Reuters reports on EA's plans to drop licensed guns from their video games,
or more accurately the licensing part, as they still plan to include the guns
without the licenses under the fair-use principle, quoting EA's Frank Gibeau
saying "A book doesn't pay for saying the word 'Colt,' for example." They say
recent shootings and the NRA's attempts to shift blame for them onto the games
industry did not factor into this, quoting EA spokesman Jeff Brown: "The
response from our audience was pretty clear: they feel the comments from the NRA
were a simple attempt to change the subject." They also note that there is
currently a preliminary legal action between EA and Bell Helicopter over
unlicensed helicopters in the Battlefield series, which Bell says is trademark
infringement, and they suggest how the Bell case turns out may reflect on the
legality of using the firearms as fair use. The article also states: "Legal
experts say there isn't a single case so far where gun companies have sued video
game companies for using branded guns without a license." Activision declined to
comment when Reuters asked whether they were considering dropping gun licenses
from the Call of Duty series.
A playable demo for Trials Evolution: Gold Edition is now available,
providing a test ride of the Windows edition of RedLynx's motorcycle racing
game. Steam offers a
version of the demo on their service, and there's a downloadable edition
available on Gamer's Hell.
For those who enjoy the demo, they announce the full game will go on sale on
Steam on May 9th for 25% off, so buying it before then would be imprudent.
The Diablo III website announces the
version 1.0.8 patch is now live for Diablo III in North America, adding
promised co-op enhancements to Blizzard's action/RPG sequel. The new version
also includes bug-fixes and class-specific balance changes, crafting changes,
and perhaps most significantly, an increase in monster density in the 75% of the
game previously ignored for farming due to the scarcity of opponents. They warn
that global play will not be working properly again until all regions are
updated to the new version.
BAFTA award-winning developer
Five Games announces GUN MONKEYS (or GUN_MONKEYS, depending on which of
their spellings you choose to believe), "a devastatingly-indie,
procedurally–generated, physics-based, online deathmatch platform game" planned
for release this summer for Windows, OS X, and Linux. "I needed a break from my
next game, The Swindle," explains Size Five’s Chief Executive of Game
Development, Dan Marshall. "I’d been working so hard on it for so long I was
becoming frustrated, creatively. I decided to take a break and remake the very
first game I ever made. The result, heavily tweaked, is GUN MONKEYS." Here's an
(criminal use of intentional audio distortion warning), and here's the lowdown
on the game:
In GUN MONKEYS, players take charge of a modern-day power
company. In the distant future, a catastrophic experiment into Perpetual Energy
obliterates all human life, leaving the world choc-full of free-for-the-taking
energy. Your job is to send a legion of pleasingly-expendable monkeys forwards
in time to collect Power Cubes and return them to present-day, all from the
comfort of your PC. Sadly, it looks like one or two other entrepreneurs have had
the exact same idea...
Q4 FY13 and FY13 Financial Results are now public, offering the following
crystal clear outlook on their business dealings for the quarter: "For the
quarter, non-GAAP net revenue of $1,040 million was within our guidance of
$1,025 million to $1,125 million. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.55
was slightly below our guidance of $0.57 to $0.72." As for the year: "GAAP net
revenue is expected to be approximately $3.50 billion. Non-GAAP net revenue is
expected to be approximately $4.00 billion. GAAP diluted loss per share is
expected to be approximately ($0.97). Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share is
expected to be approximately $1.20." They also offer a handy list of
EA was the #1 publisher in Western retail markets
in the March quarter, and the #1 global publisher in the iOS game market for
Battlefield 3™ Premium generated over $120
million* in revenue through the March quarter, and has over 3.5 million
subscriptions to date.
SimCity™ sold through over 1.6 million units since
launching in March, with approximately 50% of sales in the form of digital
FIFA 13 sold through over 14.5 million units in FY
2013, approximately a 30% increase versus FIFA 12 in the prior year.
FIFA 13 digital net revenue topped $200 million*
in FY 2013, a 94% increase versus FIFA 12 in the prior year.
Total FIFA digital net revenue generated nearly
$350 million* in FY 2013, including EA SPORTS™ FIFA Online and FIFA World
The Simpsons™: Tapped Out was a top-5 grossing iOS
game in the March quarter, generating almost $10 million* in digital net
revenue in the month of March, and totaling almost $50 million* since
launching in August.
