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Monday, Jun 20, 2011

  

King Arthur: Fallen Champions Announced

Paradox Interactive announces King Arthur: Fallen Champions, a standalone installment in Neocore's King Arthur series of role-playing wargames that will be released digitally in the third quarter of this year to bridge the gap between King Arthur: The Role-playing Wargame and the upcoming King Arthur II. Here are the first screenshots from the game, and there are more on the game's official product section, which has further details. Here's a bit from the announcement:

So for all you brave heroes impatiently awaiting King Arthur II, the stand alone game King Arthur: Fallen Champions will make the wait less unbearable. Arriving soon with a suggested retail price of 9.99 USD.

King Arthur: Fallen Champions features the story of three brave souls - a knight, an enchantress, and a prophet – who venture through uncharted lands beyond the Forest of Bedegraine in fulfillment of their individual quests. Sir Lionel, a brave knight from Britannia, is on a quest to rescue a damsel in distress. Lady Corrigan of the Sidhe, an enchantress of the twilight, is seeking the secret pathways that will lead her back to her lost home of Tir na nOg. Drest the Chosen, a prophet of the North, is drawn by the mystic voices and visions to explore the wild lands. Tied together by strings of fate, these three heroes must join hands in order to prevail as champions of a forgotten battle that began long time ago.

Tomasz Gop Leaves CD Projekt RED, Interview

Tomek Gop's LinkedIn Profile has word that the senior producer on The Witcher 2 has departed CD Project RED, which Polish website Gamezilla.pl says was due to feeling a little tired and burnt, attributing this insight to a source, so this is not firsthand information. There's an interview on GameBanshee with Gop (whose first name is also written as Tomasz in English), where they spoke with him about The Witcher 2 before his departure from the company.

ShortRound Games Formed by Ex-Black Rock Staff

Former members of Black Rock Studios have formed a new outfit called ShortRound Games referred to as a "micro-developer" by GamesIndustry.biz (registration required). The company is based in Brighton, England, and consists of game director Andrew Hubbard, technical director Kim Burrows, technical art director Stuart Pharoah, and creative/art director Steve Uphill. "As for publishers and platforms, we're in talks with various publishers but not ruling out being self published and are keen to release on iPad or even Sony's Vita," Andrew Hubbard tells them. "One thing that we know is that we want to make games that really suit the platform, there's too many iOS games that don't feel natural on a touch screen and leave you yearning for a joypad."

It Came from E3 2011, Part 18

Quote of the Day

"But I think it is an unfair characterization to say that that’s all we’ve got. ...You’re going to see a pretty big investment in a new IP in Skylanders. You’re going to see us doubling down on Prototype with Prototype 2. You’re going to see Bungie coming in the coming months and years - that’s a huge investment in new intellectual property and a new gaming universe. These are all things that take real innovation." -- Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg on accusations that Activision only supports their two big IPs.

New Via Digital Distribution

Games

Patches

  • STORM: Frontline Nation on Steam.

On Sale

  • All Interplay Games on GOG.com. Save 50%.
  • Critical Mass on Steam. Save 10%.
  • Overlord on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Overlord II on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Overlord Complete Pack on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Overlord: Raising Hell on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Revenge of the Titans (Mac) on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Sims Games on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
    Still on sale (previously reported). Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

  • Stones N Roses is described as a Facebook shooter, but you can't seem to shoot Facebook with it at all…

Into the Black

Tropico 4 Trailer

This trailer is the E3 showing of Tropico 4, showing off more of Haemimont Games' upcoming installment in the dictator simulation series. The clip displays some of those natural disasters that are all the rage these days, and how to potentially turn them to your advantage. The embedded version follows. Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track has the top 20 bestselling full price PC entertainment titles for the week ending June 18. The Sims 3: Generations takes over the top spot this week, and Dungeon Siege III enters the chart at #2. Last week's number one, Duke Nukem Forever, is now number four, Alice Madness Returns debuts at number 14. Also, MCV has the all-platforms chart, where Zumba Fitness returns to number one and DNF drops to number three.

