Layoffs, Nintendo Announcements, and Science Tech Headlines

This week in gaming news, more layoffs hit developers, Nintendo Announcements, and the week in published tech science headlines.

Layoffs: More of them.

The trend continues with more layoffs and studio closures hitting game developers this week.
Deck Nine, the developer of Life Is Strange: Before the Storm and True Colors, have laid off 20% of its staff due to “…worsening market conditions.”
Cloud Imperium Games, developer of Star Citizen currently in ‘alpha’, are also reportedly undergoing “mass layoffs” under the banner of relocating to its new UK office.
Disruptive Games, the team behind bringing Diablo 2 to and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 to everything, has laid off an undisclosed number of staff, even after advertising for new staff only a month ago via LinkedIn.
Thunderful Games, creators of Steamworld games, the more recent Planet of Lana and others, have announced a restructuring program with a 20% cutback in staff – over 100 people.
Supermassive Games, developers of The Dark Pictures Anthology, announced layoffs with 150 at-risk employees lined up for the chopping block.
Indie developers Die Gute Fabrik, makers of Saltsea Chronicles, have made the hard choice to close their doors.
Electronic Arts is also restructuring, putting about 670 people or around 5% of its workforce on notice. EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson stated this due to the companies move away from licensed intellectual property.
And finally, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has penned a letter to the company (and a media release) announcing that 8% or around 900 employees will be laid off. This includes all the London Studio, and some of Firesprite Studio (cancelling the Twisted Metal Live-service game in development), as well as others around the world. But hey, at least you might be able to use that PSVR2 with your PC later this year.

Nintendo Announcements.
This week’s Pokémon Direct in honour of Pokémon Day started soft with several basic updates and events planned over a range of Android and iOS Pokémon games. Then came the big two announcements. Firstly, Pokémon Trading Card Game is getting an Android and iOS app under the original name Pokémon Trading Card Game Pocket. Pocket is being developed by DeNA Co. Ltd., makers of Fire Emblem Heros, Pokemon Masters, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and many others, and features trading, card pack opening, and duelling. But it manages to maintain the most important part of the franchise, exclusive foils, which will now be reproduced and expanded upon as immersive visual effects. And second, the next Pokémon game has been tentatively announced with the teaser displaying little to no visuals and only exposing few details. Those being the place name, Lumoise City in Kalos of X & Y fame, the game’s name, Pokémon Legends: Z-A, the game’s power system, mega evolutions, and a tentative release year, 2025. Interestingly the same release year as the Switch 2.
In other news, Tropic Haze LLC, the developer of Switch emulator Yuzu, is being sued by Nintendo. The company is claiming that Tropic Haze “…facilitates (sic) piracy at a colossal scale.“ and “…is thus secondarily liable for the infringement committed by the users…”

(Insert Last Post Music Clip)

And now for some industry, science and technology.
In tiktok viral science, Doom can now be played on cellular technology. And by that I don’t mean apps on your phone, rather a 32 by 48 pixel display lit up by fluorescent Escherichia Coli cells. The display was developed by MIT biotech PhD student Lauren “Ren“ Ramlan, inspired by the numerical displays of Shin et al. 2020. The cells were induced with plasmid BBa_K3893028 which respond to stimuli to essentially display fluorescence. Utilising this on off difference Ren was able to create a very simple 1bit (black -off or white-on) display. However, the frame rate is lacking, with it taking 70 minutes to display a frame, and eight hours and 20 minutes to go back to its resting state. Making the 5-hour game last approximately just under 600 years.
On the other hand the “big boy” in storage science has been designed by professor Min Gu from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology. The technology packs 100 layers of data in 54 nanometers on a DVD sized disc. Effectively replacing a 2 meter stack of Blu-rays with a single disc that can fit up to a petabit or 125,000 gigabytes of data. The 3D writing system uses dye-doped photoresist with aggregation-induced emission luminogens with nanoparticle scale resolution lasers on the optical disc, which essentially allows the possibility of stacking the technology into exobit-level data storage facilities.

Now for some upcoming games.
Tuesday March 5th brings us The Outlast Trials and WWE 2K24 both coming to PC, PlayStation and Xbox. And on Thursday March 7th As Dusk Falls comes to Playstation and Snufkin: Melody of Moominvalley comes to PC, Switch and both next gen consoles.

And that’s all this week in gaming news.