Today's consumer update includes good news for lovely Canadian developers, Sony's name being taken down by Reggie, game writing getting a little recognition, and the East getting a noted Western RPG name.
- Canadian game developers BioWare and Radical Entertainment have both been recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers in a survey conducted by employment company Mediacorp. Vancouver-based Radical, developers of console titles such as The Simpsons: Hit and Run, The Simpsons: Road Rage
, and The Hulk
, declared themselves "immensely proud" to make the list, and Edmonton-based BioWare, creators of NeverWinter Nights
and Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
, as well as the forthcoming Jade Empire
, commented: "These awards are a testament to the hard work of our more than 200 staff." When reviewing applicants for its list of Canada’s Top 100 Employers, Mediacorp evaluated seven key areas: physical workplace; work and social atmosphere; health, financial and family benefits; vacation and time off; employee communications; performance management; and training and skills development.
- Further information has emerged from Nintendo's press event in Seattle on a notable jibe at Sony's forthcoming PSP handheld by Nintendo marketing executive Reggie Fils-Aime. Introducing the Nintendo DS with a stirring speech, Fils-Aime mentioned pointedly that the PSPs being carried around by comely Sony assistants at the Tokyo Game Show had to be recharged every two hours. He then went on the record by stating that "the Nintendo DS will have battery life comparable to that of the Game Boy Advance SP", but that no official battery life announcement had been forthcoming from Sony. This combative move comes after Fils-Aime's introduction at this year's E3, where he stirred the heart of tearful Nintendo fans and started a 'Reggielution' of his own with the battle cry: "I'm about kicking ass, I'm about taking names, and we're about making games."
- The Writers Guild of America
, West is furthering the profile of the video game scriptwriter by announcing the formation of a New Media Writers Caucus to address the professional needs of writers working in the area of interactive entertainment. The organization notes: "With the growing interdependence of films and games... the guild recognizes the marketplace is growing in importance to writers. After all, some of the biggest game releases of the last few years were written by WGA members, including the best-selling James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, Enter the Matrix
, and The Chronicles of Riddick
." By using the Guild's special contracts for new media work, Caucus members can earn health and pension benefits and the chance for full membership. They are also eligible to be included in the guild's new online Directory of New Media Writers, which promises to become a vital resource for new media producers seeking top-level writers and writer-designers.
- Ubisoft has announced a deal with Chinese MMO developer TQ Digital Entertainment to create an online game based on the Might and Magic
franchise, to debut in China during 2005. The product is intended to showcase Asian-styled MMO gameplay with a well-known name. Ubisoft purchased the Heroes Of Might and Magic
name from the bankrupt 3DO (owners of original developer New World Computing) after the company shut down in mid-2003. Interestingly, Jon Van Caneghem, who started New World Computing in 1983, and created the Might and Magic
series, is now working on an original, unannounced MMO game project at the U.S. division of Asian game developer/publisher NCSoft, but Caneghem's new project is unrelated to the Might and Magic
MMO now in development.