PTC Spanks Game Industry, Praises GameStop, Best Buy in Secret Shopper Report

Snipehunter's picture

PTC Spanks Game Industry, Praises GameStop, Best Buy in Secret Shopper Report -

Game Politics]

Wow, seriously? How often are you folks at the PTC going to do this? Why "spank the industry" for what the retailers do? For that matter, why chastise the retailers when it's the parents that don't pay attention to what games are played by their children?

As the first commenter at Game Politics points out, Consoles have parental controls. It doesn't matter which games your kids buy if you use the functionality the game industry has already put into parents' hands.

Seriously, this is like what? Decade 3 of this claptrap? Parents, how many of your kids are at home, right now, watching the Saw movies? Or any slasher flick? How many of them are reading Stephen King, Clive Barker, Piers Anthony or any other author that is either graphically violent or pornographic in their narrative? Sure, I get it; Games are expensive for you buy and they're very popular and kids do sit in front of a display of some sort to play them... but isn't that also true of movies where they watch the screen or books where they sit and stare at printed pages?

New != Bad (!= means not equal, in case you didn't know).

Honestly, with the possible (And let me stress that word possible) exception of DVDs, no other form of media gives you parents as much control over what their children can and can't see or experience, as modern games do. It wouldn't matter if your kid got a hold of GTA IV, if you'd bother to turn on the console's content controls.

If you'd bother to parent your children, at all.

It's not our job to raise your kids, or protect them. That's your job. The games industry does A LOT to make sure that you can make informed choices and enforce your choices even when you're not there at the console with your children. Why do we also have to take the blame for you when you fail to avail yourself of all the help we've given you?

Do you think we feel good when you let your kids play GTA IV? I cringe inside at the thought, to be honest, but you know what? It's not my choice to make. I don't get to decide for anyone what games are good for them, or their children. I have to leave that choice up to the parents. Just like they need to leave the choice of what games we make up to us and we all have to leave the choice of what games are sold up to the retailers. That's what freedom is about, isn't it? Making choices for yourself and accepting the consequences?

I just wish parents would make a choice, instead of doing nothing and then blaming the industry when things go wrong for them.

- Snipehunter

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Unfortunately that would

Unfortunately that would take effort. And there's just too much incentive to take the path of least resistance Sad

I just wish parents would make a choice, instead of doing nothing and then blaming the industry when things go wrong for them

By the way, I saw Auto Assault mentioned on Joystiq a couple of days ago. It's weird how it's gone, but is still used as an example (even if it was in a how not to publish it way).

Snipehunter's picture

Yeah, really I just can't get enough of that...

...the amount of after-the-fact hate that Auto Assault gets is sort of sad. The game wasn't awesome in comparison to larger budget, bigger team efforts, don't get me wrong, but it died from lack of publisher support more than anything else. Not that you'd know that in the revisionist history that is the internet.

To hear folks like Joystiq, or even people in the industry who talk to the AA developers, tell it - AA was so bad that everyone knew it was going to be a failure the moment they saw it.

Funny how we took home Best in Show 2 years in a row, at E3. I mean, considering how obvious it was that it was gonna suck, and all... Eye-wink

Snark aside, though - It'd be a lie to say that AA didn't have its problems, or that it was awesome. It was shipped early and it needed a lot more support from its publisher to really shine. It didn't get that, but as an example of what I mean, look at TR -- a similar game, by the same publisher and with very similar problems, including a small user base in its early months. The big difference? TR had more support and, as a result, it's still around.

At the end of day, what makes a game in AA's position a success or a failure is support from the players and from the publisher. We got great support from our loyal players, but sadly we didn't get the second half of that equation.

I'm glad TR did, though -- it's nice to see the core game loop and the non-car mechanics of AA live on in another NCSoft product, and I'm glad TR finally surpassed AA's user base numbers. Hopefully NCSoft has learned the lesson that it can pay off to not give up, too soon... Of course, that assumes TR is paying off...

- Snipehunter

I actually tried TR at the

I actually tried TR at the beginning. Since we all got the month long accounts to give it a shot. It looked very pretty. But what killed it for me, is once I realised that for all the talk they had that you had to aim in combat -- I found out you could just lock on your reticule and at that point I did less in combat then in WoW. Also, the players looked too similar to me in terms of gear and I never figured out how and where PvP fully comes into that game.

But as you said. Some of these things are my tastes and some of them are correctable -- given time.

Sigoya's picture

Maybe Not Yet

Snipe, you are too lavish in your praise for TR. We all (secretly) know it's a different story over there.

AA was never perfect and we all know the reasons, but it still was something unlike what was offered then. Speaking of the dead, I couldn't believe it when I've seen NCsoft's new offering, titled Steel Dog (

So they killed AA to bring us yet another fluffy casual MMO? Ugh >.<

Pax Bionicus

@Steel Dogs: is that a top

@Steel Dogs: is that a top down, arena only version of AA? That's awkward.

Snipehunter's picture

Deja vu

flora wrote:
@Steel Dogs: is that a top down, arena only version of AA? That's awkward.

Isn't it just? That's the first I'd heard of that.

As for TR, I have to admit that when I played it, I wasn't all that impressed. Sad As a player, I'm dying for a good Sci-Fi game and I had some hopes that TR was it. Sadly, it really wasn't what I was hoping for.

That being said, it did bear a remarkable resemblance to AA in a number of ways that I found interesting (and to some extent, even a little flattering). We did a lot of things on AA, even beyond the action combat and physics, that weren't done on other MMOs and seeing them carried forward into new MMOs is gratifying... even if those MMOs aren't really the ones I'm personally looking for.

Right now, the ones I'm looking forward to are Black Prophecy (I was a huge fan of Reakktor's Neocron and it's that studio's next effort), Fallen Earth and Stargate Worlds... Sadly, I'm not at all convinced I'll actually get to play all 3; this industry has a bad track record when it comes to bringing the non-fantasy MMOs to market, or to handle them poorly, once we do. Sad

- Snipehunter

Sigoya's picture

Sadly, yes

...that's exactly what Steel Dog seems to be, with several AA-inspired (recycled?) vehicles and weaponry.

I'm keeping my sight on Fallen Earth, Earthrise and Black Prophecy as well, although FE and ER have taken a more fantasy-inspired route with their creatures and some concepts.

Many of us AA Vets are still working on Apokalypsos as well, the impossible mammoth it is, we are having little victories here and there, and always on the lookout for helping hands. We launched a LinkedIn group as well, Post-Apocalyptic fans are welcome to join!
(Shameless plug:

Pax Bionicus

Snipehunter's picture


Apokalypsos has a ton of cool associated with it, for the real. You guys can't let that one slip - as a player and a developer, I'd be pissed. You'll make me QQ. Eye-wink

You have to accept my group invite, on linked in too. Smiling

Sigoya's picture

Thank you Snipe've always been an inspiration for many of us, and I can assure you, even though Apokalypsos might seem like an impossible dream, we are sinking as many hours as our RL schedules allow. We have no illusions or glossy view of the challenges ahead, but we are taking our time in crafting every element professionally. And boy, would you be proud of our timeline, characters and the depth of the overall storyline. Thor and I are making sure every little story/lore element corresponds directly to our near future reality, complete with a mammoth corporate/products/weapons list.

We've pushed a handful of our characters online here: and we've planned a major online alternate reality game with blogs and sites.

Now, if we can only find a Programmers Sweat Shop somewhere Smiling