Arrowhead's Paradox-published PC action-adventure game Magicka has sold 30,000 digital units day-one, as the game's director tells Gamasutra he would've been happy if the title sold that much over its entire lifetime.The game's publisher, Paradox Interactive said the PC title sold 30,000 units across all digital platforms in its first day of availability, and climbed to the top of Steam's sales charts. It sells for $9.99.The figures aren't of blockbuster triple-A big-budget proportions, but for a small independent Swedish studio and a game that was born as a student project, $300,000 in total generated revenue in 24 hours is substantial. It's gone way past our expections, said Magicka game director and Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt in a phone interview with Gamasutra. We've got a great response from the community. It's exceeded our expectations by far. Pilestedt said the studio didn't have an exact sales target for the game, but he admitted, We would've been happy if a couple of thousand people bought the game, or if 30,000 were the total sales for the whole [life] period.
The game started out as a student project that won the 2008 Swedish Game Awards, a competition for students. Arrowhead was founded around the continued development of the game.Magicka is a multiplayer action-adventure game in which players take on the roles of wizards who aim to stop a dark sorcerer. It sounds like standard fantasy fare, but the game is laced with satire and dark humor, and its emphasis on chaotic team play and spell combinations have already earned it a loyal fan base.Early purchasers of Magicka are also cutting the game some slack for a number of launch day bug issues. Pilestedt said the studio is on a 24-hour schedule for patching the game in order to keep early adopters and future customers happy, and keeping players up to date on the game's status. That's the sort of stuff the community deserves from any developer, he said. ...If things aren't working the way the community wants to, you have to fix the stuff. ... At least show good faith in the community. As a gamer, I'd love to see the big developers have that transparency. .
Cing, the independent Japanese developer behind Little King's Story and the Hotel Dusk series, filed for bankruptcy last week as it faces liabilities of some ¥256 million yen ($2.83 million).Founded in April 1999, the Fukuoka-based company employs 29 workers. The small studio is best known for its Nintendo-published Hotel Dusk adventure series with its unique sketch-based art style. The first Hotel Dusk game released in 2007 for Nintendo DS, while its sequel Last Window shipped in Japan earlier this year and is awaiting a Western localization.The company began its close relationship with Nintendo with the release of Trace Memory, or Another Code as it is known in other territories, for DS in 2005.
The platform holder published Trace Memory in the U.S., but chose to release its 2009 follow-up, Another Code: R A Journey into Lost Memories, only in Japan and Europe.Cing also co-developed Little King's Story, a simulation RPG for Wii, with Japanese developer Town Factory. Though the game was well received by critics, it sold poorly in Japan and Europe. Its other titles include Capcom's Glass Rose for PS2, the Monster Rancher DS series (the first game releases in the U.S. this March under Tecmo Koei), and several Japan-only mobile releases.The studio's next game releasing in the States is Again, an adventure title for DS following an FBI agent as he investigates a serial killer; Tecmo intends to ship the title this March. Neither Nintendo or Cing have given indication if the developer's bankruptcy filing will affect any plans for a possible Last Window localization.While it may be going through bankruptcy, Cing could still continue operating and restructure itself if the company decides to ask for court protection from creditors under Japan's Civil Rehabilitation Law (similar to Chapter 11 in the U.S.), according to Siliconera, which translated a report on the filing from Japanese news blog My Game News Flash..
Industry veteran Mark DeLoura has been named "Developer Advocate" for games at Google, as the search engine company continues its expansion into game-related areas. He starts the new position today.This is the one of the first times in recent years that Google has hired someone into a position that focuses specifically on game development and game developers.It highlights the growing importance of the company's current gaming-related initiatives such as Google Android, Google's open source 3D API called O3D API, Chrome and Chrome OS.In 2008, Google also made news by launching the Lively virtual world, although the company shut it down later that year. The company also owns the 3D modeling tool SketchUp."I personally feel that Google hiring someone specifically to focus on games is a signal from the company that they recognize the growing importance of games as a medium," said DeLoura in a statement to Gamasutra. "
Now how do we make it easier for developers to express themselves and share the experiences they create?" The position of developer advocate for games at Google is "both inward- and outward-facing," he added.DeLoura is well-known within the video game industry. For the past three years, DeLoura has been performing CTO-level game technology consulting for a variety of companies, and has been writing about game engines and middleware. He's also on the board of the International Game Developers Association and the OneBigGame charity, and served as a judge for the Independent Games Festival and the recently-announced White House-backed Apps for Healthy Kids Competition.Prior to his time as a consultant, he was VP of technology at publisher GreenScreen Interactive, technical director at Ubisoft San Francisco and manager of developer relations at Sony Computer Entertainment America. He was also formerly editor-in-chief for Gamasutra sibling publication Game Developer magazine and worked as lead engineer at Nintendo of America."
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