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Wednesday, Sep 07, 2011

  

Modern Warfare 3 Has LAN Support

In spite of its integral Call of Duty Elite service, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will support LAN play, as Robert Bowling tweets: "Yes, #MW3 has LAN along with detailed class restriction control + default class creation option," later detailing those restriction options in this tweet: "Ability to restrict any weapon, equipment, perk, deathstreak, secondary, attachment, ANYTHING from being used when setting up game." Thanks PC Gamer.

Borderlands 2 PC Wish List Request

The Gearbox Software Forums are soliciting PC gamers to suggest wish list items for the Windows edition of Borderlands 2, their upcoming role-playing shooter sequel (thanks Rock, Paper, Shotgun). Here's word:

I’d like to hear your suggestions for PC "Options" and other PC specific interface niceties that you'd like to see in Borderlands 2!

Please remember that this is all blue sky, but rest assured we'll be putting a lot of effort into properly supporting our PC customers for Borderlands 2, so I want to gather as much information as possible from our community.

1.25 Million BF3 Preorders

Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown today told attendees of the Citi Tech Conference that Battlefield 3 has 1.25 million preorders, saying this is well ahead of its forerunner. "To date we have about 1.25 million pre-orders on Battlefield 3, so it's still well ahead of its predecessor title, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, in regards to pre-orders in the same number of weeks until launch. So it's doing very well," Brown said before going on to explain their plans to aggressively market the military shooter sequel to take advantage of beating competitor Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to the marketplace. "We have a pretty extensive campaign planned for Battlefield 3," Brown stated. "We have the advantage of a two-and-a-half week early launch window versus our competitor, and we intend to use that."

2013: the Year Digital Sales Will Pass Retail - DFC

DFC Intelligence has an abstract of their Worldwide Market Forecasts for the Video Game and Interactive Entertainment Industry report ($3,495.00, but if you act now you get a set of steak knifes). This says their analysis shows we should expect sales of video games through digital channels to surpass retail sales by 2013, also forecasting the worldwide video game market to reach $81 Billion by 2016 (thanks Gamasutra). They report that PC and mobile games will lead the way:

DFC Intelligence forecasts that the greatest growth area for the game industry is PC games and games for other mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. The good news is that these areas by and large expand the audience and do not take away from the existing business. “Games on Facebook and products like the iPad help expand the audience and the way products are delivered. The console business is firmly established and suffers mainly from the reluctance of hardware manufacturers to commit to expensive new products,” claims Cole.

DC Universe Online Green Lantern Add-on Live

The DC Universe Online Website announces the promised free Fight for the Light add-on for SOE's superhero MMORPG is now live. This movie shows off the Green Lantern-themed add-on, and here's a bit on what it entails: "In times of great need, the Green Lantern and Sinestro Corps can give out "reservist rings" to worthy heroes or enthusiastic villains who will help restore the balance of the universe for their side; these players can be deputized into either Corps and fight alongside legendary ring-bearers. In addition to the new light power set, DCUO players will also be able to interact with characters and missions based on the Green Lantern mythos in all-new gameplay scenarios."

Dead Island "Make Up" Promised

Dead Island publisher Deep Silver is promising a "make up" for gamers due to the incorrect build of its zombie game released on Steam. This was subsequently patched, but a note from the publisher (passed along by Gamer's Hell) describes their plans for compensation: "Deep Silver plans to announce a 'make up' to fans who were affected by the day 1 PC issues, stay tuned in coming days for those details as internal discussions are ongoing on our end." They also pass along updated notes for yesterday's patch, saying the notes circulating prior to the patch release were not final. Since Steam never posted about the patch, these notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Skyrim Collector's Edition Shockingly Large

The Bethesda Blog looks to prompt some timely preordering of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Collector’s Edition by showing the CE on a desk where the giant box almost completely hides the game's senior brand manager. This previous post outlines the collector's edition's contents.

