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’ »
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’ »
Finally got to upload this, would’ve had it earlier if not for an inopportune (though easily fixed) network hiccup. Anyway, hope you’re all enjoying the beautiful Labor Day weekend! It’s time for the news:
- Famitsu unveiled a cornucopia of Persona news: a Vita port of 4, a fighting game, and a lot of dancing around Persona 5. So much speculation, so little time.
- Bethesda does the timed exclusivity song-and-dance with Skyrim DLC, setting a new record by doing so before the game launches. The power of the money hat is strong.
- Zeboyd Games gets a crack at Penny Arcade Adventures: Really Long Subtitle: Episode 3. Don’t underestimate them; Breath of Death VII is deceptively good.
- Sony plans another head-mounted TV screen monstrosity. No, Sony, the “3D” part of it doesn’t make it any more likely to succeed than your last attempt.
- Square Enix plans to boost the staff at Eidos Montreal, Doom‘s 17-year ban in Germany is removed, and more!
- Plus, a spotlight on the recent financial workings of Zynga, Groupon, and LinkedIn: fuzzy accounting practices, pending market headaches, and the SEC asking pointed questions like “Why do all these numbers have asterisks by them?” and “Why did your accountant introduce himself with air quotes?”
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Summon Your Accountant’ »
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’ »
Damn but it was hard to focus and get this done. Human Revolution is right there on my hard drive, locked away and waiting for a signal from the Steam mothership to grant access. Buuuut I guess while I’m waiting we should get to the news. Here’s what’s going on this week:
- Following sluggish sales, Japanese retailers begin scaling down 360 business. Microsoft, trying sticking anime girls on more things next time. Hey, it worked for Windows 7.
- Valve’s Gabe Newell responds to the whole EA-taking-its-games-off-Steam thing. Gabe, if they threaten Mass Effect 3, for the love of god just give them what they ask for. It’s not worth the risk, man.
- Sony and Nintendo have a crazy-off, chopping features out of new PSP and Wii models in Europe. I’m short on explanations that don’t involve hallucinogens.
- Nintendo announces The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower for Europe, while ShopTo.net reports “unexpected late demand” for Xenoblade Chronicles. Well, gosh, where could that possibly be coming from?
- Star Wars: The Old Republic may actually need a limited launch to keep servers running smoothly. No, that still doesn’t make it a World of Warcraft killer, stop asking.
- Deus Ex: Human Revolution is rumored to be region-locked in Europe, until Squenix drops this idea after being warned it may be illegal in response to fan outcry. Hooray!
- Seriously guys, we’re getting another Deus Ex in a matter of days oh god I forgot to turn off italics I don’t even care eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – My Business is Augmented’ »
Mandatory viewing for all Deus Ex fans.
Howdy folks! Getting busy around here before E3, but we still have time to wrap up the news. Let’s break it down:
- Groupon joins Zynga, PopCap, etc. in preparing to go public, despite not actually making a profit. We should make a drinking game out of this.
- A huge preview build for Deus Ex: Human Revolution got leaked to the internet. To everyone’s surprise, nobody minds. File that under “did not see coming.”
- Interplay teeters on the brink of bankruptcy, as they seemingly have for years now. But don’t worry, Fallout Online is gonna be here any day now!
- Dueling digital distribution services: Gamestop automatically charges for re-downloading “insurance,” which its competitors give away for free…
- …while EA launches its own DD network coincidentally named after one of the studios it absorbed. Oooh, awk~waaard.
- E3 pre-conference projections: Nintendo’s new hardware, Sony’s image problem, and Microsoft’s Kinect… stuff.
In addition we have some late-breaking news that didn’t make it into the recording: NPR and NECN.com reported that not only was Nintendo hacked, but they were hacked by the same group that’s been plaguing Sony recently. No data was stolen in the Nintendo hack, but the group, calling itself Lulz Security, has claimed responsibility for an attack on Sony Pictures that resulted in a million more users’ personal information.
From where I sit there’s actually a fairly clear line between exposing a company’s lackluster security procedures – which Sony is clearly guilty of – and releasing sensitive information for all to see. The second Robin Hood starts shooting random people and telling them to blame the authorities for failing to protect them, he’s lost the argument. I don’t see the Nintendo hack changing the game much, although I’d put money down that these ongoing hacks are going to draw more attention than LulzSec might like. Much as it pains me to admit, life isn’t Shadowrun, and when the feds come knocking the game’s pretty much over.
And now, on with the actual episode. Enjoy!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Pre-E3 Warmup With Electronic Old Men’ »
I miss Dr. Weird.
What’s happening, everybody? Hope you’re braced for the coming week, what with Witcher 2 and New Vegas DLC coming up. In the meantime, let us discuss the many interesting things that have happened since last Sunday:
- The Economist speculates on a possible tech/internet bubble, driven by overconfident investors and unproven business models. And here we thought time travel was impossible.
- Microsoft pays $Texas for Skype. Why would they buy a largely free VOIP service as a tech bubble is being built? Why, indeed.
- PSN is finally back up, bringing the catastrophic train wreck to at least partial closure. Which means we can now focus on Sony’s harmless and entertaining train wrecks.
- Eidos and Deus Ex: Human Revolution websites get hacked. Hey, hackers, that’s not funny. Deus Ex has been delayed enough.
- Square Enix has a rough week, owing in part to Final Fantasy XIV‘s amazingly poor launch condition. Really now, are high-res catgirls and magic midgets that hard to deliver?
- The National Endowment for the Arts classifies games as art, thus solving all problems with the games industry forever.
- Call of Duty vs. Battlefield at launch, the US Navy makes an anti-piracy MMO, the Harvest Moon folk join up with some weird colleagues, and much more!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – It’s Not Different At All, Is It Steve?!’ »