Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Offworld Trading Company surpasses 100,000 sales

Offworld Trading Company, an economic strategy game created by Civilization IV lead designer, Soren Johnson, has sold over 100,000 copies.  …

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Canadian toy company acquires children’s app maker, Toca Boca

“We look forward to continue building the mobile app space in conjunction with Spin Master’s deep expertize and leading position in toys and entertainment globally.” …

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Ant Simulator dev quits after partners allegedly blow company funds

Game dev Eric Tereshinski claims to be ceasing work on Kickstarted game Ant Simulator because his (former) business partners allegedly blew the company’s money on food, liquor and entertainment. …

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Sony Creates New Company To House Computer Entertainment And Network Entertainment

Sony has announced the creation of a new limited liability corporation that brings together the operations responsible for gaming hardware, software, content, and network services. Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC will be officially incorporated on Friday, April 1, 2016.

Andrew House (pictured above), who is currently CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, will lead the new business. Shawn Layden, who is currently head of Sony Computer Entertainment America will handle Worldwide Studios.

This leaves us to ask where this leaves current president of worldwide studios Shuhei Yoshida. We’ve inquired about his role in the new corporate structure and will update should we receive a response.

In addition to hardware, game software, and PlayStation Network operations, Sony Interactive will also handle PlayStation Vue, PlayStation Now, PlayStation Music, and original content like the show Powers.

We’ve also asked Sony to clarify if this impacts the current regional structure upon which the PlayStation unit operates. Again, we’ll update once we understand how the new LLC impacts global operations.

The new business is targeting an increase in operating income of five to six percent by the close of fiscal year 2018. The company anticipates sales ranging from ¥1.4 trillion ($ 11.8 billion) to ¥1.6 trillion ($ 13.5 billion) for that same 12-month period.

Sony Interactive Entertainment will be based in San Mateo, California. 

Update: Shuhei Yoshida has shared via Twitter that his title, president of worldwide studios, will not be changed. He will now report to Shawn Layden, who appears on the organizational chart above as lead for that area. 


Our Take
This is a significant shake-up for Sony, but one that evidences the power of the company’s gaming operations. Putting everything under one roof will facilitate strategic decisions that consider the wider PlayStation ecosystem. The only questions that remain are about staffing, as there are clearly some adjustments being made at the start of Sony’s next fiscal year on April 1. – The Feed

Former Daybreak CEO John Smedley’s New Company Cancels Limping Kickstarter

Last week, former Sony Entertainment Online and Daybreak CEO John Smedley announced his new company, Pixelmage. At the same time, the studio launched a Kickstarter campaign. The dream isn’t over, but the Kickstarter is.

Smedley announced on Twitter today that the campaign was over. However, Hero’s Song, a pixel-art action-RPG will continue on.

An update on the Kickstarter page adds more details to the reasoning.

Hello Everyone,

After looking at our funding levels and the reality that we aren't going to reach our funding goals, we've decided that the best thing to do is to end the Kickstarter. We sincerely appreciate all of the support we got from the backers and the Kickstarter community. This was our first Kickstarter and we made mistakes along the way. I want to acknowledge that right up front. We put a lot of time and effort into the Kickstarter, but it's obvious missing things like physical goods hampered our efforts. It's also fair to say because we're early that we didn't have enough gameplay to show the game off enough to get people over the hump.

So where do we go from here? Well the good news is that our Investors are backing us all the way and we're going to get Hero's Song done exactly when we said we would. I'm also happy to say that we've been able to do this without having to take money from publishers, something that was of key importance to us so that we could remain in creative control.

We'll be updating you all along the way.. holding development streams (on Cohhcarnage's stream on Twitch) and being completely transparent with our development process. You'll be hearing from us all the time and we'll be updating our website and all of you on a constant basis as we have cool stuff to show.

Thanks again for all the support you've shown, and thanks for the constructive criticism as well. We took that to heart and we've learned a lot from it.

Kickstarter remains an incredible source of both goodwill and community support, and we'll never forget the kindness our backers showed us.

Thanks and we'll see you soon!

Smed and the Pixelmage Games Team.

With Pixelmage continuing on, those who were interested in playing Hero’s Song will still get their chance later this year. For more on the project, you can check out our earlier coverage.

