The Nintendo Switch Rumors Are Fake

Typically, you shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. This little truth about the internet is being thrown to the wayside, as there is a growing trend in gaming where people believe everything that they see or hear as the gospel. No longer is there any scrutiny or question of rumors; every rumor is true by default. The old text rumors that haunted the halls of message boards now live on only this time under a veil of “credibility”

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2017 Plans and the Blog’s Future

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Regardless of what you thought about 2016, it’s about to be over. 2017 is upon us. So now is when you need to make your new plans.

I remember reading one of Robert Kiyosaki’s book (author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad), and he mentioned how he and his wife, before the new year, would sit down, review their year and make their plans for the next year. I hate the term  “New Years Resolution” because a New Years Resolution is assumed to be broken. But a plan is something you are going to work towards. To meet. I am throwing off the term “New Years Resolution” and making my “2017 Action Plan.” Here are some of the things I will publicly share with you.

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Super Mario Run and Its Pesky Price Tag

50millionAccording to Nintendo, Super Mario Run has been downloaded 50 million times. Digital Times reported the game was the fastest growing app ever. Regardless, analysis have been heavily criticizing the game for not being free. “How can you have a price tag. The game must be free!” exclaims the pundits. To my knowledge, Nintendo has not provided any details on the game’s revenue and firms seems to provide vastly different numbers. So I’ll do my own estimate how much the game may have made and how it could have made more than the average mobile game.

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Make Your Own Game Idea, Not Someone Else’s

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Scrolling through Twitter, I saw someone complain that Nintendo shut down another fan game just 4 weeks before release. It seems the big bad Nintendo is always stomping on the little guy. How could Nintendo be so heartless? We could argue if this practice is in Nintendo’s best interest to do, but the truth is that it’s Nintendo right to do so. Nintendo is the IP holder and they can protect their IP however they wish. What is a poor developer to do?

Simple, make your own game.

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Heroes of the Storm Could Be Syphoning MOBA Players

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So I’ve been a fan of Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard’s answer to DOTA and Leauge of Legends, for quite some time. I had figured the MOBA was having some trouble given that the game seems far more eager to give you goodies. But I came across something interesting the other day. It seems DOTA 2 is actually copying Heroes of the Storm and is adding talents.

Interesting, as the only other game that has talents is Heroes. They are also adding something similar to healing fountains as well. Of course, there are a lot of other additions the games are adding. One Reddit user summed it up well (all credit goes to him/her)

DOTA 2

  • talents
  • healing fountains

Paragon

  • mount system, but without mounts themself. Heroes are just moving faster with small channeling before entering fast mode.
  • many other stuff mixed from League and HotS

League of Legends

  • inbase gates
  • zzrot portal
  • Yorick rework is basically “Xul + Abathur + nazeebo” champion-hero design into one. Yet I still love him as specialist main from HotS.
  • empowered objectives since HotS was released: different dragons, including dragon for pushing (Earth dragon), Rift Herald, bigger Elder Dragon (aka boss)
  • one time there were some reworked or new champions with built-in speed-ups: Taliyah can move faster when near walls, Aurelion Sol similar way on his E. Also some global ultimates were added (Taliyah, Aurelion sol, Kled)
  • Hextech Crafting system is an answer to HotS leveling system: free skins, free champions, two more types of ingame currency. It worked in HotS and now greatly works in League: every week you can get chest which guaranteely gives you shard of champion or skin, which you can turn into real skin or champion for some essence (blue or orange).
  • chromas IP sale for limited time is another answer to HotS skin tints, and even now I see sometimes complains that these color alterations should be purchasable for IP (ingame currency like HotS gold, Influence Points), only because they do not add anything except changing color tint of skin. In HotS these “chromas” (tints actually) are free for leveling your hero.
  • Weekly rotating game mode was League answer to different maps in HotS (yet HotS went futher – we have Weekly Brawl now): Nexus Siege, Poro King, Ascension, and other maps are available every weekend

If Heroes was not a threat to these games, then why copy them. If Heroes of the Storm was such a non-issue, then it could easily be ignored and left alone to die. There are something these guys are worried about with Heroes. There are two possibilities I could surmise

  • People are leaving the MOBAs and not coming back: Heroes has a lot of quality of life improvements like shorter game times and mounts that make it hard to player other MOBAs. More modes and maps help as well. Heroes makes it hard to go back
  • New players are going to Heroes: Heroes is by far the easier game to get into. MOBAs often require you to have a MOBA mindset where Heroes doesn’t as much. It’s far easier to pick up as you go.

With Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch, I thought Blizzard was going directly after Valve. Heroes was a response to DOTA 2 and Overwatch was a response to Team Fortress 2. Overwatch had caught on. As a result, no one talks about TF2 anymore. Heroes hasn’t caught on as fast, and it may be that MOBAs have more of a niche. But now there may be a case for Heroes making inroads into other MOBAs. According to Newzoo.com, Heroes was the 14th most played game. DOTA 2 wasn’t even on the list.

If Heroes is truly making inroads, then I expect DOTA 2 to go first. DOTA 2 was always a niche game compared to Leauge of Legends. I expect that players will retreat upstream and most of the users will be competitive players who are concerned with their rank. League has a large casual player base so it will be some time before Heroes starts to make inroads there. Blizzard is focusing more on competitive play which could impact both games as this is the major component they have on Heroes.

It will be interesting to see how 2017 plays out for these games. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, for sure, but you usually won’t imitate something that isn’t successful. There may be something going on here.

Pokemon Are Just Fantasy Pets (And Why Pokemon Go Waned)

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One of the topics I’ve wrapped my brain around is why Pokemon is successful. Everyone and their mother has made a “monster” game. You have Digimon, Monster Rancher, and now Yokai Watch. They all fail. But Pokemon succeeds. Pokemon, even after 20 years, sells at least 10 million for each new game. How do they keep making success after success. After playing the newest Pokemon, I figured.

When I was playing the game, I felt like I have my own little team of Pokemon that I was connected to (as much as you can be connected to data). After a tough battle, I would use the Pokemon Refresh to pet them, feed them, mess with them and see what they did. As I was doing this, It then dawned on me what Pokemon successful. It’s because Pokemon are fantasy battle pets. The appeal of these games (and why people keep coming back) is the same as a cat or a dog. Pokemon, at its core, is a pet simulator with battling. Everyone has a Pokemon they like and everyone has a Pokemon that you’ve raised up and care about. Its also why the Pokemon Company keeps focusing on letting you transfer old Pokemon into the new games. The appeal of the game is having you feel like the Pokemon is yours. You have your companion. They have the moves you taught them. The nickname you gave them. They even have stats unique to that specific Pokemon (known as individual values). Pokemon is just a better Giga Pet.

Unlike a lot of other “monster” games, there is more of a sense of raising and growing with the digital creature. You build up your Pokemon. You teach it all these moves (of which it can only keep 4). They even have their own individualized stats in “Individual Values.” You give it a special nickname. And then you can battle them with your friends, and trade them.

Kyle Bosman, on his show The Final Bosman, made the point about how your Pokemon is unique to you. As he so put it “This game doesn’t want you to think of the Pokemon as data even though they are.” Even in this new game, Pokemon Sun and Moon, the game treats the Pokemon as your partner. They put a huge emphasis on the Pokemon being your ally that you work with and grow together.

This is also why other monster games always fail. They always try something similar but never get that feeling of connection with your digital creature. As a result, the creatures feel like data. In Digimon, they are just data, so everything about them feels pointless. In Yokai Watch, you catch ghost. Do you really want to catch a ghost? It’s a gimmick. Pokemon, on the other hand, tries to keep it close to the real world, and it’s done a pretty good job despite a few odd Pokemon.

This is also why Pokemon Go is declining. It succeeded by having Pokemon in the real world. It took a successful brand and integrated something new and unique (Augmented Reality). The problem is that the Pokemon ARE just data in that game. In order to make a Pokemon stronger, you have to catch hordes of other Pokemon. What it does is make each Pokemon feel inconsequential. And your Pokemon isn’t special. It’s the same as every other Pokemon of that type. It has the same stats. It doesn’t learn any moves. What the game missed was that feeling of having your own Pokemon. 

This sums up why analyst always get it wrong. They see brands, not games. Pokemon Go lost its way because there was nothing in the game to care about. The Pokemon were data, which is the antithesis to Pokemon. In Pokemon Sun and Moon, the game makes you care about the Pokemon. You can now even feed and pet the Pokemon. As silly as that sounds, it’s these kinds of things that make people like Pokemon. It’s what has kept it going for 20 years.

