Monday, 26 December 2011

And now for something completely different: Computer Games = Mega Money

I have not done a non-beer related story in a while and there's no better time than the day after Christmas to do one. Christmas is a quiet time for bloggers as we are far too busy drinking in the festive cheer. Don't worry, I have a number of beer related articles lined up.

For Christmas, I got a copy of the new game in the Elder Scrolls series. Called Skyrim, it takes Oblivion like graphics, turns them up a few notches and leave you with a rather polished and beautiful to behold open world to wander around. Like the previous games, it's open ended. You can ignore the main game plot and do whatever you like. If running around and murdering every living creature is your thing, then go for it.

In terms of how good the game is? Well for starters, this game seems to be in reverse. Previous Elder scrolls games were designed for PC and ported to console but the opposite seems to have happened here. That means that the interface is clearly designed for a console and is not as good as previous games due to the limitations of using a game controller compared to keyboard and mouse.
There are also issues or bugs with the game, namely that changing your keyboard layout does not work very well. You can play the game just fine, but the screen will always tell you to press the default key and does not know that you changed it. This makes dropping items in your inventory a challenge until you figure out that it's the "sheath weapon" key you need to press.

The PC version also has another flaw. It uses steam; even if you buy the physical game in a shop, you still have to install steam. I ran in to problems. Firstly, my email address had already been registered with steam but I could not log in. I also could not reset my password as each time I did, steam sent me a code to unlock my account and it failed. This is a common problem with steam it would seem. I logged a call with the helpdesk but wanting to play the game, I just registered a new account with a different email address and thought I was good to go.

Not so, there is another issue. Steam then decides it needs to go off and download about 3.5GB or more of game data as it does not realise I have a physical disk with the bloody game on it. So more internet trawling to discover a method of forcing it to install off the disk.

A 3rd flaw with steam is that as far as I know, if my internet connection drops at some point, my game will come to an end? I don't know for sure as I have not tested it but it seems that's the case from what I have read. A bloody cheek when I own the game, have a physical DVD in the drive and it's a completely offline game that does not use the internet in any way. Again, there are ways around this but it should not be the case.

Sorry about this post, it was going to be short and mention the immense amount of money made from games these days and it ended up being a sort of game review. Don't let the negatives put you off getting the game though, it is an astoundingly beautiful and immersive game.

Back on point, when I started looking up how to sort my installation issues, I discovered that Skyrim had only been out a month and already had earned $650 million. Yes million!!

I then discovered that Modern warfare 3 earned even more. 1 Billion in 16 days? Those numbers are stunning. Modern warfare made more money than avatar and I would hazard a guess that it cost a lot less to make. Now I see why blockbuster movies usually have a computer game version as well. If the avatar game had made the sort of money that modern warfare 3 did, then James Cameron would be very happy indeed.

Anyway I hope everyone had a great Christmas day. Try not to over eat too much today, I could barely sleep last night while digesting all that food.


  1. There is a solution to your skyrim problems. Buy an xbox.

  2. How unhelpful of me, I apologise. Anyway the xbox version is not painless. I am stuck halfway through a mission series without being able to complete them and stuck as a werewolf. The recent patch hasn't fixed it and as I'm not on a PC I can't code my way out of it.
    The money in games is huge and in this country is a very important industry. Unfortunately this government isn't supporting it.

  3. I went the PS3 route myself but I much prefer PC gaming. I will have infinite free mods for the game when I complete the main story, something that is limited on console versions.

  4. Leave the console gaming to the prepubescence teen's ;

    Steam is good its just was never designed with Ireland broadband network in place !!!You can play in offline mode if you want when the line are congestion an such

    Also you are free of disk and can down load you game to up to 10 different machines.

    A version of steam is the future of gaming

    if your look of a good multi player hard to go wrong with Left for dead of LFD2 steam is selling them cheap