The Sunday Papers

Sundays are for sitting in a darkened hotel room with your comrades in arms still snoozing, trying to compile a list of the interesting reading from across this week – and since I’ve been away, that’s a relatively sleight one – for the RPS readership’s delectation while trying to avoid sliding in a link to some manner of pop song. And then throwing some clothes on and heading back to my table on the Image stand at Comic-Con. Yes.



  1. Will P says:

    That games journalist PR whinging has wound me right up. What a self-important prima-donna.

  2. Pags says:

    Also worth a look is a Daily Telegraph article on the rise of art house gaming. Not necessarily interesting for it’s content but rather for the fact that a mainstream news source has picked up on games like The Path and is acknowledging it’s cultural impact.

  3. bansama says:

    [i]In other words, that boycott isn’t exactly catching on.[/i]

    They’re just not asking the right people =)

  4. Radiant says:

    Out of all the things to be up in arms with the movie adaptation of PoP they bitch about the font?
    The main character being the 2nd* most emo person in the universe didn’t bother them?

    *The first being his sister.

  5. Radiant says:

    **Who I’d still bang.

  6. JKjoker says:

    eh, FFXIII is that high on that chart ? the demo walkthough videos on youtube looked horrible and when i saw it running on a sony style shop it had awful slowdowns (oh well, what im expecting of a chart with Halo as n°1)

    anyway, the effects of L4D2’s “boycott” will have to wait until the thing hits the stores, the main danger is that L4D2 will have to compete with a lot of “co-op” games by when its released and there is a possibility one of those might crush it (if anyone manages to defeat the Valve crush from the “journalists”)

  7. Jazmeister says:

    Woo! Some double Gaming Daily linkage. Gratz guys!

    Also, @Kieron, as re: the first paragraph of your contribution to Hit Self-Destruct: Ew.

  8. jalf says:

    Of course the boycott isn’t putting a noticeable dent in L4D2’s sales. I never really expected it to.

    But it might come back and bite Valve later. The next time they try to sell a game on their awesome track record of post-release support, they might be disappointed by the response.

    People will still buy their games when they’re good. But I think people might base their decision on what the game looks like *at the moment*, and not Valve’s rosy promises of DLC and expansions.

  9. Waste_Manager says:

    @Jazmeister thanks chap. Also, thanks to RPS for the linkies!

  10. L2D2 says:

    Re: Boycott

    If anything I feel it’s driving more “pre-sales interest” from people wanting to counter-annoy the boycotters.

  11. Dominic White says:

    Nice to see Kieron sassing the boycott crowd and their dogged (and increasingly detached from reality) insistance that they’re changing Valves mind, or could do so in any way, shape or form.

  12. Scundoo says:

    Games journalists whining about games PR blog.

    I read through it a bit. Some of them are mildly funny, most are just stupid. From some of these comments you would think these game reviewers are actually writer’s or something…..

    if we are coming to your PR firm’s happy hour mixer, we are coming for the free booze, not because we are your friend. we are not interested in doing work while drinking after 5, so you will not get any stealth networking accomplished, either.


    please don’t call us on the phone. we are writers, so write us.

    Oh wait, they actually do think they are writers, that explains it, hahha.

  13. spinks says:

    That piece about the empty shell protagonists — he’s right except there are books like this. Romance novels. They’re written so that the main characters are self-insertion (sic) characters for the reader. Same with some games.

  14. We Fly Spitfires - MMORPG Blog says:

    Sundays are definitely for chilling and reading :) Couldn’t agree more!

  15. TheArmyOfNone says:

    Mount and blade warband beta sign up! Yes please!

  16. Xercies says:

    Yeah well people are dumb looking at that chart…so we can’t really help it…

    I laughed at the games as art article, so funny and yet if you hear people talk at art they bloody talk like that. Never understood what they were saying and why they were saying it.

    And Facebook games are just rubbish.

  17. Vinraith says:

    If that first piece is true, you’ll be seeing L4D3 in 2010, no question. Crap, now I’m worried about the Half Life universe…

  18. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, the PR blog isn’t the funniest thing of its type around, unlike those customer service testimonial blogs that you see.

    I’m not sure whether or not to be sad about the lack of a return to the Moon. Like the article says, it was a lot of money dumped into something that didn’t have many practical purposes (although it did produce a lot of technical spin-offs). The Ministry of Space has its downside, too (I’d spoil it to say what this is). We’ve done many amazing things without a manned space programme, and its delay by decades (in a year’s time we’ll be owed two Space Odysseys) aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Would a wide-spread, commercial programme have happened much earlier?

    I think space travel is an important thing that we’ll have to do in the next century, given the resources available there. But in the meantime, there are other laudable human achievements that don’t involve megalithic government projects.

  19. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    I enjoyed reading The Runner: it reminds me of what I liked about Mirror’s Edge: the running.

  20. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, I think the thing about Mirror’s Edge is that the real joy is in the running: the story, time trials, etc, are just ways of giving you a direction to run in. Sometimes the story mode gets vaguely frustrating, the enemies getting in the way of the running (that said, the fighting is quite balletic at times).

