Bungie: Something "Big" is Coming... Chief?
Bungie's Twitter feed has been promising us that "something big" is heading our way, and a mysterious picture of a Mjolnir armour helmet has sent the community into fevered speculation. Specifically, a familiar green Mjonlnir helmet. Could Master Chief be coming to Halo Reach? It's plausible; after all, the Chief was stationed at Reach during the game's timeframe (according to the official canon).
This is still a rumour until Bungie confirms it, but I'm excited nonetheless. However, it's perfectly possible that they'll simply be giving away some armour as a Beta reward and just want to drum up some extra publicity. My personal guess would be that our favourite Spartan will be playable in certain missions to document the Sigma Octanus campaign. Yeah, I'm a Halo geek. [Bungietweets]
Update: April Fool! You got me, Bungie.
Bioware Apologises for "Epic" Bazaar Countdown
Bioware has finally unveiled the purpose behind the mysterious "epic" countdown that has been whipping their global fanbase into a frenzy. A sequel announcement, perhaps? A brand new IP? A new singleplayer KOTOR? No such luck, folks.
It's just a competition that's only open to American audiences. Called the "Bazaar", this event resembles an online auction that offers a range of prizes from laptops to collectible figurines... but we can't get involved. Naturally, Bioware's European fans are more than a little peeved about getting excited over nothing; especially from a traditionally classy company like Bioware. Their bosses have been quick to apologise.
"We recognize that BioWare has a global community, and the Bazaar this week was originally intended to be an international event to reflect our truly global fanbase. Unfortunately, we encountered some last-minute legal complications." - Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk
"Where we went wrong is in how we marketed it to you and for that I apologise. We used the word 'Epic' before we had proven that it was. Sorry. We also used the Countdown timer to generate interest. In hindsight, this allowed rampant speculation which caused disappointment." Bioware Community forum post
Apparently Bioware will be holding a similar competition just for the excluded regions. [via Joystiq]
Activision Confirm UK Job Losses
Activision announced their proposed restructuring during the West/Zampella debacle, and it's finally been put into motion. Unfortunately, it's going to cost a fair few British jobs. Activision UK is currently culling their marketing and IT departments; and we'll bring you the exact numbers as soon as we know.
Here's the condescending corporate bullsh*t official line:
"We are realigning our structure to better reflect our slate and the market opportunities in Europe as well as directing our resources against the largest and most profitable business segments. Like any successful business, Activision Publishing consistently works to align its costs with its revenues - this is on ongoing process."
Looks like a fair few employees are going to be aligned with the exit door, but I'm a little worried by the phrase "ongoing process." We wish these former employees the best of luck finding new opportunities.
Activision's reorganisation has split the company into four distinct units, each responsible for a single key Activision product. CEO Mike Griffith has been promoted to Vice Chairman, and CFO Thomas Tippl to Chief Operating Officer. [Gamesindustry.biz]