Every couple weeks I want to try to round up some of the big headlines and add a little discussion. Sometimes its hard to follow all the different news stories, and I don’t want to inundate the blog with single posts about new information. However, I do want to talk about some of the newest developments and get a discussion, hence this weekly roundup!
Nintendo Unveils Then Delays New Mobile Game (article)
I can’t say I wasn’t worried when last year’s financial woes for NIntendo drove it to explore the lucrative mobile game sector. Not that there is anything wrong with the mobile game market, but to see Mario or Link in a freemium app just seems wrong. That reality is not yet upon us because the new game is called Miitomo and is more of a social app than mobile game. Nintendo plans to make the game free, and to have in-game microtransactions, that is, whenever the game is actually available, as it was pushed back until Spring.
Activision Blizzard Buys King, Maker of Candy Crush (article)
Activision Blizzard, known for all things Warcraft and Starcraft, have purchased King, the maker of the mobile game Candy Crush, for $5.9 billion (yes, that’s billion with a b). That nearly twice the amount Microsoft paid to purchase Mojang and the Minecraft franchise. This news follows Nintendo’s foray above, and shows the trend of sliding video game companies leaping into the mobile game market. King has not quite followed up the ubiquitous Candy Crush Saga with anything of note, so it remains a big bet whether this acquisition will pan out for the stuttering Activision.
Binding of Isaac Creator Edmund McMillen Creates Uproar Over In-Game Secrets
As I posted earlier this week, Binding of Isaac: Afterbirthbirth came out last Friday to much fanfare. In the original release of Rebirth (the base game), Edmund McMillen, of Super Meat Boy fame, included a deep and convoluted secret to unlock a character called “The Lost.” There was a large intricate puzzle that had the Binding of Isaac community abuzz trying to decipher the symbolism and unlocks to reveal the character. That all came to a halt when dataminers revealed the secret without discovering it through the gameplay. With Afterbirth, fans were looking for more deep secrets.
To summarize the initial events, players began seeing signs, such as the coin donation machine, halt at 109. During developer streams, Tyrone and Edmund played up the 109 number theme. Seemingly, this number held some significance. On Tuesday, a patch was rolled out at 109 hours after the expansion released. What happened next was seemingly not as intended.
When the patch rolled out, many items that were assumed to be in the game were now available (along with a nerf to two popular “stronger” characters). Users began an outcry that this “timegated” content was unfair and was simply Edmund being upset with the dataminers the first time around. The community was marching with pitchforks to Edmund’s twitter which lead to this explanation on Reddit. Edmund explained that the items were not timegated but simply bugged, and thus not included. Further, he stated that the 109 fixation was incorrect, but that he and others perpetuated it to keep people looking. Most interestingly, he seemed to hint that there are significant secrets left in the game that have yet to be discovered. Only time will tell whether there is something worthwhile, but a notable milestone has been achieved as CobaltStreak and Richard_Hammer (who have been doing a 27/7 livestream of Isaac since release) finally managed to put 999 coins into the Greed donation machine (which takes significant time and effort), revealing an ambiguous message “If Only Everyone Was As Generous As You Are…” to which Edmund replied on twitter: “Cherry popped.”
Check out the drama unfold here: Edmund’s Twitter