EpicBattleCry - Skirmish 230: Taco Bell’s Breakfast Menu

On this ultra realistic edition of EBC we talk about the controversial acquisition of Oculus by Facebook and how it impact the Kickstarter community. Plus, what the lack of a Watch Dogs demo really means, Square Enix rethinks its strategy, Alien: Isolation gets dated and much, much more on this edition of gaming’s most brutal video podcast!

 

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TOPIC: CAUSING A RIFT - After the dust has settled and we’ve had time to comprehend the sale of Oculus to Facebook, Team EBC evaluates how the transaction was handled while discussing the good, the bad and the ugly outcomes we can expect. What does this mean for gaming? What does this mean for the future of VR? What questions or concerns are most relevant at this time? We strap on our high-tech goggles and glance into the future!

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Averagus 

I don't know how EA can take an 'Arkham' approach with Star Wars. If they just mean making a series of high quality games, I'm obviously down with that but with the Star Wars franchise it is a little more complicated. The Star Wars franchise is one that can support multiple genres. For my part, I've always been a big fan of the Rogue Squadron series but others love the KotOR series, Battlefront and the Jedi Knight series. All share a direct relationship with the universe but are distinct gaming genres.

As DK said, the strength of the Arkham games has been their success in making the player feel like Batman. With Star Wars, it depends totally on what aspect of Star Wars the player is interested in. A smuggling scoundrel? A rebel fighter pilot? An imperial officer? A Sith lord? A Jedi? There is a lot to go with but I'm confident we'll get a few good games if EA spreads the license around to plenty of studios and lets the ideas fly.

[insert anti-EA message]

Great shows as always guys!

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Comment by Josh Schrier on April 3, 2014 at 10:41am

Do you actually talk about Taco Bell's breakfast menu? I've been going back and forth with myself about whether to try it.......I need to know............WAFFLE TACO...............I'll take one of everything please.

Comment by bloodaxe on April 3, 2014 at 11:11am

well, if there is something on the menu called "waffle taco"...consider my mind blown. 

Comment by Ian - Alexander Arts on April 3, 2014 at 4:20pm

Sometimes I feel a bit offended when Japanese companies talk about targeting things for Japanese gamers or American gamers. Sure, culture can influence people's opinions and so can language and translation, but a good game is a good game and a gamer is a gamer.

Bravely Default isn't popular in Japan because its Japanese focused, it's because it's well made - of course people from other countries will want to play it, too. A lot of the niche titles that are popular in Japan and not the US are just marketed badly or are just not that good in quality.

Imagine if Gearbox was complaining about Aliens Colonial Marines sales in Japan. They might give the same excuse, "We built this for an American audience, for fans of the Alien movies. It didn't sell well in Japan because we didn't target their preferences." That might be partially true, but the reason it didn't sell as well there is because it sucks! It sold more in the US because there are fans there who will buy anything with the Aliens name slapped on it. Just like they can sell terrible licensed Anime games in Japan.

Make good games, let people know about them, and they will buy them. Easier said than done, sure - but don't blame everything on culture differences!

Comment by Lance Latham on April 3, 2014 at 6:16pm

At first, I was very not pleased about Facebook buying oculus. the VR headset seemed like A very cool grassroots movement that garnered support of many enthusiastic gamers. I never saw Facebook as a gaming Space. But, I have since calmed down and see this is a great benefit for VR gaming. 

The one thing I do not understand at all is how the kickstarer backers can be upset with this? One of the main reasons that oculus was noticed by Facebook was that they had developed some prototypes using kickstarter money. So, the backers have only themselves to blame, if indeed there is any need for blame to be spread. There was never any mention for any monetary return on their investment. So, why get upset about that now? That is a ludicrous and very immature position. 

That said, I still don't think virtual reality Will be as widespread and mainstream as some people think. If the headsets are very comfortable and very easy to use while at the same time not causing everyone to vomit uncontrollably, there will be space in the marketplace. But, it may be the size of the Xbox section in my local store here: there, but rather small.

