BIZ: Sony Shocked! Awww….
Frictionless Insight (a great “intelligent” news source – the very opposite of this news source) is reporting that Sony has dropped trademark registration for “Shock & Awe” as a game title. Apparently, soon after the news broke, here and elsewhere, Sony suffered a lightning blitzkrieg of criticism that took it completely by surprise. They were email-bombed non-stop, and irate game fans and investors penetrated deep into Sony’s territory in mere hours. This initial attack was no doubt sparked by a story in last week’s Beatdown. Ahem, I like to refer to that story as my little decapitation strike.
BIZ: Black Day at Black Isle
If you’ve been following game news recently you’ve probably noticed that things are getting worse for Interplay. Well, they just sustained a grievous blow as Black Isle’s leader and lead designer, the awesomely named Feargus Urquhart, has left the building in search of greener, more stable, pastures. Feargus helmed such classics as Planescape Torment, Icewind Dale, and the Fallout series. I’ve interviewed him maybe five times in the past five years and once he confided in me that, one day, he’d love to do Planescape Torment 2. Looks like that will never happen. Anyway, sources indicate a few more Black Isle employees might jump ship and go with him, so we might see a new RPG game company emerge from all this mess. Good luck Feargus, you have the coolest name in the business outside of American McGee.
POLITICS: Rebuilding Iraq
The fighting is over, the looting is mostly over, and the US and Iraqi people are setting their sights on rebuilding Baghdad and the rest of the nation. Rumor has it they’ve asked a cadre of real city building and planning experts to pitch in and help out. May we suggest they include the master of all city building? Mr. Sim City himself, Will Wright.
Wright and his crew at Maxis have all Iraq needs to do the job right. Terrain modifying tools, bulldozer icons to clear rubble, scaleable graphics, and handy zoning tools to designate new residential, commercial, or industrial areas. Adding a power plant or two (non-nuclear) and linking up the neighborhoods will improve efficiency and save money in the long run. “Just be careful,” an unnamed Maxis spokesman says, “when you go to ‘reconcile’ the edges, Baghdad might lose some infrastructure.”