The New York Yankees weren’t the first sports team to don pinstripes, but the distinctive pattern is as closely associated with the baseball club as it is with boardroom suits. The Yankees’ home uniform, a simple design featuring thin navy stripes on a white background, is an enduring classic: It has barely changed in more than a century. Basic though it is, the pinstriped design presents some challenges for the makers of baseball video games. In the kind of discussion that happens all the time at studios working on sports titles, the developers of R.B.I. Baseball at Major League Baseball Advanced Media were debating last fall how best to bring the Yankees’ uniform to life in the game. Areas where the pinstripes met a seam didn’t look quite right, so the team fetched some nearby reference material. “We walked down the hall to Billy, who does all of our merchandise stuff — he manages the shop, he gets all the jerseys through,” recalls Peter … [Read more...] about Exclusive: Why MLB decided to develop R.B.I. Baseball 18 itself
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E3's first attempt at an open show was, according to ticketed fans, developers and publishers that spoke with Polygon, an event of immense potential and some success, but one also fraught with organizational issues that led to hours-long lines, mass confusion and even some anger. Publishers and developers seemed to like the conceit of an E3 that allows the public into its halls, but also made suggestions about how to cut down on crowds and wait times, according to those who spoke with Polygon. But according to Rich Taylor, show organizer ESA’s senior vice president of communication and industry affairs, last week’s show was a “smashing success.” “I heard anecdotally from people there who were thrilled with the content of the show and that consumers were excited to see it for the first time,” Taylor told Polygon. “Many people were saying it was a childhood dream come true.” He said the addition of the 15,000 public attendees also added an … [Read more...] about Fans find E3’s first public show a mixed bag
I attended my first E3 back in 1995 and have sat through dozens of media presentations. To me, they're like a secret language of anxiety and folly. Below, I’ve shared my thoughts on this year's installment. Last week, my colleague Brian Crecente wrote a cogent piece about the practical and commercial point of E3, and how it might face an uncertain future. After a few days of slogging around E3’s media presentations, I’m intrigued by a slightly different question: Why the hell do we do this to ourselves? I’m especially interested by the so-called media events staged by companies like Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda and Ubisoft. These quasi-press conferences require enormous expenditure, mass discomfort and long waits. The amount of new, valuable information they contain is negligible, especially considering the wealth of alternative methods, as demonstrated by Nintendo Direct and various other strategies used by companies all through the year. They … [Read more...] about E3’s bizarre, bombastic media events
Last year, Activision caught flack when it was revealed that the company had filed a patent that uses matchmaking to encourage players to push microtransactions. But it seems that Activision is not the only company researching new ways to increase microtransaction revenue, as new reports of a similar EA patent have caused concern. In September 2017, Electronic Arts was granted a new patent for a Multiplayer Video Game Matchmaking Optimization algorithm. The algorithm is called Engagement Optimized Matchmaking (EOMM) and aims to use matchmaking in order to keep players engaged in a game for longer. Playstyle, sportsmanship, skills, and a willingness to spend money are just some of the factors that this algorithm takes into account. Although the patent filing discusses engagement, many fans have raised eyebrows at this, saying that it is a way for EA to push players towards microtransactions. After all, a willingness to spend money has no bearing on a person’s engagement in a game … [Read more...] about EA Files Matchmaking Patent; Could it Be Used for Anthem?
The first time Taylor Kurosaki and Bob Rafei saw a running PlayStation, they were in a Las Vegas hotel room. It was the 1995 Consumer Electronics Show. They, along with the company they worked for, Naughty Dog, were being given a behind-closed-doors look at Sony's first foray into the game console industry. When they describe the event now, they use words like "inspiring" and "enthralled" and phrases like "blown away." They didn't know it at the time, but the members of Naughty Dog in that room — Kurosaki, Rafei and co-founders Jason Rubin and Andy Gavin — were looking at the system that would host the team's next game: Crash Bandicoot. They were seeing the console their company would eventually create the unofficial mascot for — the console they would develop Naughty Dog's first smash hit for. It was Kurosaki and Rafei's second day with the company. Naughty Dog released Crash Bandicoot for Sony's original PlayStation in September 1996. In it, the team took an old … [Read more...] about Crash Bandicoot: An oral history