Posts Tagged ‘BioWare’

BioWare Co-Founders Retire

Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka, BioWare’s co-founders, have announced their intent to leave BioWare and retire from the video game industry in general. Both men are seeking careers elsewhere, with Muzyka planning to enter the entrepreneurship field. “My next ‘chapter'” he writes, “will likely focus on an entirely new industry, something exciting, different and frankly downright scary – investing in and mentoring new entrepreneurs, and more specifically, the field of social/impact investing.”

Zeschuk, in turn, speaks of losing his desire to work in the industry, saying “I’ve reached an unexpected point in my life where I no longer have the passion that I once did for the company, for the games, and for the challenge of creation.” Future projects may involve, of all things, craft beer: a web-based show called the Beer Diaries where he interviews notable brewers. He doesn’t write a return to games off completely, adding “If things go well, I’ll work on other beer-related shows, apps and projects. If not, I’ll have drunk a lot of tasty beers and may be back in games or even something else completely different. Ultimately time will tell.”

Both made their announcements on BioWare’s official blog, located here for Zeschuk and here for Muzyka.

What Happened This Week – The Cold Calculus of Microtransactions

All right, back in business once more.  Hopefully we won’t be hit by another freak storm this weekend, but really it seems like the power dies if someone so much as coughs too loudly.  Let’s get to the news before it happens again.  Here’s what’s going down:

  • Zynga starts getting hit with lawsuits regarding allegations of insider trading, with underwriters paid to help insiders offload stock before it fell.  Also known as “Tuesday on Wall Street.”
  • Not to be outdone, EA has also filed suit that Zynga copied The Sims Social to create The Ville.  Man, who do you root for in that fight?  (The answer is EA, seriously.)
  • Ubisoft’s Uplay exposes players to an exploit that allows websites access to, and control over, a user’s computer.  It’s like they want people to pirate their games.
  • The Old Republic pulls the pin and goes free-to-play.  Should’ve kept the base, BioWare!  And the base I mean your playerbase.  By making KotOR III instead.
  • Sony posts a sizable loss of some $312 million for the first quarter of 2012, including losses in the games division.  Tempting to blame the Vita, but their true problems run deeper.
  • Squenix has an ambitious ten-year plan for Dragon Quest X.  It sounds crazy until you realize they’ve been running Final Fantasy XI for at least that long.
  • Rumors abound regarding Bethesda and the STALKER series, Take Two posts a lower earnings report due to unrealistic expectations, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Cold Calculus of Microtransactions’ »

What Happened This Week – Kickstart the Atom

Is this year going fast for anybody else? Maybe it’s my mad scramble to find another job, virtually any job, outside banking right now, so I’m just noticing the passing weeks more. Oh well. It’s news time! In tonight’s episode:

  • Via Kickstarter, we have the Ouya: an open source, Droid-based console priced at $99.  Surely this will spearhead the glorious indie revolution that upends gaming forever…
  • …except the numbers don’t quite add up, there doesn’t seem to be a concrete prototype, no games have been confirmed, and its own supporters have made comparisons to the Phantom.
  • Meanwhile, Nintendo plans to link the Wii U and 3DS through its online service, which will (initially) be free to use.  Shiggy asks: but what of Metroid and Star Fox?
  • Vivendi discreetly scopes out possible buyers for an as-yet-unconfirmed sale of its ActiBlizzard stake.  Even money says they’re waiting for CODBLOPS 2 numbers.
  • Pachter sez: EA may break out the long knives for John Riccitiello, with Peter More as a possible replacement.  Should’ve kept the base!  And not picked a fight with Activision.
  • BioWare reveals its plans for the Ultima franchise: a free-to-play action/RPG.  Ugh, BioWare, and you were doing so well with the Mass Effect 3 DLC!  Why?
  • The Last Story gets its worldwide release date, CERN may have found the Higgs-boson, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Kickstart the Atom’ »

What Happened This Week – Weird Acts of Corporate Theater: 2012

Well, E3 has come and gone, the convention center’s been cleared out, and it’s all over but the shouting. Who were the winners? Staggeringly few, it would seem. Who were the losers? All of us. Behold:

