "party games". The Wii has all I can take right now in that department.
  • XBox Live Arcade (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MMaestro (585010) on Monday February 26, 2007 @04:58PM (#18159244)
    He's quick to point out that this is something they've had on the back burner for some time, and they intend to aim for 'experiential' games.

    Wasn't the one of the more advertised facts about Xbox Live Arcade was that developers could make experimental games at little/no risk? (Remember Geometry Wars?)

    • by OoSync (444928)
      Remember Geometry Wars?

      Except Geometry Wars was done by an experienced game developer while working on one of the Project Gotham Racing games. My understanding is that the game (sans some effects) is also availble as an ulockable extra in one of the XBox versions.

  • That game has a striking, striking resemblance to Metal Slug. I hope slashdotters remember that game (Hell, MS6 came out recently).

    http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=62433052119 56602090&q=Metal+Slug [google.ca]

    The game looks nice, I suppose it plays nice too, but honestly: when the hell is Contra III: Alien Wars coming? We've had too many games without manly haircuts.

    I think Ikaruga and Castlevania are going to redeem XBLA.

FORTRAN rots the brain. -- John McQuillin

Working...