Blizzard announces worldwide events surrounding the launch of Diablo III on May 15th, as there will be various celebrations of the release beginning the evening of the 14th. This page offers details on all the events, and here's word:
In the US, the official launch event will be hosted by Blizzard and retail partner GameStop at:
The Great Wheel Court of the Irvine Spectrum Mall
71 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
Festivities will start at 8:00 p.m. PDT on May 14. Gamers in attendance will enjoy an epic evening of entertainment before Diablo III goes on sale at midnight, including a variety of giveaways; an exciting selection of Diablo-related video footage; and multiple contests with exclusive Diablo III-themed prizes, such as laser-etched desktop PCs from Intel. In addition, members of the Diablo III development team will be on site at each of the official events to meet with players and sign their copies of the game.
For more information on the global launch events, visit http://www.blizzard.com/company/events/d3-opening/. In addition to the official US launch event, other retail locations around the country will open at midnight to support gamers looking to pick up their copy of the game the moment it goes live. Please check with your local retailers for further details.
A reorganization at EA Montreal will result in a "small number" of layoffs, reports GamesIndustry International, where they received confirmation of layoff rumors directly from EA, though the company adds that: "Overall, we expect that EA's headcount will be up at the end of this year." Here's the statement about the job losses at the Army of Two developer:
EA Montreal is reorganizing some teams to focus on digital initiatives, including new mobile and social projects," EA corporate communications told us. "These are routine changes which address the cyclical nature of the game industry. A very small number of employees will be impacted - many will be assigned to new projects at EA, others will leave the company.
The BioWare Blog outlines plans for Operation EXORCIST, another special weekend event for Mass Effect 3, their action/RPG sequel. Here's how this will work:
Allied Goal: Kill 1,000,000 Cerberus Phantoms Squad Goal: Survive until extraction on any map and any enemy on Gold difficulty.
Successful completion of the Allied Goal will grant all players a Victory Pack.
Successful completion of the squad goal awards a Commendation Pack to all squadmates.
Operation Exorcist will run from 6:00PM PST, Friday April 27th until 5:00AM PST, Monday April 30th. Exorcist will be available on PC and Xbox 360 only. Please remember to set “Upload Gameplay Feedback” to “on” in the online options to be able to participate in Operation Exorcist.
AMD now offers new version 12.4 Catalyst reference drivers for AMD/ATI graphics cards running under Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Linux. The new drivers promise Texture filtering quality improvements, anti-aliasing improvements, and Windows XP support for the AMD Radeon HD 7900 Series, AMD Radeon HD 7800, and AMD Radeon HD 7700 Series.
The Cryptic Studios Website busts out the tiny font to warn customers they have uncovered evidence of unauthorized access to user accounts on their network (thanks VG247). Here's a portion that covers what are likely the main concerns about this:
The unauthorized access included user account names, handles, and encrypted passwords for those accounts. Even though the passwords were encrypted, it is apparent that the intruder has been able to crack some portion of the passwords in this database. All accounts that we believe were present in the database have had the passwords reset, and customers registered to these accounts have been notified via e-mail of this incident.
While we have no evidence that any other information was taken by the intruder, it is possible that the intruder was able to access additional account information. If they did so, the first and last name, e-mail address, date of birth (if provided to Cryptic Studios), billing address, and the first six digits and the last four digits of credit cards registered on the site may have been accessed. We have no evidence at this time that any data other than the account name, handle, and encrypted password were accessed for any user.
The Kickstarter Page to "Make Leisure Suit Larry come again" reveals this adventure game revival has met its half-million dollar funding goal with almost a week to spare. One of the answers in the Q&A on the page says they do plan additional content for the game if they exceed their target. Thanks nin.
