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Kev’s Slog #12, posted by Kevin Lew

A few days ago, Steam Client Beta released a major change.

In the future, the default Steam client will shift the color scheme.  Right now it’s a gray color, but it’s going to become a blue gradient in the future.  This is so this matches the Big Picture Mode more closely.

Also, eventually you’ll be able to hide games in your library that you don’t want to see anymore.  I’ve seen numerous complaints on the forums about people wanting to removing or hiding game titles that they’ll never play.  Believe it or not, there’s a number of users that write to Steam support asking to have games permanently deleted from their account–even if they won’t be refunded any money.

Right now, I have a game category named “Garbage” and I send all my games that I truly hate and will never play into there.

This is kind of news, but it’s more like my personal observation.  When Counter-Strike: Global Offensive first arrived, it was accepted rather slowly.  After the initial rush, many people went back to CS: Source and sometimes CS 1.6.  It was a weird time, and I thought that Valve’s gambit into CS:GO was going to be a huge bust, especially since Valve didn’t develop it but let Hidden Path Entertainment do it.

Perhaps it was because professional gamers were starting to adapt to CS:GO and people started to pay more attention since it was featured in tournaments.  But I think the big change was when they implemented weapon skins and rare item drops.  In effect, they took the best part of Team Fortress 2 (item customization) and removed the worst part out of it (items drastically alter gameplay).

CS:GO became a money train once they allowed Steam Workshop items to be implemented into the game.  Originally, Valve and Hidden Path Entertainment thought that military style skins would be best, like camouflage patterns.  But it turned out that vivid colors and wild designs became the most desired weapon skins.  I can relate to this.  Real world guns aren’t very flashy at all, but it does look cool to have a blazing red firearm in a video game.  Today there’s all kinds of styles and they even implemented decals (stickers) that you can apply to your guns.

Currently, CS:GO is undoubtedly the most popular version of Counter-Strike.  It’s getting so huge that CS:GO will be the next game that Valve wants to show off after Dota 2.  There’s going to be tournaments that will be shown on Twitch and maybe even ESPN.

Crytek is a German company but it does have one development branch in the United States located here in Austin.  In recent times, things have looked very bleak.  There were reports that many staff members weren’t paid for weeks and morale became severely low.  Many Austin employees were asked to relocate to Germany, and that’s effectively laying them off.

Recently, Crytek sold off the Homefront IP to Koch Media, meaning that it’s now effectively owned by Deep Silver.  Deep Silver is the publisher for the Dead Island, Saints Row, and Metro franchises.  Many people saw this as a sign that Crytek was in big trouble, because companies never sell off IPs to anyone unless they have something huge to gain from it.  Recently the CEO of Crytek denied this and said that due to recent money inflow, they didn’t have to sell the IP at all but it happened anyway.

Crytek is going to shift in priorities in a major way.  First, they are going to focus on free-to-play games.  This means that games like Timesplitters and Crysis may never get another sequel.  Far Cry may also be affected, but the interview that I read didn’t specify.  Crytek’s next PC game will be a port of Ryse: Son of Rome, and this is likely the last title that they’ll sell before switching to the free-to-play model.  It’s a strange title to be pushing to the PC since the game did not do well on the Xbox One.  Ryse was financed by Microsoft, but they aren’t financing Ryse 2 so the game franchise is currently a dead end.  Crytek says that Ryse is still a viable product, but somebody else will need to finance it to keep it going.


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