Tag Archives: GAME

WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 19TH – 25TH MAY

Headline Of The Week

Reports earlier this week suggest that YouTube (and thus by extension, Google) are planning to buy the game-streaming company Twitch for a tasty $1,000,000,000. That is all cash up front by the way.

The popularity of Twitch has grown exponentially over the past few years as streaming footage and commentary from games has become a viable way of making a living – indeed, the userbase has swelled from 3.2 million in 2011 to over 45 million people last year. Most recently, both Sony and Microsoft have integrated Twitch streaming into their next gen hardware, and almost every major e-Sports competition is broadcast live on the service.

For getting its foot wedged firmly in the door of the gaming industry, a mere $1 billion must seem like a bargain for Google. The deal is far from settled at the moment though; by owning the two largest online video distributors in the world Google would have a lot to answer for with regards to competitive practices, and it remains to be seen if Google’s more strict approach to copyright would be inflammatory to the carefree attitude to content that Twitch users currently display.

Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 19TH – 25TH MAY

GAME Saved By Opcapita, Rock Band Blitz Set For Summer Release & Is The Wii U Not As Powerful As We Hoped?

Its time for a news update:

  • We will start with the situation at GAME. Last week, the company filed for administration, and 277 stores around the UK were shut down with immediate effect while over 2,000 people were made redundant. On Sunday, the investment group Opcapita was cleared by several banks in the UK to buy a large portion of the business, thereby removing it from administration and saving 333 stores and roughly 3,000 jobs. The sale gives the struggling business a sense of stability, but now the real test for the GAME group begins – in the next six months, they will need to restore consumer faith in the brand while also fending off against the increased online competition that has arguably led to its initial demise, including Tesco who have now rebranded themselves as ‘the home of gaming in the UK’.
  • The mystery surrounding Nintendo’s next console, the Wii U, continues to grow this week. First off, it seems we may have a relatively accurate release date, as a internal memo sent by Nintendo to retailers across the world (including Gamestop in America) reveals that the Big N are looking at November 18th 2012 for a release date – which would seem sensible enough considering Nintendo’s affiliation with that time of the year (the last two consoles, the Gamecube and Wii, were released on November 18th 2001 and November 19th 2006 respectively). Perhaps more pressing however is the rumours that the Wii U is not as powerful as the PS3 and Xbox 360 currently are – nevermind the next generation consoles that are invariably in the pipeline for Microsoft and Sony. A spokesman from Nintendo has said:

“We do not focus on technology specs. We understand that people like to dissect graphics and processing power, but the experience of playing will always be more important than raw numbers.”

In no lesser terms, that means Nintendo aren’t denying the claims. So much for the boasts pre-E3 last year that it would be more powerful than the Sun.

  • In a unprecedented move for football fans, there will not be a standalone Euro Championships game this year – instead, EA (who interestingly enough received an award for ‘Worst Company In America’ this week), announced last week that UEFA Euro 2012 will be a download only expansion pack for FIFA 12. Set for release on April 24th, the expansion will cost £15.99, which is cheaper than the game would have been on disc. In one sense, it’s a very clever move by EA – it means they have to spend less on producing the game, and FIFA 12 has already shifted over 10 million copies so there is a large base to aim at. However, for what is going to essentially be a kit upgrade, £16 is far too much. My advice would be that if you are desperate to replicate the European Championships, simply download the teams that are missing from the Creation Centre in FIFA 12 and just make the tournament on there.
  • Finally, surprising news from Harmonix – the music genre in gaming isn’t dead! Yesterday, the developers announced their newest creation, Rock Band Blitz, destined to be release this summer on XBLA and PSN. The game seems to have more in common with Harmonix’s PS2 games Amplitude and Frequency than Rock Band, featuring a multi track system where all the instruments in a song can be played…without the need for instruments. It also promises to utilise all previous Rock Band DLC along its own 25 song soundtrack, offering up a ridiculous amount of playability. Check out this trailer to see the intriguing concept in action

GAME Goes Into Administration, CEO Resigns

Its official – the GAME Group have gone into administration.

The following statement was released earlier today:

“Further to our announcements of March 21st, the Board of GAME has completed its discussions with lenders and third parties without resolution, and has therefore today appointed PwC LLP to act as administrators for the Group.”

“This decision is taken after careful consideration and ceaseless interrogation of every possible alternative. The Board would like to thank the teams of GAME and Gamestation colleagues around the world for their exemplary dedication, passion and professionalism.”

In addition to this, the CEO Ian Shepard has stepped down from his role.

It is expected that underperforming stores in the UK, of which there are 610, will be shut down effect of immediately. 6,000 staff are currently employed at GAME and Gamestation stores around the country, many of whom will lose their jobs in the process.

There have been rumours that the Royal Bank Of Scotland, who are GAME’s biggest lenders, are tabling a bid to buy a sizeable stake in the company and consolidate its debts. Gamestop are also rumoured to be putting a bid on the table to buy UK operations.

More news as and when it arrives

UPDATE: MCV are keeping track of the stores which have closed, and you can see the stores affected at the following link. It is estimated that by the end of the day, 300 stores will have been closed. Already gone are Gamestation and one of the GAME stores here in Lincoln

http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/store-closures-begin-at-game-and-gamestation/093365

 

GAME Not Selling Mass Effect 3, Assassins Creed 3 Is Set In The American Revolution & More

Time for your weekly news update

  • Unfortunately, this week starts with some pretty dire news, and it concerns the GAME Group, the company that owns both GAME and Gamestation which are the two biggest game retailers on the high street in the UK. Basically, due to credit problems that have been swirling around GAME in particular for a while, the stores will not be selling any titles from EA during the month of March – meaning they will not be stocking copies of Mass Effect 3, one of the most anticipated games of the year. Anyone who preordered from the stores is being given £5 worth of credit in return. Now as you might be able to guess, this isn’t good – taking the decision is a very bold move on the GAME Group’s behalf, believing that by not cashing in on this short term opportunity they will have the credit to support themselves throughout the rest of the year – but they are missing out on a potentially very large sum of money from not selling titles like Mass Effect 3. You have to wonder if GAME is on the verge of following the likes of Woolworth’s in disappearing from the high street. I personally think that over the last few years they haven’t done themselves much favour by selling second hand games for relatively extortionate prices and not having much new stock around (if your local GAME store is different, I’d very much like to know), but to the same effect the high street really can’t take the hit that the shutdown of these stores would cause. Let’s hope they sort the credit out and then buck up their ideas
  • We have a new title announced for the autumn months – Bioshock: Infinite is getting released internationally on 19th October. The game, which has looked pretty damn spectacular from the footage Irrational Games have released since its reveal in 2010, will no doubt be one of the big hitters in what is shaping up to be another incredible Winter season for game releases.
  • So the rumours weren’t bollocks after all – Assassins Creed 3 will indeed take place during the American Revolution. Ubisoft very kindly decided to release the boxart today to confirm the rumours, which you can see below. Will the game work with guns and axes rather than bows and blades? Who knows – so long as they don’t pull a ‘Black Ops’ version of history and have you kill George Washington, I don’t really care I guess – Assassins Creed has never really been my cup of tea
Something seems wrong with this. Maybe its the lack of Renaissance Italy perhaps?
  • Finally, one of the great Sega Dreamcast games is finally getting its long awaited release on the seventh generation of consoles – it’s not Shenmue. Instead, Jet Set Radio is getting a full HD remake (unlike the likes of Sonic Adventure which were port jobs). The cult graffiti-em-up title, well received first time round for its striking visuals and ace soundtrack, will be arriving on PSN, Xbox Live and PC during the summer.