It has already been a very busy month for Nintendo, between the incredibly positive sales figures of the Wii U and the retirement of the original Wii, but October isn’t over yet. In an interview with The Sixth Axis, “Need for Speed: Rivals” creative director Craig Sullivan said that Rivals would not be making its way to the Wii U after “Need for Speed: Most Wanted” failed to sell many copies on Nintendo’s next-generation console. More →
Although it looked like the PR nightmare of the SimCity launch (both of them, in fact) might never end, EA and Maxis did eventually solve the worst of the issues with the game. By most accounts, the new SimCity is running much smoother, and the team at Maxis has been releasing regular updates to expand the amount of content within the game. Despite the relative calm, there is still a vocal group of gamers who want the option to play the game offline, and a post on the SimCity blog on Thursday seems to indicate that the team has heard the pleas of its community. More →
Gaming giant Electronic Arts has laid off 10% of its entire workforce, according to a report from Kotaku. While EA itself didn’t reveal how many workers it laid off on Thursday, it did acknowledge an unspecified number of staff reductions that it said were part of “hard but essential changes” needed to help the company “focus on delivering great games and showing players around the world why to spend their time with us.” The layoffs at EA come after its former CEO John Riccitiello resigned last month and the company has made several high-profile public relations mistakes recently, including its notoriously botched launch of the new SimCity game.
Electronic Arts (EA) has just delivered a textbook case on how to horrendously botch a product launch. The company’s decision to employ always-on digital rights management (DRM) technology that forces gamers to play online proved to be a complete disaster after the company’s servers were quickly overwhelmed during the game’s launch last week, thus rendering it unplayable for everyone who purchased it. EA has now issued a formal apology for the game launch and is offering everyone who purchased it a free game as compensation. In a company blog post, Maxis label general manager Lucy Bradshaw said that the company was not expecting demand for the game to be so high and admitted that it was “dumb” to not prepare better. Bradshaw made no mention of whether the company would remove the always-on DRM requirement as a condition for playing the game in the future.
Electronic Arts and Crytek last week announced the highly anticipated next installment of the Crysis franchise, Crysis 3, alongside a 19-second teaser trailer. On Tuesday, the two companies issued the official gameplay trailer that showcases the game’s stunning graphics. The third installment of Crysis is set in 2047, and users control protagonist “Prophet” as he returns to New York only to discover that the city is covered by a giant Nanodome created by the evil Cell Corporation. This dangerous new world demands advanced weapons and tactics, such as a lethal composite bow, an enhanced Nanosuit and devastating alien technology that will turn Prophet into the deadliest hunter on the planet. The game, which is built using the latest CryENGINE technology, will be released in Spring 2013 on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and is now available for pre-order. The full Crysis 3 gameplay trailer follows below. More →
If you’re unfortunate enough to be sitting at your in-laws wearing that itchy sweater you hate so much, at least we have you covered with a few games to get you through the night. EA and Gameloft have a huge sale going on and both are offering most titles for just $0.99. Gameloft has Starfront: Collision, Sacred Odyssey: Rise of Ayden, Shrek Kart and dozens more up for grabs, each for just a dollar. In addition, EA has Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 for iPad, The Sims: Medieval and much, much more for just $0.99 a piece. That’s the same price as a McChicken, but so much more rewarding — and none of us should be thinking about more food right now. More →
Electronic Arts has cut the prices of several of its top iOS games by as much as 80% as part of its back-to-school sale. The following iPhone games are now just $0.99: Tetris, Scrabble, FIFA 11, Fight Night Champion, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Risk, Madden NFL and NCAA Football. EA’s iPad games are mostly priced between $0.99 and $2.99, and the following titles are included in the sale: Battleship, Monopoly, The Game of Life, NBA Jam, Flight Control, Risk, Max and the Magic Marker, Yahtzee Adventures, Sim City Deluxe, Pictureka, Tetris, Transformers Dark of the Moon, Monopoly: Here and Now, Reckless Racing, Scrabble and Snood. More →
