Features// SPOnG's Review of 2008: September

Posted 9 Jan 2009 18:27 by
"Also, they have thrown away a lot of the goodwill that gamers have towards Will Wright. I understand why they think the DRM is a good idea, but they haven't even tried to make it 'good' DRM, by defending their position, making it clear when and if the DRM will be removed, or abandoning it the day it got pirated.”

Former Maxis Man: Spore DRM is a Screw Up

September. We could feel better about the sky looking like it was about to drop on our heads. Marginally. Peter Moore talked (a lot) and Spore DRM brought PC gamers headaches.

Yeah, DRM. The release of Spore – a game that should have been a tentpole title for EA – provoked a pretty huge consumer backlash, prompting one former Maxis man (who also gave us the truth behind indie games) to tell SPOnG that EA had, basically, screwed up.

But at least the world wasn't going to get swallowed into a miniature black hole because of the Large Hadron Collider! How did we know? Half Life's Gordon Freeman was on the case...

Peter Moore
Peter Moore
Back to less apocalyptic matters and Peter Moore, current head of EA Sports and former Microsoft and SEGA man, opened his mouth. In fact, it looked a little like he might undo Gordon's good work, he opened it so wide. Moore managed to grab headlines across the Internet thanks to a very forthright interview that turned up on The Guardian's website. He confessed to signing the kill order for the Dreamcast, admitted that the Xbox's hard drive ended its existence, talked a fair bit about the evils of PR, had a Rare squirm and more or less told retail it would have to fend for itself in the post-download future.

That was an attitude, at least, that seemed to be reflected at Sony. At least in the views of its President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, anyway. He didn't seem to think retail had too long left...

September marked the end of a saga that had been ongoing for over half a year – EA's bid to take over Take-Two. It was over. EA cut its losses and called it a day. Simple as that, in the end.

An un-leaked document.
An un-leaked document.
The month also brought a furore over what some thought to be the next name of the Xbox 360. Or the name of the next Xbox 360. One of the two. SPOnG was extremely suspicious, which was just as well really, since it turned out to be a great stinking (and poorly put together) hoax.

The high-def format war might have been over, but that didn't stop there being a bit of bitch-slapping among the victors. Would Blu-ray fizzle after five years, or would it triumphantly trot to ten? Sony was certainly hoping for the latter, and it came out with handbags blazing.

Come the close of the month, it was time to salute a worthy adversary. Anti-gaming crusader and Florida lawyer Jack Thompson was to be disbarred. While he was no longer going to be practising law SPOnG still couldn't help but feel, in it's heart of hearts, that Jack will be back...

In terms of stuff you could actually play, things were starting to heat up by the end of September. SPOnG sat down to get to grips with WipEout HD, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, Infinite Undiscovery and Viva Piñata: Pocket Paradise, as well as taking an early look at Banjo Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (interview here) and Gears of War 2 (not to mention getting a chat with Cliff Bleszinski).

That wasn't all that was worth exercising our thumbs, however. Other highlights included Crysis Warhead, Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, Rock Band hitting the Wii, PS2 and PS3, Pure, Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway, Viva Piñata: Trouble in Paradise, Yakuza 2 and de Blob.

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