Some interesting news out of Korea yesterday, as it was announced that Samsung and LG will be significantly reducing the number of 3D TVs that they sell in the future. Samsung and LG will reduce by roughly half of the models that have 3D capability when new models hits store shelves later this year. For LG, that drops the rate from 40% of their lineup to 20%.
I think about everyone knew that 3D home viewing was nothing more than a fickle fad, but the reality is now upon us. There was too much working against it, foremost a lack of a standard for the glasses, expensive active shutter models that could tack several hundred dollars onto a TV for a family of four, and lack of content. The final nail in the coffin likely is the UHD models that are out and the impending Virtual Reality wave that is coming at us like a tidal wave.
From a gamer’s standpoint, it is actually a bit frustrating, as there are some absolutely spectacular 3D games out there that really immerse you in the game. However, for each Super Stardust HD, there is a MLB: The Show where the 3D was basically an after-thought and half-assed into the game. With developers already under a crunch to get games out on time with basic game functionality coded, adding 3D was either scrapped or never considered. Expect 3D to live on in higher end models where it can be included as a base feature, but I think this is likely the end of the home 3D revolution that never really got off the ground.
Mad Catz wasn’t the only gaming related company to announce major layoffs today, developer Motiga stated on its website that it will be laying off a significant amount of its studio today due to continued financial struggles. Their game Gigantic just last month was announced as having a closed Beta for the Xbox One and PC platforms and the NDA was recently lifted. It is unclear what this means for the release of Gigantic, which was likely within a few months of release on Windows 10 and Xbox One. Below is the note posted by Chris Chung regarding the temporary layoffs:
Motiga Announces Significant, Temporary Studio Layoffs
By Chris Chung, February 9, 2016
It is with deep heartache that Motiga announces the temporary layoff of a significant percentage of our studio today. Our financial situation is such that we are unable to continue supporting the entirety of the studio at this time. Though we are in active and promising discussions with a number of potential investors, the timing for those negotiations extends beyond the resources we have to maintain the staffing required to continue development on Gigantic.
While we intend to continue supporting Gigantic game services for as long as we are able, the reality is that a decision of this magnitude will impact all departments across the studio, an impact that will be felt by our community of beta testers as the services they depend on will operate without the key staff on hand to support those services.
Owing to our commitment to transparency, both to our studio and the Gigantic community, this is a decision that has been shared with every member of our team before the posting of this article.
Motiga continues to engage in active discussions with our partners to identify ways to remedy this situation, but we are not in a position to provide any specific information on our next steps at this time. It is of course our goal, and our deep hope, that we are able to secure the necessary funding in the near future in order to bring Gigantic to market.
We would like to thank everyone for their support over the last few months, and while the situation is far from ideal, the sheer number of people that have enjoyed playing Gigantic has affirmed what we’ve believed all along: while we still have a lot of work to do to polish the experience for the players, the current closed beta version of our game introduces a legitimately fun gameplay experience with great promise for the future.
Our goal at this time is to work aggressively to identify the resources we need to rehire the members of the Motiga family that were laid off today, securing our financial future so that the Gigantic community can continue to work with us to develop this title, and ultimately bring the complete Gigantic experience to the marketplace.
We will continue to keep our community, and the world-at-large, apprised of this situation as it continues to unfold over the coming weeks.
Well, after yesterday’s surprise announcement that most of Mad Catz’s Sr Leadership had resigned, today we find out what may have been the catalyst. With their earnings announced, it was revealed that the company had a huge bump in sales, but had a significant drop in margin (9.7%) from the prior year quarter. That usually translates into over stock of inventory or selling your product too cheaply. The money quote comes courtesy of new President and CEO Karen McGinnis:
“Our quarterly net sales were the second highest in the Company’s history reflecting strong Rock Band 4 sales, which were partially offset by continuing softness in sales of our audio and PC gaming products. However, Rock Band sell-through was lower than originally forecast resulting in higher inventory balances as well as lower margins due to increased promotional activity with retailers.”
So there you have it. They forecasted way too high on Rock Band, whether that is the game or the peripherals (I am betting the latter) and their PC accessories and headset sales are simply not doing what they expect.
A couple of us had a quick discussion internally, and one of the issues the staff believes is that you simply cannot find the Mas Catz branded peripherals at your normal outlets. They don’t have much shelf space at big box retailers like Wal-Mart, Best Buy or target and most of their stuff has to be purchased online. Here his hoping that the company can make a quick turnaround, as they seem to be a literal mess right now as they wade through challenges with the corporate direction, leadership changes and fiscally.
UPDATE: Apparently missed in my first run through, the company will be restructuring and will be laying off 67% of the staff.
The plan consists of a reduction in the number of positions across the organization equal to approximately 37% of the total workforce and includes changes at the executive level.
Here is hoping that some of the good people we have met over the years are able to quickly find new work if they are impacted.
I never thought I'd see the day. EVE Online, beloved and derided sci-fi "spreadsheet simulator," added a first-person camera view. No, it's no EVE: Valkyrie when it comes to front-facing action, but it's a start. This is along with several other changes to camera controls, but first-person view dramatically shifts perspective from the usual panned-out, third-person view that EVE players are used to. Zoomed way out in third-person is still obviously the only way to conduct yourself in a serious conflict. But I'll tell you what: First-person makes me want to reboot this bad boy and fly around a space station or two.