WRC 2 Revealed

WRC 2 is in development for release this October, offering a sequel to Black Bean Games' official 2011 FIA World Rally Championship game, reports Eurogamer. They have a brief teaser trailer that does not offer any real gameplay, but does confirm that release window for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The game is in development at Milestone, and word is: "WRC 2 packs all the proper real-life drivers and cars, plus has 90 stages, 15 locales and 25 different terrain and weather combinations. Let's reiterate that: 25 different terrain and weather combinations. There are nine car categories, ranging from vintage 1960s models to modern day monster motors, 16-player online races and a revamped Career."

GRID Off the Grid

Codemasters announces the shutdown the multiplayer servers for the Windows and PlayStation 3 editions of GRID, just three years after the release of the latest installment in the Race Drivers series of racing games (thanks MCV), though Xbox LIVE play is unaffected. This has lead to outcry on the game's forums as well as calls for boycotts of other Codies games from unhappy fans. Here's word:

After three years of service, 2008’s Race Driver: GRID's online play service has been discontinued for the PS3 and PC editions of the game. This follows the decision by a third party provider to decline the offer of an extended contract to continue online play on these platforms. Race Driver: GRID for Xbox 360 is not affected. We thank fans for their support and apologise to those affected by the end of this service.

Activision on Image Repair

This interview on Gamasutra chats with Activision Publishing's Eric Hirshberg, talking with the gaming giant's CEO about Activision's image as being the "bad guy" in the industry.  "Of course," he says, when asked if he cares about this perception. "Who would wish for that? Who would be wished to be cast as the bad guy in your own industry or as the villain or the evil empire?" He also says he thinks this view of Activision is exaggerated: "I think that the case is drastically overstated in terms of the reality that I see. I see a very creative company that gives its developers the tools and the resources they need to do great things, that isn't afraid to [delay] games if that's what it takes to get them right." That said, he goes on to discuss what he thinks needs to be done to repair their reputation:

Hirshberg says the best he can do is change perceptions little-by-little. "It's about putting a human face on the company. It's about being transparent and honest and human in our dealings with our community." He points towards the company's cool-headed reaction to the pre-E3 Modern Warfare 3 Kotaku leak. "We got a lot of props and a lot of pleasantly surprised people in our reaction to that," he says. "People assumed that we would go silverback gorilla crazy, and we didn't."

He also says that while the initial reaction to Elite was negative, gamers are beginning to see that it's a valuable optional package and not, as was widely feared, a gruesome attempt to monetize multiplay. Two million people have now signed up to the beta, but on day one of the announcement, the forums were crying foul.

Quake Expo 2011

The Quake Expo 2011 is underway, offering a virtual convention for QUAKE, celebrating the 15th anniversary of the release of the seminal first-person shooter on June 22. There are many virtual booths to be visited, and word is: "Quake Expo is a community event for developers, players and enthusiasts of Quake 1, Quake 2 and Quake 3, held to celebrate the games, present ongoing or finished projects to the general public, organize multiplayer events, speedmodding contests and come together to discuss various aspects of the games."

It Came from E3 2011, Part 17

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Had a fine old time over the weekend, and even overcame my bout of stomach pain to do some grilling. We had chicken breasts in a Cuban-style citrus marinate, chicken sausages stuffed with cheese and sun-dried tomatoes, and some asparagus fresh from the farmer's market. Good stuff, though I'm not sure it was all as light as we intended when we planned on avoiding red meat. Oh well, maybe we'll do better next time.

Light Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Marmoot.
Days of Monsters.
Links: Arrested Development Clue Board Game. Thanks Reddit.
Don’t know much about history. Thanks Digg.
Stories: Blind woman invokes Monty Python in lawsuit against Rick Scott. Thanks Neutronbeam.
Images: How Your Dad's Jams Indicate What Tunes Are On Your iPod.
Media: Eagle drops deer on power line, causes outage.
Wet Paint Bench Prank.
Hydrogen Powered Batmobile.



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