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Friday, Nov 04, 2011

  

Call of Duty Elite TV Console Only

Activision reveals details on Friday Night Fights, a new "original entertainment program" to launch on November 11 in Call of Duty Elite, the new social service for Call of Duty players. Following word that the delayed PC edition of Elite will both be free and will "have some reduced functionality," we inquired if this meant that PC gamers would not be getting access to Call of Duty Elite TV, and were informed that this will indeed be the case, so this aspect of the service is console only. For those interested, here are the details on the series: Continue here to read the full story.

LEGO Universe to Close

LEGO Universe will close its blocky plastic doors as of January 31, 2012, reports Gamasutra, which is just 15 months after launch (though it seems this is not yet note on the website of the toy-based MMORPG). They have a statement form the LEGO Group explaining: "In spite of very positive player feedback and a large number of players in the free play zone, it has not been possible to convert a satisfactory number of players to paying subscribers." Oddly, a welcome back weekend is now underway for former players of the game.

Orcs Must Die! "Lost Adventures" DLC Tuesday

Robot Entertainment announces Lost Adventures, a new DLC pack planned for release on Tuesday for Orcs Must Die!, their action/strategy hybrid. The pack will include five new fortresses, and will be offer n Steam at a special introductory price of $2.99. Here are the details: Continue here to read the full story.

WBIE Layoffs

Ex 3D Realms mainstay George Broussard tweets another of his gaming news scoops, revealing layoffs at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment: "'Tis the season. Warner Brothers Games lays off 60ish across multiple Seattle studios. Good luck, guys." GameSpot has a confirmation from a WBIE representative: "As part of the continual review of our business operations and fluctuating market conditions, we have had to make reductions in our WB Games Seattle workforce."

Diablo III Beta Wipe

The Diablo III Beta Patch 5 Notes are online, with the latest changes in the testing of Blizzard's upcoming action/RPG sequel. Word is this includes a character wipe, the removal of the Cauldron of Jordan, the requirement of using a Nephalem Altar to switch skills, and more.

Modern Warfare 3 Preloads & Other Launch Prep

Both Direct2Drive and Steam are now offering preloads of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 for those who have pre-purchased the military shooter sequel from each respective service. Also, One Of Swords offers a Last-minute MW3-Elite launch FAQ and an article on Where to find MW3 midnight launches, presuming you aren't buying the game for $1,725 on eBay.

Battlefield 3 Fixes; Back to Karkand Teaser Trailer

The Battlefield Blog outlines further improvements rolled out in Battlefield 3, as DICE has made further progress on squad functionality, default server region settings, and stability in the military shooter sequel. The blog also says the Back to Karkand, DLC will be released in December, free for preorder customers, and $14.99 USD/1200 MS points for everyone else, and we have a new teaser trailer showing gameplay on the updated versions of the classic maps Strike at Karkand, Sharqi Peninsula, Gulf of Oman, and Wake Island it will offer. Continue here to read the full story.

Square Enix Financials – Human Revolution Ships 2M+

The latest Square Enix financial report (Adobe Acrobat format) is online, showing a decrease in net sales and an increase in profits for the Japanese company. The report also offers sales figures, saying Deus Ex: Human Revolution has shipped almost 2.2 million copies worldwide, 800,000 of which were in North America. There's also word that Dungeon Siege III has shipped 320,000 units in North America out of 820,000 worldwide. Thanks VG247.

Repulse Beta Signups

Repulse is an upcoming free-to-play MMOFPS with a dystopian science fiction setting. Closed beta registration is now being accepted, and here's a bit on the game: "Set in a dystopian future where the citizens of Earth have polluted the planet beyond repair, Repulse unfolds an epic sci-fi inspired tale where humans must journey to a new world to continue their existence. Unfortunately, the current inhabitants of mankind’s new home planet harbor a different idea… Deploy high-tech weaponry and powerful battle maneuvers in highly-tactical, twitch-based combat to perform a hostile takeover and save the future of mankind."

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Enlight Software games on GOG.com. Save up to 60%
  • L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition on Direct2Drive. Save 10% on pre-purchases.
  • RIFT Ashes of History Digital Collector's Edition on Direct2Drive. Save 50%.
  • Tropico Trilogy on GameStop Impulse. Save 60%.
  • Your Doodles are Bugged! on Steam. Save 66%.

Evening Previews

Evening Screenshots

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Retro Warfare.

Gone Gold - Skyrim

The Bethesda Blog announces that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is now gold, with the completion of the RPG sequel coming just in time for its planned release a week from today. Word is:

It’s done!!!

We’re pleased to announce that after more than three years of hard work, the team at Bethesda Game Studios has completed over 20 versions of Skyrim — across multiple platforms, languages, and countries. That’s right, Skyrim is officially gold!

The team celebrated last night with sweet golden mead brewed by Kurt Kuhlmann, Ryan Jenkins, and Shane Liesegang.

For more pics, check out the slideshow below…

Rainbow 6 Patriots Trailer

He have a new trailer to show off Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 Patriots, the just-announced next edition in the tactical shooter series. As is noted in its introduction, the clip is not actual gameplay, but rather a clip "created over a year ago to illustrate the creative vision for the game." The somewhat disturbing clip is safeguarded by our loveable, but gullible, virtual bouncer. Continue here to read the full story.

