Forbes.com reports that Infogrames has purchased the remainder of Atari for
a price tag of $11 million, following up on indications they were interested in
such a deal (story). Word is that after this is concluded
later this year, Atari will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Infogrames:
SAN FRANCISCO (Thomson Financial) - Infogrames Entertainment S.A. has
agreed to acquire Atari Inc. for $11 million, the companies said late Wednesday.
Lyon, France-based Infogrames is currently the majority shareholder in Atari,
Under the terms of the agreement, Infogrames will acquire the remaining
outstanding equity interests of Atari for $1.68 a share, equivalent to a cash
payment of $11 million.
Following the merger, Atari will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infogrames.
The deal is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2008.
In connection with the transaction, Infogrames has committed to lend Atari $20
million, which will be used to fund Atari's operational cash requirements during
the period between the date of the merger agreement and its closing.
Shares of Atari, the New York-based video game company, closed at $1.54.
Players can now go on the hunt for a crazy Necromancer,
unsolve the mystery of a massacre in a woodcutters' camp, deal with a rebel
knight (permanently) and lots more. The new add-on doesn't only give you a new
series of Quests - it also opens up the doors to an all-new Business and
Training Center! The town of Tharnburg offers you a large traders' district -
and various arenas in which you can try out your newly-learned combat techniques
reports that June 6th is now D-Day for Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Colonies
Edition. This represents a slight delay for the third-person shooter remake/follow-up's
debut on the PC, which was announced with a May 27 release date
This Valve Q&A on GamesIndustry.biz talks with Valve's Doug Lombardi about a
variety of topics, learning along the way that Valve was actually looking to
industry leaders for a digital distribution scheme to suit their needs before
deciding they needed create Steam for themselves after realizing folks like
Yahoo and Microsoft were not up to it at the time:
You know, we went
around to Yahoo, Microsoft...Who else was around at that time? Probably Real
Networks and anybody who seemed like a likely candidate to build something like
We basically had our feature list that we wanted. We wanted auto-updating, we
wanted better anti-piracy, better anti-cheat, and selling the games over the
wire was something we came up with later. But we had like real world problems
because Counter-Strike was getting huge and we would release these updates that
would knock the 70 - 80 thousand simultaneous players right down to zero and it
would take 48 - 72 hours for it to come back up and that was like this huge
anxiety roller coaster that we would take every two or three months.
It also limited our ability to put those updates up because of that. It was
like..."Well, if we're going to turn the lights off for 48 hours in the player
community, the update needs to be worthy of that." So, you had to bundle up the
things you were going to put up in the update or you're going to pull it out
because you didn't want to take the roller coaster ride. So that was really the
impetus to why we did [Steam].
We went around to everybody and said "Are you guys doing anything like this? We
need this for our games, and therefore other people are going to need it someday
soon." And everyone was like: "Blah, blah, blah...That's a million miles in the
future." So we said "We need it now" and everyone said "Well, we can't help
So we just went off and started doing it. Once we pick something we just start
going after it and we're not really too concerned with what other people are
doing because that's just an easy way to get distracted.
GRAPEVINE, TX –
April 30, 2008 – SouthPeak Games today announced that Dream Pinball 3D has
shipped for the PC, Wii™ and Nintendo DS™. The dazzling pinball simulator
combines striking 3D graphics, realistic physics and a refined control scheme
tailored to the unique features of each platform.
“We have experience with classic bar room games and they have proven extremely
popular titles with gamers,” said Melanie Mroz, CEO of SouthPeak Games. “Dream
Pinball delivers a dose of nostalgia along with a great price point that makes
it a must-buy for any fan of the genre."
Dream Pinball 3D merges stunning visuals with flawless gameplay. The game
features realistic ball physics and motion blur effects as well as multiple
dynamic and fixed camera positions. The title also features six pinball
machines, each with its own theme, sound effects and music.
“With Dream Pinball 3D, our goal was to create the ultimate pinball simulator by
combining realistic physics with controls that capitalize on the unique
qualities of each platform,” said James Seaman, Managing Director of TopWare
Interactive. “We’ve created an awesome gameplay experience that is a blast for
both hardcore and casual gamers."
Dream Pinball 3D is rated E for Everyone and is available now for a suggested
retail price of $19.99. For more on the game, please visit
This 3000AD Downloads Page has
a new version 2.10.07 patch for Galactic Command - Echo Squad SE, 3000 AD's
space combat game. The
version control file
outlines what's new and an issue still under investigation.
A post on Quarter to
Three (thanks Rollory) references a link that appeared here last night to a
Matt Damon OK With Movie Violence, Not OK With Game Violence
(story), a headline loosely based on a paraphrased quote
on MTV Multiplayer from a publicist saying Matt Damon's lack of
participation in The Bourne Conspiracy console game is because the star
"took issue with the game’s level of violence and pulled out." Tom Chick quite
rightly points out that even taken at face value, that statement is a little
different than the sentiment expressed in the headline we linked, and more to
the point, presuming a PR representative for a game developer is accurately
speaking on the sentiments of a third-party on a complex issue is not fair. Tom
makes a point about the online media being like a game of telephone, leading to
a conclusion I'll egregiously and incestuously blog/crosslink/cut-and-paste: "I
fully expect this to work its way into a meme about Damon wanting to ban games."
