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The Round Up: behind the scenes with our favorite stories of the week

The Round Up: behind the scenes with our favorite stories of the week

Starting this week, Sophie and I will be looking back on the most popular or interesting stories of the past seven days and give some thoughts on how they came together. There’s no reason to let the weekend go to waste!

Is anyone else starting to get overwhelmed with the amount of good games that have either been released or are right around the corner? Every day may feel like Christmas as new games are dropped off for review or preview, but as they start to pile up that happy feeling is replaced with something approaching panic. We’re still going to continue the original reporting that forms the basis of this site, but during a heavy review season there are simply more nights where Sophie and I play games deep into the night after the writing is done. In terms of crunch time, there are much worse things to be doing.

That’s the future though. For now, let’s take a look at the most popular or interesting stories of the past week.

Why Sony, and the PlayStation brand, could be in more trouble than you think:

The comments interesting when you run a story like this, because you’re always going to get people who jump to the “you’re biased against X or Y system” argument. That’s no reason to back off from digging into the data and figuring out what’s going on. Sony has a number of problems that Nintendo and Microsoft don’t have to deal with, and it’s going to hurt them this holiday season.
Read the story.

I don’t love the flower girl: iOS game Lili is all looks:

Contrary to what many think about games journalists, we don’t relish giving games bad reviews. People work hard on these, and we know that. Lee Perry, a developer on Lili, struck up a conversation post-review on Twitter, where we attempted to clear up some issues. He was even apologetic about the bugged enemy I encountered, tweeting, “It’s like my dog pooped in your yard.” I might not have liked the game, but the dignity with which Perry spoke is nothing short of admirable. And I don’t hold a grudge against his dog.
Read the story.

Meet the quiet man who sold Obsidian Entertainment on Project Eternity, and a $2M Kickstarter:

This story began in the early days of the Project Eternity Kickstarter, when the Penny Arcade Report reached out to Obsidian for some more details on the game. I ended up speaking with Adam Brennecke, who apologized a couple times over the phone for “rambling” - we love rambling, by the way - and admitted it was his first phone interview. We concluded our interview, I hung up, listened through about 7 minutes of audio, and felt unsatisfied. My brain kept coming back to the idea it was Brennecke’s first phone interview. I called back. “Adam,” I said, “Can we talk about you?” Thus the blend of Project Eternity with Brennecke’s personal history.
Read the story.

The rules of strategy guides: how Prima Games pissed off Square & why it killed Harry Potter:

I love stories like this, because we so rarely get to take a look into this sort of business. Strategy guides are popular at retail because it’s an easy way to pad sales when a big budget game is released, but everything that makes the market attractive for publishers works together to make sure the industry can’t evolve. There are many interesting directions that strategy guides could go into, but with the challenges of timing and licensing it’s unlikely anything is going to change. Besides, there are so many free alternatives the market for paid, publisher-approved strategies may be on its last legs.
Read the story.

Majesco’s Baller Beats Twitter drama continues: company may have misled investors:

Was this story worth a follow up? There was some discussion in the comments, but the fact remains that we were told more information was coming, and it never did. Our e-mails weren’t returned, and Majesco stopped participating in the story at all. That, combined with the change in the official account and the CEO’s use of the Twitter data in an earnings call all added up to an update that needed to be written. When people bullshit in the name of marketing, I get angry, and I don’t mind calling them out on it.
Read the story.

Our favorite Cuts

How Blizzard pleases “the contented majority” of World of WarCraft players

StarCraft multiplayer could go free to play? That’s a smart move

Steam in hot water due to German consumer rights regulations

One more quick note: The point of the Cut is to drive traffic to good writing, so why not link directly to the stories? Because especially when looking back at the week, it’s nice to be able to read the comments on each story. There are many times people write comments I disagree with, but they make their point well, and I think our community adds tremendous value to the Cut. So I like including our landing page with the comments, although I’m sure a few people are going to grumble about that decision.

We have some great stuff lined up for you next week, and we’re going to release some content this weekend as well. Let us know what you think!