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Where have all the blockbusters gone?

From Friday's Globe and Mail

After years of steady sales increases, the Canadian video-game market has taken a step backward ...Read the full article

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  1. Edwin Elbert from South of Ottawa, Canada writes: It is truly amazing how the human imagination has become so limited. It's as if all the great works of fiction have all been written and all we do is repeat the same old ideas and then ended up with fake reality TV shows over run by badly written commercials.
    One of the best sellers was Left 4 Dead. It has no story line just running around shooting zombies. Video game violence porn. Boring.
    I guess it's what people want so they pay money for it. And so it goes.
  2. Bob Katayama from Canada writes: The main problem is greed and investors of companies want a quick return in their investment. Producing versions of tried and successful titles is one way to get a quick return. The creative control within many of thelarger companies is quickly disappearing. It's only the smaller independant companies that truly have the creative control and guts to go where no title has gone before.

    We can see this with many of the APPLE App Store titles. Unfortunately due to the structure of the App Stores offering requirements, most titles are either FREE or only 99 cents. This makes it very difficult for small firms to truly succeed financially.
  3. J Adam from Toronto, Canada writes: A few corrections:
    "According to NPD, the first three months of 2008 saw the release of best-selling additions to the Rock Band and Guitar Hero series, and Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii was launched then, too. "
    Guitar Hero 3 was released Oct 28, 2007 and the original Rock Band was released Nov 20, 2007.

    "This year, it has been quiet on the blockbuster front"
    Not really. Resident Evil 5 shipped over 1.5 million units in North American in March alone. Street Fighter 4, Kill Zone 2, Halo Wars and Pokemon Platinum were also blockbuster releases.

    The next quarter will be much worse year over year since no upcoming release will be able to make up GTA4, Mario Kart Wii and Metal Gear 4's sales in Q2 of '08.
  4. J Adam from Toronto, Canada writes: Left 4 Dead was innovative in purposely leaving out a story arc to simulate the campy horror movie formula - four strangers come together and have to survive to make it to safety, but the reasons are never explained. Making the game simple to connect with three other humans over the internet aided to the experience. It's aim was fun, not high art, and it succeeded.

    The developer Valve had previously made the iconic Half-Life series with a superb storyline and characters and the unforgettable Portal which had one of the best scripts of any media and made me laugh more than any comedy film in a long time.
  5. Scott Colbourne from Vancouver, Canada writes: Turn your back for a few days and someone `corrects` things incorrectly: The Rock Band and Guitar Hero titles that J. Adams refers to were released late in 2007, but due to supply shortages and distribution issues they did most of their actual sales in early 2008 (most notably the Wii versions). And those games contributed greatly to sales of accessories and instrument-like controllers. Those types of sales dwarf the more narrowly focused hit games Adams lists as 2009`s blockbusters.

    That`s it. Over and out, and thanks for reading this...
  6. Jeremy K from Burnaby, Canada writes: where have the blockbusters gone? I think EA bought out the production houses and shut them down no?
  7. Valkyrie 23 from Guelph, Canada writes: Edwin Elbert, if I want to read a book, I will gladly read a book. And when I'm done reading, I will play some Left 4 Dead because "violence porn" is fun. I play video games NOT for the story, and in fact, I try to skip as many plot-related cut scenes as possible. I play games to shoot the crap out of stuff, and to have fun. And yes, I DO read, Edwin. I read A LOT, and mostly classics or Victorian realist novels. WHO CARES if a zombie video game is lacking PLOT - do you really want to listen to a bunch of characters blab the whole time, or would you rather shoot zombies? Edwin, I think you've taken up the wrong hobby.
  8. Chris G in Waterloo from Canada writes: Waiting for the next installment of Bioshock here... I've gotten a little bit selective in my old age...

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