(Thuyen) "Same As It Ever Was" is a short machinima film in defense of video games. Two news anchors try to deliver a special report on the biggest threat to society today. Unfortunately, they have some communication issues, because the "threat" that one anchor describes sounds a lot like some other "threats" from days past.For the entire interview with Thuyen, head on over to Screenplay!
You know, I posted this in the forum last Friday, but darnit, I'm going to post it here. It's important that you see it. It's an animation that's spreading around the games and animation industry like wildfire (if you read the comments on its youtube page, you'll see that employees of Massive Black, Embassy VFX, Nerve Software, Radical Entertainment, Gearbox etc are chiming in the comments area to show their appreciation for this fine bit of animation).
Apparently, the creator made it with the intention of showing how slack the animation portion of their programmer-centric course is, and I'm certain that after the incredible response this animation has had, big changes are definitely on the way!
Kotaku reports that Call of Duty 4, which was available on Steam's online distribution platform for $US 49.95, has now increased to a whopping $US 88.50 for its Australian users. So, for roughly over a week, you could've had this game for a nice sum of $57 Australian dollars, but with the price change it's yours for around $101. Considering that you don't get the fancy packaging and still need to download the 6 gigs or so of data, I can't imagine anyone from Australia purchasing this from Steam. Apparently, the old price was listed by mistake and should never have been advertised for that much, but the gist of the problem is that we just can't have these shiny things for the same price as other markets because it's undercutting our price gouging distributors and retailers.
Publisher THQ had recently blocked their titles from Australian Steam users for the same reasons, leaving many with the only option left for affordable games of importing them from online stores like PlayAsia.
If you're a gamer in Australia, you're no doubt aware that we pay a bit through the nose for games here. Even though our dollar is matching up pretty close to the American dollar, we have an enormous markup on our games when compared to our overseas friends. Yes, there are costs to consider including import fees, tax, the retailers cut etc, but when you can buy and import a game from the U.S for roughly $50 cheaper than what your local retailer is charging, then there's something very, very wrong.
Screen Play recently chased up all the major game distributors in Australia to answer some questions on game prices, but unfortunately only one distributor responded. Ubisoft Australia General Manager Edward Fong had a few things to say about our gouging game prices...
Mr Fong politely reiterated the fact that Australia was tied to European prices courtesy of our shared PAL heritage and we are paying the same as our European cousins despite being a much smaller market and having higher distribution costs. He says worldwide company structures are unlikely to ever change to allow operations like Ubisoft Australia to take advantage of the currently weak US dollar.
So folks, keep on importing your games. I'm grabbing Unreal 3 Collectors Edition from Amazon for around $70. Retailers are selling that for $120 here.
Videogame Upcoming Release Program is made live to the Australian public
BRISBANE, Australia - October 21, 2007
The team behind the influential Australian gaming website AustralianGamer.com have finally unveiled their new website project, VURP.com. VURP is the Videogame Upcoming Release Program, and features the most accurate and up-to-date listing of upcoming games in Australia, as local distributors are able to modify the information directly.
Special features include the ability to subscribe to any game via email or rss to be informed of updates as soon as they occur, as well as to search for games via names, dates or systems.
With many more features planned for the site in the next few weeks, and 15 Australian videogame websites already implementing the release date feed on their website, there is no doubt VURP.com will be the definitive place for Australian gamers to find the most up-to-date information on upcoming titles.
For more information visit www.vurp.com
AustralianGamer.com is an online gaming comic, review and features website created and hosted by Guy (Yug) Blomberg and Matt Burgess. Launched in March 2005, the website now has representatives all over Australia, and covers any relevant Australian specific gaming events and news. For more information visit www.australiangamer.com
Melbourne, October 22nd - PALGN (PAL Gaming Network) and DVDFeed are pleased to announce a new alliance to exchange mutually beneficial content. Under the partnership PALGN will provide video games news and reviews into the DVDFeed network, which will be offered to clients as additional branded or non branded editorial channel options. DVDFeed will provide PALGN with a comprehensive product data feed which will be used to extend their range of product details.
