Rodeo Games was an independent studio specializing in digital adaptations of Warhammer board games. Given the Warhammer license, you would have expected to hear more about the developer but their creations have gone under the radar. Their latest and sadly final title, Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch was originally an iOS game and eventually ported to PC for £18.99. As you might expect, this didn’t go down well, and consumers felt very angry about the idea of paying so much for a basic mobile port. According to a post on Touch Arcade, the company has officially closed due to the poor reception of their latest game. Former staff member, Matthew Spencer said:
“I and the majority of the team left 4 months ago, so afaik there’s no one to offer support or make content. Like most indie developers, you’re only as good as your last game, and even though Deathwatch was Rodeos highest metric game, it didn’t make enough so we had to move on.”
“If you need support, I’ll try and help with what I can, I suggest hitting me up on Twitter, I don’t think the official channels are monitored anymore (I used to do it), I can’t offer any real support because I don’t have access to tools or builds but I might be able to help. Don’t flood me with a billion messages though, I don’t get paid and I do it because I care.”
One user review on Steam sums up the general consensus and reads:
“The game has fine art assets but seriously lacks in features. This was a mobile game and it shows. The fact that this costs over 20€ is absurd.”
It’s a shame to see a British development studio fold and hopefully those affected can find work at another company. Clearly, their business strategy to simply move a mobile game onto PC was flawed, and they didn’t create enough enthusiasm for the game across a wide audience. The current independent scene is extremely competitive which makes it very difficult to become profitable.
This press release from the Webster Police Department explains what exactly went on behind the scenes –
Our first article on this story suggested that Mr Friga, the man behind Frozen CPU, had been suffering with addiction. Now this makes it clear exactly what happened and why Frozen CPU may well be no more. We’ll keep you posted as this story develops.
AOL is shutting down The Unofficial Apple Weblog or TUAW, as part of its ever-growing cost cutting measures. TUAW was founded in 2004 and was part of Weblogs – a company purchased by AOL in 2005. This news comes hot on the heels of the news that AOL’s gaming blog, Joystiq, would also be shut down.
According to The Verge, TUAW will be shuttered on February 2nd. The closure is unsurprising, as AOL is actively trying to shrink the amount of online properties it manages – CEO Tim Armstrong said in November that his plan was to “simplify everything that can be simplified.”
Instead of selling the site, TUAW is simply being shut down and its employees made redundant, with the possibility of it being brought back in the future.
Re/codereports that AOL, owner of gaming site Joystiq, is “likely” to shut it down. They say that the site will probably be closed as part of a wider effort to cut its under-performing properties.
The site itself poked fun at the “rumour” with its own article, saying that “We do not comment on rumor and speculation,” and that “Sources tell Joystiq that the staff is aware of the closure, but corporate hasn’t officially told them, so they are unable to acknowledge anything out of concern that it will cause immediate shutdown.”
The site was originally an extension of Engadget’s gaming news and was part of Weblogs, a property AOL purchased in 2005. Re/codesays that more closures are coming at AOL, a company that owns a large number of some of the web’s biggest blogs and news sites, including TechCrunch, Engadget and The Huffington Post.
Amid falling smartphone sales, Samsung has decided to close its flagship store in London. The Samsung Experience Store at Westfield Stratford City has closed for good.
Samsung’s Experience Stores were positioned as the first place to get Samsung’s latest products – mainly their Galaxy line of smartphones. Sales of Samsung’s Galaxy S5 flagship phone were down 40 percent in its first 3 months on sale, possibly part of the reason behind the closure. Apparently the new devices were “piling up in warehouses”, after Samsung made the fatal error of producing more than was needed.
With excess inventory pilling up and suggestions of an executive reshuffle, many have tried to understand why Samsung’s previously strong smartphone business may be faltering. A number of people have pointed to the fact that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sold more than 10 million units in its first weekend, with a reported 20 million pre-orders in China alone. Apple confirmed during its earnings call in October that the company had sold over 39 million iPhones last quarter.
Police in Sweden have reportedly taken down popular torrent site The Pirate Bay. The site has also been down today, notable as it is seemingly the first time in months users haven’t been able to access it.
TorrentFreak is reporting that Swedish police conducted a raid in Stockholm, “seizing servers, computers, and other equipment”. While there is currently no official confirmation linking this to The Pirate Bay, the fact that the site is down, along with the fact it originates from Sweden, suggests that this may well be to do with it.
The police did however confirm the raid itself and said that it was to do with intellectual property, another indication of its involvement with The Pirate Bay.
“There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law,”
A number of users have taken to the site isitdownrightnow.com, with some potentially revealing further details on the situation.
‘torr it up all u want, sweden police have shut down the main server. no more PB, methinks.”
In recent months we have been hearing news at how Motorola’s Texas factory has been seeing a slow decline in profitably, particularly since sales of the Moto X and the Moto Maker scheme have not been as strong as once perceived. Due to its location in the US, the factory has been able to offer a customisation scheme to US customers, where they can make personal alterations to their handset, including the use of different materials and specifications. Sadly though the Moto Maker scheme and the number of Moto X handsets sold in the US have not been doing that well and from a once packed manufacturing plant, the Google owned property now employs little over 700 people – a sign in itself that times are changing and the time was ticking before a major change was going to happen.
The suspicion that the site’s days were numbered was only made more certain after the word early this year got out the Lenovo were looking to take over the Motorola Mobility division from Google and considering the fact that the site is barely turning a profit, it is easy to understand why such a move would be on the cards. Even though the site’s days are effectively numbered, with the closure likely to happen at the end of this year, production of the Moto X handset will continue at two other factories in China and Taiwan; where manufacturing costs are considerably lower than in the US.
Motorola has made a statement saying that the Moto Maker service will continue to be a pre-purchase service to customers, however there are no further details on how the service will continue to run and where it will be made available.