Codemasters Sues Over Stolen Staff
Infinity Ward has been hemorrhaging devs by the dozens over the last month, but it seems that even the racing games genre is having its fair share of staff scandals. Codemasters is gearing up to sue upstart rival Playground Games for poaching 15 of its veteran design team and leveraging their experience to produce their own racing game. Since the 15 devs have enjoyed privileged access to Codemasters' latest resources, Playground has essentially gained a massive head start on developing their own IP... in fact, they've got over 100 years worth of racing game design experience between them! Codemasters, on the other hand, have essentially lost a year of development.
Codemasters insist that the loss of staff has retarded the development of their own IPs, and are keen to sue for damages and account of profits.
If successful, the suit will set a very interesting precedent- and we can expect Activision to be keenly observing the situation from the sidelines. However, it's likely that they will be powerless to stop Playground Games; after all, employees are entitled to choose their own future so long as they don't breach their contracts. We'll keep you updated at the wire. [VG247]
Nintendo: DS Needs a "Big Hit Title"
The last few months have heralded a huge slump in European DS sales (though the DS has impressively overtaken both the Game Boy and GBC in terms of overall units shifted), and Ninty President Satoru Iwata has blamed the decline on the lack of triple-A titles. Whilst I'm personally a huge fan of Nintendo's handheld lineup, Iwata has conceded that big name third party support has been aimed squarely at the PS3 and Xbox 360 rather than the portable market.
"...not many strong titles to significantly drive hardware sales have been launched for Nintendo DS for a while. So, we recognise that we are coming to the stage where we need to offer a hit title that can gain social phenomena and catch our customers' attentions."
Hopefully Pokemon Black and White will provide the "social phenomena" that Iwata desperately craves... but frankly, a price cut also wouldn't go amiss. Even the increasingly obsolete DS Lite still commands a premium RRP. [EDGE]
Motion Control to Revolutionise Adult Games
Sony and Microsoft are currently obsessed by Motion Control technology, convinced that Playstation Move and Natal can revolutionise the way we immerse ourselves in the gaming experience. However, Japanese adult developer Teatime Games are leveraging motion control to revolutionise something else entirely: lifting skirts and having a good old fumble around. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
Their upcoming title Delusion Virtual Character Trouble (uh oh...) allows players to control a disembodied hand via a webcam, that can be used to...well... physically molest some anatomically-implausible anime stereotypes. Whilst the trailer is definitely NSFW, you can probably get the gist from the picture. Naturally, only one virtual hand can be controlled via the motion control software, leaving the other hand free to... pick up a phone and seek some serious professional help.