  • Microsoft: You kids like Kinect, right?  I hope so, because we don’t have a single new idea on stage today, so here’s a bunch of stuff you already knew was coming…
  • …and also the SmartGlass, designed for people who can’t wait until after the show or game to look up supplementary trivia.
  • Sony: Don’t worry guys, we’ll save E3!  Look, David Cage is making another movie!  And we’ve got Tomb Raider, Assassin’s Creed 3 DLC, and The Last of Us!
  • The Vita?  What’s that?  Oh… ohhhh, right, we were supposed to market that!  Oh god, we totally forgot!  Quick, throw some Black Ops on there, they won’t know the difference!
  • Nintendo: Pfft, amateurs.  Here’s how you save E3: Pikmin, Mario, more Mario, the balance board, karaoke, and minigames!  Bam, done!  Just hand us your money as you walk out.
  • What do you mean, “Where was the Zelda?”  Look, uh… we’re, um, still working on that.  Maybe there’s a Fire Emblem for the 3DS or something, I really don’t know.  No more questions!
  • Ubisoft: In spite of our utterly unlikeable hosts, we are the only company with a halfway decent gaming roster to show this year.  This, ladies and gents, is the face of despair.
  • My liver will never forgive me for all the drinking I put it through.

 
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Weird Acts of Corporate Theater: 2012’ »

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!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Endless Online Phenomenon’ »

What Happened This Week – And I’ll Keep Lying, I Promise

Ah, 16-bit-era Shadowrun. Come for the cyberpunk revenge plots and foxgirls, stay for the considerable XP/money grind so you can break the game in half. Good times, both SNES and Genesis. Anyway, on to the news:

  • Sony’s financial woes catch up to them, doubling their loss forecast and forcing 10,000 layoffs.  “Holy s***, now what?” indeed, Mr. Hirai.
  • Jack Tramiel, Commodore International founder and the man behind the C64, died at 83.  Yet another legend in the tech field that I knew almost nothing about.
  • Peter Molyneux speaks out about leaving Microsoft for his indie venture.  Will it change the world, or will it OH JUST REMAKE SYNDICATE ALREADY GODDAMNIT
  • The Better Business Bureau weighs in on the Mass Effect 3 ending furor, which is my personal “this has gone way too far” threshold.
  • Meanwhile, Victor Ireland rather gloriously misreads Steam’s effect on RPG sales, while his own Clash of Heroes 2 Kickstarter falls well short of its goal.  Time to serve the Newell?  I’d say so.
  • Wired’s Chris Kohler takes a scalpel to the argument that used games are hurting the industry.  The conclusion: the industry is hurting the industry.
  • Project X Zone‘s creators are among the least likely to localize anything, Wasteland 2‘s Kickstarter coasts to a comfortable finish, and more!

 
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – And I’ll Keep Lying, I Promise’ »

What Happened This Week – Never Deal With a Dragon

Yaknow, you can say what you want about Silent Hill: Downpour, but when it comes to being tense and creepy it doesn’t screw around. The actual enemies and combat are pretty naff, but it does a fine job instilling a sense of dread. There are rooms I just do not want to enter. I consider that a mission accomplished for a horror game.

Anyhow, on to the news:

  • The Consumerist wrapped up their online poll for 2012’s Worst Company in America.  EA jumped to the front faster than you can say “biased sampling data.”  And speaking of EA…
  • Mass Effect 3‘s Extended Cut DLC was announced, prompting LOTS OF SPECULATION FROM EVERYONE.  A PAX East BioWare panel offered some more information, likely only stoking the fire at this point.
  • An industry analyst predicts doom for Nintendo, which happens often and just as often is disproven.  What’s new here is getting basic facts wrong.
  • Get your credsticks out: a Shadowrun Kickstarter launched and met its goals handily.  Check it out here, chummer.
  • Gamasutra ran a survey about salaries in the games industry, with some surprising data.  Long story short, I’m in the wrong line of work.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog‘s creator winds up at Nintendo of America, Final Fantasy Versus XIII music winds up in Theatrhythm, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Never Deal With a Dragon’ »

What Happened This Week – What Do You Do For Money, Hanii

Yeah, I watched the Idolm@ster anime. What can I say? I indulge in the occasional weird Japanese thing. Went better than expected, although I’m not wading into the games anytime soon unless one can guarantee more box malfunctions.

