Nintendo Cleans House at D.I.C.E. Summit

Gamesindustry.biz reports that Nintendo received many awards at the D.I.C.E. Summit in Las Vegas. To nobody’s shock, Breath of the Wild got three nods: Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction, Outstanding Achievement in Game Design, and Adventure Game of the Year. Additional Nintendo games that received awards: Super Mario Odyssey, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Fire Emblem Heroes, Samus Returns, and Snipperclips.

StudioMDHR also took home awards for Cuphead (no surprise). Other recipients include Guerrilla Games (Horizon Zero Dawn),  and Platinum Games (Nier: Automata). The full list of winners is here.

 

Activision rakes in $4 Billion in Microtransactions

As reported on an investor call, Activision conducted over $4 Billion worth of microtransactions in 2017. From PC Gamer:

[W]hat’s really interesting (or potentially terrifying, depending on your perspective) is that more than half of that amount—over $4 billion—comes from in-game purchases. 

Looks like this business model isn’t going anywhere any time soon. But we’ve known that for a decade or so by now, right?

Hexcells

I saw a story about a new cryptography game coming out, and noted that the developer released a couple of sleeper hits, Hexcells and Squarecells. Since Hexcells was only $2.99 on Steam, I figured why not?

Bad mistake on my part. It’s a simple but addictive puzzler. I need more of these in my collection.

Changing the CEO Guard at Sony

As multiple sources reported a few days ago, Kaz Hirai announced he was stepping aside as CEO of Sony while remaining chairman of the company. Current CFO Kenichiro Yoshida will become CEO on April 1st. Ars Technica gives a clue as to what sort of direction we can expect for Sony going forward:

Yoshida made his mark on Sony by helping Hirai make tough calls to make major cuts to get the company on the right track. That effort is ongoing, so expect continuing changes with regards to both Sony’s tech and entertainment products.

As far as I know, the PlayStation brand has enjoyed a resurgence from the early PS3 era, but as the article notes Sony is still a far way from its halcyon days in 2000. Form the sounds of things Sony’s entertainment division should be getting nervous with a tough ax man now at the helm, and their smartphone division still remains in dire straits. What it all means for PlayStation and its future offerings, considering Yoshida considers all companies today “technology companies” is anybody’s guess.

I’m assuming we’re not going to get any successor handhelds to the Vita anytime soon. But the PS4 family is still five years old this coming fall, even with the 1.5 update, the customer base will be wanting new toys one day.

Longplay: Earthworm Jim (SNES)

As played by Fendrix, the quirky and difficult 1994 action platformer, Earthworm Jim on SNES. The video is about an hour long:

Boy they couldn’t make games like this anymore. Not in the AAA environment, anyway. Shiny Entertainment may have done other games before this one, but as far as I’m concerned, Earthworm Jim put them on the map. This guy graced the covers of a lot of gaming mags back then, and while it was multi-platform, it was still an excuse to flame one other during the great console war (SNES-Genesis phase).

Nintendo Switch Beats the Wii U

Numerous outlets reported Nintendo has sold more units of the Switch in less than a year than the Wii U throughout its whole lifecycle. From Ars Technica:

 Its “as of December 31, 2017” figure places the Nintendo Switch at a current lifetime sales count of 14.86 million units, surpassing the 13.56 million Wii U units sold in a little over five years.

The report shows an infographic with hardware and software sales figures, the Switch has something like 52 million units to 101 million of the Wii U.

In other words, the Switch has exceeded almost everyone’s expectations, including those of your humble blogger here and the company itself. Nintendo expected to ship 11 million units during its fiscal year.