Keiji Inafune Exits Capcom

October 29, 2010 -

Keiji Inafune, the character designer of the popular Mega Man series, has left Capcom. In a blog post on his personal site - translated by Kotaku - Inafune said "sayonara" to fans, revealing that he was "leaving Capcom with the intention of starting my life over."

"A manager's work means evaluating your subordinates and speaking your dreams. Anyone who can do both of those can be a manager. I thought that when I came here, and I still think that now," Inafune said on his blog.

"People that really know me, can see where I'm coming from. I'm not a regular dude. It's probably because I'm strange," he continued.

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“Hobbit Bill” Contains Videogame Language

October 29, 2010 -

New Zealand’s “Hobbit Bill,” legislation designed to keep production of two Warner Bros. films based on  The Hobbit in the country, also has language pertaining to videogame makers.

Amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000 states that workers involved with film production work “will be independent contractors rather than employees, unless they choose to be employees by entering into an agreement that provides that they are employees.”

The legislation came about, according to the New York Times, in response to a small actors’ union, the New Zealand Actors Equity, demanding that “producers bargain collectively with actors on the films.”

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Cameron: “Difficult Decision,” but UK Tax Breaks had to be Nixed

October 28, 2010 -

During a recent "Prime Minister’s Questions" session,  Labour MP Luciana Berger took the opportunity to question Prime Minister David Cameron (pictured) about the UK government’s decision to not institute tax relief measures for local developers.

Berger, who represents Liverpool Wavertree, stated, according to Develop, “Before the election all three parties pledged to introduce a videogames tax relief to compete internationally on a level playing-field,” before she asked the PM, “Why has the government reneged on that promise?"

Cameron began answering by stating that the government had to make “difficult decisions.”

He continued:

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Worcester Councilor Pushes for Videogame Incubator

October 27, 2010 -

Worcester, Massachusetts is a burgeoning videogame hub, anchored by Becker College, which was rated by the Princeton Review as having the fourth best videogame design program in the United States.

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Left Behind Covets, Acquires Fellow Christian Game Developer

October 26, 2010 -

Christian game developer Left Behind Games announced that it has acquired the the assets of fellow Christian game maker Cloud 9 Games.

While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Left Behind stated that Cloud 9 President Curtis Ratica had signed a contrct and would remain involved for at least the next three years. The two companies worked together previously on the development of the Praise Champion and King Solomon's Trivia Challenge games.

Texas-based Cloud 9 has developed games like the Rock Band-inspired Christian music game JAMband and the karaoke-themed Heavenly Harmony Gold. Its products are distributed by EMI.

Cloud 9 was labeled as the “second most successful Christian video games publisher,” behind only (presumably) Left Behind Games.

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Yee “Hopeful” for SCOTUS Win

October 25, 2010 -

As the case surrounding a law he originally authored makes its way to the Supreme Court next week, California State Senator Leland Yee issued a handful of comments related to what will eventually be a landmark decision for gamers.

The Court will, of course, hear oral arguments for Schwarzenegger v EMA on Tuesday, November 2 at 10:00 AM.

Yee said he was “hopeful” that the Court would give “parents a valuable tool to protect children from the harmful effects of excessively violent, interactive video games.”

Yee additionally claimed that SCOTUS has "often ruled" in favor of protecting kids and limiting their access, citing topics such as "pornography, gambling, marriage, firearms, jury duty, tobacco, alcohol, voting, abortion, licenses, and the death penalty" as examples.

Yee continued:

Scottish Digital Economy Plan Hinges on Broadband

October 25, 2010 -

The Scottish Government has outlined its “plans and ambitions" for the country’s digital economy in a document entitled A Digital Ambition for Scotland (PDF).

The aim of the plan is to boost job opportunities, promote the country’s “rich cultural assets,” and move more public services online. To do this, Scotland proposes that the proliferation of next-generation broadband become more widespread by 2015, and available to all citizens by 2020.

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Jaffe: Facts Will Impact SCOTUS Decision, Not Petitions

October 21, 2010 -

Eat Sleep Play chief David Jaffe, while appreciating and supporting the “emotion” that has gamers signing petitions and contacting representatives in the face of Schwarzenegger vs. EMA, thinks that such tactics are “pointless and naïve.”

Jaffe view is that the Supreme Court isn’t a democracy and does not rule based on “a vocal majority- let alone a vocal minority like gamers and other media folks.”

