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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

  

Activision & Electronic Arts Settle Modern Warfare War

Activision and Electronic Arts have reached an out-of-court settlement in their portion of the legal battle over EA's hiring of Jason West and Vince Zampella, reports Bloomberg (thanks Develop). The case involving the two former bosses at Call of Duty developer Infinity Ward is still scheduled to be heard in court, though the attorney for the pair suggests today's settlement reflects on that case. "Activision dragged EA into the case hoping to distract from Activision’s wretched conduct towards West and Zampella," Robert Schwartz, a lawyer for the two developers, said in an e- mailed statement. "In dismissing EA today, Activision admits that it was never going to convince anyone that EA conspired with West and Zampella to breach their contracts or did anything else improper."

PC DiRT Showdown NOT Delayed

Codemasters announces a new North American ship date for the console editions of DiRT Showdown, the upcoming rally racing sequel. They say the game is now due on June 12 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, saying: "Both Codemasters and Warner Bros believe the move to June, from its original May 29 date, will provide the game with a clearer release window and create a greater opportunity for success at North American retail outlets." In a rare twist, this is a delay that does not Windows PC gamers, as word is: "The PC edition is unaffected and holds its global digital release date of next Thursday, May 24, and will be available from Steam."

DC Universe Online DLC Next Month

The DC Universe Online Website announces The Last Laugh, a fourth DLC pack due next month for the PC and PlayStation 3 editions of the superhero MMORPG. Word is: "The Last Laugh will pit players against each other in high-intensity multiplayer brawls, feature an all-new weapon, and introduce new Light-Powered Legends PvP characters." This will also feature some prominent voice actors: "The DLC pack features returning voices of some of the biggest stars of DC Universe, including voiceover veterans Mark Hamill (The Joker), Adam Baldwin (Superman) and Arleen Sorkin (Harley Quinn)."

Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter Demo & DLC Released

The Steam Page for Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter now offers a playable demo of this first-person shooter remake, a bit of a surprise since the game was released over two years ago (thanks Frans). Typical of demos on Steam, there's no word on what it does, but anyone with a Steam account can try the game, and if they like it, it's currently on sale for 75% off. This may be related to the release of Legend of the Beast, a new DLC pack for the game, which is now available on Get Games and Steam.

38 Studios Missed Payment; Asking for Cash

BostonHerald.com has word that The Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. is deferring until Monday any decision on how best to deal with apparently cash-strapped developer 38 Studios, who are already carrying $75 million in debt to the state. Having met with 38 Studios about the matter, they will now look to use this extra time to consult with industry experts, with Gov. Lincoln Chafee saying, "we’re making a good decision by not making a decision," adding: "There’s not a great pool of advisers in this industry, but we’ll find them." The report says the governor confirmed that the company missed a $1.125 million payment to the state scheduled for May 1st, and is now asking for more money. 38 Studios founder Schilling refused to answer questions about this for reporters after his meeting, saying: "My priority right now is to get back to my company. My priority right now is to get back to my teammates." Thanks Nomaar.

Indie Royale All-Charity Pack

Indie Royale announces The All-Charity Pack, as all proceeds from the sale will go to charities hand-picked by the developers of the included games. Here's the lowdown:

Those who purchase the All-Charity Lightning Pack will receive Osmos, a dreamlike physics puzzler, Blueberry Garden, an interactive fairytale, The Shivah, a rabbinical 2D adventure game, and the crazed, quirky action of Copenhagen Games Collective’s B.U.T.T.O.N. Those who pay $7 or more will also receive three albums worth of delicious chiptunes from three of the genre’s top composers.

Might & Magic Heroes VI Patched

The uPlay Forums have word on a new patch that's now available for Might & Magic Heroes VI to update the strategy sequel to version 1.4. The new version re-adds the Christmas Archipelago map, adds new features to the editor, and enables a Custom Map Exchange feature to allow players to download missing maps in the lobby. The patch is mirrored on AtomicGamer, Gamer's Hell, and The Patches Scrolls.

New Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Beta & Trailer

Sins of a Solar Empire Forums have the change log from beta three of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion, the upcoming space strategy expansion. The beta is open to those who preorder the game, and this trailer introduces the Vasari race found in the new beta. Continue here to read the full story.

New X-Motor Racing

A new version 1.375 of X-Motor Racing is now available, updating this indie racing simulation with a few improvements. As always, a playable demo is available for the new version if you'd like a test drive. Here are the patch notes: Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Ultimate Video Game Set-Up.

Tribes: Ascend Passes 1M Downloads

Hi-Rez Studios announces that the client for Tribes: Ascend has been downloaded more than one million times since the launch of the multiplayer shooter sequel a bit over a month ago. "We’re thrilled that over 1 million gamers have discovered the fast-paced and skill-based gameplay of Tribes," said Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios Chief Operating Officer. "It is truly the player support of the title that has driven the population growth and fuels our team to deliver updates."

