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Archived News:

Friday, Aug 31, 2012

  

PlanetSide 2 NDA Ends

We'll probably be hearing more about PlanetSide 2 soon, as John Smedley tweets that the NDA has lifted for the MMOFPS sequel (thanks Blahman), saying simply: "The NDA for the Planetside 2 beta is now officially lifted." He also clarifies once and again that this does not mean they are about to release the game.

ShootMania Storm's Two Free Modes

Ubisoft announces that ShootMania Storm will include two modes that will be free to all players when Nadeo's first-person shooter is released:

Creators of the TrackMania and ShootMania franchises, Nadeo, is proud to announce the next step in their mission to bring ShootMania Storm to the forefront of eSports and competitive gaming.

At launch, the online PC multiplayer first-person shooter, ShootMania Storm, will give open access to two game modes: Elite, which is the preferred mode for competitors, and Royal, the fun and accessible last-player standing mode. Gamers will be able to download the modes for free and compete with no limits.

"It was very important for us to make this announcement at PAX Prime, shortly before the IPL ShootMania tournament finals, in order to thank the teams, the shoutcasters, the managers, the editors and everybody who took part in making the ShootMania community so great since the start of the beta," said Florent Castelnerac, Founder and CEO of Nadeo. "This announcement is just a part of a much larger development of ManiaPlanet, and we will be able to show you more of our commitment to eSports in the months to come."

The International 2012 Begins

Valve announces the commencement of The International 2012, their second annual Dota 2 championship. The festivities are being broadcast through this page. Word is:

The event takes place today through Sunday at Benaroya Hall in Seattle, WA.

The tournament is being broadcast worldwide, free of charge, with play-by-play commentary in multiple languages, the ability to view the games from multiple angles, and more - all in full HD quality - from a dedicated client (available here: http://www.dota2.com/international/mainevent/watch/). A browser-based broadcast of the action is also available.

Meanwhile, those in the Seattle area this weekend attending PAX Prime may attend The International, free of charge with a PAX Badge (based upon space availability in the Hall).

F1 2012 Video Diary

A new video developer diary from F1 2012 discusses the improvements in the next installment in the Formula One racing series that's due for release in three weeks. Word is: "The 'Improvements' developer diary details the team's objectives to 'break new boundaries' and 'match real life' as it introduces a wide range of new features and improvements that star in the game. Advances in physics, weather, audio and more are introduced alongside in-game and real-life footage in the video." Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Will The Blue Moon Really Be Blue? Thanks Mike Martinez.

City of Heroes to End; Paragon Studios Closed

The City of Heroes Website has news that NCsoft is closing developer Paragon Studios and plans to shut down City of Heroes by the end of this year, in spite of the page's title bar still calling this "The World's Most Popular Superpowered MMO" (thanks McCleod). Here's word:

This morning we announced that Paragon Studios will be taking to the skies of City of Heroes for the last time.

In a realignment of company focus and publishing support, NCsoft has made the decision to close Paragon Studios. Effective immediately, all development on City of Heroes will cease and we will begin preparations to sunset the world's first, and best, Super Hero MMORPG before the end of the year. As part of this, all recurring subscription billing and Paragon Market purchasing will be discontinued effective immediately. We will have more information regarding a detailed timeline for the cessation of services and what you can expect in game in the coming weeks.

The team here at Paragon deserves special praise for all that we have accomplished over the last 5+ years. These developers are some of the most creative and talented people in the gaming industry. By now, we've all been given this news internally, but to anyone who may be reading this message after the fact; know that your hard work and dedication has not gone unappreciated or unnoticed. To any potential studios looking to grow your team; hire these people. You won't regret it.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gotham City Impostors Goes Free-to-Play

WBIE announces that Gotham City Impostors is now a free-to-play game, and Steam offers downloads of the new F2P client for the multiplayer shooter, which now incorporates Steamworks support. Word is: "Those who download the Gotham City Impostors Free To Play via the Steam client will have access to the original game, as well as all DLC packs, which includes new maps, weapons, mascots and more. Players will also experience join-in-progress matchmaking that ensures gamers are placed into populated matches."

Torchlight 2 Next Month

The Runic Games Forums now offer the promised announcement of a release date for Torchlight 2, saying the action/RPG sequel is due on September 20th (thanks Mr. Tact). According to Travis Baldree, well see a more official announcement about this later today.

