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The Business Side of Video (Space) Games EXCLUSIVELY ON IDLE THUMBS

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So following up the news about EA doing some rebranding of its e-sports outfit, news broke today that back in December Activision has acquired Major League Gaming's (MLG) assets, which was going out of business. For now they're just holding it under a temporary name (MLG Legacy Holdings, something like that), but knowing Blizzard they want to make a push for doing their own e-sports events.

http://esportsobserver.com/mlg-sells-substantially-all-assets-to-activision-blizzard-for-46-million/

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Welp. Zenimax and Total Recall are each bringing lawsuits against Palmer Luckey, the guy heading the Facebook company handling the Oculus Rift.

http://www.pcgamesn.com/zenimax-are-suing-oculus-vr-claiming-john-carmack-provided-their-research-to-palmer-luckey

 

Zenimax is claiming that Luckey used trademarked and copyrighted material / info / data / technology to develop the Oculus Rift. Total Recall is a step ahead, gaining permission from a judge to pursue lawsuit over company information being passed off to Facebook as Luckey's personal information.

 

Oculus / Luckey have said in response to all this that Zenimax did nothing to develop the Oculus Rift. Which is a huge fucking lie.

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Bad news going around the video game industry.

 

First up, if anyone missed it yesterday, Game Trailers has shut down. Their staff was notified hours before the info was made public.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/265419/Video_game_video_hub_GameTrailers_is_shutting_down_this_week.php

 

Today, Mad Catz is laying off 37% of its staff in a restructuring plan. They say starting first quarter of 2017 it'll save them $5 million each year. It's all weird because their year-to-year sales were up over 100%, which is pretty huge for that sort of statistic.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/265502/Mad_Catz_lays_off_37_of_staff_in_restructuring_plan.php

 

Lastly, Oculus-ready PCs are starting to hit the market, and they are expensive as fuck.

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/265498/Oculus_Ready_PCs_debut_from_949_to_2549.php

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Sales increase 100%, costs increase 150% I guess? That sucks for Madcatz and also for Harmonix. I was so excited for RB4, but they just kept doing things that I just didn't want, until I decided not to buy the game : (

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Probably one of the more important news stories that any Idle Thumbs listener would care about, Microsoft not only decided to cancel Fable Legends, but they're shutting Lionhead Studios down. The game saw a big delay when it was decided to transition it to a Free-to-Play model while in development (why would you do that, make the transition AFTER). Apparently MS is also closing another studio, Press Play, in addition to this. I dunno them though.

 

Poor Molyneux.

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I was actually more optimistic about Lionhead after Molyneux left because while I think he's interesting with great ideas, he so often promises more than he can deliver.  I was hoping that some more tempered realism might make their games better.

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I was actually more optimistic about Lionhead after Molyneux left because while I think he's interesting with great ideas, he so often promises more than he can deliver.  I was hoping that some more tempered realism might make their games better.

Frankly I think Molyneux leaving is why Microsoft is shutting the studio down. I'm not sure how clear their track record is with this, but I think they're playing to the rock band frontman type of thing. Like if you don't have an Axel Rose, is it really Guns & Roses. Which is the wrong kind of thinking - it's been mentioned before on the Idle Thumbs Podcast that the video game industry is bad at nurturing new talent and this screams to me of that problem.

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Axel Rose, is it really Guns & Roses.

 

It's Axl Rose - otherwise the anagram doesn't work.

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Yeah, it's a premonitory Kingdom Hearts reference.

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