Anno 2070 Demo

A playable demo is now available for Anno 2070, Related Designs' upcoming futuristic installment in the Anno/A.D. series of strategy games. The demo comes in several languages, some or all of which are available on AtomicGamer, ComputerGames.ro, GamePro, Gamer's Hell, Strategy Informer, and Worthplaying. According to GamePro: "The demo offers the first two missions from the game, tasking the player with building a hydroelectric power plant for the Tycoon faction. Gameplay concepts are introduced through a series of quests designed to familiarize players with core mechanics one at a time."

PC Call of Duty Elite Free, Delayed

An update from a couple of weeks ago to One Of Swords has word from Activision's Dan Amrich that the Windows PC edition of Call of Duty Elite is delayed in order to secure the social networking aspect of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the imminent military shooter sequel (thanks VG247 via GameSpy). There's also a note explaining that while the service is premium for consoles, it will be free for the PC, as word is: "Elite for PC will be about access to your own stats, or those of your friends. Basically establishing a circle of trust. And because it will have some reduced functionality, it will be free for everyone." Here's word on the delay from Beachhead Studio head Chacko Sonny:

We’re as committed as ever to the PC, but the need to ensure a safe PC environment is greater than ever. It’s really extensive. We need more time to get there, so Elite on PC will not launch on Day 1. We’re working our butts off to make it happen, but we won’t release it until we know that PC gamers can enjoy Elite as it’s meant to be.

The issue here is that the PC is an insecure platform. Without a central, trusted resource for stats, a lot of our competition features become unfair. We can’t give away prizes when people can easily cheat their stats. Leaderboards are less fun when a lot of the users are there unfairly.

New Panzer Corps DLC

Matrix Games announces the release of Grand Campaign ’39 and Grand Campaign ’40, two new DLC packs for Panzer Corps, The Lordz Games Studio's World War II strategy game. These add a bunch of new scenarios for the game, new objective-type missions, as well as the following fundamental change: "Grand Campaign ’39 and Grand Campaign ‘40 also include the new ability to carry your core army through different campaigns. So you can now bring an army from the humble beginning of light tanks and raw recruits to a formidable behemoth of Tigers and veteran shock troops!"

Battlefield 3 GeForce Tweak

PC Games Hardware offers what they say is a solution for stuttering and mouse lag problems for users playing Battlefield 3 under DirectX 10 with older GeForce graphics cards. They say this is simply entering the following command at the console: "RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 1".

Take On Helicopters Patch Plans

The Take On Helicopters Website has details on an upcoming version 1.02 patch for Bohemia Interactive's new flight simulator, as well as a larger patch that will follow, with even more changes. The first patch will be released ASAP, offering "cool" tweaks to some systems but focused primarily on tuning finances and contracts for Career mode. The second patch will tweak flight mechanics based on user feedback, but since these changes "are not trivial and affect all gameplay," they will take extra care "to make sure it does not do more harm than good." The game's developers also announce plans to attend this weekend's FSweekend 2011.

Australian R18+ Final Guidelines

The final guidelines for Australia's planned R18+ rating are revealed on GameSpot, where they talk with Australia's Federal Minister for Home Affairs Brendan O'Connor about what these entail. The R18+ rating, which is already approved in principle (thanks GamePron), will be voted on by parliament as soon as February, and if enacted, will give the classification board immediate power to approve games with the new rating, as well as to re-rate MA15+ rated games into the new category. There will also still be games which are refused classification, as word is: "Any game with sexual violence will be refused classification. [Smith] need not worry, sexual violence is refused classification now, and it will be refused classification once R18+ passes." Here are the planned guidelines for R18+ games:

Under the final guidelines, the criteria for an R18+ game will now be:

THEMES:
There are virtually no restrictions on the treatment of themes.

VIOLENCE:
Violence is permitted. High impact violence that is, in context, frequently gratuitous, exploitative and offensive to a reasonable adult will not be permitted.
Sexual violence may be implied, if non-interactive and justified by context.

SEX:
Sexual activity may be realistically simulated. The general rule is "simulation, yes—the real thing, no".

LANGUAGE:
There are virtually no restrictions on language.

DRUG USE:
Drug use is permitted
Drug use related to incentives and rewards is not permitted.

NUDITY:
Nudity is permitted.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Spartacus: Vengeance return date, poster revealed. As I mentioned a while back, I enjoyed the original Blood and Sand well enough, but wasn't that worked up either way about the sequel, especially without the late Andy Whitfield, but the Gods of the arena prequel was so good, I am now totally on board again.

Gladiatorial Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Zombocalypse.
Sticky Ninja Academy.
Super Sergeant Shooter 2.
Stories: Star Wars fan killed his wife after 'she smashed his toy collection'. Thanks TDW Geeks.
Science: Signs of ageing halted in the lab. Thanks Devicer.
FAQ: The Nov. 8 Flyby of Huge Asteroid 2005 YU55 Explained.
Images: Donkey Kong Costume.
LEGO Lunch On The Death Star During Construction.
A Sweet and Juicy Affair.
Media: 21 Jump Street Has A Red Band Trailer. NSFW. Thanks nin.
Lost in Translation.
Mortal Kombat Flash Dancing. Thanks Morris.
Sports Anchor Wins Lotto Live On Air.
Auction: Blizzard Auctioning 240 World of Warcraft Blade Servers.
The Funnies: Videogame Minions are the 99%.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turrets.
Follow-up: Fake astronauts return to real Earth after fake trip to fake Mars.



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