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Rovio To Cut 260 Job Cuts, Total Layoffs Now 40 Percent Of October 2014 Staffing

Despite 50 million downloads of Angry Birds 2, Rovio is facing tough times. The company announced major staffing cuts this morning that will impact nearly all of its business units worldwide.

The company announced restructuring around three core business areas: games, media, and consumer products. The Angry Birds franchise in particular touches all of these, with mobile games, an upcoming movie, and a variety of toys and tangible products sold at retail.

Rovio says that the only employees that are protected from the cuts are those working on the upcoming Angry Birds movie. “This is personally a difficult decision,” writes Rovio CEO Pekka Rantala. “However, it is certain that a leaner and more agile Rovio is absolutely necessary to move forward and take the company to new successes in the future. We will work with and support all our employees through this period of change.”

Rovio completed a round of job cuts in December 2014 that affected 110 employees (12 percent of staff at that time). Prior to that round of cuts, Rovio employed more than 850 people. Total cuts now represent approximately 40 percent of employees as of October 2014.

[Source: Rovio]


Our Take
Rovio is built around Angry Birds, and that franchise doesn’t have the power it once did. That series is a phenomenon that isn’t easy to replicate, but the developer must try to find something new. – The Feed

Firaxis Welcomes Fans Back For Second Firaxicon Celebration In October

With XCOM 2 and a new Civilization: Beyond Earth on the horizon, Firaxis has a lot to discuss. After a successful first Firaxicon last year, the studio is inviting fans back for another celebration.

Firaxicon 2015 will take place on October 3 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Maryland. There, fans can attend panels on XCOM and Civilization, check out the Civilization: Beyond Earth Rising Tide expansion and XCOM 2, and hang out with members of the team.

Tickets are available now for $ 40. 


Our Take
Strategy fiends have a lot to look forward to this fall from Firaxis. Though, the promise of board gaming with the developers that was included in the press release might be the most enticing thing about the event for me. – The Feed

[Correction] Shovel Knight Getting Physical Retail Release In October

Shovel Knight will be coming to retailers on October 13. The previously digital-only game is getting a case and a "lavish" instruction manual according to a post from Yacht Club Games. 

This retail edition includes the original campaign, the upcoming Plague of Shadows expansion, and a Challenge mode. As with the digital version of the game, all upcoming content updates will be free after purchasing the physical edition for $ 19.99.

Yacht Club Games went on to tease Battle Mode, where up to four players can duke it out as their favorite characters. The feature is still in development, but the team is optimistic that Battle Mode will be finished in time to include on the disc.

In the U.S., the physical version will be coming for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, and 3DS. Shovel Knight is currently available digitally for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, PC, and Mac. You can read our review of Shovel Knight here or watch the game in action in our Test Chamber.

[Correction: The article originally stated that only the PlayStation 4 version will be available physically. Shovel Knight will be available physically for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, and 3DS. It will be available for PC in Europe.]

[Source: Yacht Club Games]


Our Take
It's fitting that such a retro game is getting an equally retro physical release. A true instruction manual is also a nice treat for gamers like me who miss the experience of flipping through those glossy pages. On top of all that, now Shovel Knight can be enjoyed by those who are either unable to or unwilling to download games. – The Feed

Disgaea 5 Seeks Vengeance This October On PlayStation 4

NIS America has marked the date for Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance. The first PlayStation 4 entry for the series arrives this October.

The strategy RPG will team hero Killia up with other Overlords to depose the new demon emperor, Void Dark. NIS suggest that the campaign includes approximately 45 hours of play, but the series is known for its expansive side content.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

NIS has also announced a launch day edition that includes reversible cover art, an art book, and the soundtrack. Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance will be out on October 6. – The Feed

[Update] Square Enix Says Final Fantasy VII October Release Date On Its Site Is Wrong

Update: Square Enix has responded to our inquiry regarding the Final Fantasy VII PlayStation 4 port. Unfortunately, the date the company listed is incorrect.

"We can confirm that the published release date for this title is incorrect," a representative told us via email. "As discussed at this year’s E3, Final Fantasy VII will be ported to the PlayStation 4 in Winter 2015.  The pricing has already been announced last December to be set at $ 15.99."

Original Story:

Despite announcing the surprising Final Fantasy VII remake at E3 2015 last week, Square Enix is pushing ahead with its port of the original for PlayStation 4. The publisher has dated the game for this October.

Square Enix’s website lists a price of $ 15.99 and release date of October 16. The page also mentions the PC Only features, including achievements and the character booster, but those have not yet been confirmed for PS4.

We anticipate that a press release with full details will arrive later this morning. We’re also reaching out to Square Enix and will update as more information is available.

[Source: Square Enix]


Our Take
With the remake likely years out, it’s no wonder Square Enix is cashing in with a PS4 version as it announced at PlayStation Experience. With huge western titles coming this fiscal year, a Final Fantasy VII port on PS4 is just the cherry on the publisher’s cash flow sundae. – The Feed

WWE 2K16 Announced And Dated For Current- And Last-Gen In October

Take-Two has reported its earnings for the year concluding March 31, 2015. As part of its report, the company has issued an update on titles planned for the current fiscal year.

On the list is annual basketball title NBA 2K16, slated for a fall release. WWE 2K16 is also included, with a firm release date of October 27, 2015. 

The annual wrestling game will be on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 3. The series recently made a PC debut, but that platform is not included in Take-Two’s projections at this time.


Our Take
Given the fan base for WWE, it’s not surprising that the title will be on last-gen consoles. Provided 2K makes the moves necessary to further evolve the current-gen edition separately, that shouldn’t be a problem. – The Feed

Rainbow Six Siege Breaches October For Release

Ubisoft has dated its upcoming return to the Rainbow Six franchise. A new video confirms the title on track for a third fiscal quarter release.

Whether planning to invade a stronghold or defend one, players will need to plan in advance with their teams of five. As we mentioned in our March preview, there are different operators that bring a variety of skills to the table.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

There are a number of ways to bash through a wall or thwart the opposing team’s plans, including jammers and drones. Defenders can deploy gas and barricades to slow the invaders down though, giving time to regroup and dig in.

In the video above, you can see some of the tools you’ll have to play with. Rainbow Six Siege will be out on October 13 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. – The Feed

iOS App Store downloads spike in October, reaching record high

The release of two popular new phones has helped to heat up the already popular market — a 39 percent rise year-over-year for app downloads. …

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October NPD: NBA 2K15, Smash Bros. 3DS lead in weak month for software sales

NPD results for the month of October place the 2K Sports behemoth NBA 2K15 in the lead, collectively across five platforms, with Super Smash Bros. 3DS in second – despite its single-platform status. Mario & Friends are still big moneymakers.

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Stiq Figures, October 27 – November 11: Loveable oddballs edition

Too-serious protagonists surrounded by stoic fighters have a time and place, but slogging through stern-faced casts can make everything seem a bit dull. For a medium thriving on fantasy worlds, the capacity for goofiness can feel pretty neglected at…
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