Microsoft Layoffs to Cut Up to 18,000 Jobs
New York Times
Microsoft said Thursday that it planned to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs over the next year in a shake-up intended to help the company move more quickly in the market.
|With apologies to Al Michaels, do you believe in stock hype? Nexon blindsided (not sure where the sports metaphors are coming from...sorry.) the gaming industry this week with rumors that it was looking to purchase EA. The gossip had two immediate effects: First, EA's stock price jumped by nearly 10 percent. Second, experts came crawling out of the woodwork to explain why the M&A would never, ever happen.|
The rule of threes is in full-effect this weekend. For those that have been patiently waiting to once again slaughter the armies of hell, Blizzard is holding an open beta weekend right now for Diablo III prior to the game's May 15 launch. The upcoming MMO from En Masse, Tera Online, is also having a public weekend, and capping off the trifecta is WarGaming.net, which just sent out a much larger round of invites for the World of Warplanes global alpha.read on
The past few editions of the OEI have touched upon the impending next-gen consoles. But as we all know, rumors are the most delicious part of the video game industry, and this rumor is a whopper. Valve, the company behind the highly successful Portal, Half-life and Team Fortress series, are looking for console hardware engineers. What that means for Valve and the 30-million plus users of its Steam digital distribution platform isn’t clear, but a new challenger for the console wars would certainly shake up the industry.read on
Happy Good Friday, everyone - we hope you're having an indulgent day, now that Lent is over! What else does Good Friday mean? It's the last full week you'll have to wait to check out Skullgirls, the new 2D fighting game on XBLA and PSN. Skullgirls publisher Autumn Games is a Wonacott client, and after a year-long campaign, we think the game is poised to upset the old guard of fighting games with a fresh take on the genre.read on
Console wars are an inexorable part of the video game industry, and are the front lines of billions of dollars in revenue. NES, Sega and Turbografx fought the bloodiest battle back in the early '90s, but now console makers, specifically Sony (for now), seem to be taking the war to second-hand retailers with the rumor that the next PlayStation console will NOT support used games. The largest used game retailer in the world generates more than $2 billion annually from reselling, which is a very large piece of pie to fight over...read on
There's a plague going around the office, and I'm not talking about the one that's causing me to take Dayquil on regular intervals. OMGPOP's mobile Pictionary game, Draw Something, is infecting the whole office, with noticeable symptoms of quizzical looks and fits of laughter. The game also attracted some pretty notable attention - Zynga snapped up the developer for a cool $200 million this week.read on
Happy new iPad day, everyone. I am happy to report I’m not drafting this in front of a Mac store (that’s what interns are for). But it’s still incredible that the iPad and other iOS devices went from being expensive redundant gadgets to the largest handheld gaming platform in the world. You’d better believe we’re keeping an eye on the space. Oh, and if you get a new iPad, be sure to try out Sky Defenders!read on
Greetings from the Game Developers Conference show floor! We’re wrapping up the last day here and hope that if you attended you had a great time. There was definitely some great news coming out of GDC, but I’m pretty sure all of it was overshadowed by Angry Birds Space.read on
With our new site update and corporate identity (have you checked it out yet? I’ll wait…) we decided to breathe some new life into the Online Entertainment Insider. Jason passed the newsletter torch to me, Alex Josef, vice president of the interactive entertainment practice here at Wonacott!read on
CD Projekt Red, publisher of the Witcher series, is an anomaly in the games industry when it comes to its stance on digital rights management, or DRM. After announcing that they sold 1.5 million copies last year, they put out the statistic that there are approximately 4.5 million pirated copies. And they don’t care. They take the opinion that counter-piracy measures wind up only hurting loyal gamers; so instead, they work on improving the quality. A pretty novel suggestion, don’t you think?read on
Red Sox fans, and I know you’re out there, we have a lot to be upset about as famous knuckleballer Tim Wakefield is on the verge of retiring. But there could be life after baseball for him – he could join up with retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Shilling’s game company, 38 Studios and help promote its new release – Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. Maybe Tim can be a marketing coordinator or something.read on
Everyone remembers the classic Milton-Bradley board game, Battleship, right? Did you know Hollywood decided to turn it into your movie? Yes? Well, Activision just announced this week it was turning the movie about the board game into a first person shooter. Really? I’ll repeat that. REALLY?!read on
Happy post-Groundhog day, everyone! I hope that if you were stuck in a 10,000 year loop yesterday, that everything turned out for the best and you haven’t been permanently scarred by a Sonny and Cher tune.
