It's the weekend, which means it's time for another installment of Beyond Co-Op. In this series, we cover the biggest news items that aren't particularly related to co-op gaming, ranging from the latest single player hotness to more general video game news. We're still in the summer doldrums, but things are starting to pick up a little bit as the busy fall season approaches.
EA Sues Zynga Over 'Sims'-like 'The Ville'
From the department of casual games comes this tidbit. EA, a serious player in the video game industry, is suing casual game colossus Zynga. The latter, most known for Farmville (which you may or may not have played with your mother) and other successful Facebook games, recently released The Ville. I'm not totally familiar with The Ville, but it appears to be Farmville, minus the farm (duh) but adding in home design and a bit of relationship building. This is very similar to The Sims Social, a Facebook game based on the long-running and very popular Sims franchiise.
Apparently, EA never learned that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and is now suing Zynga for "blatant mimicry". Or, maybe they did learn that old saying, but also learned that intellectual property is nice, too.
Elder Scrolls: Skyrim's Dawnguard DLC Fully Released... on PC
Skyrim was a big hit last fall, and was one of the better reviewed games of 2011. A rather large game addon was released for the Xbox 360 version in late June, and now PC users can have an arrow shot into their knee all over again. PS3 users, though, will have to wait. The PS3 version of the Dawnguard content was too buggy, so they opted to delay it and go ahead with the PC release.
I suppose your feelings on this one depend on which version you own. PC users are obviously ecstatic, but PS3 owners are likely frustrated at the delay, but comforted by the prospect of a less buggy release. Xbox 360 owners are perhaps playingThe Ville since they beat the DLC a month ago. Timed exclusives suck.
Gaming Companies Hemmorhage Money, Film at Eleven
The rough economic times are definitely having an impact on this gamer's wallet, and many others as well. Games are a luxury, after all, and one of the first things to get trimmed out of a budget when times are lean. As a result, the gaming industry is feeling a bit of a hit, or, in some cases, a LOT of a hit.
Sony's game division lost $45 million the past quarter, with losses in hardware and software sales. Portable sales aren't expected to get much better anytime soon. The House of Sonic, Sega, reported a loss of $20 million over the same time period. That's a lot of hedgehog food, folks. Even the once invulnerable World of Warcraft is down over a million subscribers since February. Blizzard is much worse off than last year, despite that Diablo 3 game you may have heard of. Tough times for everyone, it seems. Hopefully, things will turn around and the industry can get back on track as a new hardware generation looms over the horizon.