Editorials Musings

JEFF’S MUSINGS: The Backlash #01

The Backlash
Hello, Jeff. What’s happening? Yeah, we need to talk about your Musings…

One of the things I wanted to do with this segment is to create an open dialog with the readers of oprainfall. However, I’m more or less one of those that needs time to think before I can respond. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not into politics as my debate skills are rusty at best.

So, this is where I respond to the agreement and disagreement (there was quite a bit of that) of my opinion. All comments from you will be in Italics while my response will follow. As per usual, anything I say is my opinion, does not reflect the opinions of the website as a whole, and is meant to be a part of an open dialog with you.

Here we go with the first Backlash…

Mildly Annoyed with Ubisoft


I see your point and agree to a certain point, however I would prefer a game be pushed back and be customized for each system rather than get a super lazy port…or even so that it’s 100% finished so we don’t run into an issue like we got with the PS3 version of [Skyrim]. The industry is about to explode full of new tech so this is to be expected, all I can say is that in this case good things will come to those who wait.

Much like a good craft beer, a video game is something you don’t want to rush production of =p -Mike M.

Well, I never did say that they should just push a hack-job port of the game to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Doing something like that would be mere folly (hint, hint, Bethesda). But I do agree that something good does take time to make.

I agree and that’s a more mature look at the whole Rayman situation, I don’t see the point in 3rd party exclusives for the most part, just release everything for everything -MusubiKazesaru

Thank you. And while I do think there is room for exclusives, I just want to see multiplatform games be on all platforms.

BacklashThe funny thing here is you mention THQ and why their going under might be reason to make things [multi-console], yet the opposite should be true. THQ’s biggest failure and largest money loser was uDraw, which was created for a single console (the Wii), did quite well, then was ported to the PS3 and XBox only to sell so poorly it set into action a chain of events that destroyed a company.

While the lack of inclusion of specialized hardware is likely to ensure that Rayman doesn’t sink Ubisoft, the fact that the game was being designed to take advantage of the unique hardware exclusive to the WiiU could mean that the ports end up being lackluster. If you couple this with [Rayman’s] new release date going up against a number of huge games and the imminent release of two new consoles, and this move could end up seeing the game fail across each console. If anything I think the death of THQ should be a wake up call to companies about the power of single platform releases. [Multi-platform games] can be great, but some titles fit certain environments better [than] others and targeting the largest user base may fail if the game is better suited for a niche and enthusiastic audience. -madmofo145

The thing about the uDraw is that THQ didn’t understand the market. They saw people buying the tablet on the Wii but didn’t understand who was buying it on the Wii, nor did they understand the mentality of PS3 and Xbox 360 owners.

Now, the reason for the multiplatform decision was because a potential install base of 130 million (give or take) could get the game rather than somewhere around 3-4 million (and that may be a bit generous). Ubisoft understands that a good chunk of Rayman Origins‘ sales numbers came from the Xbox 360 and PS3. For that, they’re well ahead of where THQ was with the uDraw.


When Ubisoft announced that Watch Dogs was coming to Wii U, they redeemed themselves in my eyes. -James B.

A simple one-for-one flip did cross my mind and is a good tact to take on this issue (if you can defend it, as with every other stance). However, there were questions that crossed my mind that I couldn’t quite find the answers for.

1. Was this game always going to be on the Wii U?

2. If they were doing it as an act of forgiveness, why would they bury it at the end of a press release? Wouldn’t that be part of the headline?

Without solid answers to those questions, I couldn’t accept a one-for-one trade-off.

And then we get this comment from user Xx_Kares_xX.

So… you’re being whiny because your game is being delayed and you think other people should have to suffer too? Very Mature sir…

Well, I did say that turn-about is fair play. If an already finished game gets delayed because they want to port it – and with the rumor that Microsoft policy is dictating this delay – then shouldn’t the other companies get similar treatment?

The user continues:

Honestly I couldn’t care less what system it’s for. I don’t even particularly want the game in any form or fashion…

Then why are you commenting?

…The point is that his mentality with this article is no more intelligent or mature than that of a five year old stamping his feet when his brother eats the last cookie but he doesn’t get one until the next batch is done being made…

To be fair – if we’re using the cookie analogy – I don’t even have the oven yet.

Backlash…It’s not like he’s NEVER going to see the game released, it’s just a delay, like we’ve seen in the industry for YEARS. How long was Duke Nukem Forever Delayed? (Sorry bad example since the game was awful) But how about Half-Life 2 episode 2 (or god forbid Half- Life 3).

Actually, DNF was a good example. Half-Life 3, on the other hand, has never been revealed in any sort by Valve, unlike older builds of DNF.