Therefore, “none of our views on this will matter one bit” and "... it just seems like a big exercise to make people feel like they are making a difference..."

Jaffe’s full (and unedited) comment (thanks VG247):

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New Partners will Sanitize, Localize Games for Middle East

October 20, 2010 -

Media firm Rubicon Group Holding has partnered with Modern Electronics Co. Ltd., the sole distributor of Sony products in Saudi Arabia, in order to localize content appearing on various Sony platforms for Middle East users.

United Arab Emirates publication The National (thanks The Escapist) details the plans, which will include dubbing "certain games” into Arabic, adding Arabian characters and eliminating scenes that could run afoul of censors. Rubicon Executive Director Ghassan Ayoubi explained, “Those games that are extra-violent, or have sensitive issues for the region, will be edited for content.”

As THQ Selects Montreal for New Studio, TIGA Laments Lost Opportunity

October 19, 2010 -

Game industry group TIGA is using comments from a THQ executive to further press for tax relief for the videogame industry in the UK.

Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, THQ Executive VP Danny Bilson called the talent in the UK “extraordinary,” and while he would love to see his company build a new studio in the region, it won’t happen anytime soon because “it's all about money at the end of the day.”

THQ opted instead to build a new 400-employee studio in Montreal, where it will receive tax breaks of 37.5 cents for every dollar spent on labor costs, which Bilson called a "huge win" and would enable the developer to "put more on the screen."

Bilson added:

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Canada's CMF Doles out $12.9M in Funding, Some to Game Makers

October 15, 2010 -

A dozen game projects were among twenty-seven total ventures awarded funding from the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) Experimental Stream.

All told, the fund doled out $12.9 million, with an average of $478,000 granted per project. Three projects, including one game initiative, received the maximum amount of $1 million.

Bot Colony, an online game designed to assist players in improving English skills in development by North Side Inc., was the sole game project to land the max funding amount.

Other games receiving backing included:

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Still No Incentives Planned for Massachusetts Developers

October 13, 2010 -

Even after losing Curt Schilling and his 38 Studios to neighboring Rhode Island, indications are that Massachusetts still has no plans to institute incentives or tax credits designed to lure, or keep in place, game development companies.

To be fair, Schilling’s deal with the Ocean State, in which his company initially received a guaranteed $75 million loan, before it was pared to approximately $51 million, was an incentive that was more-or-less created (or expanded anyway) to entice a single company.

Scotland's Abertay University Lobbies for Game Biz Backing

October 13, 2010 -

The director of business development of Dundee, Scotland-based Abertay University appeared before a House of Commons committee in order to discuss the economic impact of the region’s videogame industry.

Paul Durrant, according to the Courier, lobbied for tax credits for the industry and claimed that it was “vital” for the industry to generate private investment. Durrant stated, “We continue to strongly support the industry's calls for games tax relief, but we also recognise the important role of other support mechanisms, including ways to incentivise private sector project finance.”

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Pittsburgh Ponders Impact Interactive Tax Credits Might Have

October 12, 2010 -

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania technology leaders are wondering if a state-wide tax credit for interactive developers would slow the flow of recent graduates to other states.

In a Post-Gazette story, Pittsburgh’s videogame community is attributed almost entirely to the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center (ETC). Of the school’s 60 students gaming program graduates from the Class of 2010, only four found work and remained in Pittsburgh, while 15 headed west to California for employment.

The school’s ETC Director, Drew Davidson, said that he has met with state representatives multiple times over the years to lobby for game developer tax incentives, but that interest in such a program “goes in cycles,” and involves “so many different parties and different agendas."

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Left Behind Games Packing Christian Stores with Games

October 6, 2010 -

In a weirdly specific press release, religious game developer and publisher Left Behind Games stated that it’s received initial holiday orders for 37,174 copies of its PC games.

The orders were from the U.S.’s “top four leading Christian store chains,” covering 503 locations. Titles ordered included Praise Champion, Charlie Church Mouse: Superpack, Keys of the Kingdom and Left Behind 2: Tribulation Forces, but the real stalwart of the bunch was Left Behind 3: Rise of the Antichrist, which averaged 24.8 copies ordered per store.

CEO Troy Lyndon added, “The depth of these new orders increases our projected fiscal year revenue by $401,095.”

