News of the Day 2/9/2010

Greece is suddenly in the news and it DOESN'T have to do with God of War or Xena. SquareEnix's big change may be . . . management style? Disney's Iger loves the iPad. Many different things going on – so here's the Geek News You Need for today!

You heard about how Greece was facing a financial meltdown? Looks like Goldman Sachs helped the government cover up the debt with some deals that circumnavigated EU regulation. End results? Greece is unpopular, Goldman-Sach is even further unpopular, the rest of the EU has an "out" for not helping Greece much or with as much dignity, and I see way increased chances of EU and global financial regulation. We're also going to feel it if Greece goes under, because several other Eurozone countries are having issues too – though I imagine some of this may be mitigated by people turning their fury on, well Goldman Sachs. If you work for Goldman Sach? My advice is to get out now.

More info on the Greece Mess here – As of this posting some bailout plan may be in the works.

Superman to get a reboot? And apparently we'll hear more soon after DC's reorg. My guess is they want to hold off on Dark Knight for a bit, and the next target, of course, is Superman – which may also fit the recent trend of comics trying to go a bit more fun-retro, and the recent retro-hip of "Batman: The Brave and the Bold." Trends to watch?

MTV Takes the word Music Television out of their logo. Which fits as they've been taking the music out of their channel for ages. Included to show the changing times, and so I can wax sarcastic as I was there when it launched.

Is Disney big on the iPad? Iger apparently is. A heavy amount of Disney content on an iPad would be a big deal for Apple and Disney – and Tablets. However I can't imagine Disney going too exclusive. Still, Disney+Apple is a huge Apple boost and a technology boost.  It also may mean Apple knowledge is good if you want to work for Disney.

The Last Airbender Film is going to have what appears to be a nice Toy Line with it. This film interests me for several reasons – it could revive the TV series, it could lead to a further media franchise, and the Avatar setting is one that cries out for games and even an MMO (unlike the current one). Of course a crash-and-burn could be something of a deterrent to other adaptions.

UK Indie Bookshops in decline – A bit of depressing news for you. Makes me wonder what indie book store closures are like in various countries.

Google adds social components to Gmail with Buzz. Analysis in article, which also suggests social media may vary in people's use by their various interests in intimacy.

Video Games:
Not going to be another game like Final Fantasy XIII? We seem to have a bit more clarification on that statement from SquareEnix: It won't be done with the same large teams. FFXIII team at times reached 300 people – which is about 100 people or so larger than the other large in-house teams I've heard of. It sound like they're moving to be more nimble and efficient with smaller teams – which also tells me a few things:

A) They're going to try some new management methods, which may or may not work.
B) They will outsource more work.
C) I bet they're going to go with delivery models encouraging the above – probably more DLC to ensure expandability, sustainability, and ease of additional profit.

EA may be selling packaged goods like crazy, but it's still loosing money – They try to put a good spin on it here. I think they have awhile before their new strategies and IP pay off – if any. Part of their strategy emerges, however, as they say Every 2011 title will have online play and DLC which sounds cool, until you realize this is basically a trend we're seeing anyway – though it's good they're embracing it. One analyst thinks they have got it right.

German game developer Bigpoint opens an office in Silicon Valley and has backing from NBC. Sounds like they have some ambitious plans – though I hadn't heard of them before this. Also an indicator that despite its problems, California hasn't changed in its importance to tech.

You can sign up for the Lego Universe Beta. So, what are you waiting for? Finish reading the news and go on over! Sure it's not necessarily career-oriented, but . . . it's lego!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: If SquareEnix changes their team/management style, will they leverage that for better products – or faster delivery? After all they did blow that money on Eidos . . .

– Steven Savage