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Thursday, Jan 24, 2013

  

Chivalry - Medieval Warfare Free Weekend; Sale

The official website for Chivalry - Medieval Warfare announces that this melee combat game is free to play all weekend on Steam, where the game is also on sale at a 50% discount. Word is:

Sharpen your swords and steel your hearts for Chivalry: Medieval Warfare is now FREE on Steam for this weekend only! With a huge content update planned to release soon, now is the best time to get your friends into a medieval bloodbath as the game is also 50% off until Monday at 10am PST! Prove your worth as a warrior and take to the fields in search of glory. In plain English, go play right now, its completely free and already waiting for you in your Steam My Games list.

Ace of Spades Free DLC; Sale

The Ace of Spades Website has details on the release of a new free update for Ace of Spades that adds a classic gameplay mode to the voxelated shooter, which will brings back gameplay from the game's alpha stage. Word is: "Post launch we will be really keen to hear what you think of the addition of multiple versions of weapons/equipment, which ones you prefer, if you’d like to see more of this, and ideas for future development." Also Steam News announces the game is currently on sale on Steam for half off.

Origin for OS X Alpha Testing

Origin News has word that alpha testing of Origin for Mac OS X is now underway. Anyone who wants to participate is welcome, and they give details on what is not working at the moment, including the Origin Store. As a reward for helping out, all testers will get a free copy of PopCap's Bookworm to keep. Word is: "Your participation in this alpha trial is greatly appreciated, and your feedback will help ensure the best possible experience for all Mac gamers when we officially launch. If you have a Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or newer with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better, we hope you’ll download the alpha and start gaming today."

SEGA On Their Relic Acquisition

Here's SEGA's official statement about their acquisition of THQ Canada, the developer usually referred to by their maiden name, Relic Entertainment:

SEGA Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo, President, Representative Director, and Chief Operating Officer: Naoya Tsurumi, “SEGA”) acquired all of shares of THQ Canada Inc. (Headquarters: Vancouver, Canada, “THQ Canada”) and some IPs owned by THQ Inc., a parent company of THQ Canada on January 24, 2013 in order to further reinforce PC game development capabilities in the U.S. and European regions. THQ Canada has developed million-seller franchise titles such as “Warhammer 40k Dawn of War” and “Company of Heroes” under the brand of Relic Entertainment Studio.

Relic Entertainment was established in 1997 and acquired by THQ Canada in 2004. THQ Canada have been known familiarly as Relic Entertainment since the acquisition and provided a number of high quality games equipped with graphics equal in quality to movies and rich strategic game features mainly for the PC market in the U.S. and European regions. THQ Canada provides several million seller franchise titles, and its representative products include the “Warhammer 40k Dawn of War” series. As a series Warhammer 40k Dawn of War has sold more than 7 million copies worldwide, whilst the “Company of Heroes” series, a real time strategy game based on the modern history of warfare from World War II and after, has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide.

"We are thrilled to have Relic Entertainment join the SEGA family. The acquisition is a strategic fit and a critical step in growing our business," John Cheng, President and CFO, SEGA of America said. "They are a well-respected studio with a reputation for making creative and innovative games and we look forward to seeing what great things we can create together over the coming years.”

SEGA already owns three development companies in the U.S. and Europe, and is progressing to support compatibility with the rapidly expanding online games field, such as PC online games, smartphone games and social games. As a result of the THQ Canada acquisition, SEGA will further advance the provision of various appealing entertainment contents by utilizing THQ Canada’s high-end content development capabilities and accumulated development know-how, and increase SEGA’s presence in the PC online game market.

Hotline Miami Sale; Soundtrack Released

Steam now offers sales of the soundtrack for Hotline Miami, presented in MP3 format, in spite of an erroneous boilerplate note saying this is DLC that requires ownership of the throwback action game to play. Speaking of owning the game, it is currently on sale for 50% off, which makes it half the price of the soundtrack. It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife, right Alanis?

Assassin's Creed III DLC Next Month

Ubisoft announces they will release The Tyranny of King Washington on February 19th for the Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 editions of Assassin's Creed III, the stealthy assassination series. Here's word on what to expect:

The time draws closer to fight for justice against a revolutionary tyrant in Assassin's Creed III newest adventure, the Tyranny of King Washington. The Infamy, the first episode of a three-part tale, will be available on Microsoft's Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Windows PC on February 19.