  21. DerpyDerp says:

    It ain’t rocket science gentlemen (and possibly lady).

    If we all back the boycotters, we all get a cheaper or free L4D2.

    If we don’t, we get an overpriced expansion back.


  22. EGTF says:

    Somebody did take the piss and was a cheeky blighter throughout, and now feels a bit embarrassed that a reputable journalist saw so.

    You know it’s pointless. You know it’s the most important thing in the world. It’s all you’ve ever wanted. It’s amazing. I recommend it to anyone who’s functionally insane.

    I don’t know whether that’s the most inspirational or most depressing thing I’ve read this week.

  23. Consoul Gamer says:

    Those charts are for console games and that’s the XBOX360 version of L4D2. Aren’t most of the boycotters mad for the PC version?

  24. Tei says:

    Re: font.

    link to

    That don’t transmit me “old persia” at all. Maybe transmit “modern, practical, current times”.

    It seems all box (even the original ugly game) uses some “script” style font.
    link to

    Is not hard to search a good “script” font
    link to

    like this ones:
    link to
    link to×230/Feel-Script-Font_462963AB.jpg

    If the font is intentional, the message is something like “This is re-start of Prince of Persia” (much like BSG 2008, or the latest star trek movie) the cricisim is misguided. But If the movie is tryiing to be faithfull to the source material, then such font don’t make any sense, and is like using Arial, just because you are too lazy to change it.
    On this cause ( is not faithfull to the source material ), theres othres reasons to get angry at the movie…

  25. Duoae says:

    @ Consoul Gamer – Yeah, exactly. The boycott doesn’t really apply to the console version since it’s pretty much a given that the console version would never receive any content updates anyway (a la TF2).

    Also… that entire article (and data set) seems to be consoles only – PC is nowhere to be seen….

  26. Christopher says:

    Evidently, lots of people are perfectly willing to pay for an “overpriced expansion pack.” Looks like our system of paying people for the products of their labor prevails again.

  27. Chris Evans says:

    The Reticule and Gaming Daily both get linked, wahoo :D All hail the rise of the smaller PC games sites :p

  28. Crispy says:

    I’ll admit I joined the boycott purely because it was the best engine for putting forward my opinion that Valve’s promise of continuing to support L4D as they did TF2 (I don’t need to quote the specifics of what was said here because they are recorded) needs to be upheld for me to continue to have high faith in them as a company. If they fail to deliver on that promise they will have failed to service a customer. I don’t completely agree with the ‘demands’ set out by the group and I also think the leader is unfairly taking advantage of the group’s popularity to soapbox a lot of pathetic demands of Valve (e.g. ‘Send me the same preview you send to the press so I can evaluate whether the game matches my own expectations’). But I will boycott L4D2 if Valve break their promise, just to indicate to them that it would be stupid to undermine the hugely fruitful relationship they have built up with their fans by making overambitious or unfounded estimates.

    But as far as L4D2 goes it sounds like on its own it definitely constitutes its own game and a full retail proce tag. To pretend otherwise is plain ignorance.

  29. GuiSim says:

    I’m still not buying L4D2.

  30. The Runner says:

    Many thanks for the link. I update on fridays, and i’m going to walk through the whole game and take apart exactly why it’s so special. You should also check out the top level site,, where there’s a whole other bunch of good diary stuff. Thanks again folks!

  31. Funky Badger says:

    I’ll tell you what, if there’s a game out this year with better co-op than L4D2 then it’s happy time, because I’ll buy them both.

    It rocks being a consumer.

  32. Lewis says:

    Like Will, the PR thing wound me up massively.

    (By which I mean the blog wound both of us up, not that Will winds me up too.)

    We need to be ensuring bridges between press and PR are being built, not viciously destroyed by idiots. Additionally, if you’re going to do an angry blog, at least have the guts to tell us who you are, instead of hiding behind a veil of pathetic anonymity.

  33. obo says:

    One thing you guys are missing in the L4D2 boycott debunking is that this data is only regarding the 360 version – the one that won’t ever get mods, user-created levels, or DLC.

    The PC people are the ones yelling “boycott the premature invalidation of DLC and SDK support” because they actually get to enjoy those features. For 360 gamers who bought L4D1, this is the only way they’ll ever get new content from Valve.

    In an alternate universe, Valve announced TF3 for the 360 one year after TF2, and the content in it is everything the PC players have gotten in DLC. Why didn’t that happen to us? Because Valve didn’t sell as many copies of the Orange Box as quickly as they sold L4D. They were still a PC-centric company then.

    The decision to move L4D2 so quickly was made for the console market, and this data proves that way more than it disproves any results of any boycott.

    And the saddest thing for the PC boycotters? If it works, all Valve will see is more sales of L4D2 360, and lower sales of L4D2 PC, compared to L4D1. Just more justification to abandon the PC market.