Right then, to the news! This week we have the following:

  • UK retailer GAME files for administration, the UK equivalent of Chapter 11.  Which means it’s game over NO MUST RESIST THE OBVIOUS PUN
  • Meanwhile, Zynga buys out Omgpop, makers of Draw Something, for a whopping $200 million.  They’re gonna have to sell a lot of Zynga funbucks to make it up.
  • BioWare plans “clarification” DLC for the Mass Effect 3 ending.  Forbes, by the way, has a better read on this fiasco than most games media outlets; spoilers aplenty, but give this article a read when you get time.
  • Dragon Age 2 winds down as the team gets ready for Dragon Age 3.  Presumably they’re all just glad they’re not the Mass Effect team right about now.
  • Speaking of dragons, Dragon’s Dogma‘s producer wants to sell ten million copies worldwide.  I’m just going to leave that there and let you picture it.
  • Yet another producer, this one for Resident Evil: Revelations, tells the truth and breaks my heart about where the survival horror genre has gone in recent years.
  • GameStop’s standing in retail is examined, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition gets confirmed for the iPad, the .Hack series gets a fighting game, and more!

 
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – What Do You Do For Money, Hanii’ »

What Happened This Week – Let the Bio Beware

I know, awful awful pun. I shall punish myself accordingly by eating this blueberry muffin. Anyway, we’ve got us some news!

  • Wasteland 2‘s Kickstarter surpasses all expectations, especially mine.  Let the blood sausage festival commence!
  • Obsidian is forced to lay people off and cancel a next-generation project.  I’d like to blame that Bethesda-New Vegas- Metacritic contract shenanigans, but the reality is slightly more complicated.
  • Through a truly unexpected twist of fate, Giant Bomb winds up back inside the GameSpot offices from whence they came.  Awkwaaaard~
  • Incidentally, GB’s Dave Snider wrote an excellent column about finding work in games media.  Well worth a read for even the most discouraged would-be content creator.
  • Speaking of interesting columns, Joystiq’s Rowan Kaiser breaks down the year that Western RPGs… well, broke down.  Also a fascinating read, even if you disagree about when PC RPGs hit their Golden Age.
  • Mass Effect 3‘s ending makes such a splash that it bypasses traditional spoiler alerts.  While I don’t spoil it myself, I do go over what it means for BioWare if they don’t address the criticism post-haste.
  • Baldur’s Gate gets an enhanced edition, Microsoft gets a new Peter Moore, and more!

 
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Let the Bio Beware’ »

What Happened This Week – Should’ve Kept the Base

You know it’s true.

Sorry for the delay, folks! Man, ME3 and Super Tuesday tomorrow! The political junkie and the Mass Effect fanboy are having a fistfight for dominance in my brain stem. Gonna be busyyyyyy~

Anyway, to the news:

  • Mass Effect 3 comes out tomorrow, or, if pirates are to be believed, today.  Guess somebody got ahold of one of those low-orbit packages.  And speaking of which…
  • …one of them got stuck in a tree north of San Francisco, boldly resisting an intrepid IGN team’s attempt to dislodge it.  Well, at least bears weren’t involved.
  • UK retailer GAME is in a bit of financial trouble, revealing they will be unable to stock Mass Effect 3 or Mario Party 9.  Hey, guys?  I know your parents probably told you honesty is the best policy and all, but, uh, you may have wanted to make something up this one time.
  • The rumor mill is abuzz that Valve may be developing a Steam-centric PC-slash-console with baseline stats for modern games.  Hey Valve, Derek and I got this great idea for a mascot.  You ready for this?  He’s a scientist, see, and he’s fighting an alien invasion…
  • Facebook gaming takes a sharp downturn from 2011, with the company having to work harder to draw in new users.
  • By contrast, Zynga unveils their own content delivery platform to stand apart from Facebook, forgetting how they got so many people playing their games in the first place.
  • Pokemon Black & White Version 2 makes like Daft Punk and goes around the world, Kinect gets a tinfoil hat accessory, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Should’ve Kept the Base’ »

What Happened This Week – Step One: Secure 3Gs

Note to self: if Recettear is any indication, EasyGameStation’s Chantelise is worth a look.  It’s never too late to enjoy indie RPG goodness.  But I ramble, this isn’t about me and my compulsive Steam purchases, it’s time for the news!  Here’s what we’re covering:

