News Of The Day 7/27/2011

A lot of EA plans revealed quite obviously, some demographic changes in LA are intriuging, and a look at the comic industry! Let's get to the news!

Yep, companies are discriminating against the unemployed when hiring. My personal HR crush object Laurie Ruettimann is on the case. Monster notes it's a legal gray area, but I bloody well argue it's not a gray ethical one.

Still, remember this happens so try and get something on your resume to get around the unethical types.

No, no Debt Ceiling agreement for the US.

Italy is having problems and Greece may need a restructuring. Note if the US defaults this is gonna make things worse for the Eurozone. Oh, and do NOT expect the Eurozone to be forgiving on it.

Well I admit L.A. is not exactly a place I want to move, but there's good reason to think it's going to become more of a high-Tech mecca – and it sounds like it need talent. Might be time for those of us who don't love L.A. to rethink our relationship . . .

Anime and Manga:
Crunchyroll just has tons of stuff. Not exactly news, but hey, we didn't want to leave them out.

This intrigues me, A Dragon Quest-like new Live TV show in Japan. Why does it intrigue me? Because it hearkens back to the goofier aspects of Japanese fantasy-adventure (Slayers, natch), which seems to have faded in recent years. I'm thinking this could represent a demographic/media shift of focus.

A fascinating discussion on the future of comics at Comic Con. Well, well worth reading for all it points out – declining sales, loss leaders, and more.

Warren Ellis sounds off on how Comic writers get selected by the big houses and notes the 'footraces' of the 90's seem to be back. His statements would fit the recent shakeups we've seen, and don't necessarily bode well for future writers.

These two articles, must read for any current or future comic pros, also point out vast changes to onboarding and business models. It's sounding like starting on your own, at a loss, may be your best bet . . .

A look at Randall Smith, a relatively unknown man buying up newspaper companies. He's been doing it for awhile, so I don't think it's tied to any other major events. Still you want to follow this for what may happen with him – and as we've learned from the News Corp scandal, big media empires can wield influence – and that could affect you.

Plus as this guy gets more well known, other media moguls will pay attention.

K. Thorn Jensen of UGO encourages us NOT to make these cartoons into movies. He has a point, though I think these are so bad they won't get made. Except Jabberjaw.

Must Read: the market looks very good for an Amazon tablet. Since they're making one, if you're a developer, you are researching how to get apps on it . . . right?

Side note – the article notes the Kindle established confidence. A good strategy to note – establishing confidence with devices and then adding more – sorta half of what Apple did.

Groupon may delay their IPO due to SEC questioning. I think their time is passing quickly, and this is just another contributor.

Netflix adds more to Canada and Latin America. Side thought here with their recent price increase (and no, I still subscribe), are they betting future expansions will be so DVD free it won't matter? They may be thinking pretty global (which also gives you the possibility careers with them may go more global – and I'm still bullish on Netflix as an employer).

Video Games:
Mobile game prices down – in app purchase revenue up. Entirely unsurprising, but also shows that the low/no-price, in-app purchase model is becoming the norm – so you'll need to adjust.

OK it's pretty much on: EA's CEO wants their 'Origin' distribution service to be like 'HBO meets Netflix' of gaming. That shows a lot of ambition, calling out competitors (which is what they call Steam now), and some serious plans. More at Gamasutra where he notes the traditional console cycle is dead (first public admission by someone of his level I've seen), his plan to make IP's year-round efforts, and new job oppos.

The latter makes me think – that they want Origin not just as a platform for delivery, but they want to make games like shows one watches with episodes, updates, extras, and more. I think EA may be changing their game dev model.

End result – keep watching EA for what they're doing, how they compete, and how one may get on Origin.

The winners of the Bulwer Lytton contest for 2011 are up.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: So where do you think EA is going with Origin?

Steven Savage