A new trailer
for BioShock 2 once again takes PSA form, offering a short but stinging exposé of the Swarm Master plasmid, which can be used to bug your enemies in 2K Games' imminent rapturous first-person shooter sequel.
announces they are now accepting pre-purchases of an Elite Units of the East DLC
for Empire: Total War
, Creative Assembly's real-time strategy game, offering a 10% discount before the pack's release on Monday. Word is:
The Elite Units of the East DLC for Empire: Total War™ adds 12 new elite units to the Maratha and Ottoman factions of Empire: Total War. Empire: Total War expands further East than any previous Total War game and this Downloadable Content includes the very best units from the Eastern lands. Most of these soldiers' expertise developed on the battlefield - some are fearsome brigands, others of them are drawn from a strong academic background, learned warriors. They will provide a vast array of tactical options: intimidating and cowing your enemies.
Once you've purchased the content, you will unlock all new 12 Elite Units of the East in the single player campaign under the conditions below. They will also be available in multiplayer and single player battle modes, when playing with the appropriate faction.
has a photo of some swag sent by Ubisoft for Splinter Cell Conviction
that confirms the April release date
for the stealth/action sequel. They received a tchotchke that has an April 13, 2010 release date literally carved in stone.
THQ plans to show off a new Red Faction
game at E3 this year, and release the next installment in the groundbreaking shooter series before the end of their 2011 fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2011. They also mention the next installment in the open-world Saints Row
series (Project X
?) will be released in their 2012 fiscal year. Finally, they confirm that Kaos Studios' modern military shooter Homefront
is still on track for its previously announced
fiscal 2011 release. This information is from an investor conference call that followed today's THQ earnings report
, and the THQ Investor Relations Page
has the replay of the call. Thanks Big Download
now offers the Aliens vs. Predator
multiplayer demo, a day earlier than announced
, perhaps because of some Steam downtime
scheduled for tomorrow. On a related note, here's a new "Infestation Mode" Trailer
from the game that shows off the multiplayer mode that results when you leave food laying around. Here's the embedded clip. Continue here to read the full story
A Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Interview on Eurogamer.de
talking with DICE's Charles Magnusson in German indicates they are considering adding co-op support to the military shooter sequel, though it's not clear if this will be through a post-release patch or DLC, or what (thanks Joker961
). Here's Google's translation of the comment: "We have decided once to integrate additional game modes in multiplayer mode. We must always decide what we implement. Our studio does not have infinite resources. Nevertheless, we want to integrate Koop in the game. The fans just need to have some patience and trust us." When they inquire if this will be through DLC he said (with a smile): "Let's see what the future brings."
A tweet from BioWare's Mass Effect 2 account
teases more free content coming through the Cerberus Network
: "Free in-game content in a couple weeks for those who have activated Cerberus Network! Stay tuned for more details." They also tweet
that issue #1 of the Mass Effect Redemption comic is free today only for iPhone here
that issue #2 is now available in comic shops.
the launch of the third content update for Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited
(DDO Unlimited), their subscription-free MMORPG. The new version lifts leveling restrictions, delivers more free content, new in-game events, and introduces a Casual playing mode. The announcement
has all the details.
is now offering preorders of Din's Curse
, their upcoming action/RPG. Choosing to commit in advance of the game's release will earn you immediate access to beta builds and a 30-day money back guarantee for an introductory price of $19.99. Word is: "Din's Curse pre-order is now available! Din's Curse is a single player and co-op multiplayer action RPG with 141 class combinations, infinite number of dynamically generated towns, real consequences, and a dynamic, evolving world."
A post by Blizzard to the World of Warcraft Forums
discusses upcoming Auction House and Armory Integration "that will let players access the Auction House directly through the Armory website or Armory App for iPhone or iPod touch" (thanks Shacknews
). The update continues to explain this may include charges: "This is a fairly complex service to develop, due in large part to its unprecedented integration with the game, so we don't have an exact release date yet. It's important to note here that certain elements of the service will be premium-based, which we'll go into more detail on once the service functionality is finalized."
