On Sunday a video was posted to YouTube featuring Silicon Knights and Precursor Games chief creative officer Denis Dyack addressing a Kotaku story from last year which he feels has hurt the funding drive for Shadow of the Eternals on Kickstarter and on the company's website. Shadow of the Eternals is a "sort-of" spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem.
THQ's former president Jason Rubin offers high praise to Metro Last Light developer 4A Games, describing the challenging conditions that the company was in as it developed the latest game - Metro: Last Light - in the popular post-apocalyptic first-person shooter series. Rubin also took a few jabs at the game's new publisher for its PR push related to the game, but a representative from Deep Silver decided to punch back at Rubin's allegations.
An office prank to replace a framed picture of a scantily-clad female Hawken character with a scantily clad male character in the office of the CEO of Hawken publisher Meteor Entertainment has a surprising result. The prank, detailed over at The Hawkeye Initiative, explains how some Meteor Entertainment employees decided to replace a picture of a female character with a male character.
The U.S. Department of Education announced the winners of this year's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract awards. The SBIR funds are earmarked for small businesses using "cutting-edge R&D" to develop technologies to solve tough problems. Half of those contracts are game-related in some way - either they are for games or use gaming technology in a creative way.
German online game developer InnoGames will host a Game Jam in its Hamburg office on June 21. Participants will be charged with developing computer games with a team in a 48-hour period. Teams will have to create graphics, game design and programming from scratch. This is the sixth game jam held by the company. A team from InnoGames will also be participating in the event.
Organizers of The Boston Festival of Indie Games announced that game designer and producer Robin Hunicke will deliver the keynote address at this year's event to take place Saturday, September 14, 2013 at the Stratton Student Center and the Johnson Athletic Center on the MIT campus.
In an interview with Siliconera, Q-Games President Dylan Cuthbert says that Nintendo needs to create a new "super IP" to put the Wii U on the map once again, just like it did with the Wii (for example, Wii Sports, Wii Fit, etc.)
"If they are going to win they are going to have to figure out the games," Cuthbert told the publication. "They probably need like new super IP, a special IP that makes people really interested."
Blizzard is turning a bad situation into a good one by donating the money made from a money duping bug in the real money auction to a children's charity. Diablo III production director John Hight announced via the game's official forums this weekend the charitable contribution to the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. He said that those who made money of the exploit would have their ill-gotten gains donated as well as its transaction fee that it charges in the real-money auction for the game. The company did not disclose just how much money was made off of the glitch:
Polygon is reporting that Silicon Knights still exists, though it is down to just a handful of employees. The company reportedly unloaded its office equipment and game assets, and has closed its offices in St. Catharines, Ontario. Last summer the company reportedly laid off most of its staff and then a core group of Silicon Knights employees including SK founder Denis Dyack created a brand new studio called Precursor Games.
At a recent Ubisoft press event to promote its upcoming game Watch Dogs, senior producer Dominic Guay revealed how the company is working hard to make the hacking in the game as authentic as humanly possible. Joystiq covered the press event extensively in this article.
Mobile games publisher Gree has laid off an estimated 30 employees from its San Francisco office according to reports on Develop and GII. While the exact number of employees let go was not confirmed, the layoffs have been. According to Gree COO Anil Dharni, the staff reduction is part of re-alignment of its U.S. operations.
According to this Kotaku report citing two unnamed sources with knowledge of the situation, TimeGate Studios has laid off its entire staff. The developer behind Section 8 and the co-developer of Aliens: Colonial Marines sent everyone home early today according to the sources.
The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has been a vocal critic of the House's Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) since it was reintroduced earlier this year and then passed by a large margin, so it should come as no shock that the organization's Anti-Censorship and Social Issues Committee has issued a statement applauding the Senate's stall of the bill and the President's promise to veto it in its current form.
Indie developer Archimadness seeks $30,000 to fund its social city building game Metropoly via Kickstarter. The developer describes the game as a mix of games its members grew up playing in the 80's including board games like The Game of Life and Monopoly mixed with elements from the classic Sierra game Jones in the Fast Lane, and a dash of The Sims.
