A second Alpha Protocol
walkthrough trailer is now available on the
, offering a further look at Obsidian's upcoming espionage-themed
action/RPG. The movie includes developer narration describing how character
customization functions through the game's safe houses, which are scattered
around the globe, and will be accessed between each mission. The safe houses
also have access to email for character interaction, and a clearinghouse to
acquire black market items. The clip shows off the customization of weapons,
armor, and character skills, some of which are demonstrated. They also show
interaction with your handlers, trophies, customizing the character's
appearance, and more. Thanks Mike Martinez and
The Lost Gamer
has their promised outline of the amicus curiae
of the court) brief they reported
would be filed today in support
of California's efforts at getting the U.S. Supreme Court to review the
constitutionality of the state's 2005 violent video game law which has been
ruled unconstitutional by two lower courts.
-format) was filed on behalf of State Sen. Leland Yee,
author of the bill in question, along with the California Psychiatric and
California Psychological Associations.
Here's Senator Yee's press release
about this, and
makes what sense they can about the arguments they present to
further the idea that violent games represent a threat that should overcome free
Ubisoft's Detoc on Turning 'Gamers' into 'Players' on IndustryGamers
interview with the head of Ubisoft's North American office. They discuss a
variety of topics, and as the article's title notes, one of them is that they're
more comfortable trying to reach new audiences by appealing to them as players
not gamers, which he indicates implies a hobbyist: "You know, Avatar is a very
high quality product. I don't want to say it's a gamer's game because I want us
to refer to people who play as players as opposed to gamers because the industry
needs to be more encompassing. Avatar, because of the mass phenomenon the movie
will be, will cater to much more than the hardcore, hobbyist gaming audience.
The immersion from the 3-D [stereoscopic feature] is really something else."
has details on a Dead Space Extraction
comic based on the
Wii-exclusice Dead Space game, saying a special limited edition is on sale at
Comic Con for $2.00 in advance of the normal edition appearing in shops this
September for $3.00. Word is: "The Dead Space Extraction comic will see the
reunification of illustrator Ben Templesmith and writer Anthony Johnston, who
created the comics which accompanied the original Dead Space. In fact, this
comic owes its creation to the success of the original Dead Space comic
- DC Universe Online on
Variety. The game's early story line.
- Jumpgate Evolution on
MMORPG.com. Developer Blog.
release date for Borderlands
to October 20 in
North America and October 23 in the UK, Europe, and other territories, jibing
with recent indications
Gearbox's post-apocalyptic action/RPG
would be out in October. "I don't think we have to be afraid of competition or
shy of what's out there," 2K Games president Christoph Hartmann tells them
in an interview
. "I think this
holiday season is a little bit lighter in triple-A games than last year. It's
actually a good holiday to put something out.…There's always risk and
opportunity. The risk is you have a hard time standing out against established
IP. The opportunity is you have a lot of traffic here and it can be a much
bigger product at retail than it would be otherwise."
announces sales of
, revealing GRIN's platformer sequel is due on PCs on July
28, which is a couple of weeks after the date recently reported on
indicate the game is due in Europe on Friday. As is their
way, Steam has an incentive to inspire pre-purchases of the game, offering a 10%
discount if you pay for the game in advance of its release via Valve's online
service on Tuesday. On an unrelated note, I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a
AMD now offers new version 9.7 Catalyst reference drivers for ATI Accelerators.
There are new English-language drivers for
Windows 7 32-bit
Windows 7 64 bit
(those pages all say version 9.6 in the header, but they
offer version 9.7 drivers). ATI will release separate driver and CCC packages
(other languages) and Windows XP drivers tomorrow. Thanks Bill.
Countersuit filed over `Brutal Legend' game
describes a countersuit by
Double Fine Productions against Activision, who sued Double Fine in
, all related to Brutal Legend
, the upcoming music game staring
Jack Black. This one is getting interesting, as some of the allegations being
thrown back-and-forth are pretty strong:
A hearing is scheduled July 30
on a motion by Activision to block the game's release.
Double Fine's countersuit contends Activision's lawsuit was filed to hurt the
company and the game, and that it was involved in unlawful business practices
and a conspiracy to protect "Guitar Hero" sales.
