The UpStream

California vs The Constitution

posted Saturday Jul 18, 2009 by Scott Ertz

The Governator has been all over the place with his political positions. He supports alternative fuel, but only the stuff the oil companies could sell easily. Now he is ok with games, so long as they are a) not violent or b) he is in them. I am, of course, talking about the California law that was to outlaw violent videogames. That law, of course, was found unconstitutional for many reasons, one of which being its First Amendment implications.

The law has made it all the way to the US Supreme Court, and while still waiting to hear the ruling, it has given videogame experts a chance to weigh in on the legality of it. Today's example is Robert Corn-Revere, a First Amendment Attorney. He says:

Microsoft Discriminating Against Small Developers

posted Saturday Jul 18, 2009 by Scott Ertz

Microsoft Discriminating Against Small Developers

This is the week for big developers to take over the small marketplaces. First EA starts a mobile development studio and now this. Australian Indie game publishers are claiming that Microsoft has started giving more and more of its 35 XBLA game slots to major developers.

WAToday claims that the requirements Microsoft has placed on its acceptance of XBLA games favor big publishers, "with independent games rejected for being too similar to an existing title on the service, yet major publishers were able to flood it with retro remakes."

EA's 8lb Gorilla

posted Saturday Jul 18, 2009 by Scott Ertz

EA's 8lb Gorilla

EA has had a lot of success making iPod Touch-platform games as of late, so it should come as no surprise that they have decided to create a new studio dedicated to nothing but mobile games, called 8lb Gorilla. The goal of the studio is to publish at least one mobile game every month. The first game under their umbrella is Zombies and Me which has already been released.

Though this might be good for EA, or anyone who owns stock in the company, it is not good for the kids writing the 99cent games in their bedrooms, as EA has now put themselves in direct competition. It certainly has the possibility of being the next Walmart, driving the small business out of the marketplace completely. Expect some unhappy blog posts in the coming months.

Midway Newcastle Closed

posted Saturday Jul 18, 2009 by Scott Ertz

Midway Newcastle Closed

We announced most of Midway was purchased by Warner Brothers and that the rest had to find buyers quickly or be shut down. This week was the deadline for the first studio, Newcastle, is gone. CEO Matt Booty showed up to deliver the news, but it seems that wouldn't really soften the blow.

The loss of parts of Midway is not a surprise as there were no interested buyers, but it is a disappointment for those of us who have been gaming for a long time. San Diego is still on the table, and if it can find a buyer in the next 50 days or so, they will be fine, but it seems they have the same fate just several weeks later.

UFC "At War" With EA

posted Saturday Jul 18, 2009 by Scott Ertz

UFC

The president of UFC, Dana White, doesn't like EA, and, honestly, who can blame him? He says of EA, "They wouldn't even take a meeting because mixed martial arts disgusted them. This wasn't a real sport. Boy, they got over that real quick, didn't they?"

He is so committed to keeping his franchise and the EA franchise separate that he has threatened to ban any UFC fighter who appears in EA's MMA. That having been said, if the game is good enough, would it matter if there were real, recognizable fighters to choose from or generic made-up EA characters? Or would it be like Madden vs All Pro Football, where the fun is in playing real teams with real players?

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