The Sunday Papers | Rock Paper Shotgun


Sundays are for sleep. Nothing else. Just sleep. Before I sleep, then sleep a bit more, and maybe get up to read RPS’ new! mystery! column! later, but then immediately go back to sleep, here’s this week’s best writing about games (and game related things!)

We all like to moan about the modern incarnations of Fallout not really getting it, although perhaps don’t spend enough time talking about what it actually was. Over at Eurogamer, Rick Lane asks what the essence of Fallout really is, and whether BezosTech’s show captures it.

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“For my part, I think that adaptability is part of Fallout’s essence, it is always what it needs to be to thrive. But it also lies in how it views its own world through that flippant, acerbic 1990s lens. In its overarching fiction, Fallout asks many of the same questions as The Last Of Us, but it’ll also let you play as a character so dumb they can barely ask questions at all. Its world might be grim and violent and nasty, and nearly everyone in it is having a bad time, but it ultimately wants you to have a good one. Whatever else you might take from it is a bonus.”

“Collector’s editions have become a backdoor for AAA publishers to charge for early access,” writes Rhys Elliott for for consultancy MIDiA research. Note that’s ‘ia’ at the end, not ‘ai’. They seem on a level. Not a completely new observation, granted, but a well organised summary of how publishers have turned ‘hype makes every game a 10 until reviews’ marketing into ‘we’ll just avoid the review process entirely’.

“Via collector’s editions – more expensive versions of games with extra content – publishers are already leveraging superfans’ FOMO to grow launch revenues.

Collector’s editions have been a part of the games industry for decades. Yet over the past few years, the strategy has been hijacked as a way to charge more for ‘early access’ – AKA delayed access for those consumers unwilling to pay the markup.”

Viola Zhou wrote about working conditions in Zhengzhou’s ‘iPhone city’ for Rest Of World.

“Foxconn’s compound in Zhengzhou makes about half of the world’s iPhones. Nicknamed “iPhone City,” it covers an area of 5.6 square kilometers — about one-tenth the size of Manhattan — and at full capacity employs some 200,000 workers. Apple relies on just-in-time manufacturing, meaning it doesn’t build up a large inventory of products but has iPhones made as consumers order them. As a result, the megafactory’s busiest season starts around September or October, when Apple releases its new iPhone models, and continues through the end-of-year holiday season until the Lunar New Year, which falls in January or February.”

“Video Game Preservation Has Become An Industry Urgency” looks like a worthwhile piece from Variety, but it’s bloody paywalled, isn’t it? Not that I don’t think good writing is worth paying for, I just can’t be bothered to get my debit card out. Also, I don’t know if it’s good until I’ve read it. The eternal conundrum! Have you considered releasing a vertical slice, Variety?

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Music this week is this mix of Chrono Trigger piano covers, to help me sleep. Thank you to the inventor of sleep and no-one else, and thank you, readers. Have a great weekend!

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