I do hope, however, that Facebook Will help keep costs down for the consumer which will force other players in the sandbox(Sony) to compete Price wise. I don't see myself getting an oculus since my PC is not very strong. I think the Morpheus is in my future. Also, with more people playing in the sandbox and creating amazing content for it, I don't think we will have another Kinect debacle.

Comment by Lance Latham on April 3, 2014 at 6:32pm

One more comment.

I agree with Brent. With their kicksstarter money, they would have reached their goal. I have no doubt about that. Oculus is made up of very talented and very passionate people. They would not have given up and they would have pressed forward until there commercial product was released. 

Now, they will just reach their commercial product more quickly and possibly, most likely, cheaper. This of course will in turn allow more people to buy these products which will lead to further development and further and better Iterations. For virtual-reality, this is a win.  The backers who are complaining can be those really awesome people who get to say "I liked them before they were cool." 

Comment by Aussie Legend on April 3, 2014 at 11:38pm

I agree with Tony on Watch dogs probably needing a sequel to reach the full potential they are claiming is on display here, and interestingly enough I liken the situation to Ubisoft's other big hitter Assassin's Creed. I expect that Watch Dogs will go the way of the first Assassin's Creed game as a game with large potential but certain aspects not living up to expectations, maybe a bit of redundant design and not being the refined experience we are expecting Watch Dogs to be. However, I also agree with Tony that they have the chance for the next Watch Dogs to have an Assassin's Creed 2 style leap in quality and finally reach that potential they laid out with the original project.

Whilst I think Watch Dogs will come out and sell well (it better with 3 years of marketing money up its sleeve) but I don't think it will live up to the lofty goals set by hardcore gamers or the lofty ambitions from Montreal team (or whoever they have working on this, all of Canada probably). I am massively cautious currently and will wait on impressions before diving in, but I do believe the game has the potential to be a great experience I'm just concerned that its first outing might not be the home run swing we may have initially thought it would be

Comment by Derto on April 4, 2014 at 5:49am

Could you please let DK finish his sentences next time? Sorry to be negative, but I could never really get his stance on Oculus and Facebook because he was constantly interrupted.

Comment by Micromaxima on April 4, 2014 at 8:26am

I didn't back the Oculus kickstarter project, but, I'm unhappy it was Facebook that now own the most promising VR tech. I agree that its probably a good thing for VR as a whole and I'll probably order a Rift, but I still think its a real shame that it didn't turn out somewhat differently.

Comment by MuttonChops on April 4, 2014 at 8:28am

My initial reaction to the news of Facebook's buy out of the Oculus Rift was: This has a much greater chance of seeing the light of day now. But I also thought Facebook is into this for $2 Billion large. They're gonna want to get that back as quickly as possible and start turning a profit, so is the quality of the final product going to suffer as a result?

I think part of what has Kickstarter Backers upset is that the development process from this point forward will likely disappear behind closed doors. Up until now they've enjoyed a great level of transparency in development and had access to the kits themselves. Having invested their money they were entitled to that much at least. Now that the Rift is in the Hands of Facebook I think that transparency will become less and the next hands-on availability will not be until the retail release.

I think Facebook could do much to allay the fears of backers by being very upfront and open with where they're taking the Oculus Rift moving forward.

Comment by Frank Tenpenny on April 4, 2014 at 8:54am

I still play Final Fantasy 6 and Chrono Trigger every few years. Back in the day, I bought Secret of Man and Chrono Trigger solely based on the fact that they were Squaresoft games. Squaresoft was the very first third party developer I paid attention to. To hear that they want to bring a strong focus back to their games makes me very happy. Now all they need to do is make a solid 16/32 bit JRPG title for PSN/Xbox Live.

Also, I don't think that Facebook is looking to create an ecosystem chalk full of advertising. I think the money will all be made in licensing just as Blu-Ray Association does. Do I think Facebook will integrate VR eventually? Of course. Do I think they are going to try to impose what the essence of Facebook is on the Oculus? Not a chance. I, unlike many other people, give Zuckerberg a lot of credit as a businessman. He essentially ripped off MySpace and turned into into a behemoth valued over 130 billion dollars. I truly think Zuckerberg & Co. see the future dividends in VR and saw the Oculus as the leader. So they are backing that horse in return for licensing and patent rights.

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