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Monday, Nov 21, 2011

  

Skyrim Patched, LAA Fix No Longer Works

As noted on the Steam Users' Forums, a new patch is now available for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda's recently released RPG sequel (thanks Chris and Alex). As stated in the thread, one of the changes the patch implements is that the game can no longer be launched separately from Steam. A locked thread on the Bethesda Softworks Forums and another current thread discuss another consequence of the patch, which is that it means the game can no longer be hacked to run in Large Address Aware mode, which many users found was the solution to crashing issues and texture corruption problems. We contacted both Bethesda and Valve about whether we should expect a return of the ability to use large address awareness through a future update, but have not yet received a response.

DC Universe Online F2P Data

A few recent tweets from SOE president John Smedley offer stats on the success of DC Universe Online following the superhero MMORPG's transition to a free-to-play model. Here's a summary of the changes they've seen in the F2P era:

  • DCUO's player base grow by 6% a day
  • 700% increase in daily revenue (47% PC / 53% PS3)
  • Percentage of European players has grown from 20% to 50% of daily log-ins
  • More than 85% of daily log-ins are returning players
  • Most popular marketplace items are: Vanguard of the Heavens character skin & Additional Character Slots

Max Payne 3 Special Edition Preorders

Rockstar Games announces the Max Payne 3 Special Edition, a deluxified version of the upcoming third-person shooter sequel. They are accepting preorders for this for Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 between now and January 15th, 2012, or while supplies last. The SE is $99.99 USD, and includes the following:

  • A copy of Max Payne 3.
  • 10" tall Collectible Max Payne Statue created in a collaboration between TriForce and Rockstar Games.
  • Series of game-inspired Original Still Life Art Prints that depict some of Max Payne's inner demons and vices.
  • Copper and brass-plated iron, bullet-shaped Bullet Keychain featuring a screw-off back.
  • Classic Multiplayer Character Pack of eight playable multiplayer characters for Max Payne 3 Multiplayer, including fan favorites from the original Max Payne and Max Payne 2 like Max Payne from Max Payne 2, Mona Sax and Vladimir Lem.
  • Disorderly Conduct Multiplayer Weapons Pack for Max Payne 3 Multiplayer that includes the Hammerhead Auto Shotgun, G9 Grenade Launcher and Molotov cocktail.
  • Max Payne 3 Official Soundtrack featuring the game's instrumental score.

F1 2011 Patched; Leaderboard Wipe Coming

The Codemasters Forums have details on a patch that should be live now or soon for F1 2011, offering a number of fixes for the Formula One racing sequel (thanks Eurogamer). This includes word on plans to wipe the leaderboards: "To coincide with the release of the 2nd patch and the fixing of the 'setup bug', we are also going to be wiping the online leaderboards for both the time trial and time attack online game modes. These leaderboard wipes are currently scheduled for next week, and once we have a firm date for these we'll let you know straight away." Here are the change notes. Continue here to read the full story.

AMD/ATI Catalyst 11.11a Performance Drivers

AMD now offers a new version Catalyst version 11.11a performance drivers for ATI/AMD graphics cards. The new drivers offer various performance improvements for Batman: Arkham City, RAGE, Battlefield 3, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

King Arthur II Video Diaries

A pair of new video developer diaries are now available for King Arthur II: The Role-playing Wargame, the upcoming real-time strategy sequel. In these clips the folks from Neocore speak about the game, with the first diary discussing the expansion of the world map and the role specific locations and terrain types play in gameplay (all seemingly explained to someone sitting way off to your left). In the second diary we here some of the history that leads to the game's setting (it seems the men from Neocore are talking to someone on your right).

New Via Digital Distribution

On Sale

  • Cold Fear on Steam. Save 50%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Thanks to Meredith for pointing out that today is World Television Day, which explains why the U.N. could not declare this day World Blue Day, since it's already taken. I'm far less upset now.

WoW Law Enforcement Guide Leaked?

This pdf-format document titled "Law Enforcement Guide to Requests for Information" is purported to be an internal Blizzard document outlining the company's policy on dealing with requests from law enforcement organizations for information about World of Warcraft players. According to Kotaku this was part of a data dump by the Antisec wing of Anonymous as part of their war with their "white hat" counterparts. The document outlines what data they retain, how long the data are stored, and under what circumstances it can be revealed. While it is not confirmed that this is genuine, it does seem plausible, though the way it is interspersed with WoW-themed cartoons is curious. Thanks nin.

