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Longtime Valve writer Erik Wolpaw leaves company

Erik Wolpaw, best known as one of the more prominent writers at Half-Life and Steam house Valve Software, is leaving the company. …


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Former Assassin’s Creed Scriptwriter Corey May Leaves Certain Affinity, Joins 2K

Corey May, a former Assassin's Creed scriptwriter who also worked on projects like Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, and Batman: Arkham Origins, joined Certain Affinity July of last year, but a recent Facebook post points to a new position at 2K.

We're not sure what May is working on at 2K, but the publisher has many narrative-focused properties that May could be involved with including Mafia, BioShock, or Spec Ops among many others. We featured May in a 2010 feature discussing some of our favorite video game storytellers of the decade.

[Source: Corey May on Facebook]

 

Our Take
May's history with Assassin's Creed could certainly transfer to any number of 2K properties. My hope is a continuation of BioShock in some shape or form, but that series' future is unclear at the moment.

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Tomb Raider’s Lead Writer Leaves Franchise

Rhianna Pratchett, one of the minds behind the rebooted Tomb Raider and its sequel, is leaving the series behind for new adventures. The announcement came today on Twitter and Tumblr, which confirmed that Crystal Dynamics and Pratchett would be parting ways.

No announcement has been made regarding Pratchett's next project. 

To read about Pratchett's thoughts on Lara Croft, check out our interview from our Rise of the Tomb Raider cover story.

 

Our Take
Considering the success and acclaim that the recent Tomb Raider titles have found, this might worry some fans. However, remember that modern video games like Rise of the Tomb Raider are made possible by hundreds of people. Individuals certainly make valuable contributions, but the loss of one person's input doesn't necessarily sink a franchise. 

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Majesco Entertainment Leaves Video Game Publishing

Majesco Entertainment, a publisher that's been in the video game business for 30 years, has announced that it's merging with PolarityTE, a company focused on regenerating tissue technology. The publisher has suffered financial difficulties, finding itself almost being delisted from NASDAQ.

In August 2015, the company appointed a new CEO and whittled its number of employees down to five.

Majesco published a number of well-known titles, including BloodRayne, Psychonauts, Cooking Mama, and the classic Drake Of The 99 Dragons.

[Source: Reuters]

Our Take
It's always a bummer when a business exits the gaming industry and while Majesco's games weren't always the most solid of titles, they have a number of memorable, off-kilter games that people remember fondly. We wish the best to the employees in the middle of the business transition.

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Final Fantasy XV Art Director Yusuke Naora Leaves Square Enix

Yusuke Naora has worked on Final Fantasy for over two decades, taking the helm as Art Director of the series as far back as Final Fantasy VI and as recently as Final Fantasy XV. Naora's history spans some of the most memorable moments in the franchise's history. Unfortunately, it seems the time has come for the two to part ways.

Yesterday Naora announced via his Twitter in Japanese that his last day at Square Enix was September 30. A few hours ago, Naora posted a few tweets in English detailing his departure.

Naora also mentions that before he left, he had the chance to see Final Fantasy XV's ending. "It was my last work, and it became the greatest ending," said Naora on Twitter. "Everybody did fantastic! It was the finest work."

Naora also mentioned that he's also looking to begin work on a new venture.

[Source: Naora Yusuke's Twitter via Nova Crystalis]

 

Our Take
I've fallen off Final Fantasy In recent years, but Naora worked on my favorite Final Fantasy (X), so I'm sad to see him go. Here's hoping whatever new venture he's pursuing ends up working out. 

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John Smedley leaves AAA: ‘I’m proud to actually be in the trenches’

The former president of Sony Online Entertainment discusses the pleasures and challenges of independent development, and discusses just how massive an online multiplayer experience needs to be. …


Gamasutra News

Former Diablo III Director Jay Wilson Leaves Blizzard

Blizzard game director Jay Wilson announced on Twitter that this
will be his last week working at the company and in the industry as a whole.

