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Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012

  

Assassin's Creed III DLC and Sales Record

Steam News announces the release of The Hidden Secrets Pack for Assassin's Creed III, adding new content to the stealthy assassination sequel. Word is: "The Hidden Secrets Pack adds three extra missions, taking you from the Lost Mayan Ruins to the high seas. Every success is rewarded with an in-game weapon! You'll also receive two single-player skins including the original uniform of the Captain of the Aquila and the traditional Colonial Assassin, along with two multiplayer characters including the fearsome Redcoat and the deadly Sharpshooter." Ubisoft also announces AC3 is their fastest selling game of all time:

Today, Ubisoft® announced that Assassin's Creed® III is the fastest-selling game in the company's history, with total sell-through topping the 7 million mark worldwide just one month after its release.

Fans have wasted no time exploring the game's open world, and getting involved in the action-packed story. In solo missions alone, gamers have accumulated more than 82 centuries of gaming time and committed more than 3 billion in-game assassinations. The deadly action continues in the multiplayer, where more than twice as many gamers have joined the multiplayer mode compared to Assassin's Creed Revelations. To date, more than 250 million assassinations have been performed in more than 5 billion multiplayer sessions.

"The reception for Assassin's Creed III has been exceptional, and this success has positioned the game among the best sellers of the 2012 holiday season" said Tony Key, senior vice president of sales and marketing, Ubisoft. "We knew we had something special on our hands when Assassin's Creed III was launched, and we're really excited and proud to see how much fans are enjoying the latest installment in the franchise."

Steam Community Market Beta

Valve announces the launch of beta testing of the Steam Community Market, allowing players to buy and sell virtual items for games played on Steam. To begin with this will only involve Team Fortress 2 consumables and tools, including paints, keys, and crates, but it may expand to other games following the beta period. There are other stipulations, such as the requirement of Steam Guard, Steam Wallet, and a 5% per transaction fee. All the details are provided in this FAQ.

Ships Ahoy - Ace of Spades

Jagex announces the release of Ace of Spades, the voxel-based shooting and construction game. The game is available on Steam, and here's word from their announcement:

Say hello to the creative shooter. Ace of Spades is the first-person shooter that lets you create your battleground, destroy it, then create it again. Up to 32 players choose from 4 unique classes and jump into team-based, multiplayer mayhem across an endlessly evolving battlefield, to construct, destruct and take out the opposition. It’s like war, only better.

BioShock Infinite Alternate Box Art Vote

A Message from Ken Levine has word that BioShock Infinite box will come with a reversible cover, offering the chance to improve upon the default version designed to appeal to fratboys. Irrational Games is even providing the opportunity to vote on your favorite choice, and says they will also present even more alternate covers that players will be able to download for free and print out to customize the box for the upcoming first-person shooter sequel. In a related note, there's an interview about the game with Ken Levine on IGN where he discusses the project, including the reasons they dropped plans for multiplayer support.

Mass Effect 4 in 2014-2015?

Eurogamer.net has word that BioWare has stated Mass Effect 4 is to be expected somewhere from late 2014 to mid 2015, citing information in an article on GamerSyndrome, ignoring the warning it begins with that states: "This posting has inaccuracies in it and we ask that you don’t quote from this article or the news found within this page until everything is sorted out." Going along with that, Eurogamer has both a confirmation and a denial from EA that the speaker in this case was Mike Gamble, who apparently also said the date is so vague because the game has only been in full development for a month or two.

Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy Version 2.0

Battlefront.com now offers sales of a version 2.0 update for Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy. In asking $10.00 for this, they stress that rather than a patch, this converts the game and any installed modules to all the graphical and gameplay enhancements of the advanced CMx2 v2.00 engine. This page has a complete rundown on all the changes in the new engine.

Crysis 3 Trailer

This trailer, titled "Hell of a Town," is the first in Hollywood Director Albert Hughes' promised series on "The 7 Wonders of Crysis 3," Crytek's first-person shooter sequel (thanks VG247). Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: The Coffee Addiction. Thanks Ant.

Free Duke Nukem 3D Kicks Off GOG.com Sale

GOG.com kicks off the holiday season by offering Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition for PC and Mac as a free download for all. The free release of the classic shooter marks the launch of their 2012 DRM-Free Holiday Sale, featuring 474 games on sale and new deals each day between now and January 3rd.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. License Sold

The license for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series of first-person shooters has been acquired by bitComposer Entertainment, following the collapse of former license holder GSC Game World. Here's word:

bitComposer Entertainment AG has acquired the exclusive worldwide rights for future video game adaptations of the acclaimed S.T.A.L.K.E.R. brand from Boris Natanovich Strygatsky. This is the second strong international license that the Eschborn-based company has acquired within the space of a few years, and this move ensures that the successful series will continue. Further details will be released shortly.