IGN Entertainment announces the launch of Direct2Drive.eu
to cater specifically to European digital distribution customers. Word is: "To celebrate the launch of the new store, D2D are teaming up with a host of AAA publishers on a series of price promotions, beginning with THQ who are offering 50% off all available catalogue during launch week (2nd to 9th Feb)."
has a post detailing the appearance and subsequent disappearance of a BlizzCon 2010 schedule on website for the Anaheim Convention Center. The information that was briefly posted listed the event for October 22-23, 2010 before being pulled, but there's no way of knowing if these are the definitive dates for the Blizzard-centric gathering, as they received the following statement from Blizzard in response to their inquiries: "Blizzard Entertainment has not announced any details about the next BlizzCon. We recommend that players refrain from making any BlizzCon-related travel plans at this time."
has word on another automatic update that's now available for Aliens versus Predator Classic 2000
, updating what they are now calling the multiplayer beta for the resurrected shooter to version 1.05. The change list follows. Continue here to read the full story
The Command & Conquer Website
offers a teaser trailer showing a glimpse of the upcoming C&C Motion Comic (we used to call them "cartoons"). Glimpse is literal, as the clip is 40 seconds, but only 10 seconds of that shows a scene from the comic where nothing happens.
- Aliens vs. Predator on GoGamer. Save 20%. Free shipping with code "SHIPFREE25". Thanks skyguy.
- All Games on the 3000AD Store. Save 20% with code "BNEM0003J" at checkout.
- Mass Effect 2 on GoGamer. Save 20%. Free shipping with code "SHIPFREE25". Thanks skyguy.
Still on sale (previously reported)
Continue here to read the full story.
Uforia, Inc announces Camon Hero
, a trading card-based online strategy game that will launch this spring. Here are a few screenshots
, here's a gameplay trailer
, and here's word on what to expect: "Camon Hero will provide players with a gameplay experience like no other MMORPG available today. In Camon Hero, players will journey through the land of Aria in order to save its citizens from the forces of darkness. During the adventure players will come across mystical cards that grant them the ability to summon creatures and people to assist them in battle so they will not be alone on their dangerous quest."
A new update is now automatically available for Team Fortress 2
(and Day of Defeat: Source
), as outlined in this Steam News Story
. The complete change log follows. Continue here to read the full story
The Runic Games Forums
announce the release of a new patch for Torchlight
to update Runic's action/RPG to version 1.15. They offer the patch on their Downloads page
and have the status of the various versions on their distribution partners, where it is already available on Direct2Drive
, while other partners are in the process of distributing their versions. The new version has a bunch of fixes, as well as some new content, described like so: "Patch 1.15 includes 5 new challenge room maps to test your bravery and wit! New players can now obtain these maps as rewards for completing various quests from Vasman in Torchlight. New challenges await in the Tomb of the Awakened, Estherian Ruins, Dwarven Fortress, Molten Prison, and Black Palace."
THQ is laying off about 60 employees from Juice Games and Rainbow Studios as they shift the focus of both developers towards digitally distributed games, "based on THQ’s core game brands and new original intellectual properties." Juice will be renamed THQ Digital Studios Warrington and Rainbow will now be known as THQ Digital Studios Phoenix. This is reported on IndustryGamers
, where they specifically mention the iPad, iPhone, Xbox Live Arcade, and PlayStation Network as supported digital platforms. Word is the first games from the new digital studios won't be released until fiscal 2011, and in the meantime the MX vs. ATV
series will still be published under the Rainbow Studios brand. On a related note, THQ has issued its most recent quarterly financial results
, reporting "earnings of $542,000, or 1 cent per share, compared to a loss of $191.8 million, or $2.86 a share, for the same period the previous year."