Real Racing™ 3, the #1 racing title on iOS, has
generated more than 30 million downloads, and has averaged over 2.5 million
daily active users since launching in March.
EA's games and services for mobile and handheld
digital revenue generated $104 million* in the quarter, a 21%*
year-over-year increase in digital net revenue.
EA's Origin™ platform for downloading digital
games and services has registered over 47 million users, including 20
million mobile users.
Trailing twelve-month non-GAAP digital net revenue was up 36% to a record
Trailing twelve-month operating cash flow was $324
million, a $47 million improvement versus the prior year.
EA will develop and publish new Star Wars titles
for fans across the most popular gaming genres and platforms.
The Showdown Effect website announces the release of a new free update for
The Showdown Effect, adding "Western Stages, Espionage and Sci-fi
Characters, and Terrifying Hats" to Arrowhead Game Studios' action
movie-inspired multiplayer action game. Here's
a trailer showing off
the new content, and here's word:
In today’s update players receive two
new levels, South Eastwood and Fort Fiesta, inspired by classic ‘spaghetti
Western’ films – with an unhealthy dose of 1980s monster movies mashed into the
mix. The levels are available for free and will be immediately available to pick
in both ranked and custom matches. Players will also meet two new characters:
Thelma Vaine, British super-spy with a cloaking device and a sharp tongue – and
Dr. Johnny Bionic, a cyborg who must fight every day to keep his drill-saw-arm
from murdering all humans. These characters, plus a series of Reddit costume
pieces, can be redeemed for free using in-game AC. An additional set of Western
costume pieces can be purchased for a fistful of dollars.
Kotaku has a write-up with details on Card Hunter, a web-based
mash-up of a dungeon crawler and collectible card game from Blue Manchu, a new
developer formed by Joe McDonagh and Jon Chey, veterans of Irrational Games and
the BioShock series. The game has the unusual setting of a tabletop gaming
session. They have details on how this works, here's just a bit: "The twist is
in how your characters move and deploy abilities. Rather than a set number of
preset moves with some timed magic recharges/stamina/mana points, each character
has a deck of Magic: The Gathering-style ability cards. As you begin the game,
each character draws a "hand" of four cards from his or her respective deck.
Those cards represent the actions you can take."
Though Spicy Horse Games currently seems
optimistic they will secure the Alice IP from EA to Kickstart a third game in
the series, they apparently also have a plan b in place for a new game based on
L. Frank Baum's Oz series. In a thread about their Alice ambitions on Facebook,
a fan suggests "that Oz title instead, as Spicy Horse founder had an Oz game in
the works a decade ago, but that project died
when Infogrames (now Atari) pulled their support. The suggestion of the Oz
game met with word that such a project is already happening to some degree:
"It's already in the works."
Joystiq followed up on this, speaking with Spicy Horse Community Manager
Kelly Heckman saying this is in such early stages a genre has not yet been
decided. She also indicates this is not the same game that was cancelled in
2004. "This is not, in any way, shape or form, the title from 2004," Heckman
tells Joystiq. "It will be based on the entire Oz series – almost all 14 titles
– so expect to see unique things not seen in previous incarnations."
This trailer offers a
one-level pitch video for Schein, a puzzle platformer developer Zeppelin
Studio is looking to fund through
Indiegogo and get approved by
Greenlight. In short: "In Schein light is the key to everything: Defeat
deadly beasts, solve tricky puzzles and uncover hidden paths through the murky
swamp." This page offers
a "Dev-Demo," which is currently at version 0.3.3, but will apparently not be
for long, as they explain: "This Dev-Demo is different from a regular demo,
because it will be constantly updated in the course of our development. That way
you can see how Schein evolves and improves." Continue here to read the full story.
Patrice Désilets is no longer part of Ubisoft (again), as reported on
Kotaku, where they quote Ubisoft making this sound like a fairly amicable
split based on creative differences, and quote Désilets saying he was fired, and
he intends to fight the situation. Désilets was Creative Director for the
Assassin's Creed series before
leaving Ubisoft in
2010, going on to sign with THQ,
though he would have to wait for a non-compete clause to expire to join the new
THQ Montreal studio (spending some of the idle time
poachng old colleagues). Patrice
then joined THQ, only to find himself drawn back in Michael Corelone-style when
Ubisoft acquired THQ
Montreal. This brings us to today, and Ubisoft's statement to Kotaku explains
the company and Désilets didn't see eye-to-eye on his role, and sort of implies
the parting was a mutual decision: "Unfortunately, since the acquisition, the
good faith discussions between Patrice and Ubisoft aimed at aligning Patrice’s
and the studio’s visions have been inconclusive. As a result, Patrice has left
the studio." Their statement from the designer takes a slightly less diplomatic
Contrary to any statements made earlier today, this morning I was
terminated by Ubisoft. I was notified of this termination in person, handed a
termination notice and was unceremoniously escorted out of the building by two
guards without being able to say goodbye to my team or collect my personal
This was not my decision.
