Thursday, 16 May 2024

A Look Back at the Big Stories of the Week

Did you miss any of the big stories this week? Want to find out how they all connect? You’ve come to the right place. In this recap, we’ll cover some of the most significant stories from the past week and explore their implications.

Always On: The Latest Buzzword in Gaming

One of the most talked-about stories this week was the departure of Adam Orth, a Microsoft designer. Orth found himself in the spotlight after making controversial comments about rumors of the next Microsoft console being “always on.” While his remarks were ill-advised, what surprised many was his firm defense of gaming hardware that would require a constant internet connection.

The question on everyone’s mind is: Why would Microsoft consider such a controversial feature? The answer is complex. When a team is deeply focused on a project, it’s easy for them to become isolated from external voices. They may overlook the potential issues that outsiders can see clearly. It takes a significant event to make them realize the flaws in their plans.

Given the community’s outcry and the concerns about unreliable internet connections in some areas, Microsoft may be reconsidering their strategy. However, it’s important to note that “always on” is still just a rumor. We’ll have to wait until the end of May when Microsoft is expected to reveal their new hardware to know for sure.

EA Shuffles Staff at Montreal Studio

EA made headlines again this week with layoffs at their Montreal operations, specifically in their mobile division. This comes after earlier layoffs at Visceral Montreal in February. EA had previously touted EA Montreal as a “key development studio,” but much has changed since then, including the resignation of CEO John Riccitiello. It hasn’t been a great week for EA, who also received the dubious distinction of being voted the “Worst Company in America” for the second year in a row.

Departures in the Gaming Industry

Notable departures were also announced this week. Rod Fergusson, formerly of Irrational Games, left after the successful release of Bioshock Infinite. Dan Teasdale of Twisted Pixel, known for the hilariously entertaining Super Drake Tracker 2000 EX Kickstarter campaign, also announced his departure for new opportunities.

Insights from BioWare Co-Founder

Dr. Greg Zeschuk, co-founder of BioWare, spoke about their acquisition by EA in an interview. He revealed that EA never imposed creative restrictions on the studio, despite popular belief. This sheds light on the relationship between publishers and developers and dispels some common misconceptions.

Game Developer Magazine Bids Farewell

After 19 years of publication, Game Developer Magazine will be ceasing publication. This decision was made as part of the parent company’s reorganization. It’s a sad moment for the industry, as the magazine was highly respected among game developers. The parent company, UBM Tech, also made changes at Gamasutra as part of their reorganization.

Quick Hits

Here are some quick updates on other news from the gaming world this week:

  • SimCity’s Cheetah mode is back, and the Mac version of the game now has a release date.
  • Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar Kickstarter campaign closed with over $2 million in funding.
  • Blizzard has acquired technology from the IGN Pro League but won’t continue the competition segment.
  • Microtransactions might be introduced in the Halo series.
  • Starcraft Ghost, a game that seemed to be canceled, is still technically in development.
  • Rockstar has released all of their Grand Theft Auto soundtracks on Spotify.
  • Some of Harmonix’s Rock Band licenses will expire soon.
  • Nintendo is discontinuing several Wii information channels.
  • Dark Souls II has released its first trailer and promises a timely and issue-free release for the PC version.

Announcements and Release Dates

Here are some upcoming announcements and release dates to look forward to:

  • Harvey Smith, co-creator of Dishonored, has published a semi-autobiographical novel called “Big Jack is Dead.”
  • “Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon,” a standalone game, will be available on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network on May 1, 2013.
  • “Tales of Xillia” by Namco Bandai is getting a collector’s edition and will be released on August 6, 2013, for PlayStation 3.
  • “Shadowrun Returns” will be released in June on Steam, with mod support via Steam Workshop.
  • Insomniac’s “Fuse” will have a demo available shortly before its launch.
  • Lastly, fans of Batman will be pleased to know that there are new Batman games on the horizon. Game Informer subscribers will receive their print issue soon, and digital subscribers can already dive into the Dark Knight’s world.

FAQs

  1. Q: Can you provide more details about the Microsoft “always on” controversy?
    A: While it was speculated that the next Microsoft console would require a constant internet connection, the company never confirmed this feature. The controversy arose when an employee made comments defending the idea.

  2. Q: Is Game Developer Magazine going out of business?
    A: Yes, unfortunately, Game Developer Magazine will no longer be published. It’s a sad loss for the gaming industry.

  3. Q: What are some upcoming releases to look forward to?
    A: Fans can anticipate new titles such as “Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon” and “Tales of Xillia,” which are set to release soon. Additionally, “Shadowrun Returns” and “Fuse” have release dates on the horizon.

Conclusion

This week in gaming news was filled with intriguing stories and developments. From controversies surrounding Microsoft’s rumored “always on” feature to EA’s restructuring and high-profile departures, the industry continues to evolve. It’s also a bittersweet time as we say goodbye to Game Developer Magazine after 19 years. However, there are exciting announcements and releases on the horizon, promising plenty of gaming adventures in the near future. Stay tuned for more updates from the world of gaming!

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