Today’s news roundup sees Project Natal set for November 2010 with a £50 (or less) price tag, EA announce their refocus on established money spinners, and Square Enix complete their assimilation of Eidos.
Project Natal Set For November 2010, Priced For Under £50
Microsoft’s stab at the causal market just got a release date, with Project Natal scheduled to launch in November 2010. A behind-closed-doors tour of Microsoft’s UK publishers and studios gave the game away; also revealing fourteen titles will be available from launch, despite nothing being named. I just pray to Jesus Xbox 360 Fit won’t be one of them.
The motion-sensing camera looks set to release for just under £50 when sold on its own, with 5 million units planned to be made available by launch. Thanks to Dealspwner Chris for the tip-off! [MCVUK]
EA to Refocus on Established IPs
Following EA’s shock announcement of 1,500 job cuts to EA staff as part of their cost-restructuring plan, it appears we’ll see 50% less games from them in the next year. EA CEO John Riccitiello explains from now on they’ll be focusing on established titles; the kind that bring in a boatload of cash. 30 boxed titles are planned for release in the next fiscal year (April 2010 to March 2011), compared to almost 60 boxed titles last fiscal year. The decision to re-focus on established franchises comes as a blow, considering EA were actually starting to make some decent games for a change.
“Electronic Arts has a core slate of games label and sports franchises that we will iterate on an either annual or bi-annual basis” said Riccitiello, stating “all of them are selling or have sold in their most recent edition 2 million units or more.” Anything that doesn’t measure up won’t play a part in the company’s future according to the EA main man. This decision contradicts Riccitiello’s assurance just under a year ago that EA will be looking to support new IPs, on top of his advice that in the midst of an economic recession job cuts and reducing creative risk is “a recipe you would follow at your own peril.” Nice one Riccitiello, way to go back on your word. [MCVUK]
Eidos Interactive Rebranded As Square Enix Europe
Square Enix is now officially part of Europe. I don’t mean they’ve joined the EU or anything; rather they’ve just successfully rebranded Eidos Interactive as Square Enix Europe, following their acquisition of Eidos’ last March. According to Square Enix Europe president and CEO Phil Rodgers “Today marks a major achievement towards the goals we announced in July and represents the creation of an efficient and powerful structure for game development and publishing.”
He goes onto to proclaim the greatness and diversity of “our exceptional gaming brands,” promising a formidable future product line-up. Square Enix’s acquisition couldn’t have come at a better time, with Batman: Arkham Asylum managing to shift over 2 million a month after launch. Games in the works from Eidos include Thief 4, Just cause 2 and Deus Ex. [1UP]