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Monday, Apr 22, 2013 Happy Earth Day

  

More THQ IP Sold

Subject to the approval of the bankruptcy court, the results of the auction of more of the assets of defunct publisher THQ have been revealed besides word from earlier that Gearbox now owns Homeworld. In this we learn that Gearbox paid $1.35 million for the RTS series, Nordic games paid almost $5 million for several IP, including Darksiders, Red Faction, and Supreme Commander, and someone wanted the Drawn to Life franchise:

The $6.55 million sale of the IP assets breaks down as follows:

  • $4.9 million from Nordic Games Licensing AB, a Swedish-based video games publisher, for Darksiders, Red Faction, MX vs ATV, Other Owned Software (includes Destroy all Humans!, Summoner and more), and Other Licensed Software (includes Marvel Super Hero Squad, Supreme Commander and more);
  • $1.35 million from Gearbox Software, LLC, a Plano, Tex.-based developer of interactive entertainment, for Homeworld; and
  • $.3 million from 505 Games Srl, an Italian video game publisher, for Drawn to Life and Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter.

The company expects the Bankruptcy Court to hear the sales motions on May 13, 2013 and to finalize the sale transactions thereafter.

Fallen Enchantress - Legendary Heroes Next Month; Specs Revealed

Stardock announces a release date for Fallen Enchantress - Legendary Heroes, saying the strategy expansion is due on May 22nd as a standalone release, an expansion for Fallen Enchantress, and a promised free upgrade for early adopters of Elemental: War of Magic. Word is: "The expansion, Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes, picks up where Fallen Enchantress left off. The world of Elemental is seeing new monsters invading the land and new champions have arisen to aid the player in their quest to bring order and civilization back to the people. The expansion is loaded with new features including a new champion system, an improved tactical battle experience, a new leveling system, new monsters, more spells and quests, larger map sizes, improved visuals, smarter AI, Steamworks achievements and much more." The news is accompanied by minimum system specifications:

  • OS:Windows 8 / 7 SP1 / Vista SP2 / XP SP3
  • Processor:2.4 GHz Processor
  • Memory:1 GB RAM
  • Graphics:256 MB DirectX 9.0c Compliant Video Card w/Pixel Shader 2.0 (Radeon x1600 / GeForce 6800)
  • DirectX®:9.0c
  • Hard Drive:5 GB HD space
  • Sound:DirectX 9.0c Compatible Sound Card
  • Additional: To activate this game you must create a Stardock account while launching the game

Saints Row IV Commander in Chief Edition for Preorders

Saints Row IV is not due until August, but Deep Silver announces a Saints Row IV Commander in Chief Edition, a special version of the "open-world and-other-PR-words" sequel that's offered as an incentive for preordering. Here's word on the bonuses this entails, including an Uncle Sam outfit in case you don't like being noticed, oddly, available in all territories:

Larkspur, Calif., - April 22, 2013 – All hail POTUS as Deep Silver announces today that the Commander in Chief Edition for the upcoming Saints Row IV™ is available as a free upgrade to pre-orders at major freedom-retailers across North America. In this ball-busting, open-world and-other-PR-words installment in the Saints Row franchise, developer Volition continues the story of the Third Street Saints by elevating their status to the highest level – the leaders of the free world.

But the leaders of the free world are under attack from an alien invasion in the land of the free, and it’s up to you and your gang to save the world, Saints-style. To help you combat the alien terrorists you will encounter, the Commander in Chief Edition is a free upgrade for all pre-orders at participating retailers and comes fully loaded with a Screaming Eagle that fires rockets out of its talons and can invoke the “Sonic Scream” attack, leaving your enemies dazed, confused and likely scarred for life.

Additionally, if you’re going to save the world you should look good while doing it, which is why the Commander in Chief gives you a limited-edition Uncle Sam uniform, made in the US of good ‘ol A (apple pie not included.) And since you need the best [read: most ridiculously overpowered weapons ever conceived] fighting tools available, Volition and Deep Silver are giving you a stimulus package, “'Merica”, full of incredibly astonishing firepower: flamethrowers, ultra-powered dub step guns and rocket launchers are yours for the taking. Crown thy good with brotherhood, indeed.

