Posts Tagged ‘Big Huge Games’

What Happened This Week – War By Other Means

If covering the news has taught me anything, it’s that companies would openly shoot at each other Syndicate-style if only they could get away with it. Anyway, welcome back, on this lovely evening before E3 kicks off! Here’s what’s happening:

  • Silicon Knights loses in their lawsuit against Epic, and then loses the countersuit for damages.  Expect Denis Dyack to insist that Too Human will continue… somehow.
  • Epic, by the way, rescued members of Big Huge Games, rolling them into a new studio and tasking them with another fantasy action-RPG.  Talk about paying it forward.
  • Meanwhile, Activision settles out of court with West and Zampella, thus freeing Activision to keep making Call of Duty and spying on its own people.  “But the future refused to change…”
  • CD Projekt reveals their non-Witcher property: Cyberpunk.  Apparently that’s the title of a pen-and-paper game easily confused with Shadowrun.
  • Nintendo hosts a pre-E3 video demonstration showing off the Wii U… the exact same aspects we saw last year.  Oh, and a classic-style controller and Nintendo-centric social network.
  • E3 predictions: Nintendo needs to have some game demos ready, Sony’s going to spin like an overclocked centrifuge, and Microsoft will be my cue to go get a drink.
  • A Final Fantasy Versus XIII trailer is mistaken for FFXV, Sony may have picked up Gaikai for PSN-related announcements, and more!

 

Are you ready?

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What Happened This Week – Endless Online Phenomenon

Say what you will about obscure Korean MMOs, but they come up with some catchy (if unrelated) promo videos. But I digress. News time! Here’s what’s going down:

  • 38 Studios and Big Huge Games got shuttered this week, their staff laid off and Amalur now property of Rhode Island.  Sadly, not too surprising given the money hole they were in.
  • Conflicting sales goals hide the real issue of what those 300+ developers – and their shiny new second mortgages from relocating – are going to do now.
  • Meanwhile, BioWare lays off some of its own people from The Old Republic team.  How’s that $200 million development cost working out, guys?
  • All this prompts Pachter to speculate that MMOs are dooooooomed!  My take: maybe, if everybody keeps trying to imitate/defeat World of Warcraft.  And speaking of which…
  • Diablo III got hacked, with reports of stolen items, money, and even characters.  Getting hacked in a single-player game has got to be some kind of record.
  • The horrible, horrible contract between Activision and Bungie is revealed.  Short version: 5 million sales of a new property in six months, and eight titles in eight years.  Read it and weep.
  • Sony patents a technology to interrupt your game with advertisements, Japan developers alternatives to kompu gacha, and more!

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What Happened This Week – Go Public or Die Trying

“Markets can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” John Maynard Keynes said that, and I’d wager he knows a little more about the economy than you do, because he invented it! Yeah, the financial world is abuzz over Facebook’s IPO, and we’ve got our own take on that, along with a few other items of interest. Behold:

  • 38 Studios (Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning) owes the state of Rhode Island $75 million in loan payments.  I don’t even have a quip, you have to hear the whole crazy situation to believe it.
  • Facebook, as mentioned, went public, and then immediately flatlined before dropping a few bucks today.  Cue me feeling smug in three… two…
  • Activision drops its suit against EA over the Infinity Ward fiasco, on revelation that they went to absurd lengths to dig up dirt on IW staff.  Bobby Kotick, up to no good?  Pshaw, sirrah.
  • Epic unveils the Unreal 4 engine, prompting a new wave of speculation as to how many shades of brown and grey it can render.
  • CD Projekt’s hiring for a modern IP.  Given their work with fantasy IP, I expect good things.  Difficult things that kill me in the tutorial, but good things all the same.
  • Diablo III goes live, then dies, then lives again, then dies again, and so on.  Who could possibly have forseen difficulties with millions of players going online at once?
  • Square Enix is profitable again, Bamco keeps busy with the Tales series,  and more!

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