The UpStream

Weather at NiGHTS

posted Thursday Nov 8, 2007 by Scott Ertz

Don't you hate when it's raining outside and you have to stay in and play videogames all day? We don't, either. Playing games to avoid the weather is the best part of weather. Now, you won't even be able to do that!

NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams says it will be the first game to utilize the Wii weather feature. If it is raining outside in real life, it will be raining in the game. Interesting idea, but not the first. (Grab your copy of Madden if you need proof).

EA Gets Out of Town

posted Thursday Nov 8, 2007 by Scott Ertz

EA Gets Out of Town

EA is closing its Chicago offices. Here's what Frank Gibeau had to say:

Within the EA Games Label, we are committed to running each franchise and facility as a city/state, teams with unique creative identities as well as responsibility for product quality, ship dates and profitability. We recognize that games require large investments and extended development cycles. We're willing to take risks, make long-term investments, and to support teams and individuals between launches. But each team is responsible for staying on a reasonable path to profitability. Sticking to that strategy is what gives us the financial resources and flexibility to take risks on new projects.

Unfortunately, EA Chicago hasn't been able to meet that standard. The location has grown dramatically in the past three years while revenue from the games developed there has not. The number of employees has grown from 49 in 2004 to 146 people currently in the new facility in downtown Chicago. As it stands, EA Chicago has no expectation of hitting our profitability targets until FY2011 or later.

Closing EA Chicago is the toughest decision I've made in my career - one that in no way reflects on the talent and dedication of the people who work there.

Bluckbuster a Bust?

posted Thursday Nov 8, 2007 by Scott Ertz

Bluckbuster a Bust?

When was the last time you walked into a Blockbuster store? I don't remember, either. Well, that attitude has weighed heavily on the once mighty rental giant. Revenues are down 6%, stocks are down over $5, and they have closed 526 stores so far this year.

Nexflix has done quite a number on Blockbuster's bottom line, and it looks like it might be too late for them to do anything about it. Chairman Jim Keyes stated that their attempts to combat the online rental company was one of the largest sources of their loss.

Add to that, we have seen Hollywood Video and Movie Gallery both go the way of the dinosaurs, and all we can guess is Blockbuster will be the next victim of the Netflix empire.

We'll miss you.

We Know, Jack Thompson is Crazy

posted Wednesday Nov 7, 2007 by Scott Ertz

We Know, Jack Thompson is Crazy

Here is this week's tidbit of nonsense from the craziest man to want to be in the gaming world, Jack Thompson. A while back, Jacko debated in Philadelphia, and this is what he says happened (taken from a legal document filed as part of his lawsuit against the Florida Bar Association):

In the audience {for} this event, unbeknownst to me, was the man who organizes the largest video game gathering in the world, the Game Developers Conference (GDC), attended by 20,000 folks...

Because of the quality and coherence of my presentation, I was then asked by the GDC to reprise the Philadelphia debate, this time in February in San Francisco in a 5000 seat arena, as the keynote event.

Now, HERE is the part that makes it fun: a statement from the GDC organizers. Ready?

Super Mario Bros. 3

posted Wednesday Nov 7, 2007 by Scott Ertz

Are you one of those people who has been screwed by Nintendo's decision to stop repairs on legacy consoles? Well, it's your lucky day. Super Mario Bros. 3 is now available on the Wii Virtual Console! Here is how Nintendo describes the best game ever made:

Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES, 1-2 players, Rated E for Everyone, 500 Wii Points): Remember when no one had ever heard of a Tanooki Suit or knew that Bowser had a clan of Koopalings? The game that made these things common knowledge is also considered by many to be one of the best ever made. Bowser and the Koopalings are causing chaos yet again, but this time they're going beyond the Mushroom Kingdom into the seven worlds that neighbor it. Now Mario and Luigi must battle new enemies, returning favorites and a new Koopaling in each unique and distinctive world on their way to ultimately taking on Bowser himself. Luckily for the brothers, they have more power-ups available than ever before. Fly above the action using the Super Leaf, swim faster by donning the Frog Suit or defeat enemies using the Hammer Bros. Suit. Use the brand-new overworld map to take the chance to play a minigame in hopes of gaining extra lives or to find a Toad's House where you can pick up additional items. All this (and more) combines into one of gaming's most well-known and beloved titles - are you ready to experience gaming bliss?

Enjoy!

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