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GP Daily 3/22/16: Wii U production to cease this year, studio closures and downsizing, and more


Jason Clement

Today's headlines involve some big news on the Nintendo front for Wii U owners and prospective buyers as well as news about some studio closures and downsizing going on. And of course, Tuesday means new releases on the PlayStation Store.

 

Read on about it all below-

 

 

 

Report indicates Nintendo will cease Wii U production in 2016

 

According to a Japanese report from Nikkei, Nintendo plans to end production of the Wii U by the end of 2016. The report notes that the company has already stopped making certain Wii U accessories.

 

If true, then the claims of the Wii U successor, NX, coming out at the end of 2016 have gotten a lot more credible. However, the report also indicates that an NX release in 2016 isn't a sure thing just yet.

 

At any rate, Nintendo likely still has plenty of Wii U stock in circulation, and the current sell-through rate (along with past holiday sales) may indicate that they can sail through this year (and perhaps part of 2017) with whatever stock they generate before stopping production.

 

Source: IGN

 

 

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Sony shuttering Evolution Studios

 

Sad news for fans of Evolution Studios, the developer behind the Motorstorm franchise and DriveClub, as Sony has announced that they have closed down the studio after a recent evaluation of their Worldwide Studios.

 

The news comes after the disastrous launch of DriveClub and the subsequent issues with its online play and such, which ultimately saw 55 members of the staff cut last year alone.

 

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

 

 

 

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5th Cell undergoing massive layoffs but not closed at this time

 

In other redundancy news, it's been reported that 5th Cell has had to lay off 45 people after their latest Scribblenauts game had been cancelled by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

 

It was originally thought that the studio had been closed altogether after animator Tim Borrelli tweeted that he had been laid off and "RIP 5th Cell." However, 5th Cell CEO Jeremiah Slaczka has set the record straight, saying that the company is not shutting down but is 100% committed to helping those affected by layoffs to find new jobs.

 

5th Cell is currently working on Anchors in the Drift, a free-to-play RPG that is being crowdfunded on investing platform Fig.

 

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

 

 

 

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Toki Tori developer Two Tribes is retiring from game development after their next game releases

 

This one was pretty surprising to me. Out of seemingly nowhere, Two Tribes made the announcement that they would be retiring after their upcoming game Rive finally releases.

 

No, they didn't run out of money. Nor is there behind-the-scene drama that's causing things to go amuck. They simply decided that it's time to hang up their coats as far as developing new games go. Co-founder Collin van Grinkel mentions that it partially has to do with them feeling like "dinosaurs" (they originally started in 2000) in an age where the indie development scene is more crowded than ever.

 

There's no word on what van Grinkel and the remainder of Two Tribes will be doing afterward just yet, but he does mention that the studio will still support their current releases and publishers; whether or not that includes ports of their existing games to new platforms remains to be seen.

 

Their final game, RIVE, is set to release soon, and Van Grinkel calls it the best game they've ever done. If fans and the media agree with the sentiment, it'll be good to see a developer go out on top for once.

 

Source: Press Release

 

 

 

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PlayStation Store New Releases 3/22/16

 

This week brings yet another surprising amount of games to the PlayStation Store, with 12 games for PS4 and two for Vita (including one surprising entry).

 

Check out the full list below!

 

PS4

  • 101 Ways to Die - $14.99
  • Bully (PS2 Classic) - $14.99
  • Catlateral Damage - $9.99
  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered - $14.99
  • Dragon Fantasy: The Black Tome of Ice - $9.99
  • Manhunt (PS2 Classic) - $14.99
  • Okage: Shadow King (PS2 Classic) - $9.99
  • Republique - $24.99
  • Sebastién Loeb Rally EVO - $59.99
  • Smite - Free-to-Play
  • Trackmania Turbo - $39.99
  • Warheads - $4.99

 

PS Vita

  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered - $14.99
  • X-Com: Enemy Unknown Plus - $19.99

 

For games on sale, see the the full list at the source link below.

 

Source: PlayStation Blog

 


What are your thoughts on Nintendo possibly pulling the plug on Wii U this year? And Evolution Studios' closure and 5th Cell's downsizing?

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