5 Million Battlestar Galactica Online Registrations

Bigpoint announces that participation in Battlestar Galactica Online has passed a big point, as the browser-based MMOG set in the world of the science fiction television series has registered more than five million players since its launch earlier this year. They also announce that new content is coming to the game later this month:

Since its launch, Bigpoint has added a number of new ships and game modes to the title. To bolster the available fleet, a new line of Fleet Recon ships will soon become available for both Colonial and Cylon players. Armed with the ability to “Jump-To-Target” in proximity of an erupting battle, these light freighters are built to aid in combat as Recon versions of the series’ classic Raptor and Heavy Raider. Bigpoint maintains a multi-tiered development schedule, which organizes the team’s activity into three key areas: ongoing optimization and bug repair, short-term updates, and long-term content additions.

Beginning mid-September, basic models of both vessels will be obtainable with Cubits, BSGO’s in-game premium currency that can be earned through gameplay or purchased with real money, along with advanced models that will enable greater mission flexibility. The recently unveiled Brimir Class Carrier is also scheduled to become available this fall, though its size, complexity, and impact on game balance must be optimized before its general release.

Op Ed

Kotaku - Faux Futurists Want to Keep PC Gaming in the Past.
Then there are the gamers who like the PC because they mistake tinkering with hardware from a couple of dozen of vendors—all of whom get their silicon from three giant corporations—as some sort of engineering, despite that it's more or less electric LEGO for masochists. These tinkerers are holding back PC gaming hardware—and that includes the very benchmark by which they gauge themselves: graphics performance.

New Via Digital Distributions

Games

  • Gladiators DLC for Starpoint Gemini on Impulse.
  • Post Apocalyptic Mayhem on Impulse.
  • Rock of Ages on Steam.
  • Sid Meier's Civilization V on Impulse.

Patches

  • Counter-Strike: Source Beta on Steam.
  • Two Worlds II on Steam.
  • Worms Reloaded on Steam.
  • Zen Bound 2 on Steam.

On Sale

  • Booster Trooper on Steam. Save 60%.
  • F1 2011 on Steam. Save 10% on prepurchases.
  • Still Life on GOG.com. Save 60%.
  • Worms Ultimate Mayhem on Steam. Save 10% on prepurchases.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

It was just over a year ago on September 3, 2010 that Brian Wood died in a car accident in which the Relic designer swerved his car to bear the brunt of a head-on collision to protect his wife and unborn child. Relic Entertainment tweets (by way of Mikey Neumann): "To mark the 1yr anniversary of the death of our friend Brian Wood @RelicGames is having a charity auction to raise money." They are offering signed games, collectibles, and consoles, with the proceeds earmarked towards build a bench in Brian's memory. Here's word from one of the auctions: "To mark this somber occasion Relic Entertainment is offering a number of items for auction on e-bay to raise money to place a memorial bench for Brian in North Vancouver, where his wife and 9 month old daughter live. We would greatly appreciate your help in our fundraising efforts."

On Hard Reset DRM

Some of the comments about the Hard Reset demo story below discuss the DRM in the Flying Wild Hog's throwback first-person shooter, so it's timely that this is one of the topics in a Q&A with the developers on Ars Technica. The brief conversation explains their philosophy about saved games, discusses the under explored realm of mid-budget PC games, and while some will note that Steam itself can be considered Digital Rights Management, the game contains no other DRM. "I'm a gamer as well as a developer," says Flying Wild Hog cofounder and programmer Klaudiusz Zych. "And I hate DRM. So no DRM."

Hard Reset Demo

A playable demo is now available for Hard Reset, offering the chance to get behind the trigger in this cyberpunk first-person shooter from Polish developer Flying Wild Hog. Here's word: "The demo contains a good portion of the first level, offering about 20-30 minutes of play time and a good amount of replayability thanks to a wide range of weapon options (12 of 20 weapon modes are included) and, of course, Hard Reset's secret areas and general mayhem." The demo is available through Steam as well as a standalone download from ActionTrip, AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, FilePlanet, Game Front, Gamer's Hell, Strategy Informer, and Worthplaying.

Diablo III Public Beta "Very Close"

With news that the "friends and family" beta for Diablo III is underway, VG247 has word from Blizzard that the public testing of the action/RPG sequel nears. "We’re getting very close to starting the closed public beta test for Diablo III," a Blizzard rep told them. "You might start seeing some new reports about the beta client as we’ve begun limited external testing with employees and their families, and there is no non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for that. We look forward to sharing more info about the beta test in the near future. Stay tuned." The lack of NDA explains why the leaked beta footage that's being widely reported today (but you saw last week thanks to your good taste in gaming news) is still online. The Diablo III Beta FAQ has details on how to try and get invited to the beta.

