The Gearbox Software Forums announce plans to release an Icons Parody Pack for Duke Nukem Forever this fall, offering four new multiplayer maps (each with a new weapon) and three new multiplayer modes to Gearbox's first-person shooter sequel. This will be released for all platforms, and word is it will be free for First Access Club members who registered their membership before the game launched in their territory. The announcement also has word on a play session on the DLC at 2K's headquarters in Novato, California next week, and details on how to get invited are on the 2K Games Blog. As the name of the new DLC implies, it offers parodies of some other games. Here's word on the new game modes: "Three All-New Modes – Freeze Tag provides some of the most fun team gameplay in Duke Nukem Forever. Players cooperate to freeze and shatter their opponents in succession for huge point streaks and combos. See who can hold on to the babe the longest in Hot Potato and play free-for-all Duke style in Hail to the King." And here's an outline of the new maps:
Call of Duke – Duke engages in modern combat in a war-torn city. Foes don’t stand a chance against the Duke when he spams the map with the N00b T00b.
Sandbox – Players take the role of mini-Duke in a giant sandbox with two bases at either end made out of children’s toys. This map features Sticky Bombs.
Inferno – Time machine engage! Duke does combat in a hellish landscape of lava and teleporters. Who turned on the 16-bit graphics, and more importantly, where did this DFG come from?
2Forts1Bridge – Hats? Duke doesn’t need no stinking hats. Give him a minigun and he’ll beat off all comers.
Electronic Arts issues their promised Q1 2012 fiscal results, showing a smaller loss for the period than the company had projected based thanks to digital distribution and strong sales of Valve's Portal 2. Word is: "adjusted revenue fell 3 percent to $524 million, above the average analyst estimate of $511 million," and "For the three months ended June 30, profit rose to $221 million, or 66 cents per share. Excluding deferred revenue, the company reported a loss of $123 million, or 37 cents per share, compared with a loss of $78 million, or 24 cents a share, a year earlier." They also offer a specific figure for digital sales, saying this rose 11% to $209 million.
The July update is now live in Cross Fire, adding a new Chinatown map to the free-to-play online shooter along with new features, including rewind and fast forward functionality for the replay system. The update also adds two new weapons to the mix: The M37 Stakeout pump-action shotgun and the Galil ARM, described as "an assault rifle-machinegun hybrid."
This trailer that we missed from last week offers a look at how multiplayer character customization will be handled in Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. The clip shows how to use the game's customizer to create your own unique ultramarine. This includes a disclaimer that this is no using final code, and that some of the assets shown are not final either. Thanks grudgebearer.
TimeGate Studios announces the release of Skirmish mode for Section 8: Prejudice, the promised free update to their multiplayer first-person shooter. The new mode is now available for the Windows and Xbox 360 editions, and will be part of the PlayStation 3 edition of the game, which is scheduled for release today. Here's word on the new mode: "Skirmish mode pits the 8th Armored Infantry against the Arm of Orion in a team death match with a twist. Victory Points are awarded per each kill and DCMs completed. Control Points cannot be captured nor hacked in this game mode." They also plan a Game with Devs Night for the 360 edition on Sunday.
The E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy Website now offers a new gameplay trailer labeled "your pretty face is going to hell" (for no discernable reason) from this upcoming Source-engine role-playing/first-person shooter. The clip runs about a minute, and in contrast to the recent anticlimactic trailer from the game, consists entirely of combat.
A second phase of closed beta testing for Tank Ace is now underway, offering another crack at GamesCampus' upcoming World War II MMO tank game. A variety of events and giveaways are part of the beta, and here's an explanation of what has changes since their first test: "Chocked full of new content for the second closed beta test, Tank Ace will feature a new challenge mode, new quests and updated bases. Completely overhauled with all-new graphics and textures, the game will also feature a new windowed mode." Though they are calling this a closed beta, it is actually more widespread than many open betas, as word is that anyone with a free GamesCampus account can join.