A tweet from gscstalker has an update on the status of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: 2, which doesn't ease the concerns about the future of this first-person shooter sequel that first came into doubt amid concerns developer GSC Game Worlds was shutting down, saying: "despite no official continuation of Stalker 2. it looks like the ideas and spirit will live on in the team's new game – 'Survarium'" (thanks Eurogamer). An official website for Survarium (working title) has details on this, saying: "Survarium is a free2play MMOFPS game set in the near future. The game focuses on a mass- scale ecological catastrophe on Earth, the reasons behind vaguely known." That sure does sound like the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. spirit, and the - Vostok Games About Us Page explains why this would be, while also confirming that GSC Game World is closed and that development of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is "frozen":
Our company appeared in March 2012 in Kiev. Ten years earlier, when at GSC Game World we started developing the renowned S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series and continued working on it until December 2011 when the studio was unexpectedly shut down and the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 project – frozen. We did not reach agreement with the rights owner regarding the use of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. brand, that’s why we made the decision to move forward as an independent studio with a new project. That day became our starting point for Vostok Games.
Vostok Games is a new studio founded by veterans of Ukrainian game industry with multi-year experience of developing and releasing commercially successful projects. In March 2012 we reached agreement with Vostok Ventures Ltd. to back up the financing of our new game – free2play MMOFPS Survarium(working title).
After years of clues, rumors, and speculation, Phoronix has a concrete confirmation from Valve of plans for a native Linux client for Steam, Valve's content delivery service. And it just keeps getting better for the site and its Linux-loving audience, as they say: "Valve does have some great plans for Linux beyond just shipping the client versions of Steam and their popular games on the Source Engine." Without getting too far into specifics, the author repeatedly effuses over Valve's embrace of Linux surpassing the commitment of other developers. Those prone to speculation will recall the recently confirmedValve hardware rumors, as it seems to bear noting that a specialized Linux client is one of the favored ways to power proprietary hardware systems these days. Here's a bit on Valve's strong commitment to the power of the penguin:
Valve and Gabe Newell's interest in Linux goes beyond what would be expected of any normal game company, but Valve is certainly a unique beast. Listening to Gabe Newell talk about Linux for hours made me wonder whether he was a former ex-Microsoft employee (where he actually did work in his pre-Valve days in the 90's) or the director of the Linux Foundation. His level of Linux interest and commitment was incredible while his negativity for Windows 8 and the future of Microsoft was stunning. In fact, as soon as I return to my office this weekend I plan to try out Windows 8 simply to see if it's as bad as Gabe states and because he's curious about my opinions of this latest Microsoft operating system.
On the verge of the first Guild Wars 2 beta event, the ArenaNet Blog offers new details on how the game worlds will operate in the upcoming MMORPG sequel, and how players will be allowed to transfer their characters. Here's word:
While you can change your home world, there is a limit of one world transfer every seven days per account and a charge of 1,800 gems for each transfer. A world transfer moves all of your existing characters to your new home world. Any subsequent characters you create will also play in this new home world.
When Guild Wars 2 launches, you will also have the option to play with your friends on another world with our free “guesting” feature. With guesting, your characters can play on any world where you have friends—with certain restrictions. For instance, you will not be able to participate in WvW while guesting.
An interview on Neogamr talks with Human Head about their recently revealed plans for a follow up to Rune, their hack-and-slash action game. Topics include previous attempts to return to this franchise, their vision for a new game, the possibility of a Kickstarter campaign, and more. The recent rumor that the company is no longer developing Prey 2 after a work stoppage goes unaddressed.
Sinister Design offers a new patch for Telepath RPG: Servants of God to update the action/RPG to version 1.816. Word is: "This patch balances out characters builds a little, giving unique perks to players who start out with a 12 in either Psy Power or Psy Defense. It also fixes a few bugs, makes it so block-pushing occurs without having to navigate a dialog box, and adds a new interaction to Rubat."
Hmm, seems like MrsBlue's job is being relocated, and we have to consider following it. I'm still a little too overwhelmed by the prospect to go into detail just yet, but I mention it because it's pretty hard to focus on anything else right at the moment. This is a very interesting development to say the least, and there's a lot to work through in figuring out what to do. Ah life, you are so complicated at times.