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Thursday, Jul 19, 2012

  

The WarZ Announced

A new interview on IGN talks with the developers of The War Z, a zombie MMORPG in development at Hammerpoint Interactive for release this year. They discuss various aspects of how gameplay works as well as their business model, which will involve a one-time purchase and microtransactions. They also ask the obvious questions of how the success of the DayZ mod has influenced them, and here's part of the response to that: "So short answer – while we began developing our game before DayZ, we've been encouraged by fact that DayZ has become so popular. And yes, of course some of our latest design decisions were influenced by the DayZ community forums." The game is currently in the alpha stage, and they say that closed beta testing should begin soon, which will be offered to some of those who sign up and to all of those who pre-order the game.

Battlefield 3: Armored Kill Trailer

This trailer shows off gameplay from Armored Kill, the next DLC pack for Battlefield 3. The clip includes various shots of vehicular combat in tanks and trucks as well as aircraft. The clip concludes reaffirming this will be released in September. Continue here to read the full story.

Borderlands 2 Interview

An interview on IncGamers.com talks with Brian Martel of Gearbox Software about Borderlands 2, following their opportunity to play the upcoming role-playing shooter sequel. Topics include whether they ever need to dial back the "crazy" elements of the game, improved character development over the first game, co-op support, and more.

On Sale

Steam summer sale day eight.

  • Alan Wake on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Fallout: New Vegas on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Gratuitous Tank Battles on Steam. Save 66%.
  • Indie Bundle VIII on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Krater on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Plants vs. Zombies GOTY Edition on Steam. Save 75%.
  • Sniper Elite V2 on Steam. Save 50%.
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition on Steam. Save 60%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The evolution of PC games. Thanks nin via Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

Ubisoft Financials - Ghost Recon Online Open Beta Nears

Here is Ubisoft's sales report for their fiscal 2012-2013 first quarter. They declare sales of €131 million (USD $160M), which is higher than they had projected and a full 27% improvement over the same period last year. In detail they explain that Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Future Soldier has outperformed expectations, and while they saw a decline in back catalog sales, this was in part offset by growth in online back-catalog sales. They say their future plans involve "the arrival of the new generation of consoles and the ramp-up of the Free-to-Play segment," and also outline a new loan agreement that covers the next five years. There is also word in there to expect open beta testing of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online this quarter.

RuneScape Claims 200M Accounts

There are now enough RuneScape accounts for one out of every 30 persons on Earth to play the game, according to Jagex, who say their free-to-play massively multiplayer online adventure game now boasts over 200 million registered users who have logged over 443 billion minutes (seven billion hours if you favor clarity over excess) of game time since its launch in 2001. Here's word on how they are celebrating this milestone: "All residents of the RuneScape world are welcome to take part in the in-game celebrations that will be taking place over the next three days. A brand new demon has been discovered, with the health of 200 million hit points! This epic demon can only be defeated with a unique weapon developed specifically for this landmark celebration, and successful demon slayers will be rewarded with a unique item."

Heroes of Newerth Adding "All Heroes Free" Mode

S2 Games announces they are about to make their free-to-play MOBA that much more free, as Heroes of Newerth will give all players free access to all 107 of the game's previously released heroes as of tomorrow's version 2.6.11 patch. As it stands, players are offered a pool of 16 free players that rotate on a weekly basis, with other heroes available for purchase, and going forward after the new patch goes live, they will still be offering paid premium early access to for the first four weeks after a new hero is released. Here's the announcement:

Starting tomorrow, every player will have immediate access to the entire released hero pool for the award-winning Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) title Heroes of Newerth (HoN), developed and published by S2 Games. Making Heroes of Newerth a truly free-to-own game, the All Heroes Free game model will level the HoN playing field by allowing any user to own all of the heroes and play any game mode at zero cost.

“We are very excited to announce All Heroes Free, which gives every player access to our ever-growing hero pool,” said S2 Games co-founder and CEO Marc DeForest. “After months of internal discussions and monitoring community feedback, it’s clear that All Heroes Free is the perfect next step for HoN.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Fortnite To Use Online DRM?

Fortnite may use always-on online DRM akin to Diablo III's, reports Rock, Paper, Shotgun based on an interview with Tanya Jessen, producer on Epic's upcoming Minecraft-style game. "It’s gonna be really dependent on gameplay, and it’s also dependent on platform – the method of getting updates and stuff like that. So I can’t say for sure today one way or another [whether or not we're going to use it]," she tells them. "Fortnite is a game that’s being developed as a co-op experience primarily. That’s our number one focus. This is a game you’re gonna want to play with your friends, and it’s most fun with your friends. So whatever we decide to do there is gonna be more relevant to the most fun experience you can have with your friends [than it is to piracy]. But I can’t nail that down today." All that said about co-op, she does add that: "Single-player’s absolutely gonna be super fun."

Fez Ports Coming?

The Polytron Website announces that the patch for Fez that was pulled shortly after release is now once again available on Xbox LIVE, explaining that "the save file delete bug only happens to less than a percent of players." They say that due to the economics of Microsoft's patching process they will not be patching the patch: "It’s a shitty numbers game to be playing for sure, but as a small independent, paying so much money for patches makes NO SENSE AT ALL. especially when you consider the alternative. Had FEZ been released on steam instead of XBLA, the game would have been fixed two weeks after release, at no cost to us. And if there was an issue with that patch, we could have fixed that right away too!" Speaking of Steam, this tweet from Polytron strongly implies have plans bring the puzzle/platformer to other systems soon enough: "but HEY! only a few months left to our XBLA exclusivity!" Thanks nin.