The original post here was pretty minor, but in light of the point about the
telephone game, this correction is more prominent in attempting to prevent that.
More importantly, going forward, stronger efforts will be made to be conscious
of inaccuracies in tabloid-style headlines. In conclusion, please repeat along
with me Matt's classic line from Team America: "Matt Damon!"
Project Origin Project
Origin's Mechanized Combat and Bright Environments on IGN is a Q&A with
John Mulkey accompanied by a couple of gameplay videos from the upcoming
F.E.A.R. sequel, along the way learning exactly how the FEAR franchise
has been subdivided: "Monolith created F.E.A.R. People liked it. VUG
[Vivendi Universal Games] and Monolith split up with VUG taking ownership of
the name and Monolith owning everything else to do with the franchise. VUG
wants to expand on series, so they contract out the development of a couple
of expansion packs that don't pan out that well. Now they are talking about
creating 'F.E.A.R. 2' but they cannot legally base it on anything to do with
the first game... and they have to find a developer to do it for them since
it will not be Monolith. Meanwhile, you have Monolith, the creators of the
original game making a game based on the characters, story and universe they
created for the first title, but they cannot use the 'F.E.A.R.' name."
Aliens: Colonial Marines The
Colonial Marines Q&A on Computer and Video Games chats with Gearbox's
Mike Gallo about all the face-hugging and chest-bursting goodness planned in
the upcoming Aliens game. He says the story takes place right after the
events in Aliens 2 & 3, and "answers some of the questions from those two
movies," the most obvious of which for Aliens 3 would be 'what were they
The Galactic Civilizations II Website
has word that the Twilight of the Arnor expansion for Galactic
Civilizations II is now available via Stardock Central (thanks Bill):
is pleased to announce the general availability of the second (and final)
expansion pack to Galactic Civilizations II. The new expansion pack, Twilight of
the Arnor, adds hundreds of new features, gives each civilization a unique
technology tree, a unique set of planetary improvements, star base modules, ship
parts, and more.
Moreover, with Twilight of the Arnor, Stardock went back and revamped the
graphics for the game to bring them up to the state of the art. A new sound
track has also been added along with updates to the computer AI. It also
reintroduces the Terror Star, the ultimate weapon last seen in the original
Galactic Civilizations as well as a new victory condition called Ascension.
Online tournaments have also been added to allow people to compete at playing
the same map and scenario and submit their scores to the GalCiv metaverse.
The expansion also includes the conclusion to the Dread Lords saga in the form
of the Twilight of the Arnor campaign.
And finally, to keep the game evolving for years to come, Stardock includes a
half dozen newly developed editors that will help modders and end users alike
such as a map editor, scenario editor, campaign editor, tech editor, ship
component editor, and much more.
The expansion pack is $29.95. It requires the previous expansion (Dark Avatar)
to also be installed. New players can purchase the integrated "Ultimate Bundle"
for $59.95 and get the entire Galactic Civilizations II saga.
Digitalmindsoft has word
that the multiplayer beta testing for Men of War (story) has been
postponed to an unspecified future date, offering apologies and a shot at one of
the remaining beta keys. They also mention a developer IRC session on Wednesday,
May 7 to discuss the game and its features. Here's word on the delay:
want to inform you that the Multiplayer Beta test of Men of War has been shifted
due to some additional development time granted, since we want that you enjoy
the game at the most and best condition we use this time to further expand the
technology of Men of War and its features. You need to understand that Men of
War is seen as a big quality and unique step in the Real-time Tactical genre and
we really want to get the best out of the game to guarantee you a long term
enjoyment with Men of War.
We are really sorry to hyped you guys up too early, but the decision couldn't
been foreseen at this point.
There's a Cevat Yerli Q&A on PC
with word that Crysis is likely the last PC-exclusive game from developer
Crytek. Though he once again dismisses speculation that a console port of Crysis
is in the cards, he places the blame for declining PC game sales squarely on the
shoulders of software pirates, a theory that has become pretty commonplace. Word
We are suffering currently from the huge piracy that is encompassing
Crysis. We seem to lead the charts in piracy by a large margin, a chart leading
that is not desirable. I believe that’s the core problem of PC Gaming, piracy.
To the degree PC Gamers that pirate games inherently destroy the platform.
Similar games on consoles sell factors of 4-5 more. It was a big lesson for us
and I believe we wont have PC exclusives as we did with Crysis in future. We are
going to support PC, but not exclusive anymore.
The Team Fortress 2:
Gold Rush Update is now
available, free to owners of Team Fortress 2 via Steam. The Gold Rush Update
introduces the new Gold Rush map and Payload gameplay style, the first set of
unlockable weapons, and a new set of achievements for the Medic.
In other TF2 news, a worldwide Team
Fortress 2 Free Weekend will begin Friday at noon PDT, and will include
access to the new content released today in the TF2: Gold Rush Update. Using the
functionality made available through Steam and Steamworks, all of the files
needed to join the Free Weekend are available for pre-loading now.
