The Week in Review

| 11 Aug 2012 10:00

This week we learn that Amazon is tired of seeing people not give them money, Facebook gives online bingo a chance and Google doesn't need no stinking drivers.

Amazon Launches Its Own Game Studio


Amazon has had a watchful eye on the games market for some time now. After branching into mobile games and a digital delivery service for free-to-play games earlier this summer, the retailer has decided to cut out the middle man. With the announcement of its own private development studio, Amazon is stepping up its game (pun completely intended) once more. Amazon Game Studios, as described on its official website, is "focused on creating innovative, fun and well-crafted games." In practice, this means free-to-play social games on Facebook and possibly other venues. (Link)

Facebook Embraces Online Gambling


Facebook, the social network and duckface emporium many can't live without, has officially entered the online-gambling market with the launch of Bingo Friendzy. Developed by online bingo operator, Gamesys, Bingo Friendzy is the first Facebook game to let users gamble with real-world cash rather than virtual currency. The game is currently only available in the UK, and you have to be at least 18 to play. The company is also planning to release a real-money slot machine game in the coming weeks. (Link)

Warner Bros Courting Ben Affleck to Direct Justice League


Amidst all the fuss over Marvel Studio's incredibly succesful superhero franchise, it's important to note that Warner Bros. is planning its own superhero movies outside of the traditionally popular Batman and Superman franchises. The film production company is already gearing up for its own multi-hero blockbuster in the form of a Justice League movie planned for 2015, but a director and cast are still needed before the project can move forward. Warner Bros. is already on the hunt, having approached actor and director Ben Affleck in the hopes that he will bring to DC superheroes what directors like Joss Whedon have done for Marvel. (Link)

Google's Self-Driving Cars Pass 300,000 Miles Accident-Free


Driverless cars have been a widely-held goal for some time now, with their potential applications extending from allowing visually impaired people to travel independently to increasing safety standards thanks to the lightning-fast reaction times provided by the technology that drives them. Having unveiled its self-driving car project a few years back, engineers from Google this week revealed that since then, their fleet of twelve driver-free cars has driven over 300,000 miles without incurring any accidents. Thanks to this success, the cars are apparently now ready to drive Google employees to work alone. (Link)

BioWare Co-Founder Hasn't Quit


Just bringing up BioWare's name can cause a tempest in a teapot, so just imagine what would happen if one of its co-founders up and left. Some sharp-eyed fans noticed that Greg Zeschuk, one of the two men behind BioWare, left his position at BioWare Austin back in May and left only the vaguest forwarding address, prompting speculation that he was getting ready to leave BioWare EA entirely. Luckily, the internet can remain a peaceful place for a little while longer. While Zeschuk has indeed returned to his native Canada, his reasons for doing so are fairly benign, and he is by no means done with BioWare yet. (Link)

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