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Saturday, Jun 27, 2009

  

EverQuests to Expand Again

Eurogamer has a report from the Sony Fain Faire, the annual convention that's now underway in Las Vegas. At the show SOE has announced new expansions for both EverQuest, and EverQuest II, their fantasy-themed MMORPGs. The sixth EverQuest II expansion is called Sentinel's Fate, which will increase the level cap to 90 when it is released in February 2010. They say: "Sentinel's Fate will allow you to play older, low-level content with a high-level character and still gain experience. SOE is also integrating various achievements into the game, such as killing 10,000 orcs or reaching level 80 with multiple characters." Also announced is Underfoot, the 16th(!!!) expansion for the first EverQuest, though the only word on this for now is it is planned for release this November, and it will include a new underground zone.

Aliens RPG Cancelled

The Obsidian Community Forums finally drop the other shoe on Obsidian's on, off, on again, off again Aliens RPG (thanks Giant Bomb/Shacknews). The latest (for the moment) is that the game is officially cancelled:

Hi guys, The Guildmaster here. Rumors have circled around a bit regarding the fate of the Aliens role playing game that Obsidian and SEGA had been working on. Unfortunately, it is true that we are no longer working on the game, and we wanted to finally announce that officially to everyone who has been following its development. Weíre going to keep this forum up for another week for archival purposes and to allow you guys to finish up any open threads, and then we will shut it down since it is no longer a product that is in development.

All of us here at Obsidian would like to thank you for your interest and support during its development, and we encourage you to check out the recent news about Alpha Protocol, which is coming to the PC, Xbox 360 and PLAYSTATION 3 very soon!

More On Warner & Midway

The Los Angeles Times has this month's regularly scheduled story about Warner Bros. attempting to buy up the assets of bankrupt Midway Games (here's May's and here's April's). The new story indicates Warner is the sole suitor at this point, so plans for an auction are now off the boards. The story also acknowledges the complications from pending legal actions like the lawsuit filed over Mortal Kombat rights, but say: "Assuming the deal goes through, the studio will take control of most of Midway's assets, including Mortal Kombat and well-known but dormant game series such as Joust and Spy Hunter. It will also get two production houses in Chicago and Seattle."

Wolfenstein Interview

Ravenís Eric Beissman talks about the highly anticipated Wolfenstein game on GameZone shares thoughts from Raven's creative director on the upcoming return of super-soldier William "B.J." Blazkowicz in a new Wolfenstein game. Topics include how this first-person shooter franchise has evolved since being revived in 2001, stealthy elements, how the "Veil" differs from effects like "bullet time," coordinating with the outside studio creating the game's multiplayer component, and a bit about the Wolfenstein movie.

BioWare/Mythic Interview

Muzyka On EA's New BioWare/Mythic RPG Team-Up on Gamasutra converses with the BioWare co-founder about the news of their shotgun wedding with Mythic Studios. They probe for more clarity than the vague announcement about this provided, you can judge for yourself whether they succeeded:

Structurally, each of the organizations remains intact. They're working on the same projects they were working on before, I just have another studio that reports into me. It's not that BioWare or Mythic is changing; they're retaining their brands, their unique cultural identities, their projects they are working on. I'm really excited about what we're doing; we have great people at each location.

Rather, a new group is being formed that is more of a reporting structure of Rob Denton, the GM of Mythic; Richard [Vogel] and Gordon [Walton], who already report to me from [BioWare] Austin; Yannick [Roy], our studio director at BioWare Montreal, who already reports into me; and then BioWare Edmonton, and I already manage that studio myself.

It's a collaboration opportunity. Each of the groups continues to make the same thing in their [own locations]. But it's fuelling and enabling more communication, collaboration, best practice sharing, encouraging each other to play each others' games -- but no formal change per se in what anybody's doing. It's a recognition that there's a lot of synergy between them already. I'm going to make sure everyone at each location knows who the others are, and their comparable roles, and to make sure they talk.

38 Studios Interview

38 Studios CEO on Big Huge Games acquisition on Joystiq gets close to Brett Close to ask the CEO of 38 Studios about the reasons they acquired Big Huge Games. Along the way he explains why they are expanding while other studios are contracting during this economic recession: "It makes sense in terms of going back to the points that I brought up earlier: the veteran talent there. It sounds cliched at this point but it can't be over-emphasized that this talent is what builds these amazing products and there is absolutely nothing we will hedge on to build the quality of products and the type of products that we're building. Given the economic climate and the circumstances under which the deal happened and things like that -- you know we're a privately held company and I can't disclose those points -- but obviously it says what our vision is and what our business strategy is. So all the way around it just solidifies the vision of how we're going to see the market with our flagship products, with the Copernicus MMO RPG and with a broad diversity of products we can release based on Big Huge's capabilities."

City of Heroes Interview

The City of Heroes Interview on Boomtown chats with City of Heroes Senior Lead Designer Matt Miller, discussing the upcoming Issue 15 for NCsoft's superhero MMORPG. The conversation also touches on the upcoming Going Rogue expansion for the game, with Matt saying: "I canít release much information yet. Hopefully the name alone, Going Rogue, provides a good foreshadowing to what the game will encompass. But among other things there will be new zones, the ability to switch a hero to a villain and vice versa, and difficult tasks for level 50 characters to do that make them more powerful."

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