Well, that's an embarrassing mistake. A little slip of the keyboard and Resident Evil for the 3DS is now subtitled "Revelaitons," at least on the case's spine. Here's hoping the game itself is good! Beyond packaging errors, there have been all sorts of interesting stories in the games industry this week, so let's get to it.
Nintendo's Week Is Bad, but THQ's Is Worse
We all know that Nintendo didn't have a very good 2011, but it was even worse than Nintendo thought it would be. The company has just reported that instead of the small profit it expected to make for the year, it will be posting a loss of about forty-five million yen. This will be the first time Nintendo has posted a loss since it started reporting its earnings.
What does the company plan to do about this? Well, it's just announced that another side-scrolling Mario platformer is in development for the 3DS. That sure can't hurt. It also may decide to rename the Wii U after realizing that consumers mixed up the DS and the similarly named 3DS, and the same thing could easily happen with the Wii and Wii U. Not announced was any realization that Wii U is a stupid name, anyway.
Worse off than Nintendo is THQ, publisher of a ton of licensed schlock and some actual good games like Saints Row: The Third. It had a particularly bad year in 2011, and has been subject to several recent bankruptcy rumors. The company is apparently still alive and somewhat kicking, having just announced that it is refocusing on core franchises. Unfortunately, that new focus has led to a new round of layoffs in administration and publishing. THQ's internal studios haven't been affected, presumably so they have the resources to produce more of those core games the company wants to sell. Protip, THQ, don't try to make them all just like Saints Row: The Third.
Mass Effect Introduces Spacelanders
Good old Electronic Arts and Activision—they can't help but try to one-up each other. When Activision's Skylanders, collectable figurines that come to life in an action game, became a popular game over the holidays, I knew EA wouldn't be able to help but do something similar. Now we have Mass Effect 3 figurines that come bundled with DLC for the game. It will probably just be new skins (and maybe new squad members) for the game's co-op multiplayer mode, but one can't help but imagine locked portals in the multiplayer areas that can only be bypassed by Purple Garrus—Buy the Action Figure Now!
On a side note, I find myself rather annoyed that the eight-figurine series only has one Shepard, the male one. Female Shepard deserves an action figure too, especially since BioWare and EA have stated that they're trying to market her better.
Whoa, No More Microsoft Points?
Microsoft has announced that its virtual currency system, known as Microsoft Points, will be phased out by the end of the year. Virtual currency systems have been widely criticized for obscuring the actual cost of items, and Microsoft's system was the worst offender in the console gaming world, since 100 Microsoft Points didn't equal $1. Since the PlayStation Network has always used real-money pricing, Nintendo is phasing out its virtual currency system, and Microsoft's major smartphone competitors have never used virtual currency, Microsoft has apparently given in and decided to drop Microsoft Funny Money as well. Good riddance, says I. Now can we have the option to pay only what the game we want to buy is worth, please?
Best Idea Ever
There have been rumors about this for a while, but now it's official. LEGO will be creating a special Minecraft line of building blocks that are meant to celebrate "the best aspects of building with the LEGO system and in Minecraft." We can only hope that the Minecraft LEGOs are as freeform as actual Minecraft, so we can all relive the wonder of the old LEGO sets from the days before rampant product placement.
That's it for The Weekly Dish, now go think of the amazing LEGO castles you'll be able to make someday.
Date: January 27, 2012
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*