Thursday, May 1, 2014

Gamer's Source 5-1-2014

Hello and welcome to the Gamer's Source, your destination for gaming information. SO much news today! Sony announces a bevy of indie titles heading to it's consoles on top of $200 million more in losses while ZeniMax Entertainment takes legal charge against Oculus Rift for taking technology and know how to 'third party'. So, without further ado, the news:



NUMBER One!

First, the bad news. Sony is now predicting almost $200 million more in losses for the fiscal year, summing up to a total of $1.27 billion in the red. This rise in losses is attributed to less sales in PCs than expected, which is why the electronic giant is selling off it's PC branch. 

This is important to note, because, despite being a video game power house that is making massive leaps in the gaming market, Sony is a much larger company (like Microsoft) that is tied to other departments. Though this should not effect anything with the game development branch of Sony, it is still good to be cautious about what Sony is doing next for it's financials.  

NUMBER Two!!

And now some good news for Sony fans. A huge assortment of indie games have been announced for Sony platforms. Turn based strategy game Skulls of the Shogun, puzzle platformer Escape Goat 2, Ancient Greek styled Apotheon, Metroidvania style game Source, Civil War Era card battler Ironclad Tactics, RPG platformer Chasm, shmup Jamestown Plus, 2D fencing game Nidhogg and procedurally generated 2D platformer Spelunky are all coming to PS4 only. 

2D side scroller action game Axiom Verge and open world space game Drifter are coming to both PS4 and PS Vita.

And finally, quirky battler Starwhal: Just the Tip is coming to both PS3 and PS4.

Sony is just proving once again that it reins supreme when it comes to indie developers on consoles. 11 games were just announced to be coming this year, on top of all of the other games already announced. Sure, the PS4 is looking sparse when it comes to AAA games, but so is Xbox One and Wii U. At least Sony has plenty of announced games coming to the PS4. Microsoft and Nintendo need to step it up...      

Number THREE!!!

Nintendo is already taking a (small) step in that direction, with the announcement that Stealth Inc. 2 is coming to Wii U exclusively. When asked why, Curve Studios managing director Jason Perkins and design director Jonathan Biddle explained, "we love Nintendo and we want to give Iwata a hug". They also went into detail, saying they wanted to make use of the GamePad and build puzzles and gameplay around the controller, including co-op. The puzzles will also revolve more around gadgets, with different segments revolving around new gadgets opening up as you progress through the game.

This is such an interesting story, because Stealth Inc. is on almost every platform and has quite a large fan base. If Nintendo can pull more deals like this, there could be a large resurgence of gamers flocking to Nintendo's home console. 

Number FOUR!!!!

Speaking of Curve Studios, the developer's marketing manager Rob Clarke spoke to IGN about the studio's annoyance with Xbox One parity clause. "For us, it’s an annoyance. It’s preventing us from bringing some of the older stuff through and doing what we want."

Clarke goes on to say, "We’ve been with ID@Xbox since launch. We weren’t in the initial announcement only because it conflicted with something going  on with Sony at the time. We’ve had the kits for a long time and we’ve been talking to them for a long time about Xbox One. Almost six months. Hopefully we’ll get there soon, but then that’s because we’re big enough to handle the launch parity thing."

This is kind of a big deal. Sure, there are hundreds of well known indie developers, but Curve Studios is one of the best on the console space. With three more games coming to Sony consoles and Stealth Inc. 2 exclusive to Wii U, Microsoft has got to do something. Quite literally it are giving games exclusivity to it's competitors over being stubborn. It seems pretty petty to tell developers they can't release games on other consoles first, especially when you take into account how big indie games are becoming to consoles, especially as AAA titles are becoming more expensive to make and therefore, more scarce.

NUMBER FIVE!!!!!

Lionsgate Entertainment is getting into the gaming business. To lead the initiative, the film company has grabbed Nerdist co-founder and and former CEO Peter Levin. This is not unheard of, as Disney and WB have jumped into the development side of gaming, but it does make you wonder what exactly the company will developing. Will Lionsgate focus on it's current slew of film IP's, like The Expendables and Twilight, or create new IP's of it's own?

NUMBER SIX!!!!!!

Facebook's acquisition of Oculus Rift has become unstable as ZeniMax Media has filed a lawsuit against John Carmack for stealing technology when leaving the company to join Oculus Rift. Legal papers were found by the Wall Street Journal stating that ZeniMax owns key technology that the Oculus Rift uses. "It's unfortunate, but when there's this type of transaction, people come out of the woodwork with ridiculous and absurd claims," said an Oculus rep to Gamasutra. "We intend to vigorously defend Oculus and its investors to the fullest extent."

ZeniMax also sent a statement, stating "The proprietary technology and know-how Mr. Carmack developed when he was a ZeniMax employee, and used by Oculus, are owned by ZeniMax. Well before the Facebook transaction was announced, Mr. Luckey acknowledged in writing ZeniMax’s legal ownership of this intellectual property. It was further agreed that Mr. Luckey would not disclose this technology to third persons without approval." 

This is going to be pretty tricky. If there is an agreement that was around before hand, Oculus may have to pay up to ZeniMax before the transaction with Facebook can be complete. Unfortunately, it's pretty up in the air right now, so we will have to come back to this story as it develops. 

Here are some links with smaller news stories to compensate for such a slow news week:
  • Play the last Gran Turismo 5 event to unlock cars in Gran Turismo 6.
  • Destiny's PvP gameplay will have to be unlocked, rather than be available from the beginning.
  • Info on next Call of Duty coming Sunday.
  • Defiance moving to free-to-play this summer. 
  • Bethesda compensating players for server outage with free play time.
  • Sword Arts Online comes Stateside this summer on Vita.
And that's all for today. So exciting! As always, tell me what you think below in the comments. Think the Oculus - ZeniMax lawsuit will end well? Think that Curve Studios is a bit full of themselves? Tell me below! Don't forget to share with your friends and family who enjoy the gaming industry. And, as always, please keep the conversation going!

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