Not everyone is the biggest fan of Farmville, Frontierville, Cityville and the like -- at the very least, if you don't play them, you've almost certainly hidden them from your newsfeed to avoid the constant requests. But one indie developer, Jonathan Blow, creator of the innovative platform/puzzle game "Braid", takes this idea a little bit further. In an interview with PC Gamer Magazine, the developer described the way social games on Facebook ask you to tap your friend list as an in-game resource as "evil."
A bit of a shake-up this week with the announcement by Activision that it is putting the "Guitar Hero" franchise on hold indefinitely, and disbanding the business unit behind the games. The company is instead focusing on the success of the "Call of Duty" franchise. So let's break this down. Activision shuts down the team behind its most casual and gender-neutral games in order to redouble efforts into its first-person shooter and MMORPG. Perhaps this is indicative of a larger change in the industry?
Steam's fastest-selling new release this month isn't EA's much-hyped "Dead Space 2" (whose "Your Mom Will Hate It" ad campaign is a little puzzling for a game targeted at players aged 17+), but an indie title, ("Magicka developed by Swedish firm Arrowhead Games. The startling success of "Magicka" is a continuing part of the rise of indie game developers who, while not having multimillion-dollar project budgets, nonetheless manage to create compelling and innovative games, avoiding the pitfalls of genre and industry tropes that often bedevil big-name triple-A titles from major publishers like EA and Activision.