BioWare co-founder Greg Zeschuk had some rather interesting things to say this week about the future of the gaming business.
Zeschuk, whose company has created major console hits like Mass Effect 2, said that going forward, the video game industry won't rely so heavily on the console market. In fact, he believes consoles could be a relic of the past as more players turn to portable devices to get their game on.
"The future isn't necessarily on console," Zeschuk said at the Develop Conference, an event for European game developers. "That's the past. It'… Read more
PopCap Games on Thursday announced that it's bringing a port of its popular Zuma series to social network Facebook.
The game, which is called Zuma Blitz, will follow a similar format to PopCap's other popular Facebook title, Bejeweled Blitz, giving players just a minute to get the highest score possible. Like Bejeweled Blitz, it too will make use of Facebook's credits system with a feature the company is calling "Treasure Chest"--an in-game store that lets players buy power-ups using real-world money. The game will also feature a weekly tournament system, and integration with a … Read more
I was in Japan last week for a number of meetings related to brand development and disruptive software and found myself less intrigued by the overwhelming array of Japanese mobile phones and more interested in the handheld game consoles from Nintendo and others.
It's not that there aren't a plethora of mobile phones that have all kinds of cool features, but that since generally those phones can't be used in the U.S. (and most don't offer English interfaces) the game consoles became a lot more interesting.
Microsoft's Kinect motion-gaming device could generate $1 billion for the company in just its first year, an analyst said in a research note.
Sandeep Aggarwal of Caris & Co. wrote Monday that Kinect could help the industrywide gaming market generate $2 billion in its first year, with Microsoft itself snagging at least half the money.
How Aggarwal calculated revenue generation is significant. He did not focus solely on the device, which is expected to sell for $149 when it launches later this year. He included all related revenue for the overall gaming industry, including sales of individual games.
Game developer Blizzard has backed down on a plan to require users of its official online forums to register with real names, just days after announcing the move.
The shift, announced Friday in a message posted to the company's forums, followed a firestorm of criticism from users expressing privacy concerns.
"We've been constantly monitoring the feedback you've given us, as well as internally discussing your concerns about the use of real names on our forums," Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment, wrote in the Friday post. "As a result of those discussions, we've decided at this time that real names will not be required for posting on official Blizzard forums."
Morhaime stressed that the real-name requirement was not to be confused with the optional in-game Real ID system that's now live with World of Warcraft and launching soon with StarCraft II. That system is a voluntary, optional level of identity designed to keep players connected even outside of games with features such as cross-game and cross-realm chat and real names on friends lists.
Forum users met Morhaime's announcement with hundreds of pages of messages, many of them thanking Blizzard ("Fantastic. Thanks for restoring my faith in you guys," read one post typical of the mood on the boards. Read another: "The little guy wins!").
Some, however, tempered their relief with caution. "Although I certainly am grateful for the announcement, I...am concerned about the use of 'At This Time,'" wrote another poster. "This is definitely code for "At some point, we may consider trying again." … Read more
Blizzard boasts one of the largest, most engaged user communities of any game developer in the world. The benefits of such a following are obvious, but the downside becomes similarly stark when the company runs afoul of its user base.
The company on Tuesday unveiled its new Real ID system, a service that allows friends to easily follow each other's activities in Blizzard games like World of Warcraft. It also introduces cross-game chat and social-networking features that let users see not just their friends, but also their friends' friends.
However, Blizzard is requiring users to register for the service … Read more
In a move that could keep ties with online games programmers strong, Adobe Systems is adding 3D graphics support to a coming version of its widely used browser plug-in.
The move is an important advancement for Flash, a software foundation that eases programmers' difficulties with incompatibilities among various operating systems and browsers. And it'll come none too soon: Flash is under siege by a host of Web standards, and part of that work focuses on 3D Web graphics.
According to a new study from Iowa State University, television and video games cause attention problems for children.
The study, published this week in the medical journal Pediatrics, examined 1,323 kids in "middle childhood" over a 13-month period. The participants were asked to play video games and watch television. (Twist their arms.) The researchers then asked for reports from the children's parents and teachers to see how well they were paying attention at both home and school.
Based on those reports, researchers found that "… Read more
In an attempt to make the next PlayStation more developer-friendly than the current version, Sony is enlisting the help of its in-house developers, according to a top company executive.
Shuhei Yoshida, head of Sony's network of game developers called Worldwide Studios, recently told Develop Magazine that one of the first things Kaz Hirai, CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, did when he took over the company's gaming subsidiary was bring "Worldwide Studios in on hardware development."
Yoshida went on to say that Hirai "wanted developers in meetings at the very beginning of [the conception of the] … Read more
Google has begun work on a new item on a long list of technologies designed to make applications running on the Web more competitive with those that run natively on a machine's operating system: an interface to know which way is up.
The technology would let the browser provide an application with hardware-supplied information about which way a computing device is being held, information that's particularly useful for mobile … Read more