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From A Disrespectful Agenda To A Bizarre Situation - News Roundup 17th November 2010

Jonathan Lester
Activision, Final Fantasy XIV, Keith Vaz, Layoffs, LucasArts, Square Enix

MP Keith Vaz Blames Race Shootings On Counter Strike

From A Disrespectful Agenda To A Bizarre Situation - News Roundup 17th November 2010

A tragic and horrifying series of race shootings in Malmo, Sweden culmanated in an arrest on November 7th. Despite all police reports citing racism against dark-skinned Swedes as the motive behind the crimes, outspoken MP Keith Vaz has laid the blame squarely at the feet of the classic Half Life Mod Counter Strike due to the uncorroborated ramblings of a single local man. In an Early Day Motion, he purported that this atrocious crime is just the tip of a horrifying web of murders... and that the government should put a stricter control on mature games at retail.

This House notes with concern that the recent race shootings in Malmo, Sweden have been associated with the violent video game Counter-Strike; further notes that the internet-based, first-person shooting game that pits a counter-terrorist team against terrorists was previously banned in Brazil and in 2007 was associated with US College Campus massacres; recognises the potential impact of violent video games on those under 18 years; and calls on the Government to ensure the purchase of video games by those under 18 years is controlled and that parents are provided with clear information on the violent content of certain games.- MP Keith Vaz, Early Daily Motion

Should stricter controls be imposed on violent or mature games? Maybe. But am I the only person who thinks that using a horrifying race crime to further a draconian political agenda is shameful and disrespectful to the extreme? [Games Industry]

Lucasarts & Activision Confirm Layoffs

From A Disrespectful Agenda To A Bizarre Situation - News Roundup 17th November 2010

It's been a truly terrible 24 hours for job retention in the games industry. Lucasarts has just confirmed an undisclosed number of layoffs (reported to be as many as 50, thanks Gamasutra) from an unannounced title due to "staff adjustment." This marks the second major round of cutbacks for the troubled company this year.

Yesterday Activision closed Budcat Studios, the developers behind console-specific Guitar Hero versions... and suggested that veteran British studio Bizarre Creations might suffer a similar fate (resulting in the loss of over 200 jobs). Now that the dust has settled, Activision has announced that they will take 90 days to decide Bizarre's fate- which will almost certainly result in a sale to another publisher. Apparently weak commercial success for Blur and Bloodstone's critical panning have proven to be the last straw.

Over the past three years since our purchase of Bizarre Creations, the fundamentals of the racing genre have changed significantly. Although we made a substantial investment in creating a new IP, Blur, it did not find a commercial audience.

Final Fantasy XIV Trial Period Extended Again

From A Disrespectful Agenda To A Bizarre Situation - News Roundup 17th November 2010

Uh oh. After extending Final Fantasy XIV's free trial period by 30 days in order to fix their shoddy, broken farce of a game, Square have done it again. Players who create a character before November 19th can enjoy the free trial for another month while Square's stable of developers feverishly attempt to fix a raft of stability and performance issues.

Let's hope they succeed. If not, there are a slew of Free-To-Play MMOs that will provide gamers with better value for money. [1UP]

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