A Press Democrat Blog


A fun place to rot your brain

Lessons for Activision in Microsoft-Bungie divorce

This week’s split between Activision and the president and CEO of “Call of Duty” developer Infinity Ward is shaping up to be a classic rift between creative talent and the people who cut their paychecks are a fact of life. But for an example of a smooth gaming divorce, let’s look at the negotiated split between Bungie Studios, developer of the Xbox 360’s “Halo” games, and Microsoft, back in 2007. Microsoft bought Bungie, previously a developer of Mac games, back… Read More »

Online play for original Xbox to end April 15

Late last week, Microsoft took a step anyone who follows Xbox Live has known would come eventually. The company announced that on April 15, it will end support for online play of original Xbox titles. While it would seem that Microsoft, a company with pretty deep pockets, should be able to afford to keep the old black box online indefinitely, the company acknowledged back in August that the original Xbox was the reason friends lists on the Xbox 360 are… Read More »

Gaying up Xbox Live, PlayStation Network

Anecdotal evidence that some kids might not want to play the newest “Grand Theft Auto” episode, “The Ballad of Gay Tony,” because the word “gay” appears in its title offers a glimpse at how we might keep hate-spewing kids from ruining the online games we love.… Read More »

What to play this weekend (Sept. 25-27)

“Halo 3: ODST” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360): The latest game set in the “Halo” universe will confuse folks who are only passably familiar with the game’s universe. Let’s start with its ill-conceived name. See, unlike most video games with a number and a colon in the title (“Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,” for example), “Halo 3: ODST” is not “Halo 3″ for short, as “Halo 3′s” been on the market for a couple of years now. Nor… Read More »

‘Left 4 Dead’ review

Back in early 2007, FASA Studios released “Shadowrun,” a cyberpunk-and-magic first-person shooter for the Xbox 360 and the PC that featured no single-player mode beyond a handful of training missions. Angry gamers declared it a ripoff because it was a multiplayer-only title and they refused to pay full price for “half a game.” If anyone’s leveling the same complaints about Valve Software’s “Left 4 Dead” (rated M, $60 on Xbox 360, $50 on PC), they’ve been drowned out by the… Read More »