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Thursday, Jul 11, 2013

  

Capcom Layoffs

A Google+ post by Christian Svensson announces this was his final day at Capcom, as the publisher/developer laid off staff today as part of a reorganization. He says he actually suggested this: "This departure is not a bad thing for me and it’s happening mostly because I’d suggested it during the early planning for today’s reorg. While I wish the company the best of luck, Capcom is going in a different direction and the need for people at my level, relative to other areas, is lacking. Those who know me well, know that I’ve been ready to go for quite some time." GameInformer has a statement from Capcom following up on this:

Capcom today laid off several employees from the US office as part of an overall organizational restructure of the company. The transition to the new generation of hardware and changing industry landscape have required us to adapt our business to best meet our new goals. We sincerely thank each individual for their contributions and wish them well.

Revised State of Decay Okayed Down Under

Player Attack has word that a revised edition of State of Decay has been approved for sale in Australia under the country's new R18+ rating. The open-world zombie survival/horror game was recently refused classification there, which would prevent its sale, but word is the drugs in the game, which were the source of the classification board's objections, have been renamed stimulants and supplements, which was enough to solve the problem.

LoL Season 3 Championship in Staples Center

Riot Games announces that the League of Legends Season 3 World Championship will be held on October 4th in the Staples Center in Los Angeles before a live audience that may exceed 10,000. They say tickets will go on sale soon, and in the meantime, here's word:

LOS ANGELES - July 11, 2013 - Riot Games today unveiled plans for the Season 3 World Championship, the premier event for League of Legends professional esports on a global stage. Beginning September 16th, the best teams from each region around the world will descend on Southern California for a month of intense action, including semi-finals held at the Galen Center, the site of last year's final. Once the dust settles, competitors will head downtown for the World Final at the prestigious home of pro sports in Los Angeles - the Staples Center.

Taking place Friday, October 4th the World Championship tournament will be the pinnacle of pro League of Legends play this year, with the sport's preeminent athletes battling in front of more than 10,000 live fans, plus millions more online. The winning team will be crowned the Season 3 world champion, walking away with the Summoner's Cup and $1 million in cash. Tickets go on sale soon at lolesports.com and other associated ticketing outlets.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Why Is the Golden Age of TV So Dark? Thanks nin.

Bohemia Interactive Breach

Bohemia Interactive sends word of a data breach on their website, saying that passwords were compromised, but payment details were not:

We have unfortunately discovered that an illegal attempt has been made to access certain of our online websites, leading to the download of a database containing usernames, email addresses and encrypted passwords. Please note due to the encryption of the passwords it is very unlikely that anything nefarious can be done with this information.

We would like to reassure everyone that no other information such as credit card details is stored by us and thus was not at any risk from this illegal breach.

As a precaution we are resetting the passwords of all users which means you will be unable to log into any of our websites/forums until your password is changed. To do this, go to

https://profile.bistudio.com/profile/recover-password , enter your email address or username and press "Get a new password". Shortly afterwards you will receive an automated email from support@bistudio.com with a link, where you can set a new password of your choosing. In the event that you do not receive the email within 20 minutes, please try searching your spam folder.

If you have any problems with your account, or have any questions/concerns regarding this incident please feel free to contact support@bistudio.com

Civilization V: Brave New World Demo

The Steam page for Sid Meier's Civilization V: Brave New World shows a playable demo was released yesterday on Steam for the turn-based strategy expansion (thanks Frans). There's no detail on the demo, so here's word on the game:

Sid Meier's Civilization® V: Brave New World is the second expansion pack for Civilization V - the critically acclaimed 2010 PC Game of the Year. This new expansion provides enhanced depth and replayability through the introduction of international trade and a focus on culture and diplomacy. Your influence around the world will be impacted by creating Great Works, choosing an ideology for your people and proposing global resolutions in the World Congress. As you move through the ages of history you will make critical decisions that will impact your relationship with other civilizations.

Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Brave New World also introduces nine new civilizations, eight new wonders, two new scenarios, four new gameplay systems and dozens of new units, buildings and improvements offering an expanded variety of ways to build the most powerful empire in the world.

Steam Summer Sale Begins

The Steam Store shows the eagerly anticipated Steam summer sale is underway, kicking off an 11 day extravaganza. Here's word:

July 11th, 2013 - Steam has launched our 2013 Summer Getaway Sale, with massive discounts on hundreds of PC, Mac and Linux titles. Right now, you can take advantage of up to 75% savings on hits like Bioshock Infinite, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Grid 2, Don't Starve and more.

The Summer Getaway Sale offers you more ways to save than ever, with a hundred Daily Deals launching over the next eleven days. Check back often to take advantage of our eight-hour deep-discount Flash Sales. You can even help select what goes on sale with our Community's Choice Voting Sales.

For the first time, buying discounted games at this year's sale now earns you an all-new collectible in the form of Trading Cards. Collect, trade and craft over 50 new sets of cards, including 10 Summer Getaway Trading Cards that can only be earned during the sale. Each set can be crafted into badges, backgrounds, emoticons and other rewards.

The Steam Summer Getaway Sale will run from now until July 22nd. Complete information on Daily Deals, Flash Sales, Community Choice Voting and more can be found at http://www.steampowered.com. For more information on our new Trading Card feature, please visit http://steamcommunity.com/tradingcards.

