The retailer best known for selling games announced plans Monday to launch a new division called GameTrust that will help distribute and market them. GameTrust will initially publish games from a lineup of developers that includes the creators of the "Trine," ''Deadlight" and "Ratchet & Clank" series. GameTrust's developers are Helsinki, Finland-based "Trine" creator Frozenbyte; Irvine, Calif.-based "God of War: Chains of Olympus" developer Ready at Dawn Studios; Madrid, Spain-based "Deadlight" studio Tequila Works; and "Ratchet & Clank" creator Insomniac Games, which has studios in Burbank, Calif., and Durham, N.C. GameStop announced in January it was publishing "Song of the Deep," a side-scrolling adventure from Insomniac Games about a young girl who goes searching underwater for her lost-at-sea fisherman father. The Grapevine, Texas-based company operates more than 6,900 stores in 14 countries and owns the browser-based game site Kongregate.com.
SoftBank Corp. is selling its stake in Finnish game developer Supercell to Chinese technology firm Tencent in a deal announced Tuesday that values the company at about 10.2 billion. Under the deal announced by the three companies, Tokyo-based SoftBank will relinquish its stake in Supercell for 7.3 billion, and Tencent will gain up to 84 percent of Supercell. The rest of Supercell will be owned by its employees. It will continue to run its own operations in Helsinki. Supercell, founded in 2010, developed games for Apple and Google's Android smartphones and tablets, including hits such as "Hay Day," "Clash of Clans" and "Boom Beach."
Housemarque, the Finnish developer behind Resogun and Dead Nation, hasn't had the best year. I visited its Helsinki headquarters back in September to see how the studio was following up Resogun, the surprise hit of the PlayStation 4 launch. What I found was a unique company struggling to hold on to the identity it believes in. Housemarque made its name with Stardust. Originally released for the Amiga in the early '90s, the series rose to prominence with the digital release of Super Stardust HD on the PlayStation 3. The studio has since become a specialist in digital-only games, almost all of which can trace their lineage back to the arcade. The isometric shooter Dead Nation was the studio's next big hit, going on to become one of the bestselling digital-only titles for PlayStation 3, while the Ikaruga-meets-Metroid platformer Outland was critically acclaimed. But it was during the launch of the PlayStation 4 that Housemarque would make the biggest impact. Resogun took the basic premise behind the arcade classic Defender and turned it into a modern shooter. With cylindrical stages and a custom voxel-based engine, the game was by far the strongest PlayStation 4 exclusive of its time, and one of scant few highlights of the console's November 2013 launch. Sony clearly knew as much: It made Resogun free to all members of its PlayStation Plus subscription service, and as a result the game was downloaded by millions of PlayStation 4 owners.
This is the full version of the paper Scott Rettberg presented for me at ISEA 2004 in Helsinki, on August 20, 2004. I slightly abbreviated the text he read so it would fit in the alloted time. The text that I sumitted to ISEA was abbreviated further so as to not exceed the (believe it or not) 13250 character limit. As I started researching this topic, I gave a preliminary talk at the History of Material Texts workshop; that text is online. If you'd like to correspond about the topic and correct or inform me about the use of print-based interfaces, please contact me: nickm at this domain.
Second Life was a fantasy world, a frontrunner in creating virtual worlds for human creativity to thrive. Modern technologies like augmented reality and mixed reality, however, are combining real and virtual elements to create exciting new possibilities for fun, work, and media. A particularly impressive example was just announced today: virtual Helsinki. With a 3D model of 50 square kilometers of the city, gaming publishers could create almost-true-to-life playscapes for massively multiplayer games. Think Fortnite, but in a realistic, real-world settings.