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Thursday, Mar 08, 2012

  

Valve on Steam Hardware Rumors

Valve denies the recent rumor that they are on the verge of unveiling some sort of Steam console, as Doug Lombardi tells Kotaku that while they are working on "Big Picture Mode UI" and other enhancements, this is "a long way from Valve shipping any sort of hardware," and that while he was not ruling out the possibility Valve would someday produce hardware, he "thinks that's accurate" when asked if we should not expect an announcement at GDC or E3.

CD Project RED Dropping All DRM

CD Project RED will not use any DRM in future PC games, reports Joystiq, saying the Polish developer made a statement to that effect today during the Game Developer's Conference. The company most recently took a stand on the topic with The Witcher 2, selling a DRM-free version on GOG.com and removing the DRM from the retail version when it caused problems, prompting a lawsuit from Namco Bandai. "Every subsequent game we will never use any DRM anymore, it's just over-complicating things," said CD Projekt RED CEO Marcin Iwinski. "We release the game. It's cracked in two hours, it was no time for Witcher 2. What really surprised me is that the pirates didn't use the GOG version, which was not protected. They took the SecuROM retail version, cracked it and said 'we cracked it'." After his presentation, Iwinski expanded on his thoughts for Joystiq. "DRM does not protect your game," he told them. "If there are examples that it does, then people maybe should consider it, but then there are complications with legit users."

NPD Shows 20% Drop

Forbes has the February report on U.S. retail video game sales from NPD Group, which covers new packaged retail games, and does not account for used games or games sold online. Word is: "Overall sales were $1.06 billion, down from $1.33 billion. Hardware sales were down 18% to $381.4 million from $466.9 million. Accessories sales were $215.2 million, down 16% from $256.9 million. Video game software sales were $464.4 million, down 23% from $601.4 million. If you include PC games, software sales were $485.7 million, down 24% from $637.4 million."

Game Developers Choice Awards and IGF Winners

The 14th Annual Independent Games Festival results are online and this page outlines the winners of the 12th annual Game Developers Choice Awards. Here are the winners:

Game Developers Choice Awards

Game of the Year: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Bethesda Game Studios)
Best Narrative: Portal 2 (Valve)
Best Game Design: Portal 2 (Valve)
Best Technology: Battlefield 3 (DICE)
Best Visual Arts: Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception (Naughty Dog)
Best Debut: Supergiant Games (Bastion)
Innovation Award: Johann Sebastian Joust (Die Gute Fabrik)
Best Handheld/Mobile Game: Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP (Capy Games/Superbrothers)
Best Audio: Portal 2 (Valve)
Best Downloadable Game: Bastion (Supergiant Games)

IGF Awards

Seumas McNally Grand Prize ($30,000): Fez, by Polytron
Nuovo Award ($5,000): Storyteller, by Daniel Benmergui
Excellence in Visual Art ($3,000): Dear Esther, by thechineseroom
Technical Excellence ($3,000): Antichamber, by Demruth
Excellence in Design ($3,000): Spelunky, by Mossmouth
Excellence in Audio ($3,000): Botanicula, by Amanita Design
Best Mobile Game ($3,000): Beat Sneak Bandit, by Simogo
Audience Award ($3,000): Frozen Synapse, by Mode 7 Games
Best Student Game ($3,000): Way, by CMU Entertainment Technology Center/Coco & Co

Instinct Software Buys Dark Water IPs

Startup Instinct Software announces the acquisition of some intellectual property from Dark Water Studios, includng Dogfighter:

Instinct Software Ltd proudly announces the acquisition of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of several games from Dark Water Studios Ltd, including indie hit DogFighter (available on Steam). Having founded Instinct following our departure from Dark Water in 2010, we are delighted to return to our roots to find a home for the game titles we gave so much to. Combined with the acquisition of our engine technology in the summer, we have closed a circle on development efforts that span the best part of a decade, and are extremely excited at the prospect of extending and improving these experiences across a wide range of platforms.

Ships Ahoy - Panzer Corps Grand Campaign '43 DLC

Matrix Games announces the release of the new Grand Campaign '43 East DLC for Panzer Corps, the World War II strategy game from The Lordz Games Studio. Word is: "This DLC features 13 all new scenarios, extra large maps that recreate epic engagements, unique objectives such as escorting damaged units to safety and headhunter operations, and the capacity to save your core force for use in future campaigns!"

Evening Previews

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

BioShock Infinite's Motorized Patriot

Irrational Games introduces the "Motorized Patriot," one of the "heavy hitter" enemies in BioShock Infinite, their upcoming first-person shooter sequel. Irrational's Ken Levine explains how he's wanted to see a "broader range of enemies" in a BioShock game, and how the heavy hitters with a "more imaginative range of powers" fit the bill as they are "used to not just be more powerful, but also to augment the abilities of the more traditional BioShock enemies." This boss also demonstrates some of the imagination behind the game, as it is a "completely fearless," flag-waving automaton in the image of George Washington, armed with the "peppermill," a Gatling gun that can be acquired as a useful trophy after it is defeated. Here is a screenshot of the Motorized Patriot, and below we have a video featuring Ken Levine, Nate Wells, and Shawn Robertson discussing the weapon and showing it in action. Continue here to read the full story.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Trailer

A second "Believe in Ghosts" trailer from Ghost Recon: Future Soldier looks to inspire your faith in the non-supernatural ghosts in the upcoming installment in the Tom Clancy-branded series of tactical third- and first-person shooters. The clip features former Navy SEAL Richard "Mack" Machowicz against a backdrop of tanks discussing customization of weapons in the game, and how it relates to his real-life experiences (seriously, this guy's nickname really isn't "macho?"). The clip proceeds to use in-game footage to relate the game to the recent real-life SEAL mission that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Continue here to read the full story.

Rainbow Six Patriots Shakeup

Ubisoft Montreal has implemented significant changes to the development team for Rainbow 6 Patriots, just over four months after revealing plans for the next installment in this series of Tom Clancy-branded tactical shooters, reports GameInformer. Their initial report states that this involved the removal of creative director David Sears, narrative director Richard Rouse III, lead designer Philippe Therien, and animation director Brent George, and they have the following follow-up statement from Ubisoft confirming the game has a new creative director, though the remainder of the reported changes go unaddressed:

David Sears is no longer on the Tom Clancy’s Rainbow 6 Patriots team and the new Creative Director is Jean-Sebastien Decant. The development team is still hard at work to deliver the next installment of the revered Tom Clancy series and more details on the game will be revealed at a later date.

There's no word on how this may affect plans to release the game next year.

World of Warcraft Cataclysm Postmortem

The World of Warcraft Website now offers a postmortem written by Greg 'Ghostcrawler' Street, who discusses the outcome of the Cataclysm expansion for Blizzard's MMORPG. He says they are pleased with how the 1-60 revamp turned out, but frankly answers "everything else" when asked what didn't work out as planned, adding: "Seriously though, we tend to be our own harshest critics, so it’s actually easy for us to point out things that didn’t work out as expected." He takes a constructive turn at the conclusion, outlining the lessons they will apply from this experience to the upcoming release of the Mists of Pandaria add-on.

New Arvoch Alliance

The Arvoch Alliance Website now offers a new version 1.208 of Arvoch Alliance, the latest space combat simulation from StarWraith 3D Games. As always, this is accompanied by an update to the trial version. Here's the change list: Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

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