Ubisoft’s actions are baseless and without merit. I intend to fight Ubisoft
vigorously for my rights, for my team and for my game.
Square Enix announces the Shipwrecked map pack is now available for
Tomb Raider on Windows PCs and last-generation consoles to add new
multiplayer content to the recently released action/adventure reboot. The
Windows edition is available
on Steam where they are also selling new
continuing to leave untold sums of money on the table by withholding the skin
skin. The two maps in the Shipwrecked pack are Lost Fleet, where a "massive beached
ship serves as a dangerous battleground filled with twists, turns, and traps,"
and Himiko’s Cradle, in which: "Danger lurks around every corner in this mountain
top shrine. The area is sacred to the scavengers and will be your final resting
place if you are not careful."
A new trailer from
Saints Row 4 allows us to "Meet the President," introducing "a commander in
chief willing to kick politics right in the balls." The clip shows Volition's
upcoming action sequel features a POTUS who'd meet with the approval of
America's most beloved ass-kicking leaders, Teddy Roosevelt, Harrison Ford, and
Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. Continue here to read the full story.
Bethesda Softworks announces Wolfenstein: The New Order, revealing that a
new installment in id Software's seminal shooter series was the subject of
their teasing yesterday, saying the game is
coming to PCs as well as next-generation and last-generation (I'm working on
spreading a new buzzphrase) consoles by the end of this year. They call the new
game a "reimagining of this franchise," an "action-adventure" shooter in
development at MachineGames, the Swedish developer formed by StarBreeze veterans
that Bethesda acquired in 2010, so a
tip of the hat goes to
Polygon for getting the details right about this in a rumor they reported
a couple of months ago. "We are excited to
bring a new chapter of Wolfenstein to gamers everywhere," said Jens Matthies,
creative director at MachineGames. "As fans of the series, working on this game
is an honor, and our team is driven to create an unforgettable action-adventure
experience that will make FPS fans proud." Their announcement actually holds
back the details to kiss a little
GameSpot butt, as GameSpot has
an announcement trailer and say they will be posting details all this week.
Here's what they have on the game's setting:
The New Order is set in 1960
after the Nazis won World War II. Gamers play as the familiar American war hero
B.J. Blazkowicz and are tasked with launching an "impossible counter-offensive"
against the Nazi powers that have taken over the world.
Set in Europe, The New Order will have players infiltrating Nazi strongholds and
battling legions of enemies, while taking control of "super weapons" that the
Nazis have used to dominate earth--"and beyond," Bethesda teased.
GfK Chart-Track listing of the 20 bestselling full-priced PC games in the
U.K. is now online, a day later than usual. The Sims 3 makes a return to
number one, with SimCity dropping to number three on a chart that's 40%
Sims games. On the
all-platforms chart things are pretty static, with Dead Island: Riptide
retaining the top spot.
A new Indiegogo
campaign is underway for Death to Spies 3, a third installment in
this Smershy stealth/action series (thanks Jason) This sequel was
announced a few years ago, but the
campaign explains this was dropped by their publisher, so they are turning to
the community to see if there is enough support to see it through. They offer a
look at the previously released
GamesCom 2011 trailer
showing the game's late '50s/early '60s Cold War setting. Here's word on the
In this game you play as a group of three soviet agents during the
period of the Cuban missile crisis. It's a stealth based game, where you have to
be quiet to successfully finish your mission. Each character of your group has
each own abilities and gadgets that can help in your tasks. You got some form of
a freedom to complete each mission - with one or all three members of your
group. It's like the mix of some Hitman and Commandos series.