The Commander in Chief Edition is priced at $59.99 (console) and $49.99 (PC).

The Commander in Chief Edition will be available globally.

Mighty Quest For Epic Loot Trailer

The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot website offers a new trailer for Ubisoft Montréal's upcoming meta-titled free-to-play hack-and-slash game. Here's word on the game, the video, and the current alpha test:

SAN FRANCISCO – April 22th, 2013 – Today, Ubisoft® unveiled the first gameplay trailer for The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot. Developed by Ubisoft Montréal, the game puts players in an outrageous medieval fantasy world called Opulencia where wealth, status and looting are the name of the game.

In this video Sir Painhammer takes players through the world of Opulencia and gives a lecture about the fundamentals of The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot: stealing neighbours and protecting players’ treasure from their greed.

For ongoing updates about the game, and to register for Closed Alpha please visit the official website: www.themightyquest.com

On Sale

Spring Sale on GamersGate. Lots of weekly deals as well as new deals every day.

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Gearbox Snags Homeworld IP

Gearbox Software announces they are the winner of the Homeworld IP that was auctioned off as part of the bankruptcy of THQ (thanks nin). TeamPixel indicated that the rights to the sci-fi RTS series had been sold to someone other than them last week in announcing refunds for their Kickstarter to buy the IP. Here's word from Gearbox:

Gearbox Software has prevailed as the highest bidder in the acquisition of the Homeworld franchise from THQ. Brian Martel, Gearbox Software's Chief Creative Officer, has great love and respect for Relic's brilliant, fun and innovative game and personally spearheaded the acquisition.

Brian intends as first priority to direct Gearbox's interest to preserve and assemble the purest form of the original acclaimed and beloved games, Homeworld and Homeworld 2, with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms.

Please visit the Gearbox Software Forums to share with us and Brian what you think should be done with Homeworld moving forward. And, please try to get our attention if you have capability and interest to join the effort in developing or enabling Homeworld's future.

Call of Juarez Gunslinger Next Month; Preorder Bonuses Announced

Ubisoft announces a release date for Call of Juarez Gunslinger, saying the next installment in their western shooter series will be released for Windows and consoles via digital distribution and retail on May 22nd for USD $14.99. They also announce that preorders of the game will include a free copy of Call Of Juarez: Bound in Blood, and that preorders through their Uplay service will include a pack of legendary weapons, though the link they include for this promotion seems to be broken at the moment. Here's word on the game:

Call of Juarez® Gunslinger is a real homage to the Wild West tales and era. Players will live the epic journey of Silas Greaves, a ruthless bounty hunter who spent his life on the trail of the West’s most notorious outlaws. Now it is Silas’ time to tell his story, which is linked to the history of the Wild West era: a mix of myths and historical facts.

Made of memorable encounters with some of the West’s most notorious names such as Pat Garret, Jesse James and Butch Cassidy, the game blurs the lines between man and myth. Call of Juarez® Gunslinger lets players live the greatest legends of the Old West.

Virtuix Omni - VR Treadmill

The Virtuix Omni website shows off a prototype of the Virtuix Omni, which adds fancy footwork to the virtual reality gaming experience with an "omni treadmill" to track player movement. Their videos page has clips showing this being used with Crysis Warhead and Skyrim as well as for exercise, and here's a trailer noted by HotHardware (thanks Ant via Slashdot), showing it being used in conjunction with an Oculus Rift headset to play Team Fortress 2, demonstrating how it tracks player movement and orientation for some next-level holodeck style gameplay. Word is they are in the process of preparing a Kickstarter campaign to develop this for production. Here's more:

The Omni is the first omni treadmill that is affordable for household consumers, fits in a living room, and above all, enables the user to walk freely and naturally in virtual environments.