A Game of Thrones - Genesis This Month

Focus Home Interactive announces a September 29 release date for A Game of Thrones - Genesis, a slight delay from the summer release window announced earlier this year for this real-time strategy game based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books. Here are some new screenshots from the game, and here's the latest description:

Faithful to the world imagined by George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones - Genesis emphasizes the backstabbing and political intrigues which are common in Westeros and the fight for the Iron Throne. Command the assassination of an opponent's Great Lord, set up secret alliances, send a spy to take the place of the opponent's unit, or harass his trade routes to weaken his economy. Treasons, espionage, kidnapping and ransoms... treachery is everywhere, so always watch your back!

It is also very possible, by cleverly using all the low blows the game allows you to use, to earn victory without ever entering an open war or recruiting any army. A real first in a real-time strategy game!

Of course, military approach is valid as well! Raise an army, besiege enemy villages and castles, force them to submit to your rule, and crush all resistance. You truly have all options at your disposal to achieve victory and reach the Iron Throne!

Star Wars: The Old Republic EU Beta Delay

A post to the Star Wars: The Old Republic Forums announces a setback to testing of BioWare's Star Wars MMORPG in Europe (thanks Computer and Video Games). They say this is for a number of reasons, which they list revealing the number to be "two," though they also then refer to "a number of issues...with key systems." Here's word:

Firstly, there’s a new build of the game on the horizon. This is a major build, meaning there will be character wipes and a new client to download. As you may be aware, the current client download is around 27GB in size. If we were to invite players en masse today, those players would have to download the entirety of the client to access the game. There’s every chance that later this week, the service will go offline and this new version will be rolled out, meaning everyone currently in Testing will have to not only download the entire client again (another 27GB download), but will also have their characters erased and have to start afresh. This is a relatively large amount to download in such a short space of time and not an experience we want new testers to be exposed to.

Secondly, this new build will bring about the first localised versions of Star Wars: The Old Republic, which means those of you that speak French and German will have the chance to play the game in those languages, for the first time ever. We’re extremely excited to be able to offer this to our players and as such, we’re keen to get a lot of feedback from European testers in particular.

For those of you that may have missed the messages we put out on the subject already, last week saw a number of issues arise with key systems that prevented us from sending out invites to EU players. Had everything gone to plan, we would have been able to offer two weeks of testing time to new users. However, given the issues that arose, this was physically not possible.

Avalanche Layoffs

Disney Interactive Studios confirms for Gamasutra that 15-20 layoffs came down last week on Avalanche Software, the Salt Lake City, Utah-based developer of movie tie-in games such as Cars 2 and Toy Story 3. A Disney rep tells them: "Avalanche Software has completed a restructuring that resulted in the reduction of a small number of positions." They estimate that this leaves about 170 employees at the studio.

Two Worlds II Patch

New patches are now available for Two Worlds II, updating the Windows and OS X editions of Reality Pump's role-playing sequel to version 1.3. The new version is available on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, The Patches Scrolls, and Worthplaying. The lengthy patch notes follow. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Thanks Frans and Ant.

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Where's the Space Marine Review?

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I still have some leftover food to grill, but the steady rain over the past couple of days is putting a literal damper on my plans to get to this. I recently wrestled an old patio umbrella out to the man-stove, so I may experiment with using that to cook under, though I'll only do that if I'm convinced I can do it without setting the umbrella on fire, because that would be... bad.

Damp Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Teelombies Infection.
Chief.
Links: How-To- Roast Coffee with a Popcorn Popper.
Adult-Sized Sandbox Lets Grown Ups Play with Bulldozers.
Stories:

 

Mouse on board delays NAC flight 11 hrs. Thanks Boing Boing.
Guy Spending 10 Days In Jail For Overdue Library Books. Thanks Neatorama and Officer Bookman.
Giant 21-Foot Crocodile Caught in Philippines. Thanks brother19.
Science: Making materials transparent by doing nothing.
Quantum minds: Why we think like quarks.
Media: Dodger Effect.
Mario Dumps Pauline.
Blues.
Follow-up: Colin McRae blamed for fatal helicopter crash. Thanks Darth Guybrush.



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