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Thursday, Dec 06, 2012

  

November NPD Results

The November report on U.S. game sales from NPD Group is out. The report and some analysis can be found VentureBeat, including a warning that this does not include the fast-growing non-physical side of the market, and another saying that at this stage in the console cycle, the most appropriate month to compare with is November 2005, showing the market has grown almost 100% in that time. As you might surmise, those warnings accompany some disappointing results:

Game hardware sales were $838.9 million, down 13 percent from $962.2 million a year ago.
Game software sales were $1.43 billion, down 11 percent from $1.60 billion a year ago.
Game accessory sales were $280.9 million, down 8 percent from $305.3 million a year ago.
If you count PC games, total software sales were $1.46 billion, down 11 percent from $1.65 billion a year ago.

Crysis 3 Release Dates

Crytek has announced that Crysis 3 will be released in North America on February 19, 2013, while the European launch of the first-person shooter sequel will follow on February 21st along with word that the release will be supported by a new online video series called "The 7 Wonders of Crysis 3" from Hollywood Director Albert Hughes (From Hell and Dead Presidents). Here's a teaser for that, and here's more:

Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and award-winning developer Crytek GmbH today announced a creative partnership with renowned filmmaker Albert Hughes to produce an online video series inspired by the upcoming sandbox shooter, Crysis 3. Entitled, “The 7 Wonders of Crysis 3”, this cinematic series will set the stage for this latest installment in the Crysis series and introduce weapons, enemies, and gameplay features new to the franchise. These cinematic shorts will also showcase the stunning visuals, dynamic environments of the urban rainforest and intense adaptive warfare fans can expect when Crysis 3 ships on February 19, 2013 in North America and on February 21 in Europe.

Continue here to read the full story.

Humble THQ Bundle Grows

Humble Mumble has word that the Humble THQ Bundle is expanding:

We just added more stuff to the Humble THQ Bundle! Feast your eyes on the action RPG Titan Quest and Path to War, the awesome mission pack for Red Faction: Armageddon!

If you haven’t picked up your Humble THQ Bundle yet, just set your price higher than the average to get Titan Quest and the Path to War mission pack. You’ll also get the original seven games, which includes: Saints Row: The Third, Darksiders, Company of Heroes, Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts, Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, Red Faction: Armageddon, and Metro 2033!

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: FAILs of November. Been a while. Thanks nin.

IGF Finalists on Steam

The Independent Games Festival announces that all of this year's finalists will be distributed through Valve's Steam service:

The organizers of the Independent Games Festival, the leading showcase for independent video games worldwide, have announced a new agreement with Valve for IGF 2013.

All IGF Main Competition finalists for this year's event will receive the opportunity to accept a distribution agreement for Steam, a leading platform for distribution in today's burgeoning independent gaming market.

This means every single Main Competition finalist in each of the jury-voted categories - the Seumas McNally Grand Prize, Excellence In Design, Excellence In Art, Excellence In Narrative, Technical Excellence, Excellence in Audio, and even the Nuovo Award - can work directly with Steam to bring their titles to PC, Mac and Linux.

This agreement comes as the 2013 Independent Games Festival rolls out its new, cutting-edge judging website back-end - including a dedicated mobile judge app, social-style discussion tools for games, and the ability for judges and contestants to easily connect to resolve technical problems.

Continue here to read the full story.

Creative Assembly Making Warhammer Games

SEGA and Creative Assembly announce a partnership to create games set in Games Workshop's fantasy-themed Warhammer universe. Embattled THQ has developed several Warhammer and Warhammer 40K games over the years (and is still working on Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium, theoretically at least), and there's no indication how this deal relates to THQ. Here's word, which says we should expect CA's first Warhammer game until 2014 at least:

SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced that Creative Assembly™, award-winning creator of the Total War™ series, and SEGA® Group have entered into a multi-title licensing deal with Games Workshop® to create videogames based in the Warhammer® universe of fantasy battles.

“With this year being our 25th anniversary” A new high-calibre development team has been set up at Creative Assembly’s UK studio to work alongside the existing Total War, Alien™ IP and Mobile teams on the first Warhammer title in the deal, scheduled to launch from beyond 2013.

“With this year being our 25th anniversary,” said Tim Heaton, Studio Director at Creative Assembly, “it seems fitting for us to embark on such a dream project with such a well-established partner. The incredibly rich and detailed Warhammer world is something we grew up with, and has left an indelible imprint on us as both designers and gamers.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Splinter Cell Film Moves Forward

Dark Horizons has news that plans for a film based on the Splinter Cell franchise are now confirmed, as New Regency is officially teaming with Ubisoft on the project (thanks Ant). Here's word:

Ubisoft Motion Pictures CEO Jean-Julien Baronnet says "with actor Tom Hardy attached and screenwriter Eric Warren Singer to write the script, Ubisoft Motion Pictures will lead the development with the support of New Regency to bring the franchise to the big screen in a dynamic way.”

