Monday, July 11, 2005

Frogging

Though work continues on a secret project, I've managed to set aside some time for this blog, my own little corner of the internet. Doing so wasn't easy, since

A) I really don't have a lot of free time at the moment.

and

B) Everybody knows the internet is a giant, circular hut.

There is somewhat of a sordid and tumultous history between gamers, Peter Molyneaux and his overzealous action-RPG, Fable. A twisted love triangle built upon broken promises and doomed peasant villages, the relationship between Peter, his creation and those that purchased it became even more strained this week, particularly if you were part of the group that anxiously awaited the arrival of Fable ever since it's Project Ego days. By now, everybody knows that the game simply failed to deliver on its life altering ambitions, though that was only the beginning of the saga.


Several months ago, Microsoft revealed that Fable would be ported to the PC, under the new moniker Fable: The Lost Chapters. Now, these chapters weren't so much lost as they were scrapped in order to finish Fable on time. New quests, new weapons, new areas and new hairstyles would be included in this definitive version of Molyneaux's epic, things that Xbox owners would simply have to miss out on. This, despite the fact that they had been the original supporters and had been waiting the longest in the first place.

Fast-forward to this week and you'll be intrigued to note that Microsoft is porting Fable: The Lost Chapters to the Xbox. That's right, the game has gone from Xbox exclusive, to completed PC version and then back to Xbox game. Now, the issues regarding Xbox owners being the last to receive the updated version of Fable (and they have to pay $20 for it, natch) are all worth discussing, but I'd like to point out something that could easily become an alarming trend.

Leap-frog porting.

"Well, it looks like I won't be taking that trip to the exotic island paradise of Guam this year."

"What are you talking about?"

"I've been working for Evil Axis Games for ten years, and this has been the most pathetic bonus I've ever received. I guess Flamin' Racing 2006 didn't sell all that well."

"Unfortunately, there's not much we can do about that. We released on every platform and advertised the hell out of it."

"Yeah, I know. If only...there was a way we could easily double sales. Like...if everybody bought the same game...twice."

"Oh, dream on. Nobody would buy the same game twice. There would have to be some sort of incentive."

"Like an extra car or something. But we couldn't release two versions on the same platform..."

"People would catch on to our mantra of corporate greed if we did that."

"I was going to say it wouldn't be the right thing to do, but that one works too."

"Wait. Wait. I just had this idea."

"How we could sell the same game twice?"

"No, about these singing ice-cream cones. Kids would love them!"

"Uh..."

"Wait! I just had this other idea too! About selling the same game twice?"

"Yes?"

"It's easy. First, we bring out the PS2 version. We wait until people buy that one. Then, we port it over to Xbox, only we include a new track and a new car."

"And custom soundtracks?"

"What are you trying to do, bankrupt us? No, just a new track and a new car. We wait for people to buy that one...uh, we call it the Director's Cut."

"And then what?"

"We port the Director's Cut back to the PS2! It costs us almost nothing and people buy it!"

"And then we add another track and another car and port it back to the Xbox?"

"You mean like...a director's cut of the director's cut?"

"Exactly! CHA-CHING!"

"Why would a director cut his own cut?"

"He could change his mind, you know? We could call it the Director's Other, Even Better Cut."

"Guam, here we come!"

1 Comments:

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7:54 PM  

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