Sega is Making a ‘Super Game’ with Microsoft Tech

SUPER GAME!!!! Not a very original name. It sounds like something a small child would come up with on a school project.

Anywho, Sega has announced that it will be using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform to produce “large-scale, global games” as part of the aforementioned Super Game project. 

If you may recall, back in May 2019, Sony also partnered with Microsoft on a similar deal. All in all, Microsoft is hopping into bed with everyone.

Only time will tell what games come out from this partnership. As a Sega kid, I hope this works out well for them.

[Source: Sega]

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick Takes Pay Cut – Will Probably Be Okay

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick, who has a net worth in the billions will take a massive pay cut down to $62,500 per year in total compensation the company’s board feels that diversity, equity, and inclusion goals are met. I think he’ll be alright financially, so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

In a letter to employees, Activision Blizzard states that it is committed to change after multiple sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuits were brought against it. In addition to the pay cut, Kotick states that the company will employ a zero-tolerance harassment policy, waive arbitration in sexual harassment and discrimination claims.

[Source: Business Wire]

Coronavirus Adds the Final Nail to E3 2020’s Coffin

COVID-19 (aka the Coronavirus) has officially finished of E3 2020.

The ESA made it official on Wednesday, March 11, 2020:

“After careful consultation with our member companies regarding the health and safety of everyone in our industry…we have made the difficult decision to cancel E3 2020… Following increased and overwhelming concerns about the COVID-19 virus, we felt this was the best way to proceed during such an unprecedented global situation.”


Phil Spencer, Vice President of Gaming at Microsoft, chimed in via Twitter. Spencer assures that even though there will be no conference, fans can expect future announcements via digital events.

Microsoft was one of only a few remaining large companies still planning to attend E3 2020.

Sony, Geoff Keighley, Valve, Activision Blizzard, already announced that they are not attending this year’s E3.

This may very well be the end of E3 for good. Given the high profile pull-outs, the conference no longer has the same influence it once did. Now, we will have a year without E3 due to COVID-19. If things turn out okay, this may very well prove that E3 is no longer needed.

[Source: ESA]

Gamestop Hopes that Reggie Fils-Aime Becomes Their Personal Savior

Reggie Fils-Aime, the hulking former Nintendo of America President did not stay retired long. He has joined Gamestop’s corporate board to help right the sinking ship that is USS Gamestop.

Good luck Reggie. The game industry is a better place when Reggie is involved. And hopefully, Reggie will help turn things around at Gamestop.

[Source: Twitter]

Xbox Sales Are Down 48%—Mass Hysteria Ensues

Microsoft had a recent investor call and the news was not so rosy on the gaming front.

Gaming revenue declined 10% (down 8% in constant currency) with Xbox software and services revenue down 3% (down 1% in constant currency)


Of course, this pales in comparison to the below:

Source: Microsoft (Hey Xbox Live users grew!)

Shit balls that is bad. Of course, the Sony fanboys are gloating and Xbox fanboys are making excuses.

As always, it’s something in the middle. The Xbox One has always struggled against the PS4 since Don Mattrick shit the bed at launch. However, Phil Spencer has turned things around, setting up the next generation.

Speaking of next-gen, Microsoft has whipped their dick out and pretty much revealed what is in the works, so a decline in current hardware sales is to be expected.

Microsoft is also shifting their approach, to be more services centric, than hardware first, even though they claim that the Xbox Scarlett will be a force to be reckoned with. Microsoft is concentrating on multiple fronts, hedging their bets on what the future of gaming will be.

With that said, holy shit, a 48% drop is HUUUUUUGE. Hope Spencer and company have plan in place, because they have their work cut out for them.

[Source: Microsoft]

Microsoft’s Nadella Believes Xbox Brand is in a Good Position for the Future of Gaming, But Current Hardware Sales Fall 48%

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, whose name reminds me of the delicious hazelnut spread, believes that his company is in a good position for the future of gaming.