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Wal-Mart Backs Rise of the Antichrist Across U.S.

September 30, 2010 -

Looks like an experimental pilot program that had around 100 Texas Wal-Mart stores carry the Christian-themed titles of Left Behind Games went well, as the publisher announced that two of its newer offerings will be sold at locations of the world’s largest retailer throughout the U.S.

Left Behind 3: Rise of the Antichrist and Charlie Church Mouse: Superpack will show up in Wal-Mart stores before the end of October.

LBG CEO Troy Lyndon stated, "We are delighted to offer healthy alternatives into the PC game marketplace and pleased to see these games get the exposure they deserve by becoming available in Walmart nationally.

Left Behind 3: Rise of the Antichrist is a real-time strategy game based on the book series of the same name.

13 comments

Polls Shows RI’s Distaste for Schilling Deal

September 30, 2010 -

A poll of 500 likely Rhode Island voters conducted by WPRI shows an overwhelming opposition to the $75 million loan deal that helped lure Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios from Massachusetts.

Overall, 54.4 percent of those polled chose “no” when asked if Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC) should have approved the deal. 28.2 percent chose “yes,” while 17.4 percent selected “not sure.”

Male participants were more against the deal than their female counterparts (55.6 percent to 53.4 percent). As a poll participant's age increased, so did their opposition to the deal, with 58.1 percent of those over 60 years old against the Schilling deal, 54.6 percent of 40-59 year olds opposing and 48.7 percent of 18-39 year olds against it.

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AMD’s Changing the Game Donates $200k to Texas PBS Station

September 29, 2010 -

Chip maker AMD has announced a $200,000 grant, through its AMD Foundation, to San Antonio, Texas Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) affiliate KLRN that will let youngsters develop games based around social issues.

As part of AMD’s Changing the Game program, kids will utilize the online virtual world Whyville to create the games. Once games are created, KLRN will assist the young developers in filming videos that document the game creation process. The resulting videos will be broadcast on KLRN and be made available to other PBS stations around the country.

llyson Peerman, AMD Foundation President, said, "This project will allow us to scale the reach of youth game development to millions of registered players in Whyville.net, and especially help us to reach and empower more young women, a key demographic in Whyville's virtual world."

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Canadian Mayoral Candidate Talks About Luring Developers

September 29, 2010 -

One candidate in the Brantford, Ontario mayoral race thinks videogames could help boost the local economy.

Chris Friel is one of nine candidates for mayor in the Southern Ontario town with a population of around 90,000. Seven of the nine candidates answered questions Tuesday night at Laurier Brantford University, where Friel broached the idea of attempting to lure developers to the town, noting that the gaming industry is “versatile enough to locate anywhere if given the incentive.”

Friel stated, “That’s why we need to move into industries that are more accessible for university students.”

He added, “They could literally be working at something while they were going to school and be able to move right into that field afterward.”

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Columnist: 38 Studios Loan a “High Stakes Gamble”

September 27, 2010 -

“What Government run/funded program in this country’s history has ever been run with an ounce of financial responsibility, prudence, or with the peoples (sic) best interest at the forefront? None, that’s which one.”

Those words were used by ex-Major League Baseball pitcher and current 38 Studios head Curt Schilling earlier this year, and are now being used against him in a searing indictment of the loan agreement between Schilling’s studio and the state of Rhode Island.

38 Studios to Set Up Shop in Providence

September 23, 2010 -

Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios has selected a location in Providence, Rhode Island for its new home, one that it hopes will eventually become the base of an Ocean State “videogame cluster.”

The developer will take up residence at One Empire Plaza (pictured), a six-story, 104,000 square foot facility. The location proved attractive to 38 Studios, due to its “vibrant mix of office buildings, restaurants and entertainment venues and its proximity to multiple universities rich with talent such as the University of Rhode Island, Johnson & Wales University, Brown University, and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).”

38 Studios CEO Jen MacLean said about the developer’s new home, “The staff at 38 Studios is incredibly excited about our relocation to Providence and we expect to be the first of many relocating knowledge-economy companies that will take advantage of the opportunities Rhode Island provides.”

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Rasmussen College Adds Game Curriculums

September 23, 2010 -

Looks like the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) will have to update its list of U.S. colleges and universities offering videogame courses and degrees, as Rasmussen College is about to become the latest institute of higher learning to offer game-related curriculums.