Darren Vukasinovic, DVDFeed Manager commented, "the new relationship between our Companies is both a natural and progressive one. PALGN's significant and popular consumer site fits perfectly with our goals of delivering key retail and release information to the largest Australian audience possible. The incorporation of PALGN's news and reviews as a channel expands the quality content available via our service and range of clients we can provide services to".
"This relationship with DVDfeed will be extremely beneficial for PALGN," stated Luke Van Leuveren, PALGN General Manager. "Not only will it dramatically improve our service for our current readership with DVDfeed's detailed product information such as OFLC ratings and cover art displayed on published articles, but it will also extend our readership through DVDFeed's content syndication".
Product data from DVDFeed will be rolled out in PALGN articles during this week. PALGN content is already included in DVDFeed editorial channel options.
Founded in 2002, DVDfeed has been at the forefront of b2b digital content management and distribution. Focusing on content specific to the Australian market, it has grown to provide comprehensive services in product data, editorial content and embedded streaming video to some of Australia's largest retailers, sites and franchisors. It continues to build on its content solutions with significant investment in bandwidth, hosting hardware and proprietary XML update and streaming video technologies.
For more information please call +61 1 300 79 33 51 or visit us at http://www.dvdfeed.com.au
The PAL Gaming Network is one of Australia's leading independent gaming media websites coving all major consoles (including handhelds) and PC. Founded in late 2001 as a community project designed to fill the void of non-American gaming press, it grew through many forms to establish itself in 2007 as one of the most comprehensible and comprehensive gaming resources for both hardcore and casual gamers living in Australia and other PAL Regions.
For more information please call +61 (0) 403 596 822 or visit us at http://palgn.com.au.
Just posting a reminder that the Not Quite Art TV show is on tonight!! Marcus Westbury produced the show, and you may know him as having an important role in getting the Free Play conference happening...
Not Quite Art TV show
10pm Tuesday, October 16
I'd also like to make another reminder that the First Sydney Women in Games International Mixer is on this Saturday (the 20th of October, starting at 7pm).
If you haven't registered or are thinking of coming along then email your name and company to the organisers before Wednesday! For more details, follow the link below!!
Melbourne, October 9th - PALGN (PAL Gaming Network) has announced the launch of GamerKids.com.au, an Australian website which caters exclusively for the growing children?s games market. ?GamerKids offers a resource that isn?t available anywhere else online. Gaming is becoming increasingly mainstream and the formally niche market of children?s games has expanded dramatically in recent years. With several publishers releasing games for the kids market, GamerKids will cover these upcoming titles and become the leading resource for both children and their parents? said Luke Van Leuveren, General Manager for PALGN.
GamerKids has been designed to appeal to both children and parents. All content published on GamerKids is completely safe for children and has been written with both children and parents in mind. While GamerKids will leverage its relationship with PALGN by sharing common content, some articles will be published exclusively on GamerKids and others will be edited with a younger market in mind.
?PALGN is one of Australia's leading sources of videogame industry news, features and reviews. With the launch of GamerKids, we hope to leverage our already outstanding coverage of children's gaming content in a way that's fun for kids, and helpful for parents. With GamerKids, we have the resources and expertise to serve this until-now underrepresented demographic? said PALGN?s Executive Editor, David Low.
Local gamers are well aware of the huge disparity between the prices of Australian / New Zealand games to those being sold in America, and it becomes even more puzzling when the exchange rate is fairly close at the moment.
But for those who mainly enjoy their games on the PC, there is an alternative to buying games from retail. If you use the Valve's Steam service, you could purchase and directly download a game for the same U.S price. For example, the newly released Quake Wars: Enemy Territory can be had for $49.95 (US) which converts to $55 (AU), a massive savings from the RRP $89.95 if we were to buy it from a retail store.
However, if you're interesting in getting Company of Heroes, Dawn of War or Full Spectrum Warrior via Steam, you're fresh out of luck. Kotaku reports that publisher THQ are blocking their games on Steam for Australian and New Zealand consumers, and it's theorized that it's a deliberate tactic to force local consumers to buy from retail. From Kotaku...
In what I can only assume is a move by these publishers to ensure that AU/NZ consumers have to resort to retail given the favourable exchange rate between the US and AU dollar.