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published Monday, Jun 13th

Mourn those lost. Worry about how to sell games another day.

The annual E3 gaming conference is taking place in Los Angeles this week, and many of the world’s biggest gaming publishers are lining up to show the public their latest big budget offerings.

LA Convention Center (via PrayitnoMany of the new games presented will share a common theme: guns.

The mid-90’s represented a turning point for the gaming industry, in which its focus on shooters grew stronger — going from Quake to Goldeneye, to more recent celebrated games such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.

The mass-market appeal of shooters such as these reached fever-pitch in recent years, with annual installments and frenzied launches marking what are now some of the biggest money makers in all of entertainment (raking in over half a billion dollars in just a matter of days).

For the past several years E3 has attracted critical commentary on the volume of games involving guns.

Some of that criticism is based on just a sheer lack of variety, yet sometimes it’s due to the real-world parallels that can be drawn. Sometimes those lines are obscure, but for E3 2016 the parallel for some is ostensibly clear.

Following yet another horrific mass shooting in the U.S, in which over 50 people were killed, some members of the gaming community are now beginning to question the role that such games play. Not only in promoting gun culture, but in how their flashy presentations can often seem tone deaf — particularly in the wake of such tragedy.

Chris Plante and T.C Sottek, writing for The Verge, pulled into question EA’s press conference for its apparent disregard for the very real events that had occurred just hours prior in Orlando.

Battlefield 1

The Verge editorial questions the morality of showing footage where “humans kill each other with hyper-detailed guns” so soon after the worst shooting in the history of the United States.

EA’s conference is the first of many taking place this week, showing new ‘gun games’ like Titanfall and Battlefield. Yet, as The Verge points out, such heavy focus on the shooter genre is not the practice of just a single publisher, adding that E3 as a whole “regularly celebrates graphic violence”.

Many have taken The Verge article to be a either a cheap shot towards the gaming industry, or click bait at a time of mourning. Whatever you consider it to be, one thing is clear — the issue the editorial is attempting to address is by no means a binary one.

The Verge piece isn’t attempting to shame EA and others for the games they create. Nor is it a criticism of the gaming industries creative output.

Instead, I believe the commentary (misjudged or not) was attempting to start a timely dialogue on the brazenness with which various gun fantasies are flaunted, trailer after trailer.PS4 Controller - Blue

American gun culture, violent games, and popular entertainment in general have a longstanding (and lucrative) relationship which isn’t going away anytime soon.

The popularity of such entertainment has long been questioned, be it in games, TV or movies, such as those from Quentin Tarantino. Arguments on the how and the why are endless.

People will draw parallels, lines will be drawn. This is inevitable. Some will blame games, others won’t. Sometimes it will be justified, sometimes it won’t be.

Real people died, and hours later a corporation took to the stage to showcase how you can kill people in their new game. It makes for a flashy headline, but the connection is often tenuous and the subject much more nuanced.

Games are often a scapegoat, and gamers are often defensive. Either way, distinguishing fantasy from reality and remembering real people have suffered is what matters right now.

Nobody is calling for end to this form of entertainment, however we should take this as an opportunity for consideration, reservedness and to reflect on how popular gun-toting media fits into and informs our culture.

No matter what your stance, we should first and foremost mourn those lost. Worrying about how EA and others sell their games can be an issue for another day.


The Gamebrit Podcast by
published Friday, Jan 09th

#023 — The 2014 Game of The Year Special

It’s 2015! Why not make it your new year’s resolution to listen to Britain’s soon-to-be-favourite gaming podcast, The Gamebrit Podcast right now!

Episode 23 looks back at 2014 in videogaming.

This week we have a bumper show where we discuss what happened in 2014 and argue over our favourites games of the past twelve months. Spoiler alert: Hearthstone gets mentioned.

We talk about a load of 2014’s biggest games including Mario Kart 8, Wolfenstein The New Order, Shadow of Mordor, Monument Valley, Titanfall, South Park: The Stick of Truth and more. It’s a big one.


Titanfall by
published Tuesday, May 13th

UK Chart: Titanfall Returns

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (-49%) has sales cut almost by half to fall from first to third, as Titanfall (-25%) regains the top spot. FIFA 14 (-11%) follows closely in second, behind first place by less than 400 copies.

Climbing two spots, Minecraft (-2%) forces 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (-18%) and Call of Duty: Ghosts (-17%) to fifth and sixth respectively.

The LEGO Movie Videogame (+7%) moves up one place with an increase in sales. Battlefield 4 (+8%) does a little better to take two places at eighth.

More LEGO titles complete the top ten, with LEGO The Hobbit (-30%) and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (0%), with the latter maintaining sales to move up from eleventh.

Bound by Flame from Parisian developer Focus Home Interactive, is a new release at twelfth.


Titanfall by
published Tuesday, Apr 29th

UK Chart: Third Term For Titanfall

For a third week running, Titalfall (-41%) commands the head of the chart, with 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (-42%) again following behind.

Call of Duty: Ghosts (-27%) swaps places with LEGO The Hobbit (-46%) between third and fifth. FIFA 14 (-31%) continues to sit at fourth.

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (-20%) jumps two places to sixth, seeing South Park: The Stick of Truth (-41%) drop to seventh.

Up one place each, The LEGO Movie Videogame and Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare (-33%) fill eighth and ninth.

Battlefield 4 (-29%) climbs back up to complete the top ten.


Titanfall by
published Tuesday, Apr 22nd

UK Chart: Tenacious Titanfall

Titanfall (-28%) remains at the top of the UK Chart for a second consecutive week

At second, 2o14 FIFA World Cup Brazil arrives on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. However, there is an expectation for sales to improve closer to the tournament in June, even without Xbox One or PlayStation 4 releases.

LEGO The Hobbit (-12%) and FIFA 14 (-8%) both drop one place respectively to third and fourth.

Call of Duty: Ghosts stays in place to complete the top five.

South Park: The Stick of Truth drops two places to sixth, ahead of new release Trials Fusion. 

At eighth, Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition falls from sixth, with The LEGO Movie Videogame and Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare following behind, covering the bottom of the top ten.

The remaining new entry this Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which with the release of a PlayStation 4 version takes twentieth.


Titanfall by
published Tuesday, Apr 15th

UK Chart: Titanfall Retakes Top

The release of an Xbox 360 version has propelled Titanfall (+220%) to top spot. LEGO The Hobbit comes in at second, ahead of FIFA 14 (-1%).

Price reductions see South Park: The Stick of Truth (+52%) leap four places to fourth.

Call of Duty: Ghosts (+28%) gains sales but loses a place to fifth.

Well timed easter promotions take Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (+35%) to sixth, and Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare (+20%) to eighth from eleventh.

The Lego Movie Videogame (+7%) sticks at seventh, with Assassin’s Creed IV (+27%) and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (-36%) finishing ninth and tenth respectively.

Other new releases this week include Kinect Sports: Rivals at fourteenth, Australian developed title Don Bradman Cricket 14 at thirty-fourth, and Football Manager 2014 (+280%) to eighteenth with a new PSVita version. 


Titanfall by
published Tuesday, Mar 18th

UK Chart: Titanfall Stands Tall

Titanfall takes top in its week of release on Xbox One and PC, with double the weekly sales of the next best title, FIFA 14, so far this year. It has also helped sales of the Xbox One console this week, with a new Titanfall bundle accounting for 70%, with totals improved by 96% over last week.