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Monday, Jun 10, 2013

  

New Star Wars Battlefront Announced

EA's Beat Blog has the announcement that a third Star Wars Battlefront game is in development at DICE using their new Frostbite 3 game engine. They don't use the term reboot this time, but conspicuously have left a three out of the title. A teaser trailer (thanks dj LiTh) is online with a cinematic that looks like the Battle of Hoth, but neither the announcement nor the trailer offer target platforms for the game or a release date. Here's word:

In 2004, the original Star Wars Battlefront came onto the scene and took gamers – and Star Wars fans – by surprise. It was an ambitious action shooter that gave players the opportunity to step into the shoes of their favorite Star Wars characters, pilot quintessential Star Wars vehicles, and relive classic Star Wars battles.

Fast forward nearly 10 years and gamers still have many of those same Star Wars gaming fantasies – but now they wish to experience those larger-than-life battles in magnificent high definition, with all of the amazing special effects, vehicle physics and gameplay intensity that the next-generation has to offer.

That’s where we come in. Today we are announcing Star Wars Battlefront, developed by DICE on Frostbite 3. Our vision for the franchise will surprise and delight fans yet again. We are inventing a new experience inside this beloved universe made with our signature DICE craftsmanship and commitment to excellence. The video we released today gives you a small hint at the direction that we are taking.

The teams at DICE in Sweden and Los Angeles are huge Star Wars fans. We are humbled by the opportunity to create a new Star Wars Battlefront for gamers and Star Wars fans around the world.

Continue here to read the full story.

The Crew Announced

Ubisoft announces The Crew, an online action-driving game they call "revolutionary" in the works at Ivory Tower in collaboration with Reflections for release next year on Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Here's a shakycam trailer showing the game being played, and here's the announcement:

LOS ANGELES – June 10, 2013 – Today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Ubisoft revealed The Crew, a revolutionary online action-driving game developed exclusively for Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and for PC, to be released early 2014.

Development of The Crew is being led by Ivory Tower, a team of racing game veterans and an exclusive partner to Ubisoft, in collaboration with several Ubisoft studios including Reflections Ltd., a Ubisoft studio, best known for its work on the Driver® franchise.

The Crew propels gamers on a reckless ride through a massive open world version of the United States of America, brimming with exciting challenges and diverse terrain - from city to suburb, county to county, state to state, coast to summit. The Crew redefines the level of freedom players experience in a driving game by offering a playground of unprecedented scope in which any driving fantasy can be realized: street, dirt, cross-country, circuit and more.

To bring that vision to life, The Crew leverages the capabilities of new hardware to connect players online like never before. The Crew’s persistent online world is populated by other real players, meaning any other car is a potential rival or ally, and naturally fostering both competition and cooperation among players. This living world provides a tailored experience to a new generation of gamers, as each player is given the choice to play alone, or to team up on-the-go with friends to accomplish collective challenges.

Finally, players can continue to interact with The Crew game world on a second screen via the companion application that will be available soon for iOS® and Android™ devices. The Crew companion app will allow for peripheral, complementary experiences, providing a more intricate player experience overall.

“We want to give players a driving experience that goes way beyond the classic circuit-based racing games and really captures the boundless sense of freedom of driving across the U.S.,“ said, Julian Gerighty, creative director, Ubisoft. “Our teams are harnessing the power of next-generation platforms to make The Crew a challenging, immersive and non-stop world that can be shared by millions of players. This is a brand new driving game experience unlike anything that’s come before it.”

Battlefield 4 Trailers

EA is showing off this trailer from Battlefield 4 at E3, offering a look at 64-player multiplayer play in the upcoming military shooter sequel as well as this clip showing one of the set pieces in the single-player game: dramatic combat on a sinking aircraft carrier. Continue here to read the full story.

