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Game Room: Wasted Potential?

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I admit it; I initially loved Game Room. I loved the concept (still do), the cute little arcade cabs, the medals and achievements, and the high score challenges. I've been into it since launch day, and I currently have around 27 games or so. I play it daily (just beat my Super Breakout score today. 201 points!), and I really, really wish more people were into it.

Why are people leaving? The problem lies not in the design or the concept. No, if you want to blame anyone for the tepid interest Game Room has generated over the few short months since it was launched, blame Microsoft itself. Slowly but surely, the company has done just about everything to ensure that as few people as possible care about what could otherwise be an awesome concept. Blame MS for the slow releases, including games with specialized controllers that are now nearly unplayable, the actual dearth of arcade games in each pack (the first batch of games from next week's Game Pack 8 contains only 4 2600 titles and one Intellivision game), the annoying pauses while playing, the lack of more game companies, the generic Konami cabs, etc. The list goes on and on, and while people are either forgetting they downloaded GR or are deleting it altogether, MS has been mostly silent. Even though the official Facebook page has finally been getting updates, and the website is now current, but the Xbox 360 dash never reports a thing, and Major Nelson probably doesn't even know Game Room exists.

I think I'm one of only a handful of people on the forums here who actually use Game Room, and I fully understand the lack of interest. When MS boasted back in March that there would be a thousand games, people got excited. They imagined Capcom, Namco, Data East, and a slew of other arcade stalwarts offering up their best wares for 240 points. What'd we get? Atari 2600 and Intellivision games.

Here we are, more than three months later, and the rumors of other companies joining Game Room are still just that, rumors. I've heard that the release list only encompasses games from the Atari and Activision anthologies and Intellivision Lives!. Indeed, if you look at those lists, all the games currently offered or slated for release in GR are on them. They've seemingly run out of Atari arcade games (where is Food Fight?), and Konami has vanished from the list despite still having titles like Jackal, Circus Charlie, Gradius, and Devastators available. Given this week's list, pickings are slim, and nothing more has been announced.

That's what pisses me off the most. MS has dropped the ball completely with Game Room. There has been zero advertising, and it took them 4 months just to update the showcase arcade! I would love to be able to play Universal, Midway, Taito, and other company libraries here, and the damn thing was made for it! Head over to the Facebook page, and the complaints are all the same: where are the other companies? Why are there so few arcade games being released? The GR staff is again, mostly silent on these issues.

I would really love to pour my MS points into Game Room, but as it is, MS has done a really bad job with it. I'll continue to purchase the occasional arcade release that interests me, and I'll play those games I've already bought, but unless something major comes along, count me as one of those who is rapidly losing interest. Get with it MS; we're waiting.

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  1. Advocate's Avatar
    MS has dropped the ball on just about everything, since they had that top spot.
  2. kingoffighters's Avatar
    I can play roms for free. kthxbye
  3. Advocate's Avatar
    He's Puerto Rican. You'd think he'd know how to steal.
  4. YellerDog's Avatar
    Advocate's racism gimmick is getting kind of stringy, am I right?
  5. YellerDog's Avatar
    Capcom et. al. know they can get more money repackaging/remaking fewer titles on their own than dumping a bunch of games on Game Room, and they're not wrong.

    Personally, I dislike all the avatar stuff standing between me and a game. Same with that Summer of Arcade nonsense.
  6. Wildkat's Avatar
    There are a bunch of games I want to play in there.

    But they are all 2600 paddle games and the controls suck a giant fat cock on the 3d pad.

    That and all the 2600 versions of games that should be ignored and the Arcade version put up there....
  7. Advocate's Avatar
    2600 Pac-Man is a game I wanna play .... again.
  8. Dyne's Avatar
    The Gameroom of this gen seems a lot like XBLA of last gen. Incorporated way too late to be of any substance and instead is being used as a litmus test for what will probably be a better visualized concept at day one of the next system.
  9. Bacon McShig's Avatar
    I despise the way that Atari (and Activision) consistently act as though the 2600 was the only system they ever made when it comes to retro ports and compilations, and they're doing that to sparkling effect yet again here.

    But yes, the dearth of participating companies is probably the biggest problem. When you can't get fuckin' Namco to throw a bunch of rom dumps at your service, you've got to know you're doing something dreadfully wrong.
  10. NeoZeedeater's Avatar
    I agree with Bacon 100% on Atari and Activision. But even among 2600 games on Game Room, they manage to fuck up and spell Yars' Revenge wrong.
  11. Changeling's Avatar
    Microsoft has treated this poorly. There is zero reason to leave my emu and previous arcade comps behind, esp since they're either cheap or free. Releasing games that people wanna play would be a good start for GR.
  12. Rated E's Avatar
    I love the idea, but I feel the same way; they haven't done anything with it. I was waiting for some games I'd be more into but that hasn't happened yet.
  13. Super-Eggroll's Avatar
    It's a damn shame. I was really hoping Game Room would get better. I accepted the fact that this wasn't going to be MS's answer to Sony's HOME when it launched (seriously, how hard would it be to have a free-roam mode with controllable Avatar's?), but at least thought they'd have a lot better titles in the pipeline than what they've offered so far. Food Fight would be most welcome, but Data East titles would absolutely rule.

    Karnov and Bad Dudes alone would increase my interest in GR 1000x over.
  14. gamevet's Avatar
    I've played the 2600 for over 3 decades, so my interest in those games is pretty much gone. Yeah, I bought River Raid and River Raid 2, but would it be too much to ask for the updated versions of those games from the 5200 and C-64?

    I started having a bad feelings about the future of this, when news broke about several of the key people behind the project being let go. I have a feeling this will die, much like 1 vs. 100, with little fanfare.
    Updated 29 Jul 2010 at 11:45 PM by gamevet
  15. Bacon McShig's Avatar
    I accepted the fact that this wasn't going to be MS's answer to Sony's HOME when it launched (seriously, how hard would it be to have a free-roam mode with controllable Avatar's?)
    Anyone with sense would have turned that off immediately. The less anything resembles HOME, the better.
  16. Melf's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Advocate
    He's Puerto Rican. You'd think he'd know how to steal.
    We're too lazy to steal.
  17. Josh's Avatar
    I can't even figure out how/where/why to download/use/whatever the fuck this program/game/whatever it is.


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