Gamer’s Edition is a new service offering videogames stuffed inside cardboard boxes and sold as limited-run collector’s editions. It’s similar in many ways to the IndieBox, which we looked at up-close last year, but instead of using a subscription model, Gamer’s Edition essentially crowdfunds each of its proposed physical releases. The designs for Gamer’s Edition releases are created in advance, but actual production doesn’t begin until there are enough orders.
The service launched today with two games on the table, Hotline Miami 1 and 2, and Papers, Please. Both editions are very well stacked: The Hotline Miami package includes both games on DVD and Steam, a C90 mix tape—apparently an actual audio cassette tape—a trade paperback of the Hotline Miami 2 comic, five “Cameo” trading cards, a 50 Blessings spraypaint stencil, and a custom art card, all put together in a DVD case with packaging designed by Dennaton. The Papers, Please release is comparably loaded, complete with Arstotzkan passport and paperwork, a Labor Lottery keyring, posters, stamps, a pin, and separate “Approved” and “Denied” stamps (and even an inkpad).
They don’t come cheap. Hotline Miami is $60, while Papers, Please is $70; that’s not out of line compared to regular retail prices for triple-A releases, but it is a big premium over the $10 that each of them go for on Steam. Of course, people don’t buy editions like this just for the game; we do it so we can gaze pridefully at the deck of Dishonored tarot cards sitting on our shelves and think, “Boy, I wish I could open that and see what those things actually look like.”
The Hotline Miami and Papers, Please Gamer’s Editions will be available for ordering/funding for another 30 days. A third title is expected to be announced soon.
Australia to trial new ratings system for online, mobile games – PC Authority
The overhaul of Australia’s game classification system has been long, sometimes painful process. We’ve only had R18 classifications for a short while, and though that system seems to be allowing more games to reach Australian shelves, some games – specifically online and mobile titles – are still being ‘sold’ without classification.
The new system, announced today by Minister for Justice Michael Keenan, is that of the International Age Rating Coalition, or IARC (no, not the IARC that deals with Cancer Registries). It’s a rating system whereby participating online storefronts can work with developers to get their games rated, via a relatively simple questionaire.
The IARC, which includes countries such as the US, Canada, and Brazil, then ensures the global rating is converted into a local one.
The use of this tool will help keep the National Classification Scheme up to date with the pace of growth of mobile and online games.
Australians who download these games through participating storefronts will soon start seeing familiar Australian classifications. Parents will also be better informed when making decisions about what their children play on their devices.
It sounds like a pretty good service, relying as it does on storefronts and developers to do the heavy lifting. There’s one catch, though.
The IARC’s website lists participating countries and storefronts, and the storefronts list is pretty small. In fact, it’s one – the Firefox Marketplace. One would think that for a system to be truly useful, it would at least have Steam, and maybe the Play and Apple Stores as participants.
Unless there’s some as yet unannounced local alternative, it seems like a good idea that’s simply not going to have much use in practice. We’ve contacted the Minister’s officer for clarification.
Square Enix wants devs to pitch new Anachronox and Gex games – PC Gamer
I’ll be honest, I don’t entirely understand Square Enix’s “Collective” initiative. It lets indie developers pitch ideas to the Square Enix community, and if they do well they… er, they get to do a Kickstarter. Couldn’t they do that anyway? I guess it’s a chance to utilise Square Enix’s marketing apparatus while still retaining independence, but if Kickstarter is already a popularity contest, I’m not sure I’d want to go through an additional one before that point.
At least now there might be a better reason to use the service. Square Enix have announced that they will accept pitches for old Eidos properties—specifically, for new Gex, Fear Effect and Anachronox games.
“We have more IPs that we may open up in future,” explains the Square Enix Collective site, “but we’ll start with those and see what the response is like.”
According to Squenix, they’d “love to see different takes on those universes.” They wonder Gex would look like as a turn-based strategy. Weird, I imagine is the answer.
Unlike with original games submitted to the Collective, playing in Square Enix’s disused Eidos pool will guarantee distribution through the publisher. That means a 10% distribution fee plus a 10% “license fee for the use of the IP”.