Darksiders 2 held a huge preview event in San Francisco (which we helped out on!) and the game’s previews started hitting this week. The new game reveals the second Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death, and follows his story concurrently with War’s story in the original Darksiders. It’s a really interesting “Pulp Fiction”-y approach to the sequel, and is shaping up to be a franchise in its own right and not a rehash of other titles.
Virgin Gaming, Sir Richard Branson’s foray into interactive gambling, hit a huge milestone this week with 1 million registered users, and $7 million in prizes awarded to date. Virgin Gaming allows users to place wagers on matches and is partnered with publishers including EA and Take-Two, with Madden NFL ‘12 and NBA 2k12 being among the most popular titles to bet on.
Find out more news from around the world of digital entertainment in this week’s edition of the Online Entertainment Insider, and have a great weekend!read on
Happy Friday, everyone! I didn’t want to get too political about SOPA, but it turns out that the legislation is spilling over into the video games industry in a big way. Since the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is still supporting the bill, Firefall Studios fought back by forming the League for Gamers (LFG) – a representative group that plans on boycotting this year’s E3 until the ESA rescinds support. We won’t know what the actual impact on E3 will be until we get closer to June, but it will be interesting to see how the politics play out.read on
Happy Friday the thirteenth! It’s the last day of CES, so if you’re at the show or following the news coming from it, you have an idea of all the awesome stuff we’re going in 2012. I do a lot of gaming on my PC, so I was really glad to see Razer, Samsung and Intel show off some incredible gaming computers, including the enigmatic Project Fiona. I’m looking forward to the games that will take full advantage of these beefy computers.read on
Happy New Year! Hopefully yours started as awesome as mine. The ancient Mayans predicted that in 2012 the world will come to an end. I sure hope not as a number of great games are scheduled for release this year, including BioShock Infinite, Halo 4 and Mass Effect 3. I know some of the staff would be pretty upset if they didn’t get to play these new titles.read on
Another Holiday season passing, another belt size gaining. Good thing the Krav Maga studio is back to its normal hours. Hopefully, all of you had a nice Christmas and Chanukah – whether you spent it with loved ones or on your PC playing Star Wars: The Old Republic. Before we round out the year’s final Online Entertainment Insider, we’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!read on
Happy Holidays, everyone! As we wind down 2011 over the next week, we wish you, your co-workers and family the best, which hopefully involves copious amounts of Egg Nog (whiskey optional). Read on for the rest of the Online Entertainment Insider!read on
Tonight is our annual holiday party today, and I could not be more excited. We’ll be reprising last year’s “karaoke dive-bar” theme and I’m taking requests on the Wonacott Facebook page. Please note, my range includes anything you’d find in a “Monsters of Rock” collection from 1985 through 1999, and yes, this includes power ballads. If you want something sung *well*, make sure to tag our resident vocalist, Nathalie Nourian. Read on to find more of this week's news!read on
Monitoring the news is a large part of being a Public Relations professional. Some might even call it a “necessary evil.” So much of what we do relies on being up-to-date on industry trends and news around the world. But between writing press releases, pitching stories, making calls, editing documents, creating proposals, brainstorming, putting together mailings, staffing events and the myriad of other tasks you find yourself taking on, staying up on the news sometimes seems like the most harmless thing to let fall by the wayside.read on
In news this week, Skyrim takes top honors as the most-played game of 2011 and World of Tanks shatters records with 250,000 simultaneous players on a single MMO server. All this and more in this week's Online Entertaiment Insider!read on
Did you know that in addition to a brand new kick-ass blog, that we also have a weekly newsletter? Delivered to your inbox every Friday, the Online Entertainment Insider is dedicated solely to bringing you the latest news, features and other nuggets from the world of online interactive and social entertainment. What's that you say? "How much would such an amazing service cost me," you ask? It's absolutley free! You can sign up for the email newsletter here or you can read it every week on the Wonablog. Hit the break to read the rest of what's important from this week's Online Entertainment Insider...read on