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I don’t think it would be overblown to say that on this day 30 years ago, the face of gaming was forever changed. The UK designed and built ZX Spectrum was realised to the public, and went on to sell over 5 million units. This too was back in a day when no one on the planet owned a CD, and according to BBC Micro Live’s Ian McNaught-Davis, games were an “appalling use of computers”.
As it stands today, the highest paid athlete in the world is boxer Floyd Mayweather. His earnings, with no endorsements, total some $105 million dollars. Footballer Christiano Ronaldo comes in second, with his bank manager gleefully overseeing around $80 million a year. Imagine that. Getting paid such substantial amounts for doing something you love every day, something that could hardly be considered a “job” at all.
Billed as “the world’s first ever 2-button fighting game”, Divekick was a quiet revolution when it hit the competitive fighting game arenas. Now it’s available to us mortals, will it have you jumping for joy, or limping away?
As good as BioShock: Infinite was, the way journalists melted all over it you’d think that kind of game had never been made before. Certainly it was a good shooter, and certainly it had a great story, but was it really that worthy of its relentless media love-ins?
FPSs have become one of gamings most dominant genres, and while an era of tacked-on multiplayer, poor scripting and rapidly churned out sequels made Infinite stand out from the crowd, there’s plenty of games that have done the well-written solo shooty thing previously, and in many cases done it better.
Making a game is really expensive. I mean, like really expensive. Way more expensive than making a cake, or a wardrobe. Games are a lot more fun and interesting though, so it’s all relative – right? I mean what video game would be less fun than looking at a wardrobe? Especially when the cash thrown at it is so immense.
Take, for example, the seminal Grand Theft Auto V. To date, it is estimated to be the most expensive game ever created, taking a team of hundreds over five years to create. Add to that the millions of dollars worth of advertising required to hammer the game into the public consciousness and the final price tag is nothing short of eye-popping. Still, it lived up to the hype, sold faster than turkeys in December, and was unquestionably more fun than flat-pack furniture.
It was a fairytale ending. But throwing money at things doesn’t always have the effect of making them great, as Bill Gates no doubt realized after he’s finished personally burying the last Zune MP3 player in the middle of the Arizona desert. (This may not have actually happened.)
Far Cry 3. Grand Theft Auto V. You’d be forgiven for thinking that these two games were poles apart. You’d be forgiven because they absolutely are – at first glance, anyway. Their settings, play styles and storylines are all vastly differ, but look a little closer and their Venn diagrams begin to overlap more and more.