The Mediocre Gazette. 22 December 2012

Greetings folks and welcome to yet another edition of the mediocre gazette. My name is Vincent, bringing you the latest round of news from the games industry, and from Montreal. You can leave suggestions for future editions in the comments section below, or in the suggestions tab at the top of the page. Coming up in today’s edition of the gazette; more youth are voting in Quebec, THQ files for bankruptcy as it begins life with a new owner, EA has another competitor for the iOS market, and Santa receives an escort of CF-18s.

Youth in Quebec are turning out in greater numbers to cast a ballot according to the Montreal gazette. The study cited in the gazette highlights some small increases of youth voter turnout over the past few years. They quickly establish that it is not related to the student unrest before going on to cite numbers, along with various other details related to the research conducted surrounding voter turnout. Now this is interesting news; mainly because it gives the sense of hope that the youth in the province do care when it comes to politics. Out here on the west coast: youth are very apathetic; they do not care about provincial politics, and even less when it comes to federal politics, though cases may vary. Now there is not a whole lot to say regarding the voter turnout: it is good news all around to see that the youth are engaging themselves in a public enterprise so to speak, and as such the future of our nation is almost secure. The only downside I can see out of this is if the voter population is easily persuaded by a charismatic individual who has alternate agendas up their sleeve, but can hide his or her plans through a carefully constructed smoke screen of hope and prosperity. Right now however, these thoughts are nothing more than speculation and conspiracies. You can find more on this story in the address below this paragraph:

http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Higher+youth+vote+part+return+norm+study+suggests/7723214/story.html

THQ has gone through some very rough days, and now it seems they are going to fall down yet another cliff as the company files for bankruptcy. Clearlake Capital Group is apparently fronting 60 million dollars to buy THQ and all four of its development studios: Relic, Vigil, Volition, and THQ Montreal. According to Gamasutra.com, THQ has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on Tuesday in order to facilitate the sale to Clearlake. Now there was an update on the article citing that the deal has not gone through yet, and that they are still waiting to see if any other offers come in first: possibly better deals one might guess. Now this is depressing news indeed, as THQ is a fairly reputable company with consumer-friendly practices, and a set of very talented studios. Many of the game titles I play – like Dawn of War 1 and 2, and Red Faction Guerrilla – were of the highest quality in terms of design, and to an extent storytelling. Now in August THQ reported a loss of profits after their release of Darksiders 2; this was probably due to poor sales in the month of August in general for the games industry. The game Sleeping Dogs (from a different developer) also did poorly in August; which is odd considering in the past, August was a good month for games sales. Nothing in particular was wrong with either of the two titles, but somehow their sales figures came up short of what the respective companies involved, wanted. Some could say it is because of the economy, and that people are tired of paying 60 dollars for a console game each time. These are only guesses as I personally cannot recall any answers to this question. Whatever the case, I really do hope that whoever buys THQ will keep all four development studios. Vigil, Relic, Volition, and THQ Montreal are all talented studios, and it would be sad to see them disappear off the industry market. You can read more on this story in the address below:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/183880/THQ_files_for_bankruptcy_as_it_hands_itself_over_to_a_new_owner.php#.UNY3rHc0Fx4

Electronic Arts has now taken second place behind Supercell – the company responsible for Clash of the Clans – as it reaches the status of most monthly revenue earned on the App store. Even more impressive is Supercell earned more revenue with only two apps: Clash of the Clans, and Hay Day. In comparison, EA has 969 apps, and yet not a single one of their apps has surpassed either of the two published by Supercell. However it is worth noting that the increase in revenue is done by monetizing the existing users at an extremely high rate, rather than acquiring new users. Nevertheless it is good to see EA facing competition on multiple fronts, rather than on one platform. This level of competition will – hopefully – pressure EA to not only improve on their development techniques for games, but also adopt more consumer-friendly practices when it comes to their products. Ultimately competition breeds innovation, and diversity gives the consumer base all that much power when it comes to value for money. The link to this story is located in the address below:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/184035/Watch_out_EA_Supercell_is_now_the_topgrossing_iOS_company.php#.UNZGTnc0Fx4

Alright, so this story was a bit of a fun one to do; I figure that it would be nice to have something interesting when it came to news and well, Christmas celebrations do affect both Montreal, and the gaming industry: therefore I will write a bit on this rather odd story.

The CBC recently posted an article detailing NORAD’s mission to escort Santa across North American airspace. According to the story; Santa will receive support from NORAD Command, as well as an escort of four Canadian fighter jets as he passes over Canadian Airspace, before traveling into US airspace. Two jets will escort Santa through eastern Canada, before handing him over to another two jets based out of Northern Alberta, who will in turn escort him right up to Alaska before handing him over to the US Air Force. NORAD is also committed to monitoring the airspace so that Santa has a clear line of sight towards his intended destinations.

A fair bit of information is covered in the article, including: measurements of the Sleigh, how heavy it will be when airborne, how much propulsion is produced by his reindeer, and other things like climate, speed, emissions, and even Santa’s bodyweight. Definitely it was nice to see the military put this project together to spread a bit of holiday joy to viewers, and to families of service men and women in both countries. Certainly the main goal was to have a bit of fun, which they even went as far as to name the pilots assigned for the mission: which I am certain is meant to cheer up the children of the pilots who probably have to remain on duty throughout the holidays, and as such cannot be home for Christmas. Ultimately, this was a nice little “family-bonding” project done by both the Canadian Forces and the US Department of Defense. Sharing in the holiday spirit is but another step in helping us to get closer as a sort of international family, and that my friends, is what will keep nations alive in the end. Unity through strength ladies and gentlemen, the link to this story is located in the address below:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/12/21/pol-santa-rcaf-pilot-flight.html

Now comes some housekeeping that I need to get out of the way. Since Christmas day is coming up shortly, it is obvious that there will be a slow-down of news coming from the games industry, as well as from Montreal. Crime stories, and charity stories aside, it is going to be a very slow week. Therefore, for Wednesday, the 26th of December, there may not be an edition of the gazette published. I feel that since the flow of news is going to slow down, I would take some time off to enjoy my two week vacation before another semester spins up. However if there is a steady stream of news, then perhaps the gazette will have another edition released. Ultimately it is up to me whether or not an edition gets published this coming Wednesday; It will depend on whether or not the stories released are worth writing about, and whether or not the content available is enough to make form another edition. Until then folks, I wish you all the best this Christmas season, and thank you for keeping up with the gazette. Your support means a lot when it comes to morale, and writing for an audience that enjoys my work is why I continue to, and will continue to write in the coming months. Thanks again folks; have a safe and happy holiday season, and I will see you next time.

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About thoughtsandtopics

Creating articles related to the games industry and military news.

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