#videogames

Colin Campbell on the 25th anniversary of SimCity:

So, it’s not about how many levels you beat or how many monsters you slay. It’s about how smart you have been in creating utility.

The city blocks require servicing, with police stations and schools and such. You feed the streets. It’s like a pet.

Probably my favorite videogame of all time. (Well, technically SimCity 2000, but still.)

I’ve become a symbol. I don’t want to be a symbol, responsible for something huge that I don’t understand, that I don’t want to work on, that keeps coming back to me. I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.
Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft, explaining why he sold his company and why he won’t be involved going forward — which, perhaps, shouldn’t be surprising at all.

As expected, Microsoft has announced the massive $2.5B acquisition. And good for them for saying they’ll continue to support all the platforms the game currently supports, including PlayStation, Android, and iOS (though, notably, Mojang itself seems to do quite a bit more hedging in their statement — saying, basically, everything is always subject to change). 

What I don’t understand is why people think this deal doesn’t make sense. It makes a ton of sense. Microsoft already has a history of doing this type of deal with Bungie amongst others. That deal made the Xbox. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that without Halo, the Xbox would have failed. 

But more importantly, I fully agree with John Lily’s take the other day: this is about access to the next generation of makers (developers, tinkerers, etc). More than once, I’ve been in a random place in a random part of the world and seen a kid glued to their phone playing Minecraft. 

That phone, of course, was not a Windows Phone. And it’s probably too much to hope that now it will be — that battle has long been fought and lost, even if Microsoft won’t admit it yet. But if Microsoft is thinking about this the right way, this should be about more than phones.

I’m just shocked they beat Lego, now the largest toy maker in the world, to this deal.

Kyle Russell:

While it’s nice to see a Nintendo release a faster version of its popular console with better controls, I can’t help be confused by how Nintendo chose to announce it. The New Nintendo 3DS is backwards compatible with older 3DS games, but it will also have its own exclusive titles. Is it supposed to be its own, new device, or not? If it is, I worry that Nintendo is shooting itself in the foot by not coming out with a bigger bang and a new name. This new device is an even smaller incremental jump than from the Wii to the Wii U, and anecdotally, most people I’ve asked over the last few years didn’t realize that those are two different systems.

Everything is just fine at Nintendo. Pay no attention to the weird repackaged half-product releases.

Sam Byford on Nintendo’s latest quarter:

Revenue was ¥74.7 billion ($731 million), an 8.4 percent decrease on the same period last year, for an overall net loss of ¥9.92 billion ($97.1 million). The 3DS handheld continued its decline, selling 820,000 units over the quarter compared to 1.4 million a year ago. Nintendo hasn’t altered its forecast of a ¥40 billion profit for fiscal 2014, and still predicts that it will sell 3.6 million Wii U consoles during the period.

It’s not just that Nintendo keeps losing money, it’s that they keep refusing to own up to the hardships and forecast accurately. Does anyone really believe the company is going to hit those Wii U sales goals?

Or more importantly, the profit goals? I mean, they now have three quarters to earn ¥50 billion because they are already ¥10 billion in the hole for the year…

Brian Windhorst looking into the notion that LeBron James may have a photographic memory:

"When we were growing up we used to play this fighting game on the Sega Genesis called Shaq Fu," says Brandon Weems, James’ lifelong friend. "LeBron was the only one who had memorized all the moves and so he’d win every time. We all thought he definitely was cheating."

I’m not sure which is more surprising: that LeBron memorized all the moves in Shaq Fu, or that LeBron was playing Shaq Fu at all.