Two top Bioshock Infinite team members leave Irrational

Key members of the development team on Bioshock Infinite have left Irrational Games, raising questions about the state of the highly anticipated title, sources tell Gamasutra.

Tim Gerritsen, director of product development, and art director Nate Wells have both announced their departure. Wells was a 13 year veteran of the studio, whose distinctive style was heralded in the original Bioshock.

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Zynga: The worst may be yet to come

Last week was an ugly one for Zynga, but the company is likely to face some even rockier times, argues Chris Morris, with the coming expiration of a new round of employee stock options being the most looming hurdle.

Last week was an ugly one for Zynga. An earnings shortfall and reduced guidance for the coming fiscal year resulted in a 40 percent drop in the company’s stock, which brought out the doomsayers.

Those corporate obituaries are premature, but the company is likely to face some even rockier times before there’s much chance of things getting better.

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Ubisoft’s Guillemot: New consoles are overdue

With the current console generation in the midst of its eighth year — and retail game sales sliding for the past seven months — there’s little argument that the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii have become a bit long in the tooth. There might be plenty of power left to exploit from their components, but from a consumer standpoint, people are ready for something new.

So is Yves Guillemot. The CEO and co-founder of Ubisoft says his company has plenty of strong titles doing well these days, but the publisher revels in new hardware launches.

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Activision on the block: Assessing the potential buyers

Vivendi might be getting more serious about offloading Activision-Blizzard.

Reuters reports the French conglomerate has been in talks with a number of video game (and mass media) companies about a potential sale of the industry’s top seller.

That makes for a good headline – and I have no doubt about Reuters’ report, but as the industry works itself into a frenzy trying to guess whether Microsoft, Time Warner, or Tencent will be the new home of Call of Duty and Diablo, too many people are failing to scratch the surface.

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Warren Spector’s lessons learned from Epic Mickey

Warren Spector has never been afraid to polarize gamers. He is, in many ways, the epitome of the “go big or go home” style of game making – and he’ll be the first to tell you that he’d rather fail in spectacular fashion than do something that bores him.

But there has never been a split like Epic Mickey. It was a game that was beloved by some and ripped to shreds by others. It was the best selling single-platform game in Disney’s history — but critics thumped Disney for leaving money on the table, citing the game’s decision to release exclusively on the Nintendo Wii and its post-Thanksgiving release date.

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Why EverQuest house SOE went all-in with free-to-play games

SOE isn’t as high profile as in its EverQuest heyday, but it’s settled in as one of the biggest players in free-to-play triple-A games. President John Smedley discusses why he thinks SOE’s headed in the right direction.

Most company presidents spent E3 locked in meeting rooms, only getting a few sparse moments to explore the show floor. Not Sony Online Entertainment’s John Smedley. He actively spent time in the thick of things — though he rarely strayed far from his own booth.

Smedley’s a heavy FPS fan — and he’s especially enamored with SOE’s upcoming action MMO Planetside 2. That professed dedication isn’t unusual when an executive has a product to sell, but few of those executives arrive to E3 2.5 hours early so they can sneak in a couple hours of gameplay, and lob trash talk at other players.

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Four keys to next-gen success, according to Take-Two’s Zelnick

New console launches “separate the winners from the losers — and we fully expect to be one of the winners,” says Take-Two chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick in this Gamasutra interview.

While Nintendo fell short of its goal of whipping gamers into a frenzy for the Wii U at this year’s E3, third-party publishers, who see the system as a key driver of future growth, were reticent to downplay its potential. Instead, they cited the system’s long-term potential, rather than its initial impact.

Take-Two Interactive Software chairman and CEO Strauss Zelnick, however, was not among the cheerleaders.

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Nintendo’s Fils-Aime outlines Wii U’s dual GamePad plans, value proposition

Nintendo of America head Reggie Fils-Aime tells Gamasutra dual-GamePad Wii U games won’t be around till well after launch — but that’s the least of Nintendo’s concerns as it considers Wii U’s price tag.

While Nintendo relieved fans with last week’s announcement that the Wii U would support two tablet controllers, those hoping to take advantage of that when the system launches will be out of luck.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime tells Gamasutra that while the new console has multi-tablet capabilities, neither Nintendo nor its third-party partners will have any games available that take advantage of that during the launch window.

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Gearbox’s Pitchford on Aliens’ evolution

If Randy Pitchford’s gut is right, you have Gearbox Software co-founder Brian Martel to thank for this summer’s movie Prometheus.

Several years ago, Martel sat down with Ridley Scott to talk about Blade Runner and Alien. As the two discussed the landmark science fiction films, Scott brought out the original, by-then-dust covered storyboards to Alien and began to animatedly discuss the franchise and his love for it.

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Opinion: Why E3 is still relevant

The industry has changed immensely since E3 debuted in the 90s, but critics who say that E3 has lost all relevance are missing the point, says Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris.

There are a lot of people — and media outlets — complaining about E3 these days.

That’s typical around this time each year. The stress of finalizing a schedule and the dread that comes as you realize you’re about to go the better part of a week running at 100mph with little (to no) rest is daunting. But this year, the complaints seem more pointed, with lots of people opening wondering if the show has outlived its usefulness. With all due respect, that’s ridiculous.

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