Rhode Island Considering Defaulting On 38 Studios Debt

Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee (who recently joined the Democratic party) is considering the consequences of his state not paying back the lenders who financed 38 Studios. They are currently maintaining the position that the state must pay the debts back.

Chafee spokeswoman Christine Hunsinger says that the governor’s position has not changed, but that “doesn’t mean you don’t analyze what the situation is, or gather data to understand the ramifications of what that decision would be.” She also noted the state has been gathering the relevant information for several months.

The current plan would have Rhode Island paying an initial $2.5-million payment, followed by $12.5 million each of the following seven years. The state is currently on the hook to pay roughly $112.6 million ($75 million for the initial borrowing and $37.6 million in interest) over 10 years.

Source: ProvidenceJournal.com

Supercell Brings Playfish Co-Founder Onto Board

Supercell today announced that it has appointed Kristian Segerstrale, co-founder of Playfish and Macrospace, to its board of directors. Segerstrale says he was impressed by the Clash of Clans and Hay Day developer for remaining disciplined and not hiring up to push out more games quickly.

“I don’t think mobile games companies that are successful like Supercell right now should try to be the next Disney, or EA, or Pixar,” Segerstrale said. “Actually, the world is in such an interesting place that Supercell should just be Supercell, and what I’m hoping to do is contribute my experience and learnings and successes and failures to that management team’s thinking.”

“The future vision of the industry is one where people will no longer play as much on these shared screens in the living room, and media consumption as a whole will continue to gravitate toward personal screens,” Segerstrale continued, adding about social games, “It initially blew up as a vertical and was gaming on Facebook, but after that it took more of a horizontal turn, to where gaming initially on mobile and tablets and now consoles and everywhere else [now] incorporate social gaming elements. And many of the principles that were built up in social gaming around microtransactions, games-as-a-service, and events have actually transcended Facebook to become just part of the fabric of the gaming industry.”

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

Games Journalism Prizes First Winners Revealed

The first winners of the Games Journalism Prizes have been revealed in Christian Donlan from Eurogamer, Jason Schwartz at the Boston Magazine and Tom Bissell at Grantland. Nominations for next year’s awards are now open at GamesJournalismPrize.com.

“We’re glad that we’re finally able to announce the winners of the Prizes,” said advisory panel member Dan Griliopoulos. “The three winning pieces are exceptionally good, but whittling down from the longlists and shortlists was no easy matter – many thanks must go to our long-suffering judging panel for reading over a thousand submissions during the last ten months. Given the quality of writing about games so far in 2013, this year’s prize is promising to be even more difficult to judge.”

“This has been a lovely surprise, and I really appreciate it. With Night and the City, I was very lucky to be handed a story that not even I could screw up, and I was equally fortunate when it comes to the editorial team at Eurogamer, who are always willing to take risks with features,” noted Donlan. “If you strip away all the family history and the indulgence in what I wrote, I think what you’re left with is an example of the sheer power of games – of how they surprised my dad with the things they could be, and took him back to the era he grew up in. That sort of thing is always worth writing about, hopefully.”

Microsoft ‘Committed To Japan’ For Xbox One

Microsoft has always had a challenging time with the Xbox brand in Japan, with the original system moving only 2 million units and the Xbox 360 doing worse than that. Despite this, President of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft Don Mattrick says that the company is committed to the Japanese region.

“We’re committed to Japan,” Mattrick said. “We continue to build on our partnerships, we continue to build on our offerings for consumers inside of that space.”

“We think it’s an important market, and we’ll continue building on the working investment that we’ve done over all these years,” he added. “I’m not going to go in to details of the launch until we talk to key partners and build a market strategy.”

Source: CVG

Batman: Arkham Origins Gets Deathstroke Pre-Order DLC

Amazon has confirmed that it will be offering a $10 credit to those that pre-order Batman: Arkham Origins. Additionally, pre-orders for the game will net players DLC where they can play as the assassin Deathstroke.

“Deathstroke will be a fully playable character in the challenge mode for Batman: Arkham Origins and will come complete with his own unique weapons and special moves, and will be playable in all challenge maps in the game, as well as two additional challenge maps that will be included with the pack,” confirmed WB Games. “The pack will also contain two alternate Deathstroke character skins.”

Source: IGN

Novo Peugeot 208 — Wacky Races

Most car commercials are numbingly boring and predictable, so kudos to French automaker Peugeot to doing a call back to Wacky Races with this ad. It also handily calls out some of the features of the car at the same time, giving it some function as well.

Sonic: Lost Worlds – Debut Trailer

Sonic is back for the next generation, and this time the levels look to better accommodate the abilities of the blue speedster. Check out the new set of enemies Sonic will face and the first glimpse of gameplay!

Xbox One Deal Valued At $3 Billion For AMD

AMD has secured a future for itself since it is providing the chipsets for the Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One. Bob Feldstein, former AMD vice president of strategic development and current Nvidia vice president of technology licensing, gave an example of just how much these deals are worth to the company.

“AMD provided a custom silicon solution to Microsoft for the Xbox One, a game console and entertainment device,” reads Feldstein’s LinkedIn profile. “My involvement was focused on business management and supply agreement negotiations. This required the coordination of multiple functional teams within AMD, as well as regular customer meetings with leadership teams responsible for handling the challenges of complex, multi-year deals. This project is valued at [$3 billion].”

Source: LinkedIn

Xbox Reveal Watched By Millions

Microsoft has announced that the Xbox Reveal event saw record-breaking viewership, with over 8.45 million people watching the Xbox Reveal event in the first 24 hours. This rivals one of the top-most concurrent streamed events of all time.

“On Xbox.com, we nearly tripled our previous concurrency record — with almost three times as many people watching the livestream at the same time, versus any other major event in Xbox.com history,” wrote Xbox Wire editor Lisa Gurry. “According to our friends at Akamai, our streaming partner, the Xbox Reveal event was among the most watched live broadcasts delivered by Akamai in their history, nearly doubling peak traffic records and eclipsing concurrent viewership high-water marks set by events such as the 2010 World Cup, Royal Wedding in 2011, and 2012 election night.”

Additionally, Nielsen reports that over 1.73 million people tuned into the briefing on Spike TV, and the Xbox Reveal event was the top television show for Men 18-34 at 10 am on May 21. The reveal also generated plenty of buzz; the event was the top non-sports social program across all TV networks and the second most social show on television on May 21, coming in slightly behind the NBA Playoffs.

“During the Xbox Reveal event, the Xbox team showcased how Xbox One puts you at the center of all your games, TV, movies, music, sports and Skype. And how Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device. If you missed the briefing, you can see highlights from the day here and a full recap on Xbox Wire,” noted Gurry. “With so much interest in Xbox One, we know there are unanswered questions and a desire for more information on Xbox One. We have many exciting weeks ahead where we will provide more information — including E3, which is just 15 days away. Stay tuned.”

Source: News.Xbox.com