Microsoft is looking to lay off 18,000 staff over the next six months; the largest turnaround in workforce the company has seen in 39 years. It is expected that over $800 million will be paid in benefits and severance packages, and although it is expected that many of the cuts will be taken from the recently acquired Nokia branch, the Xbox division will also be affected with Microsoft looking to close down Xbox Entertainment Studios.
XES, which was formed only as recently as February 2013 will continue to produce the Halo: Nightfall series and a document about Atari, having already premiered football documentary Every Street United which coincided with the World Cup. The shutdown of the studio means however that progress on over a dozen series will be cancelled, and heavily calls into question Microsoft’s strategy going forward as original Xbox content was one of the original selling points for the console (existing TV deals with the likes of NFL will continue), alongside the recently jettisoned Kinect peripheral. The move also flies in the face of a recent trend for streaming services providing original content with Netflix proving to be the most successful, and Amazon & Sony amongst others having projects waiting in the wings.
After a long summer lull where Zumba Fitness has enjoyed a jaw-dropping eight weeks at the top of the game charts, the games industry explodes this fall in what must be said is the most promising, and certainly one of the most competitive, winter seasons for gaming in many years. There are some absolutely top quality titles coming out, and quite simply in this article I am counting down my Top 20 most eagerly anticipated games for the next few months.
20 – Need For Speed: The Run – 15th November
Once upon a time, Need For Speed was the undisputed king of the Christmas sales list; the two Underground games and the fantastic Most Wanted dominated their respective years, but then the series took a turn for the worse with Carbon, before ProStreet (which I had completely forgotten existed) and Underground performed poorly. Criterion’s reboot last year, Hot Pursuit, was a welcome return to form, and now we have The Run, the first game in the series to include on foot segments. Hopefully it will continue Criterion’s good work. Continue reading Dazcooke’s Top 20 Most Anticipated Games For Winter 2011→
Monday 6th June 2011 marked the start of the biggest gaming event of the year, where the games industry descended on Los Angeles for E3 2011. Four conferences went ahead yesterday, from Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony. Below, is my coverage of the event, and my opinions on the stuff that came up. Strap yourself in, there’s a lot to cover here. Continue reading E3 2011: Summary Of Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft And Sony’s Conferences→