PES 2013 Demo Next Week

This trailer announces plans for a demo for PES 2013, the next installment in the association football/soccer series. The clip concludes saying to expect the demo on July 25th in Europe, and since it will be downloadable, this may be the date for a North American demo as well. Thanks VG247. Continue here to read the full story.

Blizzard on Diablo III

The Diablo III Forums have a Message from Mike Morhaime reflecting on Diablo III in the two months since the action/RPG sequel launched. He recaps and explains the game's growing pains after launch, and goes on to discuss its future, saying they are working on a way to make the game playable without playing Diablo tycoon on the auction house, reducing issues related to the game's always-on requirement, and they are "also working on a gameplay system that will provide players who have max-level, high-powered characters new goals to strive for as an alternative to the 'item hunt'." Here's a bit:

You’ve seen some of that work already in patch 1.0.3, and you’ll see additional improvements with patch 1.0.4. On the game balance front, this update will contain changes designed to further deliver on the team’s goal of promoting “build diversity,” with buffs to many rarely used, underpowered class abilities. Another topic we’ve seen actively discussed is the fact that better, more distinct Legendary items are needed. We agree. Patch 1.0.4 will also include new and improved Legendary items that are more interesting, more powerful, and more epic in ways you probably won’t be expecting.

We’re also working on a number of interface updates, including social improvements that will allow players to more easily view their friends’ achievements, more quickly join games, and more efficiently communicate with each other. In addition, we’ll be making updates to the auction house in the future to provide players with better information through tooltips and notices, offer improved search functionality, and more.

Shadowrun Online Kickstarter

This Kickstarter Page seeks funding for Shadowrun Online, a browser and tablet MMOG from Cliffhanger Productions based on Shadowrun. Here's word:

Shadowrun Online is the second Kickstarter video game project set in the unique world of Shadowrun. The first project, Shadowrun Returns, focused primarily on providing a great single player adventure experience, while Shadowrun Online - like the pen & paper version - is all about experiencing the awesome world and gritty atmosphere of Shadowrun together with friends. Fluid co-op gameplay and intense player vs player faction wars set in a persistent and evolving world - this is what Shadowrun Online is about!

And the best part is: In Shadowrun Online the collective actions of players will not only determine the fate of the online game world, but our unique player-driven plotline will enable you to determine the future of the whole Shadowrun Universe! Events players trigger will also cross over into the pen and paper storyline - so you can shape the future of the Shadowrun Universe!

Dishonored Interview

An interview on Eurogamer chats with Viktor "Victor" Antonov of Zenimax about Dishonored, Arkane's upcoming action/stealth game. He talks about the state of writing in games in general, saying: "It's been a poor, poor five years for fiction in the video game industry." He also decries a lack of variety in the industry: "There have been too many sequels, and too many established IPs that have been ruling the market. And a lot of them are war games. And they're great projects and great entertainment, but there's a lack of variety today," he tells them. "So, when you step out of this established genre, people cannot grasp it, or the press tries to find a match." He seems to suggest the solution to this lack of variety in games would be more "historical [sic] realistic" games like theirs: "And too bad there are not; I was expecting there to be 20 games like this."

Darkblood Online Open Beta

Open beta testing is now underway for the western version of Darkblood Online, adding new controller support since the closed beta for this free-to-play action/RPG. "We listen to our fans! They wanted Joystick and gamepad support and we made it happen. We had such a blast with them during closed beta and all the amazing gameplay videos they created, we're really looking forward to working with their talents," said Philip Yun, CEO, Outspark. "Many thanks to developer JCR Soft and licensor GameHi for helping us bring this truly electrifying game to the West. Dark Blood, no doubt, will reign as the free-to-play fighting game for those seeking the ultimate adrenaline rush!"

Borderlands 2 Campaign 58 Hours

The campaign in Borderlands 2 lasts about 58 hours, Gearbox’s VP of Marketing Steve Gibson tells GamerZines. "What we like to think about it is, Borderlands is a hobby. Some guide guys just did a playthrough of Borderlands 2 and they reported back to us that it takes 58 hours to play through the campaign – and that’s just one playthrough with one character," he says. "So the depth with which people can get into that…Yeah we look at it as a hobby, and that isn’t even counting the new Badass Points system and how that’ll affect every character you do. We want it to feel like you get more for your money, we’re happy for people to pay their money once and feel that they get ongoing value." Thanks VG247.

Morning Previews

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

Out of the Blue

Sign of the times around here. Today's weather calls for a high temperature of 84°F, and all the talk is about how the heat is easing off. And joking aside, this is indeed a relief. And I confess, that the gradual warming trend since we've lived in this house has finally hit a breaking point for me, and I am now in favor of putting an air conditioner in the living room. MrsBlue remains resolute in this regard, so I have to give her credit for being tougher than I, and must come up with some sort of campaign to convince her this would be for the best.

Campaign Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Liquid.
Links: Batman on Film.
Thank goodness the authorities have busted these hardened front-yard garden criminals.
Stories: TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman is loving Michael Bay's movie - will fans?
'The Dark Knight Rises' Tickets- Scalpers Asking $100.
Images: Oh, the Places You’ll Go (in Skyrim).
The Comic-Con 2012 Cosplay Gallery. Thanks dakslf.
Media: Richard Dreyfuss Laughing.
Amazon Yesterday Shipping. Thanks nin.



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