Posts Tagged ‘Economics’

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!

 

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Jedi Are Gonna Feel This One’ »

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.

 
Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – The Internet is Safe… For Now’ »

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!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Is This the 50’s or 1999?’ »

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. I had to take a short break from posting here for you guys because I had to look after my folks. They’re getting a bit old and need more help than they used to. They also tend to forget to take their meds, which is particularly worrying. I was taking care of this myself until I found a service called Home Care Assistance North County, and now they have a professional assigned to them that helps them with this sort of stuff. Thanks to that we’re back in business!

Now that I’ve explained things and without further ado, 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!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Shame, What You Have is Gone Tomorrow’ »

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 – Such is Life in the Industry

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’ »

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!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Endless Gouging Phenomenon’ »

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 which can be fixed at the 192.168.1.1 login page. 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’ »

What Happened This Week – Coercion: Our New Business Strategy

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’ »

What Happened This Week – Groupon to Buy Britannia Manor

November is upon us, as is daylight savings time for those of us that practice it for some reason. I, for one, look forward to driving to and from work in perpetual darkness, only occasionally seeing sunlight through the office windows.

Let us proceed with the news, which includes the following:

  • Groupon goes public, setting records not seen since Google’s IPO. Of course, it’s only been one day and doubts persist about the company’s long-term growth prospects, but I’m sure it will all work out just fine. (Note: I’m not a financial expert and my opinions should not be construed as advice.)
  • Silicon Knights sees substantial layoffs, reaffirming what happens when you fail to make Technoviking: The Game look interesting.
  • Richard Garriott warns that Blizzard “needs to watch out for the Zyngas of the world.” Yeah, I’m sure they’re quivering behind the giant forts they’ve constructed purely out of money.
  • Grand Theft Auto V finally launches its official trailer, with not a single carjacking or crazy stunt in sight. I’ll bet Pepperidge Farm remembers when GTA games were fun.
  • In truly unexpected news, GameStop plans to sell tablet PCs in stores. Preorder yours today for bonus exclusive DLC for Microsoft Office!
  • Ultima takes a long, strange trip into BioWare, Spike TV’s VGA includes games that aren’t out yet, we learn the terrible secret of Bro Con, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Groupon to Buy Britannia Manor’ »

What Happened This Week – Doom For Everyone!

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!’ »

What Happened This Week – New Generation, Same Tricks

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’ »

What Happened This Week – Square Enix Goes Double Or Nothing

Hello hellooooo! Here’s hoping this brisk fall evening is treating you well, and you’re not smarting from not-insubstantial gambling losses like I am, and that’s why now a days I only play in an online casino so I can get more winnings. As mentioned I’m still struggling with Comcast-related internet woes, which were enough to delay but not permanently forestall the news. So let’s get on it, shall we? Today’s lineup covers the following:

  • Square Enix dropped a Final Fantasy-sized bomb by revealing the latest updates for Final Fantasy XIV, including a phase-in for the subscription service. Cue panic and ridicule.
  • That said, the changes do sound pretty swank, and the full list is worth reading if you’re so inclined. The larger question is, who’s in a gambling mood after reading this review? If you are estranged with the concept of Back and lay betting, here at freebets uk are a brief outlay of the sports betting process to benefit you with no risk bets offer.
  • Speaking of wailing and gnashing of teeth, Mass Effect 3‘s multiplayer mode has caused quite a stir. Best guess: the co-op missions are likely just supplements to the main plot and risk feeling somewhat unnecessary. Further evaluation requires building consensus.
  • Netflix tries to call backsies on that whole Qwikster thing, in the process raising the question of whether we’re even ready for nationwide video streaming. Short answer, no. Long answer, are you out of your mind?!
  • Zynga comes up with Project Z, also known as “our back-up plan in case relations with Facebook turn south.”
  • Rovio overvalues itself even more, Obsidian hires Tim Cain, Sega confirms Valkyria Chronicles 3 isn’t getting localized, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Square Enix Goes Double Or Nothing’ »

What Happened This Week – Strategic Signal Loss

Howdy-ho, all! Managed a bit of a breakthrough, if only via workarounds I only half understand. Looking for a longer-term solution until the Comcast router decides to un-kink itself, since there doesn’t seem to be much else I can do on my end. Alas!

Anyway, got plenty to talk about, including the following:

  • Steve Jobs passed away after battling cancer for the last several years. Say what you will about the man, but he knew how to develop and market shiny new gizmos people didn’t know they wanted.
  • Apple revealed the iPhone 4, hyping up the processor as on par with handhelds and consoles. And yet everybody gets quiet when you ask how you’re supposed to move.
  • GSC Game World gives us a brief S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2-related scare, showing just how potent the fear of DRM can really be.
  • The Game of Thrones RPG was announced, prompting questions of how well a game can reproduce a complex, morally gray universe based on popular literature. My advice: ask CD Projekt for help studying.
  • EA tries to reassure everybody that no, really, they’re not competing with Valve and Steam. They’re only setting up a separate distribution site and restricting certain games to it. NOT COMPETITION
  • The Financial Times reveals scary new plans for European Debt, I ramble a bit about the Occupy Wall Street protests, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Strategic Signal Loss’ »

What Happened This Week – Improvised Payment Devices

Good evening and greetings!  Hope the fall is treating you well so far, and your punt returner didn’t showboat in the end zone, giving the other team good field position to score an answering touchdown.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Devin Hester as should any red-blooded American male (cryingeagle.jpg) but that touchdown could have been avoided and thus the Bears didn’t beat the spread.  Celebrate after the game, Devin!

