VentureBeat has acquired Bitmob and hired its founder, former Ziff Davis Media editorial director Dan "Shoe" Hsu, as the new Editor-in-Chief of the GamesBeat section. Ben Popper, a founding editor of Betabeat (the Silicon Alley blog from The New York Observer) also joins the company as VentureBeat's East Coast Editor.
In a mailer from advocacy group Free Press they ask the question we have all been asking ourselves for months: Why is the media ignoring the Stop Online Piracy Act? The short answer is that various broadcast and cable networks may have been muzzled by their parent companies. The only network that has mentioned it so far has been Bloomberg, and that coverage consisted of ten minutes - and only because Reddit's CEO brought the issue up on air.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has put together a nice little list of where each member of the ESA stand on SOPA. While many of the member companies have not responded, the list shows that - when pressed - many don't support it.
The name "Justice League" was already taken, unfortunately. Yesterday Kotaku's long-time editor-in-chief Brian Crecente announced that he was leaving the website, and today we know where he's going: Vox Media. They own tech site The Verge (and sports site SB Nation), but that's not where Crecente is heading.
Kotaku's long-time editor-in-chief, Brian Crecente announced today that he is leaving the website for greener -- and at this point unknown -- pastures. In a lengthy missive detailing his accomplishments and personal triumphs and tragedies, Crecente announced that Stephen Totilo would take the reins of the site as its new editor-in-chief effective immediately. Before coming to Kotaku in 2009, Totilo worked for MTV's game site MTV Multiplayer.
Joystiq's long-time Editor-in-Chief Christopher Grant is leaving the web site to pursue other opportunities. His post will be taken over by long-time Joystiq editor Ludwig Kietzmann. Gant posted a rather lengthy goodbye to readers on the site this morning. You can read it below in its entirety:
A multitude of journalists have finally come out publicly against SOPA, the bill sponsored by Lamar Smith (R-Texas) that fights so-called "rogue" websites that traffic in copyrighted software and counterfeit goods. Wednesday the American Newspaper Editors Association joined online rights groups, consumer groups, and tech companies in opposition of SOPA (and the Senate bill Protect IP) by sending Congress a letter to ask that it stop the bill.
IndustryGamers is reporting that GamePro has been officially pronounced dead after the magazine decided that it would go to a quarterly format earlier this year. Clearly the experiment failed and owner IDG Games has decided to shut down the magazine's web presence, lay off staff and publish the very last issue of the magazine. The popular web site is set to close on December 5, with anyone visiting the site being redirected to PC World.
Game, Set, Watch, the alternate game news blog founded by Simon Carless has gone on permanent hiatus today. Simon Carless wrote a lengthy and final post to the site, along with key current and past editors. Carless talks about the people that help put the site on the map some six years ago including current IGF chairman Brandon Boyer, former Kotaku/ now GameTrailers stalwart Michael McWhertor, Gamasutra news director Frank Cifaldi, Alice Taylor, and Game Developer Magazine Editor-in-Chief Brandon Sheffield.
Bethesda Softworks’ newest open-world single-player RPG The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has managed to do what no Western game has ever done before: get a perfect score in Japan's most popular and prominent magazine, Famitsu. Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has become the first Western game to receive a perfect 40/40 review score in the Japanese magazine - pulling off what games like with Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption, LA Noire, Modern Warfare 2, Modern Warfare 3, and Call of Duty: Black Ops, Gears of War 3, and FIFA 12 could not do.
After reporting a year-over-year loss, it looks like magazine publisher Future Publishing is going to merge its operations in the United Kingdom and the United States. Earlier this year two prominent executives resigned from the company due to the publisher's financial troubles.
Following its financial results for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2011, the company announced the appointment of a new group CEO and finance director to replace Stevie Spring and John Bowman. Future's new CEO Mark Wood explained why the UK and U.S. operations will now be merged.
The U.S Justice Department has backed off proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act after strong public criticism to the changes, and a collective verbal lashing from lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum. Lawmakers felt that proposed changes gave the DOJ a license to lie to citizens who were looking for information from the government.
At issue was a proposal that gave the agency the ability to say that information "did not exist" if an agency determined that said information was classified in nature.
In an interview with Eurogamer (which was conducted during Gamescom earlier this year and has yet to be published on the site in its entirety) Gearbox co-founder Brian Martel indicated his belief that Duke Nukem Forever was not reviewed fairly. He argues that some reviewers may have used the game as a chance to "soapbox" and that "everybody should really be thankful that it existed to some degree at all."
