Zynga appears to have wasted the $200m it was understood to have paid last year for OMGPop – with the Draw Something maker’s New York office being reportedly shut down as part of the restructuring announced this week.
It had already written down the March 2012 acquisition by around $90m last October as the drawing game’s popularity waned. Zynga is laying off 18 per cent of its global workforce – around 520 people – as it tries to shift the focus of its business away from Facebook to mobile games. One alleged victim of the cuts has been sounding off on Reddit over the past few hours about his experience at Zynga’s San Francisco headquarters. Read more
Ouya, the open-source games console, has become the first Kickstarter tech project to graduate to a more traditional funding scheme – venture capital.
After getting $8m from 63,000 crowdfunders last August, Ouya on Thursday announced it has raised $15m from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, Mayfield Fund and Nvidia, to accelerate its plan to attack the mass market. Read more
LucasArts has shut down Star Wars games in development and is laying off staff, as the San Francisco-based publisher switches to a licensing model for video games.
The decision means Star Wars 1313, greeted enthusiastically by gamers at last year’s E3 convention when a preview was shown, and Star Wars:First Assault, a planned first-person shooter, will not now appear. A small team working on casual games is also being disbanded. Read more
John Riccitiello made a final public appearance as chief executive of Electronic Arts at the unveiling of Battlefield 4 at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this week.
He steps down on Saturday, resigning, according to the official account, over the company missing its numbers for the current fiscal year ending March 31.
The poor performance of another first-person shooter, Medal of Honor: Warfighter, last autumn contributed to this, but Mr Riccitiello’s green-lighting of Battlefield 4 could give his successor an easier ride this coming year. Read more
Angry Birds developer Rovio has already become the first app maker to successfully transfer its brand from digital to physical, with all sorts of merchandising and toys.
Now the Finnish company is making its most ambitious play yet to become – in its words – a “fully fledged entertainment powerhouse” with the launch of a weekly cartoon series this weekend. Read more
Sony teased gamers with details of its next-generation PlayStation 4, expected to launch around Christmas, at an event in New York this week. But with no console to be seen, promises of improved graphics and social gaming features did not appease the concerns of those who worry that the group could be close to losing its last chance at a comeback. Read more
The speculation will soon be over. After months of waiting, Sony is set to announce details of its next generation PlayStation 4 at an event in New York on Wednesday evening, setting the stage for the next round of the console wars.
The company is likely to emphasise the wrap-around software and overall “consumer experience”, rather than the “speeds and feeds” of the hardware itself – though these will no doubt be impressive. Read more