To the Editor: I have to agree the simply put statement offered by vicious: "Everyone wants to play Halo and review Halo, but Dora was made for 4-year-olds. Unless you can watch a 4-year-old play, maybe you shouldn't be reviewing the game."
I agree simply because I know it to be true. My girlfriend is the lead preschool teacher of the preschool room of a daycare, that means each fall the children she gets are 4 years old. You would not BELIEVE the power the Dora PC games have over these children! They love it, they're learning, and game reviewers would hate these games ... but the Penny Arcade defense works well here: They're not for you.
- Will A. Carpenter
To the Editor: I remember when I first encountered your gaming editorial; I happened to click through from some random link at the bottom of a wikipedia page and ended up at an article at your site. Normally I would have just scanned by and quickly thereafter clicked close on the window never to see that website again. However at the time your distinctive format which I could best describe as appearing like a stylistic magazine made me pause. I took the time to look around at some previous issues and soon discovered how the work on The Escapist differed from other game news sites, in the sense that it was in fact not just news, but a refreshing discussion and analysis of the culture surrounding the industry.
I was hooked and have been coming back every issue. There have now been several issues where that old format that drew me in has vanished. It seems your page now ranks among the many others out there with a similar cookie cutter simple text layout, obviously designed for easy updates. I feel like the feeling of a new 'issue' being important has gone, and the colorful backdrops which really set the mood for your pieces have taken with them a lot of the interest generation and attention retention which they provided before.
I enjoy your articles, and am glad to see something different in a saturated market, however morn over the loss of what helped set you apart.
- Bryan McConkey
To the Editor: Have just finished reading 'The Game at the End of the Bar' feature by Kyle Orland. As a member of the Out-of-Home leisure entertainment sector with writing credits in most of the trade publications (including RePlay), I am - as you would expect - am surprised by the doom-and-gloom feature compiled by Mr. Orland.
It has been easy to just say "hey arcade is dead ... oh and there is some small stuff still going" - but as this 'small stuff' has been going since 1998 and that this stuff has been steadily growing, then it is obvious that an industry has continued. Just for the records, Namco, Sega, Konami and Taito finical reports this year all showed that their amusement business had grown while their consumer business showed signs of slowing and levelling (partly blamed on intense R&D on new platforms).
From Japanese and European observation amusement has exceeded expectations, and America is now beginning to see a growth from a period of stagnation. Products such as Raw Thrill's 'Fast and Furious' or Global VR's 'EA SPORTS NASCAR' offer great sales potential. Arcade is vital to consumer as we see with 'Tekken 6' (launched first in arcade) and 'Virtua Fighter 5' (launched first in arcade) being main stay of Xbox and PS3 release schedules. Nintendo, EA, Valve, UbiSoft and other investing in amusement projects to maximise brand recognition (try and explain that as support a dead industry!)
Finally, please avoid throwing writers into the task of creating editorial that has no basis on reality - we are aware in the amusement scene that as the Next-Gen consoles see a slowing ion product spend that they will try and attack any possible competition to their revenue, and a increase in Out-of-Home playing is such a threat. Don't follow the crowd, but try and get some correct information from reputable sources (I would suggest a subscription to the excellent e-news service The Stinger Report to get a education in reality).
- Kevin Williams, Director, KWP Limited
In response to "Zero Punctuation: Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff" from The Escapist Forum: It's stuff like this that makes me glad that I have eye balls.