[Source: Kickstarter]


Our Take
While I’m glad for Pixelmage that it will be able to continue development, this raises some questions for me about developers using Kickstarter. Investors are stepping in to fill the hole left by the Kickstarter campaign's cancelation, indicating that they had the wherewithal and interest from the beginning. Their (assumed) additional backing also isn’t spurred by a flurry of community support, as the campaign wasn’t going to hit its target. 

In some cases, Kickstarter is a natural fit. However, when things like this and Comcept’s Red Ash campaign come about, it’s hard to look at the situations and believe the developers needed the community’s cash. – The Feed

Longtime BioWare Writer David Gaider Leaves Company

If you've enjoyed BioWare characters like HK-47, Cassandra, and Dorian, you might need to sit down for this one. David Gaider, the writer responsible for those characters (and a stable of others) has left BioWare after 17 years.

The announcement came from Gaider himself over Twitter this morning.

In addition to writing individual characters, Gaider also helped create the whole Dragon Age setting, and he has written several Dragon Age novels. We already knew that he was moving on from Dragon Age to work on a new project, but now we'll just have to wait to see what's next for the writer.

Our Take
As a fan of Dragon Age and other BioWare franchises, this is a big deal. Even for those who don't recognize his name, Gaider has been helping to steer the narrative direction at BioWare for a long time. I have faith in the rest of the writing team at BioWare, but I can't ignore the fact that Gaider is the creative force behind some of my favorite characters in video game history. I hope that his next gig is still somewhere within the industry. – The Feed

More Hints At Apple Joining Virtual Reality Race: Company Hires VR Researcher

Technology giant Apple already has already made some virtual reality related moves, like filing patents and acquiring technology. The company’s latest hire also points in the direction of developing VR that might compete with the likes of Samsung, Sony, HTC, and Oculus.

According to Financial Times, Apple has hired Doug Bowman, a former computer science professor from Virginia Tech whose research included three-dimensional user interfaces.

When (or if) we see the fruits of Apple’s forays remains to be seen, but with so many of its tech competitors venturing into the new space, the company isn’t likely to be left behind.

[Source: Financial Times]


Our Take
It's no secret that Apple is exploring options in VR. With no official announcements, saying exactly what form the technology will take is difficult. However, Apple is likely cooking something up. – The Feed

Square Enix Closing Cloud Gaming Company Shinra Technologies

Shinra Technologies, the recently founded cloud gaming company from Square Enix, is shutting its doors.

In a press release (translated by Gematsu), Square Enix said the young company's closure is due to a lack of third-party investors. As a result, the company will report an “extraordinary loss” of approximately ¥2 billion (~$ 16,800,000) for the end of its fiscal year in March.

Shinra Technologies was founded in 2014 and is affiliated with Just Cause 3 developer, Avalanche. The Final Fantasy VII reference of Avalanche and Shinra was not lost on the company, and we talked to them about the clever naming reference here. For more on Shinra Technologies, you can head here to learn about its now former intentions.

Update: We've removed the "report" tag from this story as Shinra Technologies' former production coordinator has confirmed the closure.

[Source: TDNet, Gematsu, @jeansnow, Gamasutra via @mochi_wsj, @Wario64]


Our Take
This is a big surprise considering Shinra was unveiled less than two years ago. The company never really got a chance to show off its technology publicly. It was founded on the idea of cloud computing being integral to the future of gaming, but now its unclear if cloud computing has a strong future. We hope all those affected by the company's closure are able to recover quickly. – The Feed

The Pokémon Company Wishes Us Happy Holidays With Shiny Pikachu Ornament

The holiday season can be a magical time for Game Informer's inbox, with piles of well wishes from others in the game industry. We're happy to soak in all the good vibes, but sometimes we like to highlight the holiday greetings that really stand out. In this case, The Pokémon Company sent us a card with some adorable Pikachu art and a wonderful little ornament.

Shiny Pokémon can be quite rare in the wild, which makes our capture of this spiffy ornament all the more special. Fair warning, don't look at the image of the ornament below unless you're interested in ruining your Christmas Day by injected the wrong shade of green: Jealously. Now we just need to track down HM01 so we can learn CUT and use it to chop down a gorgeous tree to hang the ornament on.

See the full interior of the beautifully designed card below. Gosh, Pikachu. That hat looks super handsome on you. Same with the argyle patterns. – The Feed

RockYou, the company that rescues games from other publishers, sees layoffs

The company’s doing fine, the CEO says, but costs had to be controlled — and 23 staff were let go as a result. …

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