  • SCE’s Shu Yoshida explains why the Vita stumbled in Japan, and how for the US/EU release this time shall be different!  We examine why it probably won’t be different at all, Steve.
  • Jack Tretton confirms we won’t see any PS4 developments this year, freeing them up to wait for Microsoft to release their specs focus on the Vita.
  • Meanwhile, EA plans some unusual marketing schemes for Mass Effect 3, including launching early copies of it via weather balloons into the stratosphere.  Quoth Sarcastic Hawke, “What could possibly go wrong?”
  • Brian Fargo of inXile Entertainment announces a Kickstarter plan to fund production of Wasteland 2.  And here I figured it’d take months to test the limits of Kickstarter’s power.
  • The Guinness Book of World Records crowns, by popular vote, Call of Duty: Black Ops as the best videogame ending ever.  I wish I were kidding.
  • One of BioWare’s more accomplished writers strikes out on their own, Bobby Kotick gets elected to Coca-Cola’s board of directors, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Step One: Secure 3Gs’ »

What Happened This Week – The Jedi Are Gonna Feel This One

The news: disturbing the Force, all day erry day.  Also, going to be off next week for the Super Bowl; not that I have a huge stake in it, but I owe the Giants some residual gratitude for taking out Green Bay.  Us poor Chicagoans would never, ever hear the end of it if they made it back-to-back.  But I get off topic.  I’ll see you all the week after next, but in the meantime here’s what’s going down:

  • The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement steps in to fill the SOPA/PIPA void of “simultaneously overzealous and ineffective legal frameworks for punishing 4chan users.”  Also, at least part of Poland’s parliament is awesome.
  • The Economist dispels a few myths about the US trade deficit with China, using the iPad as an example.  Short version: paying workers ten cents an hour means China doesn’t actually get a lot of money per gizmo.
  • Diablo III‘s senior producer makes an abrupt departure from Blizzard.  Since the game doesn’t even have a release date yet, there can only be one explanation.
  • Meanwhile, EA expands Origin’s reach to include several third-party companies, counting beloved Polish developer CD Projekt among them.  The more you tighten your grasp, EA…
  • The Family Research Council claims the Gay Agenda has its claws in Star Wars: The Old Republic.  BioWare responds by thanking them for the free advertising.
  • Nintendo mulls over a rebranding effort for the Wii U, worried that nontraditional gaming demographics might not get the concept of console cycles.
  • Mass Effect 3 will tie random DLC to action figures, Voodoo Extreme faces staffing budget cuts, and more!

 

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Jedi Are Gonna Feel This One’ »

What Happened This Week – The Internet is Safe… For Now

Hey-hey!  Are you all excited?  I know I am, because a Giants-Patriots rematch in the Super Bowl means we’ll get more of this classy gentleman.  Seriously, Carl’s locks make the NFL worth watching long after your team has washed out because you didn’t have a backup quarterback.

Me?  Bitter?  Pshaw.  Anyway, here’s the latest:

  • SOPA and PIPA have been shelved in response to public outcry and prolonged protest.  Major backers withdrawing their support might’ve had something to do with that, too.
  • And yet despite the bills not passing, the FBI and DoJ had no trouble shutting down Megaupload and arresting people in New Zealand.  Why, it’s almost like Washington already has broad powers to pursue people in other countries.
  • Commentary: despite the bills being on hold for now, expect this issue to resurface at some point.  Google “Congress riders” for just one worrying example.
  • All this begs the question of what can be done going forward, both about piracy and the clumsy responses to it.  Ars Technica offers in-depth solutions.  I would start with “try treating your customers like people for a change.”
  • Meanwhile at BioWare, The Old Republic suffers an unfortunate PvP issue right when it can least afford one.  This wouldn’t be quite such a problem if the game weren’t so expensive to produce.
  • Mass Effect 3 aims to ditch the mission-based structure of Mass Effect 2, going for something more fluid and constant.  You mean like Mass Effect 1, right?
  • Zynga buys more mobile game studios.  Yes, Zynga, because that’s what you were doing wrong: not buying enough smaller companies.

 
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Internet is Safe… For Now’ »

What Happened This Week – Is This the 50’s or 1999?