Wilson started working as a game director at Blizzard in
2006, after serving as a designer of various RTS games at Relic Entertainment. For
many Blizzard fans, Wilson is most well-known as the original game director for
Diablo III – though likely for the wrong reasons. Diablo III's implementation
of in-game and real-money auction houses for weapons and items spawned an
outcry of criticism from gamers, much of which was personally directed at
Wilson.

Wilson left
the post
to work on another project within Blizzard, and would later call
Diablo III's auction houses a
mistake
; Blizzard would later go on to pull auction houses from the PC
version, and hasn't stopped tweaking the game's loot system and introducing
additional content since.

Wilson stated in a series of tweets that he is leaving the
industry to focus on writing, and thanked his colleagues.

[Source: Twitter,
via NeoGAF]

 

Our Take
While being Diablo III's
game director made Jay Wilson the public face for the game, blaming a single
individual for all of a title's real or perceived problems is simply unfair.
Blizzard's continued effort to improve Diablo III is a testament to the
developer's desire to make the best and most fun games possible – by all
accounts Wilson shared that enthusiasm, even if players didn't always agree
with all of his decisions. We wish Wilson the best of luck in his future
endeavors.

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Mass Effect: Andromeda Lead Writer Leaves BioWare To Join Bungie

On November 7, 2014 ("N7 Day" as it's known to Mass Effect fans), BioWare introduced Chris Schlerf as the new lead writer for its upcoming follow-up to the beloved Shepard trilogy. Schlerf, who was the lead writer of Halo 4, joined BioWare Montreal to work on the game we now know as Mass Effect: Andromeda. Today, through a series of tweets, Schlerf confirmed that he has left BioWare to join Bungie.

You can read his tweets on his departure from BioWare and arrival at Bungie below.

The news comes hot on the heels of another major departure from BioWare: David Gaider, who was instrumental in crafting the Dragon Age universe. Gaider recently announced that he has joined Beamdog as creative director. Just a few weeks prior to that, Andromeda's senior development director, Chris Wynn, announced his departure from the team. Wynn has since become the executive producer of H1Z1 at Daybreak.

Mass Effect: Andromeda was officially unveiled at last year's E3 and is currently slated to release sometime in 2016.

We have reached out to EA for more information and will update this story if we receive comment.

[Source: Chris Schlerf on Twitter]

 

Our Take
It's impossible to know what this means for Mass Effect: Andromeda. It could mean that BioWare wanted to go in a different direction, or it could simply mean that Schlerf got a good offer from Bungie. Either way, there seems to be quite a few critical people leaving BioWare lately. I'm hoping it doesn't point to bigger problems.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Mass Effect: Andromeda Lead Writer Leaves BioWare To Join Bungie

On November 7, 2014 ("N7 Day" as it's known to Mass Effect fans), BioWare introduced Chris Schlerf as the new lead writer for its upcoming follow-up to the beloved Shepard trilogy. Schlerf, who was the lead writer of Halo 4, joined BioWare Montreal to work on the game we now know as Mass Effect: Andromeda. Today, through a series of tweets, Schlerf confirmed that he has left BioWare to join Bungie.

You can read his tweets on his departure from BioWare and arrival at Bungie below.

The news comes hot on the heels of another major departure from BioWare: David Gaider, who was instrumental in crafting the Dragon Age universe. Gaider recently announced that he has joined Beamdog as creative director. Just a few weeks prior to that, Andromeda's senior development director, Chris Wynn, announced his departure from the team. Wynn has since become the executive producer of H1Z1 at Daybreak.

Mass Effect: Andromeda was officially unveiled at last year's E3 and is currently slated to release sometime in 2016.

We have reached out to EA for more information and will update this story if we receive comment.

[Source: Chris Schlerf on Twitter]

 

Our Take
It's impossible to know what this means for Mass Effect: Andromeda. It could mean that BioWare wanted to go in a different direction, or it could simply mean that Schlerf got a good offer from Bungie. Either way, there seems to be quite a few critical people leaving BioWare lately. I'm hoping it doesn't point to bigger problems.

www.GameInformer.com – 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. 

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