The Free Weekend is open to players around the world, and there is no obligation
to purchase to participate; all that is needed is a Steam account to join.
has word from Radical Entertainment's Chris Ansell that cooperative multiplayer
may be part of future installments in the Prototype series, should the series
generate sequels beyond the first game's launch this summer. Here's the story,
including an explanation of why co-op was cut from the feature list of the
prototype for the Prototype series: "We were excited about the idea, and still
are, but we decided to put all our effort into single-player. So far the forum
reaction's been to back up that idea. Games like Mass Effect and BioShock have
had great success with a solid single-player, and we'd like to emulate that to
make an amazing single-player game."
EA-Land Blog has word that EA-Land
is going offline (thanks
a bit over two months after it this revival The Sims Online was
re-launched (story), arguably a predictable end to a project that
didn't gain enough traction when it shared the title of one of gaming's biggest
franchises. The associated posts are a bit confusing, as the refer to billing
for what we understood to be a free service, and blog posts stretch back to when
this was still The Sims Online, but the bottom line is EA-Land is being plowed
It is with mixed emotions that today we are announcing the EA-Land
experiment will soon draw to a close. Since 2002, EA-Land / TSO has attracted a
very special group of players (of which you are one) and we certainly appreciate
your participation in the EA-Land community. The lifetime of the game has drawn
to an end, and now we will be focusing on new ideas and other innovative
concepts in the games arena. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in
this online community as a unique experience in the virtual world.
Paradox Interactive announces the lunatics have taken over the asylum, as one of
their users is working on a new patch for Lost Empire Immortals:
York, USA (April 30, 2008) - Paradox Interactive revealed today a new patch in
the works for 4X strategy game Lost Empire: Immortals. The patch will be user
lead, and headed by an active gamer and hobby developer. The experienced modder
goes by the name of bman654 on the Paradox Lost Empire Immortals forums.
"There's been great interest from gamers to be more actively involved in the
upcoming progress of Lost Empire: Immortals and this is a great way to make that
happen", said Fredrik Wester, Executive Vice President of Paradox Interactive.
Mount&Blade Website offers a new version 0.950 of this action/RPG. Word is:
"This is not the final version yet, but we have put in most of the features we
are planning to, and after this, our job will mostly be polishing rough corners
and fixing bugs and problems. To this end, I hope that you will help us, as you
always do, by providing feedback, comments and bug reports. We have the basics
here, but there is still a lot to do, especially in terms of long term game
balance, but I am sure, together, we'll create a stable and very fun game by the
time we have the final release." The download is mirrored on
Buka Entertainment and
Targem now offer a
playable Russian demo for Sledgehammer, which
Babel Fish says is written
По-русски in Russian. This sample of the truck driving simulation can show you
'round its fruitcage ('cause it will be your honey bee), but some comprehension
of Russian is probably advisable. The 469 MB demo is mirrored on
FileFront, and Gamer's
Splash Damage Website puts out the call for artists, as the UK-based
developer seeks a 3D artist, a 3D animator, and a texture artist. Likewise,
has posted job listing for a Lead Environment Concept Artist and a Lead Animator
for their studio, which is based in Seoul, South Korea. Thanks Gamer's Hell.
Koch Media and Deep Silver announce the opening of North American offices for
Hermosa Beach, Calif. -- Apr 30, 2008 -- Deep Silver, Inc., a
publisher of interactive entertainment software for PC and consoles and a
wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch Media, today announced the opening of their
office in the Los Angeles metro area. The office will serve as headquarters for
US sales and marketing activities, as well as North American developer
"The opening of our United States office represents an important milestone in
the development of Koch Media," commented Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, CEO of Koch
Media. "In the last five years, Deep Silver was able to successfully position
itself as a quality brand, and now enters the North American market with its own
branch office. With a presence in the USA, we can market our own products more
efficiently, all over the world."
"Opening an office in America means establishing Deep Silver in the world's
largest market for games," said Cathy Tische, vice president of sales and
marketing at Deep Silver. "The geographical location right in the center of the
American games industry is ideal for future growth, and for building a network
of business partners."
Deep Silver, Inc. is located at 2615 Pacific Coast Highway #225, Hermosa Beach,
CA 90254-2250, USA.
In the past years, Koch Media recorded continuously growing sales. The overall
turnover of the entire Koch Media group grew by double-digit percentages each
year. The Koch Media group's annual sales volume for the year 2007 came to 231
million euros. In 2007, Deep Silver Vienna was founded as the first own
development studio; the focus is clearly on own brands and multi-platform
products with global market potential. The US expansion reinforces Koch Media's
position as a leading independent publisher.
I got to check out a bit of GTA IV single-player (I admire to boldness of those
who have already jumped into the multiplayer component: I feel I'm still just
getting my feet wet). Obviously, the harshest critics of the series don't
actually play these games; I wonder how surprised they'd be to learn just how
plot-intensive GTA IV is. There is one hell of a lot of storytelling going on