Activision's "purpose is not only to cancel 'Brutal Legend,' but to kill it
completely so that 'Guitar Hero' would not have to face the competition," the
Activision said in a statement that Double Fine's claims are "meritless and, in
fact, Activision has every intention of exercising its legal right as Brutal
Legend's publisher to release the game."
Double Fine was developing "Brutal Legend" for Vivendi Universal Games, which is
now Activision Entertainment Holdings Inc.
But Double Fine's suit claims Activision never showed interest in the game and
canceled it in 2008 after it acquired Vivendi Universal Games. That was after an
effort to convert the game into a "Guitar Hero" sequel failed, the suit claims.
Double Fine said in a statement it intends to fight for the survival of "Brutal
Legend," which has been heavily promoted at this year's Electronic Entertainment
Expo and on gaming Web sites.
There's a Texas Invasion Overview
on the Fallen Earth Website
with an overview of a "Texas Invasion" stress
test/competition scheduled for July 25 in the Fallen Earth
article may be a little too steeped in the back story of the upcoming MMORPG to
be clear, so there's a FAQ
stating things a little more plainly. Word is:
On Saturday, July 25, the
Fallen Earth team will host a unique stress testing event, the Texas Invasion: A
Clan Challenge. In the Texas Invasion: A Clan Challenge, players in Fallen Earth
have been asked to help fortify the Grand Canyon Province and defend against
invading Texans. Seeking out encampments of the Texans, players can scavenge
valuables, kill invaders or craft to gain points. The player with the most
points claims the title, “Defender of the Province,” with a special prize
has a story about the latest NPD charts tracking retail sales of PC games in
the US. Word is The Sims 3
sold 820,000 retail units in the US in June,
almost twice the number of units than were sold during the month by
chart topper PROTOTYPE
, which is rarified air for a PC game (though
perhaps not as shocking as The Sims 2 Double Deluxe
occupying the #3 spot
on the chart after two The Sims 3 SKUs). They did a little digging and found EA
reported around 700,000 first-month sales for The Sims 2 in 2005, so it seems
The Sims 3 sales are actually outpacing those of its predecessor.
offers another influx of Trademark news, noting that
has filed a Trademark registration
, saying the title
relates to "computer game software; interactive multimedia computer game
Abandon Interactive Entertainment announces the launch of a subscription-free
element for Freaky Creatures
their cross-platform MMORPG. Word is: "The new free-to-play model lets players
enter the Freaky Creatures Universe, create creatures and take them into battle
against other players online. Free-to-play gamers get access to numerous key
features in Freaky Creatures, including the ability to reach level 60 in game
and customize lairs for their creatures. Premium memberships start at $6.99 per
month and include a variety of additional perks including the ability to reach
level 80, take pets into battle, trade and compete on leaderboards."
Social network Raptr
has launched its new
multi-network instant messaging service. This new Raptr Client connects with
AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, Google Talk, Xfire, ICQ, Facebook Chat,
and Xbox Live, all on one friends list. Word is: "Raptr automatically tracks the
games a user is playing, updates their status in real-time to show friends what
they are playing and also broadcasts their in-game achievements. Friends who
also have Raptr can easily join each other in-game with one click."
A new patch for Blood Bowl
updates Cyanide's fantasy-themed tackle
football game to version 188.8.131.52. There's
change log on the Blood Bowl Forums
that says the patch is "coming soon,"
but it has already been located and posted by
The Patches Scrolls
and mirrored on
A story on
reports World of Warcraft would be allowed a partial relaunch in
China on July 30, though it is not clear at this time if Chinese WoW operator
NetEase would conduct the partial relaunch, just that this would be permitted.
The game has been on an extended hiatus in China after Blizzard switched Chinese
partners, leading to speculation
, later refuted
that the game's Chinese relaunch faced legal hurdles. This new report suggests
that legal issues may indeed be playing into the delayed revival of the game in
China, as though China's cultural ministry has approved the game, the General
Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) has demanded content changes:
But GAPP will allow World of Warcraft to open up for "internal testing"
while the content changes are still in progress, the official Xinhua news agency
said, citing an unnamed GAPP official.
