GAME_JAM was supposed to be an online reality show that would shed light on the world of indie game development. After a day into shooting and $400,000 later, it never happened.
Polaris who is owned by Maker Studios who is owned by Disney organized the series. It was sponsored by Mountain Dew, and featured some of the prominent names in indie development. People like, Zoe Quinn (Depression Quest), Robin Arnott (Deep Sea), Davey Wreden (The Stanley Parable) and Adriel Wallick (Rock Band Blitz). The show would have featured a bunch of teams working to make a game. The show was pitched to be like Hell’s Kitchen, but with videogames. The premise sounds simple, and to gamers, pretty interesting, until the developers walked off.
There was a miscommunication between what the studio wanted and what the developers wanted, but a lot of blame was put on Polaris’ marketing consultant Matti Leshem. According to the various personal blogs of some of the talent, he allegedly attempted to pit the developers against each other and repeatedly asked sexist questions. Questions like, “do you think you’re at an advantage because you have a pretty girl on your team?” This statement offended Wallick, and despite Leshem’s attempt to smooth things over, the damage was done, and it worsened after he asked a similar question to an all male team.
“He had the audacity to approach me later and explain that it wasn’t personal,” says Wallick in her blog. “This wasn’t a personal attack on me – he knew this was a sensitive topic in the industry and wanted to address it.”
Some of the blame was corporate advertising getting in the way of the well being of the developers. Allegedly, only Mountain Dew products were allowed on screen, so drinking water was a hassle. But according to Wallick, it was only a minor issue.
The hostility eventually reached a boiling point and there was no going back. Despite flying out to Los Angeles for the recording, the developers decided it was not worth it. That is the end of Game Jam for now. The show is cancelled.
2014 is a year of transition. It’s the first full year with next gen consoles, while last gen hardware is still strong. Without considering the big E3 announcements for this year, there’s still a lot to look forward to. So, with that in mind, here’s a rundown of the games CGMagazine knows about.
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
Picture Credit: Blizzard
It’s kind of strange to have Diablo III on this list following the release of it’s expansion Reaper of Souls, but this title is a personal favourite of some of the staff. Diablo III will make its way to the PlayStation 4 sometime this year, with the Xbox One version following sometime after. Blizzard’s dungeon crawler was a hit when it released on PC and Mac in 2012, and it’s popularity grew a year later when it was ported to home consoles. Now, players can relive the game solo, or with online and local co-op on their next gen consoles.
Call of Duty:2014
Picture Credit: Activision
Call of Duty Ghost launched in November, so players will have to wait for this one. Not much is known about this year’s game except that it will be the first CoD with a three-year development cycle. Sledgehammer gets the nod or this year, probably followed by Treyarch in 2015, and Infinity Ward in 2016. This is good for the series, as a two-year cycle doesn’t leave much time to change things up. We’ll probably learn more of about this title in June at Electronics Entertainment Expo.
Dragon Age: Inquisition
Dragon Age: Inquisition will feature a new protagonist and a new play style. Instead of a linear progression, Thedas is more open for exploration. In this game, the Templar and Mages are at war, and dragons rule the skies, so its up to players to save a world in turmoil. BioWare has RPGs down to a science, so we expect big things from this game.
World of Warcraftturns 10 this year, so it would be a good time to throw in some updates. Warlords of Draenor features a revamped world, updated character art, and graphics, as well as new quests and a level cap of 100. There’s no exact release date yet, but you can expect it sometime in December.
As a yearly instalment, the Assassin’s Creed series doesn’t change a lot. But each game’s unique setting and time period breathes just enough life into each title to feel fresh. Last year’s entry, Black Flag, featured the pirate paradise Nassau, and now Assassin’s Creed: Unity will take place in Paris during the French Revolution.
The Walking Dead: Season Two
If you’re longing for a Walking Dead fix after the TV show’s season finale, Telltale Games has you covered. Players return to the zombocolypse as Clementine. All of your actions affect her outlook on the world. Those decisions actually mean something in this game because they carry over from the previous Walking Dead season. Episodes oneand two have already been released, but there are still three more to round out the season. Just prepare to feel feelings.
Selling over 30 million units on the Wii, Mario Kart is one of Nintendo’s heavy hitters. Now, Mario Kart 8will carry the load and maybe even become the much needed system seller the Wii U needs. With some carryovers from the last entry like gliders and different terrains, and the addition of new characters like Koopalings, this entry in the series could be pretty fun.
There was a time when any MMO that went up against World of Warcraft failed. Now, as WoW’s following slowly dwindles, there’s a little more space for new games to step in and fill the void. That’s where Elder Scrolls Online comes in. The series already lends itself to MMO play style, and it’s world is big enough for Bethesda to constantly release expansions. This particular game takes place 800 years before Morrowind and Oblivion, and a millennium before Skyrim, so there is a lot of history to cover.
id Software’s Wolfenstien is the granddaddy of first person shooters, so whenever a sequel comes along, it’s a big deal. Gamers play as BJ Blazkowicz as he wakes up in an alternate history where the Nazis won the Second World War. It’s fast, there’s dual wielding, and giant Nazi-Mech-Dog. If that doesn’t get you excited, the pre order comes with a beta for Doom 4.
Last year, Rockstar Games‘s Grand Theft Auto Vwas a benchmark for open world action-adventures. This year, Watch_Dogs might take that spot. This could be Ubisoft’s most ambitious title to date. Players take control of the former thug-turned-hacker Aiden Pearce as he brings his own form of justice to Chicago. It looks cool, and hopefully it’s delays only improve that.
There’s quite a bit to look forward to without knowing what E3 will bring. Maybe in a few months this list will look a little different, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get excited for the games we already know about. What are the games you can’t wait to play this year? Did we miss something that you think should be there? Leave a comment below and let us know.