  34. UK_John says:

    Media – all media – is out of touch with whatever customers their supposed to be in touch with. And the No.1 media not in touch with it”s customers is the gaming media, the most amateurish, supine, led by the nose (by the industry it reports on), lazy media out there.

  35. Vandelay says:

    The argument against the L4D2 article is an understandable one, but it also forgets the fact that the L4D update that included Survivor mode and the final 2 Versus mode maps was freely available for Xbox 360 owners.

    Obviously they aren’t used to get free updates and won’t feel the ramifications of an unprecedented quick release by Valve.

    Then again, I expect that 6 out of 10 people who have heard of L4D2 on the PC wanting to buy isn’t a particular startling figure. The majority of people, rightly or wrongly, don’t rage about this kind of thing or spend hours reading about them on internet forums. They will hand over their cash for a lot of rehashed games with little changes.

    Personally, I don’t side with the boycotters. I would like it if L4D1 was integrated with L4D2, so that you could play the original campaign from the same game if you own both, but doubt this will happen. Still, the changes they are making are very significant and certainly more than a free update. I won’t be paying full price for it, but I never do for games and it is not a statement about the quantity they are giving us.

  36. Psychopomp says:

    “the changes they are making are very significant and certainly more than a free update. ”

    Try telling that to most of the boycotters.

  37. Vinraith says:

    I can only speak for myself, but it’s self evident that there’s more content there than a free update. It should have either been a large paid DLC pack or an expansion, ideally the latter.

  38. Psychopomp says:


    I hate to get into this again…

    But is $10 a map not reasonable?

  39. Dominic White says:

    The only expansion I can think of with content equal to or exceeding the base games content of the game is Beyond The Sword for Civ4. Beyond that, everything with as much new stuff as L4D2 falls under the category of a sequel.

    It’s supposedly longer and more replayable (due to more random elements/branches) than the original game, and looks like it brings in a lot of new gameplay mechanics, so while it would be nice to have it as a cut-price expansion, it’d be really unrealistic to expect/demand this.

  40. Vinraith says:


    What’s that got to do with anything? For all your presence in those L4D2 threads you haven’t actually read the underlying concerns, have you?

    Compatibility, split community, a sense that the original game is being “replaced,” a sense that this represents a new business model of “disposable games” for Valve, these are the issues that are important. The price is secondary, at best.

    But since you asked, no, IMO $10 a map wasn’t reasonable for the first game and isn’t reasonable for the second one. I don’t get nearly enough game play and enjoyment out of a single L4D map for it to warrant that price tag.

  41. Vinraith says:

    Also, I’m not crazy about having an extended conversation about this in the Sunday papers thread (and I gather you aren’t either). Shall we transfer to the existing L4D2 thread?

  42. Psychopomp says:

    “Shall we transfer to the existing L4D2 thread?”


  43. qrter says:

    That games journalists/PR blog is just awful. If I worked in PR, I’d instantly decide to fuck over those guys doubly hard.

  44. DaemonSpawn says:

    That’s really a depressing article. I’m from the “other” side (born in USSR, you know) and see just the same things or even worse, because Russian space program is all fu**ed up since Buran-Energiya (soviet space shuttle and rocket capable of delivering 185ton payload on low orbit) cancellation. I’ve grown up on science-fiction of 50-70es and what I see now is Buran shuttle as restaurant in Moscow’s Gorky Park… No Martian chronicles, no 2000 odissey… More like Fahrenheit 471

  45. Satsuz says:

    From the 4th to last item on this week’s list, “A Trilogy In Seven Parts“, Kieron’s opening:

    “I can’t really choose one moment. If there wasn’t a promise of a resplendent, transforming, beatific moment every few weeks, I doubt I’d have stuck it out for a month, let alone the decade-and-a-half I’ve put in. There’s a mass of shit you have to swallow, but there’s chocolate mixed in that slurry. As a chocoholic, I have to gag it all down. I’ve no choice.”

    Yum. Thanks for that, really.

  46. Gap Gen says:

    See also The Wire’s “bowl of shit” analogy for politics.

  47. Left4Lunch says:

    You know what I don’t understand? Why don’t I hear about people boycotting Starcraft 2 ? Sure there was much grumbling when it was first announced that you’d have to buy it 3 times for the campaigns but it seems people are ok with it now.

    Is Blizzard just on a different plane than Valve?

  48. Vinraith says:


    Because Blizzard, to put it simply, is beyond saving.

  49. MC says:

    I don’t know what Valve’s balance sheet and projections for the future look like but these aren’t the happiest of economic times. Free content updates just might not be economically viable at the current time; if that’s the case a boycott is completely counter-productive.

  50. invisiblejesus says:

    @MC: It seems to me that if anything, poor economic times would favor the free content update style of game development, not quick sequels. People with less money buy fewer games, and if they’re thinking their puchases through they’ll favor those that give them more value for their money. And if they aren’t thinking their puchases through, then we really have no way of anticipating whatever crap they might impulse buy, so why bother analyzing it?