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stories by Graham Zerebeski

Do triple-A games have a future?

Alex Hutchinson, creative director of Assassin's Creed 3, recently went on record as saying, "We're the last of the dinosaurs …. We're still the monster triple-A game with very large teams [and] multiple studios helping out on different bits. There are fewer and fewer of these games being made, especially as the middle has fallen out."

High Metacritic scores are an Irrational job requirement

One of the more honestly depressing articles that I've ever written was regarding the fact that developer Obsidian lost a bonus for getting a review score of 84 when they needed an 85 for the average Metacritic score on Fallout: New Vegas. Well, apparently when Irrational Games looked at that kind of setup, they decided, "Hey, that sounds like something we should really have as a job requirement."

Open Dialogue and Closed Minds

This might only be tertiary in relation to video games, but it's something that I feel still needs to be talked about, which is odd because it involves conversation in the first place. Recently there has been no lack of talk about the issue of women's portrayals in video games; from the whole hoopla over the Feminist Frequency Kickstarter (which I've already covered in part), to discussions regarding the direction that the recent reboot of the Tomb Raider series seems to be taking. There's even an article asking whether booth babes should still be at E3.

Jita’s Ashes: EVE Online teaches us something about player freedom

Freedom is an interesting thing even if a little hard to define at times. It's a strange concept to try to apply to video games because as a hobby, we haven't really a needed to call the notion of freedom into the picture. But ever since massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) hit the scene, the idea of just what freedom means in relation to an online world has been a question that seems to be ignored for the most part.

A plea for sanity regarding Metacritic and developer bonuses

Metacritic. The name alone can start arguments in some game-based circles on the Web. I'm not here to endorse or damn Metacritic or the people that use it to give feedback about whether a title might be worth buying or not. No, I'm here to shout out to the dark in hopes that maybe someone somewhere will listen. What am I pleading for? Simple. Stop giving and withholding bonuses based solely off of Metacritic scores.

Are spectacular sales and insane discounts a problem for the industry?

File this one under perplexing as much as anything else…I certainly was confused when I read some of what Good Old Games Managing Director Guillaume Rambourg and marketing head Trevor Longino said about Steam sales. The pair of them recently had an interview with PC games blog Rock, Paper, Shotgun, and among the subjects, they discussed price and value.

What the End to Mass Effect 3 has Taught Me about Gamers

To say that the ending to Mass Effect 3 has been tumultuous would be an understatement of epic proportions. People have formed petitions, demanded changes, one guy is even going to the FTC over the way the game ended. I can't say that my position as someone who has never played the games is a unique one, but I do honestly believe that it offers me a different and perhaps interesting perspective.

Interview with Saharan Spy set creator Chemical Alia

It's hard to believe that it's only been about a year and a half since the Mann-Conomy Update hit Team Fortress 2 like bolt out of the blue. Trading, unusual hats, an in-game store; all of these things changed the way Team Fortress 2 worked for better and for worse, but one of the most impactful additions were the original five Polycount sets, among them the Saharan Spy set.