The Week in Review

| 3 Mar 2012 10:00

This week we learn that we all under-estimated BioWare's ability to provide Mass Effect news, Blizzard is in the midst of a torrential round of layoffs and the Princeton Review weighs in on the top gaming schools.

The Boondock Saints Becomes Co-op Shooter


Small developer Critical Mass Interactive is like 7-Eleven; it's not always doing business, but it's always open. Recently, it opened its doors to an unusual project based on an equally unusual property: a cooperative shooter that continues the story of The Boondock Saints. Fans of quirky cinema will remember the story of Connor and Murphy, two Irish brothers who wage a two-man vigilante war against organized crime. The developers at Critical Mass see the characters as a natural fit for an action game, and promise fans that they'll do whatever it takes to honor the spirit of the film. (Link)

BioWare Founders Consider Mass Effect MMO


Many Mass Effect fans are sure to feel some mixed emotions when the series' third installment is released on March 6th. While most gamers understand that an enjoyable story must eventually reach conclusion to actually be enjoyable, the act of reaching that final credit roll remains bittersweet. The characters, their story,your story, is over. Still, BioWare has already said that Mass Effect 3 will not mark the end of the franchise, just the story of Commander Shepard, so the question must be asked: With the primary trilogy over, what's next? According to a recent interview held by the Penny Arcade Report, perhaps the answer is a new MMO. (Link)

Blizzard Lays Off 600


Following a "review of its business based on current organizational needs," Blizzard Entertainment has begun implementing cuts of approximately 600 employees from its rolls. The good news is that 90 percent of the layoffs will come from non-development departments, and the World of Warcraft team will not be touched. The bad news, obviously, is that 600 people are, or soon will be, out of work. "Constant evaluation of teams and processes is necessary for the long-term health of any business. Over the last several years, we've grown our organization tremendously and made large investments in our infrastructure in order to better serve our global community," CEO Mike Morhaime said in a statement. (Link)

Princeton Review Names Top 50 Games Schools


For those in the position to do so, choosing the right college or university to attend can be a lovely feeling. You've got a menu which you can peruse at leisure. Don't think about that nasty part where you have to send applications off and then wander around in a haze of self-doubt for the next few months. Nah! Just think of the good part. But which choices are best for aspiring game creators with designs on a college degree? This year marked Princeton Review's third annual survey of game design courses in the US and Canada aimed at answering that question. (Link)

Notch Gives $3 Million to Mojang Employees


Minecraft is a big deal. From the day I first heard PayPal had suspended Markus "Notch" Persson's account because he earned too much money too fast, it was clear we were witnessing the birth of something important. Since September 2010, Minecraft has gone through several updates from alpha to beta and release as well as help Notch form an independent studio in his home country of Sweden. Mojang still has a modest staff of less than 20 employees, but in celebration of 5 million sales of Minecraft and the end of tax season, Notch distributed the $3 million in dividends he was entitled to all back to his "Mojangstas". (Link)

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