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Saturday, Feb 09, 2019


Rumor: Activision Plans Restructuring and Layoffs

Activision Blizzard is planning to announce layoffs next week "which could number in the hundreds," according Bloomberg where they attribute this to the current "painful stretch for the video-game industry." This is not confirmed, but the report is said to be "according to people familiar with the matter." Word is this will be part of a restructuring:

The layoffs, which could number in the hundreds, are part of a restructuring aimed at centralizing functions and boosting profit, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the changes haven’t been announced. Activision employed 9,800 people at the end of 2017.

The game maker, one of the largest in the world, acknowledged on a November conference call that some key titles, such as Overwatch and Hearthstone, were seeing flat or declining numbers of users. After disappointing sales of Destiny 2: Forsaken, the company parted ways with its developer, Bungie Inc., a move that could reduce annual revenue by as much as $400 million.

Analysts expect Activision’s sales to decline by about 2 percent this year, to $7.28 billion.

Blacklight: Retribution Closing in March

A post on Steam announces official support for Blacklight: Retribution for Windows is ending on March 11th, when the PC servers for the free-to-play first-person shooter will shut down (thanks Rock Paper Shotgun). Developer Zombie Studios closed their doors four years ago, but publisher Hardsuit Labs has continued to operate it since then. Now they explain some "very interesting projects" they have in the works require their "full focus." In the meantime, all the premium items in the game will be offered for free. Here are the details:

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Blacklight: Retribution.

Thank you for so much for your loyal support, and love over the years. From the initial PC Closed Beta in November 2011 to today, it has been a great 7+ years. The joy that we got out of Blacklight: Retribution is a testament to you the fans; your loyalty, dedication, support, and ultimate willingness to try our fun, quirky FPS.

Why is this happening? The reality is Hardsuit Labs has been engaged for some time now in some very interesting projects that require the full focus of the development teams and leadership. The studio capacity and resources are and have been entirely engaged with these projects and will be for the foreseeable future. As such, we officially will no longer be patching, updating, or doing technical support for Blacklight Retribution. Account migration will officially shut down as of today, as will the official support site.

Starting today, all items in the PC store will be made free, and we hope that you continue to enjoy the game and items up until the PC servers are shut down on March 11th, 2019. The PS4 version of Blacklight Retribution will continue to operate as-is since there are no game servers being hosted for it.

DiRT Rally 2.0 Getting Oculus Rift Support

A tweet from Codemasters reveals plans for Oculus Rift virtual reality support in DiRT Rally 2.0 (thanks PC Gamer). The game is due for release in a couple of weeks, but word is the VR support will be added via a patch this summer. Here's word:

We heard you. @Oculus heard you. DiRT Rally 2.0 + Oculus = this summer… #RisetotheChallenge

Saturday Consolidation

Saturday Metaverse

Saturday Tech Bits

Saturday Safety Dance

Saturday Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

  • CORSAIR K70 RGB MK.2 SE Keyboard on TechPowerUp.
  • GIGABYTE Z390 Aorus Xtreme (Intel Z390) Motherboard on TweakTown.

Out of the Blue

Today is National Pizza Day and National Bagel Day! Sadly there do not seem to be international versions of either "holiday." As a native New Yorker I am compelled to point out these two foods are basically New York City's claim to culinary fame. The perception that NYC is the best area in the country for each used to seem like a regional prejudice, but somewhere along the way people started attributing it to the water. On the other hand, this article on bagels debunks the water theory, but confusingly, this article on pizza from the same site lends credence to it, so go figure. PUR and Food & Wine each tackle this question with mixed messages as well. I don't know the answer, but the fact that one California pizzeria imports their water from New York seems to support the water theory. According to these reports, they did an experiment and found their customers preferred the pizza made with New York water by a startling nine to one ratio.

Watery Links: Thanks Ant.
Links: Tasteful suburban real estate listing has tasteful sex dungeon.
Stories: Westworld’s third season likely won’t air until 2020.
Senator introduces a bill to legalize marijuana and it’s called S.420.
Drug companies are sitting on generics—43% of recently approved aren’t for sale.
Media: Alanis Morisette and James Corden update the song "Ironic".
You can do it!
Honey Badger Rescues Her Baby from Leopard. So brave. Hope the little one is okay.

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