Nothing like a week of updates to make a guy feel like he’s treading old ground, but hey, anything worth talking about is worth talking about again.  Tonight’s discussion topics are as follows:

  • The Bethesda-Interplay legal mess comes to a close, with Zenimax paying $2mil for Interplay to stop harassing Fallout and claiming the MMO’s going to make it.
  • GSC Game World announces on Facebook that development of STALKER 2 is somehow still underway.  Why do all the beautiful things in life have to be undead?
  • Zynga acquires another executive from EA.  Poor Zynga… their stock’s lackluster performance has caused them to mentally regress to last year.
  • BioWare reveals that Mass Effect 3 will require Origin and will not be available on steam.  Also, they broke their arm in a boking accident.
  • Workers at a Foxconn plant in China threaten mass suicide over low pay and poor conditions.  Industry leaders feign shock that they’re still doing business with Foxconn.
  • Ars Technica gets a closer look at the Wii U, and learns surprisingly little.
  • Diablo III gets a console version, a Gaikai rep makes a silly assumption about the Big Three, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Is This the 50’s or 1999?’ »

What Happened This Week – Shame, What You Have is Gone Tomorrow

 

Happy New Year, everybody!  Welcome back, time to round up the news as per usual.  Today’s selection should serve as a healthy reminder that not all publicity is good publicity, as the good David Bowie can attest to.  Here’s what went down over break:

  • The PS Vita launched in Japan, moving fewer than expected numbers and with several software glitches.  Even straight-up hardware reviews were mixed, like this one from Joystiq.  Sony is probably relieved that’s all they had to worry about.
  • BioWare’s co-founder hints that they’re taking cues from open-world games, including Skyrim, for Dragon Age 3.  Oil, meet water.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2 also sold less than anticipated, which was a total surprise to people that have no idea how sequels work.
  • A Firefox add-on subverts DNS blockades like the ones proposed by the Stop Online Piracy Act… before the Act is even released.  No prize for second place, Congress!
  • Leaked email chains provoke the internet to converge on one Ocean Marketting (typo intentional) and its hilariously awful one-man operation.  The Mayor of Boston is now a meme.
  • Nintendo finally unveils the official Legend of Zelda timeline.  All three of them.  That high-pitched collective cry of anguish you’re hearing is the fandom trying to sort this out.
  • Star Wars: the Old Republic finally launches, the Big Three “kind of” withdraw their support of SOPA, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Shame, What You Have is Gone Tomorrow’ »

What Happened This Week – Such is Life in the Industry

The news never stops, which in that respect is very much like Skyrim. But I digress. The Spike VGAs have given us plenty of material, and thus tonight’s topics include:

  • The nominees, broken down: Skyrim wins GOTY, Dragon Age 2 somehow got on a ‘best of’ list for RPGs, Witcher 2 is looking mighty snubbed…
  • …although the train of unneeded celebrities, lackluster announcements, and literal on-stage teabagging did a fine job distracting from the awards themselves.  And we wonder why gaming is still seen as immature.
  • Meanwhile, with the VGAs posing as E3 Lite, speculation abounds that the actual E3 could come to an end (as we know it).
  • A team of students at George Washington University use Kinect for other than its intended purpose, netting a $100,000 scholarship.  And they complain about the kids today!
  • Shiggy scares everybody with a Wired interview, saying he’s stepping down, prompting a panic until he can finish the sentence with “to smaller projects.”
  • GSC Game World closes its doors, signalling an end to the eccentric yet beloved S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series.  Let’s drink to them once more.
  • Namco-Bandai wins their suit re: Witcher 2 distribution in Europe, the 3DS sells 3 million units in Japan, Square Enix moves FFXIV to a paid subscription, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Such is Life in the Industry’ »

What Happened This Week – Push Button, Receive Social Commentary

While you can’t stop the signal, you can certainly delay it an awful lot by having a wonky, uncooperative internet connection. Yes, at long last that issue’s been resolved and I can get back to updating in a timely fashion, which means more news for you and more chances to posit that Deus Ex is our true Lord and savior. But in the meantime, let’s play catch-up and discuss what happened the past couple weeks:

  • H.R. 3261, the Kill the Internet Stop Online Piracy Act, gains a surprising amount of steam with a who’s who of big-name supporters.  I’m not normally one to pray for Congressional gridlock, but these are hardly normal circumstances.
  • In a related story, I Am Alive‘s creative director cancels the PC version, blaming piracy and accusing PC gamers of bitching…
  • …as Valve, Steam, and Croteam make compelling counterarguments in the form of “make your games less of a hassle to buy and play” and “stop making people hate you.”
  • Bethesda’s probably-not-serious “name your kid Dovahkiin” proposal from a while ago has at last found a taker.  World, meet Dovahkiin Tom Kellermeyer, born 11/11/11.
  • Zynga’s CBO steps down, forfeiting a large chunk of stock while staying on the board in an advisory capacity.  Meanwhile, tech stocks take another brutal dive on Mr. Keynes’ Wild Ride.
  • Meanwhile, Skyrim sets sales records by being awesome.
  • BioWare’s new property might be well outside their comfort zone, Namco-Bandai brings the Tales studio back into the fold, and NPR introduces us all to the mad genius behind Cow Clicker.  Read the whole story if you can, it’s a doozy.