During a quarterly investor’s call, Nadella elaborates that Microsoft is well positioned, for the what the gaming market is becoming.

“First, I’ll say we are in gaming because of what we believe are going to be the secular changes in the gaming addressable market for us. We’ve always had a gaming position with console as well as the PC, but going forward we think that any end point can in fact be a great end point for high-end games, which is where our structural position is, and we now have a business model with Game Pass as well as all the supporting mechanisms for game pass like game streaming, we have a social network in Xbox Live that is the best in the business.

So I feel we’re well-positioned to what is going to be a much larger market than what was traditionally gaming in spite of all the success we’ve had over the years in gaming.

The second point is that it builds on the rest of the cloud investment, so if you think about what we’re doing with xCloud it’s a workload on top of Azure. If you think about capital allocation, what’s happening in the cloud, what’s happening in the edge, how we build the network, how we optimize with streaming… The same infrastructure for example is what Sony has decided to use as well and be on Azure as well as user AI capabilities.

So you’ll see significant synergies in terms of the architecture of platform underneath gaming, Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Linkedin all being the same.”

Albeit, it’s expected that Nadella is going to fluff the company during an investor’s call. However, the moves Microsoft have been making to indicate that they are playing a long game, and are covering all bases for a future gaming world.

[Source: Twinfinite]

Toys ‘R’ Us is Officially Back—Opening in Two Test Locations

It was no secret that I was irrationally upset when I learned that Toys ‘R’ Us was closing down.

Grief turned to optimism when news came that the iconic store was primed for a resurrection. Now, I’m as euphoric as a teenager after receiving his first wristy. Toys ‘R’ Us is back baby, and will re-open in the finest state in the union, New Jersey.

The best bits from the official press release below:

Tru Kids, the proud parent of the Toys“R”Us brand will bring Toys“R”Us stores back to the United States this holiday season. Tru Kids and b8ta, the software-powered experiential retailer have entered into a joint venture to launch a new store experience that will deliver the hottest toy products and brands, carefully curated and showcased in highly immersive smaller-format spaces.

The first two new Toys“R”Us stores will open this holiday season, located in The Galleria in Houston, Texas, a Simon Mall, and in Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, New Jersey. Brand partners and experiences will be announced in the coming weeks.

The new Toys“R”Us stores will serve as must-visit destinations for kids to learn, play, and fall in love with the latest and most popular toys, and for parents to have fun with their children and ignite their own childlike sense of play. The stores will be highly interactive with new events and activities every day, from seeing toys displayed out of the box to test before making a purchase, to visiting different brand stations to driving learning through play embracing STEAM, or just having fun with Geoffrey® the Giraffe in the open playspace.

The companies plan to open additional locations in prime, high-traffic retail markets within the U.S. over the course of 2020. To learn more about Toys“R”Us, and stay in the know about new store openings and offers, visit

Tru Kids Brands

Toys ‘R’ Us will always be synonymous with video games for me. Back in the day, I remember my mom taking me to the store as a kid, where I would pick up a game ticket, pay, and then pick it up at the “cage.” Fucking magical.

This holiday, I’m taking my girls to Paramus and we WILL make purchases. This institution must be supported and never again taken for granted. The world is a better place place with Toys ‘R’ Us.

Seriously, do you prefer to buy toys from a fucking Bond villain like Jeff Bezos?

GameStop’s Has a Hail Mary Plan to Save the Business

GameStop has a plan to save it’s business in a world that is becoming more comfortable downloading games and less interested in overpaying for used titles.

Think less seedy pawn shop, and more Apple Store, I suppose.

