To The Editor: After listening to half of the review of Clive Barker's Jericho (the reviewer was too nauseating to listen to until the end), I can honestly say that although your game reviewer is meant to be taken as a parody, it's not funny, witty or has a moecule of intellect. The reviews of games are all negative. That would be fine coming from a reviewer that knew something about video games but sadly yours does not. I would rather play the worst video game ever created (according to your narrow minded reviewer, that's all of them) than listen to some idiot just trying to make a name for themselves.
In response to "Buy, Sell or Trade" from The Escapist Forum: that was pretty interesting stuff, see I'm one of those comes in the store raving about a game recommend kind guys who used to constantly buy useds and trade in old games at my local independent [till it got bought out] so ii gotta a little place in my heart for independents, plus i hate the saturation of the market ideology of the modern gaming industry, more money less ethics eh? but i guess as EA tell us you gotta "challenge everything" and keep your store ticking, good luck surviving the minefield of staying in the green dude.
In response to "Life After Shelf Death" from The Escapist Forum: I can understand that developers don't earn anything from titles rejected to life beyond the shelf, but what about the user, the one who actually plays the games? This irritates me somewhat as I have been like so many others penniless and in dire need of a new gaming fix, which is where the bargain bins or second user sections come in, I remember an argument that was coming about where developers were miffed that second user sales were doing quite well and they weren't getting their greedy mitts on the dough (cough EA cough) but hang on, they got their revenue from selling the game once, why the hell do they need another cut of the sale?
In response to "Innovation by Carrot" from The Escapist Forum: Great article. Although, having worked on a licensed game, I don't think it's just a matter of creative freedom that makes those "chore" projects so tedious and painful. Part of the issue is that with a license, many people outside of the studio have a very significant say in the game. If you're making a game based on a movie based on a comic book license, you're at the mercy of the movie people and the comic book people (at least that's how our license worked - you pay to use their brand, subject to their review). And because those outsiders aren't usually around the studio, it leads to bad communication and very slow and rare review/revise cycles. This leads to horrific feature creep and design by committee, which leads to a horrible game, and the studio ends up looking bad for it.
There are many things the studio could potentially do. Such as, make sure those things don't happen by negotiating a more reasonable contract (maybe negotiate design "lockdowns" to avoid feature creep). So while I agree with your central thesis, I just wanted to point out that a studio's first "chore" project should not be taken lightly - it's not just taking out the garbage. There is very much a right way and a wrong way to do it.