The UpStream

Fired for Going TO SPACE!

posted Sunday Aug 1, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Fired for Going TO SPACE!

Want to hear the best termination story you'll ever hear? Well, here we go. Richard "Lord British" Garriott, Ultima creator and coiner of the term Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game created a company called Destination Games. They partnered with NCSoft to release a number of things, most notably Tabula Rasa, a semi-failure of an MMO. At some point, NCSoft bought the company and Garriott was made CEO of NCsoft Austin, also known as NC Interactive.

In 2008, Garriott decided to take his fortunes and go to space, so he hopped aboard the Soyuz TMA-13 and headed to the International Space station for 12 days. While there, NCSoft decided that this was his resignation and posted a resignation letter on the Tabula Rasa website. The only problem is that he didn't write the letter and had had no intentions of leaving the company.

To read the rest of the story and the resulting lawsuit, hit the break.

Google Makes Facebook Angry by Taking Zynga on a Date

posted Sunday Aug 1, 2010 by Nicholas DiMeo

Google Makes Facebook Angry by Taking Zynga on a Date

Last week, we talked about how Google Me would be a way for Google to take on Facebook, at least on the social media side of things. But what about for the gaming market? With online games such as FrontierVille and FarmVille taking over, Google would have had to have seen the success, and this week, it looks like they have taken notice, as Google is trying to sweet talk social-gaming giant Zynga into doing business with them.

It only makes sense for Google to make this move, as we also learned this week that Disney bought Playdom, the #3 game developer behind Zynga and EA, for $563.2 million and GameStop made a move for Flash game developer Kongregate.

For more on Google's plot, follow the break.

How to Recover American Idol

posted Sunday Aug 1, 2010 by Scott Ertz

How to Recover <i>American Idol</i>

The country's top-rated program for somewhere near 100 years now is on the brink of collapse. Simon Cowell has left the show so he can go back to having a career and recently rehired executive producer, Nigel Lythgoe, has fired Ellen Degenres and Kara DioGuardi, leaving the series with Randy Jackson.

Jennifer Lopez has officially been picked to replace Ellen and Kara (they are bringing the team back to 3, not 4) and rumors in the industry seem to point to an incredibly odd replacement for Simon: Steven Tyler. Yes, you read that right. JLo and Aerosmith combining to form a partnership even stranger than the Super Bowl halftime show where Aerosmith and N*Sync performed with Brittany Spears.

So, this has me thinking - is there a way for Fox to salvage American Idol?


posted Sunday Aug 1, 2010 by Josh Henry


Citing increased real-life criminal activity originating in the online space, the Vietnamese Ministry of Information and Communication has placed a number of tight restrictions on massively multiplayer titles. These include bans on any and all advertisements for online games, as well as regulations forcing ISPs to shut off service to gaming cafes and retailers after hours.

According to the website 70% to 76%, of primary school children play online videogames on weekdays, with 100% of the surveyed saying they played on weekends. Videogames have been blamed for a rise in crime and truancy by young people, as well as fears over videogame addiction.

The government has asked videogame creators to have their games put through a standard ratings system based on their content. Some have already done this and the ratings range from "below 6; 6-11; 12-15; 15-18; above 18; and 'unsuitable for all ages'." There’s also, according to Vietnam News, a move for "electronic IDs", which seems to indicate a universal log-on system which would help "manage internet usage".

More drastic is the Ministry's decision to stop allowing any additional online games to come into the nation until further legislation on the matter can be considered. What I am wondering is if this has anything to do with the large amount of gold farming that comes out of countries like Vietnam and Korea. It looks like all the people who depend on buying fake money with real money. Looks like I am going to have to hold off on buying my epic mount.

Apple, Google or Palm?

posted Sunday Aug 1, 2010 by Scott Ertz

Apple, Google or Palm?

The mobile landscape is changing and we owe a lot of that change to mobile apps, or more realistically, the advertisement of mobile apps. These applications have been in existence for decades, but no one has made a big deal about them until Apple, who infamously advertised just that aspect of their products for a long time.

In the app world, there seems to be three distinct approaches to policing content: Apple, Google and Palm. Apple has been known for policing their apps too much, Google doesn't have any approval process to speak of and Palm only looks for malicious or broken code to approve apps. Who has the right idea?

To see evidence of who might be right and whose approach is wrong, hit the break.

Four New Characters For Marvel V.S. Capcom 3!

posted Sunday Jul 25, 2010 by Josh Henry

Four New Characters For </i>Marvel V.S. Capcom 3!</i>

After a tease on Capcom's Twitter account this morning that new Marvel vs. Capcom 3 characters would be revealed today, Capcom has gone ahead and announced four new characters. The Capcom side adds Street Fighter's Chun-Li and Devil May Cry's Trish, while Marvel gets Doctor Doom and Super-Skrull.

None of the new reveals are especially surprising. Silhouettes of the unannounced characters were shown in a trailer a few months ago, and some were incredibly obvious. But now that they're official, you can look forward to getting your hands on these characters when Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is released in spring 2011 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

I am particularly disappointed that we didn't get to see much gameplay of one of the characters Amaterasu, a god from the Okami games, and sadly it seems that Marvel V.S. Capcom 3 is the closest PS3 gamers will get to having an Okami game on their console. But I was excited to see Dr. Doom on the roster so I can cause some magical mayhem.

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