Applications of omni-directional movement in virtual reality stretch far beyond gaming: training and simulation, fitness and exercising, virtual tourism, virtual tradeshows and events, virtual meet-ups and multi-person adventures, virtual workplaces, virtual museums, physical therapy, VR architecture, VR concerts, etc. The possibilities are limitless. Virtual reality is the future.

NY Times on 38 Studios

NYTimes.com offers "Curt Schilling, Rhode Island and the Fall of 38 Studios," a very lengthy and detailed look at the startup studio that ended up costing baseball star Curt Schilling and the state of Rhode Island a lot of money. Nobody comes out looking too good after all this, as the article details the naïveté of game development neophyte Schilling taking on the most ambitious type of game in undertaking an MMORPG, and the sketchy history of politics in Rhode Island ("Rhode Islanders are used to being played by their politicians. What makes them cringe is the suspicion that virtually all their elected leaders might have been played by someone else."). They touch on an interstate rivalry with Massachusetts which played a part in Rhode Island's overreach here, and the behind-the-scenes machinations to facilitate the state's hefty loan to the company, which prompted the one dissenting voter to say: "Scandal finds money." The article is filled with detail on problems inherent in this situation, such as 38 Studios needing to control costs at the same time they were trying to live up to the pumped-up promise that they would bring new jobs to the state and how former 38 Studios CEO Brett Close urged releasing Amalur in smaller phases, rather than "trying to build the skyscraper horizontally and then standing it up." They sum up the current legal proceedings between Rhode Island and Schilling, and offer this interesting take: "At bottom, 38 Studios may be that rare political scandal that grew not from any lies that anyone told the public, but from the stories that desperate politicians told themselves." Thanks nin via Kotaku.

U.K. Sales Charts

Here's the new GfK Chart-Track list of the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the U.K. for the week ending April 20th. We have the same top five games this week with a bit of shuffling, with SimCity holding onto the top spot. There is a new number one on the all-platforms chart, where Injustice: Gods Among Us takes the top spot an Fire Emblem: Awakening is the new number three. Here's their blurb on the new charts:

Warner’s ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ debuts at No1 and is the first Warner No1 since ‘Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes’ which debuted back in week 25, 2012 and held on to the top spot for 5 consecutive weeks. ‘Injustice’ is a fighting game from Netherrealm, the Warner studio that brought us the ‘Mortal Kombat’ reboot which debuted at No2 back in week 16, 2011 (behind ‘Portal 2’ in that week).

The last fighting game to gain a No1 footing was THQ’s ‘UFC Undisputed 3’ back in week 7, 2012 which sold almost exactly the same amount in week 1 as ‘Injustice’, with both games released for 360/PS3. 2K/Take 2’s ‘Bioshock Infinite’ (-43%) drops to No2 after 3 weeks at the top and at No3 we have the only other new entry of the week, Nintendo’s 3DS ‘Fire Emblem: Awakening’ which launched alongside a limited edition 3DS XL Blue, taking 31% of all 3DS XL hardware sales this week, helping 3DS XL hardware sales to increase 49% over the previous week.

World of Tanks Security "Event"

Wargaming is rewarding players with in-game currency in World of Tanks for changing their passwords. This went down last week, we just noticed word on GameSpot. This page has the details, and while we see reports this move is in response to a security breach, the article doesn't mention that.

Morning Interviews

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Happy Earth Day! Here's hoping you got the Earth something nice, and no, a card won't cut it. As my elementary school principal once said: "Every day should be Earth Day." And he was a bit of a sociopath, so that tells you something, though maybe more about me than Earth Day. Anyway, here's to a good one. And hug a tree or something.

Earthy Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Urbex.
Images: Then-and-now photos of Disney Parks from early days and today.
Media: Speedrun: Star Wars.
The Internet: A warning from 50 years in the future.
Republic of Georgia's completely original cartoon. Thanks nin via Rob Sheridan..
News Anchors Mock Ryan Lochte After Interviewing Him. Gripping.
The Funnies: Savage Chickens.
Brevity.



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