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Wednesday, Jan 30, 2013

  

EA Financials - Medal of Honor Getting a "Rest"

Electronic Arts Reports Q3 FY13 Financial Results has the latest preliminary earnings figures for the gaming giant. The losses they report are less than the same period last year, and things are going well according to top brass: "Despite a challenging quarter, we were able to deliver non-GAAP EPS at the high end of our guidance range," said Chief Executive Officer John Riccitiello. "We are investing for the future wave of growth that we foresee in digital and console." VG247 has details from the post earnings conference call, where some of the blame was for the quarter's losses was heaped upon Medal of Honor: Warfighter, which performed "well below expectations" and "didn’t deliver," with COO Peter Moore saying the game also deserved better reviews than it received. Word is the military shooter franchise is being "taken out of rotation," and will return after an unspecified "rest."

Wizardry Online Launches

Sony Online Entertainment announces the launch of Wizardry Online for North American and European gamers, offering a free-to-play MMORPG based on the classic fantasy gaming franchise. This producer's letter accompanies the launch, talking about the transition from the betas to going live, and the announcement talks of the various features, such as a form of permadeath, that leads them to claim this to be "the most hardcore fantasy MMORPG ever created" (carefully avoiding an invasion of EVE Online spacecraft by specifying a genre). Here's the feature list:

  • Lost System: Not even death is easy in Wizardry Online. Players will need to donate to revive themselves -- and a poor donation runs the risk of failure. If they are unsuccessful twice, their character will vanish, said to be "Lost" and become unplayable forever. The player's experience will be noted on the Soul (account), allowing for an easier start for the next character.
  • Massive Dungeons: The game's dungeons present a variety of traps and powerful monsters for those who dare to invade their territory.
  • Skill Customization: Players can customize characters by combining skills from current or previous classes. With Wizardry Online's skill heredity system, players can create a fighter who can heal or a mage to steal items from monsters.
  • Bounty Hunt System: In addition to monsters, players will try to kill and rob other players for rare items. Such players are deemed Criminals and may attack anywhere and at any time. Players may offer a bounty such as gold for the death of any criminal and other players will compete to bring that character down.
  • Familiar Races: The game offers a variety of races known from previous Wizardry games, including humans, elves, porkuls, gnomes and dwarves. These races have different advantages towards weapons and skills.
  • Wizardry Online is now available as a "Free to Play. Your Way.™" game to all PC players in North America and Europe (optional content is available for purchase).

RaceRoom Racing Experience Beta Opens

SimBin announces the RaceRoom Racing Experience is now in open beta, and those interested in test driving their new motorsports simulation can grab it on Steam. Here's a bit on the free part of this: "As part of the Free2Race concept, all registered users are given free access to a wide selection of cars and tracks. The free-to-play content in this release consists of the famous 134 Judd car driven by the late Georg Plasa, Canhard R52, Saleen S7R, Aquila CR1 Sports GT and the DMD P20 together with the RaceRoom Raceway circuit and the scenic Lakeview Hillclimb which is based on a forest road in Sweden." The store that supports the free-to-play game is now open, offering sales of new cars, tracks, and game modes. Those who join right away will get some freebies, though, as word is: "During the first two weeks from release, SimBin is giving away the Get Real™ game mode, and the learning tool, Apex Hunt™ as a tribute and a thank you to the members of the closed beta."

Aliens: Colonial Marines Trailer

Here's a new video (NSFW) showing off multiplayer tactics in Aliens: Colonial Marines, the first-person shooter in development at Gearbox Software (taken from the Xbox 360 edition). Word is: "Showing a select number of special abilities on both the Xenomorph and the Marine side, the trailer gives you a glimpse at the various tactical choices that players need to make when playing the game’s competitive, asymmetrical multiplayer." Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

Evening Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: LEGO Ball Clock. Thanks Ant via reddit.

Sleeping Dogs DLC Revealed

A post on eXophase.com lists PS3 trophies for Year of the Snake, an upcoming unannounced DLC pack for Sleeping Dogs, United Front's action/adventure game. There is also this video, noted by Eurogamer, with footage to support this premise, though it's origins are unclear, and they also interpret the trophies, saying: "the add-on will involve joining a bomb squad and defeating cultists, as well as acquiring yet more collectibles and other macguffins scattered about the game's virtual Hong Kong." In the meantime, Steam offers two new small packs for the game: The Movie Master Pack and The Monkey King Pack for USD $1.99 each.

Crysis 3 Crisis Averted

The Terms of Service for the new Crysis 3 open beta includes language about banning players for not reporting bugs, recalling the recently quelled controversy over the SimCity beta ToS threating a mab from all EA games for failure to report bugs. This new End-User License Agreement issue apparently has the same resolution as the previous one, as games.on.net notes a tweet explaining: "We did - it was baked into the Beta before we realized it had the 'Bug Ban' clause. We aren't enforcing that." They also link a follow-up tweet saying: "We'll be releasing a blog post about that soon, but for now rest assured we aren't banning players for finding bugs." So we now know why EULAs and ToSes are so lengthy: Even the people making the games can't be bothered to read the crap they let their lawyers stuff into them.

