PadCast: L1 Games’ Chett Muzzalupo Talks EA Online Pass

Remember that YouTube video that featured an indie game store owner ranting about EA’s Online Pass? I found it so fascinating that I tracked down the store owner and interviewed him. He’s a very cool guy and has an interesting perspective. It’s easy to think about Online Pass in terms of EA vs. GameStop. This PadCast gives you a different perspective on the issue. Here’s the official description:

Independent game store owner Chet Muzzalupo (Level 1 Games) recently delivered an inspired rant against EA’s Online Pass. The scheme is designed to discourage consumers from buying used games and encourage them to buy new. While this potentially helps developers earn more royalties, it also limits customer choice and hurts retailers. While nobody is going to shed a tear for GameStop losing out on money, the Online Pass can kill small game stores like Level 1. Muzzalupo shares his perspective as an independent game store owner, addresses the issue of used-game sales hurting the business, and talks about the future of the buy-sell-trade business.

I enjoyed chatting with Chett and I think you’ll dig this video. Check it out (please)!

PadCast: EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich Talks iPad, DLC, E3, and More

EEDAR vice president of analyst services Jesse Divnich is the latest PadCast guest. My favorite analyst in the business discusses all sorts of videogame topics, answers reader questions, and reveals the super power he covets in this clip. Here’s the laundry list of talking points:

  • The Nintendo 3DS
  • Whether the PSPgo is a dead system
  • How awesome Sony’s E3 press conference would be if it were hosted by Kevin Butler
  • How the Apple iPad impacts the gaming market
  • Whether investors and venture capatilist have cooled on the console market in light of the hotness of mobile and social gaming
  • Whether Sega, as we once knew and loved it, is gone forever
  • DLC trends
  • E3 2010 predictions
  • What’s coming on 10/10/10
  • What super power he would chose and why

Give it a look, give it a listen, and leave any comments you have below.

PadCast: Wired’s Chris Kohler Tells You All About Final Fantasy XIII

Wired’s Chris Kohler is the latest PadCast guest and you’ll want to pay attention as he talks about his experience with the Japanese version of Final Fantasy XIII. Kohler talks about the game’s music, battle system, graphics, linearity, funky “gestalt” system, and more. While he’s a big fan of the music and graphics, he’s not too keen on the “hands off” gameplay. He also compares heavy hand holding in FFXIII to Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain.

As many of you know, the U.S. version of the game comes out next week, but if you’re still not sure if FFXIII is for you then you’ll want to hear Kohler criticize the game. It definitely sounds like the most polarizing Final Fantasy game in years! Oh yeah, Kohler also reveals why you’re on crack if you think you’re expecting a Final Fantasy VII remake with Final Fantasy XIII graphics.

PadCast: BioWare’s Dr. Greg Zeschuk Talks Games, Social Media, Fitness Titles, and Being Awesome

BioWare’s Dr. Greg Zeschuk completely rules. He truly is one of my favorite people in the business (as is his partner in crime, Dr. Ray Muzyka). After the diabolical Chris Taylor missed our interview session at DICE 2010, Dr. Greg was there to save the day. Naturally I asked him about the crazy three months BioWare has had, with two giant games — Dragon Age: Origins Awakenings and Mass Effect 2 — released in short period of time. The good doctor revealed which characters he used in Dragon Age. I also asked him about BioWare’s efforts to extend its properties through web games, Facebook games, iPhone titles, books, and more.

Since he was a practicing physician before starting up one of the best development houses in the business, I wanted to get Dr. Greg’s view on games like Wii Fit and EA Sports Active. This led to a pretty cool tangent about performing remote operations with Wii-like controls. The interview ends a little abruptly because the press room was being shut down, but it was an absolute pleasure chatting with Dr. Greg and I think you’ll enjoy our chat.

(Yes, it sounds like I’m totally kissing his ass, but I’ve known Greg and Ray for several years. I assure you that my fondness is genuine.)

PadCast: EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich Talks About the Console Wars in 2010 and How to Become a Gaming Analyst

Catching up with EEDAR director of analyst services Jesse Divnich was completely cool. Naturally, I asked him about how the console wars will shake out in 2010, as well as Project Natal vs. PlayStation Arc/Gem and traditional handheld gaming vs. iPhone/iPod/iPad.

Things got really fun when I asked Divnich about his background and how he became a gaming analyst. It’s a tale of a “hick from French-Canada” moving to America by himself, living in a trailer park, studying hard, and working his ass off to become one of the top analysts in the business. Divnich also revealed why he’s better than his competitors and spoke about his relationship with Michael Pachter. (If I had it my way it would be The Divnich Debrief vs. Pach Attack.)

Oh yeah, you’ll also learn why Canadians would make the best terrorists. How can you pass that up?!?

PadCast: Ring of Honor World Champion Austin Aries!

Last Friday I went to a Ring of Honor show in Los Angeles and caught up with world champion Austin Aries, fresh off his victory over Jushin “Thunder” Liger. Whether you call him the RoH champion, A-Double, the vascular vegetarian, or MV3, there’s no denying that Aries is one of the most talented wrestlers in the world. It was an honor chatting about videogames, karaoke, being vegetarian, being pro-choice, naked Shawn Michaels, women with meat in their mouth, and the writing in WWE SmackDown vs. Raw with Aries. It was also fun goofing off with a friend (ha!). Check out this very special PadCast with the master of the brainbuster and the owner of the most devastating 450 splash in the universe!

PadCast: Tarver Games’ Chris Cross Talks iPad Game Design

Last week I chatted with Tarver Games president and co-founder Chris Cross for an PadCast. Cross gave me an update on what’s going on with his excellent iPhone game Ghosts Attack and his upcoming project Brickman. Naturally, I was interested to hear his thoughts on the Apple iPad as a game designer. The always entertaining Cross revealed some cool insights that will give you an idea of how iPad games will be different from their counterparts for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Check it out!