Thursday, May 26, 2016

Weekly Link Round Up

While some of you get absorbed by Overwatch, I'll be sitting here, typing away the next edition of the Weekly Link Round Up. Here is what we have in store:

- What went wrong at Disney Interactive? Two weeks ago Disney announced that it would be closing down their gaming division. Any projects in the works are being canned, or handed to EA (benefactor of the Star Wars franchise). A former employee spoke with Tech Insider to give an overview on how the business was brewing with disaster for almost a decade. The lack of risk taking (given Disney's history I'm not surprised, but entering into the game-toy market was a step forward for them), lack of knowledge on how to produce games, and creative oversight were part of the reasons for the studio closing.

- Machine Zone, developers behind the hit mobile game Game of War, is using their power for good by helping New Zealand's public transportation system. By using player data and how people set up paths and move characters in the game, they are transporting it to the real world and allowing the populous at large in New Zealand know the location of every bus and train in major cities. This allows them the ability to plan ahead or take another route instead of waiting. The hope is that this will increase efficiency for the cities. According to Machine Zone, the power behind this only consumes 1% of their resources, so it's feasible that it could be scaled up to accommodate LA or New York City.

- The Guardian hosted a live stream debate on Twitch discussing the value of video games to arts and culture. The event was brought to the paper by Continue, a new conference series from the National Videogame Arcade. And the speakers came from all walks of life, literary, film, television, gaming studios, and streamers. It is a bit lengthy, but well worth the watch during you lunch break today.

- Not enough Overwatch news for you? Okay. Conan played some Overwatch this week with Peter Dinklage and Lena Headey from Game of Thrones. You can see the video here. And...yeah...I still don't quite see the appeal to the game, but I've never been an FPS, multi-player battle kind of person. There was lots of focus on shiny butts too. So there's that. And yes, that Clueless Gamer spot was sponsored by Blizzard.

- Not into Overwatch but want to know more about Blizzard and some upcoming video game movies? Yahoo lists out some of the ones to watch for in the upcoming years. Did you know that Fruit Ninja was one of them? Yeah. Freekin' Fruit Ninja. Obviously it's going to be a film for kids, but why? What kind of story could one possibly come up with for Fruit Ninja? And Tetris? Just stop it already Hollywood. Please.

- A Geek opinion piece asks what has happened to the weird Japanese auteurs in gaming? There are some minor fact check issues with the article, but it is a good enough read overall. Japanese developers use to be named staples for creating some iconic and odd games. But today a number of those games never make it past the storyboarding phase in favor of content that people know will sell. Without those quirky games we wouldn't have Katamari Damacy, Seaman, and Deadly Premonition. Those titles are one of many that make video gaming such a wonderful hobby. So whats happening?


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