“The acquisition of the S.T.AL.K.E.R. license serves as an important cornerstone for the further international orientation of bitComposer Entertainment AG,” says Stefan Weyl, member of the bitComposer Entertainment AG executive board. “For us, this brand represents a bridge to an important segment of triple-A products and a milestone in the history of the company. We would like to express our gratitude to Boris Natanovich Strygatsky.”

“S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is a reputable brand with a long history of success. To date, the series has sold many millions of units worldwide,” says Wolfgang Duhr, member of the bitComposer Entertainment AG executive board. “Naturally, we’d like to tap into the success of this series, and we see a great deal of potential for the future.”

The Secret World Subscriptions Now Optional

Following a hint on Monday, Funcom announces it has removed the subscription requirement from The Secret World, and the MMORPG can now be played online for just the cost of the game. "With this recent change there is no reason not to join and take part in ‘The Secret World’," says Game Director Joel Bylos. "Most players end up having a ton of fun once they delve into the myths and legends of 'The Secret World,' and we believe the game has the potential to be even more successful without the subscription entry barrier. It is an ambitious and very exciting move for us!" Word is: "There are no complicated rules or restrictions, no complex matrixes telling you what you can and cannot access. Pay Once, Play Forever – it’s that simple." They note that purchasing the game now will include all the content from the upcoming Issue #5, and this FAQ explains that future content packs will be optional purchases. There is also still the option to purchase a membership, which offers monthly bonus points and game store discounts. Players' remaining subscriptions will be transferred to the new membership program.

Perspective Released

Perspective is an "experimental" platformer game where you control a 2D player navigating a 3D world, which opens up some interesting gameplay possibilities. This is a free download created as a student project at DigiPen, who say: "Making games is hard, much harder than anyone who has never shipped a game before would expect. We hope you enjoy playing Perspective as much as we enjoyed making it." This trailer offers a perspective on the game. Continue here to read the full story.

Transformers Universe Beta Signups

A new Transformers Universe Website is live as home to the upcoming MMORPG based on the toy, cartoon, and movie series. The site includes info and media from the free-to-play game, and is accepting signups for its beta test, which is expected to begin early next year. "We are delighted to be entering the next phase of our launch plans for Transformers Universe and we hope that players enjoy using this new hub for all the latest Transformer Universe news and information," says Transformers Universe Brand Director Tim Hodges. "We’re getting closer to unleashing Transformers Universe into browsers so stay tuned for more information and be sure to visit the site and sign up for BETA today."

EVE Fanfest 2013 Ticket Sales

CCP is now selling tickets for EVE Fanfest 2013, which will be held April 25-27 at the Harpa Conference Center in Reykjavik, Iceland. Tickets can be purchased on this page, and word is: "The most out-of-this-world event in all of gaming, this year’s Fanfest will be the most spectacular yet. Gamers from all over the world will congregate in Iceland to share strategies, chat with EVE developers, explore upcoming features and meet up in-person with their online allies and adversaries. The three-day event will culminate with a massive party commemorating EVE’s 10-year anniversary where players of both EVE Online and DUST 514 will celebrate EVE’s success with the game’s developers and executives."

Trion Layoffs

Trion has laid off a number of the developers of RIFT, their MMORPG, reports Gamasutra. They say they learned this from one of the impacted former employees who tells them as much as a third of the team, about 40, have been let go, including artists and designers. They have a confirmation of the moves from Trion, saying they are "in response to market conditions, product timelines and the natural evolution of our company."

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Thanks Ant.

Out of the Blue

Happy 12/12/12! If you find taking interest in such repeating dates tedious, you'll be happy to know you probably won't have to suffer the next one, since it's due on January 1, 2101. We still have 11/12/13 next year, and 13/12/11 in yy/mm/dd territories, but unless my calculations are incorrect (and I can't see how they could be after I've devoted 10 seconds to thinking about this), those will be the last such date games we'll all get to play.

R.I.P.: Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar dies at 92.

Dated Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: SkullFace.
Science: Coffee Lowers the Risk of Oral Cancer by 49 Percent. Thanks Slashdot.
Media: Man of Steel trailer reveals Jor-El and General Zod. Thanks Neutronbeam.
EXCELLENT Anti-Burglary Device From Holland.
Senior Tech Lesson #3: Google Plus.
Acceleration Effect - Best Of Acceleration.



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