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!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Everybody Misses the Nineties’ »
Or so we’re supposed to think, I guess. Hey, everybody! We’re on time this week! Let’s not dawdle, here’s what’s going on:
- Microsoft unveils the Surface, a powerful new tablet with a keyboard cover
that may cost $800-$1000 we’ll discuss price later
- Nintendo shows off a new, bigger 3DS with a longer battery life, possibly at the expense of the whole ‘portable’ thing.
- Persona 4: The Golden gives Vita sales a shot in the arm. Good game Sony, now you just need, oh, another couple dozen of those.
- A week after EA’s Origin pointman says they won’t be offering “going out of business” deep discounts, Origin offers deep discounts. EA GOING OUT OF BUSINESS FULL STORY AT 11
- Squenix might bring Final Fantasy VII to Steam, if only they could get it to work. Meanwhile, Final Fantasy XI continues to print money.
- Sega launches a browser-based card game for Valkyria Chronicles, to be depicted in the TBS miniseries, “How to Ruin Everything Beautiful in This World.”
- Blizzard suspends digital Diablo III sales briefly to combat goldfarmers, another Capcom fighting game veteran leaves for greener pastures, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Tablet Plus Keyboard Equals Innovation’ »
There are weeks, even single days, that make me want to crawl into a bunker with as much food, games, and quality booze as I can manage, seal that sucker up, and hide there for, I dunno, a year or so. But then I tell myself, “I know life sometimes seems bad, but at least you didn’t sign over the Running Man to MC Hammer.”
Shame, too. It was the freshest move I’d ever seen. But enough of that, let’s get to the news.
- Yet more insanity is added to the fifty-car pileup that is 38 Studios: RBS Citizen’s Bank is suing Curt Schilling directly, and an anonymous wife of a 38S employee speaks out.
- Oh, and Rhode Island state police have launched a criminal investigation into 38S. So has the Massachusetts Attorney General. And the FBI.
- ICANN prepares for bidding wars on more top-level domains: .xbox, .sony, .apple, and countless others sure to bring back those timeless dotcom jokes from the late 90s.
- Sony is still trying to convince people the Vita is doing fine, though salary cuts and returned benefits suggest at least someone is taking this doom thing seriously.
- EA openly admits it would rather have a higher-price game not sell than sell more copies on discount. Counterpoint: Syndicate is $59.99 on Origin, and $20 plus S&H on Amazon.
- Eurogamer interviews Yoshinori Ono, the man behind Street Fighter 4, whom Capcom almost literally worked to death. Read the whole thing if you’ve got time, it’s… sobering.
- Dead Space 3 has to sell five million copies, Dragon’s Dogma sells just over half a million, I analyze what these stories have in common (read: the AAA push is killing us) and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Burnout Gives HR Stuff to Do’ »
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’ »
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’ »
Happy Halloween, everybody! Hope you’re all full on candy already, because we’re fresh out. We do, however, have plenty of delicious DOOOOOOOOOOOM to go around! Help yourself!
In today’s obesity-causing episode:
- Shooter Season 2011 rolls on as Battlefield 3 launches to great scores attached to surprisingly critical text. Also, install to your hard drive or the game looks like this.
- Nintendo announces a sizable loss for the year, that may have largely been a fluke in currency exchange rates. Clearly, doom is just around the corner.
- Zynga’s new properties are eating into their existing userbase, while one of the company’s officers leaves for Las Vegas. Given Nevada’s unemployment rate, somebody’s in a gambling mood… or they didn’t like what they saw at Zynga.
- Sony states that the PSN hack “woke up dormant customers,” perhaps figuring such a statement might distract people from the Vita’s cumbersome saving mechanism.
- Bethesda loses its preliminary injunction against Interplay, and so development of Fallout Online can continue in the magical fantasy world that only Interplay inhabits.
- EA, who once claimed Origin was not a competing service to Steam, starts picking up publishers to commit to Origin. Look, EA, just… let’s not do anything crazy, okay? Put Mass Effect 3 back down and let’s talk.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Doom For Everyone!’ »
Summer rolls on and the heat just isn’t letting up. Who said suburban Chicago could turn into southern Louisiana? How’s everybody else out there holding up? If you’ve got time for the news, gather ’round and listen up. In this week’s episode:
- One of Sony’s insurance groups sues to avoid being legally liable for damage from the hack. Next time Sony, get them to agree before showing the bill.
- Gameloft stands accused of forcing its employees to work 100+ hour weeks and faking deadlines to maintain crunch time. And they thought Gameloft wasn’t ready for the big leagues!
- Capcom’s Twitter Guy accidentally implies fans are to blame for Mega Man Legends 3‘s cancellation. The internet reacts in the usual reserved and dignified manner.
- 1UP posts some interesting analysis on the decline in JRPG localization. It sure would explain an awful lot. Looking right at you Square Enix. Sega, you too.
- Wal-Mart prepares to publish its sales data for video games. I’m sure that internal memo marked “Join Us Or Die” is just for marketing purposes.
- Zeboyd Games announces that jumping to Steam caused sales to skyrocket. #pcgamingmasterrace
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Appetite for Production’ »
Hello once more, folks! Hope you’re enjoying the weekend, and not too busy getting drunk and shooting bottle rockets at each other to check out the news. Quite a bit happened this past week, so let’s break it down:
- Zynga prepares to go public, and LinkedIn makes a surprising gain through no action of their own. Pay no attention to that Greece problem in Europe, that could never affect us!
- Facebook hires George Hotz, possibly for iPad or security-related development. So you know, this is the man himself. Feel better about yourself? I sure do.
- Resident Evil: The Mercenaries‘ save system prevents players from deleting saves. Capcom says no really, it’s not about the used market, please don’t be mad GameStop.
- Nintendo thanks its fans for their loyalty and concern over Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, etc. before ripping their hearts out and stomping on them.
- Politics: SCOTUS rules in favor of game developers/retailers, while a Senate bill plays dueling banjos while eying up YouTube.
- IGN reveals the ugly truth about LA Noire‘s stay in development hell. Read the whole thing then wonder why there aren’t more fistfights in the office.
- World of Warcraft changes its subscription model, Namco-Bandai’s community manager retracts her statement re: Vesperia on 360, and much more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Free Market V. Captive Audience’ »