After an abrupt collapse in 2010, it would seem that STALKER developer GSC Game World is back. At least, there are people saying it’s back, and doing interviews to that effect. But I’ve long since abandoned any illusions that reality will influence the state of things in Ukrainian game development.
You know, when I first heard this rumor yesterday – that Microsoft was in talks to buy Mojang Specifications for a cool $2.5 billion – I just rolled my eyes. Sure, I could see Microsoft wanting to do so, and anyone would like to have two and a half billion… but the Minecraft developer isn’t exactly low on funds. And, frankly, given Markus “Notch” Persson’s evident dislike of large-scale corporate buyouts, it seemed against character even if they were nearly bankrupt. And yet, it’s true. Even Mojang says so, and says also that Notch is leaving the company, along with its two other founders.
Destructoid posted this awesome little news article announcing that Atari (the company that got me started in the gaming industry) is not only bringing back two titles from the past, but adding a few to their arsenal as well. While the article focuses on Alone in the Dark and Haunted House (which will hopefully give us all the horror games we need), it’s really games Minimum and Roller Coaster Tycoon (for PC) that are of interest to me here.
It’s been a big week for World of Warcraft. The cinematic trailer for Warlords of Dreanor went live last week, and the usual updates regarding subscription numbers and future plans that we’ve all come to expect have been circulating through our Twitter feeds. On such article by IGN featuring a spread on WoW’s traditional, pre-expansion dwindling subscriber count, Game Director Tom Chilton discusses the plans for future expansions. The interesting thing about this article (listed below) is that Chilton expresses that the plan was for expacs to be released more frequently with shorter gaps in between. We all know that for the past expacs the rollout period has been approximately every two years, with a sizeable patch in between to break up the wait.
So it’s come to my attention that some people – by which I mean all people – misunderstood an earlier post I wrote, announcing the publication of Brilliance, my brother’s sixth novel. In this, the post announcing the publication of A Better World, my brother’s seventh novel, I will endeavor to set the record straight.
Hi Tap! I’m out at GDC 2014 this week, reporting from the expo and talking to the people who make the games. I hope to post some previews and news throughout the conference! This first writeup is just a trip report with some highlights from my first two/three days.
Historically, when a studio is successful, its leadership attempts to capitalize on that success while continuing the trend.
Old-skool thinking, proclaim a new and ballsy generation of game developers. Entirely red ocean. We are pioneers of a new strategy. These days, rather than attempting to build on a successful model, it’s trendy to kill the studio and fire everyone. It worked for GSC Game World, where Sergey Grigorovich shuttered the place and sacked about a hundred people rather than continue development on the promising, money-printing STALKER franchise. Evidently emboldened by this, Ken Levine at Irrational Games has decided to do basically the same thing – he is “winding” Irrational Games down, letting the vast majority of its staff go, and starting something new and smaller under the Take-Two banner.
Last week, talented gamers from the Speed Demos Archive participated in their annual games for charity run: Awesome Games Done Quick. Watching the stream has been so fascinating that I’ve forgotten to do many other things I theoretically should have done. But that seems to have been the case for many, as, very late Saturday night, the AGDQ stream made an incredible goal of one million dollars collected for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. Austin Powers jokes ensued.
We don’t usually bother with news around here, but sometimes it’s News and deserves a remark.
The Industry said a collective “whoa” on Friday when it learned that John Carmack, programming megamind and id Software co-founder, creator of Doom and Quake and Rage, has left the company he built. Several months ago Carmack took on a new role as Chief Technology Officer at Oculus VR – they of the eventual Oculus Rift headset – and it’s on this role that he is going to focus his attention.
Happy Halloween, Tap-Repeatedly!
Time for the news.
This weekend I’m going to be participating in the Extra Life game charity drive. I’m playing games for 25 hours as part of the Schell Games team, benefiting the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. I hope you will consider donating to my page here! I’m getting closer to my goal and every extra bit helps kids.