Ubisoft is claiming that the reason that its latest Assassin’s Creed game was so bad was because of AMD and Nvidia configurations. Last week the Ubisoft was panned for releasing a game which was clearly not ready and Ubisoft originally blamed AMD for its faulty game. Now Ubisoft has amended an original forum post to include and acknowledge problems on Nvidia hardware as well.
Originally the post read “We are aware that the graphics performance of Assassin’s Creed Unity on PC may be adversely affected by certain AMD CPU and GPU configurations. This should not affect the vast majority of PC players, but rest assured that AMD and Ubisoft are continuing to work together closely to resolve the issue, and will provide more information as soon as it is available.”
However there is no equivalent Nvidia-centric post on the main forum, and no mention of the fact that if you own any Nvidia card which is not a GTX 970 or 980. What is amazing is that with the problems so widespread, Ubisoft did not see them in its own testing before sending it out to the shops. Unless they only played the game on an Nvidia GTX 970 and did not bother to test it on a console, it is inconceivable that they could not have seen it.
Warhammer 40K owner Games Workshop has confirmed a new licensing deal with Roadhouse Interactive to develop new titles for mobile space based on the franchise. The developer, who is based in Vancouver, describes the new Warhammer title as a side screening action game.
While Roadhouse confirms that the game is in development, the end mobile platforms that will see the released version of the game are still up in the air at the moment; but more information is sure to be coming in the months ahead, according to the studio.
The Warhammer 40K has had others attempts to capture the tabletop war game in video form before. These Warhammer offerings have met with mixed reviews, but this new title from Roadhouse will be a first for Warhammer 40K in the mobile space.
EA subsidiary PopCap has confirmed layoffs in company “reorganization”. The news kicked off over the weekend when 3D Realms founder George Broussard warned possible job cuts where coming to PopCap on Twitter.
“Sources say shakeup and layoffs are imminent at PopCap,” said Broussard in his first tweet.
Other sources then said that PopCap had been “very quietly” firing staff for “several months”. This led to Broussard stating that PopCap Shanghai and PopCap Dublin were on the chopping block, with further cuts at its Seattle offices.
“PopCap Dublin/Shanghai shut down/shrunk. 50ish people in Seattle laid off. Brutal,” he tweeted today.
Certain layoffs were finally confirmed in a blog post by PopCap co-founder John Vechey, who made no mention of any issues at PopCap Shanghai.
“This morning we informed our employees about a reorganization in our studios that will include a “Reduction In Force” in our North American operation – mostly in our headquarters here in Seattle – and an “exploratory consultation” to evaluate the future of our PopCap office in Dublin, Ireland,” stated Vechey.
“”Reduction In Force” means that some people are losing their jobs. “Exploratory consultation” means we’re talking to our Dublin team about the future of that office and whether we can find a path to improve our profitability in Europe without having to close the operation. Today’s news is something you expect periodically from a company in a fast-changing industry, but it sucks if you’re one of the people losing his or her job. These people are our friends and we don’t like doing this,” he continued.
“We’ve made hard decisions before, even had cuts before – at this time in North America there are about 50 people who will no longer work at PopCap.”
Vechey also tackled why PopCap was making the cuts, and stated that the decision to reorganize was made internally by PopCap, not by EA.
“In the past year, we’ve seen a dramatic change in the way people play and pay for games. Free-to-play, social and mobile games have exploded in popularity. The change in consumer tastes requires us to reorganize our business and invest in new types of games on new platforms. It’s a completely different world from when we started,” he said.
“We’re growing quickly into new areas of mobile and social, and are expanding in new markets like Japan and China. And there are many more great games to come from PopCap.”
“The decision to reorganize was 100 percent made by us, with no pressure from EA,” he added.
Amidst the stories of layoffs, PopCap also announced a sequel to Plants vs. Zombies, with a planned release window of late spring 2013.
It’s more than any game ever before,” Rovio’s marketing chief Peter Vesterbacka said at a conference in Helsinki.
Unlike most mobile-game crazes, Angry Birds — in which players use a slingshot to attack pigs who steal the birds’ eggs — has remained at the top of the charts since it was launched for Apple’s iPhone on Dec 11, 2009.
Vesterbacka said the company’s next goal is to reach one billion fans globally, on devices including mobile phones and computers.
The gaming firm is expanding the brand across traditional merchandising, to items such as toys and baby products, and is taking the birds to the big screen with film studios.
