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?
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – War By Other Means’ »
“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!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Go Public or Die Trying’ »
CD Projekt Red, developers of The Witcher series, have posted a series of job openings for a yet-unannounced “RPG in a brand new setting.” While little is known about this new IP, the posting indicates the game will be separate from The Witcher universe, and fantasy standbys in general; elves, dwarves, sorceresses, etc. Specific job details are available on the official site, located here for your convenience.
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’ »
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’ »
All right, back in business! Just in time to let you all know that, naturally, there will not be a podcast on Christmas Day. Enjoy the holidays everyone, and I’ll see you all in the new year! Until then let us dig into the bigger happenings this week (and 2011 in general), including the following:
- Zynga went public and entered its first day of trading, starting at $10/share and never quite getting higher. You may want to get popcorn for this.
- Nintendo partnered with the Louvre to use its 3DS as an interactive display guide. Yes, that Louvre.
- Meanwhile, DJ Deadmau5
lost and then recovered pretended to lose a demo PS Vita in a cab, while a boat named the PlayStation Vita was capsized at sea. What’s the over/under on these being roundabout marketing schemes versus ill omens?
- Square Enix got hacked, with the scope of the theft not known but the company certain no credit card information was leaked. Affected users were heard to collectively say “Oh no, not again.”
- CD Projekt pursued Witcher 2 pirates, stating that being anti-DRM and anti-piracy aren’t mutually exclusive. I am forced to conclude they are trying to confuse the internet, and it’s working.
- 2011 roundup: my own Top 5 for major events in the gaming industry, from the awesome to the shocking to the just plain sad.
- Naughty Dog claims The Last of Us will have a heavy story focus (oh, boy), Pokemon partakes in a most unusual crossover, and much more! Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Zynga All the Way’ »
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’ »
Hello all! Thanks for sticking with us, got some news fresh out of the oven for you fine folks. As an aside, going to be out of town for the week of Thanksgiving so the next episode will be uploaded on the 27th. Enjoy the week, have a happy preemptive Turkey Day, and in the meantime let’s get to tonight’s topics:
- Zynga is caught forcing employees to either surrender stock or be fired, so they can turn around and use that stock to hire other people. Pretty sure breach-of-contract lawsuits start more or less like this.
- Steam servers get hacked, and while the damage appears limited Valve kindly reminded people to change passwords and watch credit card activity. See? Was that hard?
- Meanwhile, CD Projekt reveals digital sales numbers for The Witcher 2, offering a glimpse of the effect the Steam Collective has on the market.
- A slight error and some carelessness resulted in Japanese MMO M2 being completely deleted, which ironically is the first I’ve ever heard of the game.
- Sony reveals its complicated UMD conversion process to play PSP games on the Vita. Considering this is currently only in Japan, where the PSP is still an active platform, I can only guess at the the intended audience.
- Ubisoft says “buy Rayman Origins if you want more Beyond Good and Evil,” armed Frenchmen steal copies of Modern Warfare 3, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Coercion: Our New Business Strategy’ »
I just want you all to know I wrote this all with that Yogurting flash synced to the Droyds remix of Armand van Helden’s “In Your Eyes” playing in the background. I don’t know why, I think I forgot it was on at some point. Catchy song, though. I digress. Welcome back, guys! In What Happened This Week, we discuss the following:
- Namco-Bandai files suit against CD Projekt’s parent company over The Witcher 2 distribution rights in Europe. Players express shock that Namco distributes games in other countries.
- Square Enix pursues legal action against unnamed individuals over the Deus Ex: Human Revolution leak. Unnamed… or Anonymous? Probably the first one.
- My reaction to Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Ehhhhhhhhnnnnn….
- Zynga opens a studio in Toronto by buying an existing developing and absorbing them. Guys you already filed for your IPO, you can stop worrying everybody now. Guys?
- Indie developers voice their discontent with Xbox Live’s indie game service. Steam offers to be shoulder-to-cry-on guy while winking knowingly at the camera.
- I offer commentary and analysis on Senate Bill S.978, and where it fits in the larger picture of US political discourse. Short version: don’t panic, our problems are much bigger.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Visibility and Perspective’ »
Goooooooood evening! Hope all of you are braving the latest storm of the century, seems like we get one of those every five minutes. And then the sun comes out at the end of it just to spite us, that’s just unfair. But I digress. It’s time for What Happened This Week, and all the unusual merriment the topic brings. In tonight’s topics:
- China was revealed to have used prisoners for goldfarming in an unusual twist on forced labor. Well, at least nobody can opt out of raid night.
- Zynga prepares for an IPO in two weeks. Gamers and financial experts look at each other and shrug, gamers with financial knowledge (or vice versa) start panicking.
- Sony plans its bone-crushing five hour E3 event. Someone’s compensating for something, like an unexpected loss even before the hack took place.
- On the other hand, the PS4 won’t see the Big McLargehuge development costs of the PS3. So, hey, they learned something. I hope.
- On BioWare looking for artists. Yes, Dragon Age 2 dropped the ball in several areas. Yes, Dragon Age III is still a day one pickup for me. Yes, I am a consumer whore.
- Speaking of which, CD Projekt patches out DRM from retail copies of The Witcher 2. Oh CDP, you had me at hello!
- President Obama gets strange (and awesome) gifts, GRIN blames Square for its bankruptcy, and more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Trading the Weird for the Insolvent’ »