Welcome to the FlipSide, where the good and the bad in video games collide. Every week, I will recap one positive news story, one negative news story, and then explain what I think about both. Let’s begin this week with the bad…
Imagine a time where you were super excited to see or experience something. We all have had those moments in our lives. I’m always excited to go to sporting events, especially playoff games. I couldn’t imagine a scenario where I wouldn’t be able to see a playoff game I had bought tickets to until after the game was played. Let’s bring this back to the gaming world. A lot of these moments happen when brand new games or consoles come out. For example, earlier in the week I received my pre-order for Horizon: Zero Dawn from Amazon. My excitement level was through the roof when I learned that my game had arrived. The excitement level is much more higher when it comes to console launches. Imagine all that excitement for a shiny new toy to arrive at your door. What if that brand new console couldn’t make it to your door on launch day and all of your other friends got one? You would be furious. I know I would. Unfortunately, that was the scenario that played out for some unlucky Amazon customers.
Amazon did not successfully deliver a number of pre-orders for the Nintendo Switch on Friday. While it is tough to know an exact number, there was a very vocal community on the internet that did not receive Switches. Even IGN confirmed some of their staff didn’t receive pre-orders. Without confirmation that Amazon offered everyone affected some sort of refund for the delays, a number of people who did experience problems have said that Amazon reached out to them. No news outlet has been given the scoop on what exactly caused the issues shipping out the units successfully.
Who do you blame in this scenario? This is tough because I can see both Amazon and Nintendo possibly being at fault. Without knowing the whole story we won’t who was at fault, but one can speculate. Amazon looks like the bad guy mostly because they offered pre-orders they couldn’t fulfill day one. However, what if Nintendo had promised Amazon so many units but there was an issue with a batch of units that Nintendo couldn’t ship out? If that’s the case, that would be Nintendo’s fault. There’s just too much unknown information for me to even speculate who to blame and why they should have known better.
The real downer are the people who did pre-order that didn’t receive the package. Some of these people took days off of work to play their brand new Switches. They missed the opportunity to experience the future game of the year nominee, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, with everyone else for the first time and be a part of that conversation that was going on. I don’t want to be in the shoes of someone who experienced this. I know I would be pissed off and upset. That would have been the case if Horizon: Zero Dawn didn’t show up last Tuesday. I hope that everyone affected has received their Switches by now and have got to experience Zelda because it truly is a breathtaking game to play.
However on the FlipSide this week!
In an interview with Game Informer, Naughty Dog has revealed that it is unlikely they will revisit the Uncharted Franchise after the release of Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End ended in a way that wrapped up the story of Nathan Drake. They did leave the door open for more Uncharted possibly in the future, but for now it’s best for this franchise to rest and maybe be carried on by another developer.
You may think that I would be sad to hear this news but I’m not. I’m actually delighted that Naughty Dog has come out and said this. Naughty Dog is one of the most talented studios if not the most talented. I don’t want to see them get stuck in a franchise for too long. If anything, we should be looking forward to their next idea. Each franchise this studio has worked on showcases how much this studio has grown. Look at the transition from the Jak and Daxter games to Uncharted. We will have a little bit of time though to their next idea. The developer’s next game is The Last of Us Part 2. The first game was an outstanding masterpiece. I look forward to see where they go with this franchise but I’m curious with where they go after the new Last of Us game.
I think we can all come to an agreement that Naughty Dog has found a formula for making a very good third-person shooter. They have a way of marrying storytelling, visuals, and gameplay together to bring amazing experiences. What if they decided to go another direction. How about a first-person shooter? How about some kind of RPG? Take a look at the direction Guerrilla Games went. After all the work on first-person shooters with the Killzone franchise, they went and developed a third-person action RPG that features a rich open world. They ended up developing a very well done game too from what I have played of it so far. Imagine if Naughty Dog performed a similar transition. The possibilities are unless for this developer. PlayStation would be smart to just green light any idea Naughty Dog has without asking too many questions.
We may not see the next big idea from Naughty Dog for a while. It could be so long that the PlayStation 5 may be released. I hope by then Amazon has fixed whatever issues caused the Switch delivery delays because I would want that console and game day one. For now, everyone enjoy this amazing time in gaming. I will be back next week with more of the good and the bad in the world of video games.