The Evening Report, October 23rd, 2012: Zynga Layoffs and Disappearing DOOM

The Evening Report, October 23rd, 2012: Zynga Layoffs and Disappearing DOOM

Zynga shuffles 5% of its workforce out of Boston and Austin

An unfortunate bit of news was attempted to be shuffled under the rug today amid the hubbub of Apple’s iPad keynote press conference thing. According to Gamasutra, over 100 employees were put out of work at social game behemoth Zynga’s Austin studio, with a Zynga Boston studio closure adding to that number. These layoffs represent about 5% of the company’s global full-time workforce, and from the sounds of things it might not be the last round of employee culling we see before things are all taken care of.

I…don’t really care all that much about Zynga one way or the other: apathy is the best I can muster for their social games and their “Villes”. Despite that, it’s never, ever a good thing to see such a high number of games industry folks losing their jobs, even if they are working at a company that doesn’t generate much in the way of public affection. Our thoughts go out to the employees affected by this decision, and we hope you’ll all land on your feet soon.

[Source: Gamasutra]

id Software removes original version of DOOM 3 from download services

The “BFG Edition” of DOOM 3 came out last week, and with that “upgrade” comes quite a few little changes to the way the original game works. Things like having your flashlight and a weapon at the same time make DOOM 3 a very different experience, so it wouldn’t be too unreasonable to expect that some people would want to continue to play it the way it was originally released…right? id Software doesn’t necessarily think so, and based on a report from Giant Bomb, the un-BFG’d edition is no longer available on Steam or any other downloadable service. If you still want a Steam version, you have to pay for the entire id Collection which comes to well over a hundred bucks.

This is really wonky business, as far as I’m concerned. I can understand wanting to highlight a new re-release of a game, especially when it’s the only real thing a developer is putting out this year, but going so far as to remove access to buying the original version seems way too heavy-handed to me. Considering the fact that lots of people seem to feel like the actual DOOM 3 content in the BFG Edition is a bit downscaled from the original release…well, something just seems fishy about all this. To id’s credit, they did say that they’re working on getting it back on Steam and other services, but you have to wonder why it was removed in the first place.

[Source: Giant Bomb]

US district judge rules in favor of Sony over PSN outage

Three cheers for Sony! They’re not guilty, I guess! You may or may not remember the PSN outage that went down last April, which affected a fair few people and got some of those people to band together and try to hand a class-action lawsuit Sony’s way. Eurogamer noted that this lawsuit is now essentially null and void, as US judge Anthony Battaglia has decided that Sony didn’t violate any laws or intentionally mess with the customers involved in this lawsuit. They’re more or less getting off with a stern look.

The Playstation Network downtime last year was a frustrating time for everyone involved, but I never thought it was something worth straight-up suing Sony about. With the “Welcome Back” program that showered PSN users in games and a go at the wonderful Playstation Plus program, it was a terrible situation that ended on a much better note than the 2008 Xbox Live outage. How many of you are still playing the amazing Undertow?

[Source: Eurogamer]

XCOM DLC is coming out and that means there is more XCOM to play, how lovely

You guys, XCOM: Enemy Unknown is an incredible game. If you don’t believe me, you can read Steven’s review of it, but that’s not the reason it’s got a spot in tonight’s Report. Firaxis sent out info to Joystiq and other sites today regarding the first of two(!) planned DLC packs, titled “Slingshot”. It’ll take place in China while offering some new visuals, maps and missions into the existing campaign. What it won’t be adding is new tech or alien types, which is something I’m a bit mixed on. There’s a lot more information than we can fit into these excerpts, so check that stuff out. The only thing you won’t find is a price or release date.

I’m not terribly excited about small structured additions to the overall campaign, only because there’s only so many games of XCOM you can play before it starts to get…well, not stale, but not quite fresh. Give me the Second Wave options baked into the main game, or a Terror from the Deep expansion. What I am excited about is new hairstyles you guys. New. Hairstyles.

[Source: Joystiq]


Dyl-Questing – The Best Thing I Read Today: Morality in Dishonored

Over on Gameranx, Mathew Jones dives into Dishonored not to lay wave upon wave of adoration upon it, but to question the way its morality system works against other mechanics and the narrative. It’s a good piece of content in regards to the fact that, even in a systems-heavy game like Dishonored, it’s hard to make a narrative be consistently cohesive with its mechanical aspects.

[Source: Gameranx]