Eidos-Montreal Expands, New Hitman Game Plans

Square Enix announces the expansion of their Eidos-Montreal studio, saying they are adding 100 new positions to allow the studio to work on a third project, as they are already cranking away on the Deus Ex and Thief franchises. They also announce the creation of Square Enix Montreal, a second studio in the area which will be a second contributor to IO Interactive's Hitman series:

MONTREAL, Nov. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Square Enix Group, an integrated entertainment group, has today announced plans for further expansion in Montreal with the growth of its Eidos-Montreal studio and the creation of a new second studio, Square Enix Montreal, to open in 2012.

Eidos-Montreal, a studio which was established in 2007, released its first game, DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION™; to critical acclaim (Metacritic score of 90% for PC and 89% for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as of November 20, 2011) earlier this year. DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, which has to date shipped over 2 million units worldwide, firmly cemented the studio's credentials in global development and delivered on its promise to produce AAA games. Eidos-Montreal will now create an additional 100 new jobs, driving work on a third AAA project at the studio, alongside the DEUS EX® and THIEF® franchises. The studio will also expand its state-of-the-art facilities, including in-house audio recording and motion tracking studios and a mini-theatre.

Plans unveiled today also confirmed the creation of Square Enix Montreal, a new second studio for the Square Enix Group in Montreal, which will open in 2012 and create 150 jobs. Tasked with building AAA games for tomorrow's audiences, the studio will be led by Lee Singleton, currently general manager of Square Enix London Studios. Singleton brings over 20 years studio management as well as direct development experience to this role.

The first project at Square Enix Montreal will be to work on a new premium quality game in the award-winning HITMAN® franchise. This further investment will expand the vision for the HITMAN franchise and mean that two studios will now be working on future HITMAN games: IO Interactive, a Square Enix studio based in Copenhagen, creator of the HITMAN franchise is currently developing HITMAN ABSOLUTION™ and now Square Enix Montreal also.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK Chart-Track now offers the list of the 20 bestselling full-price, PC entertainment titles for the week ending November 19. The top five are a reshuffled version of last week's top five, with the exception of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which remains number one. There are three new entries this week: Anno 2070 at 10, Need for speed: The Run at nine, and Saints Row: The Third at six. On the all-formats chart Modern Warfare holds on to number one, and the highest ranking debut is Saints Row: The Third at number four.

Data Jammers: FastForward Patch

A new patch for Data Jammers: FastForward is now available to update Digital Eel's sci-fi arcade game to version 1.1.0. The new version clears up some bugs and adds a new mode. Word is: "Now as a Data Jammer the player can choose between 'normal' play, with three lives, or for the ultimate FastForward experience choose 'hardcore' mode. Hardcore gives the player a single life. No safety nets, no second chances, just you and your skill stand between victory and reformatting. Think you’re good enough to bring down Ouroboros now?" The download is offered by Shrapnel Games and it's mirrored on Gamer's Hell.

Op Ed

Gaming Nexus - Fixing Duke Nukem Forever Part 1.
Duke Nukem Forever begins with a nostalgic cutscene that relives the best moments from Duke Nukem 3D in an evocative, frame-by-frame pop art style. I found this interesting, because after beating DNF I think this cutscene is possibly the worst thing the developers could have done to help their case for the new game. DNF is finally here! Look at all the awesome things you did in the last game…that you won’t do at all in DNF.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

As scary as it is to note that another year has passed, today is my birthday. Following the theme I mentioned yesterday, I continued to eat way too much throughout the weekend, and ended up making myself a little sick to my stomach along the way. I guess that's preferable to getting sick from too much drinking, though at least that would seem like the folly of youth, whereas eating oneself sick seems much more the folly of a fogy.

Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Earn to Die.
Monsters in Bunnyland.
Links: The 12 Most Baffling Genres of Stock Photo, Explained.
Images: Title Graphic GIF's of 16 and 8-Bit Games.
Media: Living In 8-Bits cameo.
The Funnies: ActionTrip Comic Strip: Romantic Creed.
Funny Tweets.
Follow-up: NMA: Video gamers have special brains.



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