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Created by editor on May 8, 2008
Last updated: 09/15/12 at 06:54 PM
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Founded in 1994, The Stinger Report is an amusement and attractions industry Intelligence e-Newsletter. Created to supply information and commentary on the Out-of-Home (OOH) interactive entertainment sector. The newsletter is circulated internationally via email, rather than as a Blog. The service, along with its e-Newsletter, supplies information on the OOH sector to web sites and trade media.
Originally called the ''Water Cooler Report'' - referring to the sharing of gossip round the water-cooler in offices - the Stinger Report gained popularity as an occasional fax or email, until the late-90's it became a fully fledged e-newsletter.
Konami's plan to enter the amusement RPG sector with a revolutionary gaming and card storage system, under the then working title of "Monster Gate," was first revealed around the time of the AOU show, but this month has seen the official announcement of the game and the technology behind it. The plans are for a large database and interactive card system. It is clear that Konami sees Monster Gate as a Pokmon "beater." Using their player "Entry Card," priced at at 300 Yen, the player will be able to store the personality and the collected items of their character during the game. The game itself features a rudimentary graphical environment on a "Zelda quality," with the player able to travel through 40 different countries of the fictional world created by Konami's R&D team. The game offers two styles of play to appeal to the widest possible player demographic. The gamer chooses either the "fighting" or "exploration" element of the game. This decision will have the player searching across the countries for various magic spells and collectable items, or rushing from one battle to the next, amassing points. The game provides an opportunity to collect "Jewel Cards" that will prove that the player has completed a particular task, or that a level has been cleared. It is these cards (both Jewel and Entry) that hold the most secrets about the game. They will become a new currency of Japanese gaming life, with the whole game being designated as a "Medal Game" under the Konami Medal Game GM division. This alludes to the fact that collected cards will be redeemable for prizes (still to be named), though leaks have revealed that players will be able to win play credits, which would be designated as gambling outside of Japan. The player has to have an physical Entry Card to play, which stores the personal ID of the player as well as the particular route planned (Exploration or Fighting). The card will also allow the player to visit the web site and offer the chance for the player to monitor progress of other players (possibly joining leagues). A dedicated web site has been created, supported by successful RPG card company MEDAL MANGGANG. It is proposed by sources that Konami expects the cards to change hands and be more valuable than the Gold Set Pokmon cards, currently changing hands for hundreds of dollars in Japan. The possibility of money changing hands and even the betting on certain players opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities for the game. The game clearly borrows in play, look and feel from Nintendos classic Zelda, but the simplistic graphics of the game belay a vast universe of different areas, puzzles and buildings to locate, solve, conquer and defend, along with a number of secret locations to be opened on time release and by the accumulation of certain points. The game is played on a special kiosk system, players sitting at one of eight machine kiosks. Waiting players or visiting guests to the facility can watch the action taking place in real-time on a giant monitor that shows the global location and action in play. It would be naive to even consider the possibility of this style of game, or this gaming environment, making the transition across to the States or even Europe. Though Pokmon has made vast sums for Nintendo in Europe and America (if not all over the world), Konami will find it hard to apply this technology outside of their core market. Possibly strong interest from players at the GM web site from international sources could encourage Konami of America to attempt a test of the system. It is possible that this game in a American format could offer stiff competition to an audience weaned on Zelda, who would like to play this game, compared to the currently available touch-screen alternatives. It is expected that this technology will be dropped into Konami test sites by the end of the month, with its application not just in amusement sites but also in non-video amusement locations.