In the first episode of the Tyranny of King Washington series, our hero, Ratonhnhaké:ton, awakens from an unsettling dream to find that, despite his efforts to deliver justice in the newly-founded United States of America, a new king has been crowned - George Washington. The Infamy will take gamers through the beginning of the journey to dethrone this new king.

The three upcoming episodes of the Tyranny of King Washington are available through the Assassin's Creed III Season Pass, which is available for purchase for 2400 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE or $29.99 on the PlayStation® Network and Windows PC. The first episode, The Tyranny of King Washington: The Infamy, can be purchased as a single DLC pack for 800 Microsoft points or $9.99. It can also be purchased at GameStop and Best Buy.

Following The Infamy, The Tyranny of King Washington will continue in two additional content packs that explore this alternate history of the events following the American Revolution.

All Assassin's Creed III downloadable content packs will also be available on the Wii UTM.

Assassin's Creed III is now available on PlayStation®3, Xbox 360® and the Nintendo Wii UTM. For Windows PC gamers, the Assassin's Creed III Deluxe Edition is available as a digital download and includes all future downloadable content.

Dead Island Riptide Trailer

This new trailer from Dead Island Riptide offers almost nine minutes of pre-alpha (is that actually a thing?) gameplay footage from the upcoming zombie game sequel. The clip shows off some navigation and scenery, new weapons, and new tower defense-inspired gameplay. Continue here to read the full story.

Total War Shogun 2 – Gold Edition in March

SEGA announces Total War Shogun 2 – Gold Edition, a bundle of the strategy sequel and the Rise of the Samurai and Fall of the Samurai DLC packs. While that will be the entirety of the North American edition, but there will be a different version released for Europe and Australia which also includes 10 smaller content packs. The North American version is expected on March 5th, and the EU/AU version is to be released on March 8th.

Evening Patches

On Sale

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: J.J. Abrams To Direct New 'Star Wars' Movie. Thanks nin.

SMITE Open Beta Launches

Hi-Rez Studios announces the commencement of open beta testing for SMITE, their free-to-play online action game, so those interested in a little SMITing can now register and download the beta client through the SMITE Website. This is another of those soft launch dealies, as they explain they do not plan any further character wipes going forward. Here's word on the beta, an exclusive skin for testers, and a $100K tourney:

Hi-Rez also announced their sponsorship of an upcoming SMITE competitive season, including a launch tournament with prizing of one hundred thousand dollars. Additional details on the 100K Tournament qualifications and schedule will be communicated in the coming weeks.

"SMITE has been our fastest growing game to date, with over 900,000 players participating in Beta already”, says Todd Harris, Hi-Rez Studios Chief Operating Officer. “We’ve been giving out keys very liberally, but today we officially drop the key requirement in order to stress and stabilize our North American and European servers in preparation for release. We will continue to polish the game, release additional gods, and further refine the god and item balance over the coming weeks before a general release later this quarter."

All player progress and unlocks up until now will be preserved through Open Beta and into Release with no planned character wipes.

Also, a Limited Edition cosmetic skin for the frost giant Ymir will be awarded to all players who reach Level 30 during the Beta period. That award will be granted upon SMITE’s official release.

The following new SMITE content and features are included in the Open Beta version:

  • Graphical upgrade of Conquest Map
  • Practice match against new AI opponent Ra
  • In-game Team & Roster Management
  • Ranked Team Conquest queue - Draft Picking for ranked and Challenge Conquest matches Improved Spectator Camera for Tournament Admins - including a 3-minute delay for spectators to prevent cheating and improved spectator controls (slow-motion, pause, rewind, fast-forward)
  • Refer-A-Friend Program

Aliens: Colonial Marines "Kick Ass" Trailer

A new trailer from Aliens: Colonial Marines shows off some "kick ass" footage from Gearbox Software's upcoming first-person shooter. Word is: "In anticipation of the upcoming release of Aliens: Colonial Marines, SEGA and Gearbox Software are excited to debut the new Kick Ass trailer. Revealing exhilarating gameplay, stunning visuals and pulse-pounding action, this new glimpse into the Aliens universe shows US Colonial Marines doing what they do best – kicking some Xenomorph ass." Continue here to read the full story.

