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Posts Tagged ‘videogames

New Humble Bundle Released

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Fresh on the heels of Humble Bundle’s controversial THQ bundle, they’ve released a new bundle that includes 6 games, and a movie.

The movie, redeemable through Steam, as are all the other games, is Indie Game: The Movie, the award winning documentary which explains the independent game market while profiling some of it’s biggest stars.

All other games are, in true Humble Bundle fashion, available for Mac and Linux as well, with games such as Shank 2 and Legends of Grimrock making their debut on those operating systems.

The bundle will be available to purchase for two weeks, and has, in it’s first day, already raised over half a million dollars. Check it out here.



Humble Bundle Announces THQ Bundle

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Humble Bundle today announced it’s newest bundle titled “The Humble THQ Bundle,” which includes the games Saints Row: The Third, Red Faction: Armageddon, Metro 2033, Darksiders, and Company of Heroes, CoH: Tales of Valor, and CoH: Opposing Fronts.

While other Humble Bundles allow you to pay whatever you want in order to get the games, down to one cent, this new bundle requires that you pay at least one dollar. In order to unlock Saints Row, buyers will have to beat the average price consumers have paid, which at time of post is $5.29.

All these games work exclusively on Windows, and separately would cost almost $190.

The bundle so far has raised over $400,000, and with 13 days left that number is sure to grow. Head over to the Humble Bundle website in order to throw your support behind this amazing opportunity.

New ‘Guild Wars 2’ Event Announced

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Right on the heels of their Halloween event, ArenaNet has announced a new in game event called ‘The Lost Shores’ for their MMO Guild Wars 2.

The new post on their website contains 4 different screens, each depicting mysterious new coastal areas.

Scheduled for November 2012, the event is advertised as “a massive one-time world event that will change Tyria forever!”

Check out more information here.

Written by John Schwartz

November 2, 2012 at 2:52 pm

‘Guild Wars 2’ Halloween Event continues to update

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The final act of Guild Wars 2 Halloween event has yet to come out, but even so, players have a lot of content to go through.

Act 2 and Act 3, released on October 26 and October 28, respectively, new events and area to the game. The most recent update shattered the titular statue in the center of Lion’s Arch, replacing it with a portal to the Realm of the Mad King.

What is contained in Act 4 is still a mystery, and players won’t find out what it contains until October 31.

Keep up to date on the event on its official page. Or, stayed tuned.

Written by John Schwartz

October 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm

The State of Video Games Journalism

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Above is an image I’m sure that, if you clicked on this post with the intent to read it, you’ve seen plastered all over the internet the last few days. It features Geoff Keighley, one of the most prominent video game journalists, sitting around obvious blatant advertisements.

I realize that I’m beating a dead horse here. Do I think that I’m going to be able to give a fresh and interesting take on this topic that has gripped the video game industry lately? I’m not sure. Probably not.

Out of all the aspiring and current video games journalists out there, I’m probably the least qualified to do any talking about the state of it or what it takes or means to be one. Many of you probably read the title to this post and rolled your eyes. And you have every right to. The last three or four days that I’ve been posting on this blog, I’ve simply been regurgitating information that other journalists have discovered, or announced, or reported. What could I, someone who’s never received a review copy of a game, who’s never been to E3, or any game conference for that matter, possibly hope to add to this already wrung out conversation?

The controversy, for those who aren’t aware, is that this Keighley is regarded as a video games journalist, and yet this picture clearly shows him engaging in very un-journalistic activities. Shouldn’t someone who people rely on in order to give themselves information about video games, their developers, the industry as a whole, separate himself in order to try and keep himself from biases?

Of course, nothing you’ve ever read has been void of biases. That’s just human nature. No matter what, we always have our subconscious trying to persuade us one way or the other. But there’s been a trend in video game journalism lately, and some would argue, has always been there, where the journalistic integrity of some who claim to be journalists has been questioned, or outright removed.

I’m a Journalism student at the Ohio University E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. It’s an accredited school, one of the best in the country. The reason I went to this school was because I wanted to study journalism. The reason I want to study journalism is because one day I hope to become a video game journalist. These last few blog posts have documented my very tentative dip in the pool that is the video game journalism industry. But what it means to be a video game journalist seems to have some people confused, most of all me.

Journalism, I’ve learned in various classes, is the pursuit of truth, at it’s most basic. As a journalist, your job is to get the facts and report them to your audience with as little bias and as much objectivity as possible. It’s a noble profession, I’ve been told, one that I should be excited to join and is constantly changing every day.