Mechanist Games sends word they've been rethinking their
about beta testing of City of Steam starting next week, saying while this
was announced as an "early access" testing, it will be an open beta, as they say
"we’ve dropped the early access part with keys and all that for a few different
reasons," the most significant being the need for a proper stress-test of the
steampunk online RPG's infrastructure. They say the beta will begin at 10:00 pm EDT
on May 10th, and those interested should register
on this page. Here's word on where this
So, now that you’ve heard about what we’ve changed, we’d like
to talk about a few things. As you may already know, this Beta will start off
with 3 classes and 4 (human) races and we’ll continuously release more races and
the 4th class (Channeler) over time when we’re closer to the actual release of
the game. As for the energy system, it’s to incentivize people to look at all
the content and to counteract botters/farmers. As Dave has already mentioned in
the forums, we’ll also be implementing PVP to Wilderness zones soon, so people
who want to get their open world PVP groove on will be able to do that soon as
All in all a lot has changed since Closed Beta. We’re looking forward to you all
playing the game and giving us feedback on what you like and dislike and all the
new features. We’ve also got quite an aggressive development schedule, with
continuous updates over the following weeks. As this is still Beta we’re of
course also still in the process of balancing combat and the games’ difficulty,
so please tell us if you think the game “feels right” in both PVE and
Danish developer Full Control announces further measures they are taking to
ensure Jagged Alliance: Flashback stays true to the Jagged Alliance
series, as they continue their attempt to
Kickstart a continuation of the franchise. Word is they've added Chris
Camfield, a veteran of Jagged Alliance 2 development, to an advisory board, and
they have also started an advisory team of modders. "We are extremely excited to
have Chris on board as an advisor. He is able to not only answer how things were
implemented, but why," said Thomas Hentschel Lund, CEO of Full Control. "We are
able to get a much deeper understanding of the inner workings of Jagged Alliance
2 in addition to the insights that Chris and the Sir-tech team had during
development on Jagged Alliance 3. And now in actively collaborating with
established modders we're making sure that Flashback will support modding from
day 1 in the best possible way." Here's word:
Copenhagen, May 7th - Full
Control, a Danish development studio currently running the Kickstarter to make a
Jagged Alliance: Flashback, a prequel to the Jagged Alliance series, today
announced that Chris Camfield has joined the advisory board for their project.
Chris was responsible for co-designing and implementing the classic Jagged
Alliance 2 games, as well as leading design in the unreleased Jagged Alliance 3.
Additionally, Full Control has established an advisory team of community modders
to advise and co-design the modding support options for Flashback. Currently
this team includes R@S, creator of the Blue Sun Mod for 7.62 - High Calibre and
DepressivesBrot from the 1.13-Crew. Full Control is in active talks with
additional high profile modders to expand the advisory team even more.
This trailer from
Son of Nor offers a controls and game mechanics walkthrough showing off
magic and telekinesis in this upcoming single-player/co-op action/adventure game
to help generate interest in
the Kickstarter stillalive studios is conducting to support the project.
"The power of terraforming is a real driving force within our game development,
allowing us to open up the environment to the players to control and manipulate
to help solve puzzles and fight enemies." Said Julian Mautner, founder of
stillalive studios. "The magic elements have also allowed us to make the game
play incredibly open and personal. Players can combine elements such as
telekinesis and magic, either in single player mode or when playing co-op to win
otherwise unwinnable battles and open otherwise off limits areas." The funding
effort is currently a bit over 25% complete with over three weeks remaining to
raise the $150K needed to complete the game. Here's an overview:
Nor is a 3rd person action adventure game set in a desert world where human kind
is on the brink of extinction at the hands of the Sarahul; an evil race of
reptilian creatures bent on the destruction of human civilisation. Players
become humanity´s last hope for survival in an epic struggle to hold back the
Sarahul hordes and change the destiny of the entire planet.
In Son of Nor, players command unique force abilities with which they must
fight, solve puzzles and ultimately stay alive. These abilities include
telekinesis, powerful magic spells and terraforming; manipulation of the game
world itself, something that has not been seen to this level before in a video
If Son of Nor is successfully funded through Kickstarter, the team anticipate a
release in Q2, 2014.
Our experiment with a new ad provider does not seem to have worked out, those
notices about weird mobile redirects was followed by some other warnings about
dodgy sites, so their ad code has been replaced with code known to be reliable,
if not particularly productive. My apologies for the situation, which went on
longer than it should have, as it seemed like it was being worked out all along
the way. This should be sorted now, so please let me know immediately if it