Dragon Age Inquisition Trailer

Dragon Age Inquisition is being shown off at E3 2013 with this trailer, offering a cinematic look at the next installment in the action/RPG series. Here's the deal: "Explore a vast fantasy world at the brink of catastrophe in Dragon Age Inquisition, a next-generation action RPG from BioWare, creators of the critically acclaimed Mass Effect trilogy. Dragon Age Inquisition is set in an expansive story-driven open world filled with complex characters, meaningful player choices, and challenging combat. Players are empowered to shape every aspect of their game experience as they lead the Inquisition, changing the land of Thedas and the Dragon Age forever. Dragon Age Inquisition will launch in Fall 2014 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3." Continue here to read the full story.

South Park The Stick of Truth Trailer

The E3 trailer South Park The Stick of Truth offers an in-character look at the upcoming South Park RPG. The clip is set in a men's room, and includes racism, flatulence, and ball jokes, but in fairness, they only had a minute to work with. Continue here to read the full story.

Command & Conquer Trailer; Beta Signups

This official E3 trailer shows off EA's upcoming Command & Conquer, introducing the Generals from the upcoming RTS revival, showing how much time they spend planning clever quips about your defeat, if not your defeat itself. The clip includes gameplay footage of positions being obliterated. This is accompanied by news about the game's closed beta testing:

Los Angeles, Calif. – June 10, 2013 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced that Command & Conquer™, the next installment of the award-winning real-time strategy franchise from Victory Games™, will be entering closed beta this summer. Set in the popular Command & Conquer Generals series, the new Command & Conquer is raising the bar for the Real-time Strategy (RTS) genre by delivering unparalleled immersion and best in class visuals and dynamic physics, all powered by the award-winning Frostbite™ game engine. Victory Games is dedicated to letting players control more – more Generals, more strategy and more direct feedback in the game. Command & Conquer will launch in 2013 as a free*, live service. Players can sign up now for a chance to access to the Command & Conquer closed beta**, starting later this summer, at www.CommandandConquer.com.

Victory Games is dedicated to player-driven design, where a large part of evolving, developing and expanding game content is based on community activity.

“The community has always been and will continue to be paramount to the success of Command & Conquer,” said Jon Van Caneghem, General Manager of Victory Games, EA. “Being a live platform, we have the freedom to be responsive and to deliver content that our players care about at launch and beyond. As developers, this sort of direct and evolving relationship with our audience is incredibly exciting and we can’t wait to hear what players think about this new Command & Conquer experience.”

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Tech Bits

etc., etc.

Into the Black

New E3 drinking game. Take a shot every time someone brags their game is running at 60 FPS.

Mirror's Edge Reboot Announced

After years of clues and speculation, EA has announced Mirror's Edge, rewarding fan's faith with a reboot of DICE's parkour action game coming to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The Mirror's Edge website has the news and the E3 announcement teaser trailer which offers gameplay, a little tattooing, and word that the game is "coming... when it's ready." Here's the announcement:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - June 10, 2013 – DICE, an award-winning studio of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) and developer of the blockbuster Battlefield™ franchise, today announced that fan-favorite Mirror’s Edge™ is in early stages of development. Mirror’s Edge was first introduced in 2008 and fans quickly elevated the game’s heroine “Faith” into a videogame icon. Gamers and critics worldwide praised its unique characters, highly stylized world and fresh take on first person action adventure. The new Mirror’s Edge reboots the franchise for the next generation with advanced visuals and an all-new origin story for Faith. Powered by DICE’s proprietary Frostbite™ technology, the game will be heading to Xbox One®, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PlayStation®4, and PC.

“We introduced Mirror’s Edge and Faith to gamers five years ago, and we’ve waited for the right moment to reunite them,” said Sara Jansson, Senior Producer, DICE. “Thanks to the Frostbite engine and a new generation of platforms, we are now able to deliver a richer world that players will be able to explore with a new level of freedom in both movement and action.”

To view the Mirror’s Edge teaser trailer, please visit www.mirrorsedge.com, where fans can also sign up for the official Mirror’s Edge newsletter. Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/mirrorsedge and follow us on Twitter® at www.twitter.com/mirrorsedge and #MirrorsEdge. Press assets are available at http://info.ea.com. To follow all of EA’s news during E3 and watch the replay of the Mirror’s Edge unveil, visit www.ea.com/e3.