GUNS and ROBOTS Open Beta Begins

Masthead Studios announces open beta testing is now underway for GUNS and ROBOTS, their upcoming online shooter. Word is players who sign up on the GUNS and ROBOTS Website will get immediate access to the game. Here are the details:

Masthead Studios, a leading independent game developer, today announced that GUNS and ROBOTS has successfully opened the door for everyone to play the game. Players can get instant access to the online shooter today!

Players of GUNS and ROBOTS can look forward to exciting fast-paced battles, wide variety of customizable parts and modules, different weapon enchantments and pure fun! The open beta will allow players to play and participate in the development process. The Open Beta allows us to understand what our community wants, what they want to see in the battle arenas and be in touch with our players said Atanas Atanasov, CEO of Masthead Studios. The feedback from the volunteers in the Closed beta has been crucial and helped us improve important aspects of the game, he added.

In the open beta phase of GUNS and ROBOTS, thousands of potential weapons will allow players to fine-tune their arsenal. Players will be able to pinpoint enemies with multiple weapons simultaneously. Weapon customization will be provided with sets divided according to durability, damage, energy consumption and ammo supply. Each player can make extraordinary weapon combinations that fit his game-play preferences!

The game server is now open. Robots, created in the open beta will not be deleted in the future. Closed beta participants are welcomed to sign up at the improved registration form at www.play-gar.com and download the client.

Sign up now and dominate the demolishing world of GUNS and ROBOTS !

Omerta – City of Gangsters Demo

Kalypso Media now offers a playable demo for Omerta – City of Gangsters, which features a pair of levels from Haemimont's upcoming gangster game. On a related note, Kalypso is partnering with Omerta, the long-running text-based MMORPG, and Omerta – City of Gangsters boxes will contain codes offering the chance to win prizes by playing Omerta. Back to the demo, it can be downloaded from AtomicGamer, DemoNews, Gamer's Hell, GamezCheck.de, Strategy Informer and Worthplaying. Word is the demo features "two levels from the upcoming Prohibition-era gangster game that mixes city conquest with tactical turn-based combat and heist planning. Grab the demo today to get a taste of Omerta, the game where it’s up to you to put together a crew of criminals and take over the city, block-by-block, through whatever means necessary."

New Telepath Tactics Demo

The Telepath Tactics Website has new details about progress on this indie tactical RPG, as well as an updated alpha demo allowing the chance to experience the latest improvements. This video summarizes what's new, and further details can be found in their January 2013 Update. Word is to expect a second Kickstarter for the game in March to help complete the project.

THQ Breakup Details Confirmed

The details from yesterday's report on the breakup of now-defunct THQ can now be confirmed. Koch Media owned Deep Silver announces the acquisition of developer Volition, saying that this comes with the IP for the Metro series of shooters as well as Saints Row, the highly regarded open world action series, saying: "Koch Media and Deep Silver will roll out future plans for each franchise in the coming months." According to a tweet from Distressed Debt Investing, this came at the price of $22.3 million. That same tweet says SEGA paid $26 million for Relic, Ubisoft (who tweeted confirmation of their purchases) paid and $2.5 million for THQ Montreal, and that Take-Two shelled out $11 million for Evolve (which apparently includes Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock Studios), and Develop adds that 1666 is one of the IPs Ubisoft picked up along with THQ Montreal. Another tweet says Koch paid $5.8 million for Metro, Crytek picked up the rights to Homefront (not Homeland, as they say) for $500K, and Ubisoft's tab for South Park: the Stick of Truth was $3.2 million. They also affirm there were No bids for Vigil (though IGN reports Bayonetta developer Platinum Games may still make a play for the Darksiders studio). What remains of THQ announces the court has granted a motion to approve these sales, offering the following overview:

THQ Inc. (OTC: THQIQ), a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software, today announced that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court has granted a motion to approve a sale of the majority of THQ’s assets to multiple buyers. The company expects the Court to enter a formal order tomorrow.

The Court approved the sales of three of THQ’s owned studios and games in development, as well as Evolve, a working title under development at Turtle Rock Studios, Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Under the terms of the agreements with the successful and approved bidders, the THQ estate will receive approximately $72 million, making the total estimated value of the estate $100 million including certain assets and other intellectual properties which were excluded from the sale.