GDC China 2010 Registration Opens

September 15, 2010 -

Registration is now open for the 2010 Game Developers Conference China, should you want to make the trek to China on December 5. Now in its 3rd year, GDC China offers game developers in China various panels, and lectures from local talent and international talent.

Bill Roper from Cryptic Studios will deliver this year's keynote address, speaking out about his time working for Blizzard Entertainment and Flagship Studios. The event will also feature the second annual Independent Games Festival China, highlighting the best games from the region's independent game development community. The three-day event will take place December 5-7, 2010 at Shanghai International Convention Center in Shanghai, China.

GDC China offers a 25 percent discount is available on registrations before November 5. Online registration ends on November 30. For more information about the event, check out www.gdcchina.com.


Reshuffled 38 Studios Deal Doesn’t Appease Foes

September 10, 2010 -

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation’s (EDC) adjustment of a loan used to lure Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios from Massachusetts to Rhode Island did little to throttle hostility towards the deal from a pair of gubernatorial candidates.

Under new terms, about $20 million of the $75 million dollar loan will be held aside in escrow in case it’s needed to pay for three years of repayments on the loan. 38 Studios will end up with about $51 million under the new stipulations.

Democratic candidate for governor Frank Caprio said that the loan deal has now gone from “bad to worse,” indicating to the Providence Journal that the setting aside of money for repayments only highlights the risk of the whole transaction.

Independent gubernatorial candidate Lincoln Chafee agreed, saying that the reserve is a warning sign that 38 Studios would not be able to repay the loan.

Schilling Loan Shaved

September 8, 2010 -

Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios will have to make do with just a $51 million loan from Rhode Island’s Economic Development Corporation (EDC), as around one-third of the original loan amount of $75 million will be held aside for three years worth of repayments on the debt.

WPRI.com reported the news, citing a fact sheet issued by the EDC. After issuing the document, an EDC spokesperson indicated that the organization would no longer speak to reporters about the deal until it was finally closed.

While there was no mention of whether or not 38 Studios might eventually receive the $20 million or so being held aside, it was reported that, if approved, the deal would see 38 Studios receive $13 million right away, with another $38 million dispersed over the next 15 months, providing Schilling’s company meets certain goals and criteria.

Another “success fee” of between $15.3 and $18.8 million could be earned by 38 Studios, though no mention of terms and/or conditions were on the EDC fact sheet.

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Canadian Summer Incubator Results in Pair of New Games

September 3, 2010 -

A cool little videogame incubator project put on this summer in the Canadian town of Charlottetown, located on Prince Edward Island, resulted in two teams of recent graduates churning out a pair of videogames.

Sponsored by the Interactive Media Alliance (IMA), Telefilm Canada and Innovation P.E.I., the three-month long program, called Game Garage, ran from June 1 to August 31.

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Inafune on the Great White North’s Emergence: “Canadians Are More Serious”

September 2, 2010 -

By all accounts, Canada is now the third largest home to videogame developers in the world, a realization that Capcom’s Keiji Inafune attributes to both favorable tax breaks and the populace’s work ethic.

Speaking to NowGamer
, Inafune, who produced Dead Rising 2 and is head of R&D for the Japanese publisher, noted that Canada was “getting very important now,” before conveying his opinion as to why that might be.

“There are lots of background reasons for it, tax relief and government policies and so on and so forth, but from the developers point of view, Canada is part of North America so you can sort of [include it as] North American,” he stated.

Inafune continued:

But compared to Americans, Canadians are a bit... more serious, if you like. Also, compared to big cities such as Los Angeles, it's also a little bit cheaper. So they've got potential to be at the epicentre of videogame development.

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Caprio Now Attempting to Put Brakes on 38 Studios Loan

September 1, 2010 -

Rhode Island Democratic gubernatorial candidate Frank Caprio (pictured) is now attempting to block the $75 million loan used to lure Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios from Massachusetts.

Caprio, who is also the state’s General Treasurer, has expressed tepid uncertainty about the deal all along, calling for the state’s Economic Development Corporation to modify the loan and questioning the bond structure that will finance it.

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TIGA to Open Membership Doors Wider

August 31, 2010 -

Previously only open to membership for corporations or institutions, UK game industry group TIGA will launch the ability for individual game industry employees to join its ranks this fall.

