A couple of days ago, non-uniformed security guards showed up at Infinity Ward's offices unannounced and did not speak to any of the employees there. Several hours later, Jason West and Vince Zampella, the co-founders of Infinity Ward Studios and the huge blockbuster game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 were escorted out of the building. Were they given a choice, or was it a power move by Activision's top brass? Looks to me like Activision was well aware of what was going to happen.
On Monday, Activision filed a form 10:K with the SEC, mentioning many details about problems with the company that we find suspicious.
According to information collected by AppData, the FarmVille player base passed the 80 million mark yesterday. We'll give you a second to soak that in. It might help you digest it if we present the number numerically: 80,920,421. Or, perhaps you need another point of reference: That's almost the population of Germany. If you tried to orally count the number of people currently playing FarmVille, it would take you close to four years. And God only knows how large the player base would be then.
It seems that the WoW killer came in something that nobody expected. You would think that someone in the gaming industry would recognize how crazy people are about virtual farming and monopolize the situation. I can tell you with the straightest face that if Marvelous Entertainment, the owner of the Harvest Moon franchise, decided to make an MMO based off of the universe, my social life would officially be dead.
We've been calling Windows Mobile WinMo for ages, and so has everyone else. But ever since MWC and the announcement of Windows Phone 7 Series we haven't heard anyone mention Windows Phone as WinPho. So we did. And we are copyrighting it in text right here. So Microsoft, start payin' to use that, buddy. Anyway, we learned this week that WinMo 6.5, the new operating system coming to several phones in the upcoming months will be renamed to Windows Phone Starter Edition, mainly due to Microsoft's everlasting rule of launching a product and naming it something else without changing anything but the wrapper.
Zdnet got a hold of a Windows Mobile spokesperson who said something interesting when asked about the difference between WinMo 6.5 and if WinPho Starter Edition will be a stripped-down version.
The Windows Phone 6 Starter Edition SKU is offered in multi-language versions with and without Microsoft Office Mobile and supports 2G (GSM), 2.5G (CDMA2000 xRTT, EDGE, GPRS), CDMA (Rev A, EV-DO Revision A), and TD-SCDMA radios.
Everyone is buzzing about Google Buzz, just not in a positive way. Not too many Gmail users were thrilled to see that Google had automatically signed them up for and linked them with other Buzz users, but that was just the beginning.
Users were curious about the new social networking service but lost interest when linked with people automatically. Google claims that they plan to fix the auto-follow feature by using a suggestion box to add new friends, sound familiar?
Last week, the world held their breath during the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics while at the same time salivating over the announcement of Windows Phone 7 Series at MWC, so I guess the media had nothing better to do than to report on studies and researches. Here's another for you.
Marketing research firm NPD Group has reported that numbers have plummeted from '07 to '09 when it comes to how much music was legally purchased. Stating at the Digital Music Forum: East conference in New York, NPD analyst Russ Crupnick mentioned that 24 million fewer people bought music in the two year time frame, whether it be CD or online. However, total spending per user has increased, and more shockingly, P2P use has decreased in the same time.
This has been a bitter-sweet week for Palm fans. On the positive side, WebOS 1.4 hit this weekend (Saturday morning for Sprint and Sunday morning for Verizon), adding some much-needed feature enhancements. On the bad side, so did some preliminary numbers for this quarter.
WebOS 1.4 was a bit of an overhaul on what we think about when we think of the WebOS. Everything from the application load screen to the Memos application were altered. A lot of the changes involve adding interoperability to the apps, like clicking a phone number in a memo to call the number, etc. However, there are a few big changes to the way it works. A new application does not go full-screen until it finishes loading, so users know why they cannot use it yet. Also, you can change the alert sounds for each event, as opposed to one alert sound for all events. The most important addition, however, is video. You can now record video and then edit it right on the phone. The edit feature is similar to that on the iPhone, without the lag some users experience when the phone tries to re-render the preview images.