plans to launch closed multiplayer beta testing of Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution
later this month, giving players the chance to check out Relic's upcoming RTS expansion. Here's word on how this will work: "The beta is scheduled to go live on Monday, January 31st when global press and key Dawn of War® community members will be given access. It will then broaden to include everyone who has pre-ordered Dawn of War® II – Retribution™ on STEAM to date on February 1st. Finally, anyone who has bought a Dawn of War game through STEAM or has registered a Dawn of War II product on their STEAM account will automatically receive an invite on February 8th. There will be no open registration phase to this beta."
The Technology Behind The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on GameInformer.com
has details on the all new
game engine in the next Elder Scrolls game, which Bethesda is calling the "Creation engine," which makes use of some of the technological refinements they conjured up for Fallout 3. They describe efforts at creating more realistic horizons, improved foliage, improved Radiant AI technology, and more.
The EVE Online Website
explains that when version 1.1.0 of Incursion launches tomorrow, CCP's MMORPG will cease supporting older CPUs that cannot handle the SSE2 instruction set, saying this means they will no longer support Intel Pentium 3 (or older) and AMD Athlon XP (or older) CPUs. Surprisingly, there are actually still players using such hardware, as CCP says this will impact about 0.3% of their users. However, the update also does leave it unclear whether this lack of support is permanent, as this vague bit explains: "We urge everyone who encounters this specific error to submit a petition
to our customer support department. We will have updates on the next steps we take with this issue immediately after the weekend but we wanted to get a blog up ASAP to inform everyone about the issue." Thanks Big Download
The Battlefield Blog
has word that the beta version 1.51 patch for Battlefield 2142 is going to remain in testing through the end of this month, adding: "so if you don't have the patch, download it and get in on the action!"
has word from Sony Online Entertainment's John Smedley on upcoming MMORPG plans. He tells them The Agency
is still expected for PC and PS3 later this year, and says PlanetSide Next
is due in the first half of this year, saying it should be late first quarter or early second quarter. He also tells them that in addition to their announced upcoming projects (The Agency, PS3 Free Realms
, PlanetSide Next, and EverQuest Next
), SOE also has "a lot" of unannounced projects in the works.
has complaints from an "inside source" at KAOS Studios complaining about a "seven-day crunch for two months"
at the THQ-owned studio as they work to complete Homefront
, their upcoming first-person shooter. They spoke about this with David Votypka, KAOS general manager, who confirmed the game is in serious crunch mode. "If this seems unique or abhorrent, I would have to suggest that any assessment regarding a 10-hour work day would need to consider a much larger segment of the American workforce," Votypka tells them. "Unfortunately, it was misstated that this [seven-day crunch] has been going on for two months. That’s simply not the case. For the record: no Kaos developer has worked 60 days without a break. That will never happen here."
The Blue Mars Blog
announces that Avatar Reality is shifting their development effort on this virtual world to the mobile version, saying: "With our focus now clearly on mobile, updates to the PC version of the software will likely be restricted to bug fixes for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, we will no longer charge our current City Developers for the monthly city hosting service. The servers will remain online, city updates and uploads will continue, and shop and residence rentals will still function but technical support for the user client will no longer be offered." They also announce a restructuring resulting in the loss of many jobs, including that of CEO Jim Sink, who penned the update. Thanks Massively
has the top 20 bestselling PC titles in the UK for the week ending January 15. The list is 40% Sims, 30% MMORPGs, and once again topped off by Football Manager 2011
We still haven't heard back from Mark Rein about the lack of plans
for a Windows Bulletstorm
demo, but Epic's Cliff Bleszinski tweets
his feelings on the subject, which don't seem overly concerned: "BULLETSTORM DEMO COMING TO 360/PS3 JANUARY 25th. In other news, PC gamers are grumpy about this." Thanks BeyondUnreal
Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the observation of the birthday and celebration of the accomplishments of the civil rights leader. I was thinking of this as one of those holidays that's not so widely observed, but the parking lot was half-full at most when I dropped MrsBlue at the train station this morning (as hers is one of those companies that's open today).