Archive for August 22, 2008

Taito not happy about the use of Space Invaders at the Leipzig show, considering legal action

August 22, 2008

If you follow the consumer game media at all then you probably have heard of the Leipzig Game Show that has been going on in Germany. You also might have heard of the controversial Space Invaders-related exhibit which is being touted as art. Well Taito doesn’t care what it’s called, they are thinking of taking legal action:

TAITO is seriously considering all available options–including legal actions against the infringer and, if necessary, the Games Convention exhibitor involved–in order to end this unauthorized and impermissible misuse of the Space Invaders content and to protect TAITO’s intellectual properties.

Ouch! Of course it doesn’t help that the theme also has to do with the World Trade Center Towers, September 11th, and the whole war on terrorism. I imagine that Taito doesn’t want to be linked to this sort of thing which is probably what caught their attention. Hit the jump for Taito’s full press release.

UPDATE: A response from the artist:

——statement of the artist——————
After three days of a steady downward spiral in public discussion of the
piece, I have just given my agreement to the organizers of the Leipzig
Games Convention to simply turn off the installation Invaders! While I
realize the dangerous precedent of allowing the lowest common
denominator dictate what is and is not a valid form of expression,
unfortunately the current tone has totally obfuscated the original aims
of the piece. While I take full responsibility for the uncomfortable
ambiguity of certain aspects of this work, it was never created to
merely provoke controversy for controversy’s sake, and unfortunately,
this is what the piece has now become. The American response to this
work has been, frankly, immature, and lacking the sophistication and
consideration that other parts of the world have so far shown the work.
Contrary to previous reports, I am an American, and it saddens me that
we as a people remain so profoundly unable to process this event outside
of some obscure, but tacitly understood, criteria of purely anesthetized
artistic representation. Due to these profound misunderstandings, I
simply feel that from an artistic point of view, the work has lost the
ability to have any valuable impact, poetic or otherwise. I have not
been pressured by the Leipziger Messe, nor by the Computerspiele Museum
in this decision — to the contrary, they have offered their support in
defending the right of artists to speak freely, and in whatever context
they may choose.

August, 22nd 2008 Douglas Edric Stanley

And in case you’re curious, here’s what the exhibit looked like




What gives with the consumer game media (an open letter)

August 22, 2008

Again from our friend Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report, an open letter discussing the issue of the not-so-glowing coverage of the arcade industry in conventional game media:

Why dose the consumer game media want to try and shoot-down Street Fighter IV in the arcade?

We have seen first comments that the arcade version was rubbish, then we heard that it was only for Japan, then only for Japan, Taiwan and Australia, and now only limited international release. But most telling, we were told in a hoard of game web sites that the console version of SFIV was to be at the Leipzig Computer Expo, only to suffer amnesia and try and change the subject where Capcom confirmed they had never said that!

I have been asked by a number of arcade fans, what gives with the console game media – why do they have such a downer on amusement, especially when it comes to Street Fighter?

For me, the reason is able to be split into three parts:

1- We were wrong!
A number of journo’s are really pissed that they missed the Street Fighter hype for players to play it on arcade! You can see from the original coverage when the game was broke last year, media coverage moved from ‘denial’, then to ‘dismissal’, and finally to ‘derision’. They were caught wrong footed totally missing the popularity, and the fan sites gained the ground on reader interest – for this the aggression against arcade has grown, and we see the constant digging at the arcade release no matter how popular.

2- Where’s my money!

Always remember that the amusement industry dose not advertise in the consumer game magazines – so it has always been hard to get these guys to treat the market seriously. There has been a major change in marketing by Capcom to address this, taking Journo’s on expensive benders with SFIV coin-op machines present to try and turn the tide, feeling that they need to get everyone onboard to help push the brand – but some writers still sulk, partly due to the next point.

3- We don’t get it!
Like being wrong footed on gamer interest – a number of the current generation of consumer game writers come from a hard nose background that separates them from the core audience for gaming. They send more time at press junkets and game launches, having to rush reviews of 30-hour playtime console titles and have just lost the loving (if they ever had it) for playing. We are also seeing the fan sites leading the way in good coverage of gaming, getting how popular coin-op still is (which hurt the professional writers ego).

Well that’s my blinkered [I am an arcade head] view of why we have seen such a childish attempt to sideline and marline amusement. This whole Leipzig lie about seeing the console version of Street Fighter IV stands as a stark reminder that arcade is still treated as a [dead] black sheep in the gaming industry.


I also have found it interesting that in the same week where we start getting reports of arcades in the US getting their hands on the arcade version of SFIV we begin to see a flurry of news on the console versions of the game, which should serve as a reminder to arcade companies how the console version of a title can work to undercut their own game in arcades.

[Discuss on the Forum]

Post-Edinburgh Interactive Festival Report

August 22, 2008

Previously we have discussed the Edinburgh Interactive Festival and how our friend Kevin Williams was going to present a seminar about the amusement industry to that show and now we have the details. He displayed a number of new games to delegates at the convention, and showed off technology such as the Gundam game from Namco that uses the dome screen and Konami’s latest efforts such as Action Cop, Jubeat and DDRX. I have seen the Poker Tek game mentioned in the release (and show in the picture with Kevin there on the right) and it appears that it caught some good attention at the show. Get the full details (with more pictures) from the press release after the jump: