Photography games have been on trend lately. Just last year among major publishers there's been Pokémon Snap and the re-release of a maligned Fatal Frame game. You don't have to look far to see that every triple-A game these days has a photo mode, but if you extend your gaze beyond that you'll see independent developers have been the ones pushing the genre forward. Games like Umurangi Generation, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, and the upcoming Pupperazi show the emerging genre has as much range as, say, the first-person shooter. TOEM is one of the most charming and recent examples in this space, a game about exploring and taking pictures as you move through pocket-sized communities. But TOEM didn't start as a photo game. It began simply as a non-violent game that would allow the player to stop and appreciate the game's illustrative art style. The original idea spawned from a conversation two friends had about leaving game development forever. TOEM might not be their Final Fantasy, but … [Read more...] about On the growing appeal of photography games
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Microsoft announced plans to acquire Activision Blizzard today , making it the company's largest acquisition ever--not just in gaming, but across all industries . The proposed $70 billion deal will mean Microsoft owns the rights to some of the biggest franchises in gaming, including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft . But following Activision's stewardship of annualization and tumult over harassment, what kind of studio culture is Microsoft buying? When Microsoft bought studios like Obsidian or Double Fine, it was easy to understand the types of expertise and culture the company was buying. As an elevator pitch, you could say that Obsidian is known for mechanically complex RPGs, and Double Fine is known for its quirky humor. You can understand right away how these fold into the Microsoft umbrella to complement and round out their existing corporate and creative structures. Microsoft's previously largest gaming acquisition, Bethesda, was similarly clear across its slate of … [Read more...] about What Kind Of Culture Is Microsoft Buying In Activision Blizzard Acquisition Deal?
The news that Microsoft is acquiring Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard brings with it a lot of baggage. In addition to a number of studios, Activision owns the intellectual property rights to a huge number of games and series. So when the news of the Microsoft acquisition broke, many players immediately wondered if that meant the Xbox maker would now own From Software's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice . Publishers often acquire the IP rights to games as part of their publishing deals--but that's not always the case. When it comes to Sekiro, the copyright for the game remains with From Software , not with Activision. Thus, while Microsoft is getting a whole lot of brands in the deal, from Call of Duty to StarCraft to Crash Bandicoot, it's not acquiring Sekiro. With Sekiro remaining independent, it means that Microsoft can't immediately add the game to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service, as it has done with Bethesda games after its other big recent acquisition. That … [Read more...] about Will Microsoft Now Own Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice?