Kalypso Media USA announces Omerta - City of Gangsters is now available in North America of Windows and Xbox 360, offering turn-based strategy set in Atlantic City during the prohibition era. A playable demo was released earlier this year, and here's word on the game:
Ridgewood, NJ, February 12, 2013 - Are you the original gangster? Now is your chance to prove it, as Kalypso Media USA has released Omerta - City of Gangsters, their 1920's criminal conquest simulation, to North American retail stores for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC.
Grab the game that puts you in charge of your own crime syndicate in 1920's Atlantic City. Build, buy or burn...it's all up to you as you take over the Prohibition-era city, building by building and block by block. Local tough-guys think they can out-muscle you? Show them you mean business in tactical turn-based combat. Need fast cash? Send in your team to rob a local bank, or use your business skills to pull a con or bribe an official. Atlantic City is yours for the taking, you just need to decide how you'll do it - by muscle or money.
"We're very pleased to deliver another entertaining strategy game rooted in classic game play," said Mario Kroll, VP of Kalypso Media USA. "Tropico 4 developer Haemimont has done an excellent job of capturing one of America's most colorful and exciting historical periods, while offering gameplay that marries city management, organized crime and tactical turn-based combat in Omerta - City of Gangsters."
Siliconera translates a Japanese report on Online Game about an upcoming online first-person shooter from Nexon tentatively titled Ghost in the Shell Online. This project based on Ghost in the Shell- Stand Alone Complex was apparently first revealed last year, and the new report says it will be a first-person shooter with an emphasis on hacking and upgrading your cybernetic body that will feature combat in Tachikoma tanks and the ability to play as a Public Security Section 9 operative. Word is this will be released worldwide following a release in Japan during the first half of next year.
Joystiq talks with Rob Stokes and Michel Bastien of Moonshot about their plans, after reporting a few weeks ago that they have decided to cancel Fallen Frontier, their platformer announced almost two years ago. They discuss the bad timing of having a game rely on the downloadable console market at this time, and outline plans to pursue greener pastures in the mobile market.
Forbes - Conan O'Brien, Hitman, And Ludonarrative Dissonance In Video Games. Basically each of his jokes says something profoundly important about games whether or not he realizes it, and this is (I suspect) mainly because here we have someone who doesn’t play video games at all playing one and simply speaking his mind. The conceit of many video games these days is that you can get away with bad writing and preposterous narrative choices simply because it’s a game.
The Bungie Website states that Destiny is the title of the upcoming non-Halo project from Bungie, confirming repeatedrumors and even some details. Speaking of details, there are none to speak of at the moment, so whether or not this is an MMOFPS as has been speculated is not confirmed, and there's still no word on target platforms for the developer's first project since their emancipation from Microsoft. They say this will change in "a matter of days" when we get a "first glimpse" at their "brave new world." In the meantime they offer links to new social pages for the game on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Activison announces the Xbox 360 exclusivity of the Revolution DLC for Call of Duty: Black Ops II will end on February 28th with the release of the pack for the Windows and PlayStation 3 editions of Treyarch's Cold War shooter sequel. Here's word on the four new multiplayer maps this adds:
Hydro: Located in Pakistan, this hydro-electric plant comes complete with a lethal spillway that floods with very little warning.
Grind: Set in a skate park in Venice Beach (the birthplace of skateboarding!), quarter-pipes and curved surfaces drive players away from easy cover and into intense firefights.
Downhill: A ski resort in the French Alps, this snowy map is complete with a moving gondola system that can both offer cover and crush you to death.
Mirage: Located in China's Gobi Desert, this luxury resort has been ravaged by a sandstorm.
Zombies fans get a terrifying double-dose of undead action in Revolution. First, the new map, "Die Rise," drops players inside a maze of crumbling skyscrapers amidst a ravaged Chinese city, where all-new Wonder Weaponry will play a crucial role as they make a valiant stand against the impending zombie hoard. Additionally, Revolution's new Zombies mode, "Turned," flips this new fan-favorite mode around, allowing players to become the undead and play as a zombie, offering an entirely new style of bragging rights.
Fans can either purchase Revolution as a standalone Map Pack for a suggested retail price of $14.99, or they can purchase the Call of Duty: Black Ops II DLC Season Pass. Season Pass holders not only get all four epic DLC Map Packs** for the discounted suggested retail price of $49.99*, but they also get the Nuketown Zombies bonus map, plus an exclusive in-game calling card.
Lace Mamba Global has released the following response to yesterday'sopen letter from Amanita Design, Colibri Games, and Daedalic Entertainment over lack of payment and other contractual issues with the publisher:
In reply to the open letter written by Daedalic, Amanita and Colibri on 11th February, Lace Mamba Global would like to comment.
In January of 2010 Mamba Games Ltd, an existing company, run by Jason Codd and Robert Neilson, formed a partnership with Adam Lacey of Lace International, with the intention of forming a new games company, Lace Mamba Global Ltd. This partnership was widely reported in the media at the time. As this was a partnership deal, Mamba Games Ltd continued to trade as a company in its own right, retaining its pre-existing contracts that were signed prior to the formation of Lace Mamba Global.
Mamba Games sub-licensed some of its pre-existing contracted product to Lace Mamba Global for distribution in the UK and Eire. Where Mamba Games product has been sold to other territories, this was done directly by Mamba Games, selling Lace Mamba Global branded product to international distributors for which Mamba Games were paid directly. Lace Mamba Global recognise that Mamba Games (Jason Codd) pre-existing contractual obligations are not being met and we will do all we can to help developers to ensure Mamba Games are held to account.
As per our previous statement (http://bit.ly/12rw1PZ), Lace Mamba Global also recognise that there have been some reporting and accounting issues in the past which we are actively working to resolve. We are pleased that those companies who we have been working closely with over the past few days have acknowledged that we have resolved their outstanding issues and we continue to work with and contact our other partners to ensure all of Lace Mamba’s contractual obligations are being met in full.
Lace Mamba Global are committed to regaining the trust of the gaming industry, we value our partnerships and will endeavour to resolve all the issues currently facing us. We would like to thank all developers for their continued patience while we review our contracts and report accurately.
Lace Mamba Global would like to state that we will not publicly discuss individual contracts or issues out of respect for confidentiality.
ManiaPlanet Official News announces open beta testing is now underway for ShootMania: Storm, the upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter from TrackMania creator Nadeo (thanks Frans). Accompanied by a new ShootMania logo and look, the announcement explains that users no longer need a key to join the beta, and outlines what testing includes and how preordering unlocks more features:
Talk about it around you: everyone can now download the ShootMania Storm client, create an account without the need of a key, and join the game right away.
The Open Beta give access to most of the game modes (except Heroes, Royal Exp and Elite Exp), servers and maps. Some features will remain limited for the players on free accounts. You can unlock all of the features by pre-ordering the game at a discount on the official website.
Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart comments to Rock, Paper, Shotgun on the possibilities of revisiting the Fallout series after the studio created the well-received Fallout New Vegas. He expresses enthusiasm for returning to the property the former Black Isle developers helped originate, though also notes that the current "disruption of the industry" caused by the life-support phase of the console cycle is an obstacle to making deals with publishers, in spite of their friendly relationship with Fallout owner Bethesda Softworks. Caution aside, he discusses how it would make sense for them to create another west coast version of the Fallout setting, since they are a west coast studio. RPS caps this by paraphrasing a response from Bethesda's Todd Howard, who expresses cautious enthusiasm for another spin of the New Vegas wheel. They promise to publish their complete interview with Urquhart "very, very soon." Thanks nin.
Yahoo! Finance transcribes a Warner Bros. post-earnings conference call that reveals plans to release another installment in the Batman Arkham series this year. This was posted last week, but sat unnoticed until noted by VG247. Here's the simple word on this:
And we also have a strong games release this year, which will include the next release in the Batman Arkham franchise. So all in all, we expect Warners to post another very strong year in 2013. And with a little luck, the year should be as good or maybe even a little bit better than 2012.
SEGA announces that Aliens: Colonial Marines is now available worldwide, offering a new first-person shooter set in the Aliens sci-fi setting for Windows, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, with a WiiU edition coming at some future date. Here's the official launch trailer for the game, and here's word:
SEGA® of America, Inc., SEGA® Europe Ltd., Gearbox Software and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products® today announced that its highly buzzed-about blockbuster Aliens™: Colonial Marines video game is now available on store shelves across the globe for PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows® PC. A release date for the announced Wii U™ version will be revealed at a later time.
Pitting players against the universe’s deadliest killing machine, the Xenomorph, Aliens: Colonial Marines is the official video game continuation to one of Sci-Fi’s most renowned movie franchises. As the authentic addition to the ALIENS canon, the game’s stunning visuals and adrenaline pumping action will deliver a breathtakingly immersive four-player drop-in drop-out cooperative campaign and four expansive competitive multiplayer modes – Escape, Team Deathmath, Survivor and Extermination.
The Kickstarter Page for WORLDS OF WANDER now offers a gameplay video showing side-scrolling gameplay created by this development tool. Here's word from Tom Hall on what this is about:
This is a small sample of what we'll implement, and just in one style. We'll work with the community on their favorite art styles -- this one's Retro, like old '50s cartoons. That's the whole idea behind World Themes in WORLDS OF WANDER: for example, you do a bunch of levels, but then decide you want to switch from, say, Retro Cartoon to Space Adventure. With one change, all the graphics on all the levels change! It's that easy.
Thanks for watching! We want to make the best platform game creator there is (WORLDS OF WANDER) and an awesome game in it (SECRET SPACESHIP CLUB) and build a Community Portal around it for hosting everyone's creations! Because we want to play what you make. Seriously. This is really important to us -- to let people easily play and create, anywhere they are. Please join us for this fun project. We're gonna make some awesome games together!
London, 12 February 2013: The nominations for the British Academy Games Awards 2013 were announced today. This year a total of 53 games have been recognised across 17 categories, showcasing some of the most popular and groundbreaking games of the last 12 months and highlighting the phenomenal level of creativity from UK and international development teams.
Journey and The Walking Dead are both nominated for Best Game, Game Design, Story and Original Music. Journey also receives nominations for Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement, Game Innovation and Online-Multiplayer. The Walking Dead is also up for Mobile & Handheld as well as two nominations for Performer. Far Cry 3 and Dear Esther are both up for Artistic Achievement and Audio Achievement. Far Cry 3 is also nominated for Action, Story, Best Game and Game Design and Dear Esther for British Game, Debut Game and Performer.
Halo 4 is nominated for Action, Artistic Achievement, Audio Achievement and Online-Multiplayer. Borderlands 2 receives nominations for Action, Artistic Achievement, Game Design and Online-Multiplayer. Assassin's Creed III is up for Audio Achievement, Online-Multiplayer, Original Music and Performer. The Room is nominated for Artistic Achievement, British Game, Debut Game and Mobile & Handheld.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Mass Effect 3, Dishonored, Forza Horizon, The Unfinished Swan and Thomas Was Alone all receive three nominations. Fifa 13, LEGO: The Lord of the Rings, Need for Speed Most Wanted, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, New Star Soccer and Diablo III all have two nominations.
The official website for Star Wars: The Old Republic has a couple of posts detailing plans for the upcoming version 1.7 update for the free-to-play Star Wars MMORPG. There's a developer blog with details on Relics of the Gree, a limited-time recurring in-game event, accompanied by another post with a sneak peek video of what this involves. The site and game are currently undergoing scheduled maintenance to install the new update, and the details LucasArts provides indicate players should be able to access this new event beginning today:
Relics of the Gree – Discover the mysteries behind the Grey Secant, an ancient Gree starship that has suddenly appeared over Ilum’s Western Ice Shelf. From February 12 to February 26, players can visit the in-game News Terminals located on Carrick Station or Vaiken Spacedock to begin their adventure. The Gree have promised advanced technology, including powerful weapons and armor, to anyone who is brave enough to aid them against an insidious foe who has taken control at the heart of their ship.
Galactic Reputation – This new system enables players to earn Reputation points by completing missions for factions such as the Gree, or for military divisions within the Republic and the Empire. The Galactic Reputation system advances characters through six ranks of increasing prestige: “Outsider”, "Newcomer", "Friend", "Hero", "Champion", and "Legend". Galactic Reputation is also tied to a character’s Legacy, so Reputation points and ranks are shared across all the characters within the same Legacy.
PCGamesN links to a D.I.C.E. SUMMIT 2013 Keynote Speech by Puzzle Clubhouse creator Jesse Schell where the CEO of Schell Games makes the interesting, if counter-intuitive case that releasing a demo for a game hurts sales, and that the key to successfully marketing a game is to make players want to try it without giving them a chance to. He offers a chart of the "Hype Curve" of marketing a game, which contains data points with disturbing labels such as "Peak of Inflated Expectations" and "Trough of Disillusionment," and offers the following personal perspective on how this works, at least in the case of his game: "You mean we spent all this money making a demo and getting it out there, and it cut our sales in half?," he asks himself, before answering: "Yes, that’s exactly what happened to you." Thanks Joao.
The Kickstarter for Unwritten: That Which Happened is in the final phases, and will conclude a but after midnight tonight/tomorrow morning. This post outlines a bunch of stretch goals hoping to inspire support for Roxlou Games' turn-based strategy game, which needs about $10K to reach its $75K goal, and $25K more than that for the first stretch goal, which would add OS X and Linux editions.
This trailer offers almost 11 minutes of gameplay from the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot, showing combat, exploration, and environments featuring the new more anatomically correct Lara Croft. The clip is accompanied by narration from Noah Hughes, as the creative director on the upcoming action/adventure reboot walks us through what we're seeing. Continue here to read the full story.
Jakub Dvorsky's Blog on Gamasutra offers "An open letter from Amanita Design, Colibri Games and Daedalic Entertainment" offering a cautionary tale based on the experience of these indie studios working with Mamba Games and Lace Mamba Global, saying they have failed to receive contractually required payments. They say they are in the process of pursuing their legal options in this area, and in the meantime, want other developers to be wary of repeating their experiences. This recalls an incident earlier this year when CBE Software cancelled its agreement with Lace Mamba Global over missed payments, which Lace Mamba claimed was a "misunderstanding."
Game Developers Choice Awards announce that BioWare founders Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk will be honored at the 2013 GDC Awards with an honor for their lifetime achievement in video games. Word is Double Fine's Tim Shafer will return as host:
SAN FRANCISCO — Feb. 11, 2013 — The 13th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards (GDCAs), the leading peer-based awards celebrating game development, will honor Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk, co-founders of the award-winning BioWare™ studio, with the Lifetime Achievement Award for their contributions to the art and science of games. The Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony takes place Wednesday, March 27th at 6:30 pm at the Moscone Convention Center during the 2013 Game Developers Conference® (GDC) in San Francisco.
Both Choice and IGF Awards will see the return of industry-favorite hosts with Tim Schafer, the LucasArts veteran and President and CEO of Double Fine Productions (Brutal Legend, Costume Quest, The Cave), hosting the Choice Awards ceremony and Pocketwatch Games’ Andy Schatz, creator of 2010 Independent Games Festival Grand Prize winner Monaco, returning as host of the Independent Games Festival awards.
Lifetime Achievement Award honorees Muzyka and Zeschuk, known throughout the game development community as the ‘BioWare Doctors’, met while in medical school at the University of Alberta where they learned they shared a passion for video game development. They each continued to moonlight as doctors during the early years of BioWare but then transitioned to the videogame industry full time as they and their passionate teams at BioWare went on to create some of the industry’s most influential, highly praised and critically acclaimed role-playing games such as Baldur's Gate™, Neverwinter Nights™, Star Wars™: Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire™, Mass Effect™, Dragon Age™ and Star Wars™: The Old Republic.
Cliffski's Blog - The psychological value of ownership, and how free to play games use it. Free to play works because it doesn’t ask you to value the game until you already feel you own it. How much would you pay for farmville to buy it outright? maybe $5? But play the game for free for a month, build up your farm, invest it, and then hit a plateau in the game where you really need to buy coins to continue…. and suddenly YOUR game is worth a lot more than $5. You value the game you already own very highly, and so buying add-ons for it is just common sense. I suspect this is why DLC works so well, and sells so well. You have already made a commitment to valuing the game, by investing your time. Only a fool could try to rationalize NOT spending money on it now…
The Kickstarter Page for Wildman now shows a cancellation of the fundraising effort for this proposed hybrid of action/RPG and RTS gameplay from struggling developer Gas Powered Games that was just short of halfway to its $1.1 million goal with four days remaining (thanks Bob and nin). The game proposal came just ahead of layoffs, and this project was to save jobs and the company itself. This is indirectly addressed by the update about the cancellation:
We have some news today. We are canceling the Wildman Kickstarter.
