Archive for July, 2013

I don’t know if 7,000 signatures is enough to persuade Sakurai to do it, but having Reggie in the new Smash Bros. would be pretty cool.

A new petition calls on Super Smash Bros. designer Masahiro Sakurai to include Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime in the upcoming Wii U and 3DS game as a playable character. The petition has over 7,000 signatures at press time.

“Many Nintendo fans have pleaded for Reggie to be in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. games and he would be a unique character,” reads a line from the petition. “He could use Nintendo controllers and characters to his advantage as attacks.”

Fils-Aime has acknowledged that he is open to the idea of being included in the game, saying last month that if Sakurai thought it would be a good idea, “my body is ready.”

If Sakurai does include Fils-Aime as a playable character, it won’t be without giving the idea some serious thought. The designer previously described Smash Bros. roster selection as “stressful to the brink of death.”

The all-new Smash Bros. game launches in 2014 for Wii U and 3DS. Unlike its predecessor, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the new game will not feature a story mode or cutscenes.


A very nice gesture by Cliff Bleszinski.  Leaving the game industry over a whiny gaming journalist (many of whom are just glorified fanboys trying to sound professional) is NOT a good reason to change your career.  Hopefully, Clifford’s letter will help dissipate Mr. Fish’s rage.

You don’t owe a damned thing to any gaming journalist. We’ve seen the rise of many “Rush Limbaughs” in the gaming industry, people who do videos or podcasts digging a finger into an open wound that gets the gaming community going because, hits. You DO owe a great product to your community, something I hope you’ll resume doing some time in the near future. The industry needs people like you to speak with their hearts before their brains because I’m tired of hearing the PR approved appropriate response. I’m tired of games that feel like they’ve been developed by focus groups or clueless executives going “Hey that Call of Duty is big, we need one of those!”

Besides, at the end of the day, that cycle of community feedback and crafting that big fireball is entirely too addictive.

Come back, Phil. We miss you already. Maybe I’ll be right behind you, returning with Adamantium skin.

Full letter here:

Activision Blizzard has reached a deal to buy itself back from Vivendi for over $8 billion. After the split, Activision Blizzard will be an independent company again, with a majority of its shares owned by the public. Bobby Kotick will remain CEO, with Brian Kelly as Chairman. Financially troubled French conglomerate Vivendi is out…well, not totally out, it still retains 83 million shares or about 12 percent of the company.

The price for Activision Blizzard’s departure from Vivendi is roughly $5.83 billion in cash for 429 million shares. On top of that, Kotick, Kelly and others are purchasing 172 million shares from Vivendi for $2.34 billion. The math in both sums is some heavy multiplication of $13.60 per share.

“These transactions together represent a tremendous opportunity for Activision Blizzard and all its shareholders, including Vivendi,” said Kotick. “We should emerge even stronger – an independent company with a best-in-class franchise portfolio and the focus and flexibility to drive long-term shareholder value and expand our leadership position as one of the world’s most important entertainment companies.”

He continued, “The transactions announced today will allow us to take advantage of attractive financing markets while still retaining more than $3 billion cash on hand to preserve financial stability.”

Vivendi had been trying to sell its stake in Activision Blizzard for over a year now with no luck. A rather understandable predicament when Vivendi owned 702 million shares (61 percent) of Activision’s 1.15 billion outstanding shares. At today’s closing price, those shares were worth about $10.7 billion. We’re not sure pooling all the change found between all the couch cushions in all the world would get us that type of dough.

I don’t follow MMOs real close, but even at 7.7 million subscribers, is there an MMO that comes close to World Of Warcraft in user base?

World of Warcraft lost 300,000 subscribers in the past three months, dropping to 7.7 million subscribers as of the end of this fiscal quarter, Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin said in a conference call this morning.

In May, the company reported that World of Warcraft lost approximately 1.3 million subscribers during the company’s first fiscal year quarter, bringing total subscriptions down to 8 million. The game’s all-time high was 12 million subscribers in 2010.

Last year, subscriptions to Activision’s MMO fell to 9.1 million. In October 2012 the number jumped back up to just over 10 million, bolstered by sales of the game’s latest expansion, Mists of Pandaria, which sold 2.7 million copies during its launch week.

Earlier today, Activision Blizzard announced that it was separating from parent company Vivendi Universal and would buy itself back for $8.17 billion in a in a two-part share acquisition plan. The company will share more financial details for its second quarter, which ended on June 30, in an earnings call on Aug. 1.

It’s a good thing Hollywood has such a sterling reputation of turning video games into good movies.  I’m sure a Gran Turismo movie will be no different.  Oh wait……

A Sony representative has confirmed with Joystiq that a Gran Turismo movie is in production. The representative said the film is “being made,” but did not provide any further details on the production.

Hollywood news site The Wrap reported earlier this week that the Gran Turismo movie was in development with The Social Network and Fifty Shades of Grey producers Michael de Luca and Dana Brunetti attached.

Brunetti remarked on Twitter, “One that I have been after for over three years. Finally,” with a link to the original report.

The film is reportedly being created to cash in on the success of fast car films, citing Universal’s The Fast and the Furious series, Dreamworks’ adaptation of EA’s Need for Speed, and the upcoming Hot Wheels movie based on Mattel’s line of popular children’s toys.

The latest game in the long-running PlayStation-exclusive franchise, Gran Turismo 6, is currently slated to ship on the PlayStation 3 sometime during 2013.