Dick and Jack speak: this CEO departure was part of the plan

I just got off the phone with Twitter’s outgoing CEO Dick Costolo and its incoming interim (and also former) CEO Jack Dorsey, who were continuing to try to explain why the seemingly sudden resignation of Costolo was a good thing and part of a long-term plan of transition at the San Francisco social communications company.

“We have been having this conversation for a while and the only reason to do it now was that we have been building strength at both companies,” said Dorsey of the news that Twitter dropped today in a filing, about both Twitter and also Square, the payments startup he founded.

Costolo, who noted that he told the board that he wanted to go at the end of last year — translation: I jumped and was not pushed — echoed…

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Author: Recode Staff

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Witcher 3, Mortal Kombat X, GTA 5 Top May 2015 NPD Sales Chart

The NPD Group has released its monthly sales report, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt’s physical sales in the United States during May 2015 has earned it the top spot.

According to the sales monitor, The Witcher 3 also had the best-selling first month unit sales within the role-playing genre for the current consoles.

Last month’s top performer, Mortal Kombat X, moved down to second place, but its publisher, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, was crowned the top software publisher year-to-date through May 2015, with over 140 percent increase in dollar sales versus last year.

Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, a mainstay on most sales charts for this year, ended the month in third place, followed by Minecraft in fourth. Nintendo’s newest IP, Splatoon, rounded off the top five.

Check out the list below for May’s top sales (with the order of platforms indicating where games sold best).

NPD Group’s US Games Industry Sales (New, Physical Only)

  1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PS4, XBO, PC)
  2. Mortal Kombat X (PS4, XBO)
  3. Grand Theft Auto V (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, PC)
  4. Minecraft (360, PS3, XBO, PS4)
  5. Splatoon (NWU)
  6. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (PS4, 360, XBO, PS3, PC)
  7. NBA 2K15 (360, PS4, XBO, PS3, PC)
  8. FIFA 15 (PS4, XBO, 360, PS3, Wii, 3DS, PSV)
  9. MLB 15: The Show (PS4, PS3)
  10. Super Smash Bros. (3DS, NWU)

May saw a 13% decline in software sales compared to the same period in 2014. NPD attributes this to “poor comparisons to a strong release slate in May 2014.” It goes on to cite the launches of Mario Kart 8 and Watch Dogs as big contributors to 2014’s higher numbers.

“Collectively, May 2015 launches sold 55 percent less dollars than May 2014 launches,” it says, “however, catalog games outside of the launch month sold 3 percent more dollar volume compared to catalog games in May 2014.”

“Despite poor comparisons to May 2014 releases, eighth generation consoles software unit sales rose 8 percent in May 2015, and also gained 15 percentage points in overall software unit share to total 54 percent.”

Interestingly, NPD also said that if the top ten software list for May 2015 was ranked based on a SKU basis instead of a title basis, Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster for PS4 would have made the list.

The NPD Group’s monthly sales report for May 2015 has also been released, and the PlayStation 4 was the top-selling console in the US last month. Read more about each console’s performance here.

 

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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These Street Fighter 5 Wallpapers Will Make You 100% Cooler Than Everyone

Humans have many ways to passively express their love of something. We’ve got the tasteful emblematic tattoo that only the likeminded can appreciate. There’s the loud-and-proud t-shirt that screams your passions as you saunter around the streets.

And of course, the braver among us can go the lifestyle choice route and wear a Konoha forehead protector while out on a weekly shopping trip at the local Walmart – which I definitely. Have. Not. Done. Ever.

Arguably the most important and effective of all is the desktop background. It’s a subtle way of integrating the subject of your affection into daily life, and showing those around you how much you love it without being an obnoxious dude dressed head-to-toe in Akatsuki’s uniform. Again, never done that. No sir.

I don’t know about you, but I spend so much time in front of my computer screen that I’m pretty sure I’ve got a tan from it. So, every now and then–when the windows are tucked away–I get a little prompt to think about something that makes me very happy.

Currently my desktop wallpaper is an incredibly rad Street Fighter V wallpaper. I’m a big fan of M. Bison, so having his maniacal ear-to-ear grin pop-up every once in a while is a real treat. I see it and spend a few minutes thinking about strong jawlines, whether I could actually do a Scissor Kick in real life, and the colour purple. Lots of purple.

Sometimes I’ll even shout “THIS PLACE SHALL BECOME YOUR GRAAAVE” if the passion overcomes me. Though HR have told me that I can’t do that anymore as it “is alarming to those around me.”

We all know how difficult it can be to find a good desktop wallpaper these days. They’re either buried under layers of pop-ups on dodgy websites, or have FREEWALLPAPERZ4ULOL watermarked across it.

With that in mind, Capcom is letting us give these wallpapers to you. Below you’ll find a selection of high-quality, super cool images for Ryu, Chun-Li, Nash, and M. Bison. Download. Resize. Enjoy.

