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Monday, Feb 08, 2010

  

No PC Dead Space 2

Those EA Financials from earlier had one last surprise, as the listing for Dead Space 2 in their Fiscal Q4 2011 has the entries for consoles and handhelds ticked off, but there is no mark under PC. We inquired if this meant the PC edition was coming at a later date not reflected on that schedule, and were told by EA public relations that: "As of right now a PC sku is not in the plan." Our requests for an explanation went unanswered, so we don't know the reasons for the change. On a related note, the remainder of that Dead Space 2 teaser image is now online.

EndWar Sequel "On the Backburner"

Ubisoft's Michael de Plater tells VG247 that EndWar 2 is "on the backburner," with no other comment about the voice-controlled RTS sequel. It's not very clear if this game ever actually occupied a spot on the front burner of Ubi's metaphiorical development stove, however, as when plans for the project were revealed (by de Plater) over the summer it was said to be in the hands of a "smaller team" at Ubisoft Shanghai, and that he "couldn’t put a time" on its release.

On Dragon Age: Origins Sales

BioWare announces sales figures for Dragon Age: Origins, saying the RPG is "triple platinum," based on having sold more than 3.2 million copies worldwide. Here's a bit on the game's success:

Edmonton, Alberta (February 8, 2010) – Leading video game developer BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS), announced today that Dragon Age™: Origins has sold-in over 3.2 million* units worldwide. The “RPG of the Year” as named by Game Informer, G4, SpikeTV, AOL.com, and PC Gamer, Dragon Age: Origins has been hailed by Seth Schiesel of The New York Times as, “…perhaps the best electronic game made yet.” Dragon Age: Origins has won over 30 “Best of 2009” awards and has an average review score of 91**. This staggering critical and commercial success makes Dragon Age: Origins the sixth consecutive blockbuster from BioWare, alongside Baldur's Gate™, Neverwinter Nights™, Star Wars®: Knights of the Old Republic™, Jade Empire™ and Mass Effect™.

*According to internal EA data

** On PC according to Metacritic.com

Lineage II Free Trial

The Lineage II - The Chaotic Throne Website has word free trials have returned to NCsoft's MMORG:

It's been quite a while since we've had the pleasure of offering a Free Trial period to new players, and now we've brought it back! Come visit the Free Trial page for more information!

If you're already a seasoned Lineage II player, you can continue to use the Refer-A-Friend program to invite your friends to join you in-game!

Ubisoft's "Big Announcement" on Xbox LIVE

The big announcement Ubisoft teased last week will definitely involve the Xbox 360, though that doesn't rule out other consoles or PCs being part of the news as well. This Ubisoft tweet is what this is based on, as it says: "Xbox Live - where you want to keep an eye on for the Big announcement."

Xbox 360 Exclusive Need for Speed SHIFT DLC

Ferrari Races into Need for Speed SHIFT announces new DLC for Need for Speed SHIFT that adds 10 different Ferraris to the racing game, as well as Ferrari-specific challenges. This is apparently not coming to PCs, however, as word is: "The Ferrari Racing pack is the latest downloadable content for Need for Speed SHIFT and will be available worldwide today exclusively on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system for $10.00 or 800 Microsoft Points (Need for Speed SHIFT and Xbox LIVE® account required)."

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Metaverse

etc., etc.

Into the Black

New ME2 Cerberus Network DLC Tomorrow

The BioWare Social Network has word that Mass Effect 2 owners who also own the Cerberus Network will be getting more free DLC tomorrow at around noon MST, which is 2:00 pm EST (thanks Kotaku). The Mass Effect Website has images of the new Cerberus Assault Armor and M-22a Eviscerator Shotgun, described below. Continue here to read the full story.

New Sims, Spore, Dragon Age, Shooter from Epic, and More

There are a few vague or previously unannounced listings in the fiscal 2011 forecast in EA's Reports Third Quarter Fiscal Year 2010 Results. Among the PC titles listed for Q2 2011 (July through September, 2010) is FIFA 11, under Q3 (October through December, 2010) are "Need for Speed Title TBA" "Harry Potter Title TBA," "FIFA Manager 11," and just plain "TBA." Finally, under Q4 (January through March 2011) they list "Dragon Age Title TBA," "Shooter from Epic TBA,", another listing for "Need For Speed Title TBA," "New Sims Title TBA," and "Spore Title TBA."