New updates are automatically available through Impulse
for Sins of a Solar Empire
and Sins of a Solar Empire: Entrenchment
to update Ironclad Games' space-based RTS game and its expansion to version 1.19 and 1.05 respectively. This forum post
outlines all the changes, balance adjustments, and fixes in the new version, and includes this warning: "These updates will invalidate existing save games!"
Some Game Crazy locations will be closing, as the rental chain Movie Gallery, the company's parent, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
, and will be closing some of its Movie Gallery, Hollywood Video, and Game Crazy stores. This is reported on IndustryGamers
, where they say 760 of the company's 1906 U.S. stores will close, though it's not certain how many cuts will be to their approximately 480 Game Crazy stores, but they are guestimating it will be more than 200. The Chapter 11 filing is Movie Gallery's second bankruptcy, which is being entered "to address the company’s capital structure and reorganize its business operations."
A story on DailyTech
discusses some bugs they've encountered in the live version of Star Trek Online
that remain since beta testing of the Trekkie MMORPG. They also describe issues relating to capacity, saying: "Unfortunately, the interest in Star Trek Online seems to have caught Cryptic off-guard, despite the fan base of several hundred million people. The company announced that it was ordering new servers during Open Beta, but dropped connections are still quite common. There are often problems logging in, retrieving characters, and loading maps. STO servers have been down for 'emergency maintenance' at least a dozen times during the last week as more gamers have started playing." This inspired Cryptic to explain what they are doing to address these issues:
We just wanted to update you on our in-game server capacity status. Throughout Head Start we noticed the overwhelming response to the game and we are working on changes to further increase the number of people who can play Star Trek Online at any given time. Our current plan is to have these changes in place sometime this coming weekend. We will, of course, keep you updated on progress as it happens.
Gas Powered Games will reveal details about its "next big thing" in under two weeks, as Chris Taylor says in a Facebook update: "Another busy day, can't wait to announce our next big thing on the 15th... I hate keeping secrets. :)." GPG's current project, Supreme Commander 2
, is expected in March
. Thanks Computer and Video Games
announces the top 10 bestselling games globally on their service for the week of January 24-30:
- Mass Effect 2 Digital Deluxe Edition
- Star Trek Online Digital Deluxe Edition
- Mass Effect 2
- Star Trek Online
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Limited Edition
- Mass Effect
- Civilization 4: The Complete Edition
- Red Faction: Guerrilla
- Dragon Age: Origins
SEGA offers details on tomorrow's Aliens vs Predator Multiplayer Demo
in this announcement
confirming the demo will be released simultaneously on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and Steam. Word is: "The multiplayer demo will allow gamers the chance to play as all three species – the Colonial Marine, the Predator and the Alien – and pitch their skills against each other in Deathmatch mode on Refinery, one of the game’s multiplayer maps."
The cinematic launch trailer for BioShock 2
is now available, offering a very impressive set up for next week's launch of the submerged shooter sequel. Featured are a big daddy (presumably the player), a little sister, some splicers, and a climactic appearance by old what's-her-name. The clip can be seen on the YouTube
, or below. Continue here to read the full story
Shrapnel Games announces
Star Legacy, a new 4X space strategy game planned for release late next year for Windows, though they add "the developers are hoping to port it to other operating systems." The Star Legacy Forums
are live with discussion of the project, and here's a bit on the game: "Star Legacy is a player's game, one that is meant to be both a letter of love to fans of the genre and to bring new players into the fold. To achieve the goal of ultimate playability SLDG is focusing on several important facets in their design. First of all, Star Legacy will be an open-ended turn-based game that will allow players to immerse themselves in an epic space opera of their own making. Players will begin by creating civilizations reaching out from their homeworlds to explore the great bejeweled darkness of the universe. As in all good 4X titles there will be a full range of choices that the player will be involved in. Design starships worthy of the best sci-fi story, research new technologies, colonize new worlds, and when all else fails go to war. Everything in the game is player driven. Besides a single player experience the game will also feature multiplayer, although its exact form is still being worked out."
