Games

Final Chapter: LucasArts Employees Hold Wake

LucasArts Logo
The bar’s name says it all: The Final Final. That’s where LucasArts employees gathered Friday night to hold a wake, following the death of their game studio earlier in the week. At Final Final in San Francisco, a large gathering of LucasArts employees and former LucasArts workers shared drinks and tears, from recalling memories of creating such notable cult games like Monkey Island to mourning the loss of games whose lives were cut short, like Star Wars 1313 and Star Wars: First… continue…

Death to Downloads: Browser-Based Games on the Rise

War Commander
Here’s another nail in the coffin of console games. The folks at Mozilla and Will Harbin, CEO of the gaming portal Kixeye, are banking on the idea that more people are picking up hammers as they ultimately gravitate toward browser-based games rather than download versions to consoles or mobile devices. At last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Mozilla unveiled its highly optimized version of JavaScript for 3D browser-based games. The organization wants to show game developers that the… continue…

Microsoft’s Xbox Studios: Old School or New?

Microsoft Xbox Metro Dashboard
As Microsoft ramps up its Los Angeles-based Xbox Entertainment Studios, you have to wonder whether its goal is to bring innovative platforms to old-school media, or old-school media to innovative platforms. If the top-down hiring is any indication, it may be the latter. Yusuf Mehdl, senior vice president of Redmond’s interactive entertainment business, says that Xbox users are more interested in videos and music than those who play with other Internet-related consoles. In that context, hiring Nancy Tellem last September as… continue…

CEO’s Departure Could Bode Well for EA’s Workplace

EA
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello plans to resign at the end of the month, citing missteps in meeting the company’s internal operating plan and its Wall Street financial guidance. This might make investors happy, but what’s the impact on the company’s employees? While more than half of the 240 employees who shared their opinion on Glassdoor approved of Riccitiello’s performance, his 59 percent rating was 9 percentage points below the average. Beyond that, there are indications of grumbling with in… continue…

SimCity: How Not to Launch a Game

SimCity
Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably heard of Electronic Arts’ disastrous launch of the latest SimCity. It was designed to play for only about 20 minutes offline before closing down. Since cities are saved on servers, not locally, you don’t get to play if the server happens to be too busy for you. Tough luck. Unfortunately for EA, it underestimated the number of people who bought SimCity when the game launched. Kotaku says 700,000 cities were created in… continue…

Apple’s Doing Mac Game Developers No Favors

Posted In iOS
Mac Games
Ever since the first Mac appeared in 1984, Apple has nurtured the idea that its products are so new, so slick, that anyone who used them was cooler than everybody else. So as the popularity of ever-faster, ever-more-realistic games climbed, it seemed like a sure bet that the Mac was going to be a prime field of competition. And then… Nothing really happened. It’s an issue that has dogged Apple for years. The products known for leading-edge graphics and sound… continue…

Apple’s Doing Mac Game Developers No Favors

Posted In iOS
Mac Games
Ever since the first Mac appeared in 1984, Apple has nurtured the idea that its products are so new, so slick, that anyone who used them was cooler than everybody else. So as the popularity of ever-faster, ever-more-realistic games climbed, it seemed like a sure bet that the Mac was going to be a prime field of competition. And then… Nothing really happened. It’s an issue that has dogged Apple for years. The products known for leading-edge graphics and sound… continue…

Tactus Adds On-Demand Buttons to Touchscreens

tactus thumbnail
If you’re not impressed by what’s been going on — or not going on — with smartphone technology over the past few years, good news: It looks like the days of incremental devie upgrades are numbered. More consumers seem to think that faster processors, thinner chassis, bigger screens and better camera just don’ it. And, yes, I’m looking at you, Apple. But a touchscreen with on-demand physical buttons? Oh yes, please. At CES 2013, California-based Tactus showed off an invention… continue…

Less Spending, More Playing: Gaming on the Cheap

Posted In Living in Tech
Video Game Woman
We love video games. We love them so much that in 2011 we spent nearly $25 billion on games, hardware and accessories, according to the Entertainment Software Association. And by “we,” I mean consumers in the United States alone. Of course, one reason we spend that much is because gaming is expensive. A new game for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 can cost as much as $60, and you can expect to spend more than $50 for a new title for Sony’s… continue…

An Ale That Celebrates Pac-Man’s Legacy

Posted In Living in Tech
8-Bit Beer Thumbnail
Remember Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Space Invaders, or the raft of other 8-bit video games you were fiercely devoted to back in the day? They cutting edge circa 1979 but today they provoke sweet nostalgia for the folks who were weaned on them. Now, whether you’re reminiscing or discovering them for the first time, you can pay tribute to those champions of gaming by lifting a pint of 8-Bit Pale Ale. The brew is the brainchild of Jeff Gill, who… continue…