Phosphor Games has decided to put its ongoing bid to fund its super hero themed open world game Project Awakened on hold for the time being. The developer started the private funding initiative after it came close to funding the game via Kickstarter. Though that campaign failed, the developer noticed that thousands of gamers backed the project and decided to try again via its web site for the game.
Grasshopper Manufacturer Goichi "Suda51" Suda says that his various games have not had the best sales because of the way publishers treat its unique gaming experiences. Suda51's games include Shadows of the Damned, Killer7 and No More Heroes.
Having worked with some pretty huge publishers over the years (Sega, EA, etc.), Suda51 feels that the companies don't understand how to handle indie titles like his:
Aliens: Colonial Marines co-developer and Section 8 developer TimeGate Studios has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Texas Southern Bankruptcy Court, according to court documents obtained by Polygon.
Papo & Yo developer Minority Media took the wraps off the next project it is working on - a game about bullying. The game is called the Silent Enemy, and explores the topic of bullying and what people who see bulling tend to do (not get involved). According to a promo video for the game, it will feature an "Aboriginal character" who embarks on a quest to find springtime in Northern Quebec. During that quest the protagonist will be bullied by crow-like creatures that hinders his quest.
Zynga.org, Zynga's non-profit dedicated to using social games to promote good, announced a partnership with NewSchools Venture Fund, a venture philanthropy that supports education entrepreneurs to transform public education. Together they will create a new "ed tech" accelerator focused on "enhancing the quality and reach of learning games and apps designed to improve education outcomes."
Nnnnice Games, an independent studio operating out of the Netherlands named its "raccoons in space" game "Starcoons," not knowing that the term is considered by some as a racist term. After learning that the title of its game might be offensive to African Americans and people of color, the studio decided that it had to change the name of its game. Starcoons will now be known as Curio's Starquest, the developer announced. The studio also said that it was unaware of the possible cultural issues associated with the game's original title.
Accessibility advisor AccessAble Games is looking to raise $40,000 via Start Some Good for a Spanish and English language game called My Carnival that helps children with cystic fibrosis maximize their pulmonary functions.
Damion Perrine has filed a lawsuit against Sega related to Aliens: Colonial Marines, which he claims Sega represented falsely in its marketing as a far superior game than was delivered to consumers. He claims Sega engaged in "a classic bait-and-switch" with the game and that it also engaged in false advertising, breach of warranties, fraud in the inducement, negligent misrepresentation and committed consumer law violations. He is seeking to have the lawsuit certified as a class action and has sued on behalf of everyone in the United States who bought the game on or before Feb.
Organizers of the Games for Change event announced the dates and confirmed speakers for the 10th Annual Games for Change Festival. The special 10th anniversary event will take place over three days from June 17-19th at New World Stages in New York City. The Games for Change Festival is dedicated to giving "serious games" creators a venue to discuss using game technology to make the world a better place.
Swedish game engine software developer Bitsquid announced this morning that it has received Vinnova research funding from the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems.
A federal judge has ruled that a case brought against EA by the original developer of John Madden Football may proceed to trial. The developer, Robin Antonick, claims that he was the original designer and developer of the Madden NFL series (he worked on the early computer-based versions of the game) and is owed "millions in unpaid royalties, punitive damages and disgorgement of all profits arising from the $5 billion Madden NFL franchise."
Developer Greenheart Games has released a "cracked version" of its $8 PC and Mac title Game Dev Tycoon on torrents that's specifically for pirates. The cracked version of the game causes game development studios in the sim go bankrupt due to rampant in-game piracy. Greenheart claims that the pirated version of the game made up 93 percent of its player base at launch, and caused an outburst from pirates complaining about their in-game titles failing through (ironically) piracy.
It looks like several members of the team that worked on 38 Studios' under the Big Huge Games banner have made the trek to the Great White North (it's not white right now, of course) to work for BioWare Montreal and to work on the next Mass Effect title. This is according to the astute observations of the person known only as "Superannuation" in his or her latest feature over on Kotaku.