Fast forward to 3:28 to get into the cockpit view with stepped zoom. But new camera features affect the orbit camera, the tactical camera, and marquee selection, in addition to the first-person camera. Pairing it with the also-new-ish manual flight feature is jaw dropping.
The new camera has been in EVE's public test server since November of last year. It went into opt-in beta on the main server in December. Today, it's turned on by default. Full, developer-deep details are in this dev blog.
In addition to reviewing EVE Online (once in '06 then again in '09), it's probably the game I've written the most words about in my run as a gamer. It's tied itself into my life during a sucky run of unemployment. It's been there for me when I've done nothing but spin my wheels. It was here when wildfires ripped across Southern Oregon only a short drive from my house. EVE Online has even shaped my perspective as I've raised my daughter. Everybody has that one game. Mine is EVE. And now
After being announced last year at the San Diego Comic Con, the crossover event nobody saw coming, Street Fighter x G.I. Joe, is ready to launch in the comic book world. Capcom recently revealed the first images from the mashup on their community blog.
Published by IDW, the six-issue event will chronicle a secret tournament of the world’s best fighters that is held when Destro and M. Bison join forces. Of course, if you are familiar with either of those two villains, you should know that they have a lot more planned than just a tournament. The first issue will launch on February 24, 2016, and a full trade-version is planned once the series has been completed (later this year).
I know that I can’t be the only one who is hoping that this collaboration is a sign of things to come in the video game world. The matchups would be perfect: Ryu versus Storm Shadow, Chun Li fighting Baroness... we could go on all day. Please, Capcom, make this happen!
More Nintendo properties continue to make their way to the arcade scene in Japan, with the latest one being Mario Party. A modified version of Mario Party 10 is being tested in Japan as Mario Party Fushigi Challenge World. The machine is what they refer to as a”medal game”, which is traditionally transformed into a ticket / redemption game when it comes to the States.
There are very little details known about the game. The flyer shown below was recently distributed to arcades in japan to promote the upcoming public testing. The game appears to allow players to face off in a variety of mini games while “betting” tickets against each other. If you win the games, you will take home the largest amount of tickets from the pool.
It’s always cool to see a traditionally, console I.P. get the arcade treatment, especially in 2016. Nintendo, in particular, has been making this push in Japan for years with other classic games such as Luigi’s Mansion and New Super Mario Bros. Wii being turned into arcade games. Hopefully these games will make their way over here into places like Dave & Buster’s as the arcade-scene here in the United States needs all of the help that it can get.
Source: Arcade Heroes
Wargaming rolls out the British steel today on the PS4 edition of World of Tanks. That's awesome. It instantly adds 41 more light, medium, and heavy tanks, tank destroyers, and artillery to the tech tree. That's, of course, in addition to already populated with tanks from the U.S.A., Germany, and U.S.S.R. Also, the Ruinberg, Siegfried Line, Fisherman's Bay, and Ensk maps are officially in the mix.
There was a time when British steel presented a real problem for the U.K.'s enemies worldwide. World of Tanks recalls that time. You'll see what I mean when you're rolling in your Tier 5 American, Russian, or German tank, then a Tier 5 British AT stares you down with x3 or x4 more front hull armor. Good luck slugging it out with that one, commander.
I've played World of Tanks (Gaming Nexus score 9.5) off and on since 2011 on PC, since 2014 on Xbox 360 (score 8.0), while Gaming Nexus Writer Sean Cahill handled the Xbox One review (score 8.5) last year, and now I'm on PlayStation 4. Trust me, I'm starting up the British line of tanks today.
This lyric video is rad. On a mission to trigger a seizure, PUP's "DVP" is punk rock spliced with dozens of 1990's video game images. They're delivered at Clockwork-Orange-prop-your-eyelids-open speeds. Don't blink. This one's for the generation that brought ADHD to the forefront of America's conversation, and who grew up in the transition from arcades to home gaming consoles.
There's Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter II, Contra, and so many more. NSFW language; it's punk rock.
Need more zombies to kill? You're in luck! Developer Techland has announced that Dying Light: The Following is now available for season pass owners as well as in a standalone package called the Enhanced Edition (which includes the original game). The Following now features a new area to explore along with drivable dirt buggies, new quests, and many more secrets waiting to be discovered. The Enhanced Edition, a free update for existing owners as well, introduces a range of improvements and new features to the base game.
Features like a new difficulty called Nightmare Mode, 250 Legend Levels to earn, Bounty system, and much more. Overall the new version of the game is described as making the experience "bigger, better and scarier" than before. All in all, previous fans of the game and newcomers have a lot of zombies waiting to impede their adventures.
Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Those that missed the last closed beta can rejoice as Ubisoft has announced that Tom Clancy's The Division will be receiving an open beta from February 19-21. Xbox one owners will receive an exclusive 24-hour early access window beginning on February 18. The upcoming beta is said to have fixed many of the cheating issues that plagued PC players with the previous one. However, Ubisoft never specially mentions if they've moved the storage of player data off the client's side.
The open beta will also feature more content to try out including a new story mission. Those players that participate in the beta will receive an in-game reward in the full game. I'll also be eager to see how the game has improved overall as the release date is not far off at this point. Players during the previous beta complained about lack of content in the Dark Zone and the functionality of the Rogue system. I know for sure that I'll be marking the upcoming beta on my calendar as the game is looking to be a lot of fun.
Tom Clancy's The Division launches on March 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.