Heartbreaking. Iwata was a legend.
My friend and coworker Jamie McKiernan has just released ZigZag, which replaces the default Minecraft textures with her own super-stylish art. Take a look!
Hua Hsu, writing for the New Yorker:
We are accustomed to thinking about pop music in terms of its most familiar metadata: songs and albums, scenes and artists. But what about all the other, seemingly incidental music that gets lodged in our heads, from commercial jingles to sitcom soundtracks? In the book “Koji Kondo’s Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack,” the theorist and composer Andrew Schartmann passionately argues for the radical legacy of video-game music. Focussing on Kondo’s much-loved score for Super Mario Bros.—and offering a brief detour through his Deep Purplish soundtrack for The Legend of Zelda—Schartmann brings readers into a world of visionary musicians producing beloved masterpieces in almost total obscurity. Could it be that the largely unknown Kondo, Nintendo’s first dedicated sound designer, was one of the great innovative forces of our time?
Well, I know what’s next on my reading list.
I write this to explain why I’ll be holding back my album, 1989, from the new streaming service, Apple Music. I feel this deserves an explanation because Apple has been and will continue to be one of my best partners in selling music and creating ways for me to connect with my fans. I respect the company and the truly ingenious minds that have created a legacy based on innovation and pushing the right boundaries.
I’m sure you are aware that Apple Music will be offering a free 3 month trial to anyone who signs up for the service. I’m not sure you know that Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months. I find it to be shocking, disappointing, and completely unlike this historically progressive and generous company.
UPDATE: Apple’s Eddy Cue:
Apple will always make sure that artist are paid #iTunes #AppleMusic
#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period
We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple
Well, all right then.
Michaël Samyn and Auriea Harvey:
- We studied successful games and applied our findings to the design of Sunset. And while the inclusion of certain conventions seems to have helped some people enjoy the game, it didn’t affect the size of our audience much.
- We spent a lot of money on a PR company who got us plenty of press, took some work and worries off our shoulders, and found us other marketing opportunities. But it didn’t help sales one bit.
- We even took out an advertisement on Rock, Paper, Shotgun, where we figured the people most interested in Sunset would be gathered. They must all use AdBlock because that had no effect whatsoever.
- We worked hard on presenting a gentler Tale of Tales to the public. Which basically meant that Michaël was forbidden to talk in public and Auriea often just smiled at the camera, parroting words whispered in her ears by communication coaches. Didn’t make a difference.
So now we are free. We don’t have to take advice from anybody anymore. We were wrong. Everybody whom we consulted with on Sunset was wrong.
We are happy and proud that we have tried to make a “game for gamers.” We really did our best with Sunset, our very best. And we failed. So that’s one thing we never need to do again. Creativity still burns wildly in our hearts but we don’t think we will be making videogames after this. And if we do, definitely not commercial ones.
UPDATE: That title was premature. Auriea Harvey on Twitter:
everything will be okay. https://www.patreon.com/auriea and #im #still #here and @taleoftales isn’t going away, if anything, it’s expanding.
A thoughtful and clearheaded take—one of the only ones I’ve seen, to be honest.
My immediate reaction to this Kickstarter was confusion—why even bother with crowdfunding for such an infamously expensive game? After thinking about it more, there are two obvious reasons: first, it will be much cheaper to make a new Shenmue with today’s game development tools and middleware; second, the campaign promises to be massively overfunded so the non-Kickstarter budget needs could be relatively modest.
Holy shit. Speechless again.
I’m curious about the funding situation here. They’re asking for $2 million, which is a hell of a lot for a Kickstarter but not nearly enough to make a Shenmue-sized game. (The estimates I’ve heard for the original Shenmue’s budget are in the $70-$100 million range.) Presumably Sony is heavily involved—the game was announced at their press conference, and they have console exclusivity—but if they’re throwing in tens of millions already, why even bother with the Kickstarter?
An incredible ARG that will apparently extend into the next century.