Konami Was Right To Can Kojima

kojima-mainYou’ve all heard the story. The evil Konami got rid of the innocent Hideo Kojima and was so mean to the poor starving artist. A narrative right out of a Dickens novel.  In the collective conscious of gamers, Konami is the dastardly villain and Kojima is the poor innocent lamb. But rarely do gamers think about the finances of the company. They assume that Konami is some evil, terrible, company and they were in the wrong. But when you look at the numbers, the reason was clear why Kojima is gone. It was merely financial.

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2016 Election and the Electoral College

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One of the interesting things this in this election is although Hillary Clinton lost the election, she won the popular vote. Hillary had 60,467,601 votes to Trump’s 60,027,551 votes, a difference of 440,050 votes. Yet Donald Trump won the electoral votes with 290 (currently) to Hillary’s 228. This is very odd. The last time this happened, with the 2000 election, George W. Bush won with 271 electoral votes. Trump won this election with 306. Essentially, he won it with enough of a margin to lose Florida, the fourth largest state in the union. So why was there such a difference?

One-eighth of Hillary’s votes were centered in 2 states, New York and California where she got 4,143,874 votes and 5,590,292 votes respectively. Votes from those two states alone total 9,734,166 and represent a whopping 16 percent of her total votes. For comparison, let’s remove the 4 largest states from Hillary and Trump’s votes to see how the election would turn out.

Hillary Trump
Total Votes 60,467,601 60,027,551
California 5,637,955 3,034,901
Florida 4,485,745 4,605,515
New York 4,143,874 2,640,570
Texas 3,867,816 4,681,590
Votes without 4 largest states 42,332,211 45,064,975

In the end, if we remove the 4 largest states, Trump wins by 2,732,764 votes. What this shows is that Hillary’s popular vote win was due entirely to New York and California. Donald Trump’s lead in Florida and Texas was less than Hillary’s lead in New York. This is how Trump won the electoral college by a decent margin (about 30 or so when all’s said and done) yet still lost the popular vote.

And this is why the electoral college exists. A lot of people look at it from the perspective of smaller states and then claim “But look at Florida. It has a lot of electoral votes.” Yes, but it has fewer than it would have had had the vote been a pure popular vote. Let’s take California. It has a population of 38.8 million people, and the US has a population of 318.9 million people. So California makes up 12.16 percent of the US. But with 55 electoral votes, it only makes up 10.22 percent of the electoral college votes. So what the electoral college does is it depresses the oversized states and increases the small states. This is because everyone gets a minimum of 3 electoral votes. It flattens the election maps and balances the states.

And this is the problem with the popular vote. Trump did better in the remaining 46 states yet would lose a pure popular vote just because Hillary was supported by California and New York. Essentially, those states would get their preferred president while everyone else wouldn’t. This might also be why people are so upset by the results. A lot of the Hillary voters live in a few areas. They live in a bubble. For comparison, I never saw a Hillary sign in Florida, but I saw a lot of Trump signs.

There are a few reason Trump may also lost the popular vote. For one, the media assaulted Trump at every turn and wouldn’t report fairly about Hillary. Did you hear about Spirit Cooking in the news? Did you hear Wikileaks or Project Veritas in the news? The media made Trump out to be Hitler. I expect this may be why people saw both candidates as awful. People never liked Hillary but the media made everyone hate Trump too. So the election was closer. You can also see this as Gary Johnson got 3 percent of the vote. I wouldn’t be surprised if some Republicans were shocked into voting for the Libertarian (both being right-side parties).

There is also the possibility that Hillary cheated. She did it then Primaries and Project Veritas proved that Democrats were planning to cheat. I suspect this may have shaved some votes from Trump in key states like Virginia and Florida. In Florida, the Democrats were filling out absentee ballots for Hillary. In Virginia, the governor pardoned 60,000 felons which could have swung the election. Since Trump won, the right will likely never look into this, so it would only bother analytical types like myself.

Lastly, Mike Cernovich made the point that there was no “Get out the vote” drive in states Trump would lose anyway (such as California). Donald Trump only got 33 percent of the votes in California while Romney got 37 percent. Romney got 1.8 million more votes than Trump. Since Trump knew the point was to win the electoral college, not the popular vote, he didn’t waste time in those states. He won within the rules of the system.

