I hope you have some Christmas cheer stored up as today’s Snatch is a bit of a downer. Starting with business news, Comet is to shut its remaining stores tomorrow as OpCapita have failed to revive the business. Meanwhile EA have been delisted from the NASDAQ-100 and ‘vulture’ group Apollo Global Management are plotting to buy HMV.
They have bought over £20 million of the group’s debt, if HMV breach loan agreements early next year they will be at the mercy of the lenders. The Express are going as far as to suggest accountancy giant Deloitte is the “most likely appointment in January” if HMV has anything less than a spectacular Christmas – and that 4,500 jobs are at risk.
The tragedy in Connecticut was always going to be linked to video games, sadly there are a lot of uninformed people in the world who make knee jerk reactions. For a change, the accused is neither GTA or Call Of Duty, someone discovered what they thought was the Facebook page for the 20 year old killer and it had listed Mass Effect as one of his ‘likes’.
One of the most recent posts: “This video game is sick & should be taken off the market. Betcha the government will step in now & take these “sick” video games off the markets & anyone who tries to manufacture as such will face stiff penalties. Your company & your games SUCK! Mass Murderers are what you are.”
The sad thing is the that the Facebook profile attributed to the killer belongs to someone else who happens to share the same name. There is no link between video games and the terrible act of violence that occurred.
EA held an ‘Ask Me Almost Anything’ session on Reddit, hosted by the team working on the new Sim City game. Hundreds of gamers took to their keyboards to criticise the ‘always on’ DRM that the game will ship with – lose your Internet connection and you can no longer play. “We will allow you to play for as long as we can preserve your game state. This will most likely be minutes,” said Senior producer Kip Katsarelis.
Video producers Machinima have laid off twenty three staff. “This is growing pains. Machinima has grown a lot in a short amount of time. We had to look at the business, look at where we’re focusing,” said Machinima Editor-in-Chief Rob Smith. “It has hit the editorial group, but we are still doing editorial coverage in a slightly different way.”
Square Enix have also been ruining Christmas by laying off staff from its LA office. Senior Director of Public Relations Riley Brennan gave the following statement to Massively.
“In order to ensure it is operating effectively, the Square Enix Los Angeles office has reduced its workforce. This was a difficult decision and we wish the best for those affected by these changes. The decision will not have any impact on the operations of MMO titles. Customers can expect those services to continue, including the upcoming launch of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.”
Our best wishes go to those who have been made redundant, the always cheerful HMV staff and falsely accussed Mass Effect team. Let’s hope for some positive news tomorrow.