Daily Recap: May 14, 2009

Today Nick posted his review of Fable II’s second downloadable expansion, See the Future. He wasn’t exactly impressed.

The criticisms largely echo mine in reviewing the first add-on, Knothole Island, and it’s an overall shame to again see Lionhead botch its DLC. Costumes and potions will only get your game so far, you know.

You got all excited for nothing, pup

You got all excited for nothing, pup

It’s also unfortunate that my predictions of See the Future being more worthwhile turned out wrong–that’s what I get for speculation, I suppose.

News for Thursday: Sony loses cash, a lack of funding shutters another development studio and Telltale Games sells a lot of Strong Bad. It’s all very money-oriented today.

The House of PlayStation might have expectantly lost money, but they're selling many more of these than before

Sony posted a $1 billion loss for the end of the previous financial year ending March 31, 2009; however the company’s operating losses have been cut in half during the same fiscal period. This isn’t anything new considering the global economic issues still plaguing businesses everywhere, but Sony has in the past especially received flak for the high production costs associated with the PlayStation 3.

Now it seems the company has improved the methods of producing their next-gen console to subsequently reduce monetary expenditures and perform better at market in spite of a weakened Yen and slower PlayStation 2 sales.

However, Sony accomplished much more in terms of sales figures: over the last year the company saw a 10-percent increase in sales of PS3 units and a doubling of software sales for the console. Despite the retail successes Sony expects to lose another $1.25 billion over the course of the next fiscal year.

That price drop doesn’t sound too promising, does it?

If only Factor 5 could've used the Force, financially

If only Factor 5 could've used the Force, financially

In some very sad news (as reported by 1UP,) development studio Factor 5, best-known for their series of Rogue Squadron titles, has closed its San Rafael studio. It appears that after financial problems resulting from the bankruptcy of Brash Entertainment last year–with whom Factor 5 was crafting a Superman title–the long-running development studio could no longer afford to keep going.

On a personal note, the Rogue Squadron series for both the Nintendo 64 and GameCube meant a lot to this then-young Star Wars fan. They weren’t just geek indulgences, but truly amazing games for their respective generations and showed what great work Factor 5 was capable of. In the end the company likely felt pigeonholed into the role of “awesome Star Wars game people.” As such they tried to expand their horizons with Lair, which ended up to be a commercial and critical mess.  The complications with Brash seemed to only make matters worse.

Now, they’re gone. We sincerely wish those affected the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Max is certainly enthusiastic about Telltale's success

Max is certainly enthusiastic about Telltale's success

On the happy side of videogame development, Telltale Games announced that they reached 1,000,000 to-date sales of downloadable episodes for their Sam & Max and Strong Bad games. Congratulations to the independent studio, as it’s quite an impressive milestone to reach for a smaller and more-focused method of creating games.

That’s not meant to sound condescending; it’s a testament to Telltale’s ability to craft humorous titles people truly want to play. I’ll admit I’ve yet to check out any of their episodic games, but now seems like the right time to do so considering the company’s 5-year anniversary sale currently happening on Steam.

Plus, it’s been so long since I’ve watched anything Homestar Runner-related that I might as well get back into the swing of things.