One thing I think this election signifies is a shift in the political landscape. The Democrats won the popular vote because they dominated the large cities, but lost overall as the Republicans claimed the rust belt. If Donald Trump can actually bring jobs back, then the Republicans will lock the Rust Belt states down. It will make it very hard for the Democrats to win if they can’t win the rustbelt states. Moreover, you’ll likely start to see more candidates win the electoral college and lose the popular vote.

That said, Trump is also an odd ball candidate. He’s not a politician and has only been doing this for a year and a half. Likewise, his presidency could be very different as he spent his entire life outside of the government. 2020 could be a very interesting election, especially as we’ll actually have Trump’s record as a president. Who knows how it will turn out. But if you are looking at this in 2020, I hope you enjoyed some facts.

The Trump Victory: Voter Revenge

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In my last post, I discussed why Trump voters are more enthusiastic and will show up more often  to vote for him. This will definitely help Trump, but there is something bigger going on behind the scenes. I think the Democratic base will enact revenge against the Democrats.

Now, I don’t mean in the sense that Trump is the giant middle finger to the establishment. What I’m talking is the base getting even within their own party. Essentially, the Democratic voters are going to get even with the Democratic base. One both sides of the political spectrum, no one really talks about about voting just to get even. The left thinks all the people on the left will show up and vote left. The right thinks all the people on the right will come out and vote for the right. This is the working assumption. But what happens if one side comes out to vote for the other guy? That could be enough to swing elections. Although independents win elections, I don’t think it matters if your own base doesn’t come out and vote for you.

Sean Malstrom talks about this from the Republican side:

In 2006, the House of Representatives becomes Democrat controlled. Did this occur because districts suddenly became liberal? No. This was the Republican base expressing anger at being betrayed by the Bush administration and the Republican House who did Bush’s dirty work. 2006 saw conservative districts putting in Democrats. Many times, Republicans will vote in a Democrat just to get rid of a Republican who is betraying them.

This revenge has happened more often on the Republican side due to the Bushes. Immigration has been a big issue for the Republicans, but they never seem to go through with it. In the end, they kick out republicans.

Could this be happening in the Democratic camp? Check out this article

I’m a Democrat,” Saunders, who worked for many prominent national Democrats over his career, says in the interview video. “I believe in the two founding principles of Jacksonian Democracy, social justice and economic fairness. Right now, I think that the Democratic Party—my great party—has got away from some of this.”

These people are all about spiting Clinton. Need more? Here is more outrage during the Democratic National Convention

http://www.dangerandplay.com/2016/09/14/mike-cernovich-documentary-unconvention-dnc-rnc/

There is clear anger at the Democratic establishment. People didn’t like the super delegates. When they found out about the DNC colluding with Clinton. they became furious. So what do voters do when they get angry. They get even. What you are going to see is a ton of the Bernie voters will vote Trump. They may not really like Trump, but they are getting even with Clinton and her DNC goons. You can see this in the polls. The polls over sample democrats or blocks that are likely to vote for Hillary, but even with obviously poor samples, you are seeing the race be pretty close. A lot of polls only put  Clinton a few points ahead. If the favorable polls aren’t helping Clinton much, there are likely a lot of Democrats who will secretly vote for Trump.

Also, with all of the media blitz against Trump, people will look at you funny if you say you are voting for Trump. If you’re a liberal, you will likely be ostracized by your liberal friends. So I wouldn’t doubt there are still some Democrats who are saying they will vote Hillary, but then change at the last minute.

I think it’s very likely for Trump to win thanks to revenge voters. Democrats haven’t experienced voter revenge much. While the right has the RINOs (Republican in name only), the Democrats usually don’t have that. That’s why Obama still has a 50 percent approval rate despite having very disastrous policies. But the obvious corruption is the straw that broke the camel’s back; it will be why the Democrats will come out in record numbers for a Republican.

Keep in mind Trump and Bernie were both anti-establishment candidates. If the anti-establish Bernie voters didn’t get Bernie, why would they vote for establishment Clinton? The fact is they won’t. I think the media and political establishment will be very surprised when they find out that they lost and Democrat voters were a big reason why.

Want more? Follow me on Twitter at @Spoogymoney. If you want to here about video games, go to Sourcegaming.info