The Court approved the sale of Relic Studios to Sega Corporation for $26.6 million; the sale of Volition Inc. and Metro: Last Light to Koch Media GmbH for $22.3 million and $5.9 million, respectively; the sale of Homefront 2 to Crytek GmbH for $0.5 million; the sale of Evolve to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. for $10.9 million; and the sale of THQ Montreal and South Park: The Stick of Truth to Ubisoft LLC for $2.5 million and $3.3 million, respectively. Excluded from the sales were the company’s publishing businesses, Vigil Games, and certain other assets and intellectual properties, which will remain part of the THQ estate and will continue in the Chapter 11 process.

Continue here to read the full story.

Indie Dev Seeks Homeworld IP

SaveHomeworld.com is a new campaign looking to crowdsource funding to acquire the Homeworld IP, as the highly regarded space-based RTS series was apparently not one of the assets SEGA picked up when they bought developer Relic from THQ (thanks VG247). The site was launched by startup indie developer teamPixel, and here's what they say they are attempting to accomplish:

13 years ago, one of the most legendary sci-fi games was released, and the space RTS genre took a giant leap forward in innovation and fun. Yet, somehow, nearly 10 years later, fans are still waiting for the next installment of the Homeworld franchise. We here at teamPixel, LLC are tired of waiting for the next Homeworld game and would like to rally fans together to bring the franchise back. The THQ bankruptcy has given all of us a massive opportunity to put Homeworld back in the hands of gamers. teamPixel respectfully requests the support of Homeworld fans everywhere in helping us raise funds to acquire the Homeworld franchise from THQ during their bankruptcy. With the franchise in hand, we would be able to pursue 3 initiatives for reviving the series:

  • Homeworld on GoG.com and Steam. Easier access for old and new fans alike!
  • Homeworld Touch - A legendary game with a modernized interface!
  • Homeworld 3. Enough said.

J.U.L.I.A. Drops Publisher

CBE Software announces the cancellation of their publishing agreement with Lace Mamba Global, saying the publisher has failed to meet its financial obligations for PC game J.U.L.I.A. and iOS title J.U.L.I.A. Untold. They also announce that J.U.L.I.A. is now the subject of a Steam Greenlight campaign to support a remastered version of the adventure game that addresses some comments from users. Here's word:

Jan Kavan, director at CBE software, comments upon the current situation: "It's an extremely sad ending of the past four years of our life. We've created the game using our very own budget without any external funding yet we were able to create a title we are really proud of. When well-known publisher, whom we have trusted so much, behaved like that, it was an extremely demotivating experience for us. Moreover we've handed them both games as finished products so there was not any risk involved for them. Such nefarious behavior had an absolutely destructive impact on our small independent studio. Unfortunately similar story just recently announced by Colibri Games (Tiny Bang Story) ensured us that it's not a misunderstanding and that we have to act."

To recover from this situation CBE software would also like to announce that J.U.L.I.A. has been added to Steam Greenlight.

"We plan to do a remastered version with changing things which were not all that well received by players and we will include a bonus soundtrack as a part of the Steam release. Even if you own the game already, please upvote J.U.L.I.A. there. Steam could help us survive the situation and recover from this unexpected blow. If we get greenlit, we will also issue a patch for existing J.U.L.I.A. owners which will add the remastered functionality.“, finishes Jan Kavan.

Morning Q&As

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

The other day I mentioned I was facing the temptation to head out into the wilds of the backyard and fire up the man-stove to satisfy my prehistoric need for scorched meat. In an effort to show me the error of my ways, a wave of arctic air has invaded our area, along with much of the country, and it is shockingly cold out there, at least for those of us not used to the kind of climate one finds in Siberia or Minnesota. This has definitely cooled my enthusiasm, so to speak... I wonder what sort of outcome I could get with one of those electric George Foreman dealies. Yeah, probably not.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Frantic 3.
Links: The Most WTF Sports Stories Of All Time. Thanks nin.
Stories: Missouri man, 93, charged with killing wife, 95.
FBI agent denies using public funds on prostitutes for suspects.
Science: Practically human: Can smart machines do your job?
Media: Manti Te'o Now Dating 'Scarlett Johansson's Head On Jenny McCarthy's Body'.
His boxing announcing career began and ended with one sentence.
Yet Another GIFS with Sound.



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