Thursday, February 21, 2013

PS4 announced, EA & Activision layoffs and more

The Midagedgamer Report for February 22, 2013

This Week:

Activision and EA Layoffs, PS4 is announced, kinda and not much else.
Activision is dumping it's licensed property business and with it about 30 employees.  In case you don't know, licensed properties come from other popular media like comic books and movies.  Activision's stable includes James Bond, Spider-Man and Family guy.  Probably not a bad move since most licensed properties usually end up being an embarrassment to the developer and the publisher.  Superman anyone? 
Activision is also laying off some of it's Treyarch (Black ops 2) development studio in an effort to..

"...better align our development talent against the needs of DLC development... " 

In other words to keep milking franchises with more DLC instead of producing new original titles.  It's all about the cash flow guys.

Not to be outdone, EA has also confirmed layoffs in its Montreal and Los Angeles Studios.  Frank Gibeau said in a statement on Thurdsay...

"Thousands of our existing employees have been retrained and redeployed to work on the new platforms and initiatives.  But when it is not possible to redeploy a team, we soften the tough decisions with assistance."  The "assistance" comes from... "...outplacement services and severance packages to ease their transition to a new job." 

Hmm, I wish someone had eased my transition...

361259_Buy Direct and SAVE on Mad Catz productsI'm wondering how many more reports of layoffs we're going to hear about between now and the holiday season.  With both major consoles moving to X86 architecture the need for programming skills on previous platforms will quickly evaporate.   Methinks EA better include some free programming classes in its severance package.

Crysis 3 has officially launched.  Check out Ryan Shrout's game stream video below.  Warning, it was sponsored by AMD which means most of it was like sitting through an AMD infomercial.  Just turn down the sound and enjoy the gameplay.

Bioshock Infinite is finally complete.  2K's development studio Irrational Games has reported that the game has gone gold and will release on March 26th for Xbox360, PC and Playstation.  Amazing how much life they can still get out of the Unreal 3 engine.

If you're like me and had nothing better to do then you probably caught the online stream Wednesday of the Playstation 4 announcement.  From over 2 hours of coverage we've learned this much...It's officially going to be called the PS4, the controller has a touchpad and a bunch of developers are making games for it.  The rest we already knew like it will be based on X86 architecture and have 8GB of DDR5 RAM hooked to an 8 core AMD processor with onboard GPU and a "massive" amount of storage.
So we pretty much learned nothing new outside of confirming information leaked months ago to all the gaming websites.  We didn't see what the console will look like, what the media format will be nor what it will cost.  Just that it will be out around Holiday 2013.

We've heard nothing from Microsoft about the upcoming XBOX  by the way but if the rumors are anything like the PS4 rumors then it'll be pretty much the same spiel.  Which begs the question.  If consoles will finally be based on PC hardware then what's the point of having them?  Why would I want to limit myself to a locked up ecosystem when I could do so much more on a PC?  Especially when newer operating systems like Windows 8 are designed to be more interactive.  Perhaps this is the ultimate irony in that PC's will finally triumph over consoles by actually "BEING" consoles!

Guess what, there's been another Origin update!  Yes version was released this week and it contained......"miscellaneous bug fixes"  Get yours today!  Like you had a choice...
That's it for this week.

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