The state of DRM on SavyGamer
has thoughts on digital rights management from several interested parties, including UK trade association TIGA, Direct2Drive UK, Positech's Cliff Harris, the folks behind StarForce, as well as "an informative website that gives people updates on the latest scene-releases" (pirates). Here's a bit of Cliffski's outlook: "I asked a lot of gamers what they thought was the cause of piracy, and got a huge percentage of people saying DRM was one of the main things that turns them away from playing games, so I concluded that it was probably costing more sales than it was actually helping. I used pretty weak DRM anyway, but I saw the benefit of being able to state that the games were 100% DRM free. For me, it’s just good business to not use DRM. For each company, depending on game genre, audience etc, that answer may be different." Thanks Mike Martinez and nin via Slashdot
reports: "Global games decline measured at 8%," clarifying the globe in this case consists of the US, UK, and Japan. They quote a new Top Global Markets report from NPD, GfK-ChartTrack and Famitsu. We're not sure how the math on this adds up, but the bottom line is that sales have declined. Here's the somewhat confusing explanation: "According to the data, the decline was more modest in Japan which experienced a two per cent drop in software units (five per cent decline in console software and a one per cent decline in portable game software). The United States and UK saw respective declines of seven per cent and 14 per cent. In the USA, console and portable software experienced respective declines of seven per cent and eight per cent, while UK units saw respective declines of six per cent and 25 per cent."
Codemasters is denying reports that they plan on closing their North American offices, reports MCV
. They do confirm reports
that six positions have been cut, but say the offices aren't closing: "As many organisations have in the past year, Codemasters has reassessed the scale of its North American office and is returning to a core sales and publishing operation that will receive significant support from our distribution partners," a codies spokesperson explains. "In light of this restructure, six staff have been let go from the US commercial team, three from marketing; we recognise and thank them for their efforts during the past year."
Take-Two has denied studio layoffs reported by MCV
, where they had a speculative story saying up to 20% of the company's 2,000 employees might be facing the axe. A subsequent report
has denials from Take-Two that significant cuts are planned, saying: "To be clear, there were no reductions made at the studio level." They do say they have plans for a restructuring: "As part of Take-Two’s stated goal to maximize the efficiency of our business, we initiated a targeted restructuring of our corporate departments only in order to better align our resources with our current goals. "Some of these changes were associated with the pending sale of our Jack of All Games distribution business."
Open beta testing is now underway for Mortal Online
, a first-person fantasy-themed MMORPG. They say: "The open beta will run on one cluster server based in Stockholm (Sweden). Please keep in mind that, depending on the onslaught of new players, we will have to cap the server at a certain point." They are also offering a discount on preorders during the beta. There's a trailer showing the current build of the game on AtomicGamer
Gamasutra - Is Hard The New Good?
Demon’s Souls was a sleeper hit, an anomaly in the era of accessibility. One would think the deck was stacked against a game that demanded such vicious persistence, such precise attention – and yet a surge of praise from critics and developers alike praised the game for reintroducing the experience of meaningful challenge, of a game that demanded something from its players rather than looked for ways to hand them things.
InfoAddict - The Many Failures of Mass Effect 2.
Well Ray, if you want to know how to improve your franchise then I highly recommend you don’t read any actual reviews, because my brethren in the journalism community are rabid fanboys who unfortunately have bylines. You also won’t find much at Metacritic because they de-list any site that has review scores that are not within some arbitrary average, which defeats the entire purpose of aggregate reviews when you remove low scores.
Happy Groundhog Day! Let's see what the little rodent has to say. Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil Sees His Shadow, Predicts Longer Winter
. Hmm, that's no good. And besides, Pennsylvania is pretty far away. Alright, let's risk life and limb
and look closer to home by asking Chuck. Hey look at that: Staten Island's famous Groundhog Chuck calls for an early spring
. And everyone still has all their fingers? Sold!