Is it just me? The Lindens are starting to sound pretty damned desperate for cash.
"I don't know why the world's leading designers on social media user experience would have made something as creepy feeling as the way this new seamless sharing was instituted, but I wouldn't be surprised if it's because behind the scenes Facebook is built by arrogant young people living charmed lives and sure they know what's best for the rest of us." While that link's specifically concerning Facebook, I wonder what the average median Linden age is these days?
If you've ever wanted a really good example of how physics work, to explain to students or children? This would work quite nicely.
They're terming the new Avengers posters "sleek" at First Showing, and I tend to agree--I especially adore the subtlety of portraying Bruce Banner, with just that mere hint of green light over his face. Very nicely done.
This--and everything else in that particular stream--are all photographs. They're a phenomenal collection of still lives, and every single one of them looks like the old masters to me, with oil and gouache and age crackling the paint. But they're all photographs. Seriously impressive.
In the meantime, a devoted World of Warcraft player sent me a stunning link with inside information on the Activision merger, and it's all sorts of jaw-dropping. If you have the time, I recommend you read the whole post on Team Liquid, but I did want to capture some highlights for posterity.
All of these are quotes from Activision CEO, Robert Kotick.
"On the Blizzard side, [we need to] really be figuring out things like the StarCraft business model for the future, with in-game advertising and sponsorship, [which have] really not been something that has moved the dial for anybody in the videogame industry, but that we think presents tremendous opportunity for the future." (as quoted by Shock News.)
"With respect to the franchises that don’t have the potential to be exploited every year across every platform, with clear sequel potential that can meet our objectives of, over time, becoming $100 million-plus franchises, that’s a strategy that has worked very well for us." (as quoted by Gamasutra.)
"Now that we have the weight of being the largest payer of royalties to the first-parties of any third-party company, I definitely see us as starting to influence hardware design, and they're thinking about the evolution of the next generation of hardware." (as quoted by Play.TM.)
"I'm getting concerned about Sony; the PlayStation 3 is losing a bit of momentum and they don't make it easy for me to support the platform...They have to cut the price, because if they don't, the attach rates are likely to slow...If we are being realistic, we might have to stop supporting Sony." (as quoted by Gamasutra.)
"[Y]ou know if it was left to me, I would raise the prices even further." (as quoted on the Destructoid blog.)
"In the last cycle of videogames you spent $50 on a game, played it and took it back to the shop for credit. Today, we'll (charge) $100 for a guitar. You might add a microphone or drums; you might buy two or three expansions packs, different types of music. Over the life of your ownership you'll probably buy around 25 additional song packs in digital downloads. So, what used to be a $50 sale is a $500 sale today." (as quoted by MMO Champion.)
"We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games." (as quoted by NeoSeeker.)
"We are very good at keeping people focused on the deep depression." (as quoted in the same source.)
"Our significant accomplishments in 2009 are the result of the expertise and skills of our employees around the world. Their hard work and commitment to excellence made us stronger even during difficult times." (as quoted by Kotaku, and this after firing over 180 employees scattered through five different smaller studios that had sourced work for Blizzard or Activision, three of which were closed outright.)
So if you've been getting the feeling that Blizzartd's now all about the pocket change--namely yours--becoming theirs? This is why.
Of course, World of Warcraft just lost 800,000 subscribers. Maybe Kotick is too busy counting the millions earned from Call of Duty to care, but then again...
Finally, there's a lot of catcalling between Notch and the Yogscast fans over what happened at Minecon, and the scary part is Notch is the guy who sounds like the insane crazed fan, here. Simon and Lewis, the folks behind the Yogscast, issued a simple statement when all of this broke, saying they needed to get to the plane, off the plane, and back home to England (from Las Vegas) before they could properly respond. But they're the ones being accused of everything but lighting a goat on fire in the convention hall, and trying to sacrifice babies on an altar made of con guests.
Me, I'm not keen on the controversy coming up, especially where it involves Minecraftchick (because, dear gods, is she hateable--she's got raccoon eyes, she's insane, and she has at least one video up on her channel which is pretty much the Festival of Deathing); for me, easy targets don't make it easier to be outraged, it means we're spending our time kicking the puppy.
And the puppy has candyfloss-pink hair. That's not a good strong target, that's more of a pathetic, squishy target.
So mostly, I'm waiting until I get a statement from Simon or Lewis, as to what exactly happened, because honestly, what I think happened? Notch heard it second-hand, inflated by someone (which might even have been his Director of Fun, who organized and hosted all of Minecon; frankly, we just don't know), and then LOST HIS MIND on Twitter.
That's one of the problems with the internet; it's so easy to rant with zero validity to what we're ranting on. Trust me, I know this. Hells, I live this.
But either way, more later, when I hear things. I'll let you know.