British magazine publisher Future PLC announced today that both its chief executive officer Stevie Spring and finance director John Bowman have resigned from the company. Future employs about 1,000 people in the United Kingdom and publishes several magazines including Fast Car, Metal Hammer, and Edge. In the U.S. Future is known as the publisher of Nintendo Power, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer, PlayStation: The Official Magazine, Best Buy's @Gamer, and operates several large gaming sites.
Website What They Play, the parent-focused gaming web site operated by IGN has suddenly been shut down, with the URL of the site being redirected to IGN's front page. The staff at the site that enjoyed four years of operation claim that they were not informed of IGN's intentions to close the site. Still, it's not hard to understand why IGN decided to pull the plug - it has not been updated since February of this year.
MCV reports that Future Publishing has hinted in its latest pre-close trading update that the sales of its U.S. operations are a possibility, even as the company shifts towards a digital model for moving its various game-related magazines. The company also predicted a six percent drop in its total revenue for the fiscal year ending September 30, with the UK operations expected to post a two percent drop.
MCV reports this morning that UK broadcast regulator Ofcom has received 25 complaints after it was revealed that British TV channel ITV aired a documentary containing ARMA II footage that was presented as real footage of the Irish Republican Army using weapons supplied by Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in a 1988 attack.
Further details on what Ofcom plans to do about the situation were not revealed. Ofcom is the UK's communications regulator, with jurisdiction over Television, radio, fixed line telecommunications and mobile devices.
The UK news publications The Daily Mail and Metro are taking one on the chin for erroneously reporting on a study we highlighted yesterday that referred to "Games Transfer Phenomena," or a residual effect that some gamers claim to experience where they think about gaming elements in the real world. Researchers in the UK responsible for the study gave both publications open access to the research and gave it to them early, but one of the professors in charge noted that all they were looking for were the negative aspects of it.
Destructoid's Nick Chester has left the building to dance his pants off at a new gig. In an open letter to the community Chester announced that he would be leaving the popular web site to become a publicist for Cambridge, Ma.-based music game giant Harmonix. Here's some of what Chester had to say to the Destructoid community:
Most developers would be delighted to hear that the lowest score their latest game has garnered is an 8 out of 10, but apparently not Epic's Cliff Blezinski. Speaking to VG247, Blezinski railed against the outlets that gave Gears of War 3 an appalling score of "8," referring to them as "haters." Haters is a pretty strong term to use to describe a score of 8, but Blezinski feels like the third game in the series is the best yet. Fair enough.
Bill "The Game Doctor" Kunkel, who is also known as the "Godfather of Videogame Journalism," passed away on September 4. The cause of his death was unknown at the time of this writing. Bill Kunkel, along with Arnie Katz, created the first major video game magazine to be sold on newsstands. The success of that first publication led to the creation of Electronic Games magazine.
MCV offers the results of a new survey that polls 50 games journalists on a variety of topics including the best and worst part of covering the games industry, the best press event they attended, the current state of print magazines, and some general advice for anyone looking to get into the glamorous (not) world of games journalism.
The latest edition of Jumping The Shark (the official podcast for GameShark.com) tackles game pricing and if it should affect how a game reviewer evaluates a particular game. On the one side of the argument are those that think the price of a game matters and on the other are those that believe it should have an impact on how a game is scored.
The revolving door that is blaming games for bad things that happen in the world spins and spins... First, after blaming video games for the riots that have plagued London for three days, UK Newspaper The London Evening Standard, ran a bold front headline page yesterday suggesting that Grand Theft Auto had inspired youngsters to run rampant through the street, committing acts of violence, looting and general public displays of destruction.
GameIndustry reports that IDG's popular print magazine, GamePro, will shift from being a monthly publication to a quarterly release. Beginning with the Winter 2011 edition of the magazine hitting newsstands on November 8, GamePro will become a quarterly magazine.
The new GamePro will offer "a visually stunning, tactile experience and rich, engaging editorial." Obviously being quarterly, much of that information and editorial will be timeless in nature. On the plus side, the new magazine will be 15 percent larger in size and feature more than 50 pages of additional content compared to the monthly format.
According to several reports on Friday and over the weekend international magazine publishing company Future Publishing has cut an estimated 100 jobs. The company issued an interim management statement, revealing that its print business continued to decline in the UK and U.S., saved mainly by its improved performance from the digital publication sector. The report covers the nine months ending June 30, 2011 and gives some indication of where the company will be focusing its efforts in the years ahead.
Group revenues for that nine-month period dropped by an estimated five percent compared to the same period a year ago. UK circulation revenues fell by 3 percent, but revenue from digital advertising made up the shortfall by performing above expectations. In May 2011 the group's UK digital revenues topped £1 million for the first time.