Deep Silver Distributing Wasteland 2

Deep Silver and inXile Entertainment announce a deal whereby inXile's Wasteland 2 will be distributed worldwide by Deep Silver, and the publisher will also assist in QA testing and localization of the role-playing game. "This is a perfect opportunity for inXile: it allows us to continue to focus all of our energy and money into the creative aspects of the game while letting Deep Silver take our game outside of the pure digital space. This has the added bonus of allowing us to spend more of the Kickstarter funds on development while continue to retain all ownership and control," says Brian Fargo, CEO inXile Entertainment. "I’ve known the people at Deep Silver for many years and they have always been a first rate organization to deal with."

Valve Considering U.K. Office?

Valve is considering the viability of opening an office in the U.K., states Develop in an unconfirmed report, saying the studio is attending the Develop Conference this week "and has been sharing its plans with some attendees." They also say Valve recently opened a small office in Luxembourg to assist with European wheeling and dealing (and/or operate as a tax shelter), adding "UK developers could also work at its Seattle office or in a newly set up Luxembourg studio." They don't get into what the goals might be for such an expansion.

WARMACHINE: TACTICS Kickstarter

A new Kickstarter is underway to fund development of WARMACHINE: TACTICS, a turn-based tactical combat game from publisher Privateer Press Interactive and developer WhiteMoon Dreams for Windows and OS X based on the WARMACHINE tabletop game. The project is homing in on its $550K goal already, putting their five stretch goals in reach, which will add two new factions and four new multiplayer mercenary characters. Those will all be triggered at just below $700K, so at this rate they will have to add more stretch goals pretty soon (thanks Amdae from Australia). Here's word:

Privateer Press Interactive and video game developer WhiteMoon Dreams have joined forces to bring WARMACHINE to life. Inspired by the predecessors of this hallowed genre like Valkyria Chronicles, Final Fantasy Tactics, and the X-COM franchise, WARMACHINE: Tactics seeks to break new ground for turn-based tactics games by delivering a never-before-seen level of dynamic battlefield combat.

As you’ll see in the video, the development team has worked around the clock for several months to prove we have the experience and the ability to turn WARMACHINE into an incredible video game worthy of your pledge. Kickstarter has provided the opportunity to realize this vision, and with you on our side, we can make it a reality.

Microsoft Reorganizes

Microsoft announces their promised reorganization, calling this "a far-reaching realignment of the company that will enable us to innovate with greater speed, efficiency and capability in a fast changing world" (thanks nin). Here's a bit on the plans:

There will be four engineering areas: OS, Apps, Cloud, and Devices. We will keep Dynamics separate as it continues to need special focus and represents significant opportunity. We will consolidate our technologies coherently into these groups pulling together some things that have been spread out in our current BG structure like cloud infrastructure, operating systems, mail, and identity, to name a few. Some of these changes will involve putting things together and others will involve repartitioning the work, but in all instances we will be more coherent for our users and developers. We have resolved many details of this org, but we still will have more work to do. Undoubtedly, as we involve more people there will be new issues and changes to our current thinking as well. Completing this process will take through the end of the calendar year as we figure things out and as we keep existing teams focused on current deliverables like Windows 8.1, Xbox One, Windows Phone, etc.

Survarium Video Diary

A sixth video developer's diary for Survarium is online, offering a further progress report on this free-to-play MMOFPS in the works at Vostok Games and an update on the game's alpha test. Not content with this new content, they also offer new screenshots and artwork as well as updates to the website on the Fringe Settlers and the game's Chemical Plant location. Here's word on the diary:

Today we are pleased to present the latest developer diary video, diary number 6. It is by far our longest video so far is the series and contains a whole host of information; starting off, we disclose the story behind the Chemical Plant location, shortly followed by and in depth look at a new faction called The Fringe Settlers. We disclose their agenda, history and ethos. Lately the remaining part of the diary delves into the Alpha testing, our expectations for future Alpha tests, content and more! Enjoy the video and as always, we look forward to your feedback and thank you for your on-going support!

Continue here to read the full story.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments Trailer

Here's a new trailer from Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is a look at some prerendered scenes from the upcoming adventure game based on the world's most famous fictional detective. The clip shows off the benefits of switching to the Unreal engine in the latest installment in the series, which they say will improve gameplay mechanics as well as the game's appearance: "But the change of game engine has not only improved the graphics; new investigation techniques have been developed and the game can now offer 14 game mechanics. From the opening of each of the eight investigations up to the arrest of the culprits and the moral dilemmas faced by the players, the new game mechanics convey the feeling of BEING Sherlock Holmes. Players will therefore be able to exploit the incredible gifts and talents for which he is renowned, such as his ability to guess the details of an individual’s life simply by observing them, or to imagine and reconstruct a past event by studying the key features of a crime scene." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well look at that, it's 7/11 again, making this seven eleven day for everyone with proximity to a 7/11 convenience store. This means free Slurpees today in a promotion so appealing we give it a free plug every year. In spite of thinking I might, I have never actually taken advantage of this deal, but we do have a 7/11 fairly nearby, and the forecast calls temps in the eighties again today, I may just finally make it.

7/11 Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Helium Rush.
Min-Hero: Tower of Sages.
Links: Messages from Earth: Hayabusa-2. Thanks Cutter.
Science: Russians to deploy floating nuclear power plant.
Study confirms link between omega-3 fatty acids and increased prostate cancer risk.
Dino-killing asteroid also triggered mind-blowing submarine landslides.
Women and sex: the myth-buster.
Media: Console Wars: The Musical.
Most Dangerous Ways to Open a Bottle of Wine.
Auction: Vintage Apple-1 computer sells for $388K.
Follow-Up: Nuclear watchdog: Ocean contamination likely at Fukushima.
The Funnies: Cable.



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