Players who already have accounts will be allowed to play the game starting late
next week, but new players will be barred from signing up until the game gets
final clearance, the report said. NetEase will not be allowed to charge
subscription fees during that period, which is meant to ensure a smooth
transition of user data from the operator switch, the official was cited as
It was not immediately clear if NetEase would conduct the partial relaunch,
which the report only said would be permitted. Blizzard and NetEase did not
immediately reply to requests for comment.
Mark Rein Interview on Eurogamer
talking with the Epic veep about what's
what in a sit-down from the Develop conference. Topics include Project Natal,
the fact that even he wouldn't enjoy a conversation with Marcus Fenix, his
hate/hate relationship with Denis Dyack, Gears of War 2
, PS3 pricing,
Zenimax's acquisition of id Software, and more (but mostly Project Natal).
Blizzard Entertainment announces
Sam Raimi has signed to direct the
upcoming Warcraft movie. We can only hope it's the heroic red and blue Sam from
Spider-Man 1 & 2, and not the evil black-suited Sam from Spidey 3. Anyway, word
is: "Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures have a shared vision for this
film and we searched at length to find the very best director to bring that
vision to life," said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard
Entertainment. "From our first conversation with Sam, we could tell he was the
perfect choice. Sam knows how to simultaneously satisfy the enthusiasts and the
mainstream audience that might be experiencing that content for the first time.
We're looking forward to working with him to achieve that here."
reports that California State Senator Leland Yee, along with
representatives of the California Psychiatric and California Psychological
Associations, will file an amicus curiae
(friend of the Court) brief
today with the United States Supreme Court. The filing will be part of
California's petition to overturn the ruling
that found the
state's 2005 violent video game law, authored by Yee himself, unconstitutional.
and Video Games
spoke with Gearbox Software's Randy Pitchford to take the
pulse of the Aliens: Colonial Marines project. He says he wants to spill the
beans about the game, but he can't yet. "I love Aliens and I love Gearbox
Software's Aliens: Colonial Marines. I am extremely committed to the game and
I'm very confident in Sega's commitment to the Aliens brand and to our game," he
tells them. "I can imagine that there are a LOT of Aliens fans out there just
like me that feel we've been waiting for our true Aliens game since we first saw
the film and now that we know it's in development, we want it NOW!"
A pair of new movies show off more of the hard-driving action in DiRT 2
the upcoming off-road racing sequel. There's a clip called Baja Landrush on
also has a new Croatia Rally trailer.
Exclusive Interview with Valve's Robin Walker on CommunityFortress
about Team Fortress 2 (thanks
). One of his
answers indicates Valve is still evaluating how to deal with item unlocks: "I
think we've learned that the random drop system is only good for some types of
things, like the rare cosmetic hats. It's good for delivering items to newer
players over time, so they're not swamped with choices when they're starting
out, and they're not required to grind achievements to get them once they reach
the point where they want to start making strategic choices. For competitive
players, it's obviously a bad way to deliver items. At the very least, future
packs will allow you to use achievements to get the new items, but we might move
to a mode where we just give them to you. As part of our goal of supporting
tournaments more, I think we'll probably add better tools for them to control
exactly what players can & can't use within matches."
CITIES XL interview on IncGamers
chatting with Monte Cristo CEO
Jerome Gastaldi about their upcoming urban planning game. Along the way
that brand-placement in the game is about both realism and
commercialism: "It makes the game look even more real-world, and partially, and
we'll admit this without shame, because we can make some money from that."
He also tells them
there will be no Sim City-style natural disasters in the
game when it ships, saying they will work on adding it post release: "If you
implement those gaming mechanics, you have to make sure there is a gameplay to
counterbalance these negative effects, and that's part of our upcoming features
after game release."
The Official Venetica
is live, which is bilingual, so
if you prefer to read
about the upcoming action/RPG in German. Word is: "On venetica-game.com, players
learn everything they need about Venice’s quarters and sections and the people
that live in the city – friendly ones, as well as evil foes, beasts and
monsters. To make it short: venetica-game.com tells you everything about
Venetica’s setting and story, the game and its features. Publisher dtp
entertainment and developer Deck 13 will be revealing even more secrets in
Thanks Mike Martinez and Ant
Today is the anniversary of John Dillinger's death back in 1934. This reminds me
I still want to see Public Enemies
, lukewarm reviews or not.