League of Legends gets World of Warcraft Veteran game designer

World of Warcraft veteran leaves Blizzard to join RIOT Games as League of Legends developer.

Greg Street

Former World of Warcraft lead systems designer Greg Street has updated his LinkedIn profile to reflect that he is now a lead game designer at Riot Games.

The Linked profile doesn’t indicate the project he is working on at Riot Games. In a post on his Twitter account, Street alluded to the change but implied it would be some time before he provided more clarification on it.

“Thank you for all the recent tweets, but I think the appropriate thing for me to do is lie low for awhile,” Street said. “I won’t vanish forever. Cheers.”

Street, also known as Ghostcrawler on the World of Warcraft forums, had been with Blizzard for nearly six years when he left last month. Prior to that, he worked at Microsoft’s Ensemble Studios as the lead game designer on Age of Empires III.



Does gaming risk a repeat of the 1983 crash?

Superdata warns that console market may be saturated, gamers resistant to buying next-gen systems.


The marketing push for next month’s Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launches is beginning to ramp up, but not everyone is sold on the new consoles just yet. In a new report prepared by Superdata and released by Digital River, the research firm warned that the market for consoles is already crowded, with 79 percent of gamers already owning a console, and that group having an average of 2.6 consoles each. The report was based in part on a March survey of 1,105 respondents.

“Industry veterans will remember the crash of 1983, when the games market was saturated with hardware devices,” the report states. “Today, the industry runs a similar risk, as [with] a higher-than-ever console installed base, consumers may be resistant to adding more hardware to their living rooms.”

While the report acknowledges there are more gamers now than ever before, it suggests their habits are changing. Specifically, Superdata found gamers increasingly gravitating toward versatile, multi-purpose platforms like PCs and mobile devices. As a result, an increase in the number of gamers won’t necessarily translate into an increase in demand for consoles.

In 2008, consoles led the industry, with 42 percent of gamers playing primarily on a console platform, compared to 37 percent who favored PCs and 5 percent who gamed mostly on mobiles. The numbers have shifted significantly in the intervening years, with 51 percent of gamers now playing primarily on PCs, and just 30 percent on consoles. Meanwhile, mobile has increased its share of the market and now represents the primarily platform for 13 percent of players.

The report also highlighted the increasing shift toward digital consumption of games in the US. America’s unboxed gaming spend jumped from $1 per capita in 2000 to $14 in 2012 (with adjustment for inflation). That accounts for most of the industry’s growth over that time frame, during which overall US per capita gaming spending increased from $33 to $50.



Runescape 3 boosts player numbers by 300,000

Jagex’s latest update also wins back 100,000 lapsed gamers.


UK developer Jagex has reported 300,000 new players have signed up to Runescape in the last 30 days, and 100,000 lapsed players have reactivated their accounts.

Jagex refused to disclose the current number of active player accounts, but since launch the game has seen 220 million player accounts created.

The latest iteration of the game, RuneScape 3, launched on July 22 and since then players have notched up the equivalent of 600,000 hours of gameplay a day between them.

“Runescape 3 has been the result of the tireless efforts of the development team and the positive reaction from the community, since its launch, shows how aligned they are with the community spirit and sentiment,” said CEO Mark Gerhard.

“This is the first step in allowing players to truly create their own adventure within the game and we’re really excited about seeing how the game evolves through their participation.”



SimCity Mac launch runs into problems

Players complain of inability to install game from Origin, resolution issues, poor performance.

After a prolonged wait, the Mac version of SimCity launched this week only to run into problems reminiscent of those that plagued the PC edition’s launch in March.

EA has prepared an installation FAQ detailing half a dozen different problems that are preventing customers from playing. Some Mac users with an OS set for non-English languages have had problems launching the game, while others can’t install the game as Origin mistakenly believes it’s already installed. Still others are running versions of OSX that are advertised as being supported, but causing problems with the game’s launch. EA’s FAQ has workarounds for some of these issues, but not all.

Getting the game up and running isn’t the only problem Mac users are having. A number of players are also reporting issues with the Mac version’s resolution and performance, saying the game in its current state is unplayable. Others report that they have had better results by booting their machines into Windows and playing the PC version of SimCity.

As of press time, EA had not responded to a request for comment.

When the PC version of the always-online game launched in March, EA’s servers were unable to handle the number of players looking to log on. Unfortunately, without logging on, there was no way for people to actually play the game they had just purchased. The problems with the game lasted for weeks, but didn’t prevent SimCity from going on to sell more than 2 million units. When EA revealed The Sims 4 in May, the announcement specifically mentioned that there would be an offline single-player mode to the game.