Shattered Haven Announced

Arcen Games announces Shattered Haven, which they describe as "a 2D top-down action adventure game for 1-2 players with some roguelike elements sprinkled in" planned for release on Windows and OS X this year with a beta to begin next month. This trailer offers a look and they are currently in Seattle to show off the game to those assembled for PAX Prime. More on this can be found on the Arcen Games Website, Facebook, and Twitter. Here's word:

Set in a world enveloped by the roaming Grays and various other violent creatures, players will have to rely on resourcefulness and quick-thinking to solve puzzles in frantic environments. Utilize tools, traps, and weapons to clear all of the surrounding Grays across each of the 100+ hand-crafted levels.

Along with a main campaign filled with twists and multiple endings, the game will also include dozens (if not hundreds) of bonus levels to play, a level editor, and more.

Command & Conquer the Ultimate Collection Announced

EA announces Command & Conquer the Ultimate Collection, a new bundle celebrating 17 years of Command & Conquer games by bundling 17 of them on one disc, all updated to operate under Windows 7 and Windows Vista. The bundle will be released this fall digitally and at retail, and in addition to all of those games, purchasers will also get early access to the beta for the new C&C game expected next year. "As long time fans of the Command & Conquer franchise, we are excited to be able to help celebrate the legacy of the series with this compilation. Our passion for this fantastic portfolio is helping drive us as we deliver the next great Command & Conquer experience next year," said Jon Van Caneghem, Vice President and General Manager, Electronic Arts.

Guild Wars 2 Bans; Sales Success

The Guild Wars 2 Facebook Page announces ArenaNet is temporarily curtailing their own sales of Guild Wars 2 to prevent the success of their MMORPG sequel from overwhelming the system (thanks nin), though the game is still being sold by everyone else. Word is: "Effective immediately we have disabled sales via buy.guildwars2.com. To be clear, box and digital sales are still available via our retail partners. We are tracking our concurrency closely while expanding our infrastructure. We’ll re-enable first-party digital sales as soon as we feel that we can do so safely." Also, Guildwars2 reddit has word on an exploit in the game (thanks Eurogamer), saying this has resulted in permanent bans, though they are offering amnesty for those who request it:

We also believe and respect that people make mistakes. This is in fact the first example of a widespread exploit in the game. With this in mind, we are offering the members of our community who exploited the game a second chance to repair the damage that has been done.

Thus, just this once, we will offer to convert permanent bans to 72-hour suspensions. Should those involved want to accept this offer of reinstatement, contact us on our support website--support.guildwars2.com—and submit a ticket through the "Ask a Question" tab. Please use the subject heading of "Karma Weapons Exploit Appeal", then confirm in the body of your ticket that you will delete any items/currency that you gained from the exploit. You should submit only one ticket. Once you have done so, we will lower your ban to 72 hours, and following your re-activation we will check your account to make sure that you have honored your commitment. If that commitment is not honored, we will re-terminate the account.

This is a first and final warning. Moving forward, please make sure you that when you see an exploitable part of the game, you report it and do not attempt to benefit from it.

State of The Secret World

The Secret World Website now has an August "state of the game" letter from Funcom's Ragnar Tørnquist, as the senior producer on The Secret World offers reassurances about the future of their MMORPG, in spite of a rocky launch that's resulted in staff cuts. He discusses the need for layoffs and goes on to emphasize that the conspiratorial MMORPG still has a bright future:

How do we plan on doing this? First off, we're going to stick with our monthly release schedule. Like we've said before, we feel it's important to give our paying customers new content and features every single month. Our second issue -- Digging Deeper -- has unfortunately been delayed by two weeks, due to the restructuring of the team, but issue #3 (title to be announced, but there are cats and it ties in with our Halloween event) will be released on time.

Secondly, we'll be polishing, fixing and streamlining the game based on feedback from our community, in order to make The Secret World even more inviting to new players. We won't mess with the core game, but we will continue to improve the experience -- visually and mechanically -- and this will certainly benefit players both new and old.

Borderlands 2 Trailer

This video from Borderlands 2 introduces us to the current state of the world of Pandora in Gearbox Software's upcoming first-person shooter/RPG sequel. Apparently Claptrap is in for an oil change, as this time around the clip is narrated by Stewie Sir Hammerlock who discusses the game's environments, characters, weapons, enemies, badassery, and more, in very extensive detail. Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Tech Bits

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy birthday Hudson the wonder dog, who turns 12 years old today. I'll pick up something special for the pups for dinner to celebrate the occasion, and maybe give her another bath to help ensure a less scratchy birthday.

R.I.P.: Hip-hop mogul Chris Lighty dies in NYC at 44.

Wonderful Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Pour the Fish.
Stories: A Movie About Game Console Wars?
Science: How Video Games Could Improve Our Vision. Thanks j.c.f.
NASA's hot radiation mission.
Media: 6 player networked - Starship bridge simulator game. NSFW.
The Funnies: Twaggies.



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