written by Fyren
Google gets in on cloud gaming with Project Stream
Google has unveiled its latest project, a cloud gaming service that uses the company’s massive servers and architecture to run demanding games and stream them to any device capable of running their Chrome browser. A tech demo showed the recently released Assassin’s Creed Odyssey running through the new service at a smooth 60 frames per second, and looking quite good. Of course tech demos are often run under the best circumstances. While cloud gaming services in the past have met with middling success, Google hopes to leverage their size and wealth to deliver something that is finally up to standard. OnLive attempted this several years ago and has since ceased operation. Sony still runs their cloud service, Playstation Now, which I have previously used and can report that it is… just ok. Time will tell if this will be the future of gaming. I am certainly wary about placing my gaming experience in the hands of a tech giant as large as Google.
Mike Morhaime replaced as Blizzard CEO
Mike Morhaime, co-founder and current CEO of Blizzard Entertainment has stepped down. This man has seen all the ups and downs of the company over its 27 year and counting run. He plans to stay with the company as a ‘strategic adviser’ and he is replaced as CEO by J. Allen Brack, the executive producer behind World of Warcraft. Will this mark a new age for Blizzard? Probably not. Along with the change in leadership, there are also some other changes happening at the executive level, though I suspect that it will be business as usual for Blizzard.
A newer, more powerful Switch is on the way
Nintendo announced this week that they are working on a more powerful version of their extremely popular Switch hybrid console. We are told that we can expect the updated console to hit store shelves in the first half of 2019. This suggests that Nintendo began working on this shortly before the original Switch even released, since development time for a console tends to be fairly long. There is no word on if the new Switch will have any differing features, such as a different size or different controllers, only that it will have beefier hardware meant to keep up with modern AAA games. A Switch Mini or Switch XL are not out of the question I believe, and several concept artists around the internet have already created rendering of what those may look like. As a Switch owner, and somewhat late adopter of the platform, I am a bit disappointed that the system I purchased will, within a year, be at least somewhat obsolete.
Witcher author demanding additional royalties
The original author of The Witcher universe, on which the game series from CD Projekt Red is based, is demanding additional royalties 11 years after an agreement was reached with CD Projekt Red for the right to the franchise. The author claims that the wild success of the video game franchise has led to a decline in the sales of his book series, which was finished in 2013. Andrzej Sapkowski, the author, had originally sold the rights to make video games based on his work to CDPR for a flat amount preceding the release of the first Witcher game in 2007. While I do feel a bit bad for him, it sounds like he simply sold himself short in the initial deal, and following the huge hit that was The Witcher 3, now regrets it a great deal. That is simply the nature of intellectual property deals like this, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. CD Projekt Red has refused Sapkowski’s demand for an additional $15 million, but has said recently in a press release that they will be open to negotiating something that is fair for everyone involved.