Games Inbox: How many TV and game subscriptions do you have?

The Morning Inbox discusses the secret of Rockstar’s success with GTA Online, as one reader bids adieu to id Software’s Tim Willits.

To join in with the discussions yourself email [email protected]


Everybody’s doing it

The annoucement about Uplay is pretty interesting but I have to agree that once everyone starts doing their own subscriptions this is already going to get badly out of control. You’ve already got Game Pass, EA Access, and Uplay+ and I assume you’re also going to have an equivalent from Sony last gen. Then how long before the smaller publishers start joining in and you’ve got a Bethesda Pass, along with Square Enix and Bandai Namco? I mean why wouldn’t they if it makes money?

As if that’s not bad enough I think most people that would be interested in games would also probably have a few TV ones as well. I’ve currently got Netflix and Amazon Prime and I’ll almost certainly get Disney+ as well. All these subscriptions are more than £5 so you are looking at maybe £40 to £50 a month by the time you get to the next gen.

And yet…. is that still not reasonably good value for money? That’s the price of one new game for more games and TV than you could ever possible play/watch. There has got to be a limit, but personally I don’t feel I’ve reached it yet.


Blocky graphics

I’m pretty sure Microsoft has said they have no plans for a Minecraft 2 but am I the only that wishes they or someone else would make a game that was similar but with more realistic graphics? I get the whole block 8-bit textures but they’re really limiting in terms of the amount of detail you can put in the game. I was quite intrigued by the Minecraft Earth app but walking around life-size Minecraft buildings is kind of stupid if everything’s just made up of these big blocky textures that don’t look like anything. Imagine if they were actually realistic and you were creating buildings like that!

Maybe that would make things too complicated but I’m pretty sure kids could handle it and would be into it as well. I’m kind of surprised nobody’s already done it really since the original was made by just two guys, so it’s obviously not a budget problem or something.

I’m not even sure Minecraft 2 would solve the problem because I bet that would still look similar to the original. Oh well, maybe Minecraft just isn’t for me…


Secret numbers

Am I the only one that gets mildly depressed when I see the list of the best selling games of the year, because they’re always the most boring predictable choices. I’m not complaining against people enjoying those games but more the thought that anything more ambitious tends to get ignored by most people.

Or maybe they don’t? It’s basically become impossible to tell how well a game is selling and I really don’t know why companies are so keen to keep this a secret. Even when they’re mega hits they don’t really say and certainly don’t give any figures. Wasn’t there supposed to be a new thing from Chart-Track where they were going to combine physical and digital sales to have a proper chart? Whatever happened to that?

GC: They did promise that at one point, but as you see it’s never materialised. Probably because a lot of publishers refuse to share their digital sales figures with anyone.


E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The old guard

Was a bit sad to learn today that Tim Willits is leaving id Software this year after 24 years with the company. That will make his last game Rage 2, which seems a pretty sad way to leave. If you were more conspiracy minded I guess you could say maybe he was pushed out when it flopped, because it seems to have been all his idea, but I think the simplest explanation is that he just wanted to do that last project before he left.

He’s not retiring though, despite being pretty old (and presumably rich), so I’m going to guess he ends up at Google, since Bethesda already seem to be in bed with them over Stadia. Unfortunately this means that there’s none of the big names left at id, that worked on Doom and Quake and the early games, but hopefully Doom Eternal will prove that they’re still a major developer.

They were probably the first developer that I learned to recognise by name and I always follow their stuff, even after they were bought by Bethesda. Interested to know what they’ll be working on after Doom as well too, now that the old guard has gone and they’ve already rebooted all their old franchises. Hopefully it’s all new from now on!


Wait and see

That is actually a very good point about Final Fantasy XVI, I hadn’t really thought about where that would come if they’re going to spend the next several years making Final Fantasy VII Remake. Although the obvious answer is simply that they’ll get a different team to make it you would’ve thought they’d also want to wait and see how the remake is received and whether that should influence the next sequel.

My guess would therefore be that it’ll be a long while till we hear about XVI and that instead we’ll only get the remake and other spin-offs. And I’m okay with that. I’m one of those that didn’t really like XV and would like to see a return to a more old school style of both gameplay and setting. Sci-fi was bad enough but setting it in something that looks almost modern day was a real turn off for me.


Constant freebies

For me, I stopped playing GTA Online regularly about two years ago but I do occasionally drop back in and will definitely have a peek at the casino. It may seem crazy to some people that GTA V is still in the charts after all this time but you’ve got to hand it to Rockstar for their support. Not only is everything free but they really put a lot of effort into coming up with different kinds of updates and game modes.

I’m not naive enough to think this is out of the goodness of their hearts, and the way they rely on whales buying microtransactions is pretty gross, but for the majority of players you’re basically getting an amazing game that is constantly being updated for nothing. That and the original appeal of GTA is why it sells so well and why the only thing that’s going to stop it is a sequel.


By their fruits you will know them

That Streets Of Rage 4 list of composer is legit amazing. I’m not going to pretend I recognise any of their names except Yuzo Koshiro but I think their work speaks for itself. I had no idea the Street Fighter II composer was a woman either, she really should be more famous than she had because that game is just wall to wall classics.

I’ve never considered buying a game just for its soundtrack before but I would definitely consider the for this one. At this point the gameplay just has to be barely competent for me to get it.


Catch up on every previous Games Inbox here


Super Mario made

I’ve been busy moving house so haven’t had as much time on Super Mario Maker 2 as I would have liked. Thanks to everyone who gave my first level a try and for the nice comments. I’ve been playing through some other reader’s levels and they have been really good. I enjoyed replaying Nick The Greek’s Saw level but a special mention has to go to FatysHenry’s whose Cannonball Bog level (RXM-SJD-G2G) is the best I’ve played, even better than any of the story mode ones I’ve tried by Nintendo themselves. It just had such a wonderful atmosphere and challenged me without drifting into frustration. Amazing level!

I have made another two courses myself now if anyone wants a go:

Escape From Koopa City – 18P-R2N-M7G
Slide, Hop ‘N’ Bop – YD0-R4Y-6GF

The first is my attempt at a light/dark world course and the second is a speed run involving jumping on Paratroopas (always loved the real Mario levels along those lines). I’m going to have a short break now to go back to Splatoon 2 and take part in the Splatocalypse. I’ve not played the game in months so there’s going to be a fair bit of new content for me, especially as every Shifty Station level is going to be featured.

Nintendo really need to be commended for how they’ve handled Splatoon 2, supporting it so solidly for two years. Ending on a big event like this just shows the care they have put into the game. I will be sad to see it all end, hopefully Splatoon 3 will live up to its legacy.
Ryan O’D
PS: Really looking forward to your Fire Emblem: Three Houses review. Please be good.


Inbox also-rans

How do I link my Twitch account to the Rockstar Social Club page to get the Penthouse for free, plus the money, before tomorrow. Can I have a step by step guide to how to do so?

GC: This should explain everything, although it has to be a Twitch Prime account.

With this Nintendo’s announcement of improved battery life for the Switch, I hope all those people asking for a new version with more power are finally happy… (tumbleweed and crickets)

GC: What?


This week’s Hot Topic

The subject for this weekend’s Inbox was suggested by reader Gannet, who asks what video game franchise have you been playing the longest?

What series do you have the longest history with and what was the first and most recent entry you’ve played? Do you consider yourself a long-time fan of the series or is it simply that most of the games are high quality?

How many entries have you played and do you own any related merchandise? Do you consider yourself to be loyal to the franchise and do you always plan to buy new games, even when they’re spin-offs, if they’re part of the series?

E-mail your comments to: [email protected]


The small print
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