At this point, it makes sense for us to focus our attention on other ways to keep Gas Powered Games running. Unfortunately, we are unable to share any specifics in public. When we have news to share, we will be posting it on our site. If you want status updates, or if you want to continue discussing Wildman and/or this Kickstarter, please consider migrating over to forums.gaspowered.com.
We are profoundly grateful to those of you who backed this project and Gas Powered Games. Your passion and hard work put us in a position to write this exciting new chapter in the history of GPG.
An issue with Games for Windows LIVE has prevented some customers from playing games that rely on Microsoft's online services for a few days now. This forum thread has collected reports about this since Friday, most mentioning either Dark Souls or Age of Empires Online, which Joystiq notes (thanks nin) may be because these are the most popular games using GFWL. A reply from Microsoft support on Friday said: "As stated we are aware of this issue and are looking into what is causing it and for a resolution." That post was updated today with some new information:
Users are still experiencing this issue, there has been some progress; the Games for Windows Marketplace should now be correctly showing the Games Activation Keys and Live Access Codes.
We are still looking into the connection issues with various games. Some users are reporting success by running the following four commands in an admininstrator command prompt (right click on the command propt and select run as administrator)
- bitsadmin /reset
- ipconfig /flushdns
- netsh int ip reset
- netsh winsock reset
then restarting their computers, starting their game up and selecting "Sign-in with another account" and re-entering their log-in information.
This is not working for everyone and we are looking into a complete resolution for all of our users.
Battle.net now offers the promised first installment in their new "ask the devs" Q&A series for Diablo III. This points to this page with the answers to community-submitted questions about the upcoming version 1.07 patch for the action/RPG sequel, divided into sections concerning Brawling, new item crafting, gems, and classes, including first concrete discussion of proposed changes for the Monk "One With Everything" skill. Additionally, this post discusses how Blizzard is discontinuing the practice of reviving Hardcore characters as part of their account rollback service, so softcore hardcore players will no longer be able to perform CPR on their dead characters by calling Blizzard support. This change takes effect with version 1.07, and the post says the new version is expected to go live tomorrow in all regions.
ManiaPlanet has news that beta 3.0 RC1 is now available for ShootMania: Storm, adding some big changes to the testing of Nadeo's upcoming multiplayer first-person shooter. A number of new features are mentioned, including a new conquest-style gameplay mode called Realm that involves controlling key map areas to secure victory. They also outline other changes and fixes, and this forum post offers the complete patch notes for the new version, which is a 1.3 GB download. Thanks Frans.
A tweet by supererogatory reveals a new domain registration for WarForNosgoth.com that the internet sleuth says was registered by Square Enix, though the registrar listed is "CSC Corporate Domains." Nosgoth is the setting of the Legacy of Kain games, so this becomes a hint that something new might be brewing for the action/adventure series. The last we heard about Legacy of Kain was a couple of years ago when clues surfaced suggesting Ritual Entertainment was working on a new installment in the series that was cancelled in 2004. Thanks VideoGamer.
A new GfK Chart-Track listing reveals the 20 bestselling full-priced PC entertainment titles in the U.K. for the week ending February 9. Football Manager 2013 maintains its toehold on the number one spot, surviving an assault from Dead Space 3, which debuts at number two. The horror shooter sequel does that one better on the all-platforms chart, where it lands at number one, dropping Ni No Kumi: Wrath of the White Witch to number six after a brief visit to the penthouse.
The Westminster Kennel Club dog show kicks off this evening. I mentioned several years ago this is something MrsBlue and I enjoyed watching, though I have to admit we don't actually catch to much of the broadcast any more, as it is just mind-bogglingly similar every year, with the same announcers saying the same things year after year, which combines with how the appearance of the dogs never changes to create this creepy feeling you've watched the exact same show before (though if you've seen Best in Show, this eventually inspires a lot of laughter). Anyway, watching or not, we will be rooting as hard as we can for the Airedale Terrier, in Honor of Hudson the wonder dog. Not that it will help: Airedales have won best in show at Westminster four times, but the last time was when FDR was president, and World War I was still "The Great War" because we had not yet had a World War II.