A break from our Codemasters season for our regular news spot. However let’s start with a Codemasters news story.
- When I was at Codemasters I suggested that we form a strategic alliance with an American publisher needing a European presence. Then we could sell each other’s games giving our publishing sides a good product throughput. Eventually we could have looked for a Japanese company to join the alliance, thus creating a global publishing entity to take on the big boys. One American publisher I suggested contacting was Majesco, which was done, unfortunately with no positive outcome. So it is interesting to see that Codemasters are now (under new management) to distribute Majesco games in Europe.
- Microsoft increase Xbox 360 manufacturing capacity. Obviously they need the volume to meet the increased demand as they get into price war mode. And there is the small matter of GTA IV.
- The James Bond book Casino Royale features testicle bashing torture yet has no age rating. The film of the book, with the same torture, has an age rating of 12 in the UK. If you put this in a video game it would be an 18, such are the prejudices that ignorance causes. So it is nice to see that Manhunt 2 is to be released for sale in the UK after lengthy legal wrangling. Having said that, this is a truly awful game.
- New console. Acer, the Taiwanese manufacturer are looking at making a video games machine. Not only that, it will be open platform. This is not just gossip, it comes from Acer senior vice president, James T. Wong.
- EA is Rockstar’s white knight, according to Riccitiello. Yes, the soap opera rumbles on. This latest is supposed to make everyone think that GTA will be better off in EA’s hands. But what about other Rockstar games like Manhunt, for instance?
- Nickelodeon to develop 600 casual games in a $100 million spend. Viacom really are going for it. Obviously they think this is the best place to spend their money and they could well be right. Casual gaming is growing enormously.
- Vivendi games cull? This is what consolidation is all about, the new management cutting out the flab. The Activision team get a one off chance to clear the decks of anything they don’t like. They would be fools not to.
- Wii shortages for another six months according to Game Stop. And you can see why, Super Smash Brothers Brawl, Wii Fit and Mario Kart are enough to keep enthusiasm for this platform more than on the boil. GTA IV and the 360 price drop might take the shine off Wii sales a little bit but more and more I can see two console households as being common.