That was a sweet return though, wasn’t it?

Ahem.  Anyway, here’s what’s going down this week:

  • Square Enix’s CEO catches up to everybody else by admitting the damage FFXIV did to the brand.  I suspect the real issue is who did the damage to FFXIV, and I think Wada knows it.
  • Meanwhile, City of Heroes goes free-to-play while The Old Republic reveals its pricing packages, providing an interesting compare/contrast as to who can withstand going F2P and why.
  • Activision’s Jamie Berger says paid services like Call of Duty Elite – providing stat tracking, clan management, etc. – will be mandatory in 3-5 years.  Hey, some of us remember when games provided that sort of thing for free.  Don’t get greedy, man.  Well, greedier, anyway.
  • CliffyB gives a neat postmortem on Gears of War now that Gears 3 is out, speculating on how giant musclemen with saw-guns fighting evil intelligent bugs could be taken more seriously.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto speaks out a bit on Skyward Sword, suggesting it’s one of the most expensive projects the company has worked on.  Well, I guess if you’re gonna send the Wii off…
  • I catch up on the Netflix news and correspondingly terrible stock performance, while Joystiq regales us with a story of the fastest-thinking men in the industry.

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Improvised Payment Devices’ »

What Happened This Week – Buy Shares in Black Mesa

And we’re back on task, no worse for wear. Well, I’m still fighting a cough, but at least we’re up and running again. As I said yesterday, sorry for the delay folks. Fortunately it wasn’t too busy a news week so I had time to chew on some rich, yummy financial analysis alongside the TGS leftovers. Let’s get down on it, shall we?

  • Tokyo Game Show wrap-ups: 3DS releases are promising and its match-up with the Vita is the fight to watch; Square Enix needs something to reassure fans it knows what it’s doing, which probably isn’t FFXII-2; Konami lets Suikoden out of the cellar into yet another cellar; Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2 confuses yet taps into the mysterious ‘buy me’ impulse; Namco-Bandai still hates money.
  • Dualshockers.com provides some insights into the Japanese stock market and its reactions to TGS.  Short version: Sony should be thankful Japan likes the Vita.  The full article is definitely worth the read.
  • Sony has a brief network outage that’s quickly corrected as authorities nab yet more LulzSec participants.  The irony of this is not lost on me.
  • A university study crowdsources viral protein modeling to a bunch of FoldIt players, with surprising results.  Look to see someone try to weaponize this in the near future.
  • Not exactly game-related, but the CERN researchers firing a particle that seemingly broke the speed of light is too fascinating not to discuss and/or fantasize about.  Read up on it if you haven’t already, it could very well be science fiction in the making.
  • And speaking of science gone mad, code-hunters find an apparent teaser for Half-Life 2: Episode 3 in Valve’s DotA 2.  Don’t play games with my heart, Valve.  Just… don’t.

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Buy Shares in Black Mesa’ »

What Happened This Week – Seeing Doom Everywhere

Hey-hey-hey, how’s everybody doing out there?  If you’re from Chicago I know the answer: terrible.  Was tempted to go out and break something, but it’s hard to start a good riot in the suburbs, you know what I mean?  Plus it’s rainy out.  I admit, I’m a fair-weather sports fanatic.  But enough about me, you’re here for the news.  Here’s what’s going down:

  • Final Fantasy X goes high-def, providing a way to watch the infamous Laughing Scene the way it was meant to be seen.
  • Sony’s PS Vita gets some face time, trying to assure people it’s not the size of the battery that counts.  A sizable media SNAFU makes this harder to accept.
  • On top of this, word gets out that Sony’s revised TOS thingy has a ‘no-suing’ clause, and a Sony exec comments that the 3DS is not a competing device.  Also, they have more than enough lifeboats for everybody on board.
  • Meanwhile, Nintendo announces a slew of 3DS titles, though proclamations of doooooooom follow a stock price drop.  Never mind that the same thing regularly happens to Apple.
  • Slate examines the downfall of 3D movie ticket sales, which may explain some of the difficulties Nintendo faces.  Short version: after Avatar, viewers went “Cool, but what else you got?”
  • Retail sales are on the decline yet again – gee, I wonder why – advertisements show up in Deus Ex: Human Revolution loading screens, and more!

Continue reading ‘What Happened This Week – Seeing Doom Everywhere’ »

What Happened This Week – Summon Your Accountant

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’ »

What Happened This Week – Comparing Apple and Lemon-Lime

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’ »