Earlier this year, Rovio raised $42 million from venture capital firms in an investment co-led by Accel Partners, which previously backed Facebook and Baidu, and Skype founder Niklas Zennstroem’s venture capital firm Atomico Ventures.
Rovio was founded in 2003 after three students including Niklas Hed — CEO Mikael Hed’s cousin and now Rovio’s COO — won a game-development competition sponsored by Nokia Oyj and Hewlett-Packard CO. It changed its name from Relude in 2005.
If you are a Warhammer 40K fanboy and have been waiting for the release of the game by publisher THQ. Be advised that Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine you are likely not going to be happy with some of the talk that happening on the official forums. Apparently, while the posting was removed, the word is that multiplayer Co-Op for the game is off the table at release.
The rumors seem to indicate that while the developers are committed to the multiplayer Co-OP and they still plan to add it, they need more time to do it right; and with the crunch to finish the game right now the effort needs to go into finishing the main game.
The word is that the multiplayer Co-Op will follow the release of the game in about 30 days after the game ships in an update of the game. THQ has not confirmed that this is officially the way it is going down, but it seems (despite the removal of the post) those in the forums believe that this will be the case.
Despite the drop, sales exceeded expectations thanks to catalogue sales of titles including Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and various dance games.
Online sales were up 45 per cent with Outland and Might & Magic Clash of Heroes performing well.
“Ubisoft turned in a solid performance in the first fiscal quarter thanks to a strong increase in our online and back-catalogue sales, fuelled notably by continuing solid sales of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood,” said CEO Yves Guillemot.
“This initial positive back-catalogue trend reflects our prudent sell-in approach as well as the quality of our product portfolio. It also supports our expectation of an improved gross margin.”
Electronic Arts’ acquisition of Peggle and Plants Vs Zombies creator PopCap means the publisher now boasts a digital business worth $1 billion, according to CEO John Riccitiello.
In an email to staff following the announcement of the deal, Riccitiello said the company’s $750 million swoop was a “full and fair price” for the casual games firm.
“Acquiring PopCap extends the leadership we have established since the investment in our flagship casual site, Pogo. It adds to our momentum on the mobile and social platforms and accelerates us toward our goal of achieving $1 billion in digital business in FY12,” he wrote.
“PopCap adds to our portfolio some of the best casual intellectual property in gaming – hit games that are growing fast on mobile and social platforms. Where some companies are built on a single hit, PopCap has made lightning strike again and again. They have built a powerhouse of evergreen casual properties and proven their ability to create new hits again and again on the fastest growing platforms – mobile, tablets, PC, online and Facebook.”
He continued: “There is no denying that what we announced today was a business transaction – a full and fair price for a company that has demonstrated they can sustain success and transform to meet and set the pace for high-growth gaming platforms. The deal is compelling.”
He added that other companies had been looking to acquire PopCap, but the company chose EA from a number of potential suitors because of its working culture.
“In recent months PopCap has received a lot of offers, including bids from other game companies,” said Riccitiello.
“Ultimately, PopCap chose EA. Their leadership team tells us that in the end, the decision swung on their recognition of our culture — the respect that EA shows for games and the teams that create them.”
While PopCap games are available on multiple formats, the deal makes Electronic Arts the number two publisher on Facebook behind Zynga, with PopCap games pulling in 17.5 million monthly active users.
The online game is a first-person shooter and players can take part in individual or group missions. The game, which features PLA weaponry and realistic battle scenarios, took 32 months to complete, the newspaper reported.
“I think it is possible the game will be made open online for Chinese military fans to download and play,” an anonymous PLA publicity officer was quoted as saying.
The final version of the game was launched on June 20.
China, home to the world’s largest Internet market by users, has more than 300 million online gamers, according to government statistics.
China’s online game market was worth 8.5 billion yuan ($1,31 billion) in the first quarter.
Rumors have been circulating around the Internet that casual games maker PopCap might do an (IPO) very soon. Now, it appears that may be the case. The word on the street is that PopCap will probably go public and do an IPO in November.
It seems that PopCap may have been in discussions with both the NYSE and NASDAQ, analysts are betting that PopCap will end up going with the NASDAQ exchange. It appears they want to do the IPO to make sure they can use the extra money to fund additional development programs that would not be possible without the IPO.
At one point most had thought that PopCap would choose to stay independent, but we guess not anymore. To date, PopCap has been one of the top developers in the casual gaming space on all platforms and we guess the additional monies will help them continue their success.