Those working in the games industry will be allowed to join TIGA at that time, including students, freelancers and contractors. Members will receive access to TIGA’s discount platform, network events, seminars and career counseling.

TIGA Chief Dr. Richard Wilson stated, “TIGA wants to help both aspiring games developers and those already working in the industry to fulfill their career ambitions.”

He added, “We intend to support the next wave of creative individuals and successful interactive companies in the UK. Further details will be announced when the service launches later this year.”

1 comment

Developer Growth in Georgia Appears Peachy

August 30, 2010 -

Georgia’s aggressive tax breaks for interactive developers seem to be paying off for the state, if you believe a rosy picture painted by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

All in all, the piece estimated that around 70 companies “affiliated with videogame production” operate in Georgia today. The economic impact of such companies on the local economy was pegged at $68.9 million in 2008, while a figure of $49.9 million was assigned to 2009, though that number is expected to double once companies that have not yet filed for tax incentives do so.

Among the lures that make Georgia an attractive home for game developers is a sizeable tax credit of 20 percent for investments that surpass $500,000, with an additional 10 percent in breaks up for grabs if the state’s logo is embedded in the game.

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Matthew WilsonSF have to build upwards they have natural growth limits. they can not grow outwards. ps growing outwards is terable just look at Orlando or Austin for that.04/16/2014 - 4:15pm
ZippyDSMleeIf they built upward then it would becoem like every other place making it worthless, if they don't build upward they will price people out making it worthless, what they need to do is a mix of things not just one exstreme or another.04/16/2014 - 4:00pm
Matthew Wilsonyou know the problem in SF was not the free market going wrong right? it was government distortion. by not allowing tall buildings to be build they limited supply. that is not free market.04/16/2014 - 3:48pm
ZippyDSMleeOh gaaa the free market is a lie as its currently leading them to no one living there becuse they can not afford it makign it worthless.04/16/2014 - 3:24pm
Matthew WilsonIf you have not read http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/introducing-steam-gauge-ars-reveals-steams-most-popular-games/ you should. It is a bit stats heavy, but worth the read.04/16/2014 - 2:04pm
Matthew Wilsonthe issue is when is doesn't work it can screw over millions in new york city's case. more often than not it is better to let the free market run its course without market distortion.04/16/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoTrue, and overdone stagnation is a problem. It is a tricky balance. It does not help that when it does work, no one notices. Most people here have benifited from rent controls and not even realized it.04/16/2014 - 9:23am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/04/15/riaa_files_civil_suit_against_megaupload04/16/2014 - 8:48am
ZippyDSMleeEither way you get stagnation as people can not afford the prices they set.04/16/2014 - 8:47am
Neenekowell, specifically it helps people already living there and hurts people who want to live there instead. As for 'way more hurt', majorities generally need less legal protection. yes it hurt more people then it helped, it was written for a minority04/16/2014 - 8:30am
MaskedPixelantehttp://torrentfreak.com/square-enix-drm-boosts-profits-and-its-here-to-stay-140415/ Square proves how incredibly out of touch they are by saying that DRM is the way of the future, and is here to stay.04/16/2014 - 8:29am
james_fudgeUnwinnable Weekly Telethon playing Metal Gear http://www.twitch.tv/rainydayletsplay04/16/2014 - 8:06am
ConsterTo be fair, there's so little left of the middle class that those numbers are skewing.04/16/2014 - 7:42am
Matthew Wilsonyes it help a sub section of the poor, but hurt both the middle and upper class. in the end way more people were hurt than helped. also, it hurt most poor people as well.04/16/2014 - 12:13am
SeanBJust goes to show what I have said for years. Your ability to have sex does not qualify you for parenthood.04/15/2014 - 9:21pm
NeenekoSo "worked" vs "failed" really comes down to who you think is more important and deserving04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoThough I am also not sure we can say NYC failed. Rent control helped the people it was intended for and is considered a failure by the people it was designed to protect them from.04/15/2014 - 7:04pm
NeenekoIf they change the rules, demand will plummet. Though yeah, rent control probably would not help much in the SF case. I doubt anything will.04/15/2014 - 1:35pm
TheSmokeyOnline gamer accused of murdering son to keep playing - http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Crime/2014/04/15/21604921.html04/15/2014 - 11:50am
Matthew Wilsonyup, but curent city rules do not allow for that.04/15/2014 - 11:00am
 

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