Saturday, September 25, 2010

Black/White launch week awards *SPOILERS*

Confession time: I've been playing White for the last several days. I went with it over Black for now because quite frankly, it showed up first. And apparently I'm not alone, since about 3.6 million people have bought the game in Japan already by "press" time.

Right now, I just finished the 6th badge and am rocking a full party, though I could use a Flyer. I'll list them after the break since there's spoilers involved. But right now, I think I'm far enough along to hand out some preliminary awards

Best Mea Culpa:

What can I say, the spanish dude got it right. Props to him... I still cannot fathom how he got the leaks of the Pokemon, but he did. Serebii Joe needs to chill, though - surely you have a site to run, there's no reason to spend several hours a day posting on GameFAQs, of all places.

Best incident of self-inflicted gunshot wound:
To Nintendo of America for sending DMCA takedown notices to PokeBeach and Serebii. News flash guys, this is 2010. Stuff leaks. Not even Apple is immune to leaks, and they decapitate the leakers when they catch them and hang their heads from 1 Infinite Loop as a warning to others.

Both sites got nailed for posting pre-release stuff from 2ch, not sprites as is to be believed, but using the DMCA as a club instead of tightening your own security or starting a Smash Dojo-equivalent site to get ahead of the leakers is a pretty cheap shot. And why does the UK allow this to happen to Joe? I almost wish I had the kind of free time to run my own news site/podcast, if only because I could mock them for trying to run a takedown on a site that's not in US jurisdiction.
(Last warning: Everything after the jump could be considered a spoiler.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Where's Sakurai?

After some sober second thoughts, I stand by what I said about the leaks. If by some fluke they are real, I'll definitely mea culpa publicly, but I don't suspect that will be a problem.

The Spanish guy with the apparent leaked copy of B/W has spent the last couple of days "leaking" the new Pokedex order, which I won't link because he doesn't deserve the hits. But there's a couple of things that I want to know about the project:

1) How come anyone even remotely connected to Black and White hasn't signed an NDA that makes the Platinum guide look tiny?
2) Why don't they have the equivalent of a Smash Bros Dojo for the Pokemon series?

I suspect the answer to #1 is "they are, but someone is willing to break". So if I was in charge of the marketing, such as say, a community manager, I'd first remind everyone of the NDA and get them to sign off again. That should theoretically stop the leaks, especially if they're threatened by loss of face or (more likely) their job.

If not, and the leaks continue, it's time for a false flag operation.

I'd mock up a screenshot showing something that would cause the entire community to collectively cream - for the sake of example, a mock screenshot of Charizard with the types showing Fire/Dragon instead of Fire/Flying. After narrowing down who might be leaking, I'd provide them with the shot and give it 24 hours. If the shot comes out on 2ch, they're fired for violating the NDA. All you need is one horror story and the rest of the company will fall in line.

And yes, I have personal experience on this. I worked for a technology company that I'd prefer not to mention and was put in a Gray Powell position for several months. I never saw a leak, but that's probably because they threatened to sue us out of existence if we didn't stay in line.

So now that we've shot the leaker out of a metaphorical cannon, we need an official source for news. And the answer actually played out really well for Nintendo a couple of years ago in the form of the Smash Brothers Dojo.

The audience who would follow leaks would be the ones who would refresh the site every night at Japan Time, waiting for the things that were CONFIRMED FOR BRAWL~! and cursing the name of Masahiro Sakurai whenever something wasn't up to their standards. Hell, that's why the US Brawl site got so much heat when they included the phrase "Real men use items" in a random screenshot - Smashboards just about lost their minds.

The main thing is that it keeps the game in the news not just on your fansites, but you'll get a boatload of people submitting the updates to sites like Joystiq or Nintendo World Report, which means it'll get published if only to shut people up. That means more free marketing for you. And considering Nintendo went to the trouble of buying a 40 in Famitsu, a little free marketing is always worth it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Just who should you believe, anyway?

It's been nearly a month since the last update since there really hasn't been a heckuva lot to talk about, and I haven't had time to really dive into my first ever UK import (Jam With The Band) to do a full writeup on the game. Plus, a little thing called Hurricane Earl hit yesterday and KOed my power for a full day.

When the power came back on last night, I saw that the community was in one of its typical uproars over a purported series of pictures claiming to be evolutions of the Black and White starters. Reputations are being shredded and accusations flying as the community breaks down along lines that can be summed up with two infamous memes.

On one hand, you have the "GameFreak just shot itself in the foot. I don't know how much you know about these evolutions (I'm an expert)" crowd.
And on the other hand, the "This looks shopped, I can tell by some of the pixels and having seen quite a few shops in my time" group.

So with that, a special comment on the September 3 leak controversy.