Video Game Journalism, on the other hand, can be harder to define. For some people, they don’t even consider themselves journalists. They are video game enthusiasts, who enjoy writing. Others see themselves as consumer journalists, whose only purpose is to tell their readers what game they should buy, and when, and which they should avoid.

It’s those that take the profession a little less seriously that are setting the standard for the whole industry. Game Journos (notice the header “Games Journalists are Incompetent Fuckwits”) seeks to document some of the examples of this side of the industry. The front page of the website has this definition on it:

Game journalist: n – An individual who writes professionally about computer and video games, although may not adhere to a professional work ethic. May not research or fact-check stories. May be more interested in hyperbole than actual constructive criticism of media. May be incapable of determining the mathematical average of a 0-to-10 scale. May be unable to handle criticism. May claim to be “just a blogger” or “not a journalist really”, which is at least partially true. See also: Game PR.

And for more and more people, that definition is beginning to ring true, especially in these last few days. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Who are you to criticize these people? You don’t know what they’ve gone through! You don’t know what their lives are like! You might do the same in their position!” And you’re right, I have no justification. I am woefully unequipped to deal with ethical questions of this size.

When Borderlands 2 was released, the Wall Street Journal, one of the world’s most respected newspapers, released a review that was to many, an absolute joke.

“This is a bad article and you should feel bad. I feel bad for giving you a click,” said one commenter. “Hahahaha! You don’t knowanything about video games, do you? This is a horrid article. Nice face, btw. You should probably take that off of future poorly written articles,” said another. And it’s true, the journalist might have benefitted from doing a little more research into the game. But he represents the other end of the spectrum, I think. Why should this man be ridiculed for not enjoying the game? Sure his article was angled in a very weird fashion, but some of the points he brings are are valid, and are even mirrored in other reviews on respected games websites.

With the migration of journalism to the web, it’s getting easier and easier to set yourself up as a journalist (case in point, see this blog.) I think that the few shining stars out there who hold their staff to a certain journalistic integrity will eventually emerge as the industry leaders, while those who blatantly disregard any respect for journalism will fall by the wayside.

For more information on this topic, I highly recommend these articles, which do a much better job on covering the topic than I do.

New Halo 4 Launch Trailer

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Another trailer has been released by 343 Industries today in order to garner up more excitement for the game. The trailer features new game play and dialogue, as well as vital plot points, such as revealing further the antagonists in the game, the forerunners.

Halo 4 launches November 6, 2012.

New Details Concerning Zynga Layoffs

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Image representing Zynga as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Mark Pincus, the CEO and Founder of Zynga, released this statement today in an email to his company.



Earlier today we initiated a number of changes to streamline our operations, focus our resources on our most strategic opportunities, and invest in our future. We waited to share this news with all of you until we had first spoken with the groups impacted.

As part of these changes, we’ve had to make some tough decisions around products, teams and people. I want to fill you in on what’s happened and address any concerns you may have.

Here are the most important details.

We are sunsetting 13 older games and we’re also significantly reducing our investment in The Ville.

We are closing the Zynga Boston studio and proposing closures of the Zynga Japan and UK studios. Additionally, we are reducing staffing levels in our Austin studio. All of these represent terrific entrepreneurial teams, which make this decision so difficult.

In addition to these studios, we are also making a small number of partner team reductions.

In all, we will unfortunately be parting ways with approximately 5% of our full time workforce. We don’t take these decisions lightly as we recognize the impact to our colleagues and friends who have been on this journey with us. We appreciate their amazing contributions and will miss them.

This is the most painful part of an overall cost reduction plan that also includes significant cuts in spending on data hosting, advertising and outside services, primarily contractors.

These reductions, along with our ongoing efforts to implement more stringent budget and resource allocation around new games and partner projects, will improve our profitability and allow us to reinvest in great games and our Zynga network on web and mobile.

Zynga made social gaming and play a worldwide phenomenon, and we remain the industry leader. Our success has come from our dedication to a simple and powerful proposition – that play is not just something people do to pass time, it’s a core need for every person and culture.

We will all be discussing these difficult changes more with our teams and as a company. Tomorrow, Dave and I will be hosting a post-earnings webcast (details to follow) and next week we will be discussing our broader vision and strategy during our quarterly all-hands meeting. I’m confident this puts us on the right path to deliver on the promise of social gaming and make Zynga into an internet treasure.

If you have any immediate questions, I hope you will talk directly with your manager, Colleen, or me.

I look forward to talking with you tomorrow.


According to this note, 13 games are being cancelled, and The Ville is having its investments “significantly” reduced.

The Boston studio is closing, and the Japan and UK studios are “proposing closures,” in addition to the 100+ employees being fired from the Austin studio. Overall, Zynga’s full time workforce will be reduced by 5%.