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Gaming News Round-Up: December 16th, 2004

Today's round-up includes a new gig for Neil Young, a new acquisition for Infospace, and an opportunity to break free of the NFL license shackles for Midway.

- Electroni...

Simon Carless, Blogger

December 16, 2004

2 Min Read

Today's round-up includes a new gig for Neil Young, a new acquisition for Infospace, and an opportunity to break free of the NFL license shackles for Midway. - Electronic Arts has announced the appointment of Neil Young as the Studio Head of EA's Los Angeles studio. Young, who previously worked as executive producer on the Lord Of The Rings games at EA Redwood City, as well as running now-integrated studio Maxis, will be overseeing the EALA studio, developing a multi-year SKU plan, supervising what Electronic Arts describe as "four of our most popular franchises", and creating new game properties. With some recent iterations of the Medal Of Honor franchise and the latest GoldenEye James Bond title developed at EALA not meeting with sparkling critical success, Young is being appointed to "ensure that this flagship studio reaches its full creative potential." - U.S. mobile publisher and developer Infospace has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Elkware GmbH, a German mobile games company, for approximately $26 million payable in cash. Elkware's product line in Europe, where cellphone gaming is considerably more mature, includes a BMW-licensed racing game, as well as adaptations of PC strategy games such as Anno 1503, and the 'CellEb' line of games, led by a certain ex-Baywatch star with Pamela Anderson – Exposed! The acquisition marks InfoSpace’s third mobile gaming acquisition in 2004, following its acquisition of the multiplayer games for prizes company Atlas Mobile and its recent purchase of U.K. based IOMO, Limited. - Publisher Midway has announced Blitz: Playmakers, an American football-themed project, already in development for some time, which neatly deflects the lack of official NFL branding now that Electronic Arts has an exclusive NFL license. Apparently, Blitz: Playmakers "exposes the harsh realism and troubling, behind-the-scenes stories of a fictional professional football league", and is being developed in collaboration with a writer from ESPN’s controversial "Playmakers" TV series. Midway's previous NFL-licensed titles were rumored to be a little more 'extreme' than the NFL would have liked, and Steve Allison of Midway reinforces this impression, commenting: "No longer bound to the NFL license, there will be no league restrictions on content and gamers will finally experience what makes playing a football videogame really fun: off-field controversies, dirty hits, excessive celebrations and much more."

About the Author(s)

Simon Carless

Blogger

Simon Carless is the founder of the GameDiscoverCo agency and creator of the popular GameDiscoverCo game discoverability newsletter. He consults with a number of PC/console publishers and developers, and was previously most known for his role helping to shape the Independent Games Festival and Game Developers Conference for many years.

He is also an investor and advisor to UK indie game publisher No More Robots (Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw), a previous publisher and editor-in-chief at both Gamasutra and Game Developer magazine, and sits on the board of the Video Game History Foundation.

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