GRAPEVINE, Texas, July 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — GameStop Corp. (NYSE: GME), today announced a strategic partnership with global innovation design firm, R/GA, to strengthen its focus on creating unique in-store experiences as part of its strategic move in re-affirming its place in the video gaming culture.
The partnership with R/GA’s Austin and Chicago teams is part of GameStop’s broader business transformation strategy to evolve its efforts in cultivating innovative customer-centric opportunities to bring video game culture to life in every neighborhood. GameStop’s renewed customer-first focus stems from qualitative and quantitative research led by GameStop and R/GA that identified four major motivations gaming fans have for playing video games – immersion, achievement, creativity and community.
Together, GameStop and R/GA are developing and piloting new and streamlined physical store concepts, introducing new ways for gamers to try new titles before they buy them, and giving stores a unique layout and purpose that appeal to gamers. From store concepts that offer competitive sessions in home-grown e-Leagues to locations that sell strictly retro gaming software and hardware, GameStop will pilot the new store concepts in a select market to present something new to players both old and new, and searching for experiences in gaming beyond the console.
“We’re on a journey to use our vast retail footprint to provide an engaging and well-thought-out experience that enhances our consumers’ gaming interests. Among its many strengths is R/GA’s ability to leverage consumer insights and technology to reimagine the experience our consumers can have in our physical space. Our investment in this partnership is the next stage of our transformation and growth strategy,” said Frank Hamlin, Chief Customer Officer at GameStop.
According to the research, video games are no longer just a form of entertainment, but are a fundamental part of the fabric of a modern customer’s life. This consumer believes gaming is the most immersive, most challenging, most creative and most inclusive form of entertainment and vibrant storytelling available, and in many cases is an important facet of their identity. No other specialty retailer understands this more than GameStop. As the world’s largest video game retailer, it appreciates gaming fans’ thirst for compelling experiences, immersive adventures and virtual world escapism.
“GameStop has always had a role in the gaming ecosystem,” said Candice Hahn, SVP, Managing Director at R/GA’s Austin office. “We’re focused on filling the needs and desires of gamers, and amplifying the core assets of the business, to turn GameStop into a reimagined format for its consumer base of today and tomorrow.”


Not sure this is going to be enough. Too little, too late.

[Source: GameStop]

Former Xbox, PlayStation Exec Lands at Google

Former Playstation, Xbox, and fellow bald, Phil Harrison has a new position at Google.

Harrison started at Sony in 1992, with a tenure spanning 15 years, and was heavily involved with the PlayStation brand. After Sony, Harrison had a short stint at Atari, before  joining Microsoft in 2012 as head of Xbox in Europe.

The Nintendo Switch Reveal Has Opened Up a Lot of Questions

The Nintendo Switch reveal has stirred up a lot of excitement and rightfully so. The Switch is a bit of fresh air from a company that has been feeling a tad stale and listless for the past few years.

What surprised me most about the reveal was how much Nintendo actually showed. They didn’t just offer a brief glimpse, but rather a full proof of concept on how this new hybrid console actual works, albeit in a very stylized world inhabited by what appears to be independently wealthy millennials with a lot of free time on their hands.

It turns out however, with the all the questions that gamers had about the mysterious NX turned Switch that were answered in the trailer, even more questions have arisen.

How much is the console going to cost? Is the console a touch screen? Is there motion controls? Is there haptic feedback on the “joy-cons?” How long does the battery last? Is there backward compatibility and with what? What’s causing this rash? Etc, etc, etc…

Thanks to Famitsu (and Google translate) we have a few answers and many more non-answers.

According to Nintendo, “…since the Nintendo Switch is not a Wii U or Nintendo 3DS successor machine, you can not play with Wii U disk software and Nintendo 3DS card.” So this is a new era and generation. No backwards compatibility, but perhaps emulation through a digital store is in the works, as this was not ruled out.

There has also been rumors of a slim bundle and deluxe bundle. When pressed on what will ship in the box. The Nintendo rep was noncommittal at this time, but did state that, “concerning product mix (it) will be published again around before launch, but two Joy-Con, ie. Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R) is a bundled.”

As for battery, price, touch screen, etc…? We will have to wait, as the Nintendo representative was not prepared to discuss anything else at the time. In fact, he probably already said too much and is being given his ribbons of shame as we speak.