This is the second deal between Ubisoft and New Regency to adapt one of their high profile franchises. Two months ago the companies agreed to develop and produce a film adaptation of the acclaimed "Assassin’s Creed" video game series which Michael Fassbender has signed on to star in and produce.

NCsoft: Nothing Had Been Decided on Selling City of Heroes

'Unethical' game closure is an article on the Korea Times where a fantasy author complains about the closure of City of Heroes, NCsoft's MMORPG (thanks Ant and Krnl_Mandrake via Slashdot). The article focuses on the backlash the move has inspired, though there is a quote from an NCsoft spokesperson offering a shred of hope for fans of the superhero game:

NCsoft’s Seoul-based spokesman Kim Yo-han said that terminating the service was a “strategic decision,” adding that “nothing had been decided on selling the game or other action afterwards.”

According to local industry analysts, the game has been bringing in 3 billion won ($2.76 million) every quarter. “It is hard to comprehend what NCsoft means when they said they closed it for strategic reasons,” one analyst said.

End of Nations Status Report

The End of Nations Forums have an update on the status of this MMORTS game in light of news of layoffs at developer Petroglyph (thanks IncGamers). They are still moving "full steam ahead with the game," saying that development has been brought in-house at Trion Worlds for completion, though it's not clear if the development shuffle caused the Petroglyph cuts, or was the result of them. Here's word:

Hey guys, I wanted to give you a status update on End of Nations and let you know that we’re still moving full steam ahead with the game.

In light of the recent announcement around postponement of the End of Nations open beta, we wanted to let you know what we have been hard at work getting End of Nations to the quality level it needs to be at. We are committed to delivering the top-notch product we know this game can be, and we are looking forward to welcoming you back into the testing phase of the game to help get it there.

To give you a little sneak peek into what we are working on, some of the changes you’ll notice will include improvements that ease the learning curve for new players, a revamped UI system, advancements in player strategy, and most importantly a more polished overall game.

As End of Nations was reaching the pre-launch phase in its lifecycle, we officially brought the game development in house to Trion Worlds and will complete the development internally. Our team has been hard at work implementing many changes based on your feedback from the beta events. Keep checking back for more updates as we are looking forward to showing off some of the cool new things the team has been working on.

Intel "Committed" to Socketed CPUs for "The Foreseeable Future"

Intel has reaffirmed is commitment to providing socketed CPUs for the enthusiast PC market for the "foreseeable future" in response to reports the company was planning on moving towards soldered CPUs (thanks Parallax Abstraction). Here's a statement Intel provided to Maximum PC:

"Intel remains committed to the growing desktop enthusiast and channel markets, and will continue to offer socketed parts in the LGA package for the foreseeable future for our customers and the Enthusiast DIY market," Intel spokesman Daniel Snyder told Maximum PC. "However, Intel cannot comment on specific long-term product roadmap plans at this time, but will disclose more details later per our normal communication process."

World of Warcraft Hotfixes

The World of Warcraft Website now features a new list of hotfixes for Blizzard's MMORPG since the release of the new version 5.1. The list of server-side fixes is very extensive, with loads of balance changes and bug fixes.

Dishonored DLC Trailer

The Bethesda Blog has a new trailer from Dunwall City Trials, the Dishonored DLC recently announced for release next week. Here's word on what this brings to the stealthy assassination game:

Dunwall City Trials will include 10 challenge maps that will test and track your combat, stealth and mobility skills. Creatively combine your supernatural abilities, weapons and gadgets to eliminate as many targets as possible, fight off waves of tallboys, guards, weepers and thugs, or take out targets in a non-stop run of drop assassinations. Dunwall City Trials also features a new set of achievements and trophies as well as a global online leaderboard.

Accomodating the trailer is Dan Bull’s “Dishonored Rap” track. You can listen to the full track on his YouTube Channel.

Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

I was bold with my football picks last week, and paid the price (and for the record, Creston was actually 10-6 for his previous week's picks). The outcomes were Jivaro 12-4, Verno, Creston and Cutter 11-5, Rigs 10-5, Blue 9-7, and an even bolder Batman at 6-10.

This week I'm going with Broncos, Redskins, Bengals, Rams, Buccaneers, Falcons, Chiefs, Steelers, Colts, Jaguars, Vikings, 49ers, Seahawks, Giants, Packers, and Patriots.

Bold Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Rawr.
Effing Worms Xmas.
Links: 19 People Who Are Having A Way Worse Day Than You.
Stories: "TRON 3" Script News.
Media: Star Trek: Into Darkness Announcement Video. Thanks nin.
Police Motorcyclist Forgets About Speed Bump.
NASA Releases Stunning Animation of Earth at Night. Thanks Cutter.
Follow-up: McAfee Could be Deported to Belize.
Predator Returns.
"Skyfall" Becomes Biggest UK Film Ever.



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