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Push Button, Receive Social Commentary’ »

What Happened This Week – Groupon to Buy Britannia Manor

November is upon us, as is daylight savings time for those of us that practice it for some reason. I, for one, look forward to driving to and from work in perpetual darkness, only occasionally seeing sunlight through the office windows.

Let us proceed with the news, which includes the following:

  • Groupon goes public, setting records not seen since Google’s IPO. Of course, it’s only been one day and doubts persist about the company’s long-term growth prospects, but I’m sure it will all work out just fine. (Note: I’m not a financial expert and my opinions should not be construed as advice.)
  • Silicon Knights sees substantial layoffs, reaffirming what happens when you fail to make Technoviking: The Game look interesting.
  • Richard Garriott warns that Blizzard “needs to watch out for the Zyngas of the world.” Yeah, I’m sure they’re quivering behind the giant forts they’ve constructed purely out of money.
  • Grand Theft Auto V finally launches its official trailer, with not a single carjacking or crazy stunt in sight. I’ll bet Pepperidge Farm remembers when GTA games were fun.
  • In truly unexpected news, GameStop plans to sell tablet PCs in stores. Preorder yours today for bonus exclusive DLC for Microsoft Office!
  • Ultima takes a long, strange trip into BioWare, Spike TV’s VGA includes games that aren’t out yet, we learn the terrible secret of Bro Con, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Groupon to Buy Britannia Manor’ »

What Happened This Week – Square Enix Goes Double Or Nothing

Hello hellooooo! Here’s hoping this brisk fall evening is treating you well, and you’re not smarting from not-insubstantial gambling losses like I am. As mentioned I’m still struggling with Comcast-related internet woes, which were enough to delay but not permanently forestall the news. So let’s get on it, shall we? Today’s lineup covers the following:

  • Square Enix dropped a Final Fantasy-sized bomb by revealing the latest updates for Final Fantasy XIV, including a phase-in for the subscription service. Cue panic and ridicule.
  • That said, the changes do sound pretty swank, and the full list is worth reading if you’re so inclined. The larger question is, who’s in a gambling mood?
  • Speaking of wailing and gnashing of teeth, Mass Effect 3‘s multiplayer mode has caused quite a stir. Best guess: the co-op missions are likely just supplements to the main plot and risk feeling somewhat unnecessary. Further evaluation requires building consensus.
  • Netflix tries to call backsies on that whole Qwikster thing, in the process raising the question of whether we’re even ready for nationwide video streaming. Short answer, no. Long answer, are you out of your mind?!
  • Zynga comes up with Project Z, also known as “our back-up plan in case relations with Facebook turn south.”
  • Rovio overvalues itself even more, Obsidian hires Tim Cain, Sega confirms Valkyria Chronicles 3 isn’t getting localized, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Square Enix Goes Double Or Nothing’ »

What Happened This Week – Comparing Apple and Lemon-Lime

Good evening, folks!  My kingdom for a newsman fedora, but the show must go on.  At least until Deus Ex: Human Revolution lures me back in with its siren song.  Goddamn but that game is hard to put down.  Anyway, let’s get to the news:

  • GameStop opens PC copies of Deus Ex: Human Revolution to remove OnLive coupons.  Square Enix, like everyone else, had forgotten GameStop sells PC games.
  • MCV conducts a survey of games journalists about the industry, with some surprising consistency in their answers.  Check the full thing out here, it’s worth a read.
  • Steve Jobs vacates his position as Apple’s CEO, prompting everybody to panic before he can finish his sentence with “…but staying on the board of directors.”
  • BioWare’s Greg Zeschuk gives an interview with VG 24/7; the internet hears ‘RPGs’ and ‘less relevant’ and takes it from there.  Go Team Knee-jerk!  (Full disclosure: I do mourn the absence of big-budget Baldur’s Gate-style RPGs.)
  • EA and Starbreeze Studios may be developing a new Syndicate game.  Somewhere, Peter Molyneux is feeling an unexplained pang of regret and loss.
  • A Latitude Research survey attempts to dispel old myths about gamers, the .hack series gets a movie when they really need a (better) game, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Comparing Apple and Lemon-Lime’ »