Crysis 2 for the Holidays

EA's Financials also carry a release window for Crysis 2, the upcoming shooter sequel from Crytek which did not carry a release date when it was announced. EA's projections show the game now is now due in the third quarter of their Fiscal 2011, which will run from October 1 through December 31 of this year.

APB Delayed

EA's Financial reporting adds to our understanding of the release dates for a few of their upcoming titles, and it announces All Points Bulletin (APB) is expected in fiscal Q2 2011 (July 1, 2010-September 30, 2010 after being expected early this year, with MCV saying to expect it next month.

EA Financials

EA announces their third quarter fiscal year 2010 results. Word is: "GAAP net revenue for the quarter, which includes the impact of deferred net revenue adjustments, was $1.243 billion...During the quarter, EA had a net revenue deferral of $103 million related to certain online-enabled packaged goods and digital content...Non-GAAP net revenue for the quarter was $1.346 billion... GAAP net loss for the quarter, including the impact of deferred net revenue, was $82 million...GAAP diluted loss per share was $0.25...Non-GAAP net income was $109 million...Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share was $0.33." They also note: "Fiscal year-to-date, EA was the #1 packaged goods publisher in North America and Europe – #1 publisher on the PlayStation® 3, PC, and PSP®; #2 publisher on Xbox 360® and Wii™ from Nintendo," "Five titles launched this quarter with a Metacritic rating of 80 or above," and "FIFA 10 has sold over 9.7 million copies since launch."

Magicka Details, Interview, Trailer

Paradox Interactive announces new details about Magicka, outlining features in the upcoming action/adventure based on Norse mythology. There's also a new gameplay trailer with a humorous take on the game and its conventions, starting with: "Once upon a time in a generic fantasy world." There's also a video interview talking about the game with Johan Pilestedt, CEO and Game Director at Arrowhead Game Studios. "The most important key feature is the dynamic spellcasting system where you can combine spells freely," he says. "For example, combining two elements, like fire and water creates steam. And if you then combine that steam with earth you create an earth projectile which, when it hits something, explodes in a steam cloud." The HD version of the trailer is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Myst Online: Uru Live Lives

Myst Online: Uru Live lives again, offering fans another crack at the online Myst game, which is now open-source and free to play (they've dubbed the revival "MO:ULagain"). Uru Live has been resilient over its run, it launched almost exactly three years ago, moved to GameTap a couple of months later before being killed off almost exactly two years ago. Later that year it was announced the game was back in the hands of Cyan, and at the end of 2008, they announced the game was going open source, which has now borne fruit. Word is: "Everything takes longer than expected these days. Cyan Worlds’ plans are to move MO:UL to open source, and we finally have some good news. We’ve taken a first step and started a MO:UL server, so the Ages of Uru are available again. We’ve opened all the Ages, and added most of the goodies in MO:UL. We’re referring to it as MO:ULagain—feel free to explore and enjoy."

Empire Total War DLC Released, Total War Sale

Steam News announces the release of the promised Elite Units of the East DLC for Empire: Total War, Creative Assembly's real-time strategy game. They also announce this kicks off a week-long sale on Total War games on Steam where everything is 66% off except the Empire: Total War DLC, which is 10% off, including the new release. Here's the description of Elite Units of the East: "SEGA Europe Ltd. today announced that new downloadable content for the critically acclaimed Empire: Total War will be available today via Steam. Featuring 12 new unit types for the Maratha Confederacy and the Ottoman factions, this downloadable content will add an extra layer to the already in-depth offering that is Empire: Total War."

On the BioShock 2 Decoy Plasmid

The Cult of Rapture has a rundown on the Decoy Plasmid in BioShock 2, the underwater shooter sequel that's due to surface in stores tomorrow. The article explains the Decoy's basic function as well as the more tactical ways it can be used after upgrading, and also provides a rundown on situations where it can be put to use. 2K Games also has issued a new Advanced Decoy Plasmid Trailer for your viewing pleasure, this is embedded below. Continue here to read the full story.

