January 18th, 2006

GamePolitics Poll: PC Gamer vs. Gold Farmers

PC Gamer, one of the most respected and widely-read magazines in the business, has taken a stand against so-called gold farmers. The magazine will no longer accept ads from companies engaged in the sale of MMO items.

Has PC Gamer gone too far? Or are they acting in the best interest of gamers?

Vote on this important issue in our latest poll. If you are reading GP via RSS feed, you'll need to jump over to the website in order to vote. The poll is on the right side.

PC Gamer Nixes Gold Farmer Ads

"Screw them."

Thus sayeth PC Gamer Editor-in-chief Greg Vederman, referring to the so-called gold farmers found in World of Warcraft and other MMO's. Vederman is quoted in yesterday's Next Generation as he explains the magazine's decision not to accept ads from companies like IGE and Power Leveling.

"For the record," Vederman continues, "PC Gamer's official stance on these types of companies is that they are despicable: not only do they brazenly break many MMOs' End-User License Agreements, but they all-too-often ruin legitimate players' fun. To put it mildly, we here at PCG are furious that these types of ads ever made it into the magazine... As a company, we have agreed to turn down what literally amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual ad revenue so that you, as a reader, can game easy knowing that we've got your back. I challenge my fellow PC gaming mags and websites to follow our path and to help us close down these bastard companies by attrition."

Decaf, Greg, Decaf...

On a personal note, GP doesn't quite get what Vederman is going on about. Yes, we know all about the farming controversy, but - don't be hatin' on me - I like it. Unlike many hardcore players, I can't submerse myself in an MMO 24x7 due to life's more pressing responsibilities. If I'm willing to part with my hard-earned money, what's so bad about buying a few hundred gold in WoW or selling off a high-level character when one's interest in the game begins to wane? How does that ruin anyone else's fun? Seems like a free market economy thing to me... Or am I warped?

All Quiet on the 25 to Life Front

25 to Life, Eidos' controversial cops-and-robbers shooter, slipped quietly into retail channels yesterday. So far, the expected backlash has been underwhelming. Aside from an article which appeared in the Salt Lake City Tribune last Friday, the launch of the game has not received a great deal of mainstream coverage.

That could change in a heartbeat, so we'll keep watching. Reviews, of course, will be a major factor. If, like, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, 25 to Life is a major hit, expect politicians and pundits to attack. On the other hand, if 25 to Life bombs like last year's dreary NARC, it will drop quickly from everyone's radar.

We've only found one review so far, and it wasn't pretty. IGN's Charles Onyett ripped 25 to Life a new one in a scorching 3 (out of 10) ranking. Here's what Onyett had to say, in part:

"For anyone looking for definitive cops vs. robbers style of action game, this isn't it... Freeze has to kill about 300 police officers... a third person action game with a terrible aiming mechanic and woefully inadequate controls... With a game so specifically focused on combat, it's amazing how limited your character is in terms of abilities. After playing through the game's first two levels, you've seen pretty much all there is to see... all the enemies in the game seem very, very confused... There's really no reason to buy this game. The single player is boring, arrestingly conventional and entirely forgettable... In the end, 25 to Life turns out to be a flimsy product that feels tacked together strictly for the purposes of producing a "gangster" game..."

Ouch!

Reviews like that will do more to stop 25 to Life in its tracks than any politician ever could.

Postal CEO Speaks Out on Synagogue Attack, Jack Thompson

A bloody rampage in a Moscow synagogue made headlines around the world last week. The incident was of particular interest to GamePolitics readers as the suspect was widely reported to be a devotee of Running With Scissors ultra-violent Postal series.

Yesterday, Running With Scissors CEO Vince Desi issued a statement on the synagogue attacks and addressed comments made by anti-game game activist Jack Thompson as well as various news outlets. Desi said, in part:

"In this case, the hypocrisy and irresponsible anti-game zealotry has never been more obvious. Mr. Thompson ignores the fact that the assailant was enthralled by a racist book that espouses anti-Semitic hatred... Despite our renegade image, we have ALWAYS maintained that violence belongs in videogames, NOT on the streets... We wish no ill upon anyone, not even Mr. Thompson, despite his despicable, self-serving campaign to spread misinformation and hateful invective about Running With Scissors and POSTAL, in particular and the entire videogame industry in general.

"...POSTAL is a social parody in the form of a videogame. If games turned players into murderers we'd be up to our necks in corpses. The independent POSTAL franchise has been a convenient scapegoat for misinformation and outright fabrications by 'journalists' and politicians throughout its history.

"...POSTAL makes no attempt to defend or justify violence committed by the player... As in the real world, the player may find weapons... And, just as in the real world, the choice of what to do with those weapons is yours. Misuse results in severe consequences, in POSTAL you're always held accountable. In our opinion that makes POSTAL 2 the most politically correct game ever made.
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