Posts Tagged ‘Electronic Arts’

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!

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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 – Tablet Plus Keyboard Equals Innovation

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!

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What Happened This Week – Burnout Gives HR Stuff to Do

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!

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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.

 
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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 – Go Public or Die Trying

“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!

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What Happened This Week – Random Revenue Generators

Look, Blizzard, I told you: I’ll come back when you start making RTSs.  Complete RTSs, not the shenanigans you’re pulling with Starcraft 2.  Your Diablo III screenshots, while delicious, have no power over me!  I’ll not be tempted, damn you!

…I’m gonna wind up buying Diablo III, aren’t I.  Nyaugh.  Anyhoo, let’s get to some news:

  • Japan makes noises about regulating a peculiar form of gambling social media sales.  Japanese game companies shriek in horror, including a few you may recognize.
  • EA confirms it’s restructuring, which includes some of the previously-mentioned layoffs.  CEO John Riccitiello also owns up to the company’s distant second place in social gaming.
  • All aboard the doom train: Sony posts its forecasted loss, announcing (in a roundabout fashion) a meager 1.8 million Vita sales.  Experts (and professional amateurs such as myself) opine on what may save the device.
  • Microsoft, by way of Michael Pachter: “Don’t expect a lot of game stuff [at E3]; expect a lot of dashboard, interface, multimedia.”  Excellent, now I know which conference I can ignore.
  • Tetsuya Nomura indicates that he’d like to see Kingdom Hearts return to consoles.  Square Enix confirmed for working on the Blizzard-Valve Timescale.
  • Diablo III preorders make it bigger than Jesus, Redbox goofs on Max Payne 3, social gaming is slowing down in the US, and more!

 
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What Happened This Week – Capitalism Means Never Saying Sorry

Guess who’s back!  How’s everybody doing?  I spent the weekend watching mutants and mercenaries duke it out in the Capitol building.  And then I came home to play Fallout 3 heyoooooooooo!  Okay, yeah, obvious joke is obvious, but DC is a cool town even if you’re not a political junkie such as myself.  But anyway, it’s good to be back at home base, got my computer a shiny new video card, the Mass Effect 3 review finally done, and ready to get down to business.  So let’s get on it!  In today’s headlines we have:

  • Bethesda announces The Elder Scrolls Online.  I explain why this is not going anywhere profitable, and point to a much more interesting property they’re funding for one Shinji Mikami.
  • A Forbes article breaks down that Zynga, Groupon, and Facebook work with an accounting firm that makes rules up as they go.  I wish I were kidding.
  • Eurogamer runs a lengthy piece on the demise of Free Radical.  Long story short, it took a little more treachery than doped-up marines going “Boosh!”
  • NVidia rolls out a top-of-the-line graphics card for $1000.00.  How else can a month’s salary last until next week when they push the envelope even further?
  • FilePlanet is no longer being updated, thus preparing itself for the annals of Internet history.  Behold, children, the days when patches didn’t download themselves.
  • Electronic Arts rolls out an Indie Bundle, upending basically every sensible definition of the term ‘indie.’  And on Steam, no less, making it all the more confusing.
  • A Chinese company develops a console specifically for pirates China, EA asks for feedback on Origin, I speculate based on Sega-centric Steam deals, and more!

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What Happened This Week – The Future Needs More RAM

Nothing quite like a sales binge to pick up on games you missed, especially when it reminds you how expensive some of them are. Hey, dude selling Suikoden V for $100: I hope your parents hated you, because I do. Also, a heads-up: I’ll be in DC next week starting Sunday, so no podcast while I’m away. See you all the following week! With that said, here are this week’s headlines:

  • Rumors swirl that EA may be laying people off, though even if they’re true there may be a plausible explanation.  Or EA’s stock could be dropping, it could be that too.
  • That said, Zynga appears to have gone off the deep end, with more OMGPop-style pricey acquisitions in the future.  OMGPop, incidentally, may have peaked the very day of its acquisition.  Get some popcorn, folks.
  • Two of the Big Three schedule their E3 conferences, prompting a rehash of speculation.  My take: Microsoft offers no surprises, Sony needs to explain themselves, and Nintendo will steal headlines whether it wants to or not.
  • Speaking of Sony, the New York Times offers a revealing look on where the electronics giant stumbled.  Short version: departmental tribalism, right down to war paint and scalping.
  • Wired’s Chris Kohler asserts the existing publisher-hardware-retailer model is broken and we don’t really need it.  I agree, but scrapping it all seems premature.
  • Namco-Bandai may avoid using GFWL for the PC version of Dark Souls.  On bended knee, I beseech Bamco to do the right thing and serve the Newell.
  • A rumored meeting between Apple and Valve is debunked, Saints Row DLC may have saved THQ, and more!

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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!

 
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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!

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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!

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!

 

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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.

 
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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!

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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!

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What Happened This Week – Zynga All the Way

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’ »

What Happened This Week – Endless Gouging Phenomenon

The weekend ain’t over just yet! Although I’ll be glad when it is, and I can leave the stench of disappointing football behind me. Why, Cutler, why did you have to leave us when you were finally doing good?! Giants, why did you have to let Green Bay win again?! It just ain’t fair, man.

Oh right, I should probably talk about the news. In today’s episode:

  • Nintendo finally deigns to release Xenosaga on this side of the pond.  Next up: The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower, AKA “That third one I keep forgetting.”
  • Gamestop reveals the price of Vita memory cards, prompting an outcry.  Sony tries to reassure people by restating that they’ve learned little from the PSP’s launch.
  • Electronic Arts plans to put action-horror game Dead Space into an FPS, a space shooter, and an Uncharted-a-like.  Also in the works: collectable card game, rhythm game, and multiplayer.  And speaking of multiplayer…
  • …rumor has it that Dragon Age 3 may join Mass Effect 3 in that regard, likely some kind of battle arena.  My question: how many hats are involved?
  • Tetris on iOS will feature a subscription service.  Is any comment really necessary on this?  God, I hope not.
  • GamePro dies and goes down the tubes.  We shall forever remember its sage advice – its tips, if you were – given from the pros themselves.
  • AMD gets out of the PC processor market to focus on mobiles, I turned 30 this week, and more!

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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.

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