Continue here to read the full story.

Titanfall Announced

The Microsoft E3 press conference is concluded, announcing the Xbox One is coming this November at a $499.00 USD price point. They announced and showed off several games for the new console. There was also an official unveiling of Titanfall, confirming rumors that this mech combat game will be the debut release from Respawn Entertainment, and saying it will come to Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox 360 in Spring 2014. The Titanfall website is online offering the Official E3 Announce Trailer, and here's the announcement:

Electronic Arts Inc. and independent videogame developer Respawn Entertainment today revealed the world debut of Titanfall(TM), the studio's inaugural title. Crafted by one of the co-creators of Call of Duty and other key developers behind the Call of Duty franchise, Titanfall is among the most highly anticipated of E3 2013, having been shrouded in mystery for nearly three years. The visionaries at Respawn have drawn inspiration from their proven experience in first-person action gaming, and are building on that pedigree by taking a new approach to game design and creating an all-new universe with Titanfall. The game is entirely multiplayer, in a new experience that combines fast-paced multiplayer action with the heroic set piece moments traditionally found in campaign mode. Set in a distant frontier torn apart by war, players will have the freedom to switch between fighting as elite assault Pilots or agile, heavily armored, 24-foot tall Titans. To see the announcement trailer for Titanfall, please visit the game's official web site www.titanfall.com.

"It's an exciting time in the industry and it feels like the perfect time to be unveiling Titanfall," said Vince Zampella, a Co-Creator of Call of Duty and Co-Founder of Respawn Entertainment. "Our passion at Respawn is games and we are focused on bringing something exciting to kick off the next generation of software."

The universe of Titanfall juxtaposes small vs. giant, natural vs. industrial and man vs. machine. The game drops players into a conflict between the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation (IMC) and the Militia as elite Pilots. With the ability to shift back and forth between pilot and Titan, players will have the freedom to change tactics on the fly, attacking or escaping depending on the situation. Titanfall Game Director Steve Fukuda added, "In addition to infusing the multiplayer experience with cinematic flavor, we've been rethinking fundamental combat and movement in the genre. Titanfall is unique in the way that it places equal emphasis on two drastically different and new ways to move and fight in a first-person shooter. The intersection of the two is a big part of what give Titanfall its iconic identity."

Available spring 2014, Titanfall will be available for Xbox One(R), the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, PC and Xbox 360(R) games and entertainment system from Microsoft The Xbox 360 version of Titanfall is in development at an external development studio with support from Respawn. For more information on the game, please visit www.titanfall.com. Follow the game on Twitter at www.twitter.com/titanfallgame or Facebook at www.facebook.com/titanfallgame. Press assets are available at http://info.ea.com.

Codemasters Stake Sold

Reliance Entertainment has purchased a majority stake in Codemasters reports the Telegraph, saying this wholly owned subsidiary of the India-based Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group now owns a hair over 60 percent of the British developer and publisher. Codemasters suffered layoffs early this year amid a global restructuring, and the comment with this report suggests this is related, as word is: "Reliance’s move follows discussions over the video games maker’s debt after it extended a series of convertible loans." Private equity firm Balderton Capital retains ownership of the remainder of the company. No financial terms are included in the report.

Battle for Graxia Ending

The Battle for Graxia Forums have word that Petroglyph is pulling the plug on this MOBA on June 27th, just a couple of months after it went live (thanks Massively, who spotted this more than a week after it was posted). They speak of the pleasure they've had working on the game and how much they have learned, but offer no concrete explanation for the closure, though it seems safe to assume it relates to the game's success, or lack thereof. They are reserving the right to relaunch the game, but in the meantime are no longer accepting payments as they plan to recompense players for expenditures battling for Graxia. Here's word:

We have decided to take BFG offline effective June 27, 2013. Effective immediately, we will no longer accept payment for the purchase of Petroglyph coins. As a way of saying thanks to our supporters, anyone that has previously purchased Petroglyph coins in BFG will receive a bonus of Petroglyph coins (in our sole and absolute discretion) in the next 24 hours to spend on anything in the store. Then, at midnight (PST) of June 27, 2013, the BFG servers will be closed down and there will no longer be any access to the game. We reserve the right to bring BFG back online at some time and hope to do so in the future.

