Interview: PopCap’s John Vechey says mistakes were made, but selling to EA wasn’t one

Since PopCap was acquired by Electronic Arts nearly three years ago, the Seattle-based game maker has had its fair share of troubles: Layoffs, game cancellations, studio closures and executive departures. But PopCap’s co-founder John Vechey, who was named as the executive in charge of PopCap in January, said he can’t blame the problems on Electronic… Read More


New job postings show Amazon developing titles for ‘avid video game players’

A few new job postings indicate the direction that Amazon is heading, at least initially, with its new gaming arm. Amazon Game Studios is now seeking a Senior Software Engineer and the job description notes how the company is “passionate about building highly creative, exciting, and innovative entertainment for avid video game players.” “Combining a startup atmosphere… Read More


Xbox film crew’s excavation of Atari ‘ET’ graveyard gets tangled in red tape

A plan to excavate a suspected mass burial of Atari ET video-game cartridges for a Microsoft Xbox documentary has been blocked, at least temporarily, by environmental concerns at the site in Alamogordo, N.M. The Alamagordo Daily News reported this week that the New Mexico Environment Department has so far declined to give the waste excavation approval required… Read More


PlayStation in 3D: Sony announces virtual reality headset for immersive gaming

SAN FRANCISCO–At today’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco, Shuhei Yoshida, the President of Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertaiment, took to the stage to announce that the Japanese electronics giant is jumping into the virtual reality space. Yoshida unveiled Project Morpheus, a prototype version of the company’s attempt to bring PS4 users an immersive,… Read More


Making sense of Xbox exec Marc Whitten’s new job at Sonos

When talking about the competitive landscape for Microsoft’s Xbox One, the conversation is nearly always about the console wars and how it stacks up against the PlayStation 4. But yesterday’s departure of Xbox exec Marc Whitten to Sonos, the wireless audio company, shows just how narrow-minded that viewpoint is: Microsoft’s competition for the Xbox One… Read More


Xbox One arriving in 26 additional countries in September

The Xbox One will be available in 26 additional countries later this year, Microsoft announced today. After debuting the console in 13 markets on Nov. 22, Microsoft will sell the Xbox One in several more countries by September, including Japan. The Redmond software giant originally announced that it would sell the Xbox One in 21… Read More

Marc Whitten. (Microsoft Photo.)

Key Xbox exec Marc Whitten exits Microsoft for Sonos

Marc Whitten, the longtime Xbox Live leader who has worked most recently as Xbox chief product officer, is leaving Microsoft to join Sonos as chief product officer. Microsoft announced the news Monday afternoon, four months after the launch of the Xbox One and a week after the debut of the pivotal game Titanfall for the… Read More


Microsoft ‘sincerely apologizes’ for Xbox Live issues, says Titanfall not to blame

Thousands of excited Titanfall gamers were left disappointed on Tuesday after sign-in problems with Xbox Live kept them offline for much of the day. Xbox One owners voiced their frustration on Twitter starting around 2:45 p.m. PT Tuesday. By 8 p.m., Microsoft tweeted that the problems had been fixed. However, the Xbox Live status page was still showing… Read More


Meteor Entertainment closes Seattle office, CEO steps down as Hawken struggles to find footing

Meteor Entertainment, publisher of the PC combat game Hawken, has closed its Seattle office and is consolidating operations into its Los Angeles studio. Meteor’s former CEO Mark Long confirmed to GeekWire today that he stepped down late last year, and that the company’s chief product officer, Bill Wagner, is now running things. The changes are a… Read More

Atman Binstock.

Oculus VR opening Seattle R&D office, hires Valve veteran Atman Binstock

Oculus VR, the company behind the highly-anticipated Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, announced today it is opening up a new Oculus research and development office in Seattle. Heading up the new team is former Valve engineer Atman Binstock, who will be joining the company as its chief architect. Oculus is looking for “exceptional engineers to help research… Read More

Gamers complained of long waits to connect to Titanfall. Via @ShaneMlsley.

Patch gets Titanfall back online after brief server stumble

Dozens of unhappy gamers complained of server issues early this morning, shortly after Titanfall launched at midnight around the world. One gamer, using theTwitter handle @ShaneMlsley, quipped: “Good thing I preordered #titanfall. How else would I have the chance to see this for 15 minutes. #titanfail.” The tweet was accompanied with a photo of the… Read More


Big Fish says small fees are the reason to accept Bitcoin

Want to plow your digital fields for a penny, or drop a dollar into a virtual slot machine?  Today, Seattle-based Big Fish said it has begun accepting Bitcoin to make small in-app transactions more profitable. The announcement comes two months after social gaming giant Zynga started trialing the alternative currency. Gaming is considered an ideal industry… Read More

John Vechey

PopCap boss John Vechey on life lessons, Electronic Arts and his Plants vs. Zombies strategy

PopCap co-founder and General Manager John Vechey sat down to an Ask Me Anything Q&A session on Reddit today, and the results were interesting. Vechey, who recently took the reins of the company from Dave Roberts, who retired earlier this year, is known for his outspoken, energetic personality, which came in handy as he answered all manner… Read More

disney infinity

Disney Interactive to lay off 700 in restructuring; Seattle operations to remain intact

Disney is confirming a large-scale restructuring today that will result in the firing of hundreds of employees, representing 26 percent of its global workforce. But a source said there will be little to no impact felt in Seattle, where employees will continue to be tasked with developing the Facebook and mobile game, Marvels: Avengers Alliance. A spokesperson… Read More