News, rumors, and outright lies from the gaming realm
• The Korea Times reported on Monday that NCsoft's Austin branch would be downsizing due to poor sales of its recent release, Tabula Rasa. Company stock dropped markedly early this week, but despite disappointment in Tabula Rasa's sales, there were no immediate plans for layoffs, says NCsoft North America's Director of Public Relations David Swofford. Plans for future layoffs remain uncertain. Robert Garriott recently left his post as the CEO of NCsoft North America to take on that same company's global business and development. Robert's better-known brother, Richard, continues to ignore all problems by training for space travel. Seriously.
• While waiting for Austin bands to catch up and do a Nintendo hoot night, we can sate ourselves with the Austin Wind Symphony's version. Classier, but at $8, you can convince yourself that you're slumming it. Buy tickets at www.austinwindsymphony.com; show up at Bethany Lutheran Church on Friday, March 7; and enjoy music from Final Fantasy, God of War, and Super Mario Bros.
• The gaming arm of the South by Southwest Interactive Festival (www.sxsw.com/interactive), ScreenBurn, with its egghead panels and prohibitive price tag, isn't for everybody. That's why there's the ScreenBurn Arcade. Free and open to the public – expect some serious advertising – the arcade features pro gamers battling for precious spots in the Championship Gaming Series, playable demos, and much pamphleteering from game-design programs and camps. Be at the Austin Convention Center, March 8-9, noon-6pm. Hopefully you won't be too hung over from the Wind Symphony concert the night before.
• Pat Sajak invested an undisclosed amount of money in Numedeon, a creator of virtual worlds. Why do you care? Well, if you dig a bit deeper into the myriad investments of the affable keeper of the Wheel, you'll find a wide-ranging and intimidating portfolio (baseball team, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, record label, and that's just the stuff on the books). A Sajak/Olsen twins corporate takeover of the free world is my updated vision of the apocalypse. Just thought you should know.
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