Link Roundup 7/25/2013

A huge, huge list of writing resources. It just keeps going and going.

What comics freelancers got paid in the 70’s. This may make you feel better . . . or worse. I’m not sure wish.

What is known – and unknown – about XBox Indie development. Lots of unknowns, I’m afraid, but it’s not entirely dismal.

A book on Superman’s creators sounds like a great read for comics, fans, writers, and historians. May be worth picking up.

Skillbridge is trying to be a freelancing site for serious high-level stuff. This should be interesting to watch – and may provide some opportunities, or start a crash of pay rates.

Facebook stock surges. By 25%. I certainly didn’t see this coming.

Blackberry lays off 250 people. It may be time to give up. Finally. Again.

For you makers, a dress made from a book.

– Steven Savage

A $99 Xbox? More Than Meets The Eye . . .

OK so Microsoft’s launching a $99 X-Box with Kinect. Sure you then need to pay a subscription fee (which comes with access to XBox Live Gold), but you also get a warranty.

So that throws things back into Sony’s part in the price wars on their aging platforms. I think it’s got a few interesting repercussions beyond that:

  • It’s pretty smart pricing – totally you’d pay $29 for the subscription model, but you also get a lot of benefits. Microsoft may be trying some new plans that won’t just be for this system – but for the next.
  • As it’s a two year plan, my guess is we won’t be seeing a new XBox for 1 1/2 to 3 years.  If you’re developing for XBox, breathe a sigh of relief – but not if you just started a new project.
  • This is an experiment. How it pans out will be watched by others – and responded too.  Pay attention.
  • It reverses common methods of pricing game systems – and merges them with online services all-but-totally.  If you work in gaming, pay attention (and notice how Microsoft is even more of a gatekeeper).

Steven Savage