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Monday, Jun 17, 2013 Independence Day (Iceland)

  

Civil War II Announced

Matrix Games announces Civil War II, a strategy game based on the second American Civil War. No wait, that's not right: it is in fact a sequel to American Civil War - The Blue and the Gray, Ageod's first game based on the war between the states. A product page has details and images, and this page is accepting signups for beta testers. Here's word:

After the great success of American Civil War - The Blue and the Gray, Ageod has built on its success with many more features and content in this sequel to the classic game of the genre. The game covers the entire USA, from the Eastern seaboard to the Rockies, from 1861 to 1865. It also stretches to Mexico and the Northern Caribbean. There are 5 main scenarios from the battle of Shiloh all the way up to the Grand Campaign.

The map is divided into more than 3,000 regions, which contain a variety of terrain, climates and civil development level. There are over 400 historical leaders with historically characteristic strengths and weaknesses. The model covers features such as Weather, Attrition, Supply, Fog of War and more!

Akaneiro: Demon Hunters Early Access

Steam is offering early access to Akaneiro: Demon Hunters, the action/RPG from American McGee and Spicy Horse Studios. This is the revamped version of the game they recently Kickstarted, and the early access will help ready it for release. Here's word, which also tips the availability of a Linux beta:

Grab the game now for just $9.99 and get $30 worth of in-game currency and items, as well as an exclusive item that you can only get via Steam Early Access. The Early Access phase will help the Spicy Horse team improve the game in preparation for its full Steam release, which will be free to play.

The Steam version of Akaneiro: Demon Hunters was made possible by thousands of gamers who backed Spicy Horse’s successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than $200k to expand and enhance the game. A Linux beta is also available for download at http://spicyworld.spicyhorse.com

On Sale

Evening Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Previews

Evening Consolidation

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

IO Interactive Lays Off Staff; Cancels Projects

Develop has a statement from IO Interactive saying that the developer is in pre-production on a new triple-A Hitman game, which is their sole focus after they have laid off almost half their staff and cancelled other studio projects, saying this "difficult decision" was made to help "face the challenges of today's market." Here's the bad news:

We are making significant changes at IO Interactive as we align our business against a changing and challenging market.

Hannes Seifert, formerly Production Director for 3 years at the studio, will take over the position of Studio Head at IO. The studio will focus resolutely on the future vision for the Hitman franchise and is in pre-production on a new triple-A Hitman project.

However we have taken the difficult decision to cancel other studio projects and initiatives at IO and reduce the workforce in this studio, which will impact almost half of the employees currently at IO, as we make internal adjustments to face the challenges of today’s market.

For those affected, we are extremely grateful for the hard work which they have contributed, and where it’s possible and appropriate to relocate staff to open positions at other studios within the group, we will try to do so. We are also reaching out to other companies for outplacement opportunities. We sincerely wish them well in their future careers.

Meanwhile, if you are part of a company that is looking for additional development talent, please contact us directly at info@ioi.dk.

BF4 Alpha Testing Invites and Specs?

A post on NeoGAF has an unverified, but legitimate-looking invitation to participate in a trial alpha test for Battlefield 4. This says the version being testing is quite incomplete, being an alpha and all, describing how there will be missing textures, choppy performance, server lag, and downtime. This also says a strict NDA is in place, so we shouldn't expect to hear impressions of the alpha from those who are selected (thanks Strategy Informer). There's a fuller image of the invite from MP1st (thanks VG247 via PC Gamer) with recommended system specs, indicating this will support neither Windows 8 nor 32-bit Windows:

OS: Vista SP2, Win7
Windows 8 not supported
64-bit! 32-bit not supported
DX10 or DX11 GPU with 1+ GB of RAM,
DX11 Highly recommended
25GB Free HDD space required
Latest Origin version required.