Over 8 Million Free Realms Registrants

Sony Online Entertainment announces their subscription-free MMORPG Free Realms now boasts over eight million registered users, saying the game "has steadily increased its player base by continuing to support development of compelling content and shared user experience." They also announce the launch of a Valentine-themed event later this week: "Later this week, Free Realms is scheduled to kick off the Festival of Hearts, a special month long event that celebrates love, friendship and kindness. All players will be able to participate in themed events, daily social activities and storyline quests that incorporate traditional items and rewards which embody the holiday: hearts, candies, forget-me-not cards, flowers, love potions and more. Heart Breakers are invited too, as even the Stone Hearted can participate in the world events that ensue. New Hippo, Tiger, Beetle, Groundhog and Owl pets will also be available in the Marketplace."

LEGO Star Wars III The Clone Wars Announced

LucasArts and TT Games announce LEGO Star Wars III The Clone Wars, the next installment in this action-packed series that uses the Force as well as virtual LEGO bricks to recreate the Star Wars series. The game is due in autumn of this year for Windows, Wii, DS, PlayStation 3, PSP, and Xbox 360. Word is: "LEGO® Star Wars III: The Clone Wars will include all the characters from both seasons of the hugely popular animated television series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, as well as some fan-favourite characters from the beloved theatrical Star Wars Saga. The game will feature brand new battle modes, giving players unique, head-to-head combat and an upgraded level builder, allowing the creation of customized bases and in-game battlefields. Play either as a Jedi or Separatist with all-new character abilities, such as Squad command, Lightsaber slicing, Lightsaber jumps, long distance Jedi attacks and Grapple Tie-Ups, all within a new, easy-to-navigate hub."

Dudebro II Announced

This press release announces Dudebro — My Sh*t Is F*cked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It’s Straight-Up Dawg Time, a top-down shooter slated for release this summer. The game is in development by Grimoire Assembly Forge, a volunteer team predominantly comprised of members of NeoGAF, and it will be playable offline or in a browser on PC and Mac as it uses the Unity 3D engine. It will feature Jon St. John (the voice of Duke Nukem) as it looks to lampoon video game stereotypes, starting with the II in the title, as they say: "'Dudebro II' is the first in the series, it has the number two in its name because sequels are always more awesome than original games — as all hardcore gamer dudes know." The game pays homage to: "super-macho protagonists, excessive violence and profanity, chauvinistic overtones and rampant immaturity. But it also pays respect to old-school gaming, with power-ups, pixel art story sequences and ridiculous boss fights." A preliminary Dudebro Website is online, though that's only a placeholder for now.

Square Enix Profits Up

MCV has Square Enix's latest financial reporting, saying year-on-year profits for the nine months ending December 31, 2009 were up 68%. The Japanese developer/publisher also plans to realign their marketing efforts, as word is: "Square Enix has also announced that it is to consolidate its online and offline gaming operations under a single corporate ‘Games’ segment and form a brand new Merchandising segment."

Retail Ninja Blade Gold

Iceberg Interactive and with Noviy Disk announce the retail boxed edition of Ninja Blade for PC is now gold, and currently being shipped to stores. The game is already available digitally, but according to Iceberg Interactive CEO Erik Schreuder: "While Ninja Blade was released online some weeks ago, we have jointly continued to work on the retail goldmaster and made some adjustments. The game can be played with a keyboard and also with a controller, copying that console experience but with top-notch PC graphics. We're very excited to finally see the game being shipped to retail shelves and any fan of anime, manga, ninja or just insanely quick fighting action, should check it out." A feature list follows. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Metaverse

Safety Dance

Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well the Super Bowl has come and gone, the game was entertaining enough, though not quite the shootout many of us expected. The chili came out great, though a little on the hot side (starting from the perspective of our normal six-alarm chili, which most people won't actually eat), as the habanero peppers I found were unusually large, making the proper amount to use difficult to determine. I never did try making the wings... that gives me something to shoot for next time.

Hotter Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez.
Play: Zoo Transport.
Crop Defenders.
Sketchpad. Thanks drexal.
Links: Ben Bernanke admits to being influenced by sim video games.
10 Needlessly Perverted Mainstream Games.
Big Game Ads.
Science: Plasma Jets Could Replace Dental Drills. Thanks Slashdot.
Shuttle Endeavour blasts off for space station.
Images: How much you want to play your Video Games . Thanks Digg.
M.C. Portal. Thanks Digg.
APOD: A Sun Halo Over Cambodia. Thanks brother19.
Media: Jersey Shore- Super Mario Bros.
Super Bowl XLIV.
Know Your Meme: Advice Dog.



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