Contra Run and Gun TMed

A U.S. Trademark Filing by Konami suggests they have plans for the Contra IP, perhaps an indication that a new installment in the classic platformer is coming. On June 4th the company filed a registration to TM "Contra Run and Gun," which certainly sounds familiar to anyone who has played the original. Thanks Polygon via All Games Beta.

Watch Dogs E3 Trailer

Here's the E3 trailer for Watch Dogs (also written as Watch_Dogs and WATCH_DOGS to make sure we're watching), Ubisoft's upcoming open-world hacking game. The clip is a cinematic showing our protagonist taking down some opponents with just the power of his cell phone, his hacking prowess, and a big old pistol. Continue here to read the full story.

Call to Arms "TechDemo" Video

This new trailer from Digitalmindsoft offers a look at the engine in Call to Arms in what they are calling a second "TechDemo" of their upcoming modern combat real-time strategy game. The clip is flyaround of a static scene where a few soldiers and a couple of tanks dutifully defend what appears to be the world's smallest island. Continue here to read the full story.

U.K. Sales Charts

GfK offers updated editions of its weekly U.K. sales charts, including their Full Price PC Games chart where Football Manager 2013 remains number one and the Skyrim Legendary Edition pops up at number two, and Empire Total War is number one on the PC bargain chart. On the all-platforms top 40, Grid 2 retains the pole position, and Remember Me enters at number three. Here's their summary:

Codemasters take a second week at the top of the All Formats Chart with ‘Grid 2’ (-52%) despite more than a 50% drop in sales.

The racer is still well ahead of ‘FIFA 13’ (-36%) which holds the No2 for a third week ahead of two of this week’s new releases. Capcom are back in the Top 10 with ‘Remember Me’ new at No3. The new IP is developed by French studio Dontnod Entertainment and just edges out another new comer ‘The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition’ at No4. Bethesda’s new release includes all the downloadable content and expansions breathing more life into a title which first appeared back in Week 45 2011.

Ubisoft slip down a place as ‘Far Cry 3’ (19%) drops to No5 ahead of ‘Dead Island: Riptide’ (-35%) at No6. Square Enix and ‘Tomb Raider’ (-12%) climb from No10 to No7 while Nintendo’s 3DS title ‘Luigi’s Mansion 2’ (-14%) climbs back into the Top 10 at No8. It pushes another Nintendo 3DS title ‘Donkey Kong Country Returns’ (-30%) down to No9. ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ (-37%) drops down from No6 to No10.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Consolidation

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Well E3 2013 is upon us: Last week saw the now-expected rollout of a lot of the media from the show, and attendees will enter the giant pinball machine beginning tomorrow. Today we'll get to experience several publisher presentations, beginning with Microsoft at Noon (EDT) today, followed by Apple, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and Sony. This will include lots of presenters in boy-band headsets and, if recent history serves, barely a mention of the PC platform. I'm certainly happy to be wrong about that, and it will be interesting to see if the nascent stages of the new console cycle make that better or worse.

Expo Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Kitt's Kingdom.
Links: Gaming's Distant (And Not So Distant) Relatives. Thanks Slashdot.
The Stunning Movie Props of Stan Winston.
Stories: TSA agents stop Chewbacca actor over light saber.
Science: Comets Spurred Life On Earth By Helping Create Key Molecules, New Research Suggests.
Images: Finally, we know who he was talking to in all those ads. Thanks reddit.
Media: Craziest Red Wedding reaction video.
Dog With Impressive Acting Skills.
Finishing Move.
The Funnies: xkcd: Dwarf Fortress.



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