Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Gree shifts focus from HTML5 to native games, amidst earnings slump

Japanese social game maker Gree is making major changes in the way it does business as its earnings continue to slump, including more than tripling staff at its Japanese mobile game studios. …

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The director of Brothers forgoes film to focus on making games

Instead of making movies, filmmaker and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons director Josef Fares was at E3 last week taking meetings to try and find people to work with on his next game idea. …

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Chipping away at game dev barriers is an ongoing focus at PlayStation

PlayStation’s Adam Boyes tells us about breaking down barriers for PlayStation developers, from the possibility of retail PlayStation 4 as dev kits, to the “massive conversations” about paid alphas. …

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GameStop to close 120 stores, increase focus on mobile

GameStop intends to close 120 video game retail stores in the current fiscal year as part of its “GameStop 3.0″ initiative, the company announced at its 2014 Investor Day event this week. Its plan to scale back gaming operations involves a bigger…
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Square Enix President Believes Company Has ‘Lost Focus’

Over the past fiscal year, Square Enix has promised to move away from global publishing in favor of a more regional focus. That doesn’t mean that the company is abandoning global titles, especially in the wake of being surprised by Western sales of a traditional RPG.

Bravely Default released in Europe and North America earlier this year, surpassing 200,000 copies sold in the United States in the first three weeks. According to an interview with Nikkei (translated by Siliconera), Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda says his company won’t completely abandon global titles, despite stumbles in the past.

“In the past, when we developed console games with a worldwide premise, we lost our focus,” Matsuda says, offering that recent Bravely Default taught the company a valuable lesson. “Due to having split [the development mindset] according to regions around the world, we weren’t able to see this clearly up until now, but fans of JRPGs are really spread around the world,” Matsuda says. In response, Square Enix will be developing more core JRPGs.

Oddly, he goes on to attribute the problems faced by Hitman: Absolution, which sold 3.6 million units in its first four months and was still deemed to be underperforming, to an attempt to serve a global audience. Io Interactive’s most recent Hitman title was well received, but was a departure not because of geography. Rather, its attempts to appeal to a new audience alienated some longtime franchise fans.

The good news for those that have followed Agent 47’s career with great interest? “So, as for the AAA titles we’re currently developing for series, we basically want to go back to their roots and focus on the core audience, while working hard on content that can have fans say things like, ‘This is the Hitman, we know,'” Matsuda says. “I believe that is the best way for our development studios to display their strengths.”

[Source: Siliconera, Nikkei]


Our Take
The recognition that games can succeed on a global scale shouldn’t be a surprise to Square Enix, especially with regard to Bravely Default (a game that is more Final Fantasy than many recent entries in that series). To equate those challenges (and a need to serve that market) with the problems that faced Hitman: Absolution (reminder: a well-received, strong seller) is folly. Every time I think Square Enix management is taking a step on the path toward organizational realignment, comments like this make me wonder exactly what’s going wrong at headquarters in Japan. – The Feed

Square Enix president admits that company ‘lost focus’

In a recent interview with Nikkei Weekly, Square Enix chief Yosuke Matsuda admitted that games developed for ‘mass appeal’ underperformed, while ‘niche’ games like the JRPG Bravely Default flourished. …

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GameStop gives up on building game-streaming tech to focus on retail

The retail chain is shutting down Spawn Labs, the internal R& D division working on a digital game streaming service, in favor of selling physical goods for existing digital distribution services. …

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Frustration at social gaming focus drove Igarashi to leave Konami

When longtime Castlevania mastermind Koji Igarashi announced his departure from Konami earlier this week it came as a surprise, but thanks to a Polygon interview we now know what drove the developer away.

“The more hardcore the game … the less…
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Kongregate CEO Jim Greer steps down to focus on politics

Kongregate co-founder and current COO Emily Greer will take over as CEO, while her brother Jim will continue to serve part-time as CTO while he works on launching a non-profit political action group. …

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Batman: Arkham Origins Developer Shifts Focus Away From Bug-Fixes And Onto DLC

Warner Bros. Games Montréal, the developer behind the latest entry in the Batman Arkham franchise, has no plans for an additional bug-patch, and instead has moved all of its focus onto single-player story-DLC.

In a post on the official message boards for the game, Arkham Origins' community manager offered the following statement:

The team is currently working hard on the upcoming story DLC and there currently are no plans for releasing another patch to address the issues that have been reported on the forums.

If we do move forward with creating a new patch, it will try to address the progression blocking bugs for players, not the minor glitches that do not prevent one from continuing to play. The issues that are not progression blockers will unfortunately no longer be addressed.

We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused for some of you, and want to thank you for having been patient.

Warner Bros. Games Montréal hasn't revealed full details on what will be covered in Arkham Origins' DLC, but it is hinting strongly at an appearance from Mr. Freeze. Last month, Warner Bros. Games Montréal announced the cancellation of the Wii U port of the DLC.

For our review of Arkham Origins, head here.

[Source: Batman: Arkham Origins community, via Destructoid]


Our Take
This is disappointing, especially for anyone currently faced with the decision of restarting their game after running into a progression-preventing bug. I actually just finished the game and I did run into a few hiccups. On more than one occasion, I had to restart my game after it froze, or when I had to interrogate an enemy who just sat their cowering while I waited for a prompt to appear on the screen. Hopefully, if you are running into bugs, a simple restart will fix it, as was the case with me. If not, you're going to have to wait until after the DLC is complete, and even then there is no guarantee it will get fixed. – The Feed