A post on German site GameZone follows up with DICE CEO Patrick Bach on differences between Battlefield 3 multiplayer play on PCs versus consoles (thanks Computer and Video Games). Taking umbrage at the implication that support for fewer players on the console editions of their military shooter sequel is the result of evil or cruel intentions, he explains the obvious, which is that this is due to console shortcomings. Here is a bit, courtesy of Google Translate:
"It's not that we are evil or stupid, we did not choose not to have more players -. we would make love to 64 players on the console, but then we would have to cut away so much. Otherwise the players would get upset that the console version looks much worse and worse playing. Moreover, one would need to remove the vehicles. The cards will also turn out a little more compactly: If we say that they are smaller does not mean that we have halved it."
The World of Risen Forums have an update from Deep Silver on copy protection in Risen 2: Dark Waters, saying the upcoming pirate-themed action/RPG sequel will use Steamworks in all territories to secure their game (thanks Shacknews). He outlines the priorities that lead to this decision, saying they sought a system providing a combination of security, compatibility, comfort, support, and reliability. Here's the outline of how the game's DRM will work:
Steam offers an automated update system which allows all customers to play the latest version of Risen 2 since all patches will be delivered automatically to their PC. Steam has been running stable on millions of PCs out there, so it provides the reliability we need. The digital copy of Risen 2 will also not require two different copy protections on Steam (compared to Risen 1).
Risen 2 will be playable without a DVD in the drive if the product has been added to a Steam account (Steam accounts are free) and will be available for download on other PCs if you’re on the move and still want to play Risen 2. The Steam account itself has been further fortified by the optional Steam Guard system which adds another layer of security. Steam also offers a big array of community features: chats, game groups, achievements and the player can even upload up to 1000 screenshots to share his/her experience in the world of Risen 2. All those features convinced us that Steam offers the right package of features, reliability and security for us.
Naturally we also wanted to keep the restrictions, which are part of any copy protection, as unobtrusive as possible. You will only be required to be online once – to link your game to your Steam account and afterwards you will be able to play offline and without DVD in the drive. You will also be able to install Risen 2 from your Steam account on as many systems you like.
As season one of League of Legends concludes, Riot Games announces that the DotA-inspired action/strategy game now boasts over 15 million registered users and that over 1.4 million players participate in the game every day. Here are more stats:
Every day, over a million games of League of Legends are played, most consisting of two teams of five players.
Gamers spend 3.7 million hours in-game enjoying League of Legends every day.
The official website for League of Legends receives over 6 million page views per day.
1.4 million people like League of Legends on Facebook, and League of Legends videos have nearly 100 million views on YouTube.
Over 1,690,000 viewers tuned into the online broadcast of the League of Legends Season One Championship, with concurrent viewership peaking at over 210,000.
Wargaming.net announces they are expanding into Europe. Word is: "In its initial stages, the European branch of Wargaming.net will include more than 40 professionals to recruit and manage full-scale PR, Marketing, Community, and Support departments. The main office will be located in Paris, France, with a subsidiary in Berlin headed by Mario Baumann."
The Garry's Mod Website has word that this Source-engine sandbox has now sold over one million units: Word is: "I did plan to release a big secret update I’ve been working on when we hit 1mil. But it’s not ready – you guys beat me to it. Anyway – thanks to everyone that’s contributed to Garry’s Mod – whether that be directly by dedicating your time to creating new content for other players or indirectly by playing and enjoying all that Garry’s Mod has to offer!" Thanks Gamasutra.
Dubious Quality - The Self-Evaluated Genius Of Bobby Kotick. Thanks nin. No one seems to be noticing the incredibly obvious analogy here, which is oil. Successful oil companies, even as they pump oil from successful wells, are always conducting research into additional drilling locations, and they drill new wells, even though many of them will turn out to be dry or of almost no commercial use.
They do that because even their highest-producing wells have limited capacity.
Sure, maybe it's not limited right now, but eventually, the oil pumped from a well will start to decline. And there have to be new wells to replace that production.
When the NFL cleared up its labor dispute I was going to make a joke conflating the news with the ongoing negotiations between the White House and Congress over the U.S. debt, but that latter situation blowing up around the same as the former seems to remove whatever slim fuel for humor or irony this could provide. Anyway, more serious matters aside, I am relived the tackle football season is back on track, and grateful to the Mets for forestalling their annual implosion until after I had football to look forward to.