"Well, it's not THAT much..plus it had NO influence on my decision!"

“Well, it’s not THAT much..plus it had NO influence on my decision!”

Mattrick Hears “Cha-ching” When going to Zynga

A little while back, Don Mattrick departed Microsoft and took a position as CEO of ZYnga games. Mattrick made a few less than perfect comment at E3 about gaming and the XBox One, but this move to zynga was apparently enough to get people to satrt talking about somethign OTHER than the XBone again, namely how much money was he being offered.

Well wonder no more, denizens of the interweb, because thanks to a memo from Zynga we now know:

Base Salary and Bonus. Mr. Mattrick will receive an annual base salary of $1,000,000, subject to annual review. For fiscal year 2013, Mr. Mattrick will receive a pro-rated guaranteed minimum annual bonus of his base salary times the greater of (i) 200% or (ii) the average 2013 bonus percentage for the Company’s other executive officers. For fiscal year 2014, he will be eligible for an annual bonus under the Company’s 2011 Equity Incentive Plan with a target amount of 200% of base salary and a maximum amount of 400% of base salary. Thereafter, the actual amount of the annual bonus will be determined by the Compensation Committee of the Board (the “Compensation Committee”) in its sole discretion and based upon its assessment of the Company’s achievement of performance conditions during the applicable fiscal year.
Sign-on Bonus. Mr. Mattrick will receive a one-time sign-on bonus of $5,000,000 (the “Sign-on Bonus”). This Sign-on Bonus is subject to recoupment in the event that Mr. Mattrick is terminated for cause or he resigns for reasons other than due to constructive termination within 12 months of the Start Date.
Yep, 5 Million as a signing bonus. This particularly eyebrow-raising due to Zynga’s less than stellar recent performance. It decision to buy OMGPop has yet to pay off, and stocks haven’t been healthy, but apparently they are doing well enough, and trust Mattrick enough, to fork that kind of money over.

A screen from American's New Project; OZombies. This, also costs Money...

A screen from American’s New Project; OZombies. This, also costs Money…

American McGee: “Things Cost Money”

Speaking of butt-tons of cash, America McGee had a hilariously on point blog post this week, titled “News Flash: Things Cost Money”. this blog post was in response to the trouble that Double Fine has been in recently in regards to funding (more later!), and really cuts to the core of the indie market:

Just want to say to all the press, public and others who are gnashing their fangs at Kickstarter, Double Fine and anyone they think look “fishy,” you can’t have it both ways. You can’t complain about big publishers and their bad business models – highlighting all the times they’ve pushed overpriced, buggy, unfinished product onto the shelves in hopes of a quick buck. Then when an indie developer lays bare their business model and struggles, crucify them for taking risks and being honest. In both cases the hyperbole is through the roof and completely unproductive.
McGee is spot on: You cannot have it both ways. I loved American McGee for his twisted recreations of childhood fantasies: I now love him for his common sense.

Still Sounds Freakin Awesome!

Still Sounds Freakin Awesome!

Broken Age needs What?

Speaking of butt tons of cash AND Double Fine, Broken Age needs more money. Yep, you read that right. Broken Age, the indie game that raised 3.3 million dollar, more than eight times their original goal of $400,000, needs just a bit more money. As bizarre as that might seem, it’s for a reasonable reason:

A long, hard look at the numbers made it clear that the only way the team would be able to get the game out the door more or less on time – it was on track to be fully release-ready sometime in 2015 – and within budget would be to cut the content by roughly 75 percent. “What would be left?” Schafer wrote. “How would we even cut it down that far? Just polish up the rooms we had and ship those? Reboot the art style with a dramatically simpler look? Remove the Boy or Girl from the story? Yikes! Sad faces all around.

When this is considered as the impetuous for American McGee’s response, its pretty interesting. Double Fine may have a superb product, but if they can’t fund it. They can’t fund it. The plan now is to release the game in two parts, using the first part to fund the second.

G'day Mate!

G’day Mate!

Mad Max has a Good Day

A few weeks ago, I bore sad news: Mad Max was not going to be Australian in the upcomming mad max Video game. Well, it seems that i have retroactively lied and that a group of determined fans can indeed make a difference.

Avalanche Studios founder Christofer Sundberg earlier this week announced that “It shall be so” in response to fans pushing for the return of Max’s Aussie accent. While this is by no means a 100% confirmation, it is rather heartening.

As Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Except change Thoughtful to “Pissed Off”, Citizens to “Fans” and the World to “Video Games”….

Still, I’m glad to see this juggernaut of the post-apocalypse getting the respect he deserves!

Rest in Piece

Rest in Piece

Dr. Douglas Engelbart, Inventor of the Mouse, Dies at 88

Finally a bit of eclectic and sad news, Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the Mouse, yes that thing you’re likely using right now, passed away this Tuesday at 88.
In 1970, Dr. Engelbart received a patent for the mouse, which describes the device as “an X-Y position indicator control for movement by the hand over any surface to move a cursor over the display on a cathode ray tube, the indicator control generating signals indicating its position to cause a cursor to be displayed on the tube at the corresponding position.”
For the mouse and his many other contributions, Dr. Engelbart will be remembered as one of computing’s greatest innovators, and during his life he received many of his field’s most prestigious honors, including the Lemelson–MIT Prize, the US National Medal of Technology, and the ACM A.M. Turing Award.
Dr. Engelbart, you will be remembered, though perhaps, not as much as you should be…