Game Buoy Podcast Episode 23 – The Always-On Paradigm

Ahoy, mateys, and welcome to the Game Buoy podcast – your twice monthly port of call for gaming news and views that maybe aren’t on your radar, but most positively should be! On this episode, recorded Sunday, March 17, 2013, Captain Spike and his first mate, Slagkick, discuss the “always-on” paradigm in gaming in the wake of the SimCity kerfuffle.


Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag has been confirmed for PS4 release.

Suda51 is “horny” for PS4 possibilities.

Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey finished its Kickstarter campaign with $1.5 million.

The Ouya will not have online chat, friends lists, or achievements at launch.

Kingdom Hearts X[chi]  will be a card-based game.

– The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages will hit the eShop before summer.

– Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D hits the NA and EU regions on May 24.

The last episode of Retronauts has gone up.

The Pikachu 3DS XL will hit March 24 alongside Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity.


– Crysis 3 was ready to launch on Wii U, but Nintendo and EA couldn’t strike a deal.

Dark Horse announced Mass Effect: Foundation, a new comic book mini-series, at Emerald City Comic Con.

Tecmo Koei Canada is closing.

SEGA has released Sonic Dash, an iOS endless runner.

Lost Planet 3 will be released on June 25 in North America, with the European release three days later.

Liberation Maiden has been ported to iOS.

– Dance Central DLC will be coming to an end.

– Drakengard 3 is coming to Japanese PS3s this year and will reuinite members of the original Cavia team.

Pokémon Rumble U will use the Wii U GamePad’s NFC technology with Skylanders-like toys.

Here’s the first look at the adorable Rumble U figures!

Japanese dating sim Sentimental Graffiti is among the PSOne Imports that hit PSN.

Ron Gilbert has parted ways with Double Fine Productions.

The arcade game F-Zero AX has been discovered, in its entirety, on the F-Zero GX GameCube disc.

The ESRB has changed the marketing rules for Rated M for Mature games.

Level-5 may be bringing Guild02 games Bugs vs. Tanks and The Starship Damrey overseas.

The credits for Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX contain clips from Kingdom Hearts 2, Birth By Sleep, and coded.

– Saints Row 4 will be out on August 20.

A new Civilization V expansion, Brave New World, hits this summer.

Capcom is porting arcade classics Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow Over Mystara and Tower of Doom to PSN and Xbox Live Aracde.

Doug TenNapel, creator of The Neverhood, has a new clay adventure game in the works for PC and Mac.

Capcom and Valve have teamed up for a Resident Evil 6 x Left 4 Dead 2 crossover.

– Cyberpunk 2077 will have multiplayer, according to CD Projekt Red.


This week, Captain Spike and First Mate Slagkick take a look at the always-on paradigm in gaming. They start by looking at three motivations for always-on connections: DRM motivated, design motivated, and marketing motivated. In this context, they explore Ubisoft’s shaky history with DRM and the issues surrounding Diablo III.

The main point of discussion, of course, is the recent SimCity debacle. EA and Maxis claim that the game cannot run offline and was designed as a multiplayer game, but how much truth is there to that? Modders and gaming enthusiasts suggest otherwise. Have EA and Maxis been lying to their customers while struggling to keep a game running and stripping it of features? How will this affect always-on features in future games, and what does this mean for EA and Maxis? All these topics and more are explored in the discussion of the week: The Always-On Paradigm.

Further reading:

Interview: Ubisoft On DRM, Piracy, and PC Games (Rock Paper Shotgun)

‘Non-critical’ SimCity features disabled to improve server issues (Joystiq)

Rumor: EA asks SimCity affiliates to ‘stop actively promoting the game’ (Joystiq)

Maxis: SimCity offline mode is ‘just not possible’ (Joystiq)

Maxis Insider Tells RPS: SimCity Servers Not Necessary (Rock Paper Shotgun)

Upcoming SimCity patch to resolve traffic jams, features returning (Joystiq)


Spanish retailer has listed Assassin’s Creed: Rising Phoenix as a Vita title with an October 10 release date.

– Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 was briefly listed on Steam.


Slagkick talks about Mega Man 2, New Super Mario Bros. 2, and rekindling his love for Rock Band. Captain Spike talks about SimCity, Narultimate 3 and Rock Band, but his main focus is on Tomb Raider.


In this revamped version of a classic Game Buoy segment, Captain Spike and Slagkick share a great gaming article (Smash) and a poor gaming article (Trash) to highlight the best and worst of gaming journalism.

SMASH: The Sentimental process behind GungHo’s PSOne Imports (Joystiq)

This article from JC Fletcher shares the labor of love that is GungHo’s foray into the PSOne Imports business.

TRASH: OPINION: Crystal Dynamics deserves an apology from gamers for hasty Tomb Raider ‘controversy’ (PlayStation Universe)

Zachary Bricston not only misses the mark in his discussion of the Tomb Raider controversy, he opens the floodgates for a flurry of disgusting, misogynistic comments about feminism and rape.


@gamespite thanks us for showing him some @1up love!

@boyofstone couldn’t wait to hear our last episode.

@fixyourface0814 counts the number of times we say “gurl” on the show and likes it!

Join in the discussion over at FacebookTwitterTumblr, or Google+!


– Qoopa Klub, a Nintendo-centric LGBT podcast

– Retronauts, the legendary retro gaming podcast from 1UP

– Orange Lounge Radio, where EVERY gamer has a voice

– Reading is Fundamental, our seasonal side project with Rob Roberts where we dish on RuPaul’s Drag Race

– Nerdgasm Network, the wildest 3 hours of shock jock video game radio

– Horde House, the show about World of Warcraft but NEVER too seriously

– Girls Gone WoW, for a female perspective on the world’s most popular MMO

– Video Game Outsiders, a podcast for the “average gamer”

– Theme music by Zelda Reorchestrated

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