Dota 2 This Summer

Community-run site ValveTime has a confirmation from Valve of plans to officially launch Dota 2 this summer. Valve's MOBA game is currently in the beta stage, but a report in PC Gamer Magazine says they game will be released prior to The International 3 in August, and they got an email reply from Valve's Erik Johnson confirming that this is the plan, subject, of course to the vagaries of their site's namesake Valve Time.

UK Sales Charts

GFK Chart-Track lists the 20 bestselling full-price PC games in the U.K for the week ending June 15th, showing Football Manager 2013 still kicking balls and taking names. Their PC budget-price list has a new number one, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which seems to mark the RPG's sequel debut as a budget title. Finally, on the big board of their all platforms all prices list: The Last of Us is, well, first. Here's their blurb:

Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed PS3 exclusive ‘The Last Of Us’ becomes Sony’s first All Formats No1 since ‘Uncharted: Golden Abyss’ on Vita back in W8 2012.

It is the 3rd fastest selling game of 2013 behind ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Bioshock Infinite’ and the biggest launch for a new IP since ‘L.A Noire’ in W20 2011. The industry also receives a well needed shot in the arm from Nintendo’s ‘Animal Crossing: New Leaf’ which debuts at No2 with the biggest 3DS launch since ‘Mario Kart 7’ and the biggest 3DS launch ever for a non-Mario title. ‘Grid 2’ (-45%) slips from top spot to No3 while ‘Tomb Raider’ (+53%) enjoys the spoils of a price promotion, climbing from No7 to No4. After 3 weeks at No2, ‘FIFA 13’ (-32%) has to settle for No5 this week, ahead of a resurgent previous No1 ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ (+47%), back in the Top 10 at No6 thanks to competitive retailer pricing.

‘Far Cry 3’ (-1%) remains Ubisoft’s top seller, down from No5 to No7, while the 2 week old Legendary Edition of Skyrim (-6%) falls 4 places to No8. Animal Crossing isn’t the only 3DS Top 10 title this week as sales of ‘Luigi’s Mansion 2’ are up 18%, minimising its drop to just one place to No9. ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ (+18%) is a non-mover at No10, while outside the Top 10 there is a new entry for ‘Rugby Challenge 2: The Lions Tour Edition’ at No12.

Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion EMEA Release

Kalypso Media announces a boxed edition of Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion is now available from retailers in select EMEA territories comprising the U.K., Scandinavia, Greece, Portugal, South Africa, Russia, the Middle East, and Asia. They offer a new UK teaser trailer to celebrate the release, along with a reminder of what the game is all about:

Sins: Rebellion is the next instalment of the hugely popular and award winning RT4X title Sins of a Solar Empire. The standalone expansion contains all of the content from the prior Sins’ titles and will further grow the Sins universe with a wealth of new features including a new story thread, new ship classes, new faction technologies, six massive Titans as well as updated graphics and effects, AI enhancements and multiplayer optimisations.

Continue here to read the full story.

It Came from E3 2013, Part Seven

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Oops, I just noticed the Twitter feed here has not been updating... I'm looking into that, by which I mean to say I have asked Frans to see if he can figure out what's gone wrong there. In the meantime apologies for the inconvenience.

R.I.P.: Bernard Sahlins Dead- Co-Founder Of Second City Theater Dies At 90.
R.I.P.: Thomas Penfield Jackson, Outspoken Judge, Dies at 76. Judge in MS antitrust ruling. Thanks Slashdot.

Convenient Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Celsium.
Science: To ease shortage of organs, grow them in a lab?
Five Things to Know about Dreaded Mega Mosquitoes.
ASMR videos on YouTube. Thanks j.c.f.
Images: If the next-gen consoles were Game of Thrones characters.
Second Avenue Subway - a set on Flickr. Thanks brother19.
Media: Nation Demands New Photo of Edward Snowdon. NSFW.
Old Joke New Technology.
How to get Americans (USA) to watch Football (soccer).
Follow-Up: Fracking fuels water fights in nation's dry spots.
The Funnies: Dilbert.
Savage Chickens.



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