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A gloomy day in the world of gaming today. Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision Blizzard infamous for some of his harsh remarks about gamers, was apparently very close to being fired in 2013. Furthermore, the rumors of massive Microsoft layoffs are coming true with confirmed numbers, and another Kickstarter project, this time from Yogscast, fails to materialize. On the upside, Microsoft revealed a Kinect-less Xbox One actually might have helped double the sales and Nintendo promises a dedicated Lounge to showcase their upcoming titles at the ComicCon. Here is the gaming news daily digest from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 17, 2014.
Bobby Kotick was close to being fired in 2013
This news will probably make many critics of Activision shake their heads even more. Joystiq reported that, back in 2013, Vivendi, which was controlling most of Activision’s shares, wanted to fire CEO Bobby Kotick. Activision was negotiating to re-buy all the shares but Kotick refused to exclude his own investment group from any deal that was struck. The near-firing was mentioned in a chain of emails between the CEO and CFO of Vivendi at the time, and emerged as part of the ongoing lawsuit against Kotick and Activision chairman Brian Kelly. The lawsuit claims the two benefited from insider knowledge when the deal to buy the shares back took place.
Microsoft laying off 18,000 workers
Yesterday Guardian Liberty Voice reported that Microsoft was on the brink of major layoffs. Today, company CEO Satya Nadella confirmed the number to be 18,000. This marks the biggest round of layoffs in Microsoft’s history, almost four times the number of pink slips issued in 2009 when 5,000 employees lost their jobs. Nadella explained the move is driven by the desire to simplify the Microsoft work place and possibly may be due, as well, to the Nokia Devices and Services integration. Nadella issued an open letter several days ago foreshadowing major restructuring and realignment of the company’s priorities in the “mobile-first” world. It is not yet clear, however, which departments will be affected by the layoffs.
Xbox One without Kinect doubles the sales
In related Microsoft news, Joystiq reports that the Kinect-less version of their latest console resulted in “more than double” the sales back in June. The statistic, announced by Microsoft, are based on the actual retail sales and not just shipments to retailers. However, no details about the exact numbers were provided. What is interesting about this finding is that Microsoft initially claimed they could not and would not sell the Xbox One without the Kinect add-on. An insider contact, Pete “FamousMortimer” Dodd, claimed they “literally cannot unbundle it” due to contracting issues back in March
Nintendo will make an appearance at ComicCon too
News about exclusive game showcases at the upcoming San Diego ComicCon has been trickling down to the media over the past few days. Nintendo will be presenting some new titles at the event, giving the attendees access to almost 20 different games. The most anticipated ones will include Super Smash Bros. for both Nintendo 3Ds and Wii U, Shovel Knight, Bayonetta 2 and Mario Kart 8. The games will be demoed at the Nintendo Gaming Lounge on the first floor of the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel, which will not actually require a ComiCon badge to get in.
Kickstarted Yogventures crumbles, claims no obligation to backers
Gaming press has been buzzing about this since early this morning. Kickstarted and Greenlit, Yogaventures, a new title from the makers of Yogscast, a popular YouTube channel, has now been officially cancelled, despite a seemingly steady chain of updates over the past year. According to the creators, the project simply proved too ambitious, and milestones after milestones were missed. While the backers will receive some complementary codes for other games, the official response claimed the team is under “no obligation to do anything.” The incident is just another proof of the inherent uncertainty of crowd-funding any project.
Gaming New Digest From Guardian Liberty Voice Commentary by Jakub Kasztalski
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