…The whole mentality of the article (and your comment which just further enforces my opinion as opposed to contradicting it in any matter) is ‘I want what I want, and I want it now!’ THAT seems far more selfish to me than my comment of pointing out pointless… ‘whining’ (as I’m trying to keep this comment clean instead of calling it by what it really is). Fanboys and their damn console wars x.x…

If that’s what you got, then you didn’t really read the article. By the way, you may want to read this one as well.

good games are good games, get over the whole console supremacy crap x.x (which had NOTHING to do with my original comment, by the way)

Well, as the Happy Video Game Nerd said, “Good games are great because they’re good.” And please read this article.

Life is Too Short…

Damn good article…..but you left out the pc fanboys, there’s a new war on the horizon with them and the consoles. -ALKi1234

Oh, come on. I don’t think I really need to make fun of people who put thousands of dollars on a computer that will be out of date as soon as they turn on the power the first time so that they can watch high-quality ragdoll physics while playing a game that they can never trade-in because of one-time use access keys.

Rune Factory, XSEED, and Natsume’s Future

North American cover for the Wii version of Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny, known in other parts of the world as Rune Factory Oceans.

Excuse me but rune factory hasn’t had that great of a localization lately. They never even released [Rune Factory Oceans] on the Wii and made it PS3 exclusive. DAMN YOU RISING STAR GAMES! -Ashur Jaba

First off, Rune Factory Oceans did get a localization on the Wii. It’s called Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny (at least in North America). Second, the Rune Factory games have had great localizations.

Natsume owns the copyright for the Harvest Moon franchise in North America, Marvelous is basically obligated to involve Natsume in the localization of that franchise, also I don’t think XSeed getting Rune Factory 4 was a good thing, they overuse anime dub voice actors… -Zimmer Remmiz

Well, I think it’s better to “overuse” anime dub voice actors than, say, what Disney tries to do with bringing in celebrities who don’t know what they’re doing…or whatever Ignition Entertainment tried to “do” with Arc Rise Fantasia.

Video from Darkbeatdk’s channel.

And finally, from this anonymous guy:

You got it all wrong. Natsume still is 100% in control of both Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. XSEED is simply taking over localization. Natsume in America is basically just marketing and downloadable games. It means Natsume can stay profitable and continue developing the games in Japan while XSEED can take care of their specialty – localization. XSEED has no in-house developers.

I’m going to say the same thing I did when I commented. If Natsume owns the rights to Rune Factory, then why is XSEED localizing the game? Wouldn’t that be like Nintendo letting Sony publish a Mario game?

He then replies:

Like I said, the US branch of Natsume does localization and marketing, just like XSEED. But in Japan, Natsume has a full team of developers that play a major role in the creation of the games. Read the credits for every HM or RF game and you’ll see. Just like AQ Interactive played a major role in developing The Last Story but they get zero credit from fans, the same thing goes for the games Natsume helps develop without their logo on the American box.

If you’re so intent on spelling doom for Natsume, I guess it would just be for the handful of US staff. Harvest Moon and Rune Factory are about as niche as niche gets, it’s hard to think they were out to build a name for themselves as a publisher.

Other than Harvest Moon, the only game that Natsume has that I’m interested in.

Okay, so I was a little too over-zealous in predicting Natsume’s doom. However, I will say that I just don’t feel anything towards the rest of their line-up – outside of Hometown Story. I do think the employees in the Western arms of Natsume should get their resumes ready, just in case.

Second, XSEED has a team of developers as well. They’re called Marvelous AQL. And going back to your comment about how Natsume in America is just marketing and localization: what do you think XSEED is? They’re a marketer and localizer. And guess who the big dogs are for marketing and localizing in North America? Nintendo of America and Sony Computer Entertainment of America. They don’t develop games; they localize the games that come from the Japanese arms of their respective companies. Aside from having bigger budgets, they’re the same as XSEED and Natsume.

Third, I wouldn’t say they started that way but I will say that not trying to make a name for yourself is ridiculous. If you want to be successful in what you do, you need to build a reputation. XSEED has done that. And when I think of XSEED, I think of a hard working company that puts their all into localizing under-the-radar games.

Rayman could be in one of the best platformers ever made, but a bad Mario game will still outsell him. Dragon Quest may be the cream of the crop at Square Enix, but it’s Final Fantasy that brings in the money. And there may be a good Japanese-made game out there that I have never heard of, but seeing the XSEED name will tell me that it’s worth my time.

Jeff Neuenschwander
Jeff has been a supporter of the website and campaign since the beginning. Joining in for E3 2012, he worked his way up the ranks quickly, making it to the Editing Manager post at the beginning of 2013. Jeff has a wide variety of tastes when it comes to gaming and pretty much likes anything that is quirky, although his favorite genres are Action, Platforming, and RPG. Outside of gaming, Jeff is a musician, being trained as a trombonist for Jazz and Classical music, and holds a degree in Sound Recording.