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John Smedley Departs Daybreak After Stepping Down As President, Starts New Company

John Smedley has announced that he founded a new company this month, though details are not yet available. The former president of Daybreak (formerly Sony Online Entertainment) was supposed to be transitioning to a new role in the company after stepping down from his leadership position.

According to Smedley's Facebook profile, he is both CEO at the new company and president at Daybreak, though that could simply be because he hasn't updated his job information. Smedley vacated the president’s seat shortly after taking to Twitter about the conviction of someone associated with a group responsible for various service outages.

Smedley also said that Julius Kivimaki was responsible for the bomb threat and subsequent emergency landing of a plane on which the executive was flying. He closed the tirade, promising to go after Kivimaki and his parents.

The company said that Smedley would be taking some time off, but would be transitioning to an as yet undisclosed new role at Daybreak. Daybreak confirmed to us that Smedley has departed the company. 

“On behalf of Daybreak, we wish Smed well in his new endeavors," a representative told us via email. Any questions regarding his new business should be directed to him.” We've reached out to Smedley for comment and will update should he respond.

Update: John Smedley responded to our request for comment. He indicated that he's not ready to announce anything right now, but news should be coming in the next few weeks.

[Source: John Smedley on Facebook via Trust in Play]

 

Our Take
When Smedley stepped down so soon after the Twitter attack on Kivimaki, it seemed like the two were linked. Also, without a specific new role for him when the announcement was made, an exit isn't surprising at all. We'll share news about his next venture when we have more information. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Valve And Star Wars Episode VII Production Company Bad Robot Team Up For Team Fortress 2 Mode

Team Fortress 2 is getting a new mode care of Bad Robot, the production company behind projects like Lost, Star Trek, Cloverfield, and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII.

The mode, which is currently available in beta, is called PASS Time, and is being developed by Escalation Studios under the direction of Bad Robot. The mode has more in common with traditional sports as players pass a ball back and forth and try to score goals. The carrier of the ball is also given a number of bonuses like speed and health boosts, as well as temporary invulnerability when the ball is stolen from an opponent. You can can find the fill details of the mode, and how to download it, by heading here.

This isn't the first time Bad Robot has teamed with Valve. Valve's Gabe Newell and Bad Robot's J.J. Abrams appeared on stage together at GDC in 2013, and in October 2010, Valve released an interactive teaser promoting Abrams' film, Super 8.

[Source: Team Fortress 2]

 

Our Take
These two have been teasing collaboration for years, but have so far only released a handful of small projects. It seems like the two are building to something, but I can't tell what it is.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Start your own game company right: Advice from the 2015 Game Career Guide

In this edition, the founder of MK-Ultra Games offers advice for fellow indie game makers starting their own companies: take it seriously, get your paperwork straight, and don’t spend your own money! …


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[Update] Majesco Entertainment Still Quiet, But It Didn’t Acquire An Insurance Company

Update: We're issuing a retraction on this story. The press release we read directly referenced Majesco Entertainment's stock ticker (COOL), but that was an error.

There is another Majesco, a maker of insurance software, which completed a merger with Cover-All. All of the information in the original story regarding Majesco Entertainment's most recent status remains accurate, and we are leaving this story up so those referencing it see the correction. Should Majesco Entertainment update us on its current status, we'll report that in a new story.

We apologize for the error. Thanks to Anthony Grosso for directing us to the correct information.

Original Story:

Cooking Mama publisher Majesco has acquired Cover-All, a New Jersey-based insurance company. The publisher has recently been through challenging financial straits, escaping another NASDAQ delisting warning.

According to a press release issued by Majesco and Cover-All, outstanding Cover-All shares will be converted to .21641 Majesco shares. Fractional shares will be rounded up to the next whole share.

Additionally, all outstanding, unexercised Cover-All options will be converted to Majesco options. The deal closed today, and Majesco will be changing its ticker from COOL to MJCO on or about Monday, June 29.

Majesco’s financial report issued in November 2014 painted a bleak picture of the company’s future in the video game publishing business. At that time, the company indicated that it had doubts about its ability to remain in business and had no significant new games for release in 2015.

Shortly thereafter, the company shuttered Midnight City, its indie publishing arm. Majesco’s website has not carried any new information since October of last year.

We’ve reached out to the company with a request for comment and update on the status of its publishing business. We’ll share any information we learn.

[Source: Business Wire via Seeking Alpha]

 

Our Take
It seems like Majesco is working to reorient its business. I don’t expect there will be any sudden game announcements after this merger, though this could simply be an effort to diversify and provide a steady source of revenue outside the gaming business. This may be an effort to get the company back on its feet, though given the radio silence since last year, its impossible to know without a statement.

Update: Given the new, accurate information about this story, we're still interested in what Majesco Entertainment is up to, but it's clear it isn't getting into the insurance business. 

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5 things learned doing E3 as an indie company

Aside from accidentally stumbling into a Korean brothel, we learned some valuable things about E3 last week. …


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Obsidian co-founder Chris Avellone has left the company

Veteran game designer Chris Avellone took to Twitter today to confirm that he is stepping down as Obsidian’s chief creative officer and leaving the company after co-founding it 12 years ago. …


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Desura’s parent company has filed for bankruptcy

Bad Juju, the parent company of game bundle seller Indie Royale and digital distribution storefront Desura, has filed for bankruptcy. …


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Remedy CEO Matias Myllyrinne Departs Company

After 15 years with Remedy, CEO Matias Myllyrinne has announced his departure from the studio. The news was announced this morning via the company's website and by Myllyrine via Twitter.

Myllyrinne has served as CEO since 2008. He also sits on the board of directors of Starbreeze.

"I’ve been with Remedy since 1999 – this is a long time," Myllyrinne says. "It is time for me to move on. It has been a great ride and now is the right time to start another adventure. Remedy will be an unbelievably tough act to follow."

Remedy is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary. The studio's next game, Quantum Break, was recently delayed from 2015 into the new year.

No successor has yet been named, and Myllyrinne has not yet shared information about what his plans are after departing Remedy.

Update: Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Myllyrinne says that he will be joining Wargaming.

[Source: Remedy, Matias Myllyrinne on Twitter]

 

Our Take
Remedy has seen two significant departures recently. Ozz Häkkinen left to start his own app studio, and now the company CEO of 15 years is departing. I've enjoyed Remedy's work (and Alan Wake is one of my favorite games of last generation). I don't expect this will greatly impact the development of Quantum Break, which Microsoft is counting on to be a hit.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

How EA worked to lose its title of ‘Worst Company in America’

Current and former Electronic Arts execs speak to CNet about what it was like to be named “Worst Company in America” for two years in a row, and discuss their efforts to get the company back on track. …


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Laid-off Zynga devs get a fresh start at a fantasy sports company

A former Zynga employee tells Re/code that roughly 38 of the 42 devs who lost their jobs when Zynga shuttered its Orlando studio this month have gone on to join fantasy sports game company Fanduel. …


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