Amazon Games layoffs, Phil Spencer on Xbox, more

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Transcript:

How’s it going everybody, Adrian Simple here from The Gaming Observer, and this is your Daily Gaming Update for June 15th, 2019. Head over to thegamingobserver.com for links and a transcript.

Amazon Game Studios laying off dozens

Amazon Game Studios have laid off dozens of employees, in conjunction with shutting down multiple unannounced projects. Kotaku speculates that this was done quietly during the final day of E3 in order to mitigate the news. These employees being laid off are being given 60 days to look for new positions within Amazon, or an alternative job, before being given a severance package. This is interesting, considering the major moves they have made towards gaming in the past, though they’ve also had their downfalls. Their first game, Breakaway, was cancelled in 2017. Nonetheless, they are currently working on sandbox MMO New World and 3rd person shooter Crucible.

Phil Spencer on Xbox going to PC

Phil Spencer from Xbox had a great talk with PC Gamer about how Microsoft is advancing the brand to PC platforms. He talks about how the decision to move to Steam was made. He said that they wanted to bring something unique to PC, through their first-party titles and the Xbox Game Pass, but that they didn’t want it to seem like they were trying to push the other stores away. So they worked with Valve to get the Halo: Master Chief Collection, and now other games, onto Steam. He says that he wants most of their first-party games to be available on Steam, and that going through the back catalogue is just a matter of timing and demand. Interestingly, while they are taking the open approach to PC, he commented that Epic Games is doing great work with their exclusivity approach and that it’s simply a different way of doing business.

Info on Empire of Sin

The latest game from industry veterans John and Brenda Romero, Empire of Sin, was announced at Nintendo’s E3 conference. It is a turn-based mafia strategy game, and began as Brenda’s passion project between strategy games and the era of gangster films. A interesting feature is that all the characters relationships evolve over time, they aren’t static personalities. The example they give is if you constantly order someone to execute a downed but living enemy, they may become more bloodthirsty over the course of your game, and thus other characters would begin to fear working with them. It’s an interesting concept, looks great, and is something work keeping an eye on I think.

Patrick Munnik of Guerilla Games passes away aged 44

Lead producer of Guerilla Games, Patrick Munnik, has unfortunately passed away at the age of 44. He joined the company in 2011, holding the role of senior producer for both Horizon Zero Dawn and Killzone: Shadow Fall. My condolenses for his family and freinds.

That’s all the news for today. Thank you so so much for tuning in, and thanks to Brandon for supporting the show through Patreon. And hey, if I’ve been providing you with worthwhile content, perhaps consider leaving me a review on Amazon, it would mean a lot. My name is Adrian Simple, see you tomorrow, and Happy Gaming everyone!

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