• TOUGH TIMES: Bionic Commando developer GRIN announced this week they were shutting down due to an “unbearable cashflow situation,” while Six Days in Fallujah developer Atomic Games said they’ve had to lay off “many” staffers while searching for a publisher for the controversial docu-game. Meanwhile, SEC documents filed this week showed Midway Europe Director Martin Speiss recently purchased the French and British arms of the crumbling company for… a single Euro? Wow… he got totally ripped off. OOOH BURN!
  • Speaking of stretching your money, Nielsen Research reported gamers were spending 21% more time playing games this summer than last, despite buying fewer new games and systems. Yup, there’s nothing like a recession to make you appreciate all those old games you never had time to finish.
  • LOOKING GOOOOOOD! A major update for the Xbox 360 Dashboard introduced new features such as synchronized Netflix movie-watching parties, downloadable versions of select retail games and the ability to purchase clothes for your avatar. Meanwhile, your local Goodwill announced a new program where you could spend that money on clothes for real people, y’know, if you were so inclined.
  • ANNOUNCING ANNOUNCEMENTS! Square Enix president Yoichi Wada said in an interview with Japan’s IT Media that an announcement of the Final Fantasy XIII release date would be coming “in a few weeks.” Meanwhile, Sony announced they’d be “making an official announcement regarding our forthcoming Video Store, next week, at Gamescom.” So, consider yourself warned, I guess. In other news, it’s August and this is what passes for other news in August, OK?
  • SAFE BETS: Raven Software designer Manveer Heir this week publicly offered to reimburse all receipt-holding purchasers of the upcoming Wolfenstein game, but ONLY if the game outsold the upcoming Madden NFL 2010 in August. So, wait, he’s essentially risking money against the success of his own game? That’s a little depressing, although, given the summertime sales success of previous Madden games… I can’t say I really blame him.
  • Speaking of Madden, in honor of the game’s launch today, Walmart is lowering the price of a dozen roses to $8 for gamers who “may need some early forgiveness [from] gals who don’t want to feel ‘left out.'” Yeah, those flowers ought to shut her up while you spend all weekend sitting on the couch building the Lions into a Super Bowl caliber team.
  • AND FINALLY this week we saw a video of a kid solving two Rubik’s cubes WHILE playing an Expert-level Ozzy Osbourne song in Guitar Hero. This isn’t technically important news but…. uh… sorry, I’m… I’m just mesmerized here. Um… that was the week in gaming. For August 14, 2009.

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