Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Phil Harrison has announced his formal resignation from the company, due to go into effect on February 29. Sony officially broke word of his resignation this morning.
Taking his place will be SCEI president and group CEO Kazuo Hirai, who will assume Harrison's duties on top of his own. It's unknown at the moment whether Sony will begin seeking out a replacement for Harrison, or whether Hirai's full-time responsibilities will engulf those of the former Worldwide Studios president.
Apparently, it didn't take them very long to consider Electronic Arts' somewhat hostile buyout proposal -- Take-Two's Board of Directors just responded to the offer with a press release of their own, stating that EA CEO John Riccitiello's proposal was "inadequate in multiple respects and not in the best interests of Take-Two's stockholders."
While EA's proposal listed Grand Theft Auto IV as a primary reason for the merger, as Riccitiello claimed EA could lend their help during the game's quickly approaching release, Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two's executive chairman, listed GTAIV as the primary reason why they wouldn't want to merge at this point in time, fully expecting to increase their overall value when the game hits store shelves come April 29.
- Take Two est une cible facile au sens où ils ont régulièrement des petits souçis financier. En plus, ils sont pas Français, donc pas de gouvernement dans les pattes comme avec un certain Ubisoft ;-)
- Non seulement GTA IV va cartonner, mais surtout, il est pas encore sorti. Parce ce que s'il a le succès escompté, TT sera d'autant plus cher à acheter (comme le précédent Assasins Creed, qui permet aujourd'hui à Ubi de valoir d'autant plus).
- Enfin, Activision-Blizzard numéro un ? C'est une situation absolument insupportable...
...Halo 3 made $300 million, but at $50 copy that means it's only making one-tenth of the Lord of the Rings audience. "Do you really think a glowing dagger that can detect Orcs or a fucking +5 rope is what moved people? What people care about is that Frodo trusts Sam ... It doesn't surprise me that the most meaningful relationship we had in a AAA title this year is with a fucking cube." That last comment drew massive applaud and laughter...."When I'm in games I have all the info and feedback I need, I have superhero skills ... it's just better than real life." McGonigal explains she has been spending the last year doing research on happiness, deeming it not a warm puppy. Instead, McGonigal lays out a four-point happiness list:
- Satisfying work to do
- The experience of being good at something
- Time spent with people we like
- The chance to be a part of something bigger"What the hell does any of this better but games? Nothing," she said. "Games are the ultimate happiness engine, and you [the game industry] are in the happiness business." McGonigal noted that it took them until 1930 that soap can be used to kill germs. For depression and isolation, perhaps games can be the same fix....
Ca n'est un secret pour personne, mais le recrutement est devenu un nerf sensible ces dernières années. Aussi surprenant que ça puisse paraitre, il y a en ce moment un réel besoin du coté des ressources humaines, et vous aurez du mal à trouver un studio que ne cherche pas quelques profils en ce moment.
Du coup, là où il suffisait auparavant de publier une annonce et de trier le bon grain de l'ivraie, certains studios sont bien en peine pour trouver les personnes dont ils ont besoins. On peut imaginer que les Insomniac et autres Naughty Dog croulent sous les CVs, mais ça n'a pas l'air d'être le cas !
Les campagnes de recrutement deviennent donc de plus en plus originale, à l'image de celle d'Insomniac ^_^
At Microsoft's GDC 2008 keynote address, the company announced a "community arcade" allowing user-created games to be distributed to Xbox 360 owners worldwide. "Now, 10 million people on Xbox Live get to play your game," said Microsoft Game Developer Group General Manager Chris Satchell. Free trials of these community created games should be available on Xbox Live "immediately" according to Satchell.
"For the first time, community games will be distributed through Xbox Live," Satchell said. "'Xbox Live Community Games will give creators a huge audience to share their creativity with. Game distribution will be democratized, allowing the community to control the content. Create, Submit, Peer Review, Play are the four key steps ... We want creativity to flow through this pipeline.
Bref, ça va être compliqué, mais passionnant...
Le propos de "The Workplace" est d'aider à réduire cette différence entre l'image public et ce qui se passe en douce au sein du studio.
Alors, quid de la réalité ? ^_^
In 2004, LucasArts went through a reorganization that one executive referred to as a “reboot.” During the late 1980s and for much of the 90s, the company had enjoyed critical and commercial success as well as status as a cutting-edge developer and publisher of games, thanks to titles such as Maniac Mansion, The Secret of Monkey Island, Star Wars: Rebel Assault, and Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle.
But just a few years into the new millennium, the company was beset by internal conflicts and criticism that it was publishing too many middling Star Wars games and no longer pushing the gaming envelope the way it once had. The bottom line reportedly reflected this as well (Lucas’s companies are privately held), and in the spring of 2004, Jim Ward was brought over from Lucasfilm to serve as president of LucasArts and to clean house.
Ward, a no-nonsense executive who keeps a life-size statue of Darth Maul in his office, reportedly streamlined the staff by a fourth and refocused the troops.
It’s easy to understand why. Although video- and computer-game sales grew to $7.4 billion in 2006—almost triple what they were 10 years earlier—the business is a risky one.
A top-shelf video game costs between $15 million and $30 million to develop and publish, but unlike the movie business, where producers and distributors can recoup their costs over time via DVD sales, pay-per-view, or other ancillary markets—movies generate revenue for decades—video-game publishers currently have only one real shot at making money, the retail level, and that window is a narrow one.
Games today typically cost between $39.99 and $59.99, which doesn’t exactly make them impulse-purchase items, and they make most of their money within the first six to nine months of their release dates. New-game sales aren’t helped by retail chains such as GameStop that do a robust business in used titles, the proceeds of which they pocket.
Attention, anglais nécessaire. Mais pour ceux qui capte, les critiques de Zero Punctuation, que du bohneur. C'est cru, méchant, et parfois injuste, mais c'est cool aussi ^_^
1. Cooperative AI
Increasingly, developers with the bigger budgets and whole sub-teams of AI designers, animators and programmers will include cooperative AI characters to help emphasize the player’s emotional involvement with the story.
2. Sandbox Games
Build autonomous AI characters that can respond to their environments, and place them within more open areas. Try to think of additional gameplay features as interactions with characters.
3. Emergent Behaviors within Stories
Even in story-driven games, developers will increasingly use pockets of emergent behaviors to increase variety and replayability. This is a great way to bring a sandbox-like environment into a more traditional AAA form, getting the benefits of both.
4. Hierarchical Planners
In 2008, expect to see even more planning in games as well as middleware vendors for game AI. This should not only help improve the development efficiency so more time can be spent on little details, but it should also make the behaviors more intelligent. Many of the features discussed in the previous points will become possible thanks to this kind of technology.
5. Scripting Languages
Rather obviously, 2008 will see an even wider adoption of Lua from across the spectrum of AAA games to independent games. Developers are finally getting a grip on building good debuggers for the language, handling errors robustly, and getting comfortable with its semi-coroutines.
It's a good thing that Capcom finally got around to announcing Street Fighter IV, because if they hadn't, today's revelation of Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation may have sent some fighting fans over the edge, never to return.The Capcom-licensed, Daletto-developed game for Windows drops six-button and joystick controls for something simpler—mouse gestures and clicks. Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation is played entirely with mouse controls, with left-clicks for punches, right-clicks for kicks and special attacks performed by mouse movement. The 3D characters look revolting for a reason.They're based on Kaiyodo's "Revoltech" action figure system, one that allows for maximum posing flexibility. In SFO:MG, players will be able to swap body parts for custom avatars. Want to see Chun-Li with Ryu's arms and sporting a sensible business suit? Go for it, you freak.