It seems like Apple can do no wrong these days, but according to Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, Apple is headed toward a decline. It goes without saying that Apple will not be able to maintain its dominance forever — every company that rises will eventually fall — but Hawkins sees Apple’s decline as beginning relatively soon. “The thing is, it may take another year or two before it starts to decline, but it has to – everything does,” Hawkins told IndustryGamers in an interview. “Everything revolves so much around Steve, and no matter how good his lieutenants are, they’re not Steve. None of us is going to live forever, though I hope he lives for a really long time.” Hawkins went on to note that games made by Digital Chocolate, the mobile game lab he left EA to launch, will “always be in the App Store,” though he says it would be great if Apple were more open. “I think it would be an incredibly positive thing for the industry if Apple decided to support all of the web standards, because then Apple could be the best about everything. Right now they make a conscious choice. They want you to be in the App Store rather than the browser, so they cripple the browser,” Hawkins griped, though he noted that the closed model hasn’t had a negative impact on Apple’s iOS business at this point. More →
Lodsys, the company that has been accusing iOS and Android developers of illegally using its in-app purchasing technology, is now also targeting high-profile gaming firms such as Atari, Electronic Arts, Angry Birds lab Rovio, Square Enix and Take-Two Interactive. According to FOSS Patents, Lodsys had this to say about Rovio:
Defendant Rovio has infringed and continues to infringe, directly, indirectly, literally, under the doctrine of equivalents, contributorily, and/or through the inducement of other, one or more claims of the ’565 patent. Rovio makes, sells, uses, imports, and/or offers to sell infringing applications, including but not limited to Angry Birds for iPhone and Angry Birds for Android, which infringe at least claim 27 of ’565 patent under 35 U.S.C. § 271.
Read on for more. More →
A number of iOS game publishers, including Gameloft and Electronic Arts, have dropped the prices of several games in honor of the upcoming holiday weekend. EA has slashed the prices of NBA Jam, The Sims 3, FIFA 11, Dead Space, and Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit to $0.99. Gameloft’s Dungeon Hunter 2 and Starfront Collision are also just $0.99, as is Adult Swim’s Robot Unicorn Attack. Trucks and Skulls Nitro and Cross Fingers are both free this weekend, and both Zen Bound and Zen Bound 2 are priced at $0.99. If you’re doing some traveling on your way to a BBQ and need a good way to pass the time, be sure to hit up the iTunes App Store to take advantage of the sales. Of all the titles above, we highly recommend giving both Dungeon Hunter 2 and NBA Jam a play-through. More →
On Monday, the United States Supreme Court rejected a law that would make it illegal for video game stores and publishers to sell or rent violent video games to minors. The law, which was adopted in 2005 and rejected in a 7-2 vote, was deemed unconstitutional and against freedom of speech rights. According to Reuters, a number of big players in the gaming industry opposed the law, including the Entertainment Software Association, whose ranks include Sony, Microsoft, EA, and Disney. “Our cases hold that minors are entitled to a significant degree of First Amendment protection,” Justice Antonin Scalia said. “Government has no free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which they may be exposed.” More →
Electronic Arts is set to purchase PopCap Games for $1 billion, according to TechCrunch. PopCap Games is best known for titles such as Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle, and Bejewled, all of which are available on a number of platforms, including the PC and mobile devices. It’s unclear what the motivation behind the purchase is. EA has a number of hits available in the iTunes App Store, including NBA Jam, The Sims, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, but perhaps it could use PopCap’s expertise in the casual market to create an entity capable of competing with the likes of Zynga — a firm that relies on in-game purchases to make money. Neither Electronic Arts nor PopCap Games has confirmed the purchase. More →
During Microsoft’s E3 2011 press conference on monday, Peter Moore, president of EA Sports, confirmed that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Kinect motion controller will support EA Sports games in 2012. The initial titles compatible with the Kinect controller will be Madden, FIFA, Tiger Woods and a fourth title that has not yet been named. Now we’ll all be able to throw hail mary touchdown passes in the closing seconds of the Super Bowl from the comfort of our living rooms!