TERA Subscription-Free Next Week

En Masse Entertainment announces next Tuesday is the exact start date for the subscription-free era in TERA, their MMORPG. Here's word on the change, and plans to support it with new content:

En Masse Entertainment confirms that its award-winning Action MMO, TERA, will be available without a subscription starting on February 5th. The game will be known as TERA: Rising, and can be played for free starting on that date, with in-game store and Elite options available for players who want to customize their gameplay experience. New players will be able to enjoy Standard status for free with no level cap or content restrictions and all players who have purchased the client will gain permanent Founder status with special privileges. This news has swept through the MMO community as fans – both new and lapsed – are eagerly anticipating the upcoming launch. Lapsed players are signing back up while new players pick up the game to ensure their eligibility for Founder status in anticipation of the new TERA: Rising options.

Adding to the community excitement over the game’s evolution, En Masse will launch new in-game content on February 5th, including the new Crucible of Flame multi-level dungeon, and a new three-on-three PvP battleground.

DC Universe Online DLC

The DC Universe Online Website announces the availability of Home Turf, the newest DLC for the superhero MMORPG. The release is supported by this launch trailer and the following explanation of how you can have your own Superman-style walk-in freezer or go spelunking in your very own bat-cave: "DC Universe Online is proud to present Home Turf, our sixth DLC Pack! Home Turf introduces customizable Player Bases, powerful new abilities provided by your Base's Mainframe, action-focused one on one Player vs. Player Lair Battles, engaging new solo story content in iconic Gotham City and Metropolis locations, and loads of new gear and rewards. Watch the brand new trailer below, then log in and start building your very own Base today!" Continue here to read the full story.

War Thunder Open Beta

Gaijin Entertainment announces that War Thunder is now in open beta, allowing access for all interested in checking out this World War II aerial combat MMOG. Here's a bit to catch you up on the game: "War Thunder offers a highly detailed and personalized aviation experience, giving players access to hundreds models of planes with detailed cockpits, dozens of upgradeable weapons, and flying skills that can be honed and improved with each mission. Thanks to the game’s painstaking attention to detail, you’ll truly feel like a World War II fighter pilot as you plunge into battle."

Ubisoft's Osiris Trailer

NeoGAF points the way to a trailer posted about five months ago calling itself a "rough cut-demo" of Ubisoft's Osiris, saying this was a "Demo commissioned by Ubisoft Studios (Montreal)." No such project has been announced, and IGN notes that the clip resembles screenshots discovered last year which were thought to be of a Prince of Persia reboot. With PoP officially paused, IGN now speculates this may be a new IP.

ROAM If You Want To

A new Kickstarter seeks a modest $40,000 to support development of ROAM, an eponymous online co-op action game from startup developer ROAM. ROAM (the developer) is a two-man team, including Ryan Sharr, recently laid off by Gas Powered Games amid the wild ride of the Wildman Kickstarter. Here's word on ROAM (the game): "You and up to three friends (online co-op) must scour a grim, ravaged world, where you have complete freedom to choose where you roam, what you do, and how you allocate and use the precious-few resources you will find on your journey. Every action in the game represents a choice - and each choice has pros, cons, and consequences." Thanks Eurogamer.

Morning Q&As

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Previews

Morning Screenshots

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'm going to have to go on a hunt today to track down a noise in my office which has either just begun, or at least just become noticeable to the point of annoyance. It's a fairly high-pitched whine coming from my PC, so I assume it's a cooling fan, and hopefully a little compressed air will take care of it, though it's always possible something will need replacing. I keep thinking this entire years-old machine will need replacing one of these days, but it keeps trucking along like the Terminator, and every time I think it's developed some fatal issue, I find a cure just as soon. Maybe this time it's terminal just because I'm assuming it isn't, and the fates just love to mess with assumptions. We shall see.

Assumed Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Lockehorn.
Stories: Postal Worker Retires After 44 Years Without Sick Day.
Surfer Garrett McNamara 'rides world record 100ft wave' in Portugal.
Science: Late Lunching Can Slow Weight Loss.
Images: All Lens Flare Everything- Best JJ Abrams Directing 'Star Wars' Spoofs.
You are doing it wrong.
If you're gonna photobomb a kiss do it right....
Media: 84 year old Grandpa playing video games!.
Testing the Bay Lights. Thanks Slashdot.
Conan & Andy Dub Over China's Most Popular Soap Opera.
Follow-up: PETA uses Manti Te’o's fake girlfriend to peddle fake chicken for Super Bowl parties.



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