In the middle of the week I spend my time looking for a digital buffet of gaming goodies – I post them here on the Humpday Bump.
This week’s bump features even more distressing news for social media giant Zynga as yet another big-wig has jumped ship to work elsewhere. Obviously I’m not “in the know” as to why so many important members of Zynga’s senior staff have recently departed from the company, but EA’s pending lawsuit and all of the bad press they’ve received in the past year probably didn’t help. I like to think that after years of shamelessly copying the work of other studios that some people have simply had enough, choosing to move on from what’s become nothing more than a gigantic digital Xerox machine.
According to Venture Beat the latest “high-profile” departure is Mike Verdu, Zynga’s chief creative officer. Of course Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus is publicly happy for Mr. Verdu, claiming that he’s proud of the legacy he helped to build, but the reality is he’s probably not too happy about losing yet another key member of the team. You wouldn’t be able to tell that by his public statement, you know, now that he’s written a few of these poignant goodbyes, he’s become quite adept at them.
Square Enix has released Core Online, a service which allows you to play HD games on your internet browser. According to Rock Paper Shotgun, players can choose to watch ads, earning time that they can then “spend” on real game time. This is a really cool idea honestly, especially considering that Hitman: Blood Money is one of the games available. I don’t know if this is something that will catch-on or not, but at least it gives the game market another free avenue for players who wish to take advantage of the service.
Everyone’s talking about Guild Wars 2 this week, and so far everyone seems to agree that it’s a pretty damn good game. The PA Report ran a piece this week outlining some of the key elements that makes the game feel like a truly next-gen MMO, going so far as to say “Guild Wars 2 feels like what WoW 2 would be.” That’s a pretty strong statement, but so far I haven’t found many to disagree. I’m sure those who were involved in making SWTOR aren’t too psyched about it, but since that game is now free-to-play maybe it won’t completely steal everyone who’s left playing.
In more Guild Wars 2 news, apparently they’ve got a pretty down to earth approach to community management, and take their code of conduct seriously. As Gamasutra points out, sometimes forums complaints can be one sided, and sometimes it’s nice to see a community team able to reach out and shed some light on an issue. They also point out that it’s almost silly that other larger Triple-A companies don’t also follow-suit, but then again the big companies usually don’t mingle with the peasants.
Kotaku posted this gem from Reddit linking some scans of Computer Gaming World’s look into World of Warcraft back in 2001. If you’ve played WoW, even vanilla WoW, some of what you’re about to see may still look foreign especially the inventory system. There’s a kind of dumb innocence in how they describe the game, with quotes like “Dude, how cool would it be to be in this world, to be those heroes.” It’s fun to look through and see how much has changed in these eleven years, and how much more mature the game has become.
I’ll admit I’m still kind of not over the fall of Nintendo Power magazine, but this tribute from former staffers made me feel a bit better about it. The most poignant is one staffer’s recollection of all the letters they used to receive, especially considering I sent a few in as a kid in the hopes to gain some unpublished knowledge of the games I loved. Each one is worth the read as it reminds us all of where gaming was all those years ago and how much things have changed over the past few decades.
During today's Nintendo Direct press conference, Level 5 CEO Akihiko Hino announced Professor Layton and The Secret of Super Civilization...