Remember: Open the download links in another tab!

Download Nash Wallpaper

Download Bison Wallpaper

Download Chun-Li Wallpaper

Download Ryu Wallpaper

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Author: Tamoor Hussain

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The Oculus Rift needed two years to get gaming right

The very first thing I did in the Oculus Rift — the first thing most of us at The Verge, did, actually — was walk around a spaceship with a gamepad. It was a simpler time, when all most people expected out of VR was a cool way to play games. Now, more than two years after that first trip into virtual reality, Oculus has announced its final product… and we’re back to where we started, with games. But that’s a good thing.

During the very first wave of real Oculus hype in 2013, everyone had something they wanted to play (or were scared to play) on the Rift, whether it was an MMO or a horror game or a first-person shooter. Very few people had spent more than a few minutes in the headset, and we were still blissfully ignorant of problems…

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Author: Adi Robertson

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Watch Rock Ban Dev’s First Game Pitch, It’s Mad 90s

Harmonix is now widely known because of its work on Guitar Hero, Rock Band, and other popular music games. But the studio didn’t start making blockbuster rhythm titles. Most people had never heard of the small developer from Boston.

But the company wanted to get the word out, and so it made a pitch video. And, in my opinion, the result is about as much of a 90s-era product as anything imaginable.

Along with the sweet saxophone music, bizarre camera angles, and awesome text effects, the video showcases Harmonix’s first project, an interactive music-production program called the Axe. Keep an eye out for the animation of the music. It’s particularly great.

The video shows the lineage of Harmonix’s work, and it’s easy to see how it went from the Axe to Rock Band. The studio’s been trying to make creating music accessible to everyone since the very beginning.

If only the developer’s later games had more head-exploding claymation like the Axe…

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Author: Alex Newhouse

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The new iTunes icon is a throwback to Apple's classic logo

Apple loves to change the iTunes icon. It’s just never satisfied. And it’s hard to blame Apple for that: iTunes is one of the most important pieces of software it makes — a gateway into its revolutionary music and app stores, the home of most of your media, and the place you go to manage iPhones and iPads. All of which is probably why Apple seems to get bored every few years and tweak the iTunes icon to better fit the company’s current vibe. And the latest iTunes icon — the one that’s coming with OS X El Capitan this fall — may be both the strangest and the most fitting design yet.

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Author: Jacob Kastrenakes

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Thanks to Fans, You Can Fly Through WoW's New Area, But Only if You Earn It

In response to player feedback, Blizzard will bring the ability to fly to World of Warcraft‘s Draenor areas, including the new Tanaan Jungle. Before you can do so, however, you’ll need to fulfill certain requirements.

The upcoming 6.2 patch–a major update that brings with it ship-building, a new raid, and a new area called Tanaan Jungle (pictured below)–also adds an achievement called Draenor Pathfinder. By earning this, you’ll earn a new mount (a rylak, the Soaring Skyterror) and, once a subsequent patch is released, unlock the ability to fly in Draenor.

Unlocking this achievement will not be an easy task, however. You’ll need to explore all of Draenor’s zones, collect 100 treasure in Draenor, reach revered status with the three new Tanaan Jungle reputations, and earn two other achievements: Draenor Loremaster and Securing Draenor. In other words, you’ll have to extensively play through Draenor’s content before earning the right to fly through it.

Flying has been the standard way of navigating WoW’s world for years now, ever since it was added in the Burning Crusade expansion in 2007. At the time, players weren’t able to fly through the game’s two original continents, but that ability was added in Cataclysm, making it so that nearly the entire game could be flown through until Draenor.

Blizzard has talked in the past about how it decided to prevent players from flying in the new areas because of the way it impacted players’ experience with the game. “While there was certainly convenience in being able to completely explore the world in three dimensions, that also came at the expense of gameplay like targeted exploration, like trying to figure out what’s in that cave on top of a hill and how do I get up there,” lead designer Ion Hazzikostas recently told Polygon.

He also said that flying “made the world feel in many ways much smaller” before stating that it wouldn’t be added to Draenor and wasn’t a given for future expansions.

This didn’t sit well with many fans, prompting today’s blog post from Hazzikostas announcing the new achievement prerequisite for flying in Draenor.

“We believe this strikes the right balance between ensuring ground-based content lives up to its full potential, while providing players who’ve already fully experienced Draenor’s outdoor world extra freedom to ‘break the rules,'” he said. “This also provides a general blueprint going forward for content to come. Players will explore new and undiscovered lands from the ground, and then once they’ve fully mastered those environments–a notion that continues to evolve with each new expansion–they can take to the skies and experience the world from a new vantage point.”

Patch 6.2 does not yet have an exact release date, but it’s currently on public test realms and is expected to go live in the coming weeks.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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