Saints Row 4 Outed?

The LinkedIn Profile for David Payne seems to reveal the next installment in the Saints Row series of open world action games, as it lists his current positions as: "Lead Prop & Weapon Artist, Saints Row 4 - Volition, Inc." There's nothing more at the moment, but this suggests production on the next Saints Row game may already be underway. Thanks supererogatory.

Mass Effect 3 MP DLC Revealed?

Kotaku reports on a since-removed post on the Hong Kong PlayStation site that reveals apparent plans for a multiplayer DLC pack for Mass Effect 3, BioWare's action/RPG sequel. Before the Adjustment Bureau did its thing they snagged the following description:

The Rebellion Multiplayer Expansion opens two new fronts against the Reapers: Firebase Jade's jungle reservoir and Firebase Goddess on Thessia. In-game reinforcement packs now include three new weapons as well as equipment, consumables, and six new classes: Quarian Engineer and Infiltrator, Vorcha Soldier and Sentinel, Phoenix Adept and Vanguard. The battle continues – hold the line!

Dreadline Unveiled

This teaser trailer promotes Dreadline, an upcoming game from Eerie Canal, a startup formed by veterans of Harmonix and Irrational Games. Here's what they have to say about the project at this time: "We’ve been working on it for about 6 months now, and it’s starting to look really cool. (You can see it in the last few seconds of our trailer.) Our Titanic level is pretty playable, but not polished yet to a point that we want to show people. You can control your team of monsters, run around the ship, and just generally rip people to shreds. It’s pretty awesome. We still have a long way to go as far as content, more characters, and finishing up some of the game systems. We’re really pumped about where we are with it right now though, and can’t wait to release some more screenshots and videos." There's an interview for the game on RPG Codex that says the game will be released for Windows PCs in the third quarter of this year and another Day Z interview on PC Gamer.

Tex Murphy Kickstarter

Here's a new Kickstarter Campaign for Tex Murphy - Project Fedora, a sixth game in the series of sci-fi, noir detective adventures. The project is a reunion for series creators Chris Jones and Aaron Conners, and the fundraiser is off to a roaring start, having collected almost a third of its $450,00 goal in under 24 hours (thanks Warren and Todd). There's an interview with Chris Jones on Adventure Classic Gaming discussing the project, and here's part of the pitch:

Long-time Tex fans may be curious if the new storyline will pick up where Overseer (and its infamous cliffhanger) left off. The short answer is YES, but this game will be just as enjoyable for people who have never played the earlier games. While we can't give too many details yet, just be prepared for an incredible opening sequence!

Project Fedora promises to be the best Tex Murphy adventure ever - even better than the last three Tex Murphy games (Under a Killing Moon, The Pandora Directive, Overseer), which were met with critical acclaim, won "Adventure Game of the Year" awards, and are consistently ranked as some of the best adventure games of all time.

DayZ Modification for Arma II

We've gotten a bunch of notes over the past week for the DayZ Modification for Arma II, Bohemia Interactive Studios' military shooter sequel (thanks LittleMe and Slippery_Jim). The requirements call for Arma II: Combined Operations, as Arma 2 free does not support modifications. Here's word on the mod's zombie-killing action:

Realistic "Zombies" with custom animations - These once human creatures will act and behave as if they have a heighten sense of hearing and smell but less sight, on top of that they use motion captured animations such as walking and eating from your unconscious body. If you look into any built up area you'll see them walking around waiting for their next victim which dares to venture in.

New weapons and vehicles! - Ever felt like you needed a Crossbow? Or maybe a less military like weapon? If you have then this is perfect for you as we have both of these created to high quality standards all ready for your use in this wasteland. On top of that you can even pick up the bolts fired from the Crossbow to reuse! Not only that we also have created custom vehicles which can be repaired and ridden around to show the world what you're made of!

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Got to play a bit more Diablo III last night with my pal MrKawfy, as we dueled both the monsters of hell and the server outages from hell. The game is loads of fun, but the connectivity woes did nothing to discourage the idea that requiring a persistent connection for a single-player game is an absolutely terrible idea from the player's perspective. I guess the only surprise is that so many people were saying just that long before the game's release that it's hard to believe Activision Blizzard would not have been more prepared for the launch in an attempt to prove the skeptics wrong. Well, whatever they did failed. Score one for the skeptics. Here's hoping they straighten this mess up soon.

Messy Links: Thanks Ant and Mike Martinez and Acleacius.
Play: Monsterland - Junior vs Senior.
Trigger Path.
Science: Bipedal Robot Displays Impressive Sense of Balance.
Images: Baby Sleep Positions.
Media: 10 Other Ways Portals Can Be Used. Thanks Digg.
Epic Time-Lapse Map of Europe from 1000 AD.
Teachers Dancing Behind Students.
Auction: Custom Gaming Computer, designed and built by top modders.
The Funnies: xkcd: Felidae.



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