“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’ »
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!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Future Needs More RAM’ »
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’ »
Not to be outdone, Namco Bandai has also announced an increase in earnings forecast for the current fiscal year. With prior numbers at 420 mil for sales and 25mil for operating income, the company now expects respective increases to 440mil and 31.5mil. These are owed, in large part, to high sales of Tales of Xillia (760k units) and Gundam Extreme VS (550K units).
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.
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Push Button, Receive Social Commentary’ »
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!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – New Generation, Same Tricks’ »
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’ »
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’ »
A good evening to all of you! My apologies for the lateness of this update, suffice it to say it’s been a busy week on this end. Still, there’s just enough time for a news rundown, so let’s get at it. Tonight, we talk about the following:
- PopCap is looking for a billion-dollar acquisition, and EA looks to be the buyer. Why fight Zynga when you can pay others to do it?
- Streaming game service Gaikai teams up with WalMart to let you play game demos online through your browser. Bandwidth-capping ISPs are going to love this.
- An internal newsletter reveals Eve Online developers debating the merits of microtransactions. The internet’s response: casual and relaxed. So very, very relaxed.
- Rumors are a-circulatin’ that Xenoblade Chronicles might not make to America. Europe is stunned by the possibility of being the lucky ones this time.
- Namco-Bandai admits that Microsoft paid them $Texas to keep Tales of Vesperia on the 360 in the west. Hmm… you think that’d get Valkyria Chronicles 3 over here?
- Microsoft also plans to use Kinect for interactive advertising on TV and in games. Oh goody, more of the opposite of what I wanted!
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Money Hats For Everyone’ »