Posts Tagged ‘Blizzard Entertainment’

What Happened This Week – Naysayers Right and Wrong

News time, everybody! Get it while it’s hot, metaphorically speaking as the transfer of information is not linked to temperature! In tonight’s episode:

  • Zynga’s stock takes a nosedive due to slashed earnings estimates and insiders dumped the stock months ago.  Pardon me, I’ll be over here doing my “I called it” dance.
  • Boston Magazine provides an in-depth postmortem on the many, many warning signs leading up to 38 Studios’ closing.  Short version: Schilling mixed up baseball and business.
  • Key developers come out strongly against Windows 8, with Gabe Newell saying Valve may encourage Linux development as a hedge.  Mr. Newell, hedges are supposed to save money.
  • Crunchyroll breaks down a Japanese poll showing the Japanese are no longer bullish on their own gaming industry.  Clearly, the industry needs more ara ara~
  • Square Enix takes to Twitter to confirm Versus XIII is still alive.  CEO Yoichi Wada has to stop himself from saying it’ll be done “when it’s done.”
  • FFXIV gets rebranded, Irrational Games uses Metacritic as a hiring requirement, OnLive joins up with the Ouya, and more!

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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!

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What Happened This Week – Everybody Misses the Nineties

Yaaay, we’re back!  And hopefully we’ll stay on time going forward, or at least we won’t lose power right when I’m about to start writing.  Anyway, news time!

  • Sony acquires streaming game service Gaikai for a cool $380 million.  Speculation abounds as to how doomed modern consoles are (not very, for the moment).
  • Vivendi plans to sell off its stake in Activision-Blizzard.  Possibly a restructuring effort, or maybe they just see Call of Duty being the next Guitar Hero, with all that would imply.
  • Zynga reveals “Zynga With Friends,” and exciting new games ending with -Ville that are totally not the same idea over and over.  One’s even an “epic slot machine adventure” for extra irony.
  • Yoichi Wada asserts Final Fantasy VII isn’t getting remade until they make a game that surpasses it.  My take: better get a DeLorean, ’cause we’ll need the nineties again.
  • Atlus announces and defends its decision to region-lock Persona 4 Arena.  So that’s why the official forums melted down the other day.
  • The EU rules that resale of digital games is legal, Pokemon Black and White 2 makes all of the money, Facebook suffers a sizable email fiasco, and more!

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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 – There He Goes Again On His Own

Hello and welcome, everybody! It’s that time again. GDC occupied a lot of the news this week, but among that we have the following:

  • Valve’s marketing director clarifies that they are not working on a Steam box… for now.  Actually they left off the “for now” part, but let a man dream :3
  • Peter Molyneux leaves Lionhead and Microsoft to start his own company once more.  Shine on, you awesome fibber.  Shine on… or go on to develop social/iOS games like other gaming legends.
  • Blizzard offers a rather hefty bounty returning bonus for players who bring friends back to World of Warcraft
  • …which doesn’t quite distract from their announcement that Diablo III will not have PvP at launch.
  • A quartet of big names – Will Wright, Sid Meier, John Romero, and Cliff Bleszinski – offer various insights on the state of the industry, ranging from concerns about self-referential development to homeless simulators.  It makes sense in context.
  • Tim Cain gives a postmortem on Fallout, sharing the dirt on how the now famous post-apocalyptic RPG almost never saw the light of day.  Short answer: blame Windows NT.  Watch the whole thing if you can, it’s enlightening stuff.
  • Two men make more or less the same complaints about Japanese games, with vastly different levels of tact (and authority), I suggest the big picture might be a bit more complicated, and more!

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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!

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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!

 

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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!

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What Happened This Week – New Generation, Same Tricks

Howdy-howdy! Slowly getting back to a working schedule, though still suffering connection issues. Making some progress on my end, or at least narrowing down the problem. But enough about my griping, we’re here for the news! News, and the joy of shows about time-travelling quad bikes on YouTube.

Gotta love Klyka, man. Anyway, let’s get at it:

  • Sony is reportedly beginning work on game concepts for the yet-unannounced PS4, with an expected release window of 2014…
  • …while Microsoft looks to debut the “Xbox Next” at E3 2013. Also, Fable will get a chance to disappoint people on the Next.
  • A Gamasutra interview on Rage sparks… rage. The writer responds, arguing that being potentially blacklisted for a pointed question or two is kind of an overreaction.
  • Blizzard offers up a side of Diablo III free with $180 worth of World of Warcraft. Such a deal! Blizzard, throw in Warcraft 4 or the rest of Starcraft II and we’ll talk.
  • Speaking of tie-ins, Mass Effect 3 teams up with Battlefield 3 to prop up the latter gain early access to the ME3 multiplayer demo. Maybe they’re hoping BF3‘s multiplayer mojo will rub off or something.
  • Namco Bandai is set to publish Ni no Kuni in Rest-of-the-